Six college students from UC Santa Cruz were busted last Friday (March 5) in a $100,000 ecstasy drug ring. The accused are all age 21, and are members of the Alpha Kappa Delta Phi sorority, and Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Authorities obtained a warrant and thwarted attempted drug shipments last week, seizing approximately 4.1 pounds (or 5,000 pills) of MDMA. The alleged traffickers used the mail to ship and receive drugs from overseas.
Reports the Los Angeles Times:
Cecilia Le, Hoai Nguyen, Nathan Tieu, Cesar Casil, Benny Liu and Mariah Dremel, all 21, were taken into custody on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance for sale after authorities discovered they were allegedly operating an Ecstasy ring, according to the Santa Cruz Police Department.
“The proliferation of drugs like MDMA is a serious concern for the Santa Cruz area,” police spokeswoman Joyce Blaschke said in a statement. “The drug alters perception and awareness, as well as increasing emotions of trust and lowering inhibitions oftentimes resulting in sexual exploitation. This dangerous combination undermines the efforts of affirmative consent work undertaken by many college campuses.”
Working with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Department of Homeland Security, police discovered the students received several overseas packages of MDMA, also known as Molly, officials said. MDMA is a club drug known to alter mood and perception, causing increased pleasure, energy and hallucinations.
The packages were addressed to three homes in Santa Cruz.
Local police say the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Service, and Homeland Security, helped with the investigation, which had been ongoing for a few weeks.
Four of the UCSC students face charges of conspiracy and possession of a controlled for sale, while the remaining two copped possession charges.