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Press Release

Cellular Phone And Cosmetics Salewoman Convicted Of Selling Synthetic Drugs

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

A woman who sold synthetic drugs commonly called “K2” and “bath salts” was convicted by a jury today after a 3-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Mary Ramos, age 52, from Evansdale, Iowa, was convicted of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute a synthetic cannabinoid called XLR-11, and distributing and possessing with intent to distribute a synthetic cathinone called Alpha-PVP.  Ramos was acquitted of a charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of the drug crime.  The verdict was returned this afternoon following about 6 hours of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that Ramos sold a drug called XLR-11 under various brand names including “Mr. Nice Guy,” “Mr. Happy,” “Diablo,” “Insane,” “Hydro,” “LOL,” and “777.”  XLR-11 is a synthetic cannabinoid similar to THC, but the substances were labeled as incense or potpourri.  Ramos also sold a drug called Alpha-PVP under the brand name “Blue.”  Alpha-PVP is a form of synthetic cathinone, which is a stimulant similar to methamphetamine or cocaine.  The “Blue” substance was labeled as scouring powder, and sold by Ramos for $50 per jar, despite the fact that Alpha-PVP has no cleaning properties.  Each jar of “Blue” contained less than half a gram of powder.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Ramos was taken into custody by the United States Marshal after the verdicts were returned and will remain in custody pending sentencing.  Ramos faces a possible maximum sentence of 80 years’ imprisonment, $4,000,000 in fines, $400 in special assessments, and a lifetime of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham and was investigated 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; the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Homeland Security; the Internal Revenue Service; and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Intelligence Division.

Court file information is available at  The case file number is 13-CR-2034-LRR.
Updated February 19, 2015