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Press Release

Federal Inmate Sentenced for Synthetic Drug Smuggling Scheme

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


FRESNO, Calif. —Tracy McArthur Harris, aka Trey Harris, 42, a federal inmate, was sentenced today to one year in prison to be served consecutively to his current 11-year sentence for conspiring to smuggle half an ounce of synthetic cannabinoids into Taft Correctional Institution, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

Harris’s sentence follows his guilty plea in May. According to court documents, from December 2012, through April 2013, while incarcerated at Taft Correctional Institution on a previous drug trafficking conviction, Trey Harris conspired to obtain smokable synthetic cannabinoids from his brother James Steven Harris, aka Steve Harris, 44, of Loma Linda, during visits. Some of the drugs, which were seized by prison authorities during the conspiracy, tested positive for XLR11, then a controlled substance analogue. In May 2013, DEA classified XLR11 as a Schedule I controlled substance following reports by the Centers for Disease Control that XLR11 not only produces hallucinogenic effects but causes kidney damage.

“Our office fully supports investigative efforts to address the continuing problem of inmate drug use and drug smuggling in Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) institutions,” United States Attorney Wagner said. “The harm of drugs in a prison setting cannot be ignored. Drugs not only interfere with prison officials’ ability to provide a safe and secure environment for inmates and staff but inhibit the rehabilitative potential of inmates with drug problems.”

Steve Harris is scheduled for a status conference on July 27 in federal court in Fresno. The charges against him are only allegations; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Taft Correctional Institution Special Investigative Supervisor’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.

Updated July 20, 2015

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 1:14-cr-190 AWI