The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Customs officials have seized 210,100 tablets of the hallucinogenic drug ecstasy hidden in the luggage of two German travelers at the Philadelphia International Airport.
The seizure was made Jan. 31, the Customs Service said yesterday.
The tablets, which were contained in four pieces of luggage, have an estimated retail value of $5.25 million, the agency said.
Customs said the luggage belonged to two German nationals, Sven Bareinz, 29, and Heiko Hamel, 31, who arrived at the airport via Air France flight 378 from Paris. The pair were arrested, the agency said.
Nationwide, customs officers seized a record 9.3 million tablets of ecstasy last year, a huge increase over 1999's 3.5 million tablets. Since Oct. 1, Customs has seized 2.9 million ecstasy tablets.
Ecstasy is chemically known as MDMA for methylenedioxymethylamphetamine. Users normally experience feelings of euphoria and an increased desire to interact socially. Blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature increase dramatically.