HARRISONBURG -- On Thursday, federal court documents revealed that the owner of Pamela's Secret signed a plea deal admitting guilt to conspiracy to distribute bath salts from his store.
Augustus Julias is one of three men who has been tied to the case, which dates back to last year.
According to a statement of facts filed by Julias's lawyer recently, in total, 300 grams of bath salts were found inside Pamela's Secret by the RUSH Drug Task Force after two raids in April and May of last year.
The store was a front for the synthetic drug and the report explains how Julias, along with workers Matthew Comer and Jeremy King, sold the drug for up to $59 per gram.
Julias now faces up to 20 years in prison.
On Thursday morning, lawyer Marshall Yoder explained how Julias will likely get less of a sentence after admitting guilt.
"Usually what happens in plea agreements is the defendant always gets a downward departure for admitting guilt," he said. "There can be other things, like if he provides substantial assistance to the government to prosecute other people. There could be a possible departure there."
Fred Heblich, who is serving as Julias's attorney, said both sides of the case are working out trying to schedule a plea hearing date. He said it would most likely be held next week.
Yoder added that Julias likely signed the plea deal to avoid going to trial.
"In this particular case, there will still be a sentencing hearing to determine what kind of sentence he will receive," he explained. "Part of the reason a defendant would agree to a plea deal in a case like this is because he/she wouldn't face the maximum (penalty). If he was going to face the maximum penalty regardless, he would probably take his chances and have this go to trial."
Before the sentencing hearing, Yoder said there will first be a pre-sentence report done on Julias. A number of factors will go into the penalty he is eventually given.
"The admission of guilt will give him a reduction. Then there could be another variety of factors that go into this," said Yoder. "In this particular case, the amount (of bath salts) might be factored in."
To check out both the full plea agreement and statement of facts, click the two links below.
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