Date: 29 September 2003

Ecstasy figure sentenced to eight years

SAN DIEGO – A self-described authority in the underground Ecstasy world who supplied clandestine laboratories with chemicals used to manufacture the drug was sentenced today to eight years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan ordered Hobart Huson, 25, to surrender Nov. 10 to begin serving his sentence.

The defendant was taken into custody in October 2001 when Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided a drug lab in Escondido, described as one of the largest and most sophisticated Ecstasy labs ever found in the country.

Huson pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute a listed chemical (safrole), knowing that it would be used to manufacture a controlled substance.

The defendant was the designer and administrator of the popular Web site, "The Hive," which offered information on the use and production of Ecstasy, authorities said.

Huson also wrote "Total Synthesis" and "Total Synthesis II," which gave detailed recipes on how to manufacture Ecstasy.

Almost all of the substances sold by Huson's Texas-based company, "The Science Alliance," were non-listed and non-regulated chemicals, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Robinson.

"Dateline NBC" produced an hourlong show two years ago featuring Huson and his business.

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