WILKES-BARRE — A Nanticoke man pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the trafficking of a party drug from China but maintains his right to challenge whatever sentence is imposed.
Peter Sepling, 43, entered his guilty plea that was accepted by U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo at the federal courthouse in Wilkes-Barre on Monday.
Sepling and John Nikoloff, of West Fourth Street, West Wyoming, were indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2011, after a parcel containing 1.1 kilograms of gamma butyrolactone was delivered to Nikoloff’s address on April 26, 2011.
Nikoloff pleaded guilty in February 2012 to conspiring to distribute a controlled substance. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 25.
The negotiated plea deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Sepling’s attorney, Joseph Nahas, gives Caputo the option to exclude or use Sepling’s prior criminal convictions when Sepling is sentenced on Jan. 30. He could face probation or up to 20 years in a federal prison.
In 2007, Sepling pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute ketamine, a tranquilizer that is a popular “club drug.” Authorities said Sepling obtained large quantities of the drug from a source in India. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison.
In the latest complaint, U.S. Customs officers working at a DHL Courier facility in Kentucky targeted a parcel from China to Nikoloff in April 2011. The parcel contained gamma butyrolactone, a scheduled controlled substance, which was delivered by an undercover state police trooper to Nikoloff’s residence on April 26, 2011.
Authorities served a search warrant the same day, finding the empty parcel box behind a garage on the property, and steroids, pills, syringes and packaging from previous deliveries to Nikoloff’s residence, according to court records.
Nikoloff told authorities he accepted the parcel on behalf of Sepling. He delivered the parcel to Sepling when they met later on April 26, 2011, along Wyoming Avenue in Kingston.
A search of Sepling’s residence uncovered 111 bottles of anabolic steroids and numerous bottles of pills and liquids, court records state.