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Archive for Friday, March 16, 2012

7-year sentence given for bath salts

March 16, 2012

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A federal judge in Nebraska on Thursday sentenced a Lawrence man to serve more than seven years in federal prison for possessing a form of a synthetic drug often called “bath salts.”

According to federal court records, Judge Richard G. Kopf in Lincoln, Neb., ordered Steven Sullivan to serve the 92-month sentence after he was convicted by a jury in December.

According to media coverage of the trial, Sullivan was stopped for speeding in southeast Nebraska on Oct. 27, 2010, and officers found the drug and another called K2 in his car. The “bath salts” were not yet on a law enforcement list of controlled substances, but he was convicted for possessing a “structural analogue” of the drug with the intent to distribute it. Federal prosecutors had argued the substance was similar to the chemical structure of an illegal substance and that it has a similar effect on the human body.

Sullivan can appeal the verdict and sentence.

Comments

jesihka 2 years, 1 month ago

To everyone interested in this case. ... I wish we could have afforded a better attorney at the time. Never hire Glen Shapiro of Shafer and Shapiro law firm in Nebraska. He was completely incompetent. He never deposed any of the prosecution's witness', never called any witnesses in Steven's defense, and only ever filed frivolous motions in the case. Any good attorney could have had the case thrown out before it even had to go to trial. He also lied to us about the existence a plea deal that was supposed to give Steve a year and a day. Steve agreed to this plea, not out of guilt, but to be released to his family and get on with his life. Steve is not guilty of anything, but a victim of unjust, and in this case a very obscure, laws and the unjust interpretation of them. The analog act is a law that crates a very slippery slope. What will the federal government to next? Arrest everyone who sells herbal tinctures or teas because they have a calming effect, or maybe coffee and chocolate because they have stimulating effects. Maybe they will arrest the makers of spray paint and glue because people get high on it, even though that is not it's intended use. We will be fighting this case as long as it takes to get him free, even if it means going on to fight the constitutionality of such a law to exist in the first place. In the case of USA v. Damon S. Forbes the court ruled that the definition of controlled substance analogue given in the Federal Analog Act was unconstitutionally vague, in that

“Because the definition of 'analogue' as applied here provides neither fair warning nor effective safeguards against arbitrary enforcement, it is void for vagueness.”

The common law principle that the people should have the right to know what the law is, means that the wording of laws should be sufficiently clear and precise that it is possible to give a definitive answer as to whether a particular course of action is legal or illegal. However despite this ruling the Federal Analog Act was not revised, and instead AET was specifically scheduled to avoid any future discrepancies.

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pizzapete 2 years, 1 month ago

Seven years or any time for that matter is excessive for bath salts especially if they weren't illegal at the time of possesion. What ever happened to our right to be sucure from unreasable search and seizure or even ex post facto law in this case? I thought the government would be happy that hippies are finally taking baths.

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smitty 2 years, 1 month ago

It's no wonder this sounds off the wall.

This is connected to the drug bust of Scared Journey..also....before the law went into effect for K2. The Dancing Bear Botanics moved their herbal on-line herbal operation to southeast Nebraska before the law took place buttt..... get this....same area as this current one....south east Nebraska. Same people that the feds are trying to drive out of business and incarcerate anyone associated with Bouncing Bear.

Kinda like what they did in the Scooter's <> and counterfeit money to buy marijuana..

Grandma put down that nutmeg and mace..it'll get you buzzed.

Big brother going outside a shady law to prosecute.....again!!

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Newell_Post 2 years, 1 month ago

Tommy Chong went to federal prison for being associated with his son's business that sold bongs. Not drugs. Bongs, made out of a couple pieces of glass. And it wasn't even Tommy's business.

The estimated cost of "Operation Pipe Dream" was over $12 million and included the resources of 2,000 law enforcement officers. They were going after more people than Tommy, but $12m for bongs? Seven years for a precursor chemical?

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Paul Geisler 2 years, 1 month ago

"Federal prosecutors had argued the substance was similar to the chemical structure of an illegal substance and that it has a similar effect on the human body."

So, exactly how is this stuff "kind of" against the law??? I suspect an appeal is warranted here.

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deathpenaltyliberal 2 years, 1 month ago

"consumer1 (anonymous) says… Patkindle, well said, well said. May I use that?"

Go ahead, it won't be the first time one of our conservative friends repeated something that was incorrect and just plain stupid.

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0day 2 years, 1 month ago

bath salts are weak and mild compared to coke or meth. i really can't believe it is considered illegal to have them. he must have had a lot to be sent to prison. actually he probably had a tiny amount. hi5 america. your drug laws make me sick.

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cheeseburger 2 years, 1 month ago

7 years for bath salts, and in the article following this one, probation for inappropriate touching.

Anyone else think our laws and penalties need to be completely revamped? Maybe it's the difference between Nebraska's tough-on-crime and Kansas' lenient-on-crime views.

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consumer1 2 years, 1 month ago

Patkindle, well said, well said. May I use that?

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patkindle 2 years, 1 month ago

The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are out numbered by the people that vote for a living.

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tomatogrower 2 years, 1 month ago

I only clicked on this story, because I was worried I wouldn't be able to take a bubble bath anymore. What a relief.

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patkindle 2 years, 1 month ago

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

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hawks1313 2 years, 1 month ago

^I second that. Sounds like he didn't have an attorney at all!^ I also like how the pervert that touches little girls in the story below got probation and the dude cruising around Nebraska with some bath salt gets 7 years. Our justice system is something else!

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Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 1 month ago

He must have had a really bad attorney.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm so happy that our tax dollars are being spent this way!

Be sure to smile and be joyous when you write checks to pay your taxes, knowing they are going to be giving people like Mr. Sullivan free room and board for months, and maybe years!

And, as an afterthought, give the Lord above a prayer thanking Him for giving the lawyers a chance to earn some money.

P.S. Be sure to pay a little extra for the wars too, while you're at it.

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l_eustacy 2 years, 1 month ago

When officers stopped Steven, they asked him if he had any illegal substances in his possession. He replied, "I'm clean."

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