“Molly” Lures Suburban Druggies To Newhallville

A raid on a Butler Street apartment turned up, among other illicit drugs, a super-concentrated form of ecstasy that has allegedly been luring suburban customers to Newhallville.

The Statewide Narcotics Task Force raided the first-floor Butler Street residence last Wednesday at around 10:45 a.m.

They timed the raid for a time when a 42-year-old man who lives there showed up for a regular appointment with a probation officer. Officers arrested him there.

Meanwhile, the task force broken down a locked door to the apartment and reported finding a .45 caliber Springfield handgun with an altered serial number as well as lots of drugs packaged for sale: 63.5 grams of marijuana, 96 ecstasy tabs, and 96 “molly” capsules along with “36 grams of raw molly.”

Molly who?

Actually it’s molly “what.”

Molly (pictured above) refers to a pure crystal or powder form of ecstasy. It also goes by the nicknames “mandy,” “mud” and “madman.”

The primary customers for the drug come from the suburbs, according to Sgt. Kenneth Cain of the narcotics task force.

“Molly” is a purer, more intense form of ecstasy, Cain explained in a conversation Tuesday.

Traditional ecstasy is a mash of several components, he said. It always has MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine) has a primary, defining ingredient. Then dealers mix in other elements like crack cocaine, caffeine, metamphetamine, and/or PCP. MDMA’s health effects have been much debated; some researchers have experimented with it as a treatment for mental illness.

Some black-market MDMA customers “want something purer” for a more intense ecstasy high, Cain said, so they buy molly—pure MDMA sometimes prepared in a tablet-sized chunk. A mood enhancer, molly has a bitter initial taste followed by an adrenaline rush. It has become increasingly popular at music festivals and nightclubs.

Police arrested three other adults, two men and one woman, found inside the apartment at the time of the raid. Among them they face a dozen different charges ranging from weapons offenses and drug possession to “operating an illegal drug factory.”

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posted by: JustAnotherTaxPayer on March 19, 2013  3:26pm

Nice work. It’s hard to get into the dealer’s in that area, north of Basset St, to the Hamden Line. They have benefitted from a lack of police presence in that small area for many years, and if it wasn’t for the home owners there it would be much worse. Hopefully this is just an aberration. Many years ago, the homeowners were hostage to a gang that had taken the area of the New Haven/ Hamden line, from Dixwell Av, to Winchester Av, due to a lack of police patrols by both towns, on the areas which are the exterior of their jurisdiction. The one time joint Hamden/New Haven PDs patrol/investigative team had fantastic results, but was dismantled once they had succeeded in quieting the crime in this area.

I am hoping for the residents that this is not a cycling up to the past. I don’t think anyone who has lived in that area for a long time will ever forget the amount of gun violence, and murders that occurred in those few blocks from 85’to 93’.

posted by: jim1 on March 19, 2013  8:33pm

Lets see this man is going to see his probation officer must be to say Hi.  Has a 45 cal pistol with a ser.# that has been removed that is 2 NFA laws for 20 years.  and he will walk on both charges I bet..

posted by: jdossgollin on March 19, 2013  8:55pm

Why do the police strike at a time guaranteed to make sure that none of these suburban buyers are hit? If they’re folks from out of town who come to our neighborhoods to buy drugs, then party hard then I think that sending a signal and locking some of them up along with the drug dealers might work. Generally speaking, I don’t think that locking up drug dealers and buyers sends much of a signal to anyone, but in this case I think it would. People looking for elite forms of ecstasy probably would respond to the possibility of getting hit with jail time, and it might be a way to deter these folks from the suburbs from using New Haven as the place to make the drugs for them, deal with the drug violence for them, and then take the drug jail time for them too.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 19, 2013  10:53pm


I was thinking the EXACT same thing concerning the arrest/raid time.  The explanation given in the article further makes clear that the arrest was timed to focus ALL of the attention on the dealers in Newhallville and none on the KNOWN suburbanites. Why is that?

In order for the article to be written the way it was with the details about the suburban buyers, the police HAD to be aware of their presence at some specific points in their investigation.  Why were none of them arrested?

It is situations like this that give life to the claims that America’s “Drug War” is actually a lop-sided war against the African-Ameican community more so than a balanced war against crime.

The Rev. Mr. Samuel T. Ross-Lee
Immanuel Baptist Church

posted by: jim1 on March 20, 2013  8:14am

This is the 2nd time I have said this. But here it is.  The man was seeing his probation officer.  And this must have been because he had been jail.  He had a .45 cal. pistol home with no ser. # 2 federal crimes will he walk on the two firearm charges??  We will see.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 20, 2013  8:36am

Police usually try to make it so no one but the main suspect is at the residence.(or even not them like in this case). If you’re trying to arrest someone for large scale drug trafficking who may or may not(and usually its may) have guns on them, you generally don’t want some idiot who is there to buy $20 of whatever in them middle of it all. I do find it funny though how molly has been quite popular in the electronic and festival music scenes for over a decade at this point. Every since rappers suddenly started singing about it though last year its apparently this giant threat that requires ample news attention and never ending facebook memes from parents.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 20, 2013  1:05pm


What is a “Main Suspect” in a drug deal? If there are no buyers then there can be no sellers, which one of these criminals is the “Main” one, and who makes that determination?

Further, when did the law get changed to justify arresting so-called “main” suspects while allowing known and arrestable criminals to simple go on buying drugs?

posted by: SteveOnAnderson on March 20, 2013  1:24pm

Agreed, jdg#8 & Samuel T. Ross-Lee, & TheMadcap. Predominantly black New Haven residents continue to be arrested & imprisoned for providing Yalies and suburbanites their drugs. I’m not trying to defend the sellers, but the disparities between the lives of & consequences for the sellers and the buyers is despicable. There needs to be a bigger effort to raise this issue and challenge the racism & classism underlying it.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 20, 2013  3:24pm

The main suspect is the one who is trafficking tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars of drugs. Don’t be willfully dense. And the police let people go for minor crimes all the time. Nobody care about the person coming to buy $20 of molly to take to the Deadmau5 concert or whatever, and there’s absolutely no reason to purposely try to put these people into a situation that might turn violent.

posted by: ELMCITYPROF on March 20, 2013  4:11pm

I’m glad the drugs were taken off the street. But I do find it curious that we never hear about drug busts on college campuses in the area or at places like Toads where the more affluent prefer to peddle their illegal goods. Oh wait. That would be the wrong kind of profiling right?

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 20, 2013  4:30pm


Maybe I am being “willfully dense” because I don’t understanding how the NH Police who have adopted a “policy” of arresting EVERYONE thought to be involved in gang and/or other illegal activities when ONE member of said gang is caught committing a crime,  but INTENTIONALLY refused to arrest KNOWN drug buyers.  Is this new policy a fight against crime, or just a war on Black people in the inner city?

How does one justify THIS particular arrest that INTENTIONALLY excluded KNOWN criminals who are suburbanites in light of all the ballyhoo surrounding the rolling out the RICO-like policy just a few months ago, with CLERGY support, I might add?

And while you may not know it (or care), your flippant statement that:

“Nobody care (sic) about the person coming to buy $20 of molly to take to the Deadmau5 concert or whatever, and there’s absolutely no reason to purposely try to put these people into a situation that might turn violent.”

is HIGHLY offensive to the law-abiding citizens who live in communities that suburbanites enter to buy their drugs and keep the sellers in business.  If there was a regular stream of drug buyers coming from the so-called “hood” in to the suburbs to buy drugs, do you think that “nobody” would care.  Or maybe you just think that the residents of Newhallville are simply NOBODIES. 

Instead of throwing out insults while hiding behind pseudonyms, maybe you should re-think just what policies (applied grossly unevenly) you are defending.

And maybe Paul Bass should stop allowing you (and others) to throw around veiled insults, again, while hiding behind FAKE NAMES.

The Rev. Mr. Samuel T. Ross-Lee

posted by: Jones Gore on March 20, 2013  4:46pm

Good job, but don’t let the white suburbanites off the hook. Get them also. Never mind..their white tax payers.. privileged.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 20, 2013  6:12pm

Gangs are an organization that inherently by nature perpetuate violence, individual drug users are not fighting each other over what street they control.

“s HIGHLY offensive to the law-abiding citizens who live in communities that suburbanites enter to buy their drugs and keep the sellers in business.  If there was a regular stream of drug buyers coming from the so-called “hood” in to the suburbs to buy drugs, do you think that “nobody” would care.  Or maybe you just think that the residents of Newhallville are simply NOBODIES.”

You seem to have just really wanted someoen arrested at the apartment on the hopes they were from the suburbs. Alright, and what about all the local people also buying drugs, it’s not like its just people from the suburbs driving drug consumption in our city? We gonna arrest people based on the address on their ID? Truly nothing will help the people of NewHallville or people of anywhere more than giving more people criminal drug records that are there forever to be seen by employers, and there to forever deny them any government help for school aid. I don’t care if someone is from the suburbs or from the city, every person not arrested for simple drug possession is a good thing, and it’s a really darn good thing to not purposely put people into a potentially dangerous situation. Thankfully, I’d be willing to wager a Jackson on the fact within 20 years, drug possession will be decriminalized.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 20, 2013  9:31pm

My “Hope”, Mr/Ms. MadCap, is that no one would buy and/or sell illegal drugs in any community in this or any other city. My other “Hope”, sir/ma’am, is that ANYONE who does buy/sell drugs is arrested without regards to their race or their residence.

We live in an America where it is normative to think of crime as inherently connected to Black people, but if we even mention whites in the same sentence, there is something amiss. If suburbanites put themselves in dangerous situations to commit crimes, furthering the danger for those who do not commit crimes, then why should they be protected from the potential danger that comes with an arrest?  Surely, they were not thinking about or caring about the safety of the community and the people they were affecting by their helping to create a drug culture in those neighborhoods.

Crime is crime, whether it is organized by gangs or perpetuated by individuals. And if the new policy is to arrest everybody, then nobody should be excluded from that.  The BEST way to prove that our new policy is NOT simply another racist attempt to put as many Black men in prison as possible, Mr/Ms MadCap, is to arrest the law breakers from the suburbs who are criminal elements in the illegal drug trade also.

posted by: jdossgollin on March 20, 2013  10:50pm


I definitely agree with you on a couple of counts. First, keeping small-time buyers of $20 worth of drugs or the like away from potentially violent situations is good. Secondly, decriminalization of drugs could potentially have some good effects. However, that’s missing the larger point that Rev Lee and I are making. We are worried that the burden of the war on drugs is falling almost exclusively on poor folks in New Haven (mainly people of color.) We also think that using law enforcement to send a signal to suburbanites coming through our neighborhoods to buy drugs might be a good deterrent, help reduce the demand for these drugs, and keep some money out of the hands of violent criminals.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 20, 2013  11:51pm

No one who isn’t blind can deny the war on drugs is disproportionately effecting minorities, specifically black men. However, my point is if you agree that it’s wrong and counter productive to arrest people for simple drug possession when the real issue is large scale dealers, you can’t also turn around and say we should make an example out of any specific demographic. I mean if you’re trying to make an example out of suburbanites, then it just provides more a reason for people to make examples out of people here. I mean we can focus on people from the suburbs all we want, but most drugs being sold in this city are being sold to people in the city by sheer numbers alone. It’s no different then when people in East Haven, Hamden or whatever say an example needs to be made of whatever resident from New Haven because they assume any crime being committed in their town is coming from people coming out of New Haven. Making an example out of one person, or 40 million(or however many people have been arrested for simple drug possession in the past 30 years), will never, ever reduce drug demand. It never has, it never will, and it just perpetuates a draconian punishment that keeps hindering society.(and as you said, disproportionately affects minorities and the poor). You can’t have your cake and eat it too, if you want to arrest people from the suburbs to keep making a point, then you have to keep arresting people from New Haven as well, and continue to perpetuate the cycle of racism/classism.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 21, 2013  10:57am

Mr./Ms. MadCap,

Your “argument” is getting more and more indefensible.

So arresting drug buyers from the suburbs actually puts more Black men in prison; therefore, we should NOT arrest the suburbanites as a way to protect the inner city Black men who are already being disportionately arrested and imprisoned based on a racist implementation of the law? 

That might be the most untenable position I have ever encountered on this subject.

By the way, there is nothing “simple” about drug possession, especially when people who possess drugs are helping to sustain a drug culture in certain neighborhoods, putting at risk the innocent victims (some of them mere infants) who must live in and try to live through the violence that is perpetuated by their attempts to possess them.

Finally, the one thing I can say for your written rumination here is that it is the most passionate defense of known criminals and their crimes that I have ever read.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 21, 2013  11:31am

Do you want to arrest people for drug possession? Yes or not? You can’t keep saying it’s bad that so many poor and minority folk are arrested and then say we should be arresting surbanites to prove some kind of point. How would you even go around that, follow every car that enters the city limits? There is never going to be a time or even a way to implement trying to prove a point on surbanites that doesn’t just as always screw the poor over in New Haven even more.

And yes, it is just simple drug possession, it’s that simple. Drug possession is a victimless crime. There would be virtually no drug crime if people didn’t have millions of illegal dollars to fight over. The drug war has failed. When you have former American presidents even saying it, and a good deal of the nations in the western hemisphere implementing or debating implementing total decriminalization of all drugs in small amounts, it’s pretty obvious it’s not the drugs or drug users that are the problem but the system around it. I mean if we take your logic to its end conclusion, let’s see how it works with other things. “There is nothing simple about simple prostitution, these women are perpetuating a culture of violence and often rape against other women in their neighborhoods, they are the real criminals. I think you’re more concerned with a moral crusade against drugs and wanting to take the hammer down on the suburbs as hard as its been on people here, also known as what we’ve done for 30 years, vs actually wanting to help the city.

posted by: Curious on March 21, 2013  11:38am

Sam Ross-Lee, can you explain how you get the following out of Madcap’s post?

“So arresting drug buyers from the suburbs actually puts more Black men in prison; therefore, we should NOT arrest the suburbanites as a way to protect the inner city Black men who are already being disportionately arrested and imprisoned based on a racist implementation of the law? “

I honestly do not see that in there, and it seems more like you’re seeing in his words what you want to see.  If you expect everyone who disagrees with you to be racist, that’s going to poison your thinking.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 21, 2013  12:05pm

I mean Samuel, what is the end result of your position? Follow it through. You want to make a point out of people from the suburbs? I can understand that, when studies show drug use is pretty prevalent among all racial and economic demographics pretty equally with excepts for a few drugs, yet the burden of drugs falls onto cities as a whole, and more importantly the poor in cities. You also say drug possession isn’t simple and they should be arrested, which indicates everyone should be arrested.

But what’s the end result of this? The latter is obvious, everyone gets arrested and it keeps falling disproportionally on poor and minority folks. Or we can try to make some kind of abstract moral point to the suburbs or something, which the end result of that is still probably going to be 15-20 residents of Fair Haven or such arrested for every person from the suburbs who is arrested. It’s just sheer numbers. You’re so focused on the fact they mentioned Molly is a popular drug in the suburbs, that you’re ignoring the fact it’s also popular in the city, and there’s are dozens of other drugs being sold in this city, mostly to people who live in this city. In fact, when you get to the drugs that arguably cause the most problems, crack, heroin and PCP, it’s overwhelmingly a trade that is focused solely in the city. Their social stigma is too high, wealthier people in the suburbs can just buy coke and oxys. How does continuously arresting people improve anything, especially when if someone from a poor area of New Haven is arrested, and someone from North Branford or wherever is arrested, one of these people is much more likely to be able to afford to not have a drug conviction on their criminal record. The other is not. The one who is not will be followed by that criminal record every time they try to apply for a job, every time they want federal student aid(which they’ll now never get). If you think this the solution to break the cycle of violence, gangs and poverty in a city, I don’t know what to tell you.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 21, 2013  4:38pm

@Mr/Ms. MadCap;

You asked: “Do you want to arrest people for drug possession? Yes or No?

My answer: I’ve said EXACTLY that.  What about my statement on that don’t you understand?  EVERYONE involved in the illegal drug trade should be arrested, those from the inner city AND those from the suburbs. I defy you to show me ANYTHING that I said that contradicts that. 

The fact that I emphasized the arrest of those from the suburbs in no way suggest that others should not be arrested as well. And I wrote that in my earlier post.  Learn to grasp the explicit statements, without trying to attribute implicit reference to someone’s argument.

The reason that I focused on the arrest of those from the Suburbs is that those criminals are not presently being arrested, while those from the inner city are.  And yes, the point should be made: If a person, ANY PERSON, deals in drugs, you will be arrested. 

You asked: “What is the end result of (my) position”?

My answer: The end result is this: If you commit the crime of buying and/or selling drugs, your butt will be arrested! Again, how is that hard to understand? 

Drug possession MIGHT be a “victimless crime” if the possessor is not entering neighborhoods where drugs are sold and helping to create, perpetuate, and sustain an illegal drug culture.  Otherwise there are victims that you may not want to account as such.  But that does not make them any less victimized.  Without customers the sellers have no reason to be in business, have no reason to “protect” their turf, and no reason to shoot at competitors, often missing and killing innocent bystanders.

I’ll let you tell the next mother whose child is gunned down in a drive-by by some errant bullet from the drug dealers who are trying to make sure that they are the sole proprietor in the neighborhood where these “victimless” drug deals go down.

Instead of attempting to attribute a moral “concern” to me, maybe you should just consider this simple, and simply stated fact:  The law is the law, either change it (as you propose – a proposal with which I do not disagree, by the way) or apply it evenly (which is what I’m proposing until the law is changed).

Mr/Ms. Curious:

I’ll give your question the response that it deserves. 

The Rev. Mr. Samuel T. Ross-Lee

posted by: Proud New Havener on March 22, 2013  11:29am

Hi Samuel T. Ross-Lee,

I understand your larger point about racial inequality in the “drug war,” but I think it may be a little misplaced here. The police timed the arrest of the drug-dealer when he was meeting with his probation officer and raided his home separately. As it was stated earlier, this was done in order to protect the safety of the officers and the public.

You may condemn law enforcement’s policy of focusing on drug-dealers, and not drug-users, as having a racial bias, but you also have to admit there are practical reasons that motivate it. It is much harder to track down and arrest drug-users and produces lower gains. It also requires more police manpower, and puts a higher burden on the courts and prisons.

In this case, as in many others, the drug-dealer was easier to target because he relied upon his household to do the drug-dealing. The police were able to focus on one individual and have a much greater effect on the drug-trade than if they arrested several drug-users.

It is good that we have watchdogs looking out for racial bias (we have a long history of it), but in this case the policy seems to be an efficient use of limited resources to combat crime. If we insisted on arresting all drug-users, we would have to greatly increase the size of our police force, our courts and our prisons. This would require an enormous increase in taxes. The alternative, if we do not make distinctions between greater and lesser crimes, would be to let everyone go.

I would point out, there are plenty of suburbanites arrested for drug-offenses. The fact is, they are most often arrested in the suburbs by suburban police forces and not reported on, outside of their local newspaper’s police log.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 22, 2013  2:14pm

Mr/Ms ProudNewHavener:

First, don’t attempt to label me a racial bias “watchdog”.  There is an injustice going on here, which just happen to involve race.

Second, simply because you can articulate so-called “practical reasons” which supposedly “motivate” this unbalanced and unfair policy does not mean that the policy ceases to have the effect of being racially biased, consistent with the other racially biased drug-war policies. 

And, am I and others to be convinced that the system is suddenly concerned about the cost on courts, police hiring, and prison population when it comes to arresting drug-user, when these concerns have not been the motivating factors that have driven so many Black men into prisons all over this country for simple possession.  PLEASE!

Further, the Drug-Dealer who “relied upon his house-hold” to deal the drugs, making him “easier to target”, was JOINED in this illegal activity by the Drug-Buyers who used the SAME “house-hold”.  What made them so difficult “to target”? 

The point here is not about the “efficient use of limited resources” to arrest “ALL drug-users”(emphasis mine).  But could the police, who KNEW that the drugs were being sold AND BOUGHT, have used some of those “limited resources” to arrest SOME of those drug-buyers?  I’ll answer that for you.  Yes, they could have.  Yet, they choose to arrest NONE of them.

If drug-buying suburbanites are arrested “most often” IN the suburbs, is the message here, to them and to us, that if they commit crimes in the inner city, they can escape arrest because it simply doesn’t matter that they have helped to put inner city children in harm’s way with their illegal activities?

Finally, it’s impressive how much you seem to be concerned about the cost to taxpayers for the arrest of drug-users/buyers, but seemingly have no concern for the lives and/or quality of life for the people who are in danger when these criminals help to perpetuate this illicit activity in our neighborhoods and communities.

The Rev. Mr. Samuel T. Ross-Lee

posted by: Proud New Havener on March 22, 2013  5:31pm

Hi Samuel T. Ross-Lee,

Outrage is the appropriate response to injustice, but it is not apparent that there is any injustice in this case. You are flat-out wrong that law enforcement is not affected by budget. The management of limited resources affects all government agencies.

Given that the police knew of this drug-dealer, it might seem possible that they could have watched his house and arrested his buyers, but operationally, this would not be the case. Officers would either run into probable cause issues (just leaving a known drug-dealers house would not be enough) and would potentially tip-off the drug-dealer. Officers could raid the house while a drug-buyer was inside, but that could create a more dangerous situation for all involved.

Remember, the number one objective of our police department is public safety, not arresting people. Officers chose to arrest this drug-dealer while he was outside of his home and in a situation they could control.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 23, 2013  6:29pm

Mr/Ms Proud NewHavener:

Since I wrote (and submitted) this response YESTERDAY (5/22) and it has still not been posted at 5;53pm TODAY (5/23), I can only conclude that there is some intended reason for the editors to refuse to post it. Oh well, I’ll re-submit.

Your statement that I’m “flat-out wrong that law enforcement is not affected by budget.” makes no sense, in light of the fact that i NEVER wrote anything that came close to saying that. Please copy and paste the statement that wrote that makes that claim.

Your continued focus on the safety of known criminals who willing put themselves in harm’s way by the crimes that they commit, while you say NOTHING about the well-being of those innocent victims whose safety and lives are threatened by these un and under-arrested drug buyers gives us a clue as to who you are ultimately concerned about.

The Rev, Mr. Samuel T. Ross-Lee