Monday, January 24, 2005

Huge Ecstasy Bust Drops US Supply

The DEA announced late last week that its massive Operation Candy Box bust has dropped the availability of Ecstasy in the US by 15%. As supplies dwindle, so do deaths. In Jacksonville FL, there were four Ecstasy deaths in the three months before Operation Candy Box and none in the six months after.

The bust took down Ze Wai Wong -- alleged to be the leader of an international Ecstasy (MDMA) ring that supplied 15 % of the U.S. ecstasy market, who has been extradited from Canada to the US to face drug trafficking and conspiracy charges that could net him 40 years in prison. Ze Wai Wong was arrested in Canada on March 31, 2004, along with more than 130 defendants in 16 cities across the United States, as part of an investigation dubbed Operation Candy Box.

The DEA has been tracking the Ecstasy market since Wong's arrest and found, in addition to the drop in Jacksonville Ecstasy-related deaths:
  • Nationwide, the average price of a tablet of MDMA increased 8 per cent, reversing a three year MDMA declining price trend where the average price of a MDMA tablet had decreased 65%.
  • Following Operation Candy Box, the nationwide average purity of a tablet of MDMA decreased 10.8 % to the lowest purity level measured since 1996.
  • The seizure of $8.9 million in U.S. currency prevented the additional distribution of 17-34 million MDMA tablets.
  • In Miami, the price for DEA undercover purchases of MDMA immediately increased 110 % from an average of $5.52 per MDMA tablet prior to Operation Candy Box to $11.62 per tablet the month following the Operation. When DEA measured price again, six months after Operation Candy Box, the MDMA tablet price increase remained high ($10.69) reflecting an overall sustained MDMA price increase of 93 %.
  • In New Orleans, the price for DEA undercover purchases of MDMA increased 66 % from an average of $10.50 per MDMA pill prior to the culmination of Operation Candy Box, to $17.50 one month following the Operation.
  • In Los Angeles, the price for DEA undercover purchases of MDMA increased 147 % from an average of $7.04 per MDMA pill prior to the conclusion of Operation Candy Box, to $17.41 in the two months following the Operation.
  • In Houston, there were 48 seized exhibits of MDMA during the three month period preceding the takedown of Operation Candy Box, and only 9 seized MDMA exhibits during the three months following Operation Candy Box – an 81 % decrease in MDMA seizures.
Read the DEA news release here.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Damn Narcs