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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
August 25, 2005


Two Worcester Police Officers and Two Others Indicted on Drug Trafficking Charges

Worcester, MA... Federal drug trafficking charges were unsealed today against two Worcester Police Officers and two other men.

����� June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan , announced today the unsealing of a six-count federal Indictment charging THOMAS J. VIGLIATURA, age 36, of 118 Santoro Road, Worcester, Massachusetts; MATTHEW A. MCLAUGHLIN, age 33, of 52 Braveboat Harbor Road, Kittery Point, Maine; BRIAN W. BENEDICT, age 33, of 53 Woodland Road, Auburn, Massachusetts; and HERIBERTO ARROYO, age 36, of 49 Pleasant Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.BENEDICT and ARROYO are Worcester Police Officers.

����� All four defendants are charged with one count of conspiring from the Summer of 2000 to the Summer of 2004, to distribute gamma-hydroxybutyric acid ("GHB") and gamma butyrolactone ("GBL").The Indictment also charges VIGLIATURA, BENEDICT and ARROYO with one count of conspiring to possess cocaine and Ecstasy during the same time period. VIGLIATURA is also charged in four separate counts with possessing with intent to distribute GHB and/or GBL.

����� GHB is a central nervous system depressant abused because it produces euphoria, intoxication, and hallucinations. It was originally sold in health food stores as a releasing agent for growth hormones that would stimulate muscle growth and was banned in 1990 by the FDA. Highly soluble, GHB is sold in liquid form by the capful for $5 to $25 a cap and often added to water or alcohol. In lower doses, GHB causes drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and visual disturbances. At higher doses, unconsciousness, seizures, severe respiratory depression and coma, can occur. Street names for the drug include "Liquid Ecstasy", "Grievous Bodily Harm" and "Georgia Home Boy,"but it is best known as "the date rape drug."

GBL, a liquid chemical used in many industrial cleaners, is also used as a "precursor chemical" in the manufacture of GHB. Upon ingestion GBL can also be converted directly into GHB. As a consequence, GBL is often trafficked not as a precursor chemical but as a drug of abuse itself - individuals drink small quantities of GBL straight or, as is the custom with GHB, added to water or alcohol. Further information on GHB and GBL can be found at the DEA's website.

The Indictment also seeks the forfeiture of VIGLIATURA's residence, and business, T Vigs Sports Supplements, located at 98 West Boylston Street in Worcester, Massachusetts.

 VIGLIATURA, BENEDICT and ARROYO were arrested in Massachusetts late yesterday and will appear today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. MCLAUGHLIN's arrest is being sought in Maine.If convicted, all four defendants each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the conspiracy to distribute GHB and GBL charge. VIGLIATURA, BENEDICT and ARROYO also face a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison on the conspiracy to possess cocaine and Ecstasy charge.Additionally, VIGLIATURA faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the 4 counts charging him with possessing with intent to distribute GHB and/or GBL.

 The case resulted from an investigation conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and its High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area ("HIDTA") Task Force comprised of representatives from the Clinton, Webster and Leominster Police Departments, the Massachusetts State Police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistance was also provided by the Worcester Police Department, the Massachusetts Department of Correction and the Framingham Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney George W. Vien in Sullivan's Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.

 The details contained in the Indictment are allegations.The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.




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