DEA says trio made quaaludes at Emeryville lab
EMERYVILLE -- Three officials at an Emeryville laboratory are among 22 suspects charged by federal prosecutors in a nationwide quaalude-trafficking ring, authorities said today.
Dennis Patrick Fairley, a chemist, is accused of making quaalude pills at CalCoast Labs in Emeryville before distributing them in Manhattan and on Long Island, N.Y., according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Fairley, 65, of New York, was the head of a ring that distributed more than 100,000 pills worth more than $3.5 million, the DEA said. Among those assisting him in the operation was his brother, Thomas Fairley, 50, of Modesto, and Kevin Yan, 54, of San Ramon, authorities said.
The three men are among 22 arrested and charged as a result of a three-year investigation dubbed "Operation Lude Behavior," the DEA said. Quaaludes, or methaqualone, is used illegally as a recreational hypnotic drug.
A raid of the Emeryville lab on Watts Street Wednesday yielded two kilograms of unfinished powder, one kilogram of finished powder and a pill press, authorities said.
The company's Web site says it is a "full service, independent materials testing laboratory" that performs drug analysis. It also notes that it is certified by the DEA.
Dennis Fairley is listed on the Web site as president and lab director. Thomas Fairley is identified as paint chemist and product paint development section leader. Yan is described as senior scientist.
"Dennis Patrick Fairley's alleged drug racket stretched literally from California to (New York). Instead of applying his training as a chemist to advance science, he allegedly used it to concoct dangerous poisons and advance his personal wealth," Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 7, 2010