$25,000 worth of Ecstasy seized in Marion County

Brandon McConnell, 30, arrested and booked into jail

By Stacey Readout - Assistant News Director

MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Agents arrested a man and seized more than $25,000 worth of Ecstasy pills during 'Operation X-Games,' the Marion County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday.

The Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team investigated an international drug smuggling operation involving large quantities of the popular "rave drug" Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as MDMA and Ecstasy.

Agents intercepted a package from the Netherlands on September 13, which contained 1,000 MDMA pills. The package was addressed to a business in the Jasmine Shopping Plaza in Ocala.

The next day, agents delivered the package and waited for someone to pick it up.

Brandon Paul McConnell, 30, pulled up to the business on a motorcycle.

Brandon Paul McConnell

Booking photo for Brandon McConnell

He entered the business then took the package, investigators said.

While agents were awaiting McConnell's arrival, they discovered there was a second package from Germany that was also addressed to the same person.

Agents obtained a search warrant for the package but were unable to open it before McConnell arrived.

When McConnell tried to leave, agents blocked him in and detained him for questioning.

McConnell was arrested and booked into the Marion County Jail for MDMA Trafficking.

The first package contained pills estimated to be worth more than $20,000. The second package contained pills worth $5,120.

MDMA is a schedule one drug in the United States, which means it has a high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical uses, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.

Ecstasy pills seized 1

It became a popular rave and club drug during the 1990s due to its psychoactive properties that result in heightened sensations of euphoria and empathy.

Adverse effects of MDMA use includes addiction, paranoia, rapid heartbeat, sweating, teeth grinding and even death through dehydration and increased body temperature.

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