Charlottesville Woman Pleads Guilty to Selling Bath Salts
Lois McDaniel Faces Prison Time
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA -- A local woman, who was indicted in February on drug distribution charges, pled guilty this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Lois Lee McDaniel, of Charlottesville, Va., pled guilty this morning to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute controlled substance analogues 3,4-Methylenedioxymethcathinone (MDMC), 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), and 4-Mehtyl-ethylcathinone(4-MEC), commonly referred to as bath salts. Bath salts are mixtures of many different chemicals, including those that resemble cocaine, methamphetamine, and ecstasy
“The abuse of bath salts, especially among young people, is on the increase in Central Virginia. These substances are highly addictive and extremely dangerous. They are also often illegal, as demonstrated by the prosecution of Ms. McDaniel,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with both law enforcement and the health care industry to raise awareness of the dangers presented by these bath salt compounds. We must attack this problem with both strong enforcement and education about the dangers posed by this emerging threat.”
Today in district court, McDaniel, the former owner of the C-Ville Video Store, admitted that she, and others at the store, sold bath salts from behind the counter. McDaniel bought her MDMC, MDPV and 4-MEC from a source in New York.
In all, McDaniel admitted to distributing more than 200 grams of bath salts between April 2011 and August 2011. The defendant also admitted that she knew individuals were using the bath salts to get high and that she should not have been selling them to customers. C-ville Video Store became so widely known for distributing bath salts that there was often a line of bath salt users waiting in line outside the store prior to opening in the morning.
At sentencing, McDaniel faces a maximum possible penalty of 20 years in federal prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000,000.
The investigation of the case was conducted by Jefferson Area Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Ron Huber, Special Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Platania and University of Virginia third-year law student Leanne Marek are prosecuting the case for the United States.