Anor “Tip” Burnside Jr., 25, of Carrollburg Drive, was sentenced to nine years in prison. Burnside was a three-sport athlete at Westover High School. He graduated in 2000.
Anthony Wolfe, 35, of Pamalee Drive received a sentence of 15 years in prison.
Harold Mitchell Monsour, 47, of Morganton Road, was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
David King of Houston, Texas, was sentenced to six months in prison.
All entered guilty pleas to cocaine- and marijuana-related charges.
Donald Wayne Miles, 48, of Porter, Texas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute marijuana and cocaine.
The case was heard in U.S. District Court.
Miles, who grew up in Fayetteville, was arrested in February as part of Operation Second Wind, a 15-month investigation launched by the Fayetteville Police Department’s Drug Interdiction team.
It culminated with the arrest of Miles and nine others, including six Fayetteville residents.
Police and federal authorities seized 26 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of $2.6 million, a ton of marijuana worth $9 million and $3 million in cash.
Lawmen found $2.7 million of the money when they raided Miles’ home in February
Top Ten Cities for arresting Americans
The top 10 cities where Americans were arrested and the number taken into custody:
1. Tijuana: 520
2. Guadalajara: 416
3. Nuevo Laredo: 359
4. London: 274
5. Mexico City: 208
6. Toronto: 183
7. Nassau, Bahamas: 108
8. Mérida, Mexico: 99
9. Nogales, Mexico: 96
10. Hong Kong: 90
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Thursday, January 31
Anor “Tip” Burnside Jr., 25, of Carrollburg Drive, was sentenced to nine years in prison. Burnside was a three-sport athlete at Westover High School. He graduated in 2000.
Police found a man they believe to be a Pakistani drugs mule dead at a hotel in Sharjah yesterday morning. The dead man, identified as Naseeruddin, was believed to have been in his thirties. It is thought he died due to poisoning from the drugs. Sharjah Police recovered 40 capsules of drugs from his stomach, although it was not clear yesterday exactly what the drugs were.
He had arrived at the Monaco hotel last Saturday, but had not been seen since checking in. Police were called after a cleaner realised the room had been locked for two days and noticed a foul smell coming from it. “The cleaner immediately alerted the hotel management who in turn called police to break open the door at around 1am on Wednesday,” a source at Sharjah Police said.
When officers entered the room the body was already partially decomposed. Staff at the Monaco hotel yesterday refused to comment. Dubai Customs recently foiled a daring attempt by a Pakistani passenger to smuggle 1,000 grammes of heroin into the country. Around 100 capsules of the drug were removed from the passenger’s intestines.
Wednesday, January 30
A court in the Black Sea city of Burgas convicted Dimitar Zheliazkov and 11 members of his gang after they pleaded guilty to charges of founding an organised armed group for drug trafficking, a court spokeswoman said. Bulgaria's most notorious crime bosses, nicknamed "The Eyes", has been jailed for for drug trafficking.
"For the first time such a key figure from the Bulgarian criminal world has been convicted. This has not happened so far," prosecutor Svetlozar Kostov said on national radio.
Last week, Zheliazkov, 32, and the other 11 men reached an out-of-court agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to the charges. The 11 were jailed for one to five years.
Zheliazkov was sentenced to 4-½ years.
Commentators criticised prosecutors for not seeking the maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Zheliazkov had been arrested several times before but prosecutors could not build a successful case against him.
The European Union, which Bulgaria joined in 2007, and the United States have repeatedly urged Sofia to end a climate of impunity and demonstrate the political will to fight crime.
The Balkan country has failed to jail a single criminal for any of 151 gangland killings since 2000.
Crime groups' profits from trade in drugs, stolen cars and trafficking of women are estimated at up to €2.2 billion ($3.66 billion) a year, a report by an independent Bulgarian anti-graft organisation showed last month.
The report by the Centre for the Study of Democracy said organised crime groups were "buying" politicians, magistrates and civil servants to legalise businesses and extend control over lucrative markets.
Radar system was credited with detecting a Venezuelan
making a drop-off of drugs or guns on a beach in Guapo last
week, but the contraband was missing and the crew abandoned
the boat when Coast Guard vessels tried to make an
interception. The three-member crew was not found and likely
made it back to Venezuela on another fishing boat, police
The radar installation on the San Fernando Hill that forms
part of the State's $100 million 360-degree coastal
surveillance system went dead again four days ago and has
become a roost for corbeaux.
All day yesterday, the birds, which feed on carrion, flew
around or nestled on the facility. But the Ministry of
National Security has refused to comment on what some believe
to be a malfunction of the system that Government considers
critical in the fight against drug and gun smugglers.
Communications specialist with the Police Service, Wendy
Campbell, referred queries to the ministry. When the radar
went down recently, the ministry had promised to send a
release on the matter. That release was not forthcoming up to
yesterday. Communications specialist with the Special Anti
Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT), Ucill Cambridge,
meanwhile said the radar was not its responsibility.
The Express reported earlier this month that the radar in San
Fernando went on the blink last October, and technicians
replaced components during a day-long repair job.
The radar, which must rotate on a pedestal in order to conduct
surveillance, has been beset with problems since then, the
Technicians returned yesterday afternoon to the installation,
which is part of a radar network set up around Trinidad and
Tobago to monitor maritime traffic. No one wanted to answer
questions yesterday about what was broken in the facility on
Insiders said that the technicians were trained by Israeli
experts to maintain the system, but there were questions about
how much they could do. The Advanced Coastal Surveillance
Radar (ACSR) was bought from Israel's Aircraft Industries Ltd.
Both Prime Minister Patrick Manning and National Security
Minister Martin Joseph said the radar system was key in the
fight against guns and drugs-fuelled violent crimes.
Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau (OCNFB)
officers have also disputed the statements of PNM party
chairman John Donaldson that the radar was up and running and
responsible for a recent big bust. The bust was made in Erin
and police recovered more than $1 million in marijuana, guns
and military uniforms smuggled in from South America.
Information about the contraband came from tips and
surveillance work by Trinidad's south coast, said police.
OCNFB sources have pointed to the large amount of cocaine
being seized from drug mules at the Piarco International
Airport as proof that cocaine smuggling remained high.
Customs and Excise officers told the Express that there
continued to be a steady stream of South American sex workers
landing by boat on Trinidad's west coast, and of a growing
problem where Africans, and recently Vietnamese, were being
smuggled by fishing boat from Guyana into Trinidad, lured by
the promise of construction jobs.
suspected methamphetamine laboratory discovered in Agana Heights Tuesday night. Methamphetamine, popularly called ice, is an illegal drug.
Police were initially called to check a suspicious vehicle in the area. They detected items used to make the drug in a nearby house. Officials said three adults and one infant were found in the house. The adults were taken in for questioning but no arrests have been made. The infant remains in the custody of the adults
“The arrest of nine Filipinos in Guangdong province and Beijing in a span of three weeks is nothing less than alarming,” she said in her report to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Nine Filipino women were arrested in Guangdong province and Beijing from December 24 last year to January 15 this year for alleged drug trafficking, the Philippine embassy in China said Wednesday.
This brings to 22 the number of Filipinas who have been detained or investigated in China for alleged drug smuggling from February 2007 to January 2008, leading Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Brady to call the situation “alarming” as she warned Filipinas against being lured by drug syndicates into acting as couriers.
“The embassy earnestly hopes our kababayans [compatriots] would heed the Philippine government’s warnings and not allow themselves to be used as ‘drug couriers’ by unscrupulous ‘friends’ working for syndicates involved in drug trafficking into China,” her report said.
All 22 arrested Filipinos claimed they were requested to carry the “parcels” by “friends” they met at transit points such as Bangkok (Thailand), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Vientiane (Laos), Macau (China), and Katmandu (Nepal).
They said these so-called friends gave them tickets to travel to China with promises of payment upon delivery of the parcel to a contact. They were arrested in different areas in China identified as “gateways” for drug trafficking.
Brady said Chinese laws penalize the trafficking of 50 grams or more of highly dangerous drugs, including heroin, with a prison sentence ranging from 15 years to life, or death.
“China strictly imposes tough penalties against persons caught in possession of prohibited or dangerous drugs. They face maximum sentences ranging from life imprisonment to death,” she said.
Among those recently arrested was a Filipina from Northern Luzon who was apprehended on arrival in China from Kuala Lumpur on December 24, 2007 with 800 grams of heroin in 78 capsules found on her person.
She told embassy officials she was offered $5,000 by an African friend of her Nigerian boyfriend to transport 1,000 grams of heroin to Guangzhou through Beijing.
Initially, she was given $700 travel allowance, with the balance to be paid upon turnover of the drugs to an unidentified person in Guangzhou. Before boarding the plane in Kuala Lumpur, she swallowed the capsule-enclosed heroin.
She was about to purchase her onward plane ticket to Guangzhou when Beijing airport authorities apprehended her.
Even as she vehemently denied the accusations, a body search yielded some of the capsules and she admitted to carrying more drugs in her person.
“I urge Filipinos to resist any offer of money from these syndicates for carrying parcels with prohibited drugs to China,” Brady emphasized.
“We will work closely with our regional partners pursuant to bilateral and multilateral mechanisms which address this growing problem as these drug syndicates apparently have a wide network operating in various parts of Asia,” she added.
Glenn Sunich, 53, was sentenced to not less than 54 months and not more than 20 years for his conviction for two counts of delivery of Fentanyl and two counts of delivery of morphine to Robert Smith, also of Onaway. Cheboygan County 53rd Circuit Court Judge Scott Pavlich also sentenced Sunich to not less than 72 months to not more than five years for the guilty verdicts handed down by a jury on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, to be served consecutively after the first sentence.
Pavlich also overruled the jury's conviction of Sunich on a charge of murder/manslaughter. The jury deliberated less than four hours in November before finding Sunich guilty of aiding Smith's death on Dec. 9, 2005. The jury also found Sunich not guilty of two drug delivery charges after the fact.
“This is a culture of drugs, and he (Smith) was getting drugs from many sources, not just Mr. Sunich,” Pavlich said in explaining his decision. “He was either negligent in deciding how much of the drugs he wanted to ingest or he wanted to hurt himself, but, ultimately, he caused his own death.”
Outside the courtroom, Smith's parents found little consolation in seeing Sunich sent to prison. Beverly Smith, who wept as her husband read a victim impact statement before the sentence was passed, seemed to feel that a measure of justice had been reached.
“I think they got him good,” she said in the hallway.
James Smith, father of the deceased, was visibly shaken by the removal of Sunich as the person chiefly responsible for his son's death.
“I think it's a bunch of bullcrap that they dropped the manslaughter conviction,” the elder Smith said. “He's been peddling dope for 20 years and he's been getting away with it for 20 years. He took a father away from his son.”
Sunich maintained his innocence when asked if he had anything to say before the judge.
“I didn't give Bob the drugs, he stole them from me,” Sunich told the court. “I wasn't there.”
Rebecca Oxley, 32, helped herself to the money after the retired victim, with whom she sometimes stayed, left his trousers at the foot of the bed.
He dozed off but awoke to find the defendant taking something out of his pocket.
Oxley, now said to be pregnant and on a methadone reducing programme, admitted theft last June. The defendant, of Cross Bank Street, Padiham, was given a 12 month conditional discharge and must pay £60 compensation and £75 costs.
The court was told Oxley, who had 58 previous convictions, had been given a conditional caution for the offence, but had not attended the drugs services appointment the police made for her.
Bill Maude, prosecuting, told the court the victim and defendant had been to a pub and the victim had got £60 from a cash machine.
Oxley was arrested after being found stealing and told police she had only wanted to take £20 but could not untangle the notes. She had wanted to buy heroin. The defendant claimed she had been off drugs for 18 months, but someone else had got her back on heroin.
Richard Taylor, defending, said Oxley's last conviction had led to prison but she had been free for two years.
Dale I. McCoy was found guilty of a charge of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony, and the non-criminal violation of unlawful possession of marijuana, after a two-day trial.
McCoy was arrested by Hudson Falls Police after authorities received a report from the Cumberland Farms on Main Street the night of July 21 that a man appeared to be selling drugs in the store parking lot.
Police who responded found McCoy, 28, in possession of four packets of heroin and several small bags of marijuana, officials said.
McCoy told police he had not been selling drugs, however.
The charge of which the jury convicted him alleged McCoy had heroin with the intent to sell.
McCoy had refused a plea deal that would send him to state prison for up to three years. In light of the conviction, he could now face up to 12 years in prison.
Washington County Judge Kelly McKeighan, who presided over the trial, scheduled sentencing for Feb. 22. McCoy was sent to Washington County Jail without bail pending that sentencing.
The case is being prosecuted by Washington County First Assistant District Attorney Katherine Henley, and McCoy is being represented by Washington County Public Defender Patrick Barber.
Michael T. Mello, 29, of Montague, N.J., and Robert L. DeMattio, 26, of the 200 block of Alexandria Drive, Mansfield Township, are each charged with conspiring with the other to distribute cocaine Thursday.
Mello is also charged with criminal attempt to distribute less than a half-ounce of cocaine. DeMattio is also charged with distribution of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of less than a half-ounce of cocaine.
Salvatore Latona, 26, of the 200 block of Alexandria Drive, Mansfield Township, is charged with hindering the apprehension of Mellow and DeMattio, according to court officials and records
Authorities are searching for a 29-year-old member of a San Antonio drug ring who escaped from a federal prison camp.
A federal marshal says Adam Villarreal probably walked out of the minimum-security Three Rivers Federal Prison Camp between midnight and 3 a.m. Sunday.
Deputy Marshal Tom Smith says he apparently had arranged for someone to pick him up.
U.S. Marshal Carlos Trevizo says Villarreal is considered to be a dangerous fugitive.
He was sentenced to 13 years in prison in December 2003 for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.
He was an admitted member of a cocaine smuggling ring led by his uncle, Joey Villarreal, who's also in prison.
Smith says the prison camp from which Adam Villarreal escaped has only small fences, allowing inmates to walk away.
32-year-old Troy Wright of Chesterton and 31-year-old Daniel Leggitt, also of Porter County, dead at 11:30 p.m. Monday at a house on 29 Sunset St.
"We did find what appeared to be listed substances and syringes" in the house, Porter County Coroner Victoria Deppe said. "My fear is we have two young males who were using the same stash of drugs and that makes me very worried there's something" with which the drugs have been mixed.
The Porter County Coroner's Office is conducting toxicology tests. The Porter County Narcotics Task Force has submitted evidence for quantitative testings and to test for foreign substances that may have contributed to the deaths.
Porter County Sheriff David Lain said the incident is reminiscent of a period a few years ago, when heroin laced with fentanyl -- a narcotic 80 times as powerful as heroin -- caused a spike in deaths.
From April 2005 to August 2006, more than 200 deaths were linked to fentanyl-laced heroin overdoses in Cook County, Ill. An increase in fentanyl deaths was also reported in Detroit, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware.
Lain stressed only test results will tell whether the Porter County overdoses constitute an isolated incident or the start of another wave of a dangerous mix.
"Was this an incident where, because of the potency of the drug itself, was that what caused the lethality or was it something they used to cut it?" Lain said. "Right now, we have no way of knowing if that's the case. That's why we're awaiting those toxicology tests."
Local and federal drug task forces are working to find out who supplied the drugs.
Police urge people get help for loved ones whom they believe are addicted to illegal or prescription drugs.
"Until we can find a way to reduce the demand for these drugs, people will continue to seek them," Porter County Police said in a statement
Kant Nguyen, 37, was sentenced by a Ho Chi Minh City court on Tuesday for trafficking 219 grams of the drug on an Australia-bound flight from the city last May, the police-run Cong An Nhan Dan daily said.
The Vietnam Airlines flight returned for an emergency landing and doctors later found he had been poisoned after one of the heroin packages in his digestive system had burst open, reports said. Nguyen told the court during the one-day trial that he was hired for $20,000 to smuggle the drugs from Vietnam to Australia, it said, according to the Associated Press."
Vietnam's proximity to Burma and Laos, the second and third largest opium producers after Afghanistan, and its porous borders and long coastline have made it a major heroin transit country.
Under communist Vietnam's tough anti-drug laws, possessing, selling and trafficking more than 600 grams of heroin or 20 kilograms of opium carries life in prison or the death penalty.The Vietnamese-Australian man received a 20-year jail term for drug trafficking after he was caught last year with 75 heroin-filled plastic bags inside his body, Vietnamese media has reported.
Kant Nguyen, 37, was sentenced by a Ho Chi Minh City court on Tuesday for trafficking 219 grams of the drug on an Australia-bound flight from the city last May, the police-run Cong An Nhan Dan daily said.
Timeeka Biddinger, 22, already was on probation for a past possession of meth conviction when she was caught in June with the drug when police discovered a rolling meth lab.
Biddinger admitted she violated her probation and pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, a Class D felony.
In exchange for her plea, prosecutors dropped additional charges of manufacturing meth, a Class B felony and attempted possession of a controlled substance and another possession of a controlled substance charge, all Class D felonies.
Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge Chris Monroe ordered Biddinger to participate in the county's forensic diversion program while on probation.
The program requires her to have regular contact with her probation officer and to participate in women support groups and drug recovery programs.
Her previous probation was terminated as "unsuccessful" because she violated it but served the remainder of that sentence in jail awaiting conclusion of the new drug charges.
Monroe told Biddinger this round of probation was her last opportunity to prove herself.
"If you don't cooperate with that, we'll have you try the (Department of Corrections) for awhile," Monroe said.
"You've got to do exactly what they tell you to do or you'll have to go to jail where they'll tell you what to do."
Alberto Ramos, 32,Ramos was jailed for 21 months for dangerous driving, and four years for each count of unlawful wounding. 'inexplicably' veered off the road and hit the women while doped up on a cocktail of crystal meth and prescription drugs.
Mrs Reeve, 43, remained conscious as she was thrown up in the air and saw her right foot lying four feet away after it had been torn off above the ankle.
Kayleigh Reeve remembers nothing after hearing screams and seeing a car coming towards her and then hitting her.
She was later told she had lost her leg below the knee.
Police arrived at the scene at the junction of Margaret Street and Regent Street to find a 'tangled heap of bodies'.
Ramos initially gave no explantion for the incident, but had later told probation officers he had taken 'large amounts' of crystal meth throughout the night before the collision.
He had driven into the West End to see his dealer after running out of the drug and claimed he was returning from the meeting when the accident happened.
No drugs were found on him and medical evidence showed that his symptons were consistent with coming down from a high after taking the drug some time earlier.
Passing sentence at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC said: "The collision was horrific.
"Your car ploughed into the pedestrians and this collision caused mayhem, leaving six victims in hospital, two of whom, a mother and daughter, each had to undergo a leg amputation."
The court earlier heard that this is the first time a dangerous driving case involving crystal meth has come to court.
Judge Rivlin told Ramos: "At the time of this accident, this drug had recently been reclassified as a class A drug.
"Its effects and addictive potential are similar to that of amphetamine use, although these effects are considered to be much stronger.
"It is in fact a highly potent and dangerous stimulant. Of course it affects driving ability and evidence shows that this can involve driving out of a line of traffic and drifting off the road.
Mark Franklin told a jury yesterday that up until just before he travelled to Venezuela with Pieter Tritton, he thought it was in Europe.Franklin, who said he had nothing in his life at the time when Tritton offered to take him away to the South American country in late April 2005, said: "I thought it was near Italy and Spain."
He is appearing at Gloucester Crown Court, accused of being part of a plot to smuggle cocaine from South America into this country ingeniously hidden in camping gear.
He denies his trip with Tritton to Venezuela had any drugs connection.In an operation, orchestrated by Pieter Tritton, the Crown alleges Franklin was a "footsoldier" or "mule" in the plot and was paid for his services.
Tritton is currently serving 12 years in prison after he was arrested in a hotel room in Ecuador with 7.8kg of cocaine in a rucksack.
In evidence yesterday, Franklin said Tritton had offered him the holiday two or three weeks before they left at a time when he (Franklin) was heavily addicted to heroin.
He said Tritton had said he should get away from heroin and enjoy the sunshine.
"The sunshine compared to Stroud seemed pretty attractive to me," Franklin told the trial.
"It was time to give up the heroin," he added. "I was on a one way road to prison," he added.
At the time of the offer, he said his life was "a complete misery" and he would wake early every morning sweating and vomiting, before "trolling round the shops" and later scoring heroin.
"Did you know the journey would have a drugs connotation?" asked prosecution barrister Ray Tully.
And Franklin replied: "No, absolutely not."
Mr Tully asked if Tritton had discussed with him why he had wanted to take the trip.
Franklin said he thought it was because he (Tritton) needed a break, had been working hard and wanted a holiday.
Earlier, the jury heard how Franklin had previous convictions from 1994 onwards - for dishonesty and shoplifting and in 2000 had appeared in court for possessing heroin.
Earlier the trial heard how Tritton and Franklin flew to Caracas on April 29, and, under surveillance, appeared to do nothing for days on end, except mill about their hotel and the shops.
It is the Crown's case that some kind of "importation" took place during this trip, the trial has heard.
The court was told how Franklin and another woman, Victoria Baptist, were allegedly part of a gang which smuggled cocaine into this country - impregnated in camping equipment.
Franklin, of Chapel Street, Stroud, along with Baptist, 35, of Paganhill Estate, Paganhill, Stroud - have pleaded not guilty to conspiring together, and with Tritton, Alex Portocarrera, James Fletcher and others, to evade the prohibition on the importation of a controlled drug of Class A between June 1, 2004 and August 15, 2005.
Wesley Scott, 47, who was profiled in a 1988 Time magazine article about racism in Chicago's near west suburbs, is scheduled to be off until Wednesday, by which time the results of the follicle test should be back, town spokesman Dan Proft said.
Cicero Police Cmdr.
Town officials are standing by Scott, even as the Police Department's internal affairs unit investigates the arrest, he said.
"We're surprised and being cautious," Proft said. "Wesley Scott has earned the benefit of the doubt, and we're giving him the benefit of the doubt."
Scott was pulled over about 9 p.m. Sunday at 67th Street and Ashland Avenue in the Englewood neighborhood after running a stop sign in his personal vehicle, Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. Officers smelled a suspicious odor and searched the vehicle, turning up a burned marijuana cigarette and 4.6 grams of the drug—about one-sixth of an ounce—in a plastic bag on top of the console, she said. Scott refused a command to remain in the vehicle but wasn't charged for that, she said.
He was released on his own recognizance.
The 21-year police veteran has been a prominent figure in Cicero, spearheading the "Shop with a Cop" program that provided underprivileged children with $200 gift certificates at Christmas.
"That's the Wesley Scott I'm familiar with and the town of Cicero is familiar with," Proft said. "His record has been exemplary."
Proft said members of the Cicero police officers union are eligible for drug testing only when there is cause, such as shoddy work or an on-the-job accident. Non-union employees, like Scott, have been eligible for an additional random test since the beginning of the year.
Scott was appointed patrol commander in 2005 by Cicero Town President Larry Dominick, who worked alongside him in the Police Department for years, Proft said.
Scott, a native of Chicago's Beverly neighborhood, has said that when he first worked as a Cicero police officer, he faced hostility and racial slurs from some town residents and even some fellow officers. At times, he has said, he feared for his family's safety
In a recent Tribune article about his promotion to commander, Scott said that now when he faces hostility on duty, he has a different reaction.
"I never immediately assume it's because of race. . . . I just try to be accountable for my actions, and I treat people how I would like my brother, sister, mom or dad to be treated."
Tuesday, January 29
A Nigerian woman and a Pakistani man were executed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca today for drug trafficking, the Saudi interior ministry said.
Ghulam Nawaz was beheaded by the sword after being found guilty of drug smuggling in the ultra-conservative kingdom, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency. In a separate statement, the ministry said Tawa Ibrahim, the Nigerian, was beheaded for cocaine trafficking.
Their executions bring to 18 the number announced by Saudi authorities since the start of the year, after a record 153 people were put to death in 2007.
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking can all carry the death penalty in the oil-rich Gulf Arab country, where executions are usually carried out in public.
Jere Karalahti was charged Tuesday with smuggling amphetamines into the country in a case involving 19 people, including a motorcycle gang.
The Espoo District Court opened the case against Karalahti and other suspects in a local prison for security reasons. If found guilty, Karalahti could face up to
six years in prison.
The 32-year-old Karalahti was charged with smuggling four kilograms (nine pounds) of amphetamines into Finland. He also allegedly provided ¤20,000 (US$29,500) for smuggling operations, prosecutors said. He has denied all the charges.
The drug ring is suspected of smuggling about 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of amphetamines and hundreds of grams (ounces) of cocaine from Estonia to Finland last year.
In December, Karalahti was taken off the ice during a practice session with his team Karpat for police questioning.
Karalahti left the NHL in 2002 after being suspended for six months for his third violation of the league's substance abuse policy. He played 121 games from 2000-02 for the Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators.
Karalahti joined Karpat last year after agreeing to follow the club's strict rules on alcohol and drugs, putting him in contention for a return to Finland's national team for the upcoming world championships in Canada. Karalahti was voted an All-Star defenseman at the 1998 and '99 worlds. Jere Karalahti was charged Tuesday with being involved in smuggling amphetamines into Finland.
If found guilty, Karalahti could face up to six years in prison.
The drug ring is suspected of smuggling amphetamines and cocaine from Estonia to Finland last year.
On Nov. 6, Karalahti was taken off the ice for police questioning during his Karpat team's practice. Three days later, he was arrested on suspicion of committing a serious drug offense.
The Finnish Hockey League temporarily banned Karalahti in December.
Karalahti left the NHL in 2002 after being suspended for six months for his third violation of the league's substance abuse policy. He played 121 games from 2000-02 for the Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators.
Karalahti joined Karpat last year. Skating for Finland, he was voted an All-Star defenseman at the 1998 and '99 world championships.
Damian Bryant, 33, who had a prior drug-dealing conviction, faces 10 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $4 million when he is sentenced April 11 for possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base.
Police said they made several controlled purchases of crack from Bryant and Danielle Hamilin at the Days Inn on Flanders Road between June and September 2007. On Sept. 14, they executed a search and seizure warrant on two hotel rooms.
Bryant jumped from the second-floor balcony but was quickly apprehended. Hamlin did not attempt to flee.
Bryant was carrying a clear plastic bag containing 13.7 grams of crack and police said they found nearly 200 grams of powder cocaine, an additional 34.3 grams of crack, 3.2 grams of marijuana, $2,794 in U.S. currency and other drug-dealing paraphernalia.
Bryant, who was living on Colman Street in New London at the time of his arrest, had been sentenced to 70 months in prison and three years of supervised release in 2000 in a crack cocaine distribution case in Rhode Island.
Hamilin is being prosecuted in New London Superior Court, where she is scheduled to appear on Wednesday.
Megan Enes, 28,Arrested for possession of Schedule W drugs (heroin).
They also located Garry Ramsey, 40, of Hartford, Conn., on the Cross Point Road in Edgecomb and arrested him for domestic assault, operating under the influence, and violation of a protection order issued by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department.
A follow-up investigation resulted in a search warrant for 1 Howard Street, Apartment B, and the officers recovered contraband. Enes was charged with possession of Schedule W drugs (cocaine).
Hasch said that the investigation into this case is ongoing and other charges are pending.
Suleyman Yildiz was jailed at Sheffield Crown Court last October after admitting conspiracy to supply heroin.
He was caught when police stopped a car containing heroin with a street value of £1.75 million on the M1 at Catcliffe, near Sheffield, and linked him to it.
He pleaded guilty to the charge at the first available opportunity and Judge Alan Goldsack QC, sitting at Sheffield Crown Court, sentenced Yildiz to 20 years, saying he was a trusted member of a nationwide heroin conspiracy.
Yildiz challenged his sentence at the Criminal Appeal Court in London - but three judges ruled the sentence was not excessive and condemned the 52-year-old from Edmonton, north London, to serve the term.
Heroin with a street value of around £3,500 was found hidden in a child's cot at a property on Weston's Coronation estate.
A woman who has now been charged with possession with intent to supply.
The 37gm of heroin were found when members of the south ward policing team carried out a search warrant at the property in Columbia Crescent.
Three members of the same family were arrested and two were then released without charge.
Lee Paul Hamshaw 26-year-old threw away 35 foil wraps containing £175 worth of heroin and when his home in Denison Road, Hexthorpe, was searched there were more traces of heroin and boxes of cash, said Alison Dorrell, prosecuting.
Hamshaw was found guilty at an earlier trial of possessing heroin with intent to supply and admitted a separate offence of possession of heroin last July.
On that occasion plain-clothes officers in Doncaster town centre saw him buy a wrap of heroin which he dropped as soon as the police approached.
Defence counsel Guy Wyatt said Hamshaw, who has previous convictions for burglary, shoplifting and perverting the course of justice, now accepted he was involved in the supply of drugs but only as a 'runner' for someone else.
He had become a father just two weeks before his arrest and seen the baby only twice while he was in custody awaiting trial.
Mr Wyatt said: "That bears very heavily on this defendant's mind. Being a father does give him a greater perspective on things and when he comes out having that greater degree of insight will help him to keep out of trouble."
In addition to the jail term, Judge Jacqueline Davies ordered the confiscation of the £90 found at Hamshaw's home and it will be handed to the South Yorkshire Police drug fighting fund.
The court was also told his son had been taken into care because the child's mother had been sent to prison for other offences.
Jose Luis Magana of Edinburg, Texas, was taken into custody and is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on a $1 million bond on charges of trafficking in cocaine. Hale said Magana, 44, is originally from Mexico but is in the United States legally.
The Sheriff's Highway Safety Unit, trained by the Department of Transportation, stopped the truck for a random safety inspection.
The deputy's training alerted him to the hidden compartment and the cocaine, Hale said. The bundles, which were numbered one through 53, were wrapped in layers of cellophane, aluminum foil and black plastic.
Earlier this month, sheriff's deputies seized 331 pounds of marijuana - with an estimated street value of $625,000 - found hidden in a load of tomatoes on a tractor trailer traveling eastbound in Interstate 20 near the Interstate 459 exchange.
"This is a real crossroads for drug smuggling," Hale said. "The drug cartels are using the interstates, we know that. Deputies across the country are fighting this same battle."
Hale said the truck driver is not cooperating with authorities, but he said information gleaned from the stop and the arrest will help other law enforcement agencies.
"We were successful at taking a large amount of cocaine off the street, but it's as important to share the intelligence with other agencies," Hale said. "If they're (officers) successful in California and elsewhere, it helps us here."
According to the report, the law men were in the process of arresting a large number of the members of a vast criminal organisation made up of Italian and Nigerian citizens involved in international drug trafficking. The Italians have some 250 state police on the case and they are backed by helicopters and dog units working under an operation called 'Black Shoes.'
Members of the operation, led by Naples anti-mafia district headquarters, have reconstructed the route of drug trafficking from South America to Europe, with traffickers attentive to every single detail of drug imports. In the case of Guyana and Suriname, cocaine and heroin were taken to Italy by Nigerian runners who hid the drugs in false soles of their shoes or swallowed capsules filled with it.
The operation is two years old and with the collaboration of many law men in different countries the investigators were able to identify cells in Guyana, Suriname, Holland, Romania, India, Pakistan, Uganda and the Ivory Coast. The report also stated that women whose relatives were involved in the drug ring played an essential part as it was through them it was made possible to maintain contact between the bosses in prison and their accomplices by way of small slips of paper hidden in the seam of clothing and coded with elementary codes to decipher.
Monday, January 28
Anthony Johnston, 24, was arrested on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. Johnston was released from the Crawford County Detention Center Thursday after posting $5,000 bond.
Van Buren Police Lt. Brent Grill said an unknown person called the Crawford County Sheriff's Office to report a strange odor at Meadow Lane Apartments, 2020 Baldwin Street. A sheriff's investigator then contacted Van Buren police, who went to the complex to investigate.
Upon arrival, they made contact with Johnston. While talking with Johnston outside Apartment 4, Grill said an investigator opened the apartment door and "smelled what he knew to be a really strong chemical odor associated with a meth lab."
Another investigator then went over to a nearby garbage bin and found items commonly associated with producing meth, according to Grill.
After getting consent to search the apartment, Grill said investigators found materials such as matches and empty packages of cold medicine, both of which Grill said can be used to manufacture meth.
Adrian Starks, of Chicago and Madison, who is accused of being the source of the heroin which killed Sarah Stellner, 20, in May of 2005, and Michael Ace, 31, who died in April 2005. Both died after using heroin which was sold to friends of theirs by Lavinia Mull and Dennis Dickinson, heroin dealers in Madison who regularly used Starks as their source.
Starks is charged with two counts of first degree reckless homicide and one count of being involved in a conspiracy to sell heroin. Under Wisconsin law, anyone who is involved in the distribution of an illegal street drug that leads to the death of a user is subject to prosecution and Starks would be one of the few larger dealers to be prosecuted under the law.
Already convicted in the case were the people who bought the heroin used by Stellner, and the person who bought the heroin used by Ace. Those convictions subsequently led police to Mull and Dickinson, who were the dealers who sold the drugs. Cooperation by that pair led to the charges against Starks, who is alleged to have supplied Mull and Dickinson with the heroin they sold.
According to court documents, Starks repeatedly sold large amounts of heroin, in some cases 50 to 70 grams at a time, to Dickinson and Mull. That pair, who eventually were living together in Madison, would buy the drugs at $100 a gram from Starks then sell the heroin for $200 a gram to customers in Madison.
After the deaths of Stellner and Ace in 2005, Starks moved back to Chicago, according to statements given to police by Dickinson, but continued to sell heroin to Mull, and Dickinson spoke to detectives in late 2007 as he was striking a deal to get himself out of the homicide charge.
Dickinson told detectives that "everyone got spooked," when Mull was arrested in August of 2005 and for the deaths of Stellner and Ace. Dickinson told detectives that he called Starks to tell him Mull was under arrest in the deaths and Starks "said something to the effect of 'people die all the time. No big deal. It's part of the game,' " according to a police report of the interview with Dickinson, which was released today.
Dickinson also said that Starks made veiled threats to keep Mull from telling police who her source for heroin was. Adding to Dickinson's problem was a burglary at his sister's apartment, where Dickinson had kept $30,000 in drug proceeds in a safe which was taken during a burglary. That meant he did not have cash to either hire a lawyer for Mull or post her bail to get her out of jail.
Starks helped out by giving Dickinson 15 grams of heroin which he could sell and use the profit to get Mull an attorney or post her bail, the police report says.
Even after Mull was arrested, however, Dickinson kept selling heroin in Madison and kept buying it from Starks in Chicago, he told police. After joining forces with another Madison man he would go to Chicago to buy the drugs and he complained to Starks that the gas station where they made their deals was in rough area of town and was full of gang members who, like Starks, were members of the Mickey Cobras gang. Starks then changed to location of the sales to motel room in a safer area.
On one occasion, Dickinson told detectives, he and another Madison man met Starks at his home on Wolcott Street in Chicago where Starks sold them 50 or 70 grams of heroin, and set up a deal which enabled them to buy $2,500 worth of cocaine. Dickinson told police he thought the man who supplied Starks was also present at that deal, but did not know the man's name, only that he drove a dark colored two-door Jaguar which was parked outside.
Mull was sentenced to 10 years in prison for her role in the death of Stellner, who had recently moved to Madison from Crawford County and used the heroin at a party in downtown Madison. But before she was sentenced in the Ace death, he was a longtime addict who died of an overdose in the downtown Madison apartment he shared with another man, Mull decided to talk. She was sentenced to an additional three years in prison for Ace's death.
Dickinson also agreed to talk and he pleaded no contest Jan. 24 to a charge of distributing heroin, while the homicide charge against him was dropped. When he sentenced later the prosecution has agreed to recommend that he be given concurrent time to the 200 month federal charge he is currently serving on a conviction for distributing cocaine.
Assistant District Attorney Brian Asmus is prosecuting the case against Starks, while Starks is being defended by attorney Randall Skiles. The trial, in which Dane County Circuit Court Judge Patrick Fiedler is presiding, is expected to run two weeks.
Alfredo Araujo Avila, a US citizen, was arrested in Tijuana, Mexico, on January 26. Mexican officials, who had been seeking him since 1998, described Araujo Avila as "one of the most dangerous hit men of the Arrelano Felix" drug empire.
Cardinal Posadas, who was Archbishop of Guadalajara, was gunned down during a confusing series of events at the city’s airport in May of 1993. Although some have held the cardinal was caught in the middle of a gunfight between two drug trafficking gangs, there are many clues that indicate it was a planned assassination. For example, investigators questioned why the gunmen were allowed to board a flight in Guadalajara, cross the country, and drive away without a challenge.
After an initial inquiry that raised more questions than it answered, Mexican authorities finally charged 13 drug traffickers with involvement in the assassination, and they were convicted in 2004. But in 2006 a Mexican court nullified the convictions and ordered a new investigation of the crime.
Last year Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniquez, the current Archbishop of Guadalajara, told the Catholic News Agency that he knew the identity of his predecessor's assassin. "We already know who… and why," he told CNA. Cardinal Sandoval said that corrupt politicians had worked with drug traffickers to thwart the investigation; he added that Church officials were working with government leaders to bring the killers to justice.
Jack Blackamore, 32, of Johnson Street, Dowagiac, was sent to prison for five to 40 years for possession with intent to deliver cocaine less than 50 grams.
He got a concurrent two to 15 years for fourth offense resisting and obstructing police at the time of his arrest on Sept. 19 last year.
Circuit Judge Michael Dodge was given the option to increase Blackamore's guideline range from 19 to 38 months to 38 to 76 months since it was his second offense.
Dodge said it was a sad day for Blackamore and that he didn't enjoy it, either. He said delivering cocaine is a major controlled substance offense.
The Michigan Supreme Court says that that a double penalty is more specific with major controlled substances.
This means that the 19 to 38 months could be doubled, and Dodge said the prosecutor asked that it be done. He said that the resisting and obstructing conviction gives the court the discretion to increase his term up to 15 years. He said this was appropriate.
A third conviction of second-offense possession of marijuana resulted in a guideline range of seven to 23 months which he got a jail term of seven months.
Blackamore was given credit for 117 days served. A fourth conviction of driving while license suspended warranted 93 days jail with credit for 93 days served.
All four convictions were jury trial verdicts on Jan. 8.
Victoria Baptist, who is on trial at Gloucester Crown Court with co-accused Mark Franklin, told police Tritton had asked her to pick up the chemicals for a friend of his - who needed it for motocross.
"I didn't know what the process was," she told officers, referring to her not understanding how the chemical was used in motor sport, when she was interviewed at Stroud police station.
Earlier the trial heard that forensic scientists discovered methanol and other chemicals when they raided an address in Edinburgh, and discovered buckets of liquid with rubber material floating in it.
Scientist Adele Lange told the jury that methanol was a solvent, which could be used to withdraw cocaine from the rubber.
They heard today how police had found at Baptist's home, after a search warrant was executed on August 25, 2005, a receipt for 75 litres of the chemical from a Bristol based company.
When asked how the chemical she picked up was contained, she said: "It was like some barrels - two feet tall. I think there were three of them."
"That's quite a lot of liquid isn't it?" said the police interviewer.
"Yes," was the reply from Baptist.
When asked what then happened, Baptist said she drove the chemicals to Cirencester where "Peter's friend had picked them up" in a car park.
She told police she thought the man's name was Bill, but she didn't know the surname.
He was in his late forties, of big build and grey haired, she said.
After talking to the man for a while, she told officers that Bill had "just stuck them in his car and said goodbye".
The jury has already heard how Baptist and Franklin were allegedly part of a gang which ingeniously smuggled cocaine impregnated in camping equipment.
The Class A drug would be absorbed into the material and then re-constituted using a chemical process once it had been brought into the country at two home "laboratories", in Scotland and London, which were raided by police.
The first major seizure was at an address in Hamlet Rd, Crystal Palace, London on September 15, 2004 where three and a half kilos of cocaine were seized.
At this property, officers found drums of chemicals and the cocaine was in the middle of the process of being extracted back out, the court has heard.
A flat at Wellington Place in Edinburgh was later uncovered to be a second cocaine laboratory, full of the equipment to process the Class A drug.
The linchpin in the operation was a man called Peter Tritton, who having been arrested in Ecuador in August 2005, is currently serving 12 years in prison there, the prosecution has explained.
Prosecutor Tim Probert-Wood said: "Both these defendants were, in different ways, connected to Peter Tritton."
He said Victoria Baptist, who was Tritton's girlfriend, was arrested with him in a hotel room in Ecuador in August 2005. They were found there with 7.8kg of cocaine after Tritton had been monitored for months by the serious organised crime squad and South American officers.
Franklin was then arrested, along with others, back in the UK.
Baptist, 35, of Paganhill Estate, Paganhill, Stroud, and Franklin, 31, of Chapel street, Stroud, have pleaded not guilty to conspiring together, and with Tritton, Alex Portocarrera, James Fletcher and others, to evade the prohibition on the importation of a controlled drug of Class A between June 1, 2004 and August 15, 2005.
The banned substance was concealed onboard a car registered in France.
A few hours later, a Moroccan woman living in Spain was arrested in possession of 25 kg of hashish hidden in her car.
Customs services also seized, on Sunday, some 23kg of this substance and arrested a French national who tried to smuggle the drug in the dashboard of a car heading for the Port of Algésiras (southern Spain).
Some other 19kg of hashish were seized aboard a car of an Algerian-born French citizen.
In 2007, Customs services at the port of Tangier have made a record seizure of 34 metric tons of hashish in 309 operations and arrested 437 people. The value of the seized quantity on the European market is estimated at Euro 140Mn.
James Edward Mareno had a chance to significantly cut his time in prison with an agreement to help investigators make cases against other dope dealers.
The 25-year-old Bayou La Batre man did provide help and seemed poised to win his lighter punishment. While he was awaiting sentencing, though, he had his wife smuggle drugs into the Escambia County Detention Center, and then he assaulted a fellow inmate who gave him up while both were in the federal courthouse in Mobile.
Now, Mareno will spend more than a dozen years in prison. U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose sentenced him on Friday to 12 years and seven months for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, three counts of possessing or attempting to possess prison contraband, conspiracy to provide contraband in prison and retaliating against a witness.According to prosecutors, Mareno's wife tried to smuggle methadone and marijuana to him and Stewart in April and May by mailing packages bearing the return addresses of lawyers' offices. Mareno's wife, Mandy Lynn Mareno, pleaded guilty to drug charges and is serving three years' probation. Stewart got a year and a day for his crime.
At 1am yesterday, police detained two Vietnamese, a man and a woman, at a hotel along Jalan Penang and seized an assortment of drugs and ketamine weighing 2.1kg.
The drugs seized were 709 Eramin, 13 Yaba, and 3 Ecstasy pills, syabu and heroin worth RM85,000. Police also seized their belongings and cash worth RM910.00.
Salleh said the Vietnamese duo, who are in their 30s, had been distributing drugs on the island since last year.
Wesley Scott, of Cicero, was charged with misdemeanor possession of cannabis and issued a traffic citation for running a stop sign, police News Affairs Officer David Banks said.
Chicago Police stopped Scott, a member of the Cicero Police Department, at the 6700 block of South Ashland Avenue at about 9:10 p.m., Banks said.
“This officer is a really, really good guy. He’s a straight arrow,” Cicero spokesman Dan Proft said. “Any type of incident like this is beyond out of character. It really surprises me.”
Scott, a 20-year veteran of the Cicero Police Department, was appointed police commander by Cicero Town President Larry Dominick in 2005.
Scott was the first African-American police officer to be promoted to commander in Cicero history, Proft said.
Both cases have been classified as trafficking under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which carries the mandatory death sentence
The man, in his 30s, was waiting for his customer to collect the 1.46kg of No. 4 heroin when a narcotics team raided his room after a tip-off at 3pm on Thursday.
The four slabs of high-grade heroin, which is 99.9% pure, could be processed into No. 3 heroin which is the type taken by drug addicts. Each kilogram could be processed into 10 times the original amount.
State deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm I Datuk Salleh Mat Rasid said the man, an international drug trafficking syndicate member, had no record of any previous arrests.
"We are now looking for his accomplices. He has since been remanded pending questioning into the source of the heroin.
"We also seized his car, a branded wristwatch, an assortment of jewellery and cash amounting to over RM70,000 obtained from the sales of drugs," he told a press conference on Monday.
Also present at the conference were state Narcotics Department chief Supt R.S.S. Batumalai and his deputy DSP Ismail Idris.
On Sunday, a local man and a Vietnamese woman, also in their 30s, were nabbed with an assortment of drugs worth RM85,000 at another hotel in Penang Road.
SAC Salleh said 2.1kg of ketamine, 835 amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) pills such as Erimin 5 and Yaba, and small amounts of heroin and syabu were recovered in their room.Police believe they have crippled an international drug syndicate with the arrest of a man and seizure of heroin weighing 1.46kg, valued at about RM1 million, during a raid here on Thursday.
Penang deputy police chief Datuk Salleh Mat Rasid said in the 3pm raid at a hotel along Jalan Penang here, a combined team from the Federal Police and Penang Narcotics departments detained a man and seized the third grade heroin.
"The heroin can fetch a market price of almost a million Ringgit after processing. It was hidden in a toy box," he told reporters here today.
The man, in his 30s, is believed to be a member of an international drug syndicate and was using the hotel as his distribution base.
He was said to be was waiting for customers from a neighbouring country when police spoiled the party.
Police also seized some money, a car and jewellery altogether worth RM70,117.84. The man has been remanded until Jan 31. The case is being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
Sitthiphone Phengsengkham, 29, and Itthison Phengsengkham, 35, both of Amarillo, of running a "wide-scale trafficking operation responsible for distributing drugs throughout the Texas Panhandle."
The brothers, along with their mother and father, were arrested Thursday in raids involving more than 100 area law enforcement officers at locations across Amarillo.
"Today's enforcement action effectively shut down a dangerous drug trafficking organization operating in the Amarillo area," said U.S. Attorney Richard Roper of the Northern District of Texas. "This case demonstrates the commitment of federal, state and local law enforcement to work as a team to aggressively address the drug problem in the Panhandle."
Federal investigators' sources, according to the affidavit, said the Phengsengskham brothers distributed large amounts of drugs, including 5 to 10 pounds of methamphetamine to one source for three consecutive months.
Another drug dealer told investigators Sitthiphone Phengsengkham delivered multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine to him on a regular basis, while another dealer told authorities of a deal involving over 8,000 ecstasy tablets, the affidavit said.
One of the men named in the federal complaint, Michael Marion Cuellar, told DEA investigators that through his dealings with Issac Flores, who allegedly sold Cuellar meth, that Flores identified Sitthiphone Phengsengkham as the source of Flores' supply of meth, the affidavit stated.
Cuellar told investigators that he reportedly paid Flores more than $200,000 for drugs within a two-year period.
A recounting of reported drug deals between the Phengsengkham brothers and Charles Wayne Mestas and Richard Bermea — who were also named in the federal complaint — said that Mestas and Bermea paid the brothers about $6,000 to $8,000 per pound for meth, the affidavit said.
Over a four-month period, the two men bought 10 pounds of meth, Mestas told investigators. He also said that the Phengsengkham distributed about 20 to 30 pounds of meth per month.
The brothers allegedly used the Colonial Manor Hotel, 5407 E. Amarillo Blvd., as the hub of their alleged drug distribution organization, according to court records.
The Phengsengkhams, investigators learned from "cooperating sources," also reportedly used a bar named Ted's Place and a nightclub called Xtacy to "conceal their drug proceeds," the affidavit said.
The club is seldom open for business and when an investigative source tried to rent a room at the Colonial Manor Motel, the person was turned away and was told the motel "did not rent rooms."
The brothers' parents, Thongfoth Phengsengkham and Pathounpone Phengsengkham own, manage and live in the motel, the affidavit said.
A man, in a Dec. 12 intercepted call, phoned Itthison Phensengskah and made arrangements to meet with Itthison at the Colonial Manor Motel to purchase a quantity of drugs. During the call, the man asks Phengsengkham for the price of cocaine, the affidavit said.
Another intercepted call from Jan. 1, concerned an "ongoing narcotics transaction" between the brothers. Later wiretaps recounted arrangements between Itthison Phengsengskham and three "street-level" dealers, telling them to go to his location at the motel, the affidavit said.
Roland Boswell, named in the affidavit as a "street-level dealer," arrived at the motel and later left. He was later stopped for a traffic violation and authorities searched the vehicle, where they later found meth, the affidavit said.
Other wiretaps reveal Sitthiphone Phengsenkham complaining to his sister, Tina Phensengkham Agan, about the siblings' parents being " greedy," according to the affidavit.
One wiretapped conversation, according to the affidavit, between the Phengsengkham siblings reveal the three talking about their parents taking potions of the money that was "stashed" upstairs at the motel and "how they mess up the count."
Another monitored call recounts Sitthiphone, who is unemployed, talking about giving his parents $10,000.
"Unemployed people don't normally give away $10,000," according to the affidavit, which also alleged that both parents are well aware of and "involved in the distribution organization."
According to the affidavit, DEA agents, conducting surveillance in September, tracked Sittiphone Phengsengkham leaving his home and going behind Kohl's Department Store, 2610 S. Soncy Road. Agents later tracked Phengsengkham's car and a tractor-trailer leaving the area.
Authorities later stopped the tractor-trailer as it traveled west on Interstate 40 and a check of addressees for the vehicle and the driver were linked to drug investigations in California.
The driver allowed authorities to scroll through his cell phone, where investigators found a phone number for Phengsengkham.
The affidavit said "investigators believe that individual driving the truck is a transporter for a drug distribution organization out of California and a source of supply for the Phengsengkham organization."
Earl Eugene Jackson, 46, guilty of three felony charges, attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of chemical reagents used to manufacture the meth
Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney said the case was Delaware County's first involving operation of a meth lab.
At this week's sentencing hearing, McKinney recommended a 12-year sentence, while defense attorney Louis Denney, noting his client had no prior criminal convictions, asked for a three-year sentence.
Jackson -- who said he would appeal his convictions -- is scheduled to again stand trial in Barnet's court, on Jan. 28 and Feb. 11, on meth-related charges
Gardai in Blanchardstown, Finglas, Tallaght, Clondalkin and in the city centre arrested seven men, two women and a teenager in connection with the seizures of heroin, cocaine and cannabis.
On Saturday evening, €200,000 worth of heroin was seized in the Meath Market and South Earl Street area of Dublin city centre.
However, gardai from Kevin Street, who carried out the raids, did not arrest anyone.
Also on Saturday, two men, aged 32 and 22, were arrested at Harelawn Park in Clondalkin and €60,000 worth of heroin was seized. The men were released yesterday without charge.
The weekend's biggest haul came on Friday night, when about 10 kilos of heroin -- with an estimated street value of €2m -- was recovered in an operation in Tallaght by the garda drugs squad and the Irish Customs Service, assisted by the Tallaght gardai.
Four men, three in their twenties and one in his thirties, were arrested in connection with the raids on five properties, which targeted both houses and commercial premises.
They will appear at Tallaght District Court this morning charged in connection with the drugs seizure.
Small quantities of cannabis and cocaine, with a combined value of €5,000, were also found, along with the heroin discovery which gardai are calling "significant".
Another man and two women were arrested on Friday morning in separate cocaine seizures in Mulhuddart and Finglas.
Gardai said the raids, although carried out over the same weekend, were not co-ordinated.
"It just so happened that they all fell like that on the one weekend," one garda source said
The Rome flying squad, working alongside those of Naples, Caserta, Perugia and Macerata, with activities coordinated by the central anti-crime headquarters of state police and the central anti-drugs headquarters, is in the process of arresting a large number of members of a vast criminal organization, made up of Italian and Nigerian citizens involved in international drug trafficking. Two hundred and fifty state police are working in several Italia cities, backed by helicopters and dog units. The operation, name "Black Shoes", led by the Naples anti-mafia district headquarters, has reconstructed the route of drug trafficking from South America to Europe, with traffickers attentive to ever single detail of drug imports. Receivers for the drugs were organizations with links to the Camorra, who then distributed the "goods" across the Italian peninsula. From Suriname and Guyana cocaine and heroin were brought into Italy with Nigerian runners who hid the drugs in false soles of their shoes or swallowed capsules filled with it. The leaders of the organization whose purpose was that of international drug trafficking and which has been dismantled by the Rome flying squad acted in Campania. The 2-year operation, which was collaborated in by the police of the following countries, made it possible to identify the operative cells in Guyana, Suriname, Holland, Romania, India, Pakistan, Uganda, and Ivory Coast. The role played by women whose relatives are involved in the Camorra played an essential role, making it possible to maintain contact between the bosses in prison and their accomplices by way of "pizzini" (small slips of paper) hidden in the seam of clothing and coded with elementary codes to decipher. At the end of lengthy investigations, the Rome flying squad managed to identify the connections between Nigerian traffickers and those at the head of organized crime in the Campania region. Some members of the "Scissionisti" clan supplied themselves with the drugs to then distribute it over the Campania market. Among the crimes with which those arrested are being charged is that of mafia-related criminal association.
June Minnie Flett, 31, is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for parole violation. Sentenced to four years, one month for prostitution, robbery and drug possession in May 2004, she was given statutory release Dec. 4, 2007, after serving two-thirds of her time. Her release was revoked Jan. 11.
Tequinho and his two brothers, Edinaldo de Souza Brito Filho and Jacques Jeronimo Motta Neto, who were charged with murders attributed to the gang.
Police said Tequinho had connections with drug lords in the city of Rio and Sao Paulo.
The drug dealers ruled the traffic in three slums in Angra dos Reis, a tourist region known as 'the Green Coast' and famous for its beaches and islands.
Police chief Francisco Lopes said that the arrests did not conclude the investigations. The police still had court orders to arrest another 20 suspects, and would analyse what they had seized to identify other gangs operating in the region.
During the operation, about 70 officers from the state and federal police departments seized weapons, drugs, money and notes left by gang members.
Patrick Mangion, 33, of Qormi, pleaded guilty to seriously injuring 71-year-old Vincenza Attard when he snatched her handbag containing an undisclosed amount of money and other items.
Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera heard how Ms Attard was walking along Hospital Street, in Rabat when Mr Mangion grabbed her handbag.
The magistrate noted that crimes targeting the elderly are very serious. In addition, the accused was a repeat offender. She said he had a number of conditional discharges, suspended sentences and even jail terms but it seemed he had not yet learnt his lesson.
Magistrate Scerri Herrera said the court always tried to help drug addicts kick the habit but, in this case, Mr Mangion did not make much of an effort to reform himself. She, therefore, jailed him for two years and recommended that the prison authorities help him with his addiction.
Police Inspector Mario Tonna prosecuted.
Dimitar Zhelyakov pled guilty to all charges and agreed to a 4.5-year sentence. He will also be subject to confiscation of property worth over $25,000 USD. Zhelyazkov, dubbed "Mityo Ochite" ("Dimitar The Eyes"), has been detained since 2 April 2007, together with 16 of his associates. All of them have been accused of organizing an armed gang for drug dealing.
Eleven of Zhelyakov's associates also made confessions. Their sentences in the agreement will vary depending on the evidence and their parts in the crimes. All of the agreements, however, include sentences shorter than the maximum that can be imposed by law. The prosecution will also take into account the time that the defendants have already spent in detention.
Sunday, January 27
A cocaine shipment seized by Mexico last week could have been worth as much as $2.7 billion on U.S. streets and the Mexican government said on Monday it belonged to Mexico's most wanted man, drug lord Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman.
Police, navy and customs officers found the 23.5 tons of drugs hidden in a shipment of plastic floor-covering aboard a Hong Kong-flagged container ship at Mexico's Manzanillo port on the Pacific. The vessel came from Colombia and the drugs haul was the biggest ever seized by authorities, Mexico said.
Darryll Edward Bishop, 40, of Larimer "Fish" is accused of being the main supplier of the ring that distributed more than $300,000 worth of heroin to Venango, Crawford and Erie counties between 2005 and last year, state Attorney General Tom Corbett said Friday.
Bishop often was assisted by Tashannia M. Clark, 32, of East Liberty who took him to meeting locations and helped deliver the drugs, the attorney general said.
Both are charged with possession and delivery of heroin and conspiracy.
Victoria Police Criminal asset seizure on one criminal group has netted 61 houses and businesses, vehicles worth more than $1.5 million and huge caches of cash.
have seized $55 million in assets and cash from "The Octopus" or "Fat Tony", Antonios Sajih Mokbeland crime network.
And police promise more pain for those who aligned themselves with the underworld kingpin. police confiscated a $500,000 property in which a good friend of Mokbel had been living.
It is believed some of what was seized by police had been set aside for a war chest to pay for Mokbel's coming legal proceedings, which could cost millions.
Mokbel has been in a Greek jail since his arrest in Athens last June, more than a year after he skipped bail while awaiting sentencing on serious drug charges.
Police have seized 61 houses and businesses from him, his family, associates and others since the Operation Kayak raids of 2001.
In Kayak, police seized $2 billion in drugs and $25 million in assets, and 31 people were arrested in the dawn raids.
In total, 36 cars have now been confiscated, including eight Mercedes-Benzes and six BMWs.
Eleven motorcycles, including four Harley-Davidsons, have been grabbed, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars of jewellery.
Cash totalling more than $1.5 million has been taken and bank accounts holding up to $250,000 each have been confiscated or frozen.
"We're confident we'll find more," said Det-Sgt Jim Coghlan, of the Purana anti-gangland taskforce. "There's more to come."
The house most recently seized was impounded just before Christmas.
A convicted criminal and former lieutenant of Mokbel is believed to have been living there. The man has a conviction for trafficking ecstasy and amphetamines to a police informer on behalf of Mokbel.
Det-Sgt Coghlan, who led the asset confiscation team, said it had been a hard blow to dozens of people close to Mokbel.
"What's the point of (being involved in organised crime) if you can't have the cash and the toys that go with it?" he said.
"They don't mind doing five years, but they get pretty upset if you take their house from them."
Det-Sgt Coghlan said the Office of Public Prosecutions' asset confiscation unit and Australian Taxation Office officials had been key players in hunting and removing the hidden wealth.
The Purana leg of the assets crackdown has followed its successful attack on the gangland war that plagued Victoria and cost 29 lives.
Saturday, January 26
Assistant Prosecutor Betsy Sundermann said police found 20 grams of heroin - with a street value of $200,000 - on White, who has felony drug convictions in Chicago. White is charged with drug trafficking, possession, preparing drugs for sale, driving under suspension and running a red light.
Wilson is charged with permitting drug abuse and was ordered jailed on a $10,000 bond.
"It's our belief," Sundermann said, "that she has been helping (White) in his drug operation the entire time."
Also arrested were three Clermont County residents - Michael Shafer, Stephanie Davis and Sean Christner, also known as Sean Christopher.
Shafer was ordered held on a $5,000 bond. Davis and Christner were released.
Information on the case is limited because it was a Regional Narcotics Unit investigation.Kelvin White, 30, came from Chicago to marry Jetaun Wilson in a ceremony that was scheduled for today.
Steven Deinstadt, 32, was convicted of assault and violating bail. He was given credit for 64 days of pretrial custody, sentenced to a further 30 days in jail and placed on probation for 18 months.
Erin E. Davis, 20, was convicted of theft, drug possession, drug trafficking, possession of a drug for the purpose of trafficking, vandalism and three counts of violating bail. He was given a six-month conditional sentence to serve in the community under restrictions, followed by probation for 12 months.
Mark J. Guindon, 28, was convicted of drug trafficking and was given a four-month conditional sentence to serve in the community under restrictions.
Mark B. Harvey, 56, was convicted of vandalism. His sentencing was suspended; he was placed on probation for 12 months and ordered to pay $930.67 in restitution.
Joseph MacDonald, 39, was convicted of drug trafficking and fined $500.
Leslie N. Morris, 33, was convicted of violating probation. He was sentenced to 30 days of intermittent jail on weekends and intermittent probation when not in custody.
Richard W. Nevin, 24, was convicted of vandalism and violating probation. His sentencing was suspended and he was placed on probation for 18 months and ordered to pay $500 in restitution.
Adam M. Bembridge, 24, was convicted of drug possession and had one day added to an existing sentence.
Adam C. Douglas, 30, was convicted of theft. He was fined $1,000 and assessed a $150 victim-fine surcharge.
Christopher Cormier, 33, was convicted on seven counts of possession of a drug for the purpose of trafficking. He was given credit for 48 days of pretrial custody and sentenced to a further three months in jail.
Bolivians were arrested for smuggling coca paste into Sao Paulo where they refined it into cocaine and shipped it directly to Rocinha (favela) in Rio. They found 80 kilos of cocaine in the lab they had set up.
Jose Lee Cross Jr., 25, was sentenced Thursday to 15 years, eight months in prison for his conviction of conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of meth, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Joe Stecher.
The release also gave the following information:
Cross conspired with others between May 1, 2003, and July 1, 2007, to distribute about 4 pounds of meth in the Grand Island area. His sentence was increased by three years because he possessed a gun during the conspiracy.
He was taken into federal custody on July 27, 2007, and was held without a bond. He entered a plea on Nov. 8, 2007.
In an unrelated case, Dale Lynn Kokes, 49, was sentenced to 21 years, 10 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of meth.
Kokes conspired with others to distribute at least a pound of meth in the Grand Island area between July 1, 2003, and March 14, 2007.
His sentence was substantially increased because he has at least two prior convictions for crimes of violence or drug distribution.
Todd Archibald Patey was sent to jail for a total of four years on charges related to the Operation Bitten drug bust back in July 2005.
Patey, who had pleaded guilty to seven charges, was sentenced in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador Friday morning. The charges included conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana and cannabis resin, trafficking in cocaine and marijuana and one count of production of marijuana.
Each conviction carried a sentence of either one or two years, but some of the jail terms are to be served concurrently. The consecutive jail terms for Patey tallied up to four years.
He was also ordered to pay a $700 victim-fine surcharge, $100 for each conviction entered. Patey is also prohibited from possessing firearms for a 10-year period.
Patey wasn’t the only person arrested during Operation Bitten to be sentenced Friday. William Bernard Long of Flat Bay was given a six-month conditional sentence for conspiracy to traffic and trafficking in cannabis resin.
Long, 42, was also given one year of probation and also ordered to pay two $100 victim fine surcharges and is also subject to a firearms prohibition for 10 years.
Mexican federal police announced the arrest of Jesús Navarro Montes, 22, in Sonora state in connection with the killing of Agent Aguilar.
He was being held in Mexicali on Mexican charges of human smuggling.
Acting on Mexican President Felipe Calderón's vow to hit the cartels hard, heavily armed federal agents on Tuesday encircled police stations in Juárez, Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros to relieve police officers of duty, disarm them and search for evidence that may link them to drug traffickers.
A day earlier, Mexican federal authorities announced the capture of Alfredo Beltrán Leyva in Culiacán. He is purportedly a major operator in the Sinaloa cartel.
Border law enforcement officers, while watchful of the rising violence on the Mexican side, say that so far it hasn't shifted directly onto the U.S. side.
"All the sheriffs along the border are extremely concerned about the escalation in violence in Mexico," said Don Reay, executive director of the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition. "Anytime we see the violence increase as it has recently, the more worried we get that will cross directly onto our side."
The violence that broke out in the streets of Reynosa and Rio Bravo, Mexico, hasn't spread across the border to Hidalgo County, Sheriff Guadalupe Trevino Jr. said.
Border Patrol officials held a closed-door briefing for Rio Grande Valley law enforcement officers Thursday on the outbreak of violence just across the river.
"We tell our guys to be careful out there, to make sure we know where they are and to make sure they have backup on calls to the river," Sheriff Trevino said.