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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Four from Eastern Kentucky were arrested and are now charged with drug trafficking.

    Better than cocaine and ecstasy put together."

    That’s how one local woman described a powerful new designer drug -- again sold as "bath salts."

    The drug is key to federal indictments, trafficking arrests and a chemical connection that stretches from here to India.

    This is not the synthetic cocaine we've talked about. It is something stronger.

    The key ingredient is a crystal chemical called mephedrone, not meth. Officials said a criminal, organized sales and manufacturing outfit was making thousands off the drugs.

    In federal criminal indictments and complaints, the government charges a Grayson, Ky., family -- Ralph Justice and his two sons Adam and Eric -- and Christopher Newman from Garrison in Lewis County with illegally marketing a substance containing the chemical.

    The documents find the substance to be a designer drug with stimulant and hallucinogenic effects.

    The complaint says the conspirators sold the packaged drugs at a business in Huntington and a sister store in St. Albans. It was labeled “Ivory Soft Bath Salts,” and investigators said the suspects knew that it was for human consumption.

    The affidavit says Christopher Newman also marketed the synthetic marijuana Wildfire to the West Virginia shops.

    And the complaint explains that an early January federal raid found the conspirators headquartered at a now-vacated store in Ironton, Ohio. Investigators said this is where they packaged large amounts of the chemical mixture, ordering the mephedrone in raw bulk form from a drug company in India.

    Agents said mephedrone is an analogue of the banned substance methcathinone - also know as "cat" -- and peddling a similar analogue drug brings the same criminal penalties.

    Adding up wildfire and bath salts profits listed in the complaint, the sales generated more than more than $200,000 and are being listed as a significant trafficking operation.

    The investigation included packages of the chemical from India -- heading to Garrison and Ironton -- seized at the Cincinnati airport.

    Posted: 8:20 PM Feb 18, 2011
    Reporter: Randy Yohe



  1. Alfa
    Re: Federal Charges Highlight New Designer Drug

    That sure seems like they are applying the analog act to mephedrone and beta-ketones. If they are then we will see operation web tryp 2 very soon.
  2. xiaobendan
    So these people will face years in prison for selling things that weren't even illegal(declared illegal) when they were operating...this seems wrong.

    I mean what happened to America? The place never gives the little guy a chance anymore.
  3. squeezix
    Look, these laws were in place in the 80's. It is just not realistic to think you can move psychoactives hand over fist openly in the US and have the law on your side.
  4. xiaobendan
    So what about all the small shops who currently sell JWH-xxx substances that are about to be banned? Are they screwed aswel? Of course not, because they are selling totally new substances, now if they tried to sell after the ban they are obviously screwed.

    I was under the impression that MDPV is not covered by the analogues act because it is not related to any scheduled substance(slightly to ritalin but that's only schedule II).

    And anyway if the analogues act was so great why did they need to seperatly ban 5 Meo DMT? I mean that would give a young ambitous man the idea that selling other things in the class are okay.

    What I'm saying is people selling a lot of these substances are basically at the mercy of whatever turn the DEA makes. It doesn't seem like justice at all.

    Why not sell the JWH-XXX class of stuff before they are banned?

    The little guy is giving no room to make a buck, unless he risks everything, freedom, family, reputation.

    I think it's wrong. Oh America where arth thou.......
  5. Shampoo
    The addition of a 5-Methoxy group to a molecule precludes it's inclusion in the analogue act. This has been discussed extensively elsewhere on the site.
    Both of these are FDA approved for human consumption. I'm not sure that I understand your point here.
  6. Thirdedge
    Swim has been quietly watching expecting this to happen. He is surprised it took so long.

    Greed before common sense. The people prosecuted in operation Web Tryp a few years back received gross sentences of many decades in prison. Why on earth would anyone expect they could get away with it this time?

    Did the blind eye turned to synthetic cannabinoids give vendors a false sense of security that the same would apply to all new psychoactive chemicals?

    When turning over $200,000, surely anyone with half a brain would put some of that into decent legal advice?

    This should be a clear warning to anyone still involved in the trade of research chemicals in the USA to shut shop immediately. Clean house and paper trail. Take an extended overseas vacation.
  7. Alfa
    In half a year, there will be a lot of people that wish that they had read your post and taken up your advice. I really can't imagine that the DEA is not going to bring the hammer down hard. Cannabinoids are one thing, but synthetic cocaine replacements. How stupid can people be?
  8. xiaobendan
    A storm is a com'n!!!!!....get out of the whirlwind while you can!!!!

    Christ, imagine doing 10years for research chems. At least when people sell coke or whatever they know the risks they are taking.

    All this cat can say is that the shithead scumbags who hang out on the block are going to have a field day with this.

    Sure in Ireland, they were petrol bombing head shops before the mephedrone ban because everyone stopped buying the shit coke and ecstacy that had been going around the last ten years.

    This new exercise in state repression just takes money away from the small entrepreneur and gives it to the black economy i.e funding the continued social decline of industrial Europe (most of bans are already in place in Europe) and north America.

    Who benefits?
  9. Alfa
    The agency that is going to confiscate the fat bank accounts of the bath salt vendors will probably have a field day. They can keep the money.
    And guess who controls SWIFT?
  10. Terrapinzflyer
    While I agree another Web Tryp type action is likely, I have a bad feeling they will use the RICO Statutes (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) to take down a huge swath of the key players.

    A real wildcard in all of this is whether either of the main producing countries would cooperate, or if the producers are essentially untouchable.
  11. ianzombie
    I'm shocked.
    Not over the fact they said it was stronger than a synthetic Cocaine, or the fact they mentioned Meth in the same sentence to make a point, I'm not even shocked they found and anonymous source to claim its 'Better than cocaine and ecstasy put together'.
    I'm shocked because they didn't claim that someone had been found with 5 grams worth half a million dollars (street value)
    Who was the journalist, they seriously dropped the ball on this report!
  12. zera
    From the original link:


    It appears that one of the indicted has taken has plead out to "one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance analog." It seems as if the other defendants are going through with the trial.

    I might be crazy here, but my guess is that they'll win, if not in the initial trial than at least on appeal. Believe it or not a lot of federal judges, compared to state judges, have a very nuanced and sophisticated understanding of the law.

    I don't think something as vague as the analog law, especially with the unending varieties and tweaks available in today's environment, will hold up. It'd be one thing if the DEA had to explicitly declare what is considers to be analogs and hold open hearings. But the ability to arbitrarily consider certain compounds (when reasonable chemists could disagree) and not inform the target until he's indicted clearly violates due process.
  13. Terrapinzflyer
    ^^ The text of that update:

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