BOISE - Brent R. Heinrich, 41, of Boise, Idaho, pleaded guilty Tuesday in United States District Court to possession with intent to distribute 300 grams of a mixture and substance containing the controlled substance analogue alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (“a-PVP”), more commonly known as “bath salts,” which were intended for human consumption, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, Heinrich ordered the a-PVP from China and had it mailed to Idaho using a false name and address. Federal investigators were alerted that this package, which was deemed suspicious, was on its way to Idaho. They had the package routed by FedEx to Boise, and they told the Boise FedEx facility that the package might contain a hazardous chemical. When FedEx received the package, they inspected the contents and found two baggies, one that held a powdery substance and one that contained a crystalline substance. A special agent from Homeland Security Investigations and a detective from Idaho State Police went to the FedEx facility to inspect and test the contents of the package. The officers determined that both of the baggies contained a controlled substance analogue called a-PVP, also known as bath salts.
When Heinrich picked up the package at the FedEx facility, he signed for it using the false name and address that was on the package. Heinrich was arrested, in possession of the bath salts, shortly after he left the FedEx facility. Further investigation by the Idaho State Police showed that Heinrich, himself a heavy user of bath salts, intended to sell the bath salts for others to consume. The controlled substance analogue, a-PVP, shares a similar chemical structure with a Schedule I controlled substance MDPV, also known as bath salts. A-PVP is considered a controlled substance analogue because it produces both hallucinogenic and stimulant effects on the central nervous system that are similar to, or greater than those caused by the controlled substance MDPV.
The charge carries a maximum punishment of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and a minimum term of three years of supervised release.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 14, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge in Boise.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Idaho State Police.