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Jake’s Fireworks prevented from reopening during date-rape drug invesitgation

NEDERLAND — Jake’s Fireworks and Right Price Chemicals have been barred from resuming business operations at their Twin City Highway location, just north of the City of Nederland.

U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox made the announcement today that a federal judge entered a preliminary injunction barring the operations.

“If businesses are used as a front for drug trafficking, they can pose a serious threat to the community,” Cox said. “The Eastern District of Texas is committed to using all available criminal and civil law enforcement tools to combat such threats. Here, a civil injunction was particularly critical to stopping the defendants from continuing to engage in their alleged misconduct and presenting a risk of harm.”

The Eastern District obtained a temporary restraining order July 13 on the operations, saying Jake’s Fireworks was a drug-involved premises.

The government alleges Jake’s Fireworks was a front for Right Price Chemicals, a company alleged to have distributed 1,4 butanediol, commonly referred to as “BDO” across the country in violation of federal law.

BDO is a chemical manufactured for industrial or laboratory use as a floor stripper or vehicle wheel cleaner and is not intended for human consumption. Congress identified BDO as a “date rape drug” and has criminalized illegal internet sales of BDO to unauthorized purchasers.

Multiple agencies and officers conducted raids and arrests in July at the location.

The July 13 temporary restraining order shut down operations of the business and any further distribution of BDO and other chemicals by Jake Daughtry, Joe Daughtry, Sandra Daughtry and Kip Daughtry.

Based on evidence compiled through its investigation, Cox said the government moved to convert the temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction to prevent Jake’s Fireworks and Right Price Chemicals from reopening.

Following an evidentiary hearing Sept. 2, Judge Michael Truncale granted the government’s request and enjoined Jake’s Fireworks and Right Price Chemicals from resuming business operations.

After hearing testimony from an agent with the DEA’s West Palm Beach Task Force and a contract chemist employee of Right Price Chemicals, Truncale found the government proved a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of its civil injunction suit.

In his order granting the preliminary injunction, Truncale explained the evidence showed:

  • Right Price Chemicals ordered and shipped BDO out of the Jake’s Fireworks premises;
  • BDO was stored in and around the Jake’s Fireworks premises;
  • Right Price Chemicals’ business offices and operations were situated within the Jake’s Fireworks building;
  • Employees of Right Price Chemicals, including Jake Daughtry, knew that BDO was a “controlled substance analogue” and that customers were using BDO for human consumption; and
  • Right Price Chemicals continued to sell BDO for human consumption despite knowing it was being used illegally.

The injunction also prohibits Jake’s Fireworks from reopening for seasonal fireworks sales.

This is an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case and is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration West Palm Beach, Florida, and Beaumont; United States Postal Service; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The claims made in the complaint are allegations that, if the case were to proceed to trial, the government must prove to receive a permanent injunction against the defendants.