Pubdate: Sat, 04 Dec 2004
Source: Miami Herald (FL)
Copyright: 2004 The Miami Herald
Author: Darran Simon
Cited: Students for Sensible Drug Policy (
Cited: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (


A Broward County engineer who Fort Lauderdale police said ran a drug
lab in his home was arrested.

Fort Lauderdale police and federal agents raided a drug lab late
Thursday, where they said a Broward County employee was manufacturing
''pounds'' of a drug called euphoria.

It was ''one of the largest clandestine labs ever located in the city
of Fort Lauderdale and the southeast part of the state,'' Fort
Lauderdale police spokesman Andy Pallen said.

William Hahne, 46, was arrested at his home at 720 NE 17th Ct. in Fort
Lauderdale, where police and agents from the Drug Enforcement
Administration seized more than a kilogram of euphoria, chemicals and
other equipment.

''The value is well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars,''
Pallen said Friday.

Hahne, who lives a few hundred feet from Fort Lauderdale High School,
faces federal charges of possession with intent to distribute
euphoria, according to Pallen.

A CrimeStoppers tipster led Fort Lauderdale police to Hahne, Pallen
said. The tipster told police that Hahne had stolen chemicals from a
storage area in the Broward Government Center in June and was using
them to manufacture drugs in his home, Pallen said.

''It is a very elaborate laboratory set-up,'' Pallen said. ``He was
very organized.''

Pallen said Hahn works as an engineer in the county building.
Officials said he has a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from
Georgia Tech University.

Pallen said the DEA hasn't seen the drug in their labs in more than a
decade. Euphoria can be injected, inhaled or taken orally. It shares
chemical properties with amphetamines and ecstasy, but lasts longer,
officials said.

It is used for intellectual enhancement for activities such as
writing, said Rick Doblin of the Multidisciplinary Association for
Psychedelic Studies. The drug reduces appetite and keeps people awake
for as long as 36 hours, but does not create the jitters as
methamphetamine does, he said. Doblin agreed that it is not widely
used or known.

''I don't know anybody that can find it,'' he said.

Tom Angell of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy said he has never
heard of euphoria. ''We just hope that law enforcement isn't giving a
name to what they found. That could create some hysteria about
something that doesn't really exist,'' he said.

Investigators seized the powder form of the drug. One pound of
euphoria can sell for $15,000 or much more if packaged individually,
Pallen said.

Pallen said the chemicals could have caused an explosion or fire if
improperly mixed. If inhaled in a gaseous state, they can be deadly.

All chemicals have been removed from the home.

''At this time, there is no danger to the public,'' Pallen

Hahne has been making euphoria since June , according to a federal
complaint. He received a substance used to make the drug from someone
in California. Hahne would ship the individual the finished product
through the mail. It would be distributed and the two would split the
profits, the complaint said. Hahne's neighbors said they didn't know
him well.

''He kept to himself pretty much,'' said Paul Many, who lives across
the street.

The bust happened in a neighborhood once riddled with crime, including
crack and cocaine sales. Residents credit former Fort Lauderdale City
Commissioner Tim Smith in helping to clean up. They have been doing
neighborhood crime walks every Friday night.

''We solved that being vigilant and not giving up,'' Smith said.

Herald staff writer Ashley Fantz contributed to this report.
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