Wilkes-Barre Couple Charged with Distribution of Bath Salts
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced the filing of an Information on July 5 charging a married couple from Wilkes-Barre with engaging in a conspiracy to distribute bath salts from their convenience store, Noxen Food Mart, in Noxen, Wyoming County.
According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, on November 2, 2011, local, state, and federal agents jointly served a search warrant on and recovered bath salts from the business owned and operated by Naishad Patel, age 30 and Dipika Patel, age 27. The Patels were arrested on a criminal complaint on the same date.
As of October 21, 2011, MDPV, methylendioxyprovalerone or bath salts has been categorized as a Schedule I controlled substance and the sale of MDPV is a felony violation of federal law. The arrests stemmed from a multi-jurisdictional investigation of the distribution of MDPV in and around northeastern Pennsylvania.
The defendants each face a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000,000.
This case is being investigated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Plains Police Department, and the Wyoming County Drug Task Force and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Phillips.
An Indictment or Information is not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the Grand Jury and/or United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged Defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proven the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or until the defendant has pled guilty to the charges.
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