New York Man Sentenced To Two Years In Prison For Distributing 'Bath Salts' At Area Colleges
TRENTON, N.J. - A New York man was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for a scheme to distribute kilogram amounts of a controlled substance commonly known as “bath salts,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said today.
Conor Healion, 22, of West Hempstead, New York, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano to conspiracy to distribute methylone. Judge Pisano imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
Healion and Benjamin Caturano, 22, of New Brunswick, New Jersey, were arrested on March 15, 2013. Kyle Jobes, 23, of East Brunswick, New Jersey, Charles Knierim, 24, of Old Bridge, N.J., were arrested on March 14, 2013. All were charged in connection with their respective roles in a conspiracy to distribute methylone in New Jersey and New York. “Bath salts” is the street name for a family of designer drugs that have effects similar to amphetamine and cocaine. Their white and yellow crystals often resemble legal bath salts, like Epsom salts, but are chemically different.
The current investigation involved a package containing approximately two kilograms of methylone that was intercepted by law enforcement. The package originated in the People’s Republic of China and was supposed to be shipped to an address in Old Bridge. Law enforcement removed the methylone and replaced it with sham drugs that resembled bath salts. On March 14, 2013, law enforcement delivered the package and watched over the next two days as Knierim, Jobes, Caturano, and Healion transferred the package among themselves. After their arrests, a number of the defendants admitted that they had distributed multiple kilograms of bath salts over the past year and that some of the drugs were sold at local college campuses, including Rutgers University and Monmouth University. As part of the investigation, agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations seized more than $90,000 in cash and two luxury automobiles obtained with proceeds from the drug conspiracy.
Healion was the first to be sentenced before Judge Pisano, who also sentenced him to three years of supervised release. Caturano, Jobes and Knierim will each be sentenced by Judge Pisano on Sept. 22, 2014, Oct. 9, 2014, and Oct. 15, 2014, respectively.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the ICE-HSI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees; inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates; and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Robert E. Perez, Director of CBP's New York Field Operations, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle M. Corcione of the U.S. Attorney’s Health Care & Government Fraud Unit in Newark, N.J.
Defense counsel: Michael Chazen Esq., Freehold, N.J.