Maine man is first in the state to be sentenced for bath salts
BANGOR, Maine: On July 11, Shayne Ellis became the first person in Maine to be sentenced for federal drug crimes relating to bath salts. U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock handed down a 5½-year prison sentence. The sentencing agreement includes mandatory drug treatment, at least three years of supervised release and regular drug testing, and a prohibition on the use of any drugs or alcohol. Ellis was found guilty of robbing a pharmacy, possessing and distributing bath salts, and violating federal gun laws. Ellis faced prison terms ranging from 10 to 20 years and fines ranging from $250,000 to $2 million. Federal sentencing guidelines called for a jail term of 78 to 97 months and a fine no less than $12,500 and no higher than $1 million. However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey recommended a reduced sentence, saying, "The person who broke in was not the same person who was in court today. The government is satisfied that a 66-month sentence is a fair sentence to be given in light of all the sentencing factors the court has to consider in imposing a sentence.” Both of Ellis' parents were drug addicts, and Ellis became addicted to drugs at age 10.
U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty issued a statement, saying, “This case is noteworthy because it is the first federal prosecution in this District involving so-called ‘bath salts.’ The problems associated with bath salts have been well-documented over the past year, especially in the Bangor area. Now that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has classified MDPV, the active ingredient in bath salts, as a Schedule I controlled substance, this office will aggressively prosecute these cases whenever they are supported by sufficient evidence."
|This article was written by Kelly O'Keefe, the Director of Development for the Lucy Burns Institute. She can be reached at Kelly.O'Keefe@lucyburns.org.|