Atlanta concert promoter pleads guilty to MDMA conspiracy

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM – An Atlanta man and co-owner of a promotions company that presented musical “raves” and concerts across the Southeast pleaded guilty today in federal court to a conspiracy to distribute thousands of MDMA pills, a drug commonly known as “Ecstasy” or “Molly,” in both Jefferson and Shelby counties, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Alabama.

Ochle

Acting U.S. Attorney Robert O. Posey, Homeland Security Investigations Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sherry Douglas, U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector in Charge Adrian Gonzales, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and Helena Police Chief Pete Folmar announced the plea.

Woodie Louis Ochle, 40, entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler to one count of conspiracy to distribute MDMA, in Jefferson and Shelby counties between February 2015 and April 2016, and to one count of possessing with intent to distribute the drug on April 13, 2016, in Jefferson County, according to the Department of Justice. Ochle’s sentencing date has not been set.

Ochle led an organization that distributed MDMA in Alabama and Georgia, according to his plea. Through his Atlanta business, Freakstep Promotions, Ochle set up concerts or dance events and then sold MDMA to people who attended the “raves.”

Four other people have pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and await sentencing. They are Kevin Reid Pedersen, 28, Shawn Edward Perkins, 22, and Jennifer Leigh Petitjean, 31, all of Birmingham, and Kenton Lee Howard, 38, of Chelsea.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-HSI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, ALEA, Alabama Attorney General’s Office and Helena Police investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Felton prosecuted.