ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – Our investigations over the last five years led Pam Tabatt to ban Fox 2's Chris Hayes from entering her stores. Today she found she will be locked up for more than a decade.
Former user Max Harris came to attend the sentencing.
She said she wanted to see it, "just because she was instrumental in getting me involved in the drugs to begin with. I never would have started it if her and her employees never would have handed me the samples. I just wanted to see how it played out."
Tabatt sold at 'Nights of Rave Smoke Sensations' in St. Louis County and the 'South 94 Bait Tackle and Smoke Shop' in St. Charles County. The Feds say she raked in $18 million in sales in six years and her net worth calculated at more than $6.5 million by selling synthetic pot (disguised as incense & potpourri) and synthetic cocaine (disguised as everything from bath salts to pot scrubber).
After a judge listened to more than two hours of testimony, he gave her the maximum agreed to in a plea deal, more than 12 years.
Harris said, "I`m almost at a loss for words, just hearing the woman who testified and her experience. It brought back a lot for me. I`m very glad that things happened the way they did today."
After Tabatt read a prepared statement, the judge said she still seemed to want to blame others. Prosecutors also played a 2012 Fox 2 news clip when she blamed drug users saying, "When does it become the adult`s responsibility, whatever they do?'
Today outside of the Federal Courthouse Harris commented on the clip, "I've taken my responsibility," she said, "but even in court today she refused to take her own responsibility. So it`s my hope that in that 12 and a half years she will take that responsibility."
Some of the most striking testimony was from a police officer. He described a time when Tabatt`s drug sales dropped from $6 million to only $2 million in a year. The officer said a clerk told him it was partly because users were seeking treatment. Tabatt reportedly told the clerk, "I`m going to find a way to get those people back in here."
The judge ordered Tabatt into immediate custody.