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Registered: 07/25/04
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500,000 Ecstasy pills seized in August [MI]
    #4624244 - 09/06/05 12:47 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Border agents target Ecstasy
September 6, 2005 - detnews.com

Seizures of the drug at Detroit area crossings set a record in August, customs authorities say.

DETROIT -- Federal agents seized a record amount of Ecstasy in Michigan in August and have a wide-scale investigation into a smuggling operation involving the drug at the Canadian border.

Agents seized nearly 500,000 Ecstasy pills worth about $9.9 million on the streets at border crossings in southeast Michigan last month, said Greg Palmore, a spokesman for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of the bureau's Detroit office, said his team is investigating the Ecstasy seizures at the border and attempting to learn the source or sources.

Canada is the major supplier of Ecstasy to the United States, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Karl R. Overman, a veteran drug prosecutor in Detroit.

"Canada is where they make it. We don't make it," Overman said. "It's a serious and growing problem."

The drug is most often used by younger people, especially at "rave" parties, Overman said.

On Aug.12, Customs and Border Protection inspectors stopped Barbara and Nicholas Williams attempting to cross from Canada at the Algonac ferry crossing.

Inspectors said they found 100,000 tablets under the rear seat of the car.

Both were indicted Aug. 24 and are free on bond.

On Aug. 1, a Windsor man tried to enter the United States at the tunnel, saying he was going to a casino. Agents said they became suspicious when Anthony Bocchini only had $11. They said they found 94,000 Ecstasy tablets near the engine. Bocchini said he was told to take the vehicle and the drugs to a Detroit casino, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau said in an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Charges were dropped against Bocchini on Aug. 29, pending further investigation.

On Aug. 6, officers stopped Phi Lau driving a 2001 Honda Accord at the Ambassador Bridge. The Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System turned up "an anomaly in the fuel tank area," the bureau said in an affidavit. In the tank were 50,000 Ecstasy pills worth up to $1 million on the street, the affidavit said. The pills were in 2,000 increments in 25 plastic bags.

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