SEATTLE MAN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR TRAFFICKING LSD
Defendant Convicted at Trial of Conspiracy and Distribution of LSD
Seattle -- A large scale LSD trafficker who distributed the drug as far away as Wyoming, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to ten years in prison and five years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute LSD, two counts of Distribution of LSD, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. JAMES N. SCHWEDA, 33, was tried and convicted of the LSD distribution conspiracy on September 20, 2010. Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik imposed the mandatory minimum sentence required by law.
According to testimony at trial and records in the case, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) working with the South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force opened an investigation into the drug conspiracy in 2008. Information developed in the case revealed that 2,500 to 3,000 hits of LSD were being distributed as far away as Wyoming. An undercover officer purchased LSD from a co-defendant, Jay Anthony Ramos, 23, on June 19 and July 24, 2008. On August 19, 2008, officers executed a search warrant on Ramos’ residence and found additional LSD and other controlled substances. SCHWEDA had been living at the Seattle residence. Ramos was sentenced earlier this month to 35 months in prison. Ramos pleaded guilty and testified at SCHWEDA’s trial.
Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Backhus noted for the court the danger of LSD. “According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Schweda trafficked one of the more dangerous drugs available today. Hallucinogens such as LSD cause emotions to swing wildly and real-world sensations to assume unreal, sometimes frightening aspects. In addition to their short-term effects on perception and mood, LSD is associated with psychotic-like episodes that can occur long after a person has taken the drug.”
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, in cooperation with the South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force, which is comprised of officers from the Lynnwood, Edmonds, and Mountlake Terrace Police Departments.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Doug Whalley and Jeffrey Backhus.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.