Pubdate: Sat, 15 Dec 2001
Source: Hendersonville Times-News (NC)
Copyright: 2001 Hendersonville Newspaper Corporation
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) A judge has sentenced a man to six months in prison
for selling urine to beat drug tests.

Jurors took two hours Friday to make Kenneth Curtis the first person to be
convicted under a 1999 South Carolina law that makes it illegal to sell
urine for defrauding a drug tests. He used to operate out of Greenville, but
has moved to Hendersonville.

Curtis also was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay a
$10,000 fine.

Curtis' lawyers immediately said they plan to appeal the case. If he can
post a $30,000 bond, Curtis will be able to remain free until the appeal is

But if Curtis is caught selling urine while free on appeal or during his
probation, he will be sent to prison for six years, a judge ruled.

Curtis and his company, Privacy Protection Services, sell kits which contain
a packet of urine, a heating pack, duct tape and instructions on how to
conceal the kit so it appears the user is giving his own sample. One of
Curtis' employees guaranteed his urine samples were 100 percent drug-free,
according to an undercover agent who bought a kit.

South Carolina law bans the sale of urine to defraud a drug test. Curtis
said he sells the urine kits because he thinks random drug testing violates
the First Amendment.

Curtis may face an uphill battle appealing his conviction. In July, the
South Carolina Supreme Court upheld most of the law he was convicted under,
rejecting arguments that the law was vague, did not serve a legitimate
public interest, violated interstate commerce and invaded privacy.

Justices did say it was unconstitutional to require jurors to presume guilt
if a urine kit is sold with heating equipment or instructions on defrauding
a drug test.

Curtis could have faced up to eight years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
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