Ecstasy: Smuggling Through Canada Increases

A 21-year-old Canadian woman — who said she thought she was going on a “shopping spree” — sobbed inconsolably in U.S. District Court in Seattle yesterday afternoon when a federal prosecutor announced that she and her partner face 20 years behind bars if found guilty of smuggling about 167,000 tablets of the club drug Ecstasy across the border.

That seizure, which amounts to millions of dollars in the illegal drug, underscores the growing use of Washington by Canadian smugglers who employ the Interstate 5 corridor to move Ecstasy through Seattle and across the United States.

The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has recorded steady growth since 2002 in Ecstasy seizures along the Northwest border with Canada with the numbers spiking sharply this year. In 2003, 47,686 doses were seized. In 2004, the number rose to 258,026. And in just the first four months of this year, 465,220 doses were intercepted at the border.

Methamphetamine from Mexico and now Ecstasy from Canada.

ICE certainly have their hands full.