Vancouver, Washington, man charged with possessing and distributing a controlled substance manufactured in China
Defendant shipped Alpha-PVP, also known as ‘Bath Salts,’ an addictive stimulant, to customers across the country
Tacoma – A Vancouver, Washington, man who allegedly ran a drug trafficking operation out of his mobile home and storage facilities throughout the South Sound region was arrested November 7, 2019, on a complaint charging him with two counts of possession of alpha-Pyrrolodinopentiophenone with intent to distribute. HARLEY SKYBERG, 40, of Vancouver, Washington, will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Tacoma at 2:30 PM today. The controlled substance is known as alpha-PVP or ‘bath salts’. The arrest and charges follow a lengthy investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection service that traced packages from Chehalis, Washington, to addresses throughout the U.S.
According to the criminal complaint, SKYBERG operated a website ‘wickedherbals.guru’ that offered a variety of bath salt substances for sale with names such as “White Water Rapid,” “White Lightening,” “High Octane,” “Snowman,” “Wicked Yeti,” “Scooby Snax,” “Klimax,” “White Tiger,” “Kush Extra,” and “Supergirl.” The U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) intercepted a variety of packages allegedly mailed by SKYBERG that contained white powdery substances with those names. The substances contained various levels of chemicals known as ‘bath salts.’ Law enforcement also determined that SKYBERG was obtaining his chemicals from China and intercepted at least one package destined for his post office box in Chehalis. Investigators searched three storage lockers SKYBERG appears to have rented in connection with his drug trafficking activities. The storage facilities were in Lacey, Kelso, and Vancouver, Washington.
At the time of the arrest, law enforcement seized four 27-gallon tubs of substances consistent with ‘bath salts,’ as well as a capsule-filling device and empty packaging from shipments from China.
Possession of alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone with intent to distribute is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $1,000,000 fine.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Seungjae Lee.