FAIRBANKS – Two Fairbanks men are accused of producing the drug known as “ecstasy” in the Goldstream Valley after one of them allegedly sold 1,100 homemade pills to an informant working for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration this year.
Jackson William Drew, 21, and Steven Jacob Johnson, 25, were arrested Thursday and are being held at Fairbanks Correctional Center.
Johnson sold a DEA informant the pills for $9 per pill and later $10 per pill Aug. 23 and Sept. 11, according to the criminal complaint filed against the two defendants.
He pointed out Drew as the maker of the pills and said they made the pills using a hammer tap press, making them in different colors so people would not think they came from the same source, according to the complaint.
Investigators received search warrants for the defendant’s homes, but information about items, if any, seized in these searches is not yet public record, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Cooper, who is prosecuting the case.
“I can’t go into that,” he said. “I’ll have to leave that for the flow of future events.”
In one of the meetings, which took place in a Goldstream Valley parking lot near Ivory Jack’s restaurant, according to Cooper, Johnson reportedly said the pill-making operation was close to the meeting site.
Drew has retained Fairbanks attorney Bill Satterberg to represent him. Reached on Tuesday, Satterberg said he cannot discuss the case until he gets permission from his client to talk to the media. Johnson requested representation from a public defender.
The DEA described the ecstasy pills purchased from Johnson as pellet-like, with no markings. They disintegrate slightly when touched, the agency said. A DEA lab studied the pills and said they are MDMB (beta-keto-N-methlybenzo-dioxylpropylamine) an analogue to MDMA, the drug’s usual chemical makeup.
Ecstasy is known for producing feelings of euphoria, distorted perceptions and sometimes harmful health consequences. It became popular as a nightclub drug in the 1980s and has since been illegal in the United States.
Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter, @FDNMcrime.