Internet

Men charged with using Net to sell "date rape" drug

Two men have been charged after being accused of using the Internet to sell ingredients and instructions to make a potent "date rape" drug.

Two men have been charged after being accused of using the Internet to sell ingredients and instructions to make a potent "date rape" drug.

63-year-old Carl Gorton of Merritt Island, Florida, and 22-year-old John Hedrick of Colorado Springs, Colorado, were both charged with one count of solicitation to manufacture the controlled substance gamma-hydroxybutyrate, commonly known as "GHB."

Michigan attorney general Jennifer Granholm alleges that Gorton and Hedrick solicited special agents from the attorney general's new High Tech Crime Unit to make the date rape drug by encouraging the sale of a "do-it-yourself" GHB ingredient kit.

"Drug dealers who move their operations off the street corner and onto the Internet should know that they're not welcome in this state," Granholm said in a statement. "The Internet was intended as a research tool and a resource for learning, not a haven for criminals and criminal activity."

Charges were filed in 36th Judicial District Court in Detroit. If convicted, both face felony charges and a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail.

Gorton and Hedrick promoted and sold the GHB manufacturing kits using a Web site sponsored by Gorton's business, Centurian Aging Research Laboratory (CARL), according to Granholm. The CARL Web site included an order form that directed customers to send cash or money orders to a post office box registered to Hedrick.

The Web site, which has been taken down, advocated and encouraged the use of GHB, adding that it can offer "legally available GHB" because it has "concluded that the chemical components could be sold as a kit and combined by customers at home without special equipment, all of which is safe and perfectly legal."

"Selling a dangerous, controlled substance on the Internet doesn't make it safe, and it certainly doesn't make it legal," Granholm added.

Under Michigan law, GHB is a Schedule 1 controlled substance, making it illegal to use, make, or possess in the state.

The attorney general's office said that Hedrick has been arrested, but Gorton was still not in custody as of Friday morning. The men will most likely be extradited to Michigan to face the charges.