By MARK FREEMAN
An Ashland man who is part of a group that allegedly peddled a diluted version of industrial bleach as a mineral supplement has earned his release from jail while his case plays out in an eastern Washington court.
Defendant Louis Daniel Smith earned his release Tuesday when U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno denied federal prosecutors’ motion to keep Smith detained as a flight risk while awaiting trial over the Internet sales of “Miracle Mineral Supplement” under the Project GreenLife label out of Spokane in the late 2000s.
Smith will have to post $75,000 in bonds, must live in the Spokane area, be subject to electronic monitoring and remain in home confinement except for his daughter’s school functions and appointments for his family, according to the ruling.
The written ruling follows a Monday court appearance during which Smith and his 38-year-old wife, Karis Delong, pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, four counts of interstate sales of misbranded drugs and one count of smuggling stemming from an investigation by Food and Drug Administration special agents and U.S. Postal Service investigators.
Delong remains free on bail without home-confinement restrictions, but must remain in the Spokane area as part of her release agreement.
Co-defendant Tammy Olson, 50, of Nine Mile Falls, Wash., faces identical charges for her alleged role in Project GreenLife, which claimed MMS cured everything from HIV to cancer to joint ailments.
Also charged was Olson’s husband, 49-year-old Chris Olson, with one count of conspiracy, one count of interstate sale of a misbranded drug and one count of smuggling.
The Olsons previously pleaded not guilty and were released from custody while the case plays out in U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington.
Delong and Smith have filed several court documents arguing they only sold MMS to members of a “First Amendment Private Health Care Association” constitutionally protected from FDA scrutiny because it was a private association operating outside of the public domain.
No rulings on their arguments have been filed yet in federal court.
According to federal prosecutors, MMS was a mixture of water and sodium chlorite that buyers were told to mix with citric acid to form chlorine dioxide, which actually is an industrial chemical used to bleach textiles and disinfect wastewater, according to court records.
Labeling on the chemical states it should never be ingested because it can cause digestive tract burning, nausea, diarrhea and dehydration. If inhaled, it can cause respiratory distress, lung congestion and possibly death.
Smith and Delong were arrested Feb. 5 at their Ashland residence.
Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story originally appeared in Medford Mail Tribune.