Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chem major tries to make illegal drug to pay for school

The News Journal

Wilmington - A former chemistry student at Widener University pleaded guilty in federal court today to charges that he attempted to produce the drug LSD in an improvised lab at a state park.

Paul G. Little, 23, told District Judge Joseph J. Farnan Jr. that he did it to pay for college.

“I’m really sorry,” he said. “I was hoping to manufacture LSD and make extra money to go to school without working.”

His attorney, assistant federal public defender Christopher Koyste said it was a “mad scientist” effort by his client, with little chance of success. “He never had the capacity to do it,” Koyste said.

Little, who appeared in court in an orange prison jumpsuit, said he was having difficulty going to school and holding down a job at the same time, and this appeared to be the answer to his financial problems.

One of Little’s part-time jobs was at The Nature Center in White Clay Creek State Park, where he “did little chemistry experiments for the kids.”

During that time he was allowed to live at a farmhouse in the park, where other park employees were housed. He set up his LSD lab in a barn adjacent to the house in June 2005.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Safwat said Little had a recipe for the illegal hallucinogenic drug that he found either online or in a textbook, and he had acquired many of the chemicals needed to create the drug. Little said the chemicals that he could not purchase, he attempted to create himself.

Little said at the time of his arrest, he had transferred from Widener to Delaware Technical & Community College, where he said he was a “struggling” part-time student.

“I couldn’t make it to class all the time because of work and transportation issues,” he said.

Little, who is originally from upstate New York and had no previous criminal record, now faces up to 20 years in jail and a $1 million fine on the charge of manufacturing LSD when Farnan sentences him in July

By Sean O'Sullivan


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