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Ecstasy pills come in many brand names and logos. Pills are marked as a marketing tool to identify a particular pill as ecstasy, and to distinguish one ecstasy pill from another. Any tablet with a logo can be sold as ecstasy, though the content may not be MDMA. Many people, including ecstasy users themselves, believe that the pills are 'cut' with various substances - from rat poison, ground glass to heroin. In some cities, the drug is sold on the street alongside crack and heroin, by dealers who thrive on the repeat business afforded by addicts and junkies; since Ecstasy is not itself physically addictive, they've begun cutting the pills with drugs that are similar to methamphetamines.
Children sold 'Harry Potter' ecstasy pills
Police in the United States have uncovered a drug smuggling ring they say targeted children by stamping Harry Potter's image on ecstasy pills. New York detectives discovered 400,000 pills worth $6m bearing the image of the popular children's hero. "These Harry Potter brands are targeting a young audience," a special agent with the US Drug Enforcement Administration told the agency.
The pills were sold for $15 each, allegedly to children as young as 12. Fourteen people were charged on Wednesday in connection with the operation. If convicted, those responsible for the ring could face a 20-year prison sentence and a $1m fine. The drug smugglers are thought to have been recruited in the Dominican Republic, Spain and the US. Apparently they either put the drugs bought in Holland in pellets which they would swallow or hid them under tight clothing when passing through customs.
Authorities say some of the couriers would continue to the Dominican Republic where they would be given cocaine to smuggle into Europe, reported Associated Press. The charges have been brought after a six-month investigation by US and Spanish authorities.
8,000 ecstasy pills 'sent to Briton in Bali'
A Briton holidaying on Bali was yesterday warned he faces the death penalty after police allegedly caught him with more than 8,000 ecstasy pills which had been sent through the post from London.
Steve Turner, 47, was detained at a house in Seminjak village on Thursday after police found three packages containing the 8,175 pills, the police chief, Major General Budi Setyawan said.
"This is the most important arrest for the biggest drug find [ever on Bali]," he said, adding officers were investigating whether Mr. Turner was part of a regional syndicate.
According to police the parcels were allegedly sent to Mr. Turner by his wife and a friend via the Royal Mail. The British postal service did not detect the drugs. An unnamed Canadian who lived with Mr. Turner was also detained but has yet to be charged.
Suspicions were aroused after Mr. Turner had not collected two of the parcels 12 days after he was informed of their arrival. The police were alerted and they raided Mr. Turner's address where they found the third package.
A Bali police spokesman, said Mr. Turner admitted owning the pills. "We do not yet know if they were for his own use or if he planned to sell them. If he did sell them then the value of the pills could be 1.5 to 2bn rupiah [£105,000 to £130,000]."
If charged with drug dealing Mr. Turner faces up to 17 years in prison or possibly the death sentence, according to police. "But if he can show they were only for his own use he could escape with a sentence of four to five years," said the spokesman.
Last month an Australian man was sentenced in Bali to 15 years in prison after being caught in possession of 2.7kg of hashish. At least five foreigners are awaiting execution for drug offenses.
Police said Mr. Turner had yet to ask for legal help and yesterday the British consulate in Indonesia was not aware of his arrest.