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Old 05-02-2010, 07:50 AM   #1  
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Default Stephen Sharp

Okay ladies and gentlemen, let's keep the political banter to a minimum, like zero. Mods will lock it up otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCFLYR View Post
...repost his message and TRY to have a discussion about it without diving into discussions that violate the TOS that [everyone] agreed to when [everyone] signed up for APC. Keep the Red-vs-Blue and names out of it and [y'all] can have [y'all's] discussion.

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Copied from "PSA Pilot going to jail:"

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephensharp
Wow I am amazed at how many people out there shoot and ask questions later! I will set the record straight as to this whole ordeal. Before I even begin please click the link below and you will see that even if this product
was advertised to help pass a drug test there was never any federal law that covered it. Congress shot down the law. With this said I never, not even once marketed this product to federal employees, pilots, etc etc..

See here:
H.R. 2802 [109th]: Drug Testing Integrity Act of 2005 (GovTrack.us)

THE STORY:
Back in 1997 I started my own nutrition company consisting of herbal products, drug testing products, home health tests, sports enhancers, etc etc. I had about 30 web sites, one for each product. The "Your In The
Clear" product (yes I know about the grammar you're versus your) was advertised as a toxin cleanser and had its own web site www.yourintheclear.com (No one would type in "Your'RE or Youre in the clear", I tested it). The web site talked mainly about "false positives" and such and this product was nothing more than a diuretic to help flush your body. It did mention unfair drug testing and various drug cutoff limits but nothing of passing your federal drug test or help for truck driver, pilots, train engineers, etc et. Nothing was ever mentioned of pilots, train engineers, truck drivers, etc EVER. There was never any malicious comments or remarks. This was simply simply a product that could be used to help flush your body of harmful metabolites, drug, chemical, free radicals, etc etc. My understanding of this is if you can go to WalMart and purchase a drug test like here:
Walmart.com: First Check: 4 Drugs Tested Home Drug Test, 1 ct: Medicine Cabinet
why can you not cleanse your body??

In the airline world we get random drug tests and there is no product that can help with a random drug test except being drug free. Once again there is a scare there for failing a drug test with a false positive and this is where a detox product may indeed help. It happens more than you may think. By 2003 my nutrition company started to grow and expand into an more "all natural" organic, herbs, salts, tea, etc etc company. I now had about 300 products. I could no longer make a web site for each product therefore started two main online stores Wholesale Organic Herbs - Gourmet Spices For Top Chefs and Organic Herbs And Cooking Spices. The orginal 30 web sites I started with were no longer maintained or updated from about the year 2000 but were still live online.

In early 2008 about 10 online stores were raided as a result of operation True Test overseen by PA district attorney Mary Beth Buchanan. All of these web sites but one are still operating today and selling exclusively drug testing products unlike the theme of my store which has to date 1800 mostly organic and all natural products. We do still sell home drug test kits and such just not the Your In The Clear product as I voluntarily removed this in 2008 in an effort to show it was not a significant product of mine. In total I had only a few hundred sales of this product ever. With much criticism in the press towards Buchanan as far as being overzealous and abusing her power I simply have no comment to make. I am not here for a finger pointing war. You can google her and make your own judgements. She faced termination in late 2009 and stepped down from office.

Anyway during this horrific event and while I was at work in CLT federal agents turned our house upside down and desperately wanted to find
drugs or anything illegal. There was nothing to be found, nothing. Shortly after I sought the help of two prominent federal defense attorney's. They agreed there was no law that covered this one particular product I was selling. Also for the record there was never a relation to my airline position and my nutrition business. This product was in my store years before I even started taking flight lessons. Was this product maybe in grey area after I became a professional pilot in 2004? Yes maybe but at the time my nutrition business was growing too fast that I never took the time to reflect on all my products, nor did I ever think I was selling anything illegal as still today there are hundreds of web sites selling detox products.

By 2008 I had about 1200 products in stock at my warehouse and my average work week between both jobs was 80+ hours. Once the government found out I was an airline pilot the **** hit the fan. They spent all of 3 years investigating me, interviewing all my friends from Boston and Florida, combing through me tax returns, sending FDA warning letters and more. They were convinced that I must have been using drugs if I was selling a product to detox your body of drug metabolites. They only saw that one web site yourintheclear.com and not my entire store. Anyway rightfully so, I think I wouldhave thought the same if I was the government. I can honestly say that I have never used drugs in my life and now they were finding this out. I think this is when they moved to plan B.

Next the government proceeded at first to threaten me with a whole slew of charges such as mislabeling, unnaproved new drugs, etc etc. My attorneys fought back and things quieted down. It is now late 2009 and I am in the hole for all of $58,000 so far for legal fees and FDA consultants. I am 100% fighting this to the end as I kfirmly believe I sold nothing illegal nor did I ever advertise this product or knowingly sell EVER to any federal employee, truck driver, pilot, train enginner, etc etc. nor was never any proof of this either. Those words were used to make great press headlines and that is it. Don't believe everything you read.

Just about that time the bomb dropped. My attorney told me that because this was a home based business they can and will charge my wife should I decide to proceed to a trial. Not only that but the cost would be at least another $50,000-$60,000 to battle to the end not to mention multiple trips to PA. As my family is most important to me my only option was to come to an agreement with the government. By now this nightmare is several years old and no end in sight unless I end this. In early 2010 we came to an agreement that I would admit guilt to conspiring to defraud the US by trying to impede or obstruct a government function. I knew the consequences and such to this but in an effort to keep my family safe I made a quick and decisive move to put a mark on my otherwise spotless record.

On April 29th we had a meeting in Pittsburgh federal court and I signed the agreement. This is when the airline was mentioned with the local press sitting in the back. From there all hell broke loose in the press. PSA has been aware of my situation since it first happened. All who know me and have flown with me know the type of person, pilot, and husband/daddy I am. Please don't be so swayed by press hype. To all my friends and fellow pilots who have supported me and who have been aware of this whole ordeal from the
getgo I thank you.

As far as punishment although nothing is ever guaranteed in this world my attorney says that due my clean record and the nature of this whole case he is very confident I will be adjuducated with term of probation. Judge Cercone is a very fair judge and has great insight on this matter. We are hoping to have this cleaned off my record for good once my probation is done.

After reading through eveyone's comments I think the one that hurts the most is the comment by CAPTKRUNCH a fellow PSA Pilot whom I know and was about the 2 CRW pilots losing their job but me keeping mine. To be honest with you CAPTKRUNCH I wish nothing more than to have those two guys get their jobs back. I would sacrifice my job to get their's back. I have another means of income and they may not. I am also on unpaid leave now with a future meeting planned and my future uncertain.

Sincerely,

Stephen Sharp
PSA Airlines
Discuss

Last edited by CaptainCarl; 05-02-2010 at 08:00 AM. Reason: I am not Stephen Sharp.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:20 AM   #2  
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First post [REPLY] in the new thread and already off topic. Not a good start.

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Last edited by USMCFLYR; 05-02-2010 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:35 AM   #3  
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You'd think this Stephen Sharp guy would be more interested in defending himself to a judge as to keep himself out of jail, as opposed to defending himself on the internet.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:49 AM   #4  
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It sounds like he has been defending himself to the legal system for sometime. Acceptance by ones' peers can be very important. I'm not surprised that he would come on this forum and defend himself. Of course for all of those saying don't believe everything you read (usually meant from the media point of view - and a phrase that this guy used himself in his defense), people should take that same advice when reading an argument written by the person accused.

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Old 05-02-2010, 08:59 AM   #5  
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Definately interesting to hear the other side of the story, I believe I was on the side of sanity all along.

This does raise an interesting question... What do you do if the government targets you? They have unlimited resources, you don't. At a certain point maybe you do just have to say, "fine I did it, you got me" even if you don't believe that just because it isn't worth the fight.
Isn't there some abuse of power there? We're gonna prove you did something even though we turned your house upside down and didn't find anything and we charged you with selling a product that isn't illegal.

Maybe the real story here is just the excesses government can go to, just lay low and maybe the government will leave you alone. Just don't dare to prosper because that's unamerican.

I still assert that if the government has found out that people can defraud these tests by using detox product then it's really their task to change tests, not prosecute the sellers of such products. Go to a hair test, when people show up bald it's going to be more obvious.... and if you're really concerned that people used it to defeat federal drug tests, retest everyone, I'm all for shrinking the size of government if there's a bunch of druggies payroll goes down..... though I question the true issue that joe IRS telephone answerer really needs to be pot free on the weekend.

This is my issue with many issues of politics, politicians treat the symptom not the cause, MAKE A NEW TEST.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:46 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCFLYR View Post
It sounds like he has been defending himself to the legal system for sometime. Acceptance by ones' peers can be very important. I'm not surprised that he would come on this forum and defend himself. Of course for all of those saying don't believe everything you read (usually meant from the media point of view - and a phrase that this guy used himself in his defense), people should take that same advice when reading an argument written by the person accused.

USMCFLYR
The problem is the media needs to sell their product. So they sensationalize it to capture the audience, especially true with headlines. How many headlines have you read, then read the article to find out the reverse was true? And how many people actually take the time to read the article, vs just relying on the headlines. This and the reporters have started commentating and adding in their own opinions doesn't help the matter.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:44 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
The problem is the media needs to sell their product. So they sensationalize it to capture the audience, especially true with headlines. How many headlines have you read, then read the article to find out the reverse was true? And how many people actually take the time to read the article, vs just relying on the headlines. This and the reporters have started commentating and adding in their own opinions doesn't help the matter.
And how many times have you read [of] a defendant's testimony and then found out that it wasn't exactly truthful too?
I'm certainly not saying that the media gets all (or most of the facts) right. I'm also just as wary of putting 100% faith into some guy's internet defense statement.
People need to take away from this discussion, and others like it, that the truth oftens falls somehwere in the middle.

If you believe in the legal system - then the gov't isn't just prosecuting this guy with no proof of a crime. The gov't actually has to work harder to get a conviction than the defense has to go about priving innocence.
If the gov't is working this hard then they must feel like there was some law - whatever it was - mislabeling, misrepresentation, misinfomration, truth in advertising, lord I don't know - broken.
On the other side of the issue is this guy who has his team of lawyers showing how each of those isn't illegal.
A judge (and possible jury - though it sounds unlikely) will make the final determination based on LAW. If he doesn't like the outcome, he will appeal. If he loses the appeal then he might appeal again and again.
At some point he may (according to his story) decide to cut and run and take a slap on the wrist.

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Old 05-02-2010, 12:45 PM   #8  
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...::::::...

Last edited by CaptainCarl; 05-02-2010 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Question answered.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:54 PM   #9  
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You must have missed the first reply after you reposted his statement. Off topic and not relevant to the discussion.
Your post - the repost - is still there isn't it?

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Old 05-02-2010, 12:57 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueskies21 View Post
This does raise an interesting question... What do you do if the government targets you? They have unlimited resources, you don't. At a certain point maybe you do just have to say, "fine I did it, you got me" even if you don't believe that just because it isn't worth the fight.
Isn't there some abuse of power there? We're gonna prove you did something even though we turned your house upside down and didn't find anything and we charged you with selling a product that isn't illegal.

Maybe the real story here is just the excesses government can go to, just lay low and maybe the government will leave you alone. Just don't dare to prosper because that's unamerican.
Scary, isn't it?
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