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Kingpin Pleads Guilty in Ecstasy Ring Case

July 12, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

The kingpin of a drug ring that used Hasidic Jews to smuggle more than 1 million ecstasy pills from the Netherlands to the United States pleaded guilty.

Sean Erez, 31, faces up to 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines when he is sentenced Oct. 11 for conspiring to import the drug.

Federal officials described Erez as one of the biggest importers of ecstasy, a synthetic drug that combines the effects of amphetamines and hallucinogens.

Erez recruited Hasidic Jewish youths as couriers on the belief that their conservative look would deflect the attention of airport customs inspectors.

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