COPS ARE ECSTATIC
Officer Lands Country's Biggest Ecstasy Bust
A YOUNG Toronto cop's routine traffic stop uncovered the largest-ever
seizure of Ecstasy in Canadian history -- a stash of drugs worth more than
$50 million and enough chemicals to make eight million pills. In "one fell
swoop," the weekend bust netted police more than 12 times the amount of
Ecstasy seized in the city last year.
"They were flying under our radar and, had it not been for the actions of
Const. (John) Linney, may have gone undetected for who knows how long,"
Staff-Insp. Dan Hayes said yesterday.
"With that number of doses there were dozens of human lives ... saved
through this seizure, without doubt," Hayes said, noting Ecstasy has been
linked to hundreds of deaths worldwide.
Linney, on the force just three years, was patrolling Scarborough Friday
when he pulled over a minivan at Sheppard and McCowan Aves. that had an
expired licence plate sticker.
When he approached the Plymouth Voyager and the two men inside, he spotted
a bag of powder that police alleged was Ecstasy.
Investigation through the weekend led police to a home on Park Common Blvd.
in Markham and a Finch Ave. E. storage unit, and raids turned up the
massive drug haul, police said.
"I'm ecstatic," Linney said. "Other than my marriage, this is definitely
the most exciting thing that's happened to me."
Two Markham men, landed immigrants from Hong Kong, face several drug charges.
The pair are "cogs in the wheel" of a much larger Asian organized-crime
ring, Hayes alleged. He said investigators are still searching for the lab
where the drugs were produced.
Seized was 203 kilos of powder and liquid Ecstasy and 170 litres of
chemicals being readied to turn into Ecstasy. Combined, it's enough to make
four million pure doses. And, Hayes added, since the finished product is
usually mixed with other drugs, that total could easily double to eight
million pills. Also found was $53,000 worth of heroin and $6,000 cash.
"Think about the kind of havoc this quantity of drugs would have on our
community," Chief Julian Fantino said. "Much of it would be destined for
young people and ruining lives. This is all poison."
Known as a "designer" or "club" drug, Ecstasy, or MDMA, has been
predominately used at raves.
Lately, however, it's being taken by younger teens in schools and at house
parties, Hayes s
aid. The drugs are cut with speed and PCP to increase profits.
"It really is literally a crapshoot and that's what leads to the
devastating consequences," he said.
Charged are Kai Wing Tang, 26, and Wai Chung Ng, 25.