Former Inmate At FCI-Berlin Pleads Guilty To Drug Possession
CONCORD, N.H. – United States Attorney, Emily Gray Rice, announced today that Jason Ponder, 36, an inmate who had been at the Federal Correctional Institution in Berlin, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty today to possessing contraband in the prison. Ponder possessed a quantity of the synthetic cannabinoid known as AB-Fubinaca, a controlled substance. Ponder was transferred to another federal prison after the incident.
On March 12, 2016, Ponder was visited by his girlfriend and a minor child. While the three were in the prison’s Visitation Room, the girlfriend passed three small white packages to Ponder. The correctional staff monitoring the visitation room saw the activity and it was captured on the prison’s security cameras. Ponder’s visit was immediately terminated and the girlfriend surrendered two packages of material to prison officials. Laboratory analysis of the material confirmed it was a AB-Fubinaca.
Synthetic cannabinoids are green leafy materials that have been sprayed with chemicals. These products (commonly referred to as “spice” or “K2”) are often marketed as incense or potpourri. Although the products are often sold in packages labeled as “not for human consumption,” the products are smoked in order to obtain a high. The chemicals that are sprayed on the products to produce the high are often illegal controlled substances or analogues of illegal controlled substances. The ingestion of these types of illegal products has caused some users to experience a variety of medical side effects and has led to numerous hospitalizations.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for May 8, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Ponder has agreed to serve an eight-month sentence that will be begin after he completes his current sentence.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and was prosecuted by AUSA Don Feith.