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Press Release

Waterloo Convenience Store Manager Charged With Selling Synthetic Drug Known As "Bath Salts"

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

Earl James Ramos, age 26, from Waterloo, Iowa, has been charged with distributing a synthetic drug called pentedrone.  The charges are contained in a Complaint unsealed today in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids.

The Complaint alleges that, on or about October 2 and October 8, 2012, Ramos distributed pentedrone to another person at the convenience store in Waterloo where Ramos worked as manager.  The Complaint alleges that pentedrone is in the class of substances commonly referred to as “bath salts,” and is a form of synthetic methcathinone.

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

Ramos appeared today in federal court in Cedar Rapids and was released on bond.

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 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 Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force; 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Homeland Security; and the Internal Revenue Service.

Court file information is available at  The case file number is 1:14-mj-00057-JSS.

Updated February 19, 2015