JUN 20 -- (SALT LAKE CITY) - Six individuals, who law enforcement authorities believe are responsible for allegedly distributing more than 100,000 MDMA (ecstasy) pills in the Salt Lake City area over the past six years, have been charged in five federal indictments. The indictments were returned over the last four months and include one unsealed Wednesday and two unsealed Tuesday.
Making the announcement today were Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge (A/ASAC) for the Rocky Mountain Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Michael J. Root, U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett L. Tolman, Lt. Allan Swanson of the Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force and Sandy City Police Chief Steve Chapman.
The federal charges follow an eight-month investigation by the DEA and local police agencies, including the Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force and the Sandy City Police. The MDMA was imported into Utah from California. The pills were purchased at a cost of $2 to $4 per pill and sold to local redistributors for $7 to $8. The pills ultimately were allegedly marketed to users for $15 to $20 per pill.
Authorities say approximately 6,000 MDMA pills were taken off the street during the investigation. Cash, a 2006 Nissan Maxima, and eight firearms have been seized, including three handguns and an assault rifle law enforcement officers found as they executed the arrest of Long Ngo Tuesday.
“Our community has the right to live without the fear of our children being the targets of organizations dealing drugs like ecstasy,” said A/ASAC Root. "DEA will continue to do our job in the state of Utah - which is to target major drug trafficking organizations operating here, putting them out of business."
U.S. Attorney Tolman said, “These cases are a part of an important coordinated investigation along the Wasatch Front. I believe the primary targets of these alleged drug dealers were teen-agers and young adults in Utah who may not understand the serious potential health consequences of its use. While teen-agers or young adults may view it as a harmless “party drug,” health care professionals and law enforcement agencies understand that ecstasy is a serious threat to these young people and others who use the drug.”
Those charged in indictments include:
Sentencing is set for July 9, 2007 at 2:30 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison. As a part of his plea agreement, he admitted that between Oct. 18, 2006, and Jan. 29, 2007, he sold 2,619 tablets of MDMA to undercover police officers.