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Analog Act Prosecution- Nebraska jury finds Kansas man guilty in bath salts case

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    A federal jury in Nebraska has found a Kansas man guilty of possessing an analogue drug for bath salts found in his car during a traffic stop in 2010 -- before bath salts were added to a list of controlled substances.

    Steven Miles Sullivan, of Lawrence, Kan., was indicted in U.S. District Court in Lincoln after he was stopped for speeding in Otoe County on Oct. 27, 2010, and told the deputy he had K2 and a bag of bath salts in his vehicle.

    Neither was illegal by state law at the time, although each is now.
    Last week, the jury sided with the government in finding Sullivan guilty of possessing a "structural analogue" with intent to distribute.

    In other words, it is substantially similar to the chemical structure of an illegal, controlled substance, has a stimulant, hallucinogenic or depressant effect on the central nervous system similar to the controlled substance and has a substantially similar effect on the human body as the controlled substance it mimics.

    Defense attorney Glenn Shapiro argued that Sullivan was an innocent wholesaler who legitimately bought the product online -- when it was legal -- and was up front with law enforcement about having it.

    He said the federal government didn't make it a controlled substance until this October, nearly a year after the stop.

    Shapiro argued Sullivan did nothing wrong but was caught in the middle.
    Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Svoboda said that all was a smoke screen.
    "No one would buy that package for legitimate reasons," she argued.

    A Drug Enforcement Administration chemist and pharmacologist testified about the chemical structure of bath salts and its effect on the central nervous system when ingested.

    In the end, the jury found Sullivan guilty, but found that the $5,813 he had with him should not be subject to forfeiture, as the government sought.

    His sentencing is set for March.


    By LORI PILGER
    Lincoln Journal Star
    Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2011

    http://journalstar.com/news/local/c...cle_fdadaf60-a2ba-5aa5-adf8-4a9b7feabb8f.html

Comments

  1. Phenoxide
    Otoe County cocaine charges could carry a life sentence

    Nebraska City, Neb. — Otoe County prosecutors filed drug charges against a Missouri man Thursday that could carry a sentence of life in prison.


    The Otoe County Sheriff’s Office arrested Steven Miles Sullivan, 28, of Stanberry, Mo., after a traffic stop on Highway 2 on Oct. 27.

    Prosecutors say sheriff’s deputies found nearly a pound of cocaine in the passenger compartment of Sullivan’s car and a pill of the designer drug ecstasy buried in a bucket of dog food in the trunk. Also seized was several thousand dollars.

    Possession of 140 grams of cocaine or more with intent to distribute is charged as a class 1B felony, which carries the highest possible penalty for a Nebraska drug offense. A conviction in Nebraska carries a minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

    A more severe sentence of life without parole is reserved for convictions in cases of kidnapping or arson and the death penalty is reserved for murder or rape.

    Court records indicate that Sullivan was pulled over for a windshield obstruction and driving 71 in a 65 mph zone. He refused search of the vehicle, but a search was conducted after a police service dog indicated the odor of a controlled substance.

    Dan Swanson
    Nebraska City News Press
    October 29th 2010
    http://www.ncnewspress.com/features...y-cocaine-charges-could-carry-a-life-sentence
  2. Anna Thema
    I dont get this...
    the bloke is stopped, his car searched,the contents recorded,and a year later he is charged and found guilty of having illegal substances in his possession, which werent illegal at the time he had them in his possession.

    So if I get searched today and have a TV in my house, then next year TV's are made illegal, I get charged with having had a TV even though I threw mine out when they changed the law...

    Thats insane, you cant have retrospective prosecutions for things that werent against the law at the time they happened... I dont think I'll be moving to Nebraska any time soon, it sounds wierd.
  3. Terrapinzflyer
    ^^ the charges were Federal- and he was prosecuted in federal court under the Analog Act- which essentially states that substances that are similar in structure and effects to a controlled substance, when intended for human use, are just as illegal as the controlled substance they are an analog of.

    As to the story Phenoxide posted- my only guess is that the "bath salts" may have contained mephedrone, which according to previous press/police reports can test positive for cocaine with the reagent test kits many police use. (as an aside- there have been recent press reports that police are receiving new reagent tests better able to identify some of the newer research chemicals)
  4. Teknicality
    Still, I see what Anna Thema is saying police can't go around arresting people after they commit crimes that weren't crimes when they were being committed, that's illegal. It would cause mass pandemonium. Makes me think a personal grudge was involved. If he was being tried under the analog act why not give him a trial right after the arrest? What happened to a fair and speedy trial, eh?
  5. Terrapinzflyer
    ^^ I think this exemplifies one of the biggest problems with Research Chemicals today- people seem to believe that because something is not specifically banned then it is perfectly legal to possess, sell, or consume. The reality is that the Federal Analog has always hung over these substances- everyone in the US needs to realize that if their intention is to use these substances as drugs then they may very well be prosecutable under the analog act if the feds wish to persue it. While the analog act has been largely unused, it is increasingly clear the feds may start using it more to deal with the current rc situation, as there is no way they can keep up with those driven by a profit motive to replace each banned substance with something new almost overnight.

    As to a fair and speedy trial- 1year is pretty quick for a federal trial. And until documents become available we have no way of knowing if the defense played any role in its length. (ie: needing time to do their own analysis of the substances, arranging for expert witnesses, etc). Quite often one does not want a fast trial- a good defense can take a long time to arrange.
  6. runitsthepolice
    Drug dogs aren't trained to smell "bath salts" how the fuck did the dog legitimately alert on the car? Was a controlled substance that dogs are trained to smell for present in the car? Obviously the defense attorney failed to bring this up and is retarded. Poor guy.
  7. Terrapinzflyer
    ^^ to be fair- it is not out of the realm of possibility that cannabis had been/been smoked in the car (or other controlled substances) in the recent past. I have had dogs that could find scents of where they had had a bone weeks prior...
  8. runitsthepolice
    Yeah but that's something a non-idiot defense attorney would bring up at least. They had to have been watching this guy to know he was distributing. Police handlers can probably and often do signal their dogs to alert if the human thinks they are 100% certain that controlled substances are present in the car. I'd love for one of those fuckers to get nailed doing that then have it proven in court.

    Dogs could be used as an excuse to violate the constitutional rights of anyone if they were simply allowed to be wrong and "odors of controlled substances that were previously there but no longer are present" is the explanation. Obviously that can't be proven one way or the other.
  9. Terrapinzflyer
    ^^ Indeed. But really- throwing cases out, when someone is actually "guilty" on "technicalities" is a slippery slope.

    Really- if someone you love is hurt in someway do you really want the case thown out, and the perpetrator set free, because the police fucked up? I've been through that reality...and really it's made me realize that I would rather fight on the moral issues of the law then procedural ones...

    I don't know- have most definitely been on both sides of the issue- but personally I've found there comes a time to man up and not try and weasel, and defend yourself on higher levels...
  10. runitsthepolice
    Having police be able to search without probable cause is also a slippery slope. In all likelihood they had substantial other info on this guy, which may or may not have been legally obtained. "Technicalities" are important...if police suck that's their fault. Should've sent the A team instead of the retards.

    Obviously this case has implications for so many people it would be nice if the law was applied properly.

    They must've had additional info because it's not clear how they proved "intent to distribute."
  11. Teknicality
    I think I was just confused because I was under the impression that the federal government had waited to try this case under the new controls that were put in place specifically with bath salts in mind. Instead of considering that the case might have taken a year to build after the arrest, which was initially carried out under the analog act.
  12. stayupandplay
    The dog "hit" on the cocaine which turned out not to be coke but an analogue. I don"t believe the dog could ID the RC or the alleged x tab. Illegal search as well. The RC wasn't listed til a year later. This is an outrage and downright terrifying. Swim did a 5yr Fed sentence for an amount of illicit substance that would've gotten him drug court and diversion if the feds hadn't picked it up. The founders of this country are rolling over in their graves. I'm feeling sick to my stomach. This isn't the America it was even 10 yrs ago. This gov't is completely out of control. Something has to give...sometime.
  13. stayupandplay
    The cop can say the dog made a hit even if it didn't. They lie. The dashboard video(if there was one) could've possibly helped, but the dogs are hopped up making all kinds of herky jerky movements. The cop or some "expert" could say "There!! Right there!! The way the dog dipped its head is one way he alerts the officer!" Its such BS it would be laughable if not for the draconian sentences the feds impose on the citizens of this country. The feds boast a 98% conviction rate. Most people, innocent or guilty are urged by attorneys to take whatever the U.S. attorney offers in lieu of going to trial because the consequences of going to trial..meaning the sentence that would be handed down..are too scary to even think about. The feds are warehousing human beings. Its the biggest injustice and outright violation of the rights of the citizens of the USA in my lifetime.
  14. stryder09
    This is an old thread but did anyone ever find out what exact substance was ruled an analog? If this was a federal analog case with a true determination of analog, it would set a major precedent.

    Edit: Nevermind. I did find info. Mephedrone and Methylone were ruled as analogs of Methcathinone.
  15. Basoodler
    ^^ I wonder why they have not moved forward with any of the cases that are apparently on backlog from log jam or even before that?

    I read that they have to make a case for 3 "legs" of the case.

    1) proving the molecule is functionally similar

    2) proving it is structurally similar

    3) proving that it was sold by or purchased with intent for human consumption

    1 and 2 being much harder to prove to a jury.. or easier to defend I guess.

    I would think just proving #3 would at least be enough to show that a manufacturing, retail or supply operation is acting illegally based on the loophole they are using to pass this junk off.

    One of the specialized law firms I came across had this on their web page

    http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=201987

    Does this have any merit?
  16. Magilla
    The analog act strictly states ONLY IF there is intent to ingest said substance:

    The Federal Analog Act, 21 U.S.C. § 813, is a section of the United States Controlled Substances Act which allowed any chemical "substantially similar" to a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II to be treated as if it were also listed in those schedules, but only if intended for human consumption. These similar substances are often called designer drugs.

    So question is how is this intent of human consumption determined?

    Does drug paraphernalia play a vital role in this evidence? I.E. Residue on bills, straws, rolling papers, pipes, syringes, apples (haha), visible intoxication and/or positive U.A. etc?

    Furthermore, what are any of your feelings on how "spice", "bath salts", and other designer drugs have been marketed in such a dumbly deceiving way as if to avoid prosecution? Mine as well have called it magic fairy fart dust. Would have made more sense than marketing the stuff as salts for a bath or glass cleaner, etc.

    Basoodler good points on:
    1) proving the molecule is functionally similar

    2) proving it is structurally similar

    Other chemical/molecular reasoning, being an easier way out with a better chemists and perhaps Lawyer behind you for sure.
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