Coast Guard: Ecstacy smuggler caught near San Juan Islands

The Bellingham Herald

A Coast Guard crew seized 24 kilograms of MDMA and arrested a man who allegedly was smuggling the drugs on a boat near the San Juan Islands on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Wen-Xian Zhang of Taiwan was booked into Whatcom County Jail awaiting transfer to federal authorities.

The Coast Guard, federal border agencies, Bellingham Police Department and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police worked together on the arrest and drug seizure. The drugs were found by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Swordfish that boarded the boat near President's Channel, according to Coast Guard officials.

MDMA is an illegal mind-altering drug often called Ecstasy or Molly.

Zhang is charged with importation and possession of MDMA with intent to distribute, according to the Coast Guard. Both charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.