$2 Million of LSD Seized by DEA
DEC 3 -- (WATSONVILLE, CA) - Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Pena announces the seizure of enough Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) to make approximately 200,000 dosage units (approximately 20 grams) and the arrest of four individuals in relation to the investigation. Agents also seized 5 lbs of marijuana, 9 gold coins, 3 silver bars, over $13,000 US Currency and a suspected hash conversion laboratory from a Watsonville residence.
“LSD is a drug we have not seen for a while in the Bay Area; however, this sizeable seizure proves there still is a market for the substance,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Pena. “This alarming amount, for instance, could provide every citizen of Watsonville with four doses each.”
The case began in November 2007, when agents from the DEA San Jose Resident Office learned of an individual identified as David Behar, 33, of Hawaii, who was allegedly distributing LSD. According to the affidavit, Behar agreed to sell 5 grams of LSD in crystal form to undercover agents. On November 29, 2007, Behar and Lindsay Hogue, 30, of Hawaii, were introduced to agents in Campbell, CA. After a brief meeting, Behar traveled to a residence in Watsonville, CA. Behar and Hogue then returned to a pre-arranged meet location in Santa Cruz where they were arrested without incident. At the time of their arrest, Behar allegedly attempted to kick the bottle containing the LSD under a vehicle. Agents also seized approximately $5,500 US Currency from Hogue’s purse.
The affidavit further alleges that while maintaining surveillance on the Watsonville residence agents observed Tara Bergstrand, 25, and John Lagace, 35, both of Watsonville depart the residence. Bergstrand and Lagace were contacted by agents. After searching both individuals for weapons, agents located and subsequently seized approximately $900 from Bergstrand’s pocket and approximately $1,300 from Lagace. Inside the vehicle agents located and seized pay/owe sheets with dollar figures ranging from $2,500 to $11,200. Both Bergstrand and Lagace were arrested without incident.
Later that same day, agents served a federal search warrant at the Watsonville residence located on the 800 block of Smith Road. Law enforcement seized approximately 5 lbs of marijuana from various locations in the residence. Additionally, agents seized approximately 15 grams of LSD, $6,000 US Currency, 9 gold coins and 3 silver bars from a safe located in the master bedroom.
The estimated street value of the LSD is approximately $2,000,000, while the street value of the marijuana is approximately $17,500.
Behar, Hogue, Bergstrand and Lagace were all charged with violation of Title 21 United States Code Sections: 841(a)(1) – Possession with Intent to Distribute LSD and 846 – Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute LSD.
All defendants had their initial appearance in San Jose Federal Court on Friday, November 30, 2007, before the honorable United States Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd. All individuals were remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal’s Service. All defendants must be presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California. This investigation was conducted by the DEA San Jose Resident Office with the assistance of the Santa Cruz County Narcotics Enforcement Team (SCCNET) and the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.