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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Akron Man Arrested for Importing Bath Salts from China


       BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Rodney Howard, 45, of Akron, N.Y., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with importing, conspiracy to import, and smuggling into the United States, alpha-PVP, a synthetic drug also commonly known as “bath salts.” The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank T. Pimentel, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, a quantity of bath salts were ordered over the Internet from China and addressed to a third party at the defendant’s residence in Akron.  On April 15, 2014, Howard arrived at the United States Post Office in Akron and picked up the package, which contained 14 ounces of alpha-PVP. Special Agents from Homeland Security Investigations then arrested the defendant.
The defendant made an initial appearance on April 16, 2014 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott. Howard was released on bond and is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on May 7, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.
The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of James C. Spero, and Special Agents of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge, Shelly A. Binkowski.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Updated November 28, 2014