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Methylone Dealer Sentenced to 16 years

By Lacie Grosvold, Multimedia Journalist, lgrosvold@ktuu.com
Published On: Dec 05 2013 06:47:00 PM AKST

By Reporter Lacie Grosvold and Photojournalist Shawn Wilson.  (KTUU-TV)

ANCHORAGE, AK -

A judge sentenced state lawmaker's son Robin Gattis to 16 years in prison for leading a conspiracy to import methylone from China and sell it in Alaska, after a Wasilla man died in a fatal overdose of his product.

A federal indictment describes a three-day party that started Friday, April 13, 2012. There, the indictments say, Robin Gattis gave methylone known as "molly" to many guests, including 20-year-old Matthew Gordon Scott.

During Thursday's sentencing, Matt Scott's parents, Debbie Hurd and Dan Scott, gave a statement. When Hurd spoke, she asked Gattis to look her in the eye. She told him she couldn't wrap her mind around why he didn't help her son when he knew he took too many pills. Her voice broke and she cried as she spoke. Gattis cried. Scott's father, Dan Scott said, "You are a worthless human being."

Gattis' parents also spoke. His father, Richard Gattis, said he agreed Robin made bad decisions. He suggested leniency saying with therapy and structure his son could be, "a productive member of society." When Robin's mother, Lynn Gattis spoke, she looked at Debbie Hurd. "I'm looking at another mother." she said. "Everybody's son is important and useful." She said she hoped she and her husband would eventually help Robin get back on the right path.

The Gattis family paid for a psychological examination by Seattle psychologist Dr. David Dixon. Dixon said Gattis had oppositional defiance disorder, which he described as "defiance from standard rules." Dixon described Gattis as operating at the level of a 14 or 15-year-old, not a 20-year-old. The doctor also said Gattis suffered from substance abuse and mild social anxiety, and described him as an insecure young man who behaved in a way to be accepted by his peers. He went on to say Gattis came from a good family that cared about him.

Dixon revealed Gattis' answers to questions he asks all of his patients. Gattis told the doctor his worst fear was spending 20 years in prison. He told Judge Ralph Beistline that he didn't think Gattis was a risk to society.

Another witness was a friend of Robin Gattis', 24-year-old Shane O'Hare. O'Hare works as a real estate agent, but admitted he'd let Gattis use his mailbox to import methylone. He read aloud Facebook messages from Gattis the day after Scott was found dead. In the messages, he described Scott's knees turning purple, a sign of overdose. "This has been the longest, trippiest day of my life," Gattis' message said. He ended it with, "just another day in the life of Robin Gattis."

Evidence submitted by the U. S. attorneys shows an e-mail from Gattis the day after Scott's death. It stated, "My best friend took the M1 I got and died last night... I don't think I'll be ordering form you again." The e-mails later indicate Gattis changed his mind. On May 11, Gattis put in another order for the drug. The e-mail said, "Sorry for the alarming e-mail before. It turns out my friend passed from a complication from his painkillers and a liver disease I didn't know about." Then, he ordered more. That e-mail was contested in court when Gattis said someone else had used his login to send an e-mail. A federal investigator who refused to be named said Gattis was lying in his statement and that the evidence of the e-mail comes from forensics on Gattis's computer. 

"Unlike so many of the offenders who face sentencing in this Court, Robin Gattis has led a privileged life," prosecutors wrote. "He squandered opportunities that many others never enjoy. Despite his youth and relatively minor criminal history, Gattis should receive a long prison term for this crime."

Gattis said he's been trying to turn his life around. While incarcerated, he told the judge, he's been helping others get their GEDs. He told the judge he had plans to get out of drugs and thought eventually he'd go to school. Gattis told the judge, "I've never been closer to my parents... they're good people and they love me."

The judge asked Gattis what he thought Matt Scott would have to say to him on the day of his sentencing. Gattis' answer was Scott would probably be facing drug charges along with him.

Beistline said he wanted to send a message to the community about the danger of designer drugs.

U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler said in a statement after the sentence ruling, "There's a belief out there among the youth that these party drugs are safe--oh, it's got a cute name like 'molly'. It's just a drug you can take that's its different and it's not."