TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona Department of Public Safety detectives have uncovered an Ecstasy manufacturing operation in an Arizona State University student apartment, according to officials.
Authorities arrested Andrew James Gajkowski, 20; Malik Haseem Hooper, 19; Hunter Ault, 20; Edward Ortiz, 19; and Kevin Kimes, 20.
At approximately 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, a DPS Highway Patrol officer stopped a vehicle driven by a 20-year-old man on Interstate 17 near Thomas Road for an HOV lane violation.
The officer found a backpack with Ecstasy pills and some cocaine during a search of the vehicle, according to a DPS press release.
Detectives later obtained two search warrants, one for the suspect's home residence in Goodyear and the other for his apartment at Apache and Rural roads near the ASU campus.
Detectives reportedly found 30 pounds of product used to manufacture Ecstasy pills in the apartment along with thousands of Ecstasy pills. Officials said the apartment was essentially a pill factory, which included a "pill press" complete with a motor.
"This is something that absolutely amazed us that this kind of operation was going on," said Bart Graves with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
The suspects are facing charges including possession of marijuana, possession of a dangerous drug, possession of a dangerous drug for sale, transportation of a dangerous drug for sale, manufacture of a dangerous drug, conducting an illegal enterprise and conspiracy.
Arizona State University police and the Tempe Police Department are assisting DPS detectives with the ongoing investigation.