'Miracle' pair's bail hearing Monday

An Ashland couple will have to wait until Monday to learn whether they will be freed while they fight federal charges of peddling over the Internet a diluted version of industrial bleach as an elixir for everything from earaches to cancer.

Defendants Louis Daniel Smith and Karis Delong will have a 1:30 p.m. bail hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in Spokane, where the couple lived in June 2011 when federal agents raided their residence. Federal prosecutors allege they illegally sold "Miracle Mineral Supplement" from the residence under the Project GreenLife label.

They were both represented by lawyers in Wednesday afternoon's initial hearing in Spokane before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno, then returned to the Spokane County Jail.

Prosecutors want Smith, 42, jailed as a flight risk as his case plays out, in part because he moved to Ecuador after the Food and Drug Administration raid in Spokane and wrote in an email that he had friends ready "to take us into the jungle" should they be indicted, court filings state.

Smith, who is acting as his own attorney, filed court papers Wednesday arguing that detaining him pre-trial flies against his presumed innocence by the court. He also argued that using his pre-indictment travels against him was unjust and moot because he was not under any orders to remain in the United States.

In court filings, Smith wrote that if he was released, he would be willing to surrender his U.S. passport and travel only between Washington state and Ashland, where he lives and recently started a nonprofit company called Freedom Has A Face.

Through Freedom Has A Face, Smith intends "to erect a new memorial for the digital age honoring America's fallen soldiers with 24-hour candlelight vigils," Smith wrote in his filing. He did not elaborate.

Prosecutors have recommended that Delong, 28, be released on condition that she post a $25,000 appearance bond, surrender her passport and live in Eastern Washington while the case plays out.

The couple have a young daughter.

Imbrogno already has released two co-defendants indicted in this case, which involves the sale of an industrial chemical not licensed for ingestion but bought by people who swear by its abilities to cure ailments that conventional drugs cannot.

Smith, Delong and co-defendant Tammy Olson, 50, of Nine Mile Falls, Wash., each were charged with conspiracy, four counts of interstate sales of misbranded drugs and one count of smuggling stemming from an investigation by FDA special agents and U.S. Postal Service investigators.

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.

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.

Smith and Delong were arrested Feb. 5 at their Ashland residence.

Mark Freeman is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. He can be reached at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.

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