New drug ‘Molly’ turning up locally

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Molly, a new synthetic drug, is a more intense form of Ecstasy, reports the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. This drug is an off-white powder generally sold in a gelatin capsule. (Photo Submitted)
“Molly” is a popular new illegal drug making its way to Murfreesboro, according to Rutherford County law enforcement officials.

The synthetic drug is a form of Ecstasy with more potency, said Murfreesboro Police Detective Lt. Eric Cook. It sells for $15 to $20 for each gelatin capsule.

“It is supposed to be a more purer form of Ecstasy but it’s not as prevalent as regular Ecstasy,” Cook said.

Like Ecstasy, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reported Molly causes increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. It has no medicinal purpose.

Cook and sheriff’s Lt. Egon Grissom of the Narcotics Division and Lt. Chris Haynes described the most common illegal drugs being sold in Rutherford County. Their observations include:

• Marijuana and cocaine still remain the most popular drugs sold in the city and county.

Marijuana ranges from the homegrown variety produced outdoors and from Mexico at $750 to $900 a pound, hydroponically grown in water indoors at $2,500 to $4,500 a pound and the most potent British Columbian “BC Bud” grown in Canada at $3,800 a pound.

Vice detectives seized 90 pounds of British Columbia marijuana during an operation last December in Murfreesboro. Street value was estimated at $400,000.

Haynes said ICE deputies intercepted 38 pounds of hydroponic marijuana en route to Tampa this year.

“He (the suspect) had a list of 17 strains of marijuana he could sell,” Haynes said.

Grissom said most marijuana growers cultivate inside for security and production reasons.

“We seem to have more indoor grows because you’re not as dependent on the weather,” Grissom said.

Narcotics detectives harvested 65 plants from an indoor operation last month with a street value of $100,000 from a California man who recently moved to Rutherford County.

“He (the suspect) was mad because we said his marijuana wasn’t as good as he thought it was,” Grissom said with a chuckle.

Haynes said growers from the Northwest are shipping hydroponically grown marijuana to the Southeast.

Regarding cocaine, Cook said the illegal drug is easy to buy from a small crack cocaine rock at $20 to $950 an ounce for powder cocaine originating in Colombia.

The price rose because of increased enforcement at the Mexican border.

“As far as chemicals you ingest in your body, cocaine is still king,” Cook said.

• More people are obtaining prescription drugs illegally.

ICE deputies confiscated more than 8,300 units of Dilaudid, a synthetic heroin painkiller, earning an award for the 2008 Largest Highway Prescription Pharmaceutical Seizure from the National Criminal Enforcement Association.

Cook said Lortab and Oxycontin seem to be the two most common prescription drugs sold illegally. Other ones are morphine pills.

People obtain the drugs from forged prescriptions, pharmacy burglaries, home and car burglaries and from visits to multiple doctors.

For example, Grissom said someone will describe symptoms to several doctors and obtain prescriptions from each doctor.

Grissom said some people will report false prescription thefts to get the prescription refilled faster.

• Since the state made it tougher to obtain ephedrine, methamphetamine sales dropped tremendously. Employees who notice customers buying large amounts of ephedrine, an ingredient in cold medicine, will notify law enforcement officers immediately to launch an investigation.

Haynes said drug dealers still transport methamphetamine on Interstate 24 through Rutherford County.

ICE deputies seized 19 pounds of methamphetamine last year, earning the division an award for the “Largest Methamphetamine Seizure” from the National Criminal Enforcement Association.

• LSD and psychedelic mushrooms arrests increased last year in Murfreesboro.

“We have recovered LSD in every form you can think of, liquid, traditional blotter acid on paper and sugar cubes,” Cook said.

• Some heroin has been seized. The expensive drug sells for several hundred dollars a gram.

Drugs being sold

Cook said city dealers sell both powder and crack cocaine.

Crack cocaine transactions normally occur in lower-income neighborhoods.

Other drugs are sold throughout Murfreesboro.

“We made cases all over town,” Cook said. “We’re buying drugs in houses and from individuals in every section of the city. Arrests are not limited to one specific part of Murfreesboro or one group of people. There’s no one specific demographic that would mark someone.”

Haynes and Grissom aren’t finding a lot of Ecstasy in the county but Cook relates an increase.

“In the city, we’ve seen a huge increase in the use of Ecstasy, and the frequency has increased more than any other drug,” Cook said.

DEA described Ecstasy as a stimulant and psychedelic drug producing an energizing effect. Juveniles and young adults feel euphoric when using the drug. Risks include increases in heart rate and blood pressure, nausea, blurred vision and faintness.

Cook said high school student and young adults into their early 30s use the tablets, usually imported from Canada or transported from the West Coast.

It’s about the size of a baby aspirin, Cook said, explaining it appears like a dinner roll. In slang, it’s called a “roll.”

“The markings on the tablets are happy faces, the Nike swoosh and shapes of transformers’ heads,” Cook said.

Previously, the drug was popular at “Rave” parties for young adults.

“It’s gone outside the ‘Ravers,’” Cook said. “We have run into people here traditionally selling cocaine who are selling Ecstasy also. There’s a demand for it. It sells for $12-15 a tablet.”

Combating drugs

Grissom said narcotics detectives were preparing to serve a search warrant Wednesday night on a marijuana investigation.

Besides their own cases, Grissom said detectives work with other agencies to share information.

For example, pharmacists, law enforcement officers and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are working together to report suspicious people obtaining large amounts of prescription medications.

Haynes said the ICE officers patrol the interstate at different times. They heard about their effectiveness through DEA agents who received information drug traffickers are avoiding Rutherford County “because of our presence,” Haynes said.

Cook said vice detectives work investigations ranging from the low-level street dealers who barely make a living through the long-term drug suppliers.

When their investigations lead outside Murfreesboro, the detectives forward the case to drug task forces, state agencies or the DEA.

“We work every day,” Cook said. “We’re constantly every day making buys and doing surveillance and using investigative techniques.”

Grissom said they follow all tips called into their office at 615-895-3609.

“Without the public’s help, we can’t do it,” Grissom said. “We’re definitely working. We’re doing our best to put a dent in it.”
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Crime, DEA, Drugs, MPD, RCSO, Synthetic Drugs
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Members Opinions:
April 05, 2009 at 12:57pm
Ecstasy is a mild, safe drug as long as you drink enough water. Ecstasy should be legal. A group of very serious policemen have formed a group to legalize ALL drugs, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition ( ) They see what happened when we legalized alcohol in 1932 as a good example of how drug legalization would work. We can't stop drugs. They're sick of chasing drug users and sending innocent people to prison for decades just because they like to get high. This foolish war on drugs has lasted 37 years and cost us over a TRILLION dollars and we are not an inch closer to stopping drugs. How many millions of Americans are we going to lock up in prison for decades? My brother, Spencer Montgomery III would still be alive if heroin had been legal. He overdosed because He didn't know the actual strength of the heroin he injected. If he could have bought a known amount of heroin in a pharmacy he would still be alive today. Legalize ALL drugs now. Mark Montgomery
April 05, 2009 at 3:27pm
LD, you are off your rocker. That's all I can say!!
April 05, 2009 at 6:23pm
I guess I would not expect to see another day of this world if I injected myself with large amounts of drugs. Especially, if I were to fail to find out what strength the drug was.

And we are still spending tax dollars to keep the drunken drivers off the road. Legal enough to drink, however, we still can not get the "Do Not Drink And Drive" down.
April 05, 2009 at 10:51pm
"He overdosed because He didn't know the actual strength of the heroin he injected." So are we going to be required to educate ourselves on how to properly get high? “Hey doc, can you help me get high?” That’s the funniest thing I've heard all month! Stop blaming the government for your brother’s lack of responsibility.
April 06, 2009 at 3:46pm
LD makes very good and valid points here, you guys are just too dense to see it... legalization and regulation of "drugs" would do wonders for us as a society. Climb out of your boxes, and think.

and as far as I know, "Molly" is just pure MDMA (the 'uncut' chemical in Ecstasy). It's safer than Ecstasy because MDMA is often cut with cocaine, heroin, caffeine, etc.. So when you're getting "X" you really don't know exactly what you're getting. MDMA has been proven in studies to have real theraputic benefits... but, so long as the United States continues to take this hard lined stance against drugs and continue the "war", then they'll continue denying The People access to things that might actually improve their lives. At the end of the day, its no one's business (especially the governments) as to what you decide to do with your body. If you want to put chemicals inside of them, FINE. Just so long as what you do in the privacy of your own home doesn't infringe of the rights of others...
April 06, 2009 at 8:11pm
Who is dense here? Obviously the guy that misused the drug. If the drug is not legal, then we should not use them.

BUT, we are spending tax dollars everyday to patrol our streets of alcohol, illegal drugs and the misuse of prescription drugs.

Either way, KNOW about the substance you take before you take it.

April 06, 2009 at 11:16pm
barrettbear: That's a good point, Know about the substance... So, you would agree that education about substances would be a GOOD thing... If we legalize and regulate drugs and EDUCATE people about them, then there would probably be LESS overdoses because people would KNOW how much is too much. Knowing things like that is a heck of a lot better than just saying "drugs are bad" and leaving it at that.

And, its important to recognize that there is a difference between using and abusing.

One other thing...the argument "if the drug is not legal, then we should not use them"... sometimes its good to question the law and to examine exactly why that law exists and what brought it into existence. Our first anti-opium laws were placed on the books as part of anti Chinese racism. The same goes with marijuana laws, they were created to spark anti Mexican racism. No studies were done to show that the drugs were harmful or that they were "gateway drugs" or causing crime or health problems. They were simply the US government and its officials trying to manipulate the American people with propaganda. So these "laws" are there for the wrong reasons...
April 07, 2009 at 5:06pm
Lets just hope all drugs eliminate the users!
Drug users are no good to society they are just extra cost.
April 07, 2009 at 6:01pm
WISEUP: again, lets not confuse USE with ABUSE. Drug users can be active members of society. Abusers are another story.
May 11, 2009 at 11:33pm
party on devolver! UHG...give me a break, are you my 20 year old son? You sound just like him, ... all the answers to societies woes.
February 23, 2010 at 8:33pm
Well, according to Harvard studies, legalizing drugs would save this Country billions of dollars a year, as well as keep our police focused on more dangerous violent criminals. Legalization creates more space in jails, and, assuming that we would tax drugs like we tax cigarettes and alcohol, generate huge tax revenues. When prohibition ended in 1932, crime quickly decreased, showing that prohibition laws create criminals rather than stopping abuse.
The importance of education cannot be stressed enough. Even now, we should educate the next generation about the negatives and, although short lived, positives of drugs for their own safety because even if some refuse to accept it, drugs have been and always will be a part of American culture. Overdoses, like the one described above, are preventable and it is a shame for any lives to be wasted because of ignorance.
Most drug use is abuse, this is true. Drugs destroy lives every day, but this does not mean they cannot be used appropriately in moderation. Since the beginning of human consciousness, men have used drugs with both positive and negative effects so we should not dismiss them immediately as dangerous. Almost any substance effects each individual differently; whether safe and successful use is achievable varies from person to person. Moderation, research, and education hold the keys to appropriate recreational and medical use. Dismissing drugs as useless or detrimental displays ignorance and judging users (such as WISEUP: Drug users are no good) makes it apparent that the average American is misinformed.
I am not suggesting that we should immediately legalize all drugs, but I do agree many of the laws against drugs were made prematurely due to fear or racism and attaining more accurate information would only help us make better informed and wiser decisions. Devolver makes a good point when he says laws should be questioned since, after all, slavery and disenfranchisement were both laws in this country.
April 07, 2010 at 9:18pm
I seldom make the effort to register on a website just so that I can leave a comment, but I have to ask these questions to Barrettbear, in2deep, wiseup and anyone with similar IQ's and/or with the same mark of the uneducated and the closed minded: What was the highest grade level you completed? Do you know the definition of the word prohibition? Do you know the impact prohibition had on our society? Can you tell me what YOUR civil rights are? Do you smoke cigarettes? Have you ever or do you currently consume alcohol? Do you believe what our government tells you? Have you ever been in a difficult situation where your friends or family judged you harshly or had an negative opinion of your actions even though they had no idea what the circumstances were that you actually had to deal with? Have you ever actually thought about any topic long enough to draw a conclusion of your own that is different from anyone else's? And can you prove it by writing it down with a pencil and paper? Do you know that your comments here clearly indicate your naivety, your lack of education, and lack of empathy and there is nothing that you could possibly say now to indicate otherwise? (Even though you will be convinced that you are really sockin it to me and others with the same realistic perception. Do you believe we need fewer or more laws? Do you think policemen are your friends?
I'm excited and can hardly wait to hear the answers to any of these questions!
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