News Release
Date: July 19, 2012

U.K. Man Extradited to U.S. Faces Charges of Illegally Importing and Distributing Chemicals Used to Manufacture Methamphetamine

July 19 (Phoenix) – DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman and United States Attorney John S. Leonardo, District of Arizona today announced the extradition of Brian Howes, 48, of West Lothian, Scotland, from Scotland to the District of Arizona. U.S. Magistrate Judge David K. Duncan ordered that Howes remain in custody pending trial on an 82 count indictment that charges him with unlawfully importing and distributing regulated chemicals to Arizona. Howes is scheduled to be tried before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Martone on September 5, 2012.

“ More than eight hundred pounds of chemicals found their way to American neighborhoods because of Brian Howes,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “Today, we answer his crime with the consequence criminals fear most: extradition to the United States. DEA stands firmly with our U.K. partners in this battle against drug abuse, and we will not relent until drug traffickers, from kingpins to the street dealers, are behind bars.”

“Individuals who unlawfully import into our country chemicals used to manufacture harmful drugs cannot escape justice by hiding behind a computer screen in foreign lands,” said U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo. “I commend our law enforcement partners for the investigation that led to the indictment and for the assistance they provided throughout the course of the extradition process.”

U.S. Marshal David Gonzales stated, “The extradition of Brian Howes closes a case that was inundated with years of legal wrangling in Howes’ effort to avoid prosecution. The coordination between the U.S. Government and our Scottish counterparts was second to none. The United States Marshals Service looks forward to again working with our Federal, State, local and international law enforcement partners to bring wanted persons to justice, no matter where they live.”

A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned the indictment against Howes in September 2007. The indictment alleges that Howes was the founder and owner of an internet business that operated a website known as Howes allegedly used the website to import and distribute to Arizona the chemicals red phosphorus and iodine, both of which are used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. The indictment alleges that Howes sold approximately 6,900 grams of red phosphorus and 4850 grams of iodine to customers in Arizona between 2004 and 2006. The extradition of Howes’ co-defendant, Kerry Ann Shanks, is pending.

A conviction for unlawful importation and distribution of regulated chemicals carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Martone will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Phoenix Police Department. The United States Marshals Service assisted with the extradition of Howes from Scotland to the District of Arizona. The prosecution is being handled by William H. Bryan, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

For more information, contact PIO Ramona Sanchez at or at (602) 723-4764.

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