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Press Release

Beaver County Men Arrested For Analogue Drug Methylone

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Two residents of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating various federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The four-count indictment, returned on March 12 and unsealed today, named Michael Anthony Stokes, 26, of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, and Ryan John Konarski, 22, of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, as defendants.

According to the indictment presented to the court, from November 2010 to March 12, 2011, Stokes and Konarski conspired with others to possess with intent to distribute the controlled substance analogue 3,4 methylenedioxymethcathinone, also commonly known as methylone,"bath salts" or "Molly". The indictment alleges that the pair maintained a drug involved premises for purposes of distributing and using the analogue, while Stokes imported "Molly" into the United States.

Since drug suppliers have tried in the past to avoid prosecution by making minor changes in the chemical structures of controlled substances, Congress created the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986. This Act makes these "designer" drugs illegal if they are intended for human consumption and resemble a controlled substance in molecular structure as well as actual or purported physiological effects.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 60 years in prison and a fine of $2,500,000 for Konarski, and 80 years in prison and a fine of $3,500,000 for Stokes. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant United States Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Brighton Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated July 14, 2015