Pilot Sold Drug Test Blocker

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A regional airline pilot whose side business was selling a drink powder that effectively defeats urine drug tests has pleaded guilty to a federal charge. Stephen Sharp, of Port Orange, Fla., was flying for PSA, which operates as US Airways Express, while he ran a website called yourintheclear.com offering a product that somehow masks the presence of illegal drugs in the urine. "You simply mix the powder with a large glass of cranberry juice 1-5 hours before your test and then just relax!" the Associated Press quoted Sharp's website as saying. While the claims have all the hallmarks of an Internet scam, what alarmed authorities in this case is that Sharp's potion actually worked. But Sharp told AVweb the powder was never intended to be directly marketed to pilots or anyone else who might be subject to government-mandated drug tests and that it is essentially a diuretic meant for "cleansing" the urinary tract. He said he pleaded guilty to the charge after three years of investigation to spare his family further inconvenience and legal complications.

The court was told that the powder has been evaluated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "There is public testimony by SAMSHA officials to Congress that these products are very effective," Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary McKeen Houghton said. Sharp has been on unpaid administrative leave from PSA since the airline became aware of the charges. He will be sentenced Sept. 3 and faces a maximum of five years in jail.