Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ROBERT SMUTEK was sentenced today to eight years in prison for selling 1,4 butanediol, an illegal analogue of the date rape drug gamma hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB. SMUTEK, a former police officer and resident of Sleepy Hollow, New York, sold 1,4 butanediol in a product called Potion 9 through his Internet website called Online Coral Calcium. SMUTEK was sentenced yesterday in White Plains federal court by the Honorable Kenneth M. Karas.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Smutek, a former police officer, was peddling a date rape drug over the Internet from his suburban home. The sentence imposed on him by the Court properly reflects the callous nature of his years-long drug dealing.”
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment as well as the evidence presented during trial and at sentencing:
SMUTEK sold Potion 9, which was packaged in a one-ounce plastic bottle containing a pink liquid, between 2009 and 2014, advertising it on his website as a “mood enhancer” that supposedly made the user 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 sentencing, SMUTEK was held responsible for distributing 200,000 bottles of Potion 9 over five years and ordered to forfeit $1.2 million in proceeds from the scheme.
In addition to his prison term SMUTEK, 53, of Sleepy Hollow, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative 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 U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their assistance in the investigation.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Maurene Comey, James McMahon, and Douglas Zolkind are in charge of the case.