A Rockville company and its owner pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to sell $88,000 worth of drug paraphernalia to a Virginia company that prosecutors described as the region's largest wholesaler of the products.
Progressive Plastics Inc., in the 18000 block of Village Mart Drive, and owner, Peter R. Wolfe, were indicted last month in U.S. District Court in Alexandria on dozens of charges, including conspiracy, money laundering and the interstate sale, transport or advertising of products made specifically for drug use.
Each was allowed to plead guilty to a single conspiracy count, and charges against Chryssa E. Wolfe, Peter Wolfe's wife, were dismissed. Wolfe has agreed to testify in the further prosecution of six other corporations named in a May 23 indictment. Law enforcement officials said the 302-count indictment represented the nation's largest drug paraphernalia prosecution.
Federal prosecutors must prove that the pipes and other products were produced specifically for drug use. Wolfe said in his plea agreement that one of his customers, Randall K. Dyer, "knew the bongs/waterpipes were primarily intended and designed for use with marijuana."
In a news conference announcing the indictment last month, prosecutors alleged that Dyer, owner of the Fairfax County-based Tobacco Accessories Distributing Co., was at the heart of the region's paraphernalia distribution network.
Progressive Plastics faces a fine of up to $500,000. Wolfe could be fined as much as $250,000 and imprisoned for up to three years.
Wolfe agreed to forfeit to the government $125,000, or 20 percent of his and his wife's net worth. Wolfe's firm must forfeit inventory seized by the Customs Service.