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Man to serve life in prison after teen’s overdose
By TIM MCGLONE,
© May 18, 2005
Last updated: 9:54 PM
NORFOLK — A
man whose sales of designer drugs over the Internet led to the death of
a teenage buyer in upstate New York was sentenced Tuesday to life in
prison and ordered to pay $700,000.
also known as Dr. Benway, of Arizona was arrested last year as part of
a Drug Enforcement Administration operation dubbed “Web Tryp.” </font>
After a trial in
February, a federal court jury convicted him of multiple drug counts
and found him responsible for 18-year-old Phillip Conklin’s death.
Linder, 52, testified that the drugs he sold were “research chemicals”
and not federally banned narcotics.</font>
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Tayman, told jurors that the chemicals
were generic equivalents of hallucinogenic drugs such as Ecstasy and
Foxy Moxy. Federal law prohibits possession and sale of analogous
versions of illegal substances.
The jury convicted Linder of 27 counts, including drug conspiracy and money laundering. </font>
accurately reflects the tremendous harm caused by the defendant’s drug
trafficking,” according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Paul J.
McNulty. “It also sends a clear warning of what may happen to anyone
who pushes drugs over the Internet.”</font>
his drugs through a Web site selling landscaping supplies. A hyperlink
on the site led to a page titled “Research Chemicals.”
punishment was extra harsh because of Conklin’s death from an overdose,
authorities said. Linder was also linked to several severe illnesses
among individuals who purchased and ingested his drugs.</font>
into Linder began about three years ago, when Navy investigators
discovered two sailors selling designer drugs to Navy personnel and
others, typically at rave parties. Court records show that the sailors
had purchased the drugs over the Internet from Linder.</font>
sailors, Richard L. Klecker and Michael D. Wolfe, were convicted along
with a third man, Timothy C. Luken, of distributing the drugs locally,
and they were sentenced to federal prison.</font>
Charles Burke, said that although his client will spend the rest of his
life in prison, barring a successful appeal, the DEA probably saved his
life by arresting him. Linder lived in the Arizona desert strung out on
drugs and alcohol, Burke, said.</font>
“He never would have survived out there,” Burke said.</font>
He added that
Linder has no assets to pay the $700,000. The government determined
that to be the amount Linder made from selling the drugs. The money
would be paid to the government.</font>
Reach Tim McGlone at (757) 446-2343 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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