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SAN FRANCISCO (AP)- A San Ramon couple has been convicted of multiple drug charges for operating a lab that distributed chemicals used to make methamphetamine, federal prosecutors said.
A federal jury deliberated four days before deciding that David Conkey, 61 and Carol Conkey, 59, had "reasonable cause" to believe chemicals they distributed at their supply store would be used to manufacture methamphetamine. The couple will be sentenced in June.
Prosecutors said the chemicals sold would produce as much as 44,000 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of more than $390 million, although officials conceded Thursday that the number is a rough estimate based on the amount of chemicals sold.
Conkey operated Alpha Chemical Supply, which from 1992 to 2001 distributed thousands of pounds of hydriodic acid, red phosphorous, and iodine. Those chemicals are frequently used to make methamphetamine, according to authorities.
Carol Conkey was acquitted of two possession and distribution counts, and each defendant was acquitted of one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity.
The convictions are one in a series of civil and criminal charges brought against chemical supply companies in Northern California for selling substances used to make methamphetamines.
Dennis Roberts, an attorney for Carol Conkey, is considering an appeal.
"To say these chemicals would equal $390 million worth of meth is a travesty. Much of the chemicals were sold to legitimate users for legitimate purposes," he said.
Theodore Cassman, an attorney for David Conkey, could not be immediately reached for comment.