Columbia County Attorney Charged in Internet Bath Salts and Spice Trafficking Network
The United States Attorney’s Office announced the return of a four-count superseding indictment by the federal grand jury in Williamsport charging Lindsay Lee-Lampshire and attorney Clyde Kevin Middleton with conspiracy offenses involving mail fraud, distribution of controlled substance analogues, introduction of misbranded drugs, and money laundering.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the indictment alleges that from September 2009 through the present, Lee-Lampshire, Middleton, Paul Chomiak, Adam Stein, and Kyle Savitski marketed and distributed controlled substance analogues and misbranded drugs, commonly referred to as “bath salts” and “spice,” using Internet websites and two stores in Bloomsburg operated as Symplegades Requiem and Reflectionz. The indictment alleges that the defendants fraudulently marketed the products as novelties not for human consumption, when in fact the products were being used to obtain the same physical effects as controlled substances.
Lee-Lampshire was previously charged with Chomiak, Stein, and Savitsky in the initial indictment returned in October 2013.
Middleton appeared in federal court in Williamsport yesterday afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson and was released on his own recognizance. Chomiak, Stein, and Savitsky have entered guilty pleas and are presently awaiting sentencing before United States District Judge Matthew Brann. Jury selection and trial for Middleton and Lampshire is set for April 6, 2015.
Lee-Lampshire, age 32, is a resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Middleton, age 55, is a resident of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
The mail fraud and conspiracy counts carry 20-year maximum prison terms and fines equal to the greater of twice the amount of the laundered funds or $500,000. The drug conspiracy count carries a maximum term of 20 years and a fine of up to $1,000,000. The misbranded drug distribution conspiracy has a five-year maximum prison term and a $250,000 fine and the distribution of misbranded drugs carries a three-year maximum prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Food and Drug Administration, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Columbia County Drug Task Force. Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney George J. Rocktashel.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.