Drug Death Tied to Krishna Cult

The Register/October 28, 1977

Investigation of a bizarre murder kidnapping-embezzlement case with international drug-dealing implications is expected to spotlight the financial structure of the Hare Krishna religious cult and could develop into one of the major criminal cases in Orange County history, a prominent law enforcement official said Thursday.

Circumstances to be probed include the report that a large cache of cash, perhaps in excess of 1$ million, could be buried somewhere, it was learned. Police also are interested in how four men alleged to be members of the Krishna cult, may have had access to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Bovan, 36, of Fountain Valley, was on probation in connection with an Arizona conviction stemming from the sale of 1,200 pounds of marijuana when he was shot nine times outside the Newport Beach restaurant. Three men identified by Newport Beach police captain Richard Hamilton as currently being prime suspect in Bovan's death have also been named as being suspected of having played a part in the reported kidnapping and holding for $100,000 ransom last summer of Alexander Kulik, 28, of Newport Beach.

The three are Jerry Fiori, 41, Raymond Resco, 28, and Anthony Marone, Jr., 23, all of Huntington Beach. Also charged with the conspiracy to commit murder in connection with Bovan's death is Debra Addison, 24, identified as Fiori's roommate.

Kulik, who, along with three business associates, is a member of the Krishna cult, according to Newport Beach Police, was arrested Saturday afternoon by Orange County Sheriff's deputies on a narcotics charge. Kulik, was found dozing in a leased $60,000 Stutz Blackhawk with $1 million worth of "China White' heroin at his side, according to deputies who arrested him in Mission Viejo.

Hamilton identified Kulik as a business associate of the three top executives of Prasadam Distributing International, a Newport Beach-based firm which sells cookies called "Bionic Bits."

The three officers are members of the Krishna cult and business associates of Kulik, Newport Beach police said. In May 1976, Richard addressed the Laguna Beach city council on behalf of the cult, protesting alleged city harassment of Hare Krishna. However, Agni Dev, president of the Laguna Beach Krishna temple, said the names Davis, Fedorowski and Richard - were "familiar" but that the men were inactive members.

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