TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – A Tulsa couple has been federally indicted after selling unprocessed poppy seeds through their business. The problem is their product allegedly ended up killing a woman.
Court documents state the poppy seeds the couple sold online were covered in an opium latex that was never removed after harvest. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is urging people to be aware of what they buy online.
“People got to be careful,” Mark Woodward with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics said. “If that sounds too good to be true, probably is.”
Brandon and Rachel McCarthy are facing multiple charges in the indictment. The allegations stem from their unprocessed poppy seeds that allegedly killed a woman when she drank a tea version of their product she purchased online.
“There’s a lot of people who are buying stuff on the dark web that comes in from other countries and they may advertise it as some sort of safe relaxation, natural remedy when it’s never been FDA approved or tested,” Woodward said.
According to the indictment, the poppy seeds were coated in opium latex, which is a byproduct of the opium poppy plant that contains things like morphine and codeine. It also alleges that a single dose of their poppy seed tea could expose someone up to 1,200 milligrams of morphine.
Their business sales lasted from June 2017 to November 2020. The couple also allegedly wrote books and made videos about making poppy seed tea and promoted it as a way to help with anxiety and pain. Woodward said this case proves why it’s very important to do your homework and research everything you buy online.
“A lot of times the people selling it do not know,” Woodward said. “Look at the testimonials. Look at the reputation of the company that’s selling them.”
We reached out to an email associated with the businesses website.
We have full confidence in the judicial process and firmly believe that it will reveal the inaccuracies in the prosecution’s understanding of the law. We maintain that Ms. McCarthys has always acted in accordance with the law.
We appreciate your interest in including our perspective in your reporting. However, we consider it prudent to refrain from public statements while the legal proceedings are ongoing.Stephanie Duran, Rachel McCarthy’s attorney