The U.S. Attorney's office has made its first conviction in Kentucky in a case involving mephedrone. 59-year-old Ralph Justice and his son 32-year-old Adam Justice were sentenced Monday for conspiring to distribute mephedrone in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. Two other defendants were sentenced on related charges.
U.S. Attorney's spokesman Kyle Edelen says the synthetic substance was shipped from India to Lewis County, Kentucky then taken to a business in Ohio.
"In that business they were packaging the drug as bath salt and they were then shipping the drug to different parts in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia."
Edelen says the mephedrone is similar to methamphetamine and has also been sold as plant food.
"According to the DEA the users of this drug have reported impaired perception, reduced motor control, sort of disorientation, extreme paranoia, and even violent episodes are some of the side-effects of this drug."
The case is the first federal prosecution involving mephedrone in Kentucky. The stimulant is currently considered a controlled substance analogue, but the DEA recently announced plans to make mephedrone a scheduled drug for at least a year while its potential uses and side-effects are studied.
Earlier this year Kentucky legislators passed a law banning the sale of bath salts.