A Wichita man was sentenced Wednesday to almost 10 years in prison for selling synthetic LSD, a drug also known as “smile,” which quickly is becoming popular among young users.
Andrew R. Stickley, 25, was sentenced to 117 months by Sedgwick County District Judge Faith Maughan, according to a news release from District Attorney Marc Bennett.
Stickley pleaded guilty in March to two counts of distribution of a hallucinogenic, possession of the drug with intent to sell, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, sale of marijuana and receiving proceeds derived from drug crimes, according to court records.
Stickley has convictions dating back to 2007, court records show. He served more than two years in prison on a 2009 conviction in Butler County for enticing a child between 14 and 16 to commit an unlawful sex act, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records.
The synthetic LSD – also known as 25-i and N-BOMe – is 10 times stronger than LSD, said Assistant District Attorney Mike Jennings, who prosecuted the case.
“The main difference between LSD and 25-i is 25-i can kill you,” he said in the release.
Nineteen people have died across the country from using the drug, Bennett said last week at a news conference. Most of the 19 who died were in their teens and early 20s. None of the deaths was local.
The drug also can cause heart attacks, seizures, strokes and bizarre behavior, officials said.
The synthetic drug comes in a powder that is turned into a liquid and is applied to a piece of postage-stamp-size blotter paper, which users place in their mouth. The paper may have such cartoon characters as SpongeBob on it, Bennett said.
Colorful packaging is used to entice young users, making them think the drug is not harmful, Wichita police Lt. Chris Bannister said at last week’s news conference.
The packaging “is kind of associated with the way candy is marketed,” Bannister said. “This is anything but candy.”
Wichita police have said they are seeing an increased presence of the drug on the street.
Bennett’s office has seen about 15 cases involving synthetic drugs over the past 18 months. Additional local cases are being prosecuted federally, Jennings said recently.
Contributing: Amy Renee Leiker of The Eagle.