drug probe nets 13 arrests; three more suspects sought
The Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement
Task Force on Nov. 6 announced the arrests of 13 people, including
nine current or former University students, as the result of an
ongoing investigation into drug trafficking around Grounds. The
probe was sparked by complaints from University students, said
University Police Chief Michael Sheffield.
of the suspects face federal charges, while the rest will be charged
in local and state courts. All 13 have been released on bond.
Three more suspects are still being sought, said Lt. Bryant Bibb,
who heads the JADE Task Force.
yearlong probe focused on distribution of the so-called "club
drug" ecstasy. JADE agents -- drawn from the ranks of University,
Charlottesville, Albemarle and state police and the federal Drug
Enforcement Administration -- seized 2,466 ecstasy tablets valued
at nearly $37,000, in addition to smaller quantities of marijuana,
cocaine and LSD. The total market value of the seizures was estimated
said undercover purchases were made at a variety of locations,
and were not limited to any particular identifiable groups. Although
some of the suspects worked together, the activity was not part
of a coordinated ring, Bibb said.
to printed material distributed at a press conference, ecstasy,
a psychoactive substance usually manufactured illicitly in Europe,
can lead to the breakdown of inhibitions, "a sense of peace
with oneself and the world, an enhanced sense of pleasure, greater
self-confidence and an increased sense of energy." However,
it can also increase body temperatures to as high as 109 degrees,
leading to a risk of heat stroke. Deaths due to ecstasy use have
been reported. Other short-term effects may include confusion,
depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, paranoia,
hallucinations and amnesia. Long-term ecstasy users risk permanent
brain damage in areas critical to thought and memory, as well
as severe liver damage and Parkinson's disease-like impairments
to motor skills.