The U.S. Drug War Reaches New Heights of Absurdity in Federal Court

Federal prosecutors charged George Wills and Robert Catalano, the owners of Puck Technology makers of the Whizzinator with conspiracy in Pittsburgh, PA in October. The two men plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy on November 24, and face up to eight years in prison and a $500,000 fine; their sentencing will take place in February of next year.[1] The prosecutors claimed the two had conspired to defraud the federal government’s drug testing programs:

“On October 14, federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh won a 19-count indictment against the owners of Puck Technology, maker of the Whizzinator, for fraud and selling drug paraphernalia. Prosecutors allege that by manufacturing and selling the Whizzinator, company president Gerald Wills and vice president Robert Catalano conspired to defraud the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which administers federal workplace drug testing programs. The government is seeking forfeiture of all of the company’s assets, including its Internet domain names.” [2]

The Whizzinator is a prosthetic penis which is used to dispense clean urine samples, made from synthetic urine, at the proper body temperature since many urine sample bottles used for drug tests are equipped with temperature strips to detect if the urine is too hot or cold to have come from the human body. One reason for using the prosthetic device is because many places visually monitor the person taking the drug test from probation departments, methadone clinics, to professional sports leagues, so privacy is not an option. The unit became popular three years ago after a NFL running back was caught with one in an airport, which led to the product becoming a popular topic on sports talk radio leading to large sales over the internet where the device was sold.[3]

Sources:

1. BBC

2. Wikipedia - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

3. The Sporting News

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