An El Cajon businessman described as a major source of supplies for illegal methamphetamine laboratories was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and operating a continuing criminal enterprise.
Robert Joseph Miskinis, 38, owner of RJM Laboratories Inc. and Safe Labs Inc., was charged under a federal “drug kingpin” law that carries a minimum penalty of 10 years with no possibility of parole and a maximum of life in prison, according to a statement by U.S. Atty. William Braniff. If convicted, Miskinis also could be fined as much as $2 million.
Also indicted was David Allen Sison, 28, of San Diego, Miskinis’ chief assistant, who, along with Miskinis, was charged with conspiring to aid and abet the manufacture of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. RJM Laboratories and Safe Labs, which owned RJM, also were indicted.
The charges stem from the operation over the past nine years of RJM Laboratories, a retail chemical, glassware and laboratory equipment company that was shut down when federal agents seized it last Aug. 19. The company had offices in Santee, Lakeside, North Hollywood and Carson City, Nev.
Neither man is in custody, but both are expected to surrender to federal authorities by the end of the week, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. Pat Swan.
John A. Mitchell, an attorney for Miskinis, said Tuesday that he had no comment on the charges. Attempts to reach Sison were unsuccessful.
A convicted drug dealer, Miskinis gained notoriety last year when it was revealed that he had hired a Sacramento lobbyist in 1986 to push for a delay in the starting date of strict new reporting requirements for chemicals used to make methamphetamines. The lobbyist was successful, but the delay was later rescinded.
Miskinis, a former UCLA chemistry student, served two months in jail after he was convicted in Los Angeles in 1980 of charges that he manufactured methamphetamine, also known as speed.
Federal agents said that when they raided the RJM Laboratories building in Lakeside last August, they found enough chemicals to make 50 tons of methamphetamine. Agents also discovered $55,550 in cash in a closet in Miskinis’ house, Swan said.
In addition to the businesses and the cash, the government has seized five pieces of real estate worth $2.8 million, six bank accounts containing $355,445, four patents valued at $180,000 and a retirement plan worth about $103,555, prosecutors said.
The indictment Tuesday was the result of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Internal Revenue Service and the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement.