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Synthetic Drug Sales Send a Mother and Her Son to Federal Prison

MAR 02 (CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa) – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Resident Agent in Charge Scott Smith announced today that Mary Ann Ramos, age 53, and her son, Earl James Ramos, age 26, both of Evansdale, Iowa were sentenced today in federal court. The mother and son were convicted of selling synthetic cannabinoids (commonly known as “K2”) and synthetic cathinones (commonly known as “bath salts”) from two eastern Iowa businesses.

United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade sentenced Mary Ann Ramos to 60 months’ imprisonment to be followed be a three-year term of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay a special assessment of $400.  Mary Ann Ramos was convicted on June 26, 2014, after a jury verdict finding her guilty of four counts for the distribution of synthetic drugs.

Chief Judge Read sentenced Earl Ramos to 57 months’ imprisonment to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a special assessment of $100.  Earl James Ramos, pleaded guilty on June 13, 2014, to one count of distributing the controlled substance analogue.

“The manufacture, sale, and abuse of synthetic drugs represents a clear and detrimental danger to our society,” said DEA Resident Agent in Charge Smith. “These substances serve no legitimate purpose other than to generate a powerful intoxication for the user while generating enormous illicit profits for the criminal organizations who pander them. These powerful chemicals are generally manufactured and produced in a foreign laboratory environment without safety protocols nor concerns for their potential negative effects which ultimately leaves the users at great risk of death.”

This case was investigated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the DEA, the Linn County Sheriff's Office, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Marion Police Department, and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement. The Sixth Judicial District, Department of Correctional Services and the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Department of Homeland Security; the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Intelligence Division.


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