“Scoop” dealer faces prison

A Nov. 8 sentencing is set for a Panama City man found guilty of possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance that the body turns into GHB, also known as “Scoop” or “Water.”

A Bay County jury took 1 hour and 23 minutes to find John Virgil Murphy Jr. guilty of sale or possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and possession of drug paraphernalia on Thursday.

Evidence presented showed the defendant was in possession of a large quantity of 1,4 Butanediol, an industrial chemical designed to make floor stripper and paint thinner, as well as some types of plastics and similar materials.

Florida Statutes define 1,4 Butanediol as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no currently acceptable medical use. When ingested, the chemical quickly turns into GHB, also known as “Scoop,” and can cause overdoses and death even in small doses.

Authorities obtained and served a search warrant on April 7, 2021. Among the items found was a gasoline can containing approximately 2.2 kilograms of 1,4-Butanediol. That is about 1,100 doses.

In a statement to authorities, the defendant admitted the liquid was his, saying he bought it online and planned to distribute it in Bay County.

The defendant faces up to 15 years in prison.

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