News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2006

Ten Individuals Charged with Conspiring to Distribute MDMA,
Also Known As Ecstasy

A criminal complaint charging ten individuals with conspiracy to distribute the controlled substance 3,4,-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as “Ecstasy,” was unsealed yesterday in federal court, United States Attorney Stephen J. Murphy announced today. The investigation into the activities of the defendants resulted from a joint U.S. - Canadian investigation into allegations of smuggling controlled substances across the Windsor/Detroit border.

Two of the defendants, Wasem Petrus and Maher Siklawi, appeared before a United States Magistrate yesterday on a complaint charging them with unlawfully conspiring to distribute MDMA.

U.S. Attorney Murphy was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Robert Corso, Drug Enforcement Administration.

Named in the complaint were Jimis Odish; Jeny Maqi; Wasem Petrus; Maher Siklawi; Daryl Bynum; Alan Ester; Kimberly Hughes; Donzell Williams; Theodore Hoke and Alexandros Hughes.

The supporting affidavit alleges that the defendants acted in cooperation with Canadian residents to smuggle thousand-pill quantities of MDMA into the United States. The affidavit further states that over 50,000 MDMA pills have been seized thus far during the investigation.

United States Attorney Murphy stated, “This investigation is a good example of stopping the importation of an addictive and dangerous drug in its tracks, and is made possible by the strengthened international working relationships between American and Canadian law enforcement agencies. The efforts of these drug traffickers to exploit the border between Detroit and Windsor were thwarted because of the coordination of law enforcement and intelligence resources, which has enhanced our border security and preparedness.”

In a coordinated action, Canadian officials have charged approximately 17 other individuals in connection with this investigation.

A conviction for this offense carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison or a $1 million fine, or both. Any sentence will ultimately be imposed under the United States Sentence Guidelines according to the nature of the offense and the criminal background, if any, of the defendant.

A complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Trial cannot be held on felony charges in a complaint. When the investigation is completed a determination will be made whether to seek a felony indictment.

This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”).