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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Palm Beach County Resident Arrested for Importing Flakka

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and A.D. Wright, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Office, announced Jaime Nicole Lewis, 22 of Palm Beach County, was charged by criminal complaint with importing and possessing with the intent to distribute Alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (“α-PVP”), aka “Flakka”.  A Pre-trial detention hearing is scheduled for the defendant on Monday, April 27, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge James M. Hopkins in West Palm Beach.

More specifically, the complaint charges Lewis with importing and possessing with the intent to distribute Alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (“α-PVP”), aka “Flakka” and the conspiracy to do the same, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 952(a), 963, 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(C) and 846, respectively.  If convicted, Lewis faces a maximum statutory sentence of twenty years in prison.

In March of 2015, as a part of an ongoing investigation regarding the illegal drug trafficking of 4-Methyl-N-Ethylcathinone, a/k/a “4-MEC,” Methylone, and powdered MDMA, a/k/a “Molly” and synthetic cathinones, specifically Alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (“α-PVP”), aka “Flakka,” DEA agents received information about suspected narcotics packages being delivered to Palm Beach County.  DEA Agents in London, England received information from the British authorities on multiple packages that were intercepted from a chemical company in Hong Kong, China.  The Chinese based chemical company has been utilizing a shipping Company to transport chemicals to buyers in the United States.  The British authorities found multiple packages that contained a white crystallized substance which tested positive for the presence of α-PVP.  DEA agents delivered the package in Palm Beach County.  A co-defendant of Lewis answered the door and took possession of the package.  Additionally, one of the packages was addressed to Lewis and listed Lewis’ telephone number as the contact. 

“Synthetic drugs are illegal and present a grave danger to our community, particularly our children,” said United States Attorney Ferrer.  “Floridians can be very proud of the hard work and cooperation by federal, state and local law enforcement in identifying and investigating this important case.”

“The manufacture, sale, and abuse of synthetic drugs represents a clear and detrimental danger to our society,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special Agent in Charge A.D. Wright.  “These substances serve no legitimate purpose other than to generate a powerful intoxication for the user while generating enormous illicit profits for the criminal organizations who sell them.  These powerful chemicals are generally manufactured and produced in a foreign laboratory environment without safety protocols nor concerns for their potential negative effects which ultimately leaves the users at great risk of death.”

“It is DEA’s global footprint pledge, with the assistance of our law enforcement partners, to remain vigilant in our pursuit of identifying, investigating, arresting, and seizing any illicit assets from those criminal organizations who continue to circumvent the law by producing, transporting, and distributing synthetic drugs. Today’s announcement represents the culmination of months of teamwork between state, local, and federal partners.  It should serve notice to any criminal organization operating with a nexus to Florida that law enforcement will not obscurely stand in the shadows, but rather will utilize all available resources to bring them to justice and hold them accountable for their actions.”

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the DEA.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lothrop Morris.

A complaint is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated April 22, 2015