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Press Release

Eight Charged Federally For Illegal Distribution Of Bath Salts In Bradford County

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

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment on December 10, 2013 charging a six Bradford County residents and two New York State residents with illegally importing and distributing bath salts in the Bradford County area.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Seth Barnes,38 of Milan, PA; Brad Brown, 45, formerly of Towanda; Corey Dobbins, 39, formerly of Rome, PA; April Fuller,48 of Monroeton, PA; Robert Howe,26 of Elmira, NY; Patrick Russell, 48 of LeRaysville, PA; Kenneth Rider, 55 of Monroeton, PA and Chris Thompson, 41 of Cooper Plains, NY, were charged by the grand jury with importing and distributing Methylone, a Schedule I controlled substance and Alpha-PVP, a Schedule I controlled substance analogue.  All eight individuals were arrested Wednesday and appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Karoline Mehalchick for their initial appearance and pled not guilty.

     Chad McLinko, 31, of Towanda, who was charged by a Criminal Complaint with distributing methylone and a-pvp, was also arrested yesterday. McLinko is alleged to be associated with those individuals indicted on December 10, 2013.

     Methylone and Alpha-PVP are among the group of substances commonly known as “bath salts”.  Controlled substance analogues are substances with similar chemical properties and pharmacological effects on the human body.  Federal law provides for controlled substances to be treated as Schedule I controlled substances for the purpose of criminal prosecution.

     This case was the result of a joint investigation between the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Athens Borough Police Department.

     Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amy C. Phillips.

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

     A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 20 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Updated April 17, 2015