Clinton “South” Rodriguez, 30, was charged with one count of possession of heroin with the intent to distribute the drug, a week after he was arrested by federal agents. Cooperating witnesses said Rodriguez is a heroin supplier in the Carrollton area, according to a news release by U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office.
The local Federal Bureau of Investigation recently made several arrests related to the overdose death of Madeleine Prevost, a junior at Lusher High School who died in January after using heroin and cocaine.Last month, Diego A. Perez, 18, and David C. Battenberg, 27, were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute and possess heroin and other drugs.
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
Subscribe via email
Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder
Sunday, March 9
Clinton “South” Rodriguez, 30, was charged with one count of possession of heroin with the intent to distribute the drug, a week after he was arrested by federal agents. Cooperating witnesses said Rodriguez is a heroin supplier in the Carrollton area, according to a news release by U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office.
Mark Simmons, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply on January 20 but denied supplying the drug between December
Mark Simmons, 28, of Belle Vue Street, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply on January 20 but denied supplying the drug between December 1 and January 10.
He will next appear at Scarborough Magistrates' Court for a case management hearing on April 9.
George A. Freeman,Patrick L. Sams charged with the transportation of narcotic drugs for sale and possession of narcotic drugs for sale
Sgt. Brad Elliott says an officer stopped a pickup truck towing a trailer on Interstate 40 about noon Friday and became suspicious after the driver and passenger appeared nervous. A search eventually turned up a hidden compartment in the trailer that was stuffed with the drugs. Friday on Interstate 40.The officer was patrolling the eastbound I-40 at about noon when he stopped a black Ford F350 just east of the Walnut Canyon exit for following too closely. He found the driver and the passenger, the truck's owner, nervous. Both gave conflicting stories. Both men gave the officer consent to search the truck, and he called for a K-9 unit to assist. The dog "alerted" on the truck and officers began searching the vehicle."They were underneath it, found a lot of indicators that the vehicle had been ... tooled, giving further rise in suspicion that something was amiss," said DPS Sgt. Brad Elliott.When they got to the small trailer hauling an ATV, one officer started banging on the bed. He noticed that the sounds were different, especially toward the front.That's where the officers uncovered 30 kilograms of cocaine, or about 66 pounds, bundled in black electrical tape and concealed under a false floor near the tongue. The access point was by way of the light housing, which concealed bolts that kept a flip-down panel in place in front of a sliding metal plate.
The cocaine was bound from Tucson to Iowa. The drugs have an estimated street value of about $480,000.Police seized the truck, trailer and ATV, along with the drugs and $12,000 in cash.Driver George A. Freeman, 34, of Tucson, and passenger Patrick L. Sams, 54, of Anamosa, Iowa, were booked into the Coconino County jail on charges of transportation of narcotic drugs for sale and possession of narcotic drugs for sale.
George N. Magalhaes, 35, of the 1700 block of Avenue D, approached an undercover St. Lucie County sheriff's detective to purchase rock cocaine, according to a sheriff's report.Magalhaes traded his 19-speed purple mountain bike for four rocks of crack cocaine, reports indicate. Afterward, Magalhaes was arrested and charged with purchasing cocaine.
Stephen David Royds under investigation for selling and possessing cocaine and being involved in a death.
Police have found the "well preserved" body of a woman packed in a container with dry ice in a hotel room in California.
Detectives were searching the room in a cocaine investigation when the discovered the fully clothed body in large plastic storage container at a Newport Beach hotel, the Associated Press reports. "It's definitely weird," Sergeant Evan Sailor said of finding the body in the upscale complex.
The woman has been identified as Monique Trepp, 33, and police said it is unclear how long she has been dead for. Medical examiner Dan Akin said an autopsy of the body was "inconclusive" but the woman's death did not appear to be suspicious. Police were investigating whether the man who rented the hotel room, Stephen David Royds, was involved in the death. Royds is already under investigation for selling and possessing cocaine, and is being held on $32,000 bail.
Joshua A. Surrell, 24, of Montpelier is being held at the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury pending his April 11 arraignment at Vermont District Court in Barre.Among the charges Surrell is expected to face include possession of heroin.Surrell's arrest Friday comes only five months after he was convicted on a charge of selling heroin last September.Police said Surrell was sentenced to serve up to five years based on that conviction and was participating in the state Department of Corrections conditional re-entry program.
According to police, members of the corrections departments field supervisory unit allegedly discovered "several individual bags of heroin" and $535 in cash during a routine residential check of Surrell's apartment late Friday afternoon.
FSU personnel contacted Montpelier police shortly before 5:30 p.m. and Sgt. Wayne Cochran applied for and eventually obtained a search warrant for the residence.
According to Cochran, the apartment was searched with the assistance of Vermont State Police Academy K-9 Trainer Robert Ryan and a drug-sniffing dog shortly after 9 p.m.Cochran said the search uncovered 145 bags of heroin, a small amount of cocaine and a scale.He estimated the street value of the heroin at approximately $6,000.
Although Cochran declined to discuss the case in detail at this time, he said the drugs were hidden in the residence and did not appear to be for personal use.
"It was packaged in a manner that would lead us to believe he was going to sell it," he said.In addition to the drug charge, Cochran said Surrell is facing a furlough violation.
arrested Michael Summers, 22, of 19 Greenbrier Lane, at a home on Johnson Avenue in Sayville on Thursday. Summers had 35 bags of heroin, Suboxone, a narcotic, and $860 in cash, police said. Police searched Summers' home Friday and found $4,020 in cash and 660 bags of heroin valued at $13,000, they said. Police also found hashish, 2 ounces of marijuana, OxyContin and counterfeit money.Summers was charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $150,000, and he was taken to Suffolk County Correctional Facility. An appearance was scheduled for Thursday.Also Friday, investigators found more than 10 pounds of marijuana plants in Rocky Point, police said. Seventh Squad officers arrested Alan McMaugh, 53, of 24 Overhill Rd., after they found the plants in his basement.Fourth Squad narcotics officers assisted police at the home, where they found a hydroponic system including growing lights, water pumps, filters, fans, fertilizer and carbon dioxide tanks, police said. They estimated the equipment's value at $5,000.
"He was a pretty handy guy," said Sgt. William Bundrick of the Seventh Squad. "He did most of it himself."The marijuana had a street value of between $10,000 and $15,000, police said. More than $20,000 in cash was also seized. McMaugh was charged with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana and unlawfully dealing in fireworks. He was being held at the county jail on $150,000 cash or $450,000 bond.
Anthony Johnson, 24, was allegedly carrying 69 bags of cocaine after a foot pursuit in the area of Sinnickson and Eakin streets here last week, authorities said. arrested by members of the Salem County Sheriff's Department's Warrant Unit who were assisted by Salem City Police Department officers on Wesley Street after the brief chase. In addition to the suspected 69 bags of cocaine, Johnson also allegedly was found to be in possession of two bags of suspected cocaine and what the Sheriff's Department described as a "sizeable" amount of cash. Citizens who witnessed the chase told offices that they were glad to see Johnson apprehended, according to the Sheriff's Department. Johnson was charged with resisting arrest/eluding, possession of a controlled dangerous substance suspected cocaine and marijuana possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances and possession with intent to distributed a controlled dangerous substance in a school zone. Johnson was served with outstanding warrants for a prior outstanding possession of marijuana charge from Salem City, two traffic warrants from Carneys Point for driving while suspended, and two Salem City traffic warrants for driving while suspended and operating an uninsured vehicle, authorities said. Salem County Sheriff Chuck Miller said community support and inter-department cooperation such as in Johnson's arrest are key to successful law enforcement. Johnson was lodged in the Salem County Correctional Facility in lieu of $35,000 cash bail.
Eighteen rolls of bhang, cocaine sachets and a cocktail of assorted drugs were netted in the two-hour operation in Mombasa
Police in Mombasa Friday evening arrested seventy suspected drug traffickers as the fight against the illegal trade intensified.
It was a cat and mouse game in the costal town as the team led by the area Provincial Anti-Narcotics Officer John Kemboi, engaged the drug traffickers in a dramatic chase. The group comprising officers from the provincial administration, regular police, CID and anti narcotic unit with the help of sniffer dogs combed Shimanzi godown dens, Old Town and the sea front in search of the drug peddlers.
Eighteen rolls of bhang, cocaine sachets and a cocktail of assorted drugs were netted in the two-hour operation. Mombasa residents called on the police to be conducting such impromptu raids frequently saying the trade had encouraged the development of illegal gangs in the area. The suspects are being held at Mombasa's central police station.
Borders Guards patrol in Bechar province, south west Algeria, have seized as much as 20 hundredweights of cannabis. The huge narcotics quantity has been discovered on board of 2 4-wd cars, which have been seized too. The same Guards patrol has recuperated 5420 cartons of unlicensed cigarettes and 2 motorcycles.
In this context, the Borders Guards routine patrol last weekend have noticed two smugglers exchanging goods quantities close to the Moroccan borders, at a place named Oued Arid, 50km far from the place in which the narcotics quantity has been discovered, according to the National Gendarmerie regional Commander, Colonel Blidi Mohamed Salah.
The patrol elements have tracked down the smugglers, who unfortunately have managed to escape after abandoning 2-wd cars, and 2 motorcycles.Furthermore, Colonel Blidi indicated that another patrol at Oum Lasel borderline region, have recuperated 88 camels when the smugglers were intending to infiltrate them to Morocco. The racking operation the Borders Guards have launched relying on information obtained in the eve of the last week event, has enabled a patrol at Tabelbala region, to recuperate as much as 2 hundredweights of cannabis.
Saturday, March 8
Saudi police have foiled an attempt to smuggle 140 kilograms (308 pounds) of hashish from neighbouring Yemen, SPA state news agency reported on Friday.
A border patrol in the southwestern region of Najran clashed on Thursday with a group of smugglers after spotting them trying to infiltrate into the kingdom through rough terrain, SPA said.The smugglers who were trying to cross the borders on foot fired at the patrol before they retreated, leaving behind the narcotics and a number of machine-guns and ammunition, it added.In October, Saudi authorities announced foiling an attempt to smuggle 1,050 kilograms (2,300 pounds) of hashish through the same area, along the borders with impoverished Yemen.Saudi Arabia imposes death penalties on people convicted of drug trafficking. In January, two men convicted of drug smuggling were beheaded by the sword.
Juan Pablo Ramos ,Armando Leal,Irene Andriani, Olga Gioe, Luis Gautier and Michael Joseph Rivello,arrested major heroin organization
Juan Pablo Ramos referred to apartment 2B of 242 East 75th Street in the Upper East Side of Manhattan as "the office," and he and associates ground down kilograms of heroin, packaging it into glassine envelopes in a studio which overlooks the playground of the Robert F. Wagner Middle School. It is estimated that the organization was distributing more than four kilograms of heroin per month, grossing approximately $4 million per year. The heroin was allegedly sold wholesale to street level dealers in the Upper East Side, West Village, Gramercy Park and East Harlem, already packaged in $10 bags.
The investigation reportedly began with an arrest for a street-level sale by Manhattan South Narcotics detectives, and was coordinated with the Special Narcotics Prosecutors Office and Drug Enforcement Task Force on identifying the source of supply.
Arrested on Wednesday were Juan Pablo Ramos and Armando Leal, both Colombian nationals. Ramos was the main target of the seven-month investigation. He was apprehended when a New York Drug Enforcement Task Force team conducted search operations at the Manhattan apartment and Ramos's $5,600 a month rental apartment in New Jersey.
Police say Ramos was taking heroin from an open safe and setting up to package it into glassine bags when police gained entry to the 75th Street location. Approximately 1.5 kilos of heroin, valued at more than $100,000, were recovered from the safe along with glassine bags and other drug paraphernalia, police said.
Late Thursday night, investigators and detectives arrested Irene Andriani, Olga Gioe, Luis Gautier and Michael Joseph Rivello, all believed to be heroin retailers who purchased bundles of hundreds of glassines of heroin from the organization for resale to individual purchasers.
Also arrested was Manhattan Court Officer William Moser, who was apprehended along with Andriani at a supermarket at 130 Bleeker Street. He is believed to be a customer of Andriani.
Police say Moser had three glassines of heroin in his possession worth $30 and had his court-issued firearm at the time of his arrest.
Ramos is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $300,000.
Lauren Cullen prosecution did not oppose Cullen's application for bail, saying she was the mule in an extensive commercial operation.
Lauren Cullen, 24, is one of three people charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of a controlled drug.She was arrested at the Adelaide Airport in December, after arriving on a flight from Sydney.It is alleged police found half a kilogram of cocaine and the same amount of methamphetamine hidden inside shampoo and baby powder containers inside her luggage.Today, the prosecution did not oppose Cullen's application for bail, saying she was the mule in an extensive commercial operation.
Cullen is subject to strict home detention conditions and must adhere to a curfew.Her two co-accused remain in custody.
Friday, March 7
Rodney MacRobert, 38, was caught with a hacksaw, an axe and a bag of cannabis bush on Bolckow Road, Grangetown, on June 10 last year.He said he was on his way to Corus to steal copper cable to sell as scrap.In a search of his home on South Terrace, South Bank, the next day, officers found 14 £10 bags of amphetamine, totalling 12.4g.They also discovered more cannabis, electronic scales, a diary containing lists of names and figures and £65 cash.This, as well as texts on his mobile phone, were consistent with drug dealing, prosecutor Patricia Mancina told Teesside Crown Court.
MacRobert told police he sold amphetamine to fund his habit, dealt for a week-and-a-half, and borrowed from his mother to buy his stock.
MacRobert admitted possession of the Class B drug with intent to supply, possession of cannabis and going equipped for theft.He also breached a community order imposed in January 2007 for possession of Class A, B and C drugs and allowing his home to be use for the sale of amphetamine - which he said he was bullied into after finds of magic mushrooms, amphetamine and cannabis in a police raid.Kristian Mills, defending, said MacRobert had been addicted to amphetamines for ten years, but had now stopped taking the drug.MacRobert was abandoned by his parents as a child and spiralled into crime and drugs. He breached the community order because he went to the Worthing area to care for his terminally ill father.Judge Peter Armstrong told MacRobert: “You’re on the brink of going to prison.”But he suspended a nine-month jail sentence for two years with supervision.He added: “Your future’s in your hands.”
Orlando police conducted what was described as a "zero-tolerance" operation at a downtown parking garage to combat violence after nightclubs close. Orange County deputy sheriffs zoned in on an area near Pine Hills and Silver Star roads in response to tips. In addition to the arrests, at least five guns and more than a pound of marijuana were seized.The Orlando operation spanned more than three hours at the parking garage at 53 W. Central Boulevard."Usually, when the clubs let out we have problems in the garage," Orlando Ppolice Sgt. Barbara Jones said. Fights and a kidnapping have been reported recently in the area targeted early Thursday.
Lt. Sue Brown said 32 people were arrested, including eight on felony charges. Three handguns were recovered, as was marijuana, some Ecstasy pills and cocaine.
"We don't want drugs down here. We do not want guns down here. We don't want fights," Brown said. "We're not going to tolerate this. Every once in a while we're going to do this sort of thing."In the Pine Hills area, Orange County deputy sheriffs focused on the parking lot of a drugstore on Silver Star Road and arrested four men in three separate cases. Arrested were Rodney Conrad Alexander, Gordon Nielsen, Karif Walker and Maurice Antonio Wright.
"We have a systemic drug problem in Orange County, particularly within this Silver Star corridor," Cpl. John Parks said. "Where there's drugs, there's violence." He said authorities seized two handguns, which he said were stolen and likely used during a robbery, and more than a pound of marijuana.
Two suspects, both convicted felons, were being held without bail at the Orange County jail on concealed-weapon and other charges.
In Osceola, authorities arrested 29 people with active felony warrants. Drug paraphernalia and one assault weapon also were recovered
Alan Dobson has been convicted of trafficking in class A drugs on three separate occasions in just over ten years.But Recorder Peter Barrie not only ruled it would be unjust to pass the seven year custodial term he decided he did not need to go to jail for the offence.Instead he imposed a one year suspended sentence on the 33-year-old meaning he will only serve the time if he fails to comply with the orders of the court.Dobson was found with hundreds of pounds worth of crack cocaine and thousands in cash after he was caught acting suspiciously outside the designer outlet village.
Jonathan Stanniland, prosecuting, told Swindon crown court how security guards and police were suspicious of group of three on Saturday June 23 last year.
They were detained at about 5pm and while the others were being spoken to Dobson was seen to remove something from his clothing and put it down the front of his trousers.
"When he was told he was going to be searched he took the item from down his trousers, it was about the size of tangerine, and placed it in his mouth despite the protestations of the officers," he said.Dobson then swallowed the package and was taken to hospital for fear that he may suffer an overdose or other ill health as a result of it.However several hours later he passed the package naturally and it was found to contain 10.7 grams of crack cocaine with a street value of about £530.
He also had £2,100 on him in cash and when his house was searched police found £70 in counterfeit currency, two samurai swords and a .22 air rifle.When he was questioned he said despite being on benefits he had saved the money to buy his partner a car and the drugs were for his own use only.The court heard that Dobson had 101 previous convictions including two matters relating to dealing in heroin.
In 1997 at Bristol crown court he was jailed for 18 months for supplying heroin and two years later put on probation for supplying heroin and possession with intent to supply.Dobson, formerly of Southwick Avenue, Penhill, pleaded guilty to possessing drugs with intent to supply and obstructing a police officer.
Rob Ross, defending, said his client was facing a mandatory seven year sentence unless the circumstances of any of the offences or the offender meant it was unjust to do so.
He said the first conviction related to a drugs operation in the Parks area of Swindon which Dobson "accidentally" got caught up in.
The police were targeting a dealer who had come to the town and recruited locals to sell for him when Dobson tried to sell some drugs he had bought to an undercover cop.
Mr Ross said while the main dealer got eight or nine years most of the others got three year jail terms with Dobson the shortest at 18 months.
The second time he said his client had simply been sharing drugs with his girlfriend so it was not drug dealing as such.
He said the latest offence took place when Dobson was in a downward spiral of addiction after his younger brother had died from an overdose.
Mr Ross said his client was taking heroin and crack cocaine and selling some to friends in what he called "not a large scale operation".He said his client had never had the benefit of a drug rehabilitation requirement in the past and until he spent a week inside on remand had not been to custody for a long time.
Passing a one year jail term suspended for two years the judge said he would be on supervision for 18 months and a drug rehabilitation requirement run by the Inclusion unit for six months.Dobson will have to complete an alcohol and substance related offending programme and forfeit the drugs, money and weapons.
He told him "I don't know if you see drug rehabilitation as a soft option. I hope you understand from your contact with Inclusion that it is a very demanding programme
Haresh Kutappan was sentenced to four years in prison last week for dealing drugs out of his Halifax apartment.The 30-year-old native of Malaysia came to Canada on a student visa in 1997. He lived in British Columbia for a few years, earned a computer science degree and later moved to Halifax in hopes of finding employment.But he soon lost his job at a local call centre and found himself without work or a place to live.That’s when the young man started selling drugs to survive.
The career choice was lucrative but short-lived.Police arrested Mr. Kutappan on Oct. 4 for remaining in the country after his student visa had expired. The arrest led to a search of his Robie Street apartment and the discovery of Mr. Kutappan’s drug stash.Officers seized about 1,100 grams of marijuana, 85 grams of powdered cocaine,15 grams of magic mushrooms and 281 ecstasy pills. They also seized $11,150 and various drug paraphernalia, including packaging material, measuring devices and score sheets.At first, Mr. Kutappan pleaded not guilty to the four counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.But on Feb. 27 he changed his plea because the judge dismissed the argument that his charter rights were violated during the police search.The usual punishment for selling large amounts of cocaine ranges between two and five years in prison.In this case, federal Crown attorney Tim McLaughlin asked for a sentence on the higher end of the scale, while defence lawyer Brad Sarson argued for a term of incarceration between three and four years.
Justice Robert Wright of Nova Scotia Supreme Court decided on four years in prison, which equates to 38 months after time served is factored in.
The judge noted that Mr. Kutappan had no prior criminal record but said "nonetheless the courts must send the message that there will be serious penal consequences for those who choose to engage in such a nefarious trade, which inflicts such widespread damage to our communities."Because of his immigrant status, Mr. Kutappan is not eligible for day parole. Upon his release from prison, he will be immediately deported to Malaysia
Jason Rooney was yesterday sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was caught with more than €43,000 worth of cocaine.Rooney (22), of Spring Garden Street, Dublin 3, was imprisoned for seven years last month in Trim Circuit Criminal Court, Co Meath, after he was caught with €500,000 worth of drugs.He had eight other previous convictions for road traffic offences.Defence counsel said that it was "a paradoxical situation" that his client had been working in an organisation trying to keep young people away from drugs yet he went on to have two convictions for drug dealing.The judge took into account Rooney's plea of guilty, co-operation with the garda investigation and the fact he took responsibility for the drugs when others could have been suspected of being involved.
A Russian dubbed the "Merchant of Death'' for allegedly supplying weapons to Africa's bloody conflicts over power and diamonds was arrested Thursday in Thailand on suspicion of conspiring to smuggle guns to Colombia's leftist rebels.
Viktor Bout, 41, whose dealings reportedly inspired a 2005 movie about the illicit arms trade, was arrested at U.S. request in his hotel room in Bangkok, said police Lt. Gen. Pongpat Chayapan. Bout had eluded arrest for years and was finally seized after a four-month sting organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
In New York, federal authorities unsealed a criminal complaint charging that Bout conspired to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons, including 100 surface-to-air missiles and armor-piercing rockets, that he thought were going to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.The leftist group, which has been fighting Colombia's government for more than four decades, is listed by the U.S. as a terror group. Bout and an associate, Andrew Smulian, were charged with "conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.''Thai police Col. Petcharat Sengchai said Smulian was still being sought.The U.S. is seeking Bout's extradition, but he will remain in Thailand pending an investigation into whether he used the Southeast Asian nation as a base to negotiate arms deals, officials said Friday.
"We do intend to extradite him,'' Thomas Pasquarello, regional director of the DEA, told a news conference. But the timing still has "to be worked out between the two nations.''Handcuffed and expressionless, Bout was paraded before journalists at the news conference but refused to answer questions. "He is called the 'Merchant of Death' and 'Man of War' for a reason,'' Pasquerello said.Bout, who has never before been prosecuted for arms selling despite investigations in several countries, has always denied being involved in illicit deals.The criminal complaint in New York said confidential sources directed by the DEA posed as FARC members while negotiating from November to February to buy arms from Bout.Noting that lengthy investigation, a law enforcement official in Washington said there was no link between Bout's arrest and the weekend seizure by Colombian troops of a top FARC leader's laptop computer. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.In New York, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia would not say how much the weapons involved in the alleged deal were worth but said the cost of transporting them alone was set at $5 million. He said the weapons were to be parachuted to FARC fighters in Colombian territory.
The arrest "marks the end of the reign of one of the world's most wanted arms traffickers,'' Garcia said.Bout, a former Soviet air force officer, allegedly built his contacts in the post-Soviet arms industry into a business dealing arms to combatants in conflicts around the world. He is generally believed to have been a model for the arms dealer portrayed by Nicolas Cage in the 2005 movie "Lord of War.''
Bout's best-documented activities have been in Central and West Africa, where he has been accused of funneling weapons into various civil wars since the early 1990s.
In 2000, Peter Hain, then Britain's Cabinet minister for African affairs, called Bout "the chief sanctions-buster'' flouting U.N. arms embargoes on the warring parties in Angola and Sierra Leone, dubbing the Russian "a merchant of death.''
Bout also reportedly supplied arms to warring parties in Afghanistan before the 2001 fall of the Taliban's Islamic regime.One of his companies also served as a subcontractor involved in transporting U.S. military personnel and private U.S. contractors in Iraq, according to a book about Bout by journalists Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun published last year.The book, "Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible,'' also says a plane in Bout's fleet made several airdrops of weapons to FARC guerrillas between December 1998 and April 1999. It says the flights dropped about 10,000 weapons to the rebels, "enabling them to greatly enhance their military capabilities.''
Police had been tracking 29-year-old Matthew McChesney for six months as part of a drug crackdown but the amount of drugs found surprised even them.
"Weight-wise and size...there is no comparison...this is by far the largest marijuana seizure we have ever had," said Ken Fries of the Allen County Sheriff's Department.Police confiscated three tons of pot. It took over an hour to remove it all.Fries said the marijuana was worth about $6 million in street value.
When McChesney was pulled over for a traffic stop, police found 12 pounds of pot and more than $100,000 in cash. The discovery led to a search warrant for his home in the town of Harlan."When I got here I was shocked. We know there are drugs in Allen County and Fort Wayne but to see this quantity in a house...it was mind-numbing"The marijuana was found all over the house from the basement to the upstairs. It was stacked to the ceiling like bails of haySince the amount of drugs is over 200 pounds, the case has been turned over to federal agents. But local police know the impact of the arrest.
"This is certainly a big player. We don't know if he is the biggest player but this makes a major dent in the marijuana supply here in Allen County and Fort Wayne"
Police also found numerous guns in the house and they are continuing to look for more drugs on the property
McChesney could now be facing a minimum of 15 years in prison for drug trafficking and weapons charges.
Police arrested a Ghanaian and a Guinean for allegedly smuggling cocaine on board a flight to this tourist destination island with intent to sell during a full moon party on neighbouring Phangan Island.Martin Amoh, 26, a Ghanaian, and Mario Dacosta, 30, a Guinean, were arrested Thursday night abroad Bangkok Airways PG 171, which has just landed at the Samui Airport.Acting on tip-off, police raided the plane once it arrived.Police found 350 grammes of cocaine hidden in underwear and mobile phones of the two.Police said Docosta also hid most of the drug in his anus.
Records showed that the two had flown from Bangkok to Samui for at least 15 times.
The two admitted that they were heading to Phangan to sell the drug at a full moon party.The drug was worth about Bt52,500.
Thursday, March 6
A Brisbane judge has jailed a Gold Coast man for trafficking large amounts of high-grade cocaine and ecstasy.The man's former de facto was also jailed for drug possession.The Supreme Court trial of 52-year-old Cele Markovski and 35-year-old Danica Jovic heard the pair were arrested at Currumbin after an eight-month investigation.It is believed Markovski trafficked millions of dollars worth of drugs and he was described as being at the top of the totem pole in the illegal drug trade. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment while Jovic was ordered to serve four years.
Rickie Dawson York, who turned 39 on Tuesday, pleaded guilty to possessing 1.46 grams of meth on Oct. 16. A Smith County jury sentenced the Tyler man after 25 minutes of deliberation in 241st District Judge Jack Skeen Jr.'s court.
The third-degree felony, which carried a punishment range of two to 10 years in prison, was enhanced to a first-degree, with a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison, because of his two prior felony convictions. York will have to serve 15 years before he is eligible for parole. Bullard Police Officer Shawn Johnson testified that at about 3 a.m. on Oct. 16, he was traveling in the area of U.S. Highway 69 and Farm-to-Market Road 346 when he spotted a car parked in front of a closed business, which had been burglarized in the past. Johnson said he found York sleeping inside the car, which was running with its lights on. The man did not have identification, claimed to be waiting on his girlfriend and said he thought he was in the Chapel Hill area. After receiving consent to search, Johnson said he found two bags of meth and a bag of marijuana in the man's pocket. York asked the officer if there was anything they could do to work something out, but Johnson arrested him. Jurors were shown a videotape of the incident.He possessed 1.46 grams of meth and 2.93 grams of marijuana, according to lab reports.
York, also known as Mark Burton, was convicted of delivering marijuana in Dallas County in 1996 and possessing a prohibited weapon in Smith County in 2006, for which he was on parole. Beginning in 1987, he has also has been convicted of theft, possession of a controlled substance, failure to identify/fugitive from justice, criminal mischief and theft by check.
Assistant Smith County District Attorney Zach Davis said York continued to commit offenses whenever he was released from jail or prison and will never change his behavior. The defendant testified he has had a drug problem for 21 years but, Davis said, he has never sought treatment for his addiction.
He asked the jury to sentence York to life in prison to send him a message to stop using and selling drugs and stealing from people. Defense attorney Steven Comte said the punishment range was 25 years to life only because of York's criminal history, but that he has been punished and has served his sentences for all of his prior convictions.
"There is nothing about Mr. York's history that is violent and life should be reserved for the most heinous individuals out there," he said.
Comte said his client has made some bad decisions and has had problems with addiction, but is a genuinely nice man with a wife and children. He told the jurors to ask themselves what a reasonable sentence would be for possessing little more than 1 gram of meth, adding that he believed it would be a sentence at the low end of the punishment range.
Police Commander of Sirjan Colonel Hooshang Pour Rezaei said on Tuesday that the forces under his command confiscated 1,068 kilograms of narcotic drugs at a house.
Speaking to IRNA, he said the drug traffickers were loading the drugs into a truck when they were surrounded and arrested by the police.
The traffickers were to dispatch the consignment to Isfahan, he said.
Three traffickers were arrested and handed over to judicial officials, he said.
Peter Charles Smith, Middleton pub landlord and cocaine trafficker who had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal has been sent back to jail.used to run the Barber's Arms in Rhodes, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison for smuggling more than £500,000 worth of illegal drugs after being convicted following a retrial.Smith, 65, was originally sentenced to 10 years in jail for bringing eight kilos of cocaine and more than 42 kilos of cannabis resin into the country in 2004.But the Appeal Court quashed his conviction and Smith, of Wellens Way, Rhodes, was freed on bail when they ordered there should be a second trial.Jailing him for the second time, Judge Griffiths-Jones QC, at Maidstone Crown Court, told Smith that the offence was very serious indeed. The judge took into account he had already served the equivalent of four years in prison and had "enjoyed" about a year of freedom on bail before he was re-convicted.At his retrial at Canterbury Crown Court in December, Smith, admitted smuggling cannabis but claimed he knew nothing about the cocaine.The court heard Smith was arrested by customs officers after cocaine valued at £416,000 and cannabis worth £99,000 was discovered hidden in a compartment behind the front seats of his Peugeot van as he entered Dover in 2004.The officers found Smith's fingerprints on the cannabis packets but not the cocaine.Smith claimed he met a man in a bar shortly before he was due to go across the Channel on a booze run and was offered between £1,000 and £2,000 to bring back cannabis.When he arrived in France, he said, he was told to drive to Antwerp, in Belgium, and from there two men then drove him to an industrial estate near Amsterdam where the other men cut blocks of cannabis resin down to smaller sizes to fit into the van's hidden compartment.Smith, who once served in the army and later won an award for saving a child from drowning, claimed the men could have loaded the cocaine while he was away from the van.Passing sentence at Maidstone Crown Court , Judge Griffith-Jones told Smith: "The jury by its verdict plainly rejected the story you advanced. I have absolutely no doubt you knew full well what you were about when you brought the two categories of drugs into the country."
An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for John Hardy of Ingramport after he failed to show up for trial on drug charges.But the warrant won’t be acted upon until he returns from Thailand.Mr. Hardy, 50, and David Banfield, 42, of Upper Tantallon, were to begin a four-day trial in Amherst provincial court on drug charges. But Mr. Hardy’s lawyer, Jim O’Neil, told the court his client didn’t show up because of a miscommunication between himself and Mr. Hardy."He is working in the jungles of Asia," Mr. O’Neil said. "He lost track of the trial date because he was so used to me appearing on his behalf through a designation I received from him. He thought today’s (hearing) was for a motion and not for a trial."I accept responsibility for that. It was an honestly held misunderstanding on his part."Mr. Hardy won’t be back in Canada before July 8 because that is the earliest his company is willing to fly him out, Mr. O’Neil said, asking for an adjournment.Mr. Banfield’s lawyer, Mark Knox, asked that his client’s trial be postponed as well because it was essential this client’s defence to have Mr. Hardy present for the trial."I find it difficult to understand how someone could forget their trial date," Judge Carole Beaton said. "I do not want to make light of it, but it’s akin to a student telling his teacher that the ‘dog ate my homework.’ "Judge Beaton said Mr. Hardy bore some responsibility failing to appear.His absence put Mr. Banfield in a difficult position because "it would be prejudicial to his case if we were to go ahead today" without Mr. Hardy being present, she said.The case has been delayed several times since the charges were laid in 2005, and the judge said Mr. Hardy’s absence made it difficult for the court to find time for the trial.She set Oct. 7 to 10 as the new trial dates and ordered the arrest warrant. She ordered Mr. Hardy to appear for a pretrial conference in July and told Mr. O’Neil that "feast, famine, flood or insurrection by the Queen’s enemies" had better not keep Mr. Hardy from the pretrial conference or the new court dates.Mr. Hardy and Mr. Banfield were charged in October 2005 after the RCMP caught two people working a marijuana crop in Wentworth Valley. Police subsequently searched two Wentworth properties, where more than 1,000 plants were seized.The men face charges of possessing more than three kilograms of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, producing marijuana and theft of less than $5,000 worth of electricity.
Duncan Haldane, now 17, had the drugs stashed down his trouser leg when cops stopped a taxi in London Road, Glasgow.They had followed it from a Travel Inn near Kincardine Bridge after a tip-off.
Haldane, of Possilpark, admitted being involved in the supply of one kilo of heroin last April at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday.Taxi driver Craig Douglas, 38, of Ruchhill, and passenger George Trainer, 20, of Possilpark, had not guilty pleas acceptedLord Kinclaven remanded Haldane in custody and deferred sentence until later this month.
Leebert Ramcharan ,Samuel Knowles Two Caribbean smugglers who were designated by the White House as international drug kingpins
Jamaican Leebert Ramcharan led a sophisticated drug smuggling organization that received as many as 15,000 kilos of cocaine from the north coast of Colombia from 1998 to 2004, prosecutors said.
Two Caribbean smugglers who were designated by the White House as international drug kingpins were convicted on smuggling charges and could face life in prison, U.S. prosecutors said on Wednesday.The shipments were stored in Jamaica, later sent to the Bahamas and then transported to the U.S. market, they said.Ramcharan was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to import and conspiracy to possess narcotics with the intent to distribute, the Miami U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.
In a separate case, Bahamian Samuel Knowles, who was extradited to Florida in 2006, was found guilty of two drug counts and ordered to forfeit nearly $14 million of illegal proceeds for bringing thousands of kilos of cocaine to the United States in 1995 and 1996, prosecutors said.Several years ago, the Bush administration put both men on a U.S. blacklist that barred American banks from dealing with suspected international drug traffickers or their companies in an attempt to cripple their narcotics businesses.Both were scheduled for sentencing on May 23 and faced possible life prison terms.
Robert Charles Wilson was fined $7000 for importing prohibited goods in breach of the Customs Act 1901.
Customs inspectors at Darwin had another conviction recorded against importers of body building drugs.A Darwin man was yesterday (Tuesday 4 March 2008) found guilty of smuggling performance and image enhancing drugs into Australia.
Customs National Manager Investigations, Richard Janeczko, said this was the second conviction of its type in the Darwin Magistrates Court with in the past two weeks."Customs continues to be vigilant in preventing the smuggling of these types of drugs," Mr Janeczko said.Mr Robert Charles Wilson, 34, was fined $7000 for importing prohibited goods in breach of the Customs Act 1901.Customs investigations began on 20 June 2007 when officers in Melbourne intercepted a parcel from Thailand, destined for a Darwin address.On inspection the parcel was found to contain anabolic and androgenic substances concealed in chocolate boxes.Anabolic and androgenic substances are performance and image enhancing drugs that cannot be imported into Australia.As a result of the detection, Customs investigators searched a property in Larrakeyah, where they seized evidentiary material.On 25 February 2008, a 35-year-old Darwin man was convicted and fined $10,000 for the same offence.
"These convictions send a strong message that Customs is committed to detecting and prosecuting any one involved in smuggling prohibited goods into Australia," Mr Janeczko said.
"While some of these substances are freely available in other countries, Customs will not tolerate their importation into Australia without a permit."
Drug Killing of Eliécer Estribí Guerra, Agner Darío Moreno, José Manuel Pinzón Bazán, Carlos Javier Espino and Víctor Navarro Otero.
Panama's Anti-Drug Prosecutor in Chiriquí is on the trail of a Panamanian citizen suspected to be responsible for the execution of five Panamanians near Neily City in Costa Rica. According to judicial information the suspect frequently crosses the border between Panama and Costa Rica making it difficult for authorities to find him. The suspect was identified with the cooperation of Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Organism (OIJ), which has conducted several operations as part of their investigation, to include taking statements from protected witnesses. Investigations being conducted in both countries have not ruled out the possibility that these executions might be related to the recent dismantling of a drug smuggling organization several weeks ago in Chiriquí. It is also possible that these drug runners were related to the Mexican "Sinaloa Drug Cartel." Last Wednesday afternoon five bodies were discovered near Neily City, Costa Rica, a few kilometers from the Panamanian border. Killed were Eliécer Estribí Guerra, Agner Darío Moreno, José Manuel Pinzón Bazán, Carlos Javier Espino and Víctor Navarro Otero.
Methylamphetamine haul worth nearly $80 million after searching a plane which flew from New South Wales into Perth's Jandakot Airport.
Australia police have seized a massive methylamphetamine haul worth nearly $80 million after searching a plane which flew from New South Wales into Perth's Jandakot Airport.Police have arrested and charged the pilot and passenger with drug-related offences. Organised Crime Squad and State Security Investigation Group officers intercepted a Piper Aztec plane, which left from New South Wales on Tuesday, after it arrived at Jandakot around 5pm yesterday. Detectives searched the twin engine aircraft and found a bag allegedly containing 22kg of methylamphetamine and 8.85kg of ecstasy (approximately 35,000 tablets). The NSW pilot and his 24 year old passenger were both interviewed at the Organised Crime Squad offices and each was charged with Possess Methylamphetamine With Intent to Sell or Supply and Possess MDMA (ecstasy) with Intent to Sell or Supply. Both men were due to appear in the Perth Magistrate’s Court today.
Two men, police say are illegal immigrants, appeared in court on charges they tried to sell a large amount of heroin to undercover officers. Pedro Perez and Manuel Rameriz are each charged with drug trafficking and possession. Investigators are unsure if those are their true identities. Apparently the men call each other different names than the ones they gave police. Prosecutors say the men tried to sell over two pounds of heroin, worth 300-thousand dollars to undercover cops. Perez is held on a 200-thousand dollar bond. The judge set bond for Rameriz at 600-thousand.
Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix the eldest of five brothers who control the drug cartel in Tijuana deported
Francisco Rafael Arellano Félix, the eldest of five brothers who control the drug cartel in Tijuana, is back in Mexico after being freed from a United States prison this week, Mexican authorities said. He was released at a border crossing in El Paso and walked to Mexican soil, where family members met him, ushered him into a sedan and drove off. The authorities say there are no outstanding charges against him in Mexico. For years, Mr. Arellano Félix, 58, ran the powerful Tijuana cartel, known for ruthless killings and the smuggling of tons of cocaine. Mexican authorities arrested him in 1993 and sentenced him to 11 years in prison, and he stayed in prison two more years while he fought extradition to the United States. He was finally transferred to the United States in 2006 and convicted of selling cocaine to an undercover agent in 1980. He served a year and five months in an American prison. Two of his brothers are currently in prison, one died in a shootout in 2002 and one is at largeFrancisco Rafael Arellano Felix was sentenced to six years in federal prison last year in San Diego on cocaine charges from a 1980 drug bust. He was returned to Mexico Tuesday after getting credit for time served in Mexican prison while he awaited extradition, said Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney. Arellano Felix faces no charges in Mexico, said an official with Mexico's Attorney General office on condition of anonymity. The official, who was not authorized to speak for attribution, said Arellano Felix returned through Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican border city across from El Paso, Texas. Arellano Felix, a Mexican citizen, was extradited in 2006 after serving a decade-long sentence in Mexico on unrelated weapons charges. The deportation "reflects the conclusion of a cooperative effort between the United States and Mexico to ensure that he faced justice for crimes committed on both sides of the border," Sweeney said. Arellano Felix pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine and one count of possessing about half a pound of the drug with the intent to distribute it. He sold it to an undercover narcotics agent at a San Diego motel, authorities said. He was arrested while counting cash from the transaction, but fled to Mexico the following month after being released on $150,000 bond. His 2006 extradition came a month after Arellano Felix's younger brother, Francisco Javier, was captured by the U.S. Coast Guard aboard a sport-fishing yacht in international waters off La Paz, Mexico, and taken to San Diego to face drug charges. The younger Arellano Felix pleaded guilty in September to running a continuing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to launder money. Prosecutors said he agreed to plead guilty after then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales agreed not to pursue the death penalty. U.S. authorities have requested the extradition of Benjamin Arellano Felix, who was captured in 2002 in Puebla, Mexico, east of Mexico City. He is being held in a Mexican jail. Another brother, Ramon Arellano Felix, was shot to death the same year in the Pacific tourist port of Mazatlan.
Sydney-man Matthew Norman along with two others; Thanh Duc Tan Nguyen and Si Yi Chen, are to have their death sentences reduced to life. Known as the Malasti Three following their arrest at a hotel of that name in 2005, the three later had their sentences increased by Indonesia's court system, despite an appeal. Australian Scott Rush, who is also on death row, is now in the final stages of preparing a review into his own case, with the ruling seen as a positive step for Rush's own appeal.
Rush had the same treatment during appeal, with the Indonesian courts actually increasing his sentence to death following the appeal. In his first televised interview this month, Rush said that he had little idea of the consequences because of his only minor travel experience. "I didn't know what I was risking, I didn't know there was a death penalty, I didn't know anything about Bali really," he said.
Mr Rush went on to say that he regretted the decision, and the problems it had caused to his family, adding that the thought of execution weighed daily.
"They had a lot of... expectance for me I guess, I mean I do feel bad... It weighs on my mind pretty much every second of the day," he said.
"I mean I can't have a normal conversation like I used to be able to because of this.
"It's always in my mind. Always in the back of my head or it stops sometimes at the front."
Three Australians convicted of heroin smuggling in Indonesia have had their death sentences reduced to life imprisonment, their lawyer said Thursday.Judges in Jakarta decided to spare the lives of three of the so-called "Bali Nine" gang of drug smugglers who tried to traffic heroin from the Indonesian resort island of Bali back to Australia in 2005."The Supreme Court made its ruling about four days ago and it commutes the death sentences for Si Yi Chen, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen and Matthew Norman to life sentences," lawyer Erwin Siregar told AFP by telephone from Bali.The three, now aged between 21 and 24, were arrested in a hotel room in Bali with a small quantity of heroin shortly after others in the gang were arrested at the island's airport.The gang's three ring leaders, Scott Rush, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, remain on death row, while the three other members are serving prison sentences ranging from life to 20 years.Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the government was trying to confirm the court's decision."If the reports are accuratethen of course it's very welcome," he told Nine Network television.Australian media said court documents and an interview with one of the judges revealed that the trio's previous good character, and their youth, had influenced the decision to drop the death sentences.Judge Hakim Nyak Pha said there had been "intense discussion" about what penalty was appropriate, Australia's Daily Telegraph reported. "They are not masterminds," the judge said.The three had expressed remorse and apologised to the court.Chen, Nguyen and Norman were known as the Melasti Three because they were arrested at the Melasti hotel in Bali.None of the three had drugs on them at the time, but police found 350 grammes of heroin in a suitcase in their room.Siregar, their lawyer, said he had been informally notified of the Supreme Court ruling and that he was seeking a copy of the official verdict.
The spokesman of the Indonesian Supreme Court could not be immediately reached for comments.
Wednesday, March 5
Marcus Thomas was arrested after police said they found cocaine and a handgun in a pickup truck during a traffic stop
Denver Broncos defensive tackle Marcus Thomas was arrested after police said they found cocaine and a handgun in a pickup truck during a traffic stop.He was charged with possession of a controlled substance and released from jail Sunday after posting a $2,500 bond.Thomas slipped to the fourth round of last year's draft because of off-field problems. He had been considered a potential first-round pick.
Thomas and the driver were arrested early Saturday after police received a call from the Florida Highway Patrol asking them to look for a pickup with a driver who might be impaired.The police report said both men denied any knowledge of the cocaine. Police also said a semiautomatic pistol was seen inside the glove compartment.
Thomas' lawyer, Charles Truncale, said police found a small bag of what appeared to be a "trace amount" of cocaine and his client "did not possess it."
"Nor did he have any knowledge of it, until the stop of the vehicle," Truncale said. "That's what happened. He is not guilty of the charge for which he has been arrested.""The owner/operator of the vehicle has since admitted the cocaine was his and no cocaine was ever found on Marcus Thomas," the Broncos said in a statement, "Within hours of his release, Marcus had a test which confirmed that there was no cocaine in his system."The team would not comment on the source of its information, club spokesman Patrick Smyth said.Police Chief James Boivin said both men still face a possible felony charge because at the time of the arrest neither said he owned the cocaine. A call to the state attorney's office in Green Cove Springs was not immediately returned.homas was suspended most of his final college season at Florida in 2006. He had tested positive for drugs and violated curfew and his agreement to attend drug rehabilitation class.He started five games last season and had 20 tackles in 16 games.
Customs officers at the Kuwait International Airport have arrested two Bangladeshis for attempting to smuggle narcotic pills into the country, reports Al-Qabas daily.
According to a security source the suspects put up a brave appearance to pretend nothing was wrong with them. Their behavior caught the attention of customs officers and the passengers were whisked away for a thorough check.
The officers then searched their baggage and found 700 pills in the baggage of one man and 150 with the other.
Three Asian drug dealers have been arrested by the General Department of Drug Control (GDDC) officials.Director General of GDDC Brigadier Sheikh Ahmed Al-Khalifa told the press that he set up an undercover team to put the gang under 24 hour police surveillance when news about their activities around the Al-Salmi and Al-Nuwaiseeb borders reached his table.The securitymen trailed one of the suspects to a location in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh where he went to deliver the stuff to a woman who acted as the distributor of the drugs and arrested the trio during the course of transaction.The suspects were referred to relevant authorities for further investigation.
Tuesday, March 4
Greeces Supreme Court said it would issue its final ruling on the extradition of Australia's most wanted fugitive in two weeks.An Australian court had sentenced Tony Mokbel to 12 years in jail in absentia for cocaine trafficking, and he is also wanted on suspicion of ordering and paying for the murder of rival crime boss Lewis Moran and another man. He denies any involvement. "Our decision will be announced on March 18 at 1300 (2200 AEDT)," presiding judge Giorgos Sarantinos told the court as Mokbel sat quietly. Mokbel, 41, arrived at Greece's highest court in Athens today to argue against his forced return to Melbourne, where he faces about 20 criminal charges including two of murder. Mokbel's lawyer, Alexandros Lykourezos, asked Supreme Court judges to postpone the hearing for up to 45 days to allow Lebanese authorities to prepare a separate extradition request for Mokbel on drug smuggling charges. Mokbel holds Lebanese citizenship. Mokbel, who was arrested in an Athens suburb last year, has claimed he could not receive a fair trial in Australia due to biased press reports. His lawyers today tried to postpone the decision further but the court rejected their request. Mokbel has been in jail in Greece since his arrest in early June. He had lived in the country for nine months with his girlfriend, a daughter and another child. His lawyers have insisted that months of negative publicity in Australia, and comments by senior politicians regarding Mokbel and his arrest in Greece, are likely to deny him the chance of a fair trial.
criminal drug gang believed to be supplying cocaine was targeted in a series of dawn raids in Oxfordshire today.Officers swooped on 14 homes in Oxford, Didcot, Deddington and Banbury, seizing thousands of pounds worth of cocaine and cash.Police said the homes are believed to be linked to an Albanian drugs ring wanted for supplying cocaine across the south of England. 10 men from Oxfordshire were in custody being quizzed by police on suspicion of dealing class A drugs.Det Supt David Poole said: "This is an organised group of criminals operating throughout a number of police areas."We will take any action necessary to stop the supply of illegal and dangerous drugs, which cause so much harm to our communities."My message is, if you are involved in selling illegal drugs we will be coming to get you next."Around 100 police officers from Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley Organised Crime Unit, based in Kidlington, took part in the raids which began at 7am.An estimated £10,000 worth of cocaine was seized from homes in Garsington Road, Oxford, The Paddocks in Deddington and Mendip Heights, in Didcot.Around £20,000 in cash and a number of suspects' vehicles were also seized.A cocaine press - used in the supply of the drug - was also discovered by police at one of the properties.Raids took place in Crowell Road, Troy Close and Garsington Road in Cowley; Kestrel Crescent in Blackbird Leys; Stowford Road and Margaret Road in Headington; Cowley Road in East Oxford; and Arthray Road in Botley.Homes in Sage Close, Valley Road and South Bar Street, in Banbury, were also raided during the operation.
Six other raids connected with the operation were carried out in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire, leading to three arrests.A 56-year-old woman from Margaret Road, Oxford, who asked not to be named, said she saw police officers raid the house at about 7am.She said: "That house was a cannabis factory last year and we were not happy then. Now it has been raided a second time. As a neighbour I'm not happy it is happening again."A pensioner in The Paddocks, Deddington, said: "I thought we lived in a nice quiet village, but obviously we do not."Supt Brendan O'Dowda, Oxford's police commander, said: "Today's activity is evidence that we are working hard to protect our public from drug-related crime and that we are putting the organised criminal and crime syndicates firmly on the back foot."The operation was not connected to a series of 30 raids which targeted a £5.5m drug empire across London and the Home Counties, last month
"I transferred funds overseas to Mokbel - I think I was money laundering," RHS 3030 said.An associate of Tony Mokbel said he realised it was a "silly idea" to send large sums of money to the fugitive drugs baron while he was hiding in Greece."In hindsight, it was a silly idea at the time, but I was doing it as a favour for a mate."Investigators believe as much as $400,000 was sent to Mokbel as he evaded arrest.The man, who can only be identified as RHS3030, was giving evidence in the trial of nine men accused of manufacturing 42kg of amphetamines.They are alleged to be key members in an amphetamine manufacturing network known as "The Company" which was controlled by Mokbel until his arrest in Greece in June last year.
The hearing, before magistrate Maurice Gurvich, also heard that RHS3030 had given his passport to Mokbel "for analysis" but never received it back.Mokbel skipped bail with a false passport in the middle of his trial on cocaine importation charges last year and was convicted and sentenced in absentia to a minimum of nine years' jail.He is now fighting extradition to Australia from jail in Athens RHS3030 also recalled how he had made a room available in his house for the manufacture of amphetamines, although he had played no part in the process.
"I saw 10 bags weighing around two kilograms each," he said.
RHS3030, who was a long-term user of cocaine, said he believed he was immune to prosecution in return for giving evidence in the case.
"I believe I have indemnity but there was no promise going forward," he said.
The accused face six charges each including trafficking commercial quantities of methamphetamines worth $4.2 million and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Simon Jenkins jailed for six years at Teesside Crown Court ,Mark Leighton was locked up for four years
Simon Jenkins and Mark Leighton as key players in "the distribution of misery" after handling almost two thirds of a kilo of the class A drug.Jenkins, 26, of Selby Grove, Hartlepool, was jailed for six years at Teesside Crown Court, after a jury found him guilty of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply.Leighton, 44, pleaded guilty to a similar offence and was locked up for four years.Recorder Simon Wood said both were "relatively high in the chain of command".He said: "Even if it was as labourers or foot soldiers, your part in that chain is important, as you were both close to a significant dealing operation."You have become an essential means in that process of distribution of misery."The cocaine, which had a street value of between £34,000 and £43,000, was found after police searched Leighton's flat in Thackeray Road, Rift House, Hartlepool, on September 14 last year.They found 645 grams of the drug stored in packets and containers around the flat – some of it wrapped in lottery tickets.A set of digital scales and a chemical to mix with the cocaine were also seized along with a "dealer list" of names and numbers found in a kitchen drawer.Joanne Kidd, prosecuting, said Jenkins was sitting in the living room which was being used as a "work station" where the cocaine was being cut, mixed and bagged up ready for sale.Paul Cleasby, mitigating for Leighton, said he had been pressured into storing the drug for people higher up the network, who had access to his flat.He added that Leighton told police it was "more than my life is worth" to name them. Mr Cleasby said: "It wasn't his enterprise, he didn't profit to a significant extent."He was financially vulnerable at the time and these people, who are cold and calculating enough to profiteer in this industry, use people like Mark Leighton."Jenkins, who started taking cannabis at 13, was earlier convicted by a jury after his trial heard how his fingerprints were found on the cocaine.He had insisted he had merely handled the drugs on discovering them in the flat.Robin Denny, defending Jenkins, said: "Obviously the amount is considerable but he was a labourer so to speak.
Kevin Hebert,Joel Kist Jr charged them with possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Kevin Hebert, 24, and Joel Kist Jr., 23, both of 1 Lisa Ave., and charged them with possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.Hebert was also charged with interfering with an officer. He is being held on a $100,000 bond while Kist is being held on a $2,500 cash bond.
The Office of the Jewett City Resident Trooper said the case is still under investigation.
A four-day dragnet involving 10 federal, state and local agencies operating on the Big Island led to the arrest of 91 alleged drug and violent-crime offenders on 130 warrants last week, the U.S. Marshals Service announced yesterday.Called Operation Pono, the effort focused on fugitives with warrants or criminal histories related to narcotics, sexual assault or other crimes of violence, the Marshals Service said.
"In our opinion the capture of career criminals will result in reduction of crime and safer communities," said U.S. Marshal Mark Hanohano.Hawaii County police Maj. Marshall Kanehailua said many of the people arrested were probably hiding out, lying low. But some were also actively engaged in new crimes, and capturing them will reduce crime, he said."We definitely see a downturn in crime in specific areas," he said.The operation resulted in 13 new criminal cases, the Marshals Service said."Fugitives like Crisanto Ragasa, who was wanted for drug trafficking and firearms possession, or Perry Johnson, who was wanted for kidnapping and terroristic threatening, are now both behind bars," a statement said.Some of the suspects posted bail as soon as they were arrested, Kanehailua said. But if they fail to appear in court, they will have bail bondsmen looking for them, too.Many are lifelong residents of the Big Island. "Where are you going to go? They might be on the run locally, but eventually they get caught," he said.Police often know where the offenders are."We just don't have time to go out and get them," Kanehailua said.The 91 arrests represent not quite half of the 200 offenders sought, he said. Officials started to put the operation together about a month in advance. "That's a lot of numbers for a short period," he said.About 50 officers took part in the operation, compared with another Operation Pono in 2004, when 35 officers arrested 98 offenders in seven days.Such operations are relatively simple because the existence of bench warrants means a judge has already heard evidence against the suspects, Kanehailua said.In contrast, Operation Island Pipeline in 2001, which shut down an international heroin ring and resulted in 58 arrests, required 13 months of gathering evidence before arrests could be made.
Brian Jackie Harper, who was sentenced in New Bern federal court, pleaded guilty in December to conspiring to possess and distribute heroin.His conviction was part of an operation dubbed Man O War between September 2005 and October 2006, the release stated.Harper has prior convictions for cocaine trafficking, cocaine possession with intent to deliver and heroin possession with intent to deliver, the news release said.The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, Wilmington police and Onslow County Sheriff's office investigated the case.Harper was arrested after investigators made numerous controlled heroin buys, the release said.The buys netted nearly 400 grams of heroin, said New Hanover District Attorney Ben David.New Hanover County Assistant District Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted the case in federal court as part of a partnership between the county district attorney's office and the U.S. Attorney's office to prosecute serious drug offenses in federal court.Severo has been designated as a special assistant United States attorney.
"This plea demonstrates our continued commitment to aggressively prosecute criminals who are distributing heroin in our community," David said Monday.
Lynden Hale, 25, of Ovenden Way, Ovenden, Halifax, admitted driving while disqualified, possessing class A drugs, handling stolen goods and driving without insurance.Bradford Crown Court heard that police knew Hale was a banned driver but saw him in a Suzuki Alto. When he was searched, he had heroin in his pocket.
State troopers are searching for the driver of a sport utility vehicle in which 25 bags of heroin were found in plain sight.Florida Highway Patrol troopers pulled over the Isuzu SUV on Interstate 95 near 135th Street on Monday night after the driver was using the shoulder to pass other vehicles.Lt. Pat Santangelo said the driver and passenger both ran away, but the passenger was eventually caught. Troopers have the driver's license, though, and said they were confident he would be arrested.
Vincent S. Pace pleaded guilty in January to a felony charge of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance
Vincent S. Pace, 57, of May Street agreed to forfeit $14,000 in cash that police seized from his home when police raided it last Sept. 13. Four ounces of cocaine was found in the home that day as well. He pleaded guilty in January to a felony charge of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Police said Pace sold cocaine in the Glens Falls and southern Essex County areas, but also was an avid golfer who police had been told frequently sold the drug to fellow players at golf tournaments around the North Country.He will have to serve at least 4 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. He will have to spend 2 years on parole under the terms of his plea deal.
seven men involved in a major drug smuggling ring that shipped hundreds of tonnes of hashish from Iran to Bahrain were jailed for life and fined BD5,000 yesterday. Another two were jailed for 10 years and also fined BD5,000 after they were convicted of selling the drugs in Bahrain. Three more were jailed for three years each for their part in receiving and delivering the drugs, as well as using them.
However, only 10 of them appeared in court yesterday to hear the verdict. Two of the men involved in shipping the drugs have already fled the country having previously been convicted on separate drugs charges, which carried jail sentences of 10 years each.All those convicted yesterday are Bahrainis aged 22 to 33.The international drug smuggling operation was brought to an abrupt end during a police raid in Seef in November 2006. The raid followed an investigation in which an undercover Kuwaiti policeman agreed to buy 500kg of hashish from one of the Bahraini defendants at a rate of BD550 per kilogram. Bahraini authorities provided money to be used in the sting operation, along with a car for the Kuwaiti policeman, into which he could load the drugs. He agreed to buy 300kg of hashish the first day and 200kg the next day from a Bahraini dealer and was told to bring BD165,000 for the first transaction.
They allegedly arranged to make the exchange at Al A'Ali Shopping Complex, Seef, but three drug squad officers were hiding in the boot of the undercover officer's car when the dealers showed up.When he handed over the cash to them the three officers burst out of the boot and arrested two drug dealers at the scene, despite them resisting. A third man was later arrested after he initially managed to escape.
During questioning, one of them admitted that the drugs were shipped to Bahrain from Iran, tied to a buoy and dumped in the sea off the Bahrain coast.Four of the Bahraini defendants then found the drugs using a Global Positioning System and brought them into the country.
47-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman appeared in Port Macquarie Local Court on Friday charged over the alleged supply of heroin
Arrest of a man and a woman last week for supplying heroin in the Macleay follows the recent deaths of two people from heroin overdoses, police said yesterday.
A 32-year-old Kempsey woman died following a heroin overdose on December 5, and police allege she was supplied by the two people arrested last week.
A 31-year-old man died from an overdose in January but it is unclear if the heroin was from the same supplier.The 47-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman appeared in Port Macquarie Local Court on Friday charged over the alleged supply of heroin.Kempsey detectives conducted an investigation, Operation Horan, looking into ongoing heroin supply within the local region.Last Thursday police executed a search warrant at a Burnt Bridge property and arrested the two alleged heroin suppliers.It will be alleged that a quantity of heroin and cash was found at the premises.
The pair were taken to Kempsey Police Station where they were charged with supplying drugs offences, possessing a prohibited drug, and dealing in the proceeds of crime.
Police said the man and woman were refused bail when they appeared in court on Friday.
Arrested Iyawe Ekhosuh Evans,Okafor Sunday Ken, Arthur Benson Emmanuel; Akaegbobi Festus Ebere, Olise Morgan Clinton,
Attempt by suspected drug couriers to smuggle cocaine worth N20 million through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja has been foiled by officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The drug weighing 8.1 kilogrammes was seized from nine suspected drug traffickers last month.The suspects are Iyawe Ekhosuh Evans, 29; Okafor Sunday Ken, 32; Arthur Benson Emmanuel, 44; Akaegbobi Festus Ebere, 31 and Olise Morgan Clinton, 28. Others are Abogun Adesola Henry, 38; Okafor Ugochukwu Godwin, 23; Osamede Otas Oviawe, 31 and Igwenu Godwin Amobichukwu, 29. Preliminary investigation revealed that all the suspects took off from Lagos.The NDLEA Abuja Airport Commander Alhaji Hamza Umar decried the involvement of the suspects in illicit drug trafficking noting that they ought to be gainfully employed in the productive sector of the economy. Hamza disclosed that five suspects were arrested in January, thus bringing the total number of suspects arrested since the beginning of the year to fourteen.
All the suspects ingested the drug except one who packed it on his body. In his words, “It is sad that the suspects who are young, able-bodied and energetic have opted to traffic in narcotics rather than engaging in legitimate undertaking.”