by Paul Bowers
Charleston police made two arrests for MDMA possession recently in the Eastside neighborhood. The drug, also known as "Molly," often shows up in dance clubs, but police busted two people for possession of the drug on residential streets last week.
The Eastside has a history of drug activity, although heroin-related offenses have dropped off since police arrested members of the East Side Posse, Romney Street Killers, and B-Mob gangs starting in 2009.
On Thurs. Jan. 30 at 1:13 a.m., according to a police incident report, two officers were conducting surveillance in the area of 54 Hanover St. "due to numerous complaints from the community about narcotic activity in and around this residence." The officers saw a man in a Chevrolet truck pull up to the curb with his headlights off and speak to another man on the sidewalk. When the driver started pulling away with his headlights still turned off, an officer pulled him over for the traffic violation.
The officer noted that the driver appeared to be "extremely nervous," according to the incident report, and the officer told the driver and his passenger to exit the vehicle. The driver reportedly told the officer that he and his friend were headed to a strip club. The officer asked permission to search the vehicle and found 3.3 grams of marijuana in a plastic bag in the glove compartment and found "a small, crystal-like rock" in a plastic bag under the driver's seat. An officer on the scene field tested the rock and found "presumptive positive results" that it was MDMA. The rock weighed 0.1 grams, for a street value of about $30.
The driver was arrested and charged with possession of MDMA and simple possession of marijuana. The passenger was released.
The next night, on Thurs. Jan. 30 at 11:20 p.m., police were patrolling near the corner of Nassau and Columbus streets when they saw a man wearing all black walking west on Columbus Street. One cop noted that the man "looked at officers and then immediately looked away as if he was surprised to see police officers."
An officer stepped out of his vehicle and asked to speak with the man, who reportedly "was showing signs of panic by looking over his shoulders and taking in deep, rapid breaths." The officer asked permission to search the man and found a plastic bag in the man's left sock containing several off-white rocks. The rocks field-tested positive as 0.3 grams of MDMA, and the officer arrested the man on a possession charge.
After being read his Miranda rights, the man told police that he bought the drugs from "a guy down the street" for $10 and said, "It's only my third time" using the drug.