SAN DIEGO — A Texas chemist who wrote a guidebook on illegal drugs was accused Monday of providing expertise and supplies to what authorities say was one of the largest and most sophisticated Ecstasy labs ever found in the United States.
Hobart Huson, 33, of Humble, Texas, was arraigned Monday in federal court on a charge of conspiracy to manufacture Ecstasy. He pleaded innocent.
Huson is one of 24 people charged with helping to set up and run an Ecstasy lab hidden inside an Internet pornography business in an office park in Escondido.
Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration raided the lab last month. It was capable of producing 1.5 million Ecstasy pills per month, authorities said.
Huson, under the pseudonym “Strike,” is the author of a guide for producing Ecstasy and is co-owner of The Science Alliance, a chemical supply company that allows customers to purchase its wares over the Internet.
Ecstasy is also known as the “love drug” or “hug drug” for its ability to make users ultra-sensitive to visual and physical stimuli.
Huson is accused of supplying chemicals for making Ecstasy along with technical expertise to the operators of the lab in Escondido, Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Robinson said.He is also accused of introducing the lab’s operators to Thomas Lillius, a 33-year-old suspected Ecstasy chemist from Stockholm, Sweden, who remains at large.
Huson’s attorney, Gus Saper of Houston, denies the allegations and said Science Alliance is a legitimate chemical supply company and that the book, Total Synthesis II, is intended for information only.
The book, Saper said, includes a disclaimer that warns people of the legal and safety hazards of making Ecstasy.
“My client just collected information from many difference sources and gathered it in one place,” Saper said. “That has probably angered some people.”
A description of the book on Amazon.com calls Total Synthesis II “the most comprehensive and detailed book on the underground production of Ecstasy and amphetamines ever published.”
After authorities raided an Ecstasy lab in Flagstaff, Ariz., earlier this year, Huson was charged with three counts of selling a precursor to drugs and one count of manufacturing dangerous drugs.
The suspects in that case told authorities they bought chemicals for making Ecstasy from Science Alliance and learned how to make the drug by reading a book by Huson.
Huson pleaded innocent in that and was free on $50,000 bail when he was charged in the California case. He remains in custody in San Diego.