Evansdale Woman Convicted of Distributing, Selling Synthetic Drugs

By Trish Mehaffey, The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A jury convicted an Evansdale woman Thursday on four counts of selling and distributing synthetic drugs in 2013.

Mary Ramos, 52, was found guilty in federal court of distribution of a controlled substance XLR-11, distribution of a controlled substance analogue Alpha-PVP, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance XLR-11 and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance analogue Alpha-PVP.

She was acquitted on the fifth charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. She faces up to 20 years on each of the other four charges.

According to evidence at trial, Ramos, who managed the I-Wireless store, 1551 First Ave SE, in Cedar Rapids, knowingly distributed and possessed XLR11, commonly known as synthetic marijuana or K2. The incidents occurred May 28, June 19 and June 26, 2013.

Mike Lahammer, Ramos’ attorney, during the trial and in his motion for acquittal argued there was lack of proof that Ramos had knowledge the substances she sold or distributed were illegal and that she knew the controlled substance analogue had a similar chemical structure and affected the nervous system like Schedule I and II controlled substances.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Chatham resisted the motion, arguing the evidence presented at trial showed Ramos was aware of what she was selling. He said she sold the synthetic drugs in a different way from other products such as Avon that she also sold in the store and outside the store. The evidence of a controlled buy June 19, 2013 showed that she didn’t run the sale through the cell store.

U.S. District Chief Judge Linda Reade reserved ruling Wednesday on the defense’s motion of acquittal based on the legal issues and she told the attorneys after the jurors were dismissed that she would give them time to file briefs.

Reade said there was “strong” evidence of guilt on counts one and three — the distribution of XLR-11 and possession with intent to distribute, but she’s concerned about the legal issues regarding counts two and four — distribution and possession with intent of the controlled subtance analogue.

Ramos was taken into custody pending sentencing which hasn’t been set at this time.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@sourcemedia.net

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