A Hailey business owner was sentenced Monday to 60 days in Blaine County jail, a fine of $4,000 and 100 hours of community service for felony “solicitation delivery” of a controlled substance after he had a courier service pick up a package containing 1.8 grams of the hallucinogen DMT from a 19-year-old employee.
Kevin Michael Werbinski, 41, pleaded guilty to the charge on May 17. His sentence includes two years of probation and $100 in restitution. If he violates the terms of probation, he will face up to two and a half years in prison.
According to a probable-cause affidavit written by Hailey Police Lt. Steve England, on Nov. 30, Werbinski tried to mail the DMT to himself at the Norfolk [Virginia] International Airport, where it was supposed to be held for him to pick up. The substance had been transported from Hailey to Boise by plane when it was flagged at the Boise airport as a suspicious package.
DMT is comparable to LSD but is believed to be even more potent, according to the affidavit.
Originally, Werbinski was charged with delivery of a controlled substance, also a felony, but because there was a legal question as to whether a person can deliver to himself, the charge was amended to solicitation delivery of a controlled substance, which better fit the facts for this incident, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback said Monday.
According to the affidavit, a cargo agent discovered that one of the pages in a collection of court documents inside the package had been folded and taped into a pocket that contained a yellow powder.
The courier service had picked up the package from Werbinski’s business office from one of his employees, 19-year-old Mikayla Hartman, who was convicted of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and sentenced in February to 365 days in jail with 361 days suspended and two days credited, a fine of $800 and $197.50 in court costs and two years of probation.
“He got this 19-year-old girl into something he never should have done,” Fredback said during the sentencing hearing Monday.
Based on research done by presiding 5th District Judge Ned Williamson, 1.8 grams of DMT amounts to roughly 47 doses if each dose is 20-40 milligrams. During a pre-sentencing investigation, Werbinski told the investigator that he only uses DMT three to four times a year.
“Either he’s using a heck of a lot more than he wants to admit to the PSI investigator, or he has enough that he can distribute it,” Fredback said.
Though DMT is classified as a Schedule I drug, it is a non-narcotic and its possession is considered a misdemeanor in Idaho, regardless of the amount.