Former AU employee sentenced for distributing date rape drugs - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Former AU employee sentenced for distributing date rape drugs

Stephen Howard (Source: Auburn.edu) Stephen Howard (Source: Auburn.edu)

MONTGOMERY, AL  (WTVM) - Stephen K. Howard, 64, of Auburn, AL, was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison by Judge Myron H. Thompson on Wednesday.

Howard was sentenced for possessing with the intent to distribute a date rape drug, possessing methamphetamine and for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. This was announced by George L. Beck, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama.

Howard was employed as a lab technician at Auburn University where he illegally used his position as a lab technician to order the butanediol, or date rape drug, from the manufacturer. 

He then sold this date rape drug to an undercover officer on two occasions and stored large amounts of the drug and a small amount of methamphetamine in his Auburn residence.  During one of the purchases of the butanediol, Howard displayed and brandished a firearm to the undercover officer. 

On Oct. 19, 2015, Howard pleaded guilty to three counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance analogue (1-4 butanediol) and one count of possession of methamphetamine.

When consumed, 1-4 butanediol has the same effect on the body as gamma-hydroxybutric acid (GHB), commonly known as the “date rape” drug. 

On December 7, 2015, Howard pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 

"Those who take advantage of young girls by doping them unconscious are disgusting and repulsive,” stated U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr.  “Rape by force or mental incapacity is a serious crime that warrants harsh prosecution.  Howard used the threat of a firearm to enforce the sale of his illegal date rape drug.  That makes him a violent criminal."

This case is being investigated by the Auburn Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

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