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OGDEN — One person considered a person of interest in the death of Alexis Rasmussen had apparently been running a unique side business out of his North Ogden home: selling tips on how to beat drug tests.
A post on adpost.com with the heading, “For Sale: Pass Drug Screen,” shows Eric Millerberg as the owner of Fastone Inc., offering a “guaranteed” way to pass a drug screen.
“The info. (sic) we send you will guarantee your success with any style drug screen,” the post reads.
The ad also lists Millerberg’s home address.
Millerberg mentioned the company, Fastone Inc., in a letter to Judge Scott Hadley dated Oct. 14, 2010. The letter — a bid for leniency prior to a sentencing — bills the company as part of his effort to turn his life around. Millerberg pleaded in the letter to, “Please let me be a father.”
“I am almost ready to start a family business with my step-son called Fastone Inc.,” Millerberg wrote. “We are a few small steps away.”
The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force, which had executed a search on the Millerberg home Oct. 9 unrelated to the Alexis Rasmussen case, was unaware of the online ad, Lt. Darin Parke said.
Former prosecutor Kent Morgan said Wednesday that commercial speech is protected by the Constitution unless it involves illegal activities, products and services.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in United States v. Michael Williams illustrates this premise.
The court said:
“Many long established criminal proscriptions — such as laws against conspiracy, incitement and solicitation — criminalize speech (commercial or not) that is intended to induce or commence illegal activities. Offers to provide or requests to obtain unlawful material, whether as part of a commercial exchange or not, are similarly undeserving of First Amendment protection.” Morgan was unaware of any particular law prohibiting advertisement of processes or devices that defeat drug screens.
“However, if someone is legally required to do a drug screen and someone is assisting them in providing false information to the court, that might be construed as obstruction of justice,” Morgan said. “And anybody who helps them in any way to do that would be guilty of the same crime.”
Morgan said a business not knowing specifically whether its product or service was contributing to an illegal activity does not necessarily make it exempt from prosecution.
“There’s a doctrine called ‘conscious ignorance’ where if I were to say ‘here’s some heroin and I don’t care what you do with it’ and I’m a pharmacist, I would be guilty of the crime anyway,” Morgan said. “You can’t consciously avoid knowledge by saying it’s up to you whatever you do with this if you strongly suspect it’s going to be used in a criminal adventure.”
Morgan declined to comment on the law specifically as it might relate to the set of facts surrounding Millerberg’s business and observed it’s apparently an offer of information on how to beat a drug test.
“If any client came up to me and said, 'I would like to pass out devices that could potentially obstruct justice and get me into criminal trouble,' I would say, 'As your lawyer I don’t advise you to do that,'” Morgan said.