Skip to main content
Press Release

Cedar Rapids Fragrance Hut Owner Charged With Maintaining A Premises For Distributing Synthetic Drugs

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

Matthew McCauley, age 39, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been charged with one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises.­  The charges are contained in an Indictment filed on August 20, 2014, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids. 

The Indictment alleges that, between about February and August 2014, McCauley knowingly and intentionally used and maintained the Fragrance Hut located at 2902 First Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for the purpose of distributing Schedule I controlled substances.  An earlier Complaint filed on August 8, 2014, alleged McCauley told police in March 2014 that he opened the Fragrance Hut to sell “herbal incense.”  According to the Complaint, the purported “incense” actually contained several synthetic cannabinoids, including Schedule I controlled substances UR-144, XLR-11, AM-2201, and AB-FUBINACA.  The Complaint describes synthetic cannabinoid products as a mixture of an organic “carrier” medium, such as the herb-like substance Damiana, which is then typically sprayed or mixed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

If convicted, McCauley faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and a lifetime of supervised release following any imprisonment.­

McCauley first appeared on August 8, 2014, in federal court in Cedar Rapids.  On August 20, 2014, he was ordered detained without bond.  McCauley’s next appearance for an arraignment is set for August 22, 2014. 

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham and was investigated by as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consisting of the DEA; the Linn County Sheriff's Office; the Cedar Rapids Police Department; the Marion Police Department; the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; and the Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.

  Court file information is available at  The case file numbers are CR14-94-LRR and 14-MJ-186.

Updated February 19, 2015