March 7, 2016

Six UCSC Students Arrested in MDMA Drug Sales Ring

The Santa Cruz Police Department Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) in cooperation with Homeland Security Investigations and the US Postal Inspection Service-San Jose Team has dismantled an organized drug sales ring operated by University of California, Santa Cruz students. The arrestees were members of the affiliated Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity and alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority. SCPD NET worked alongside agents from Homeland Security Investigations and US Postal Service Inspectors-San Jose Team, to develop case information resulting in the arrest of six individuals responsible for the drug sales.

Mariah Dremel, age 21
Mariah Dremel - Conspiracy and Possession of Controlled Substance for Sale

Benny Liu, age 21

Benny Liu - Conspiracy and Possession of Controlled Substance for Sale

Cesar Casil, age 21
Cesar Casil - Conspiracy and Possession of Controlled Substance for Sale

Nathan Tieu, age 21
Nathan Tieu - Charges: Conspiracy and Possession of Controlled Substance for Sale

Hoai Nguyen, age 21
Hoai Nguyen - Charges: Possession of Controlled Substance

Cecilia Le, age 21
Ceilia Le - Charges:Possession of Controlled Substance

Over the past few weeks, the Santa Cruz Police Department became aware of several packages of MDMA tablets being shipped through the US Postal Service. The packages were shipped from overseas and were bound for three addresses in the city of Santa Cruz. The investigation revealed that the illegal drug MDMA known by its street names as Ecstasy, or Molly was being imported and shipped to a number of students at Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity and alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority members.

On Friday, March 4, 2016, search warrants were served at three residences after shipments of drugs were delivered. Members of the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team, US Drug Enforcement Administration, US Postal Service Inspectors and Homeland Security Investigations assisted in the search warrants. More than $100,000 in MDMA was seized. Additionally, SCPD learned of another large shipment that was intercepted by Homeland Security on Friday. The second shipment was destined to the same group.
The Santa Cruz Police Neighborhood Enforcement Team executed search warrants at residences in the 400 block of Locust Street, 200 block of Castillion Terrace, and 100 block of Peach Terrace after the delivery of the MDMA laden packages. A total of 4.1 pounds or about 5000 tablets of MDMA were seized. The tablets have a street value of over $100,000.
MDMA is widely known as “ecstasy” when found in a tablet form and is a controlled substance which is consumed for its euphoric effects. According to the World Health Organization, the use of MDMA is done in a variety of contexts and is commonly associated with dance parties, raves, and electronic dance music.
The proliferation of drugs like MDMA is a serious concern for the Santa Cruz area. The drug alters perception and awareness, as well as increasing emotions of trust and lowering inhibitions oftentimes resulting in sexual exploitation. This dangerous combination undermines the efforts of affirmative consent work undertaken by many college campuses. The drug can have other adverse health effects such as elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and inability to regulate body temperature.

Please continue to contact SCPD when suspicious activity occurs in your neighborhood. 
The Santa Cruz Police Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) is specialized unit. NET works as a team to focus on mid to long-term issues works focus is on enforcement strategies in order to suppress crimes of violence, gangs and drugs throughout the City of Santa Cruz.