|DEA bust nets arrests, Ecstasy pills|
The Southern California Drug Task Force assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) designated "High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area" has busted a large scale drug distribution ring selling the party drug Ecstasy out of a Little Saigon apartment complex.
According to a federal grand jury indictment issued this week inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, Thanh Van Tran (a.k.a "Kevin") and Khuong Tu are facing felony charges of possession with intent to distribute 4,934 grams of Ecstasy (a.k.a. MDMA) in Los Angeles and Orange County.
The case began in January when members of the Torrance Police Department's vice and narcotics division raided a suspected drug dealer's residence, found 3,063 grams of MDMA powder, 10,000 packaged Ecstasy pills and more than $120,000 in cash.
That dealer agreed to become a confidential informant cooperating with investigators about the drug trafficking network.
Using telephonic and physical surveillance, the officers identified that person's supplier as Tran in Westminster near Bolsa and Magnolia, according to a law enforcement report.
The accused drug dealer was surreptitiously recorded bragging about planning an 18-kilogram Ecstasy shipment from Northern California and having access to a popular, potent version of the pill that carried an M80 firecracker imprint.
A February raid on Tran's apartment recovered 1.56 kilograms of MDMA, according to the DEA.
Both Tran--who was born in 1972--and his alleged accomplice, Tu--who was born in 1992, are in police custody.
They case has not yet been assigned to a trial judge.
Ecstasy, which is popular at raves, commonly produces euphoria and sense of intimacy. The drug was legal until Ronald Reagan's administration regulated and criminalized its use in 1985.