You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Auburn Date Rape Drug Distributor is Sentenced to Eight and One-Half Years

Montgomery, Alabama - Stephen K. Howard, 64, of Auburn, Alabama, was sentenced today to 8 years and 6 months in prison by Judge Myron H. Thompson for possessing with the intent to distribute a date rape drug, possessing methamphetamine, and for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced George L. Beck, Jr., United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama.  On October 19, 2015, Howard pleaded guilty to three counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance analogue (1-4 butanediol) and one count of possession of methamphetamine. When consumed, 1-4 butanediol has the same effect on the body as gamma-hydroxybutric acid (GHB), commonly known as the “date rape” drug.  On December 7, 2015, Howard pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 

Howard was employed as a lab technician at Auburn University where he illegally used his position as a lab technician to order the butanediol, or date rape drug, from the manufacturer.  Howard then sold this date rape drug to an undercover officer on two occasions and stored large amounts of the drug and a small amount of methamphetamine in his Auburn residence.  During one of the purchases of the butanediol, Howard displayed and brandished a firearm to the undercover officer. 

"Those who take advantage of young girls by doping them unconscious are disgusting and repulsive,” stated U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr..  “Rape by force or mental incapacity is a serious crime that warrants harsh prosecution.  Howard used the threat of a firearm to enforce the sale of his illegal date rape drug.  That makes him a violent criminal."

“I hope this case serves as an example to anyone who would consider manufacturing and or using any substance to take advantage of someone else,” stated Auburn Police Chief Paul Register.  “It is a good example of all levels of law enforcement working together with Auburn University to keep students and citizens safe.” 

“The reprehensible actions of the defendant showed a deep disregard towards the health and safety of young women in our community,” stated Robert F. Lasky, FBI Special Agent in Charge.   “His conviction and sentence serve to place all on notice that this type criminal activity will not be tolerated.” 

“The Drug Enforcement Administration, along with our law enforcement partners, are committed to keeping our most vulnerable members our communities safe from drug traffickers and predators,” stated Clay Morris, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge.   “We will stand side-by-side to protect our children.   With outstanding law enforcement coordination and cooperation we were able to swiftly remove a dangerous person and remove the potential for him to harm others. The sentence handed down today should send a clear and resounding message that drug trafficking will not be tolerated.” 


“State Bureau of Investigation Narcotics Agents worked closely with our federal and local partners during the course of this investigation,” said Acting Secretary of Law Enforcement Stan Stabler.  “We will continue to work as a team and collaborate with federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies to fight the unlawful production and distribution of illegal drugs in Alabama.”

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated February 25, 2016