The owners of a Mayking store which closed after it was raided in March for selling synthetic marijuana and hallucinogenic “bath salts” have been granted pretrial diversion. The store’s former manager has been placed on supervised probation.
Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright signed orders recently granting a five-year supervised diversion for TFX owners Mark A. Vandyke, 39, and Cheryl N. Vandyke, 32, both of 70 Slope Drive, Jenkins. The Vandykes were indicted in May on multiple charges of criminal complicity to first-degree possession of drugs designed to simulate a controlled substance.
Former TFX manager Keith Aaron Maschino, 36, of 2 South Abdoo Street, Neon, was sentenced to probation after he pleaded guilty to charges filed after the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department found him in possession of illegal stimulants known as bath salts while he was entering the store in late February.
As part of the plea agreement, the Vandykes have agreed to state publicly that they now recognize the dangers associated with the use of bath salts and that they encourage other people not to use the products.
The Vandykes were also ordered to testify against any potential co-defendants in the case. If the couple successfully complete pretrial diversion, the charge will be designated as dismissed or diverted.
If the Vandykes fail to complete the terms and conditions of the pretrial diversion, a sentence of three years imprisonment for each charge in three indictments will be served consecutively. The term would not exceed nine years.
The conditions for the pretrial diversions include maximum permitted random drug and alcohol screenings in addition to a monthly supervision fee of $25 and court costs of $130. The Kentucky Division of Probation and Parole will conduct home visits. The defendants must remain drug and alcohol free and can’t have access to handguns or firearms during the diversion.
The Vandykes also agreed not to possess, traffic or otherwise have use or control over or engage in any type of business whereby third parties acting on behalf of the Vandykes commit such act as relates to any type of illegal substance including but not limited to synthetic controlled substance and controlled substance
As part of his plea deal, Maschino agreed to testify against Mark and Cheryl Vandyke if asked. Maschino was also ordered to make a public statement acknowledging the dangerous nature of all synthetic drugs, including bath salts.
Maschino previously admitted to police that he has used bath salts and told offi- cers the synthetic stimulant gave him a high that lasted all day.
Maschino was arrested February 29 after police saw him get out of a vehicle with a black safety box in his hand. Maschino was arrested and charged with possession for sale/transfer simulated controlled substance and second-degree fleeing or evading police. According to an arrest citation, 46 packs of bath salts and two mushrooms were found inside the box.
Maschino pleaded guilty November 28 in Letcher Circuit Court to charges in three separate indictments. In two indictments, Maschino was charged with one count each of complicity to first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. In a third case, Maschino pleaded guilty to one count of complicity to first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and seconddegree fleeing or evading police.
Maschino received credit for serving five days in jail before his sentencing.
Letcher Wright ordered that Maschino be placed on supervised probation for five years for each of the three cases, which are to run concurrent. If probation is revoked he is to serve five years in prison for each of the cases and the sentences are to run consecutive. Maschino has been ordered to pay a monthly supervision fee of $10, a monthly drug testing fee of $10 and $130 in court costs.
Maschino has agreed not to possess, sell or in any way be involved in the possession or distribution of any controlled substances or synthetic drugs.
Maschino was represented in court by public defender Richard Counts. Mark and Cheryl Vandyke were represented by attorneys Danny Rose and James Asher.