Auburn University Lab Technician Accused of Selling a Date Rape Drug

Auburn University lab technician is accused of selling large quantities of the date rape drug to an undercover agent.

The U.S. Attorney says 64-year-old Stephen K. Howard was arrested Friday in Auburn. According to court documents, Howard sold an undercover agent 20 ounces of a liquid called 1,4-butanediol. When ingested, 1,4-butanediol is converted into Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid or GHB, which is commonly known as a date rape drug used to incapacitate women. Shortly thereafter, according to the documents, another purchase was made from Howard for nearly a gallon of the same substance. During the second purchase, Howard showed the undercover agent that he had a handgun.

Auburn students we talked to say they were surprised to hear the news.

 “The fact it would happen at all is pretty surprising for me, especially at Auburn. I don’t think that sort of thing happens often, pretty conservative school,” said student Wes Duke.

“We’re so well known for being such a great community of having leaders as teachers and priding ourselves for teachers really caring about the students, and so obviously this comes as a great shock to many of us. But I feel we all need grace and we need to be willing to share that with everybody,” said student Alexa Womack.

If convicted, Howard faces up to 20 years in prison for distribution of a controlled substance, and a possible 32 year sentence on charges for possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

Auburn University released a statement saying the university is evaluating Howard’s employment.

Categories: Crime, Montgomery, News