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HEBER SPRINGS FAMILY AND THREE OTHERS INDICTED FOR DISTRIBUTION OF “BATH SALTS” SYNTHETIC NARCOTICS

July 24, 2012

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New Orleans, announced that Christopher Hogan, age 45; Zachary Cordell, age 20; Eric Harlow, age 22; and Jeremy Allen, age 19, appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge H. David Young on charges related to a conspiracy to distribute synthetic narcotics. Two additional defendants in this case, Angelique Hogan, age 44, and Kristian Hogan, age 20, are scheduled to appear for arraignment later this week.

Christopher Hogan, his wife, Angelique Hogan, and their son, Kristian Hogan, along with Jeremy Allen, Zachary Cordell, and Eric Harlow were indicted by a federal grand jury for a conspiracy to distribute what is commonly called “Bath Salts” in the Heber Springs area. The grand jury returned the eight count indictment late Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

"Law enforcement agencies must be able to adapt quickly to new threats facing our communities," said Parmer. "The use of these unsafe and unpredictable products all too often ends in a hospital emergency room. HSI and our partners are taking a strong stance against bath salts and other drug analogues." Parmer oversees HSI activities in Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

“Bath Salts” is a street name for illegal synthetic narcotics, including Methylone, Pentedrone, and MDPV. These synthetic narcotics are Schedule I controlled substances or analogs to Schedule I controlled substance, which are illegal to possess and which have no legitimate consumer use. Bath salts mimic the effects of commonly recognized drugs, such as methamphetamine and MDMA, also known as Ecstacy, and often are more potent and have greater effects on the user. The “Bath Salts” in this case were manufactured in and imported from China by Christopher Hogan. The drugs were distributed by Hogan and others to individuals in the Heber Springs area, primarily teenagers and young adults.

The investigation began as a Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) case. In July, 2011, the CCSO executed a search warrant at the Hogan residence and seized items used in the manufacture and distribution of bath salts. Christopher Hogan was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. While on bond (during the Fall of 2011 and into the Spring of 2012) Hogan continued to import and distribute “Bath Salts.”

In January, 2012, the United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) intercepted a package from China addressed to Christopher Hogan. The package contained approximate 250 grams of Methylone. HSI began a joint investigation with the CCSO and the United States Postal Inspection Service which resulted in this Indictment.

Bond hearings will be held at a later time to be determined for Cordell and Christopher Hogan. Allen is in the custody of Cleburne County on another charge. Harlow will be released and allowed to attend drug rehabilitation.

Each charge of aiding and abetting, possession, and conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver these synthetic narcotics carry a possible sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine or both, with not less than three years of supervised release to follow. The charge of misprison of a felony has a possible sentence of not more than three years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both, with not more than one year of supervised release to follow.

This case was investigated by the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anne Gardner.

An indictment contains only allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

See Indictment for charges against each defendant.

(Hogan Indictment Adobe Icon Image)

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Christopher R. Thyer

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