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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Bail Is Denied for Suspect in Ecstasy Smuggling Case

August 01, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A federal magistrate denied bail Monday to a Granada Hills man arrested last week after the seizure of $40 million worth of Ecstasy tablets smuggled into the United States on a flight from France.

Magistrate George T. Swartz said Ryu "Steve" Jiha, 35, is a South Korean citizen who has been living here illegally, making him an extreme flight risk.

Swartz ordered Jiha kept in custody pending an Aug. 21 arraignment.

Jiha and Mark Edward Belin, 28, and Damon Todd Kidwell, 29, both of Los Angeles, were arrested after federal authorities seized a 1,096-pound shipment of Ecstasy, a popular club drug, that arrived on an Air France flight from Paris.

The alleged ringleader, Tamer Adel Ibrahim, 26, of Los Angeles is a fugitive.

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