Monday, May 02, 2005

Ketamine Maker Outted By Copley

Copley News Service moved a story over its wire on Sunday that hasn't yet been picked up in any newspapers scanned by my media database ... but it's a quite a tale.

Here's the lead to the story, which is visible on the Copley site; you have to purchase the story to read the rest:
There aren't enough dogs and cats in Mexico to warrant the amount of an animal anesthetic that Laboratorios Ttokkyo manufactured at a factory near Mexico City.

Not that it mattered - Ttokkyo was producing the drug for human consumption.

Its primary distributor was a Tijuana veterinary supply store operator who smuggled the drug, ketamine, through San Diego to drug abusers as far away as New York and Miami who knew the substance as "Special K."
Erin Rose, who's story is told in my film and who lived with my family for a number of months, suffered a life-changing brain injury from Mexican Ketamine, so this story hits very close to home.

As soon as a newspaper publishes the story, I'll provide you with a link so you can read the whole thing. It's amazing. Here's a hint of what's to come:
Federal investigators said most of the ketamine abused in the United States a few years ago came from the Ttokkyo factory of Dr. Jose Francisco Molina Alvarado. His lawyers called him "a national treasure" in Mexico for his work in pharmaceutical research and said he spent years working on improving the health of millions of people.

His primary partner was Jorge Chevreuil Bravo, 43, who took over the veterinary supply company his father founded 40 years earlier and built it into a chain with 14 stores, mostly along the U.S. border and in beach resorts frequented by young people on spring break, prosecutors said.

From middle-class beginnings, the men developed a criminal enterprise that drew the attention of drug cartels, led to kidnapping attempts and shootouts on Tijuana streets and landed both in prison, prosecutors said.

"It was a cartel," said San Diego DEA office spokesman Misha Piastro. "It controlled the production, the transportation and the distribution of an illicit substance. It was a drug cartel in its own right."

The group also was a big producer and distributor of steroids, but because those were legal without a prescription in Mexico at the time, the investigation focused on ketamine, authorities said.

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