JammedUp News

News

Auburn University Lab Technician Arrested for Selling “Date Rape” Drug

May 27, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Auburn University Lab Technician Arrested for Selling “Date Rape” Drug

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

A 64-year-old lab technician at Auburn University sold more than a gallon of the date rape drug to undercover officers using materials he acquired through his job at the public university, authorities said.

Stephen K. Howard, 64, of Auburn, was arrested Friday. He faces up to 52 years in prison for distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Alabama announced.

“This is a serious matter,” U.S. Attorney George Beck Jr. said in a Tuesday press conference. “So many people look to laugh about these types of drugs. They do not stop to think about the consequences.”

auburn-university-sign-2012jpegjpg-6fb138269fe89971

Howard allegedly used his position in the chemistry department at the University to obtain chemicals he used to make the substance. He then allegedly sold the drugs to undercover officers on two occasions.

In the first meeting Howard sold an undercover agent 20 ounces of a liquid substance used to incapacitate women, authorities said. He then sold a gallon of the liquid in another meeting and showed an undercover agent he had a pistol and also claimed he had a shotgun, Beck said.

He indicated the weapon would be used during the transaction, the U.S. Attorney said.

A lab test determined the liquid was 1,4-butanediol that can be converted into Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid, or the “date rape drug,” after it’s ingested, authorities said.

Beck did not comment if there were any victims from the substances citing the ongoing investigation. He also warned owners of local bars and restaurants if these drugs were being allowed in their establishments “they will be dealt with also.”

Auburn University said in a statement, the school is not a subject of the investigation and is cooperating with authorities. They referred questions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

635682520824771673-6DATERAPE

George Beck announced that Auburn University chemistry lab technician Stephen Howard has been charged with sale and conspiracy to sell a date rape drug

“The university is evaluating Mr. Howard’s employment status in light of the information announced today,” the school said. Authorities said there has been a resurgence of the date rape drug in Alabama colleges as well as nationwide.

The Auburn Police Department began the investigation and reached out to the FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency to help with the investigation. Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said at the press conference; they began to hear hints of what was happening a few months ago and all the pieces came together after working with the other agencies.

He said the investigation is ongoing and asked any victims to come forward.

Howard is scheduled to appear in court at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Auburn University did not return a call seeking comment.

Get the latest news from the world of crime