Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

April 28, 2016: Jury Convicts Former Police Officer For Selling Date Rape Drug


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Food and Drug Administration 
Office of Criminal Investigations




             U.S. Department of Justice Press Release



For Immediate Release
April 28, 2016

United States Department of Justice

Southern District of New York


Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the conviction of ROBERT SMUTEK on four counts of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute 1,4 butanediol, an illegal analogue of the date rape drug gamma hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB.  SMUTEK was found guilty by a jury after a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas.


U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “Robert Smutek was a modern-day drug dealer, dealing a date rape drug over the Internet out of his suburban home.  Despite his bucolic surroundings, Smutek was as much a drug dealer as those who sell on street corners, and he will now face the consequences of running a narcotics enterprise for more than five years.”


According to the allegations contained in the Indictment as well as the evidence presented during trial:


SMUTEK, a former police officer and member of a drug task force, operated Online Coral Calcium, an Internet website that sold patent medicines.  Starting in 2009, SMUTEK sold “Potion 9” as a “mood enhancer” that supposedly made users feel euphoric.  According to the label, Potion 9 contained yohimbe, a derivation of a tree root found in South Africa, as well as other natural ingredients.  But according to the evidence at trial, Potion 9 actually contained 1,4 butanediol, an industrial solvent that converted to GHB in the body when ingested. 


At trial, SMUTEK testified that he sold more than 200,000 one-ounce bottles of Potion 9 in a five-year period, reaping well over $1.2 million in revenue. 


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SMUTEK, 52, of Sleepy Hollow, New York, was convicted of four counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, each carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.  SMUTEK was remanded to prison following the verdict.  His sentencing is scheduled for September 8, 2016. 


 Mr. Bharara praised the work of the Rhode Island Task Force of the Office of Criminal Investigations, Food & Drug Administration.  Mr. Bharara also thanked the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, and the Postal Inspection Service for their assistance in the investigation.


This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Maurene Comey, Douglas Zolkind, and James McMahon are in charge of the prosecution.




USAO - New York, Southern



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