2 Canadians held in local Ecstasy bust
The men -- both Canadian citizens -- were busted Monday with 8 pounds of MDMA powder, a rarity in Central Florida, DEA District Agent Steve Collins said.
"Usually what we find is the drug in tablet form, which is known as Ecstasy," Collins said. "This was a significant amount."
The suspects, Claude Amar, 38, and Yair Harrosch, 27, were putting the powder into gel caps that were then going to be sold, Collins said. Federal agents went into the apartment undercover to purchase the drug, Collins said.
The men, who had their first appearance in federal court in Orlando on Tuesday, were charged with possession and intent to distribute MDMA and remained at the Seminole County jail.
Collins would not divulge how the DEA became aware of the pair's operation, which was occurring out of their residence at the Cascade Terrace Apartments, he said.
MDMA powder is generally manufactured in clandestine labs in Canada and some European countries, Collins said. According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, MDMA users report that Ecstasy's effects include feelings of peacefulness, acceptance and empathy. Users say they experience feelings of closeness with others and a desire to touch others.