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2 Accused of Drug Sale Over Internet

August 14, 1999

DETROIT (AP) _ Two men have been charged with using the Internet to sell ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions for making a powerful ``date-rape″ drug.

Carl Gorton, 63, of Merritt Island, Fla., and John Hedrick, 22, of Colorado Springs, Colo., have been charged in Michigan with one count each of solicitation to manufacture a controlled substance.

The men were charged after state agents went to their Web site and purchased the materials needed to make GHB, Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm said.

The site was sponsored by Gorton’s business, Centurion Aging Research Laboratory, or CARL. It included an order form that directed customers to send cash or money orders to a post office box registered to Hedrick.

GHB, or gamma hydroxybutyrate, is often called a date-rape drug because a person who drinks a beverage laced with a few drops can lose consciousness within 20 minutes and the next morning have no memory of what happened.

Granholm said the instructions that came with the ``G-WiZzZzZ″ kits were so easy ``a third-grader could have put them together.″

``Drug dealers who move their operations off the street corner and onto the Internet should know that they’re not welcome in the state,″ Granholm said.

The site, which has since been taken down, said CARL offered people the chance to ``enjoy the incredible benefits of using GHB,″ according to Granholm.

Three kits were ordered June 29 for $200 each and arrived at Michigan post office boxes in mid-July.

Each kit included GBL, potassium and ``step-by-step instructions that you can do at your kitchen counter,″ Granholm said.

GBL, or gamma-butyrolactone, is a substance readily available in such products as paint thinners or as a dietary supplement. GBL metabolizes into GHB after it’s ingested.

Hedrick has been arrested but Gorton has not yet been taken into custody. The two likely will be extradited to Michigan to face the charges, Granholm said.

They each face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Since 1990, at least 32 deaths and more than 3,500 overdoses have been linked to GHB nationwide, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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