Charlottesville, VIRGINIA – United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced today that Jason Bradley, 40, an American citizen who previously lived in Thailand and conspired with others to ship large amounts of controlled substance analogues (also known as “bath salts”) from China into the United States for further distribution, has been sentenced to 262 months in prison. Bradley was also ordered to forfeit $464, 875 to the United States.
“These dangerous and highly addictive substances destroy lives,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated today. “When defendants import controlled-substance analogues into our country and feed the addiction of others, we will hold them accountable.”
In July 2017, a jury convicted Bradley of four crimes: conspiracy to distribute controlled substance analogues and controlled substances, conspiracy to import drugs, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit international money laundering. Co-conspirators Deborah Ryba, Ryan Buchanan, and Robert Schroeder all previously pleaded guilty and each was sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy. Co-defendants Edward Taylor and Nayna Taylor went to trial, were convicted, and have likewise been sentenced.
During trial, evidence showed Bradley was responsible for shipping over 100 kilograms of controlled substances and bath salts to co-conspirators in the United States for redistribution and resale. In order to hide the drugs during shipping, Bradley smuggled the substances inside consumer products such as cosmetic fingernail drying lamps, toys, rice cookers and zipper pouches.
Upon arrival in the United States, the drugs were removed from their hiding places by other members of the conspiracy who were operating an Illinois-based company called “Modern Day Prophets,” and placed into thousands of smaller packets for redistribution throughout the United States. These smaller packets were falsely labeled as “Hookah Cleaner” and sold in bulk to head shops, gas stations and other similar businesses for resale to drug users.
It was shown that drugs from the conspiracy were distributed in Virginia, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Oregon. Evidence presented at trial also showed that Bradley’s drug trafficking organization had been a source of drugs for some of the drug dealers arrested in Operation Log Jam, a 2012 DEA nationwide federal crackdown on synthetic drug dealers.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Virginia State Police, the RUSH Drug Task Force, Michigan State Police, Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, and the Burlington Police Department in North Carolina, with valuable assistance from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Hong Kong Customs. Assistant United States Attorney Grayson A. Hoffman and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kari Munro prosecuted the case for the United States.