|Graphic: OC Weekly|
A Florida man has agreed to plead guilty to selling, over the Internet, a powdered drink mix designed to help truck drivers, pilots, train engineers and others pass federally mandated urine tests to detect drugs.
Stephen Sharp claimed the mix is 100 percent effective in blocking the urine tests from showing metabolites of common recreational drugs, including marijuana.
Sharp’s Internet business, based in Port Orange, Florida, used the now-defunct URL www.yourintheclear.com to sell the “Your In The Clear” product (yes, I know it should be “you’re”).
Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh allege Sharp’s business sold the product in western Pennsylvania and elsewhere from November 2006 through May 2008, reports Joe Mandak of The Associated Press.
The product was intended to clear urine of the remnants of marijuana, cocaine, and other illegal drugs in order to meet safety standards adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Since marijuana stays in your system much longer (30-45 days) than other illegal substances (typically 3-5 days), pot is almost always the reason individuals fail drug urinalysis tests.
“Get the help you need to pass your drug test quickly and safely with no gimmicks!” an ad quoted in the criminal court papers said.
“We’re trying to make commerce in the air, over the road and on the rails safer,” said acting U.S. Attorney Robert Cessar said Thursday. “These are safety-sensitive jobs that this product was used to defeat the drug testing for.”
Sharp is charged with conspiracy to sell drug paraphernalia, “defrauding the United States” by helping people beat the federally mandated drug tests, and money laundering.
Sharp is scheduled to plead guilty on March 4 in Pittsburgh, according to Cessar.
Sharp’s Florida attorney, Fritz Scheller, confirmed that date and said the product is no longer being sold.
|Photo: David Shankbone|
|Tommy Chong: “I’m honored to be Mary Beth’s only regret. Karma is so sweet!”|
Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh obviously have a bug up their butts about marijuana. In 2003, the office prosecuted pot comedian and entrepreneur Tommy Chong and his Web-based California business, Chong Glass, for selling marijuana bongs.
Chong was convicted and served nine months in federal prison.
|Former U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan really hates pot. And bongs. And Chong. And you.|
According to Chong’s attorney, Richard Hirsch, his client was ensnared by a politically ambitious prosecutor, Mary Beth Buchanan, who resigned in November.
Buchanan, a real king-sized asshole, said she had “one regret” when leaving office: She wishes she had never approved a plea deal with Chong in Operation Pipe Dream. Translation: She really wanted to go after Chong even harder and force him to trial, so that he would have gotten more federal prison time.
“I’m honored to be Mary Beth’s only regret,” Chong commented at the time. “I have become her legacy. Mary Beth Loose Cannon is now looking for a job. She blew her last job busting me. Karma is so sweet!”
The Sharp prosecution also started under Buchanan, often called a “rising star in Republican politics” who is considering a run for Congress. (What? More obnoxious drug-war posturing from a pea-brained, ambitious right-wing prosecutor? Say it ain’t so.)
Cessar said his office is investigating at least two other “similar businesses.” He declined to elaborate.
“Our district has taken the position that these are dangerous products,” Cessar said.
Note to panicked readers: There are still plenty of products available which will help you beat a urine test. Google search terms like “herbal clean detox” to find them.