News and Press Releases

Beaver County Man Conspired to Distribute “Designer” Drugs

September 18, 2013

PITTSBURGH- A Beaver County man pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating various narcotic laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Ryan John Konarski, 26, formerly of New Brighton, PA pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from November 2010 to March 12, 2011, Konarski conspired with others to possess with intent to distribute the controlled substance analogue 3,4 methylenedioxymethcathinone, also commonly known as methylone,"bath salts" or "Molly." The government alleged that Konarski and Michael Stokes maintained a drug involved premises for purposes of distributing and using the analogue, while Stokes imported "Molly" into the United States from China.

Since drug suppliers have tried to avoid prosecution in the past by making minor changes in the chemical structures of controlled substances, Congress created the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986. This Act makes these chemically-altered "designer" drugs illegal if they are intended for human consumption and resemble a controlled substance in molecular structure as well as actual or purported physiological effects.

Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:00 AM. The law provides for a total sentence of 60 years in prison, a fine of $2,500,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Brighton Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Konarski.

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