Another US chemical vendor (LTK) sentenced

By radiometer · Jul 11, 2006 · Updated Dec 2, 2009 · ·
  1. radiometer
    June 30, 2006

    Minot man sentenced to five years for selling designer and misbranded drugs, violating customs laws

    BISMARCK, N.D. -- A former Minot, N.D., man was sentenced today to five years in prison for selling designer and misbranded drugs over the Internet, claiming they were intended for research purposes, and for violating Federal import laws.

    U.S. District Court Chief Judge Daniel L Hovland sentenced Lee Michael Badrak, 34, to 60 months’ imprisonment to be followed by four years of supervised release. Badrak's sentence was also based upon a conviction in a separate case for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute cocaine, to which Badrak pleaded guilty July 14, 2005.

    The sentencing was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation (FDA-OCI) in Minneapolis; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Minot; and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Fargo and Bismarck.

    Badrak pleaded guilty January 19, 2006, to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substance analogues 5-Methoxyalpha-methyltryptamine HCl (5-MeO-AMT) and 5-Methoxy-N, N-Disopropyltyptamine HCl (5-MeODIPT); one count of introducing the misbranded drug 2,4 Dinitrophenal (DNP) into interstate commerce; and one count of introducing the misbranded drug Nalbuphine HCl into interstate commerce.

    LTK Research Products LLC (LTK), a company owned by Badrak and his wife Melissa Ashley Badrak, operated between 2000 and 2004 out of Minot, selling chemicals over its Web site, , to thousands of individuals throughout the United States.

    LTK pleaded guilty January 19, 2006, to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substance analogues in connection with sales of Alpha-methyltryptamine (AMT), (5-MeO-AMT), and (5-MeO-DIPT); and one count of importing goods, the chemical Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide (DXM), into the United States by means of false statements.

    LTK, which is no longer operating as a company, was ordered to pay a special assessment of $200, and to forfeit all chemicals, office equipment, records, computers, and other assets to the FDA, the DEA, ICE, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and Ward County Narcotics Task Force.

    LTK's Web site suggested that it was in business to provide chemicals to researchers. However, the company had a history of selling hazardous chemicals that were abused as recreational hallucinogens. The investigation revealed that nearly all shipments of the chemicals were sent to individuals rather than research institutions or facilities, as portrayed by the LTK Web site. Many of the chemicals advertised for sale by Badrak and LTK were controlled substance analogues, which are similar in chemical structure and physiological effects to illegal scheduled controlled substances, primarily hallucinogens. LTK offered for sale hallucinogenic chemicals similar in effects to 3,4 -- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), known on the street as Ecstasy or X, a Schedule I Controlled Substance.

    Designer drug sellers try to evade the law by selling newly created analogue drugs that are similar to Ecstasy, but have not yet been scheduled as illegal drugs by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Sales of the dangerous designer drugs for personal consumption are illegal under Federal drug laws, and numerous overdoses have been traced to these illegal analogue designer drugs.

    When sold as hallucinogens without directions for use or warnings, as required by the FDA, these chemicals are also considered to be "misbranded drugs." Other chemicals included in the inventory of LTK that were being illicitly sold and used are as follows: absinthe oil; Nalbuphine HCl (an analgesic opiate approved for use by the FDA when lawfully sold as a prescription pain drug, but widely abused by bodybuilders to treat pain); 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), also known as “2,4 D” (widely used by bodybuilders for weight loss); Scopolamine HBR (commonly used as a motion sickness medicine); and Dextromethorphan HBR (DXM), which is the active ingredient in several over-the-counter brands of cough medicine.

    DXM is a disassociative analgesic, which is similar in effects to Ketamine (known on the street as "Cat" or "Special K") and Phenylcyclidine (PCP), known on the street as “Angel Dust,” both of which are Schedule I controlled substances. DXM is widely abused by teenagers, who will often drink several bottles of cough syrup at a time. There have been several overdoses attributed to DXM, as well as several deaths of individuals under DXM intoxication. These drugs were also sold with no directions for use or adequate warnings against use as required by law, making these drugs misbranded.

    Sentencing for Badrak and LTK marks the conclusion of the North Dakota portion of a coordinated nationwide investigation of several companies that sold "designer drugs" and related chemicals over the Internet, primarily to teenagers and young adults, under the guise of "research chemicals."

    According to U.S. Attorney Wrigley, the nationwide investigation targeted a number of internet chemical sellers operating through Web sites under the guise of being legitimate companies selling chemicals to researchers. In addition to LTK Research Products, those sellers included: racresearch; americanchemicalsupply ;; duncanlabproducts; and omegafinechemicals

    "The sale and consumption of dangerous chemicals publicly offered for sale by LTK and other Internet companies is illegal and a serious health and safety problem for our citizens,” said Wrigley. "The coordinated efforts of state and Federal agencies throughout the country closed them down."

    "This is a prime example of how cooperative law enforcement can root out criminals who believe they can use the Internet to hide their actions," said Mark Cangemi, special agent in charge of the Office of Investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Bloomington, Minn. "The complexity of this case required the combined efforts of local, county, state and federal law enforcement. No single agency could have done it alone."

    Although Badrak and LTK were put out of business following the execution of state and federal search warrants in April 2004, other illegal chemical sellers often rise up to take their place. Anyone who is aware of companies selling these dangerous chemicals to the general public rather than to legitimate research labs and companies should contact the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation at 1-800-521-5782 or the Drug Enforcement Administration at 1-701-250-4550 in Bismarck, N.D.

    The North Dakota portion of the nation-wide investigation, designated Operation Web Tryp, was conducted by agents of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation (FDA-OCI) in Minneapolis; the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Fargo and Bismarck, N.D.; Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Minot, N.D.; the United States Postal Inspection Service in St. Paul, Minn., and the Ward County Narcotics Task Force (comprised of agents from North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ward County Sheriff’s Department and Minot Police Department); with assistance from the FDA Forensic Chemistry Center, the Ward County State’s Attorney’s Office and Minnesota National Guard.

    Assistant United States Attorney Scott J. Schneider prosecuted the case.

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  1. radiometer
    Why did this guy only get 5 years, when they put David Linder away for life? Shitty justice.

    Note that this case involves charges for importing non-scheduled compounds.
  2. enquirewithin
    Possibly because there were no deaths linked to his sales?

    I don't think justice an the legal system are much related. ;)
  3. snapper
    Nice that they have a rat line. Someone should call and report every drug store out there. Most sell DXM and meclazine (motion sickness medication similar to scopalamine) amongst a host of other abusable chemicals. Imagine your local drug store selling a PCP analog ! This is a hidden scourge which needs to be purged from our society!

  4. Alfa
    Can anyone please dig up the court ruling and if possible additional documents? As it looks from this ICE press release, this is the end of research chemicals in the USA. At least of US based companies.

    Selling compounds under the guise of research chemicals is now punished as mislabeled drugs. Further the analog law seems to be stretched beyond the rational.

    It seems as after this success, they are now ready for new action. I wonder if they'll go for foreign companies, customers or both. Not a good perspective.
  5. Abrad
    After what happened to Pastor David from the SMCS it would be wise for any vendors to stop shipping to the US ASAP.
  6. bewilderment

    Is seems as if as far as the RC's go, this guy got punished for distributing analogues (at least according the following snippet). The mislabeled drugs were just DNP and nalbuphine. Are these recreational substances, by the way?

    "Badrak pleaded guilty January 19, 2006, to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substance analogues 5-Methoxyalpha-methyltryptamine HCl (5-MeO-AMT) and 5-Methoxy-N, N-Disopropyltyptamine HCl (5-MeODIPT); one count of introducing the misbranded drug 2,4 Dinitrophenal (DNP) into interstate commerce; and one count of introducing the misbranded drug Nalbuphine HCl into interstate commerce."
  7. snapper
    They are prosecuting for FDA violations (DEA is a branch of), specifically the offense of mislabelling and selling prescription drugs - DNP used to be prescribed, and nalbuphine is a prescription opiate, though unlike butorphanol, it may not have a US schedule, and DXM is otc but not as a bulk chemical. Same thing happened when they busted JLF. The trouble came from the L-dopa and tramadol (amongst other prescription drugs) he was selling. Though they were non-consumables, they were still members of the US pharmacopeia, hence being sold as mislabeled by the unlincenced.
    However, according to the above article, the analog act was also invoked, though the charge was trafficing, not possession of a controlled substance.
    It has been the end of RC suppliers in the US for a few years now. This does not really change anything. The outcomes of webtryp have successfully demonstrated that the analog act need not even be invoked to send someone to prison. You could be selling sodium chloride and they could probably make an argument that it was illegal in some way if they wanted. The focus of the prosecution was away from controlled substances because it would be a more difficult case to prove.
    Regardless, end game for the US

  8. fatal
    now lets be fair here... linder got alot more than life... 427 years it seems... tough luck... david linder is also a known drug criminal and has several prior offenses. he probably was also doing some other shit.if you bothered to read the article you would notice that the reason mr badrak ran into trouble was an investigation relating to his intent to start a coke dealing operation. maybe if he wasnt so fucking greedy he would have been ok. stop shipping to the US? hardly.
  9. radiometer
    Well, I don't think that Linder will be able to serve all those years, so I reduced it to life to save looking up the number. My point is that Linder got a ridiculously longer sentence compared with any other "research chemical" vendor who was charged. IMO he was one of the most scrupulous pre-WebTryp vendors, and I just feel that this is another twist of the knife which was inserted when the other WebTryp vendors got off relatively lightly.

    I don't really see what that has to do with my post, and I don't appreciate the condescending tone. I certainly read the article. I was just pointing out that it is possible to be charged for importing "research chemicals", something I feel that many people seem to forget.

    Again, nothing to do with my post.
  10. Bajeda
    Just wondering, but what exactly are the laws regarding research chemicals?

    Can you sell them to individuals if they aren't labelled as meant for consumption? And if you can't do that are you able to sell them to businesses, including small ones?

    Im just a bit fuzzy about the whole thing.
  11. Alfa
    A real answer to that can only come after reading the court documents. From what I read in the press release, it does look like it is no longer legal to sell research chemicals to individuals and it also looks like sales to intitutions and businesses would be ok as long as the businesses seem legitimate research companies.
  12. fatal
    only the part about linder was in response to your post radiometer. not intending to offend anyone. the latter part was in response to

    as long as RC suppliers in the USA continue to deal illegal drugs and sell to people inquiring and implying about ingesting substances either directly or indirectly(for example replying to an email from [email protected]) the DEA will probably continue to arrest them. there is no reason someone as an independant researcher should not be able to acquire ANYTHING that isnt specifically breaking the law. if you are not consuming these substances they are not drugs and therefore not analogues of scheduled drugs and therefore the analogue act is irrelevant. all our suppliers are just always ending up doing retarded shit and getting in trouble. none of the web tryppers (so to speak) were innocent. they were all being retarded and doing alot of things they should not have been. none of those things need to be brought up but certainly some of us know what they were. especially david linder. the closest to legitimate was michael "ill sell to anyone with a credit card" burton. they were good businessmen but as criminals they were not very smart. they pretty much seemed to figure that since their business appeared to operate sort of legally they wouldnt be investigated and their blatant misdeeds would not be uncovered. stupid mistake, apparently. the same applies to badrak in this case. he was obviously not keeping his nose clean. he got hit. thats what happens. no big secret that in the drug world if you fuck up that happens. he only got 5 years anyways. hes lucky.

  13. fatal
    on the subject does anyone know of the disposition of ms. curtis and the omegas? havent seen anything on them other than that someone told someone that april might be out of jail already.(?!)

  14. radiometer
    Yes indeed Curtis got a slap on the wrist sentence. The documents are available on Murple's board - if you can't find them, let me know and I'll dig them up.

    No offense taken. The way your post was written, with no breaks, and under my quote made it seem as you were addressing me directly.
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