Federal prosecutors today secured a guilty plea against a Fairhope man who admitted using the Internet to order LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), hash, highly concentrated marijuana edibles and paraphernalia, among other things, all for “personal use.” According to the indictment dated April 8, 56-year-old Benjamin Meek Miller Childers II, of 12305 County Road 48 in Fairhope, used assumed names and at least two different addresses to order drugs online from The Netherlands and elsewhere.Apparently, inspectors from the U.S. Postal Service and the Department of Customs and Border Protection intercepted separate packages in March 2015 intended for delivery to Childers in Baldwin County. In both cases, Childers used assumed names, including one of an existing individual who rented a post office box in Summerdale prior to Childers’ use of it.
On April 2, investigators made a “controlled delivery” to Childers’ home and discovered additional narcotics including poppy and marijuana seeds along with “multiple products for the production of marijuana.” During the search of Childers’ residence, 30 firearms were discovered and seized including several handguns, hunting rifles, shotguns and three lower receivers for SKS rifles.
In statements to arresting officers, Childers said he was a lifelong drug user who acquired the drugs for personal use and the guns for personal defense. He denied selling any drugs, instead offering that “he ordered such a large quantity of narcotics so that he could have a ‘lifetime supply’ and not have to order more.”
Childers admitted to receiving more than 10 packages from domestic and international vendors. Among the contraband was an assortment of “Cheeba Chews,” highly concentrated marijuana edibles produced in Colorado, where marijuana has been decriminalized. According to its website, Cheeba Chews are a Cannabis Cup winner and were named by High Times Magazine as “America’s Favorite Edible.”
Childers said he had successfully received shipments of drugs before, but told investigators once he started ordering narcotics on the Internet he felt “like a kid in a candy shop,” and admitted he had become careless.
Pleading guilty to one count of “Smuggling Goods into the United States,” Childers agreed to forfeit his arsenal of guns and will face a penalty not to exceed 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. At the time of the agreement, a sentencing date had not been scheduled.