Fairfax County police have arrested and charged two men with the attempted manufacture of PCP after confiscating a quantity of chemicals large enough to manufacture 103 million doses of the hallucinogen, would have an estimated street value of $1.5 billion, police said yesterday.
The chemicals, seized at the Premier Chemical Co. in Burke last week constituted one of the largest quantities of chemicals to make PCP ever seized in the region, according to police.
Police said there was nothing to indicate that any manufacturing of phencyclidine (PCP) took place at Premier Chemical.
Charged with the attempted manufacture of PCP, a felony, were Mansour Rafig Ali, 32, of 1903 23rd St. SE, and Alex West, 43, of 8 Chambers Ave., Capitol Heights, police said. The two had ordered the chemicals through Premier, police said.
Ali was released on $100,000 bond and West on $25,000 bond after a preliminary hearing May 29 in Fairfax County General District Court, police said. Additional arrests are expected, they said.
The arrests follow last week's unrelated arrest of nine Washington area persons in connection with a drug ring that allegedly smuggled enough chemicals from a New York photo processing plant to produce more than 30 million $15 doses of PCP a year for two years.
The Fairfax arrests stemmed from information developed by Drug Enforcement Administration officials in New York City that the Premier Chemical Co. at 10400 Roberts Pkwy. had ordered from its suppliers an unusual amount of chemicals that, when combined, produce PCP, police said.
On May 22, Fairfax County police and a local DEA task force executed a federal search warrant at the company and seized 166 gallons of liquid chemicals including ether, a solvent, and piperidine, an organic chemical, police said. Also seized were 27 1/2 pounds of dry chemicals such as iodine crystals and magnesium, police said.
After taking the chemicals, investigators conducted a five-day stakeout at Premier, police said. Police said they arrested Ali and West without incident on May 28 when the men arrived to pick up the order.
Police said they withheld information on the arrests until yesterday to facilitate the investigation.