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New drug makes first appearance in Coles County

COLES COUNTY -- Two people each pleaded guilty to a felony charge of possessing a controlled substance analog. 
 COLES COUNTY -- Two people each pleaded guilty to a felony charge of possessing a controlled substance analog. Police say 22-year old Michael Imburgia, of Mount Prospect, and 20-year old Sara Douglas, of Chatham, were arrested in April 2012. Douglas was attending Eastern Illinois University at the time.

For their guilty pleas, each was sentenced to two years "first offender" probation. If they don't violate probation, neither will have a record of conviction. They had faced 1-3 years in prison for the charge they pleaded guilty to. Charges of distribution could have resulted in a 2-5 year prison sentence.

Both were ordered to attend substance abuse treatment and pay more than $6,000 in fines. Each also received a six-month jail sentence which was stayed. It means they don't have to go to jail now, but could be ordered to if there are any probation violations. Tips to police led to an investigation resulting in their arrests.

The controlled substance analog is an LSD look-alike drug. It's so new to the U.S having first been encountered by law enforcement in 2010, only a few states have made it illegal. Since the compound is not actually listed as an illegal substance in Illinois, the pair was charged under laws making it illegal to have and distribute a substance represented as a narcotic.

The chemical compound is a hallucinogen and is put on perforated paper squares for dosing just like LSD. It's a derivative of a street drug known as "smiles" or 2C-I. Authorities say this is the first case of the substance they've encountered in Coles County.
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