Schenectady man pleads guilty in mailed hallucinogen case, feds say

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ALBANY – A Schenectady man pleaded guilty Thursday in connection with a case that involved  a mailed hallucinogen similar to LSD, federal prosecutors said.

Daniel Scotsross, 30, of Schenectady, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute the drug. The drug is called DMT, N-dimethyltryptamine, similar to LSD, prosecutors said. He was originally arrested in July 2020.

He also admitted to making firearms in violation of the National Firearms Act, prosecutors said.

Scotsross admitted he accepted a package addressed to him at his Schenectady residence that he believed contained more than 10 kilograms of bark containing DMT, prosecutors said. Authorities executed a search warrant at the residence and found liquid DMT, officials said.

He also admitted to possessing two firearms, specifically a combination of parts designed to be used in converting firearms into machine guns, prosecutors said. He also had a 3D printer and instructions for manufacturing firearms using the printer.

The investigation began July 13, 2020, when a package addressed to Scotsross’s residence was seized and searched by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in California, according to an affidavit filed earlier in the case.

The package was found to contain a red bark inside plastic bags. The bark tested positive for DMT and would generally be processed into the drug, according to the federal affidavit filed in the case filed by a special agent for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.

Then, on July 22, 2020, agents replaced the bark, resealed the package and went to deliver it. Scotsross accepted the package and took it inside his residence, the affidavit read.

Soon after, agents raided Scotsross’ residence. Agents recovered the package, along with “numerous liquid substances” and other tools used in the manufacture of DMT and LSD, the affidavit read.

The search also uncovered two mason jars, one with a powdery residue that tested positive for LSD and another with a concentrated liquid in the freezer that also tested positive for LSD, according to the affidavit.

One neighbor described watching investigators work after the raid, saying he saw them leave the house with jars filled with yellow liquid he described as resembling pickle juice. He later said he watched the hazmat team dump the jars into large blue barrels.

Scotsross faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison at his June sentence.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service and Customs and Border Protection, with the assistance of the Schenectady Police Department, Albany County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police Crime Scene Emergency Response Team. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashlyn Miranda.

Categories: News, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County

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