December 5, 2012 | 11:07am
A California chiropractor caught in a Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) sting operation involving illegal sales of the popular party drug GHB must be relieved today that a federal judge in Orange County gave him a huge break.
Dr. Ronald French of Ventura County could have been sent to prison for a lengthy stint of 30 months, which was the punishment sought by a prosecutor.
But this week U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana decided to punish French with a term of one day of incarceration and supervised release for three years.
According to law enforcement records, French had a history of buying Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid, and in July and August of 2009 brokered a deal between his roommate, parolee Jonathan Anthony Lucido, and Aaron Hughes for 10 liters of the drug.
Lucido unwittingly ended up selling the GHB to an undercover NBPD cop.
Carter previously handed Lucido an 84-month prison sentence.
Hughes' punishment is unknown because the judge sealed his decision from public inspection.
But the Bill Clinton-appointed judge must have been impressed that French, who entered a Christian drug recovery center following his arrest, didn't need tough punishment after the defendant's friends submitted numerous testimonials about his good character and genuine regret.
California's State Board of Chiropractic Examiners could suspend or revoke French's license as a result of the conviction.
Because of its powerful, deep sleep inducing properties, GHB has been used by numerous date rapists and, according to police, causes overdose deaths every year among partygoers.