- The Washington Times - Friday, February 2, 2007

Agents seize Ecstasy shipment

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers this week seized more than 22 pounds of methylenedioxymethamphetamine, better known by the street name Ecstasy, during a regularly scheduled inspection of a passenger bus arriving from Canada.

CBP officials said inspectors at the Peace Bridge border crossing into Buffalo discovered 13 vacuum-sealed packages containing more than 35,300 tablets concealed behind the seats in the rear of the bus. The tablets were imprinted with “dolphin” and “superman” logos and later field-tested positive for the presence of MDMA.

MDMA is a chemical substance that combines methamphetamines with hallucinogenic properties. Ecstasy, which has no known legitimate medicinal use, is produced in unregulated black market laboratories, making it impossible to know exactly which chemicals are used to make the drug.

The seized drugs have a street value of more than $700,000, according to Kevin Corsaro, CBP spokesman in Buffalo.

No arrests have been made in the smuggling attempt. The case is being investigated by agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Turner to pay costs of security scare

BOSTON — Turner Broadcasting has agreed to pay all the costs of a security scare triggered by a marketing campaign that disrupted travel in the city, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas Menino said yesterday.

Travel on major roadways and rail lines was suspended as police responded Wednesday after discovering 38 battery-powered devices, which were intended to promote a television cartoon, around Boston and surrounding cities.

In a full-page ad run in the city’s newspapers yesterday, Turner Chief Executive Officer Phil Kent said Turner Broadcasting had talked with city authorities and “pledged to them our full cooperation as we work to understand what happened and why, and then to act responsibly on that information.”

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that the tab for the response could reach $1 million.

Groundhog signals early end to winter

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — A new pair of hands pulled Punxsutawney Phil from his stump this year, so it was only fitting that the groundhog offered a new prediction.

Phil did not see his shadow yesterday, which, according to German folklore, means folks can expect an early spring instead of six more weeks of winter.

Since 1886, Phil has seen his shadow 96 times, hasn’t seen it 15 times and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. The last time Phil failed to see his shadow was in 1999.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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