<DIV =smallfont> Ecstasy lab found where man took his own life </DIV></TD>
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<DIV id=post_message_3552972>San Diego Union-Tribune
14 October 2005
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<TD =alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Ecstasy lab found where man took his own life
By Pauline Repard
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
October 14, 2005
UNIVERSITY CITY – A drug lab capable of turning out 150,000 Ecstasy pills was found inside a man's apartment after he committed suicide with police outside his door last week, authorities said.
"This was a very sophisticated operation," Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Misha Piastro said yesterday. "It had the capacity to produce an awful lot of Ecstasy."
The man who shot and killed himself Oct. 7 was identified by the Medical Examiner's Office as Khaled Yusufi, 29, a medical student.
San Diego police were called to Yusufi's second-story apartment at Costa Verde Village, on Costa Verde Boulevard, about 1 p.m. by a neighbor who reported a strong odor coming from the unit.
Officers knocked on Yusufi's door to check on his welfare, but he stepped outside and told them, "There's nothing wrong here," police said. He went back inside, closed the door, and minutes later officers heard a single gunshot from inside.
Unsure who had fired the gun or why, officers called in a SWAT team, and hundreds of nearby tenants were evacuated for hours. About 7 p.m., SWAT officers directed a robot into Yusufi's apartment. A video camera showed his body, a handgun and a chemical lab in the bathroom, police said.
Officers entered the apartment and confirmed that Yusufi had shot himself. A hazardous materials team spent hours removing chemicals, including acetone and liquid drain cleaner used to make Ecstasy.
Authorities found 7,000 tablets later identified as Ecstasy, a club drug similar to methamphetamine. The pills would sell for $84,000 on the street, Piastro said.
"With all the chemicals and glassware on the premises, the lab could produce 150,000 more tablets," Piastro said. "Labs this size are very rare (in San Diego County)."
He said the DEA continues to investigate, hoping to learn how long Yusufi may have been producing illegal drugs and how he distributed them.
Yusufi was not under investigation by the DEA before the events Oct. 7, Piastro said. </TD></TR></T></TABLE></DIV></DIV>