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William J. Ihlenfeld, II

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Chris Zumpetta-Parr, Public Affairs Specialist

October 12, 2012

Second “Bath Salts” Defendant Enters Plea of Guilty

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA - A 36 year old Wick, West Virginia, resident entered a plea of guilty on October 11, 2012, in United States District Court in Wheeling before Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that PHILLIP JAMES HAMILTON, JR., entered a plea of guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute a Synthetic Drug known as “Bath Salts”. The substances in this case contained the chemicals Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and N-methyl-N-ethylcathione (4-MEC). HAMILTON and his co-defendant Steven Kloh, who entered a plea of guilty in July of 2012, obtained the “bath salts” in Columbus, Ohio, from a convenience store and then returned to rural Tyler County, West Virginia, where they repackaged them and resold them.

“Bath Salts”, which is how they are referred to among users and dealers, are synthetic chemical compounds created to simulate other controlled substances such as methamphetamine and ecstasy, and mimic their psychological and hallucinogenic effects. The substances are addictive and are often sold at gas stations, convenience stores, and over the internet.

As part of his plea, HAMILTON agrees to forfeit $608 in United States currency seized from defendant on September 6, 2011, in Tyler County, West Virginia; a 1997 Toyota 4 Runner; and a Hi-Point 45 ACP pistol, which is property derived from proceeds obtained directly or indirectly from the drug activity.

HAMILTON, who is on bond custody pending sentencing, faces up to twenty years imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr and was investigated by the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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