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Blood trail leads to large "club drug" bust

San Francisco police officer Ray Padmore watches over drugs and cash confiscated during the largest "club drug" bust in that city's history.
San Francisco police officer Ray Padmore watches over drugs and cash confiscated during the largest "club drug" bust in that city's history.
Photo by Thomas K. Pendergast

A trail of blood led to the largest “club drug” bust in San Francisco history, and police are investigating if there is a connection with the Outside Lands music festival.

Yesterday San Francisco police announced that they seized 23 kilograms of MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) in the form of powder and 4.5 kilograms of MDMA in the form of pills. That’s 30,000 pills and 50 pounds of powder, valued at $1.5 million. SFPD also seized almost $30,000 in US Currency and computer equipment.

The drug is also known as Ecstasy or “Molly.”

Last Sunday morning at approximately 9:00 a.m., said police, SFPD officers from the Ingleside station responded to the 3300 block of Mission Street on a report of possible vandalism and burglary.

A resident in the area reported that a man had requested permission to enter his apartment. The resident refused to let the man inside, but then a loud banging noise was heard and the resident found a broken first-floor window was also stained with blood.

The responding officers followed a fresh blood trail from the sidewalk to the broken window. The officers did not find anyone inside that unit but the blood trail continued to a second-floor unit, where officers knocked on the door and the man who answered had blood on his hands and pants. He was later identified as the man that was refused entry into the other building.

Officers conducted a “well being check” of the second floor unit, and during the check for other possible injured persons, a second man was located inside the unit.

After they entered the residence, duffel bags containing several narcotic packages were seen on the floor space in plain view throughout the apartment unit, said SFPD Commander Hector Sainez. Police secured the unit and detained the two men inside the apartment until a search warrant was obtained.

The two suspects were arrested and booked into the County Jail.

Steven Terrell, 31, of San Francisco, was arrested for two counts on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance for sale, maintaining a place for selling or using a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Benjamin Hagerl, 36, SF also of San Francisco, was arrested for two counts on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance for sale, maintaining a place for selling or using a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit a crime.

The bust happened on the morning of the last day of the Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park, and police are investigating whether these drugs were intended for sale at the concert, which is held on the polo fields in the park.

“We do not know at this point in time if there’s any coincidence by the fact that this was also on the same weekend as the Outside Lands music festival, but we’re happy if it is just a coincidence. If it’s not, we’re very happy that none of this found its way out to the polo fields,” said police Chief Greg Suhr.

Terrell had a warrant for his arrest out of Illinois, police said.

Hagerl was bleeding when police found him.

“We believe that he was under the influence at the time,” said Chief Greg Suhr. “So that whatever he did to injure himself was a result of his incapacitation.”