Department of Public Safety
55 Armory
Ames, Iowa 50011-3034
515 294-4428



Central Iowa Drug Task Force officials report increasing amounts of the drug ‘Ecstasy’entering the Story County area. In the past few weeks, hundreds of doses of the drug have been seized by the Task Force, said John Tinker, Task Force manager.

‘Ecstasy’ is a synthetic drug with hallucinogenic properties. It comes in various forms, often as single tablets or occasionally a powder placed in another pill capsule. It is sometimes referred to as "E" or "X," among other names. ‘Ecstasy’ users are seeking periods of heightened sensitivity which may last 3 to 6 hours. During these periods, sounds, colors and emotions are often intensified. This effect has made it popular at "rave" dance parties. A "rave" refers to a party where loud "techno" music is played. "Raves" often last all night long.

Recent studies have shown that illicitly purchased ‘Ecstasy’ may often be contaminated or adulterated. As a result, the drug can produce unexpected, sometimes dangerous effects. In May, Illinois law enforcement officials reported that a 17-year-old male died after ingesting a substance he thought to be ‘Ecstasy’. It was later found to be another drug, PMA, also known as 4-Methoxyamphetamine.

"We are naturally concerned with the safety of our students when drugs like ‘Ecstasy’ infiltrate the campus community," said Loras Jaeger, Director of the Iowa State University Department of Public Safety. "We also are concerned about reports of people trying to pass off unknown drugs as ‘Ecstasy’. These drugs could be even more dangerous."

"‘Ecstasy’ is produced overseas, but law enforcement is seeing greater amounts of it nationally and locally. The drug also has been receiving considerable media attention because of its association with "rave" parties. Current research has shown ‘Ecstasy’ can cause impaired brain function and possible memory loss," said Tinker.

Possession of ‘Ecstasy’ is a serious misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine. Distribution of ‘Ecstasy’ is a Class C felony, punishable by 10 years in prison and a fine.

Task Force officials also are hearing reports of illicit use of the hallucinogenic Ketamine, or "Special K". Ketamine generally is found in liquid form, and is traditionally used as an anesthetic by veterinarians. It is not used in humans due to the frequency and unpredictability of side effects.

"These are dangerous drugs," said Paul Fitzgerald, Story County Sheriff. "I encourage those that suspect illegal drug activity to report it to the Task Force or their local law enforcement agency."

The Central Iowa Drug Task Force is an affiliation of the Story Country Sheriff's Department, the Boone County Sheriff's Department, the Ames Police Department, the Iowa State University Department of Public Safety, the Story County Attorney's Office and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

Paul Fitzgerald
Story County Sherif
Dennis Ballantine
Ames Police Chief
Loras Haeger
ISU Director of Publc Safety

Contact Person: John Tinker, ISU DPS Captain
Manager of the Central Iowa Drug Task Force
Armory Building, ISU

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