Fox News reports
Federal prosecutors announced Friday that 13 people, including current and former University of Texas students, were charged in connection to a massive LSD, fentanyl, and methamphetamine trafficking and money laundering scheme meant to peddle drugs to college kids in the Austin metropolitan area that was supplied, in part, by a marijuana farm in Portland.
The defendants allegedly conspired to distribute LSD, fentanyl, and methamphetamine in the Austin metropolitan area and other locations since April 2019 and also conspired to launder the proceeds, the Justice Department announced Friday. Authorities believe more than $1 million worth of drugs were sold and distributed
Search warrants executed Thursday resulted in the seizure of large quantities of fentanyl, Adderall pills, Alprazolam (Xanax), LSD, marijuana, and psilocybin (hallucinogenic mushrooms). Investigators also seized several firearms and about $100,000 in U.S. currency, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas
Austin real estate developer Benny Daneshjou, 68, also was arrested after officials say he worked with Prasad to launder money, purchasing properties that were used as stash houses, safe houses, grow fields, and a hallucinogenic mushroom growth operation.
Former University of Texas at San Antonio professor Rose Rodriguez-Rabin is accused of providing Prasad with methamphetamine-laced counterfeit drugs “on numerous occasions,” Sofer said.
Rodriguez-Rabin and a co-defendant, Brandon Sims, are awaiting trial after being arrested in December 2019 for distributing counterfeit Adderall pills to UTSA students and others using “a consumer app similar to DoorDash” to market and sell the drugs as part of the same operation Prasad ran, Sofer said.
Two other suspects overdosed and died during the investigation, which began in 2019, Sofer said.
Those arrested last week also include 26-year-old Charles Zenker of Houston; 26-year-old Ashley Larue of Austin; 21-year-old Drew Zarate of Austin; 32-year-old Christopher Edwards of Portland, Ore.; 21-year-old Jacob Schelling of Cypress; 22-year-old Madison Scott of Houston; 21-year-old Adrian Andreescu of Plano; 21-year-old Nikit Shingari of Austin; 21-year-old Nolan Fogleman of Austin; 23-year-old Samuel Parry of Austin; and 27-year-old Brandon Carpenter of Austin.