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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index
    Release No. 09-092

    August 3, 2009

    VENTURA COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR SELLING ‘MAGIC MUSHROOMS’ TO TEENAGERS, ONE OF WHOM WAS KILLED AFTER RUNNING ONTO FREEWAY

    LOS ANGELES – A Westlake Village man was sentenced this morning to 15 years in federal prison for selling hallucinogenic mushrooms that were used by a group of young people, including a 17-year-old girl who took the “magic mushrooms” and was later fatally struck by a vehicle on the Ventura Freeway.

    Stephen Thomas Roman, 31, was sentenced by United States District Judge Percy Anderson, who also ordered the defendant to serve six years of supervised release after completing his prison term.

    At this morning’s hearing, Judge Anderson said that this case is “truly a tragic case for everyone concerned. Prior to Judge Anderson imposing the sentence, the mother of the teenage girl said in court that “no parent should have to bury their child.”

    Roman pleaded guilty in April to three felony charges, including distribution of a controlled substance to a person under 21 years of age resulting in death.

    Roman admitted a series of facts related to an August 2004 drug transaction in Thousand Oaks that led to the death of the 17-year-old girl. One young person ordered about a quarter pound of mushrooms, which Roman agreed to sell for $100. After eating the mushrooms, the girl began having severe hallucinations. During the early morning hours of August 15, the girl was walking naked on the Ventura Freeway in Newbury Park when she was struck and killed by a motorist. Investigators determined that the motorist was not responsible for the girl’s death and that she had drugs in her system, including the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

    Roman has been in custody since being arrested by Ventura County authorities on September 10, 2008. Earlier this year, when he pleaded guilty to distributing mushrooms, Roman also pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing ecstasy, admitting that he sold the drug on two occasions in August 2008, sales that prompted his arrest by local authorities.

    The case against Roman is the result of an investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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    Release No. 09-092
    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index