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Press Release

Maryland Man Admits Distributing Synthetic Drug that Caused Overdoses at Wesleyan University

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ZACHARY KRAMER, 22, of Bethesda, Maryland, pleaded guilty today in New Haven federal court to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, MDMA (“Molly”).  The charge stems from an investigation into the distribution of controlled substances that caused multiple Wesleyan University students to overdose earlier this year.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in approximately September 2014, KRAMER, who was a student at Wesleyan in Middletown, Connecticut, began purchasing and reselling a substance he knew as “Molly” and which he believed to be ecstasy or MDMA, a Schedule I controlled substance.  After obtaining bulk quantities of the drug from another student, KRAMER sold it in smaller quantities to students at Wesleyan.

In approximately December 2014, KRAMER became the primary supplier of MDMA at Wesleyan.  KRAMER typically would sell the MDMA in .1 gram quantities for $20 each or he would sell it in 5-gram and 10-gram quantities for a discount, charging $100 or more, depending on the customer and the quantity.  During this time period, KRAMER was still supplied by the same individual who provided KRAMER the MDMA in bulk quantities.  In approximately January 2015, KRAMER purchased approximately 45 grams of MDMA from this supplier.  He broke that quantity into 5 and 10-gram bags and distributed those bags to other students who planned to break down the MDMA into .1 gram capsules, sell those capsules to other Wesleyan students, and pay KRAMER for the quantity of the drug he had provided to them.

On February 21, 2015, 11 individuals, including 10 Wesleyan students, overdosed on a substance they believed was MDMA, and many were transported to the hospital.  Two of the students were in critical condition, and one of the students had to be revived after his heart stopped.  All of these students obtained the purported MDMA through individual distributers who were supplied directly by KRAMER.

Although KRAMER and some of his distributers destroyed the substance identified as Molly that they had in their possession, one of the distributers did not, and that substance was seized by law enforcement officers and sent to the toxicology laboratory for testing.  Laboratory analysis confirmed that the powdered substance contained AB Fubinaca, a Schedule I controlled substance.

The charge of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, MDMA carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a maximum fine of $1 million.  KRAMER is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on February 10, 2016, in Hartford.

KRAMER has been released on bond since his federal arrest on May 22, 2015.

This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Middletown Police Department, with the assistance of the State of Connecticut’s Forensic Science Laboratory.

U.S. Attorney Daly acknowledged the support and assistance of the Middlesex State’s Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting several state cases stemming from these overdose events.

The federal case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Spector and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Eugene Calistro, who has been cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in this matter.

Updated November 12, 2015

Drug Trafficking