SYRACUSE — The son of former Sherrill city Police Chief James Hastings was sentenced in federal court Monday to 15 days behind bars for buying an excessive amount of ephedrine pills, an ingredient used to make the illegal drug methamphetamine.
U.S. District Court Judge Glenn Suddaby also ordered Jason Hastings, 30, to pay a $2,500 fine, pay a $100 special assessment and face one year of supervision upon his release. Jason Hastings is due to report to U.S. Marshals to begin his sentence on June 7.
Jason Hastings had pleaded guilty Nov. 30, 2010, to a federal charge of knowingly and intentionally purchasing at retail stores during a 30-day period more than 9 grams of pseudoephedrine base from Jan. 3 to Jan. 26, 2010, in violation of the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005.
This law places a limit on how much someone can buy of over-the-counter ephedrine and pseudoephedrine products, which are common ingredients found in cough, cold and allergy products and used in the clandestine manufacture of methamphetamine.
In order to purchase products containing those ingredients, individuals must show ID and sign a log book at pharmacies or other retail businesses.
Jason Hastings was accused of purchasing a total of 13.76 grams of pseudoephedrine base during the month of January by visiting multiple stores in Madison and Oneida counties, said federal prosecutor Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Brown. The legal limit of 9 grams per 30 days is the equivalent of 371 30-milligram pills.
Jason Hastings was charged last May, weeks after then-police Chief James Hastings’ 6-year-old grandson suffered a drug-related illness following a visit to his grandfather’s home.
Earlier this year, the city terminated James Hastings as police chief earlier following an investigation into the incident.
Jason Hastings purchased these drug ingredients across the region after he was previously convicted in 2003 of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in Oneida County Court.
This latest prosecution resulted from a joint investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Oneida City Police Department.