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(LOS ANGELES) On February 19, 2009, Timothy J. Landrum, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division announced the seizure of a MDMA (also known as ecstasy) laboratory and the arrest of two men involved in the manufacturing and distribution of MDMA.
On February 19, 2009, law enforcement officers in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties served federal search warrants at six locations in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Van Nuys, Venice and La Verne, resulting the arrest of two men and the seizure of an operation MDMA laboratory in the Glassell Park area of Los Angeles, approximately 500 MDMA tablets, a quantity of powder believed to be MDMA and a substantial amount of chemicals used for the manufacture of MDMA.
MDMA Lab Materials
“Ecstasy is a serious threat to our communities, and particularly our teenage children and young adults who are often unaware of the significant harm this drug can cause,” said Timothy J. Landrum, DEA Special Agent in Charge. “MDMA laboratories, like methamphetamine laboratories, are highly toxic, not only for the user, but the community as whole. These labs impact our precious natural resources, since their toxic by-products are often discarded without regard to whom or what maybe impacted.”
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Mason Lyte, 60, of Santa Barbara and Kalib Kersh, 32, of Venice, were taken into federal custody by special agents of the DEA and are charged in a criminal complaint for violations of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846 and 841(b)(1)(C), conspiracy to manufacture and to distribute a controlled substance, namely, MDMA.
DEA Agents in Lab Area
MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic, psychoactive illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic. Although MDMA is known universally among users as ecstasy, researchers have determined that many ecstasy tablets contain not only MDMA but also a number of other drugs or drug combinations, including methamphetamine.
This investigation is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles United States Attorney’s Office. The defendants arrested are expected to make their initial appearances on February 20, 2009, in United States District Court in Los Angeles.
Seized MDMA Tablets
MDMA Lab Seized
This operation caps an eight month investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Police Department, Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Team and the Torrance Police Department.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court.
February 19, 2009
US DOJ Web Site