U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Alabama
(334) 233-7280
October 29, 2015

Date Rape Drug Distributor Pleads Guilty

MONTGOMERY, AL—Stephen K. Howard, 64 of Auburn, Alabama, pleaded guilty today to three counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance analogue (1-4 butanediol) and one count of possession of methamphetamine, announced George L. Beck, Jr., United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. When ingested, 1-4 butanediol has the same effect on the body as gamma-hydroxybutric acid (GHB), commonly known as the “date rape” drug.

Evidence uncovered during the investigation indicated that Howard unlawfully used his position as a lab technician at Auburn University to order the butanediol, or date rape drug, from the manufacturer. Howard then sold the date rape drug to an undercover officer on two occasions and stored large amounts of the drug in his Auburn residence. Howard denies that he personally distributed any butanediol to Auburn University students.

“Those who take advantage of young girls by doping them unconscious are disgusting and repulsive,” stated U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr. “Rape by force or mental incapacity is a serious crime that warrants harsh prosecution. Those who make or sell drugs used to rape by mental incapacity are equally as guilty.”

Auburn Police Captain Will Mathews praised the efforts of the coordination of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to bring this case to conclusion. “This was a case in which a person was poisoning our community with illicit chemicals. The Auburn Police Division solicited assistance from ALEA, FBI, DEA, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring this criminal to answer for his crime. It was very successful.”

“State Bureau of Investigation Narcotics Agents worked closely with our federal and local partners during the course of this investigation,” said Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier. “We will continue to collaborate with these law enforcement agencies as we combat the unlawful production and distribution of illegal drugs in Alabama.”

“Those who profit from the victimization of innocent people should take notice of this case and know that law enforcement will not tolerate or sit idly while they engage in cowardly conduct and predatory behavior,” stated Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge of FBI, Mobile Field Division.

“The cooperation experienced in this case was extraordinary and shows what can be accomplished through teamwork,” stated Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Clay Morris. “This teamwork took a seller of a date rape drug, a predator, off the street. We at DEA are committed to continuing the efforts to keep our streets safe from this type predator.”

For the date rape drug, Howard could be imprisoned for up to 20 years, receive a fine of $1,000,000, and serve a term of supervised release at least three years. For the methamphetamine, Howard could face imprisonment of up to one year and a minimum fine of $1,000.00.

This case is being investigated by the Auburn Police Department, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Verne Speirs and Jonathan Ross.

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