On March 4, six members of fraternities and sororities at UC Santa Cruz were arrested for allegedly running an organized drug sales ring revolving around the drug MDMA, a.k.a. ecstasy or “Molly.”
According to the Santa Cruz Police Department, the Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) worked with Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service-San Jose Team to bust the drug ring. Three arrestees, Benny Liu, Cesar Casil, and Nathan Tieu were members of the Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity; the other three arrestees, Mariah Dremel, Cecilia Le, and Hoai Nguyen were members of Alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority.
The Santa Cruz Police Department had recently discovered MDMA tablets were allegedly being shipped through the mail from overseas to three residences in Santa Cruz. On March 4, the Santa Cruz Police Neighborhood Enforcement Team searched residences at the 400 block of Locust Street, 200 block of Castillion Terrace, and 100 block of Peach Terrace, finding over $100,000 in 4.1 pounds of MDMA. Homeland Security also discovered another large shipment of the drug on Friday.
The Los Angeles Times reported that UC Santa Cruz Provost Alison Galloway acknowledged that some of the arrestees were leaders in their fraternities and sororities. She stated that the students have been placed on interim suspension.
A conviction transporting or selling ecstasy is a felony that could involve a maximum $10,000 fine and up to four years in state prison. That penalty could be extended to up to nine years if ecstasy has been transported across more than two county lines.