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News Release
August 31, 2005

Coordinated Takedown Nets 17 Drug Traffickers
Ecstasy Organization Dismantled

AUG 31 – On Friday, August 12, 2005, John Emerson, Assistant Special Agent In Charge of the State of North Carolina for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with the Jane Perlov, Chief of Police of the Raleigh Police Department and Robin Pendergraft, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) announced the culmination of a joint operation targeting the wholesale distribution of ecstasy in the greater Raleigh area.

On August 12, 2005, law enforcement officers executed arrest warrants and two search warrants in Raleigh, Wilson, Wilmington, Durham, and Selma, NC. The operation resulted in the arrest of 17 defendants charged with various state narcotics violations; seized during the course of the investigation were 1,100 pills of ecstasy in the Raleigh area. One organizational member was arrested in Florida and another in Georgia where an additional quantity of ecstasy was seized.

Donny Hansen, Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA Raleigh Resident Office commended the hard work and cooperative efforts of the participating law enforcement agencies in this investigation. RAC Hansen stated that the hard work and tireless efforts can be seen in the results announced here today.

This investigation, initiated in April 2005, focused on the wholesale distribution of ecstasy in the Raleigh and the eastern North Carolina area. Investigative activity was coordinated with DEA offices around the country to identify other organizational members and methods of operation. The ecstasy pills were packaged in these other cities then driven to Raleigh for distribution. Once in Raleigh, the ecstasy pills were distributed to various members of the organization for further distribution throughout eastern North Carolina. Over the course of the last five months, investigators worked to identify suppliers and distributors. Upon accomplishing this goal the arrests were carried out in the coordinated operation to dismantle the entire organization. The Wake County District Attorney’s Office will be prosecuting this investigation. The investigation continues.

Ecstasy is a common term for 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA and is a popular drug that is usually distributed in tablet form. The individual tablets are often imprinted with a graphic designs or commercial logos. The drug produces both amphetamine-like stimulation and mild hallucinations along with possible muscle tension, tremors, blurred vision and hypothermia. The increased body temperature can result in organ failure and death.

The DEA Raleigh Resident Office Task Force, which is comprised of members from the DEA, the Durham Police Department, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Raleigh Police Department, Rocky Mount Police Department, SBI, Wake County Sheriff’s Office, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and Wilson Police Department worked with other federal, state and local agencies that participated in various aspects of this investigation. Those participating include the Vance County Drug Task Force, Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, Wilson County Police Department, Durham Police Department, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Narcotics Task Force.

Questions regarding this investigation may be directed to Resident Agent in Charge Donny Hansen at 919-790-2004.


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