Waterloo store manager pleads guilty to selling bath salts - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo store manager pleads guilty to selling bath salts

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - A Waterloo convenience store manager pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to selling bath salts and other synthetic drugs, even after police seized his initial supply and warned him to stop selling them.

Earl James Ramos, 26, of Waterloo, pleaded guilty in a Cedar Rapids federal court to distributing pentedrone, a class of substances commonly referred to as bath salts, on Oct. 2, 2012. He also admitted to knowing the pentedrone was intended for human consumption.

He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

Ramos was the manager of Five Star Snacks and iWireless store in Waterloo.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Ramos began selling synthetic controlled substances in 2012, including K2 and bath salts.

In May of 2012, police raided Ramos' shop and seized K2 products. After the raid, the store limited the selling of K2 only to known individuals, according to court records.

Ramos' store and Waterloo home were searched again in June 2013, where officials seized 1,294 packets of suspected synthetic cannabinoids and 418 units of suspected synthetic cathinones.

Ramos was again warned to not sell the synthetic drugs because it was against the law. However, court records indicate Ramos went back to selling the synthetic drugs in at least November of 2013.

Undercover law enforcement successfully purchased bath salts from Ramos at Five Star Snacks on Dec. 23, 2013, Jan. 3 and Feb. 10 of 2014.

On March 10, Ramos' store and residence was again searched, with officers seizing 19 packages of synthetic cannabinoids labeled "Diablo Platinum" and 87 containers of "Blue."

Sentencing will be held at a later date.
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