Charlotte Man Pleads Guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Methylone
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 11, 2012|
CHARLOTTE, NC—Raumeen Abdi Shiraz, 25, of Charlotte, pleaded guilty today in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and a firearms offense, announced today Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Harry S. Sommers, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office; and Chris Briese, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division.
A federal bill of information filed in U.S. District Court charged Shiraz with one count of possession with intent to distribute methylone, a Schedule I controlled substance, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to filed court documents and court hearings, in July 2012 DEA agents assisted by the FBI seized precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of illegal drugs from Shiraz’s residence in Charlotte, a storage facility in Matthews and a second storage facility in Charlotte.
According to filed court records, in January 2012, law enforcement agents made a purchase of iodine, a List I chemical, from Shiraz Lab Supply. In April 2012, agents made another purchase of red phosphorous, also a List I chemical, from Shiraz Lab Supply, court records show. Filed documents indicate that on May 2, 2012, law enforcement met with Shiraz at his residence and provided him with written notice of the DEA registration requirements for distribution of List I chemicals. Law enforcement agents subsequently made two additional purchases of List I chemicals (iodine) from Shiraz Lab Supply.
At the time of the seizure in July 2012, the substance recovered from Shiraz’s storage facility in Charlotte had field-tested positive as methamphetamine. Further lab testing verified that the substance recovered from the storage facility was in fact methylone, a synthetic cathinone known to be marketed as the street drug “bath salts,” among other things. According to today’s plea hearing, two additional packages containing methylone had been shipped to Shiraz from China. In addition to the controlled substances, while executing the search warrants, law enforcement agents also recovered four unloaded handguns stored in Ziploc bags from Shiraz’s storage facility in Charlotte.
Shiraz faces a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $1 million fine for the drug charge. The gun charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Shiraz has been in local federal custody since July 2012. A sentencing date has not been set yet.
The investigation is being handled by DEA with the assistance of the FBI. The prosecution for the case is handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. George Guise of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.