News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2008

Worcester Drug Dealer Sentenced

MAR 26 -- BOSTON, MA - A Worcester man was sentenced today in federal court for conspiracy to distribute GHB and GBL.

June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration - New England Field Division and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, announced today that THOMAS VIGLIATURA, age 40, of 118 Santoro Road, Worcester, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge F.Dennis Saylor IV to 51 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release. VIGLIATURA pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute GHB and GBl, conspiracy to possess cocaine and Ecstasy, distribution of GHB and GBL, and criminal forfeiture on May 29, 2007.

At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that VIGLIATURA ran a drug distribution business out of his home and his business T'Vig's, a nutritional supplement store on Gold Star Boulevard in Worcester and that he sold GHB and GBL out of both locations.

GHB, a central nervous system depressant, is abused because it produces euphoria, intoxication, and hallucinations. It was originally sold in health food stores as a releasing agent for growth hormones to stimulate muscle growth and was banned in 1990 by the FDA. Highly soluble, GHB is sold in liquid form by the capful for $5 to $25 a cap and often added to water or alcohol. In lower doses, GHB causes drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and visual disturbances. At higher doses, unconsciousness, seizures, severe respiratory depression and coma, can occur. The street name for the drug is "Liquid Ecstasy," but it is best known as "the date rape drug."

GBL, a liquid chemical used in many industrial cleaners, is also used as a "precursor chemical" in the manufacture of GHB. Upon ingestion GBL can also be converted directly into GHB. As a consequence, GBL is often trafficked not as a precursor chemical but as a drug of abuse itself - individuals drink small quantities of GBL straight or, as is the custom with GHB, added to water or alcohol. Further information on GHB and GBL can be found at the DEA's website: www.dea.gov.

Three co-defendants, including two Worcester Police Officers, were also convicted of criminal charges stemming from the investigation. Brian Benedict was sentenced to 7 months imprisonment with a $2,000 fine and Heriberto Arroyo was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment and a $2,000 fine. An additional defendant, Matthew McLaughlin was also sentenced to 30 months imprisonment and a $1,000 fine.

The case resulted from an investigation conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and its High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area ("HIDTA") Task Force comprised of representatives from the Clinton, Webster and Leominster Police Departments, the Massachusetts State Police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistance was also provided by the Massachusetts Department of Correction and the Framingham Police Department.