Todd R. Willoughby, 25, is charged with providing a man with a pair of shoes “to wear into the (facility) which contained crack cocaine in the sole area,” according to court documents.Willoughby pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine and one count of possession of an offensive weapon.
Pennsylvania State Police filed the charges against Willoughby following a visit to a Newton Hamilton home in March 2007.While in the home, officers found Willoughby, along with other individuals and a loaded semiautomatic handgun in the room, police said.One of the other men in the home, Jevon A. Everett, was arrested by police at the time for possession with intent to deliver, documents indicate.Everett, who supplied police with false identification, was found to be in possession of more than $3,000 and two cell phones, police said.Documents indicate that while they were in the home, Willoughby told police that the handgun belonged to another man who had brought it to trade for crack cocaine.However, police said Willoughby later wrote a letter to Everett in the correctional facility, in which he discussed the Marc incident and tried to get the cops to look toward another person, and discussed “the crack cocaine later found in Everett’s shoes, which — according to the letter — belong to Willoughby.”Willoughby remains free on bail and he is tentatively scheduled for sentencing on July 8. He is represented by defense attorney Brian Baker.
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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Wednesday, April 30
Todd R. Willoughby, 25, is charged with providing a man with a pair of shoes “to wear into the (facility) which contained crack cocaine in the sole area,” according to court documents.Willoughby pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine and one count of possession of an offensive weapon.
Mejia Munera was wanted for drug trafficking in the United States and had a $5 million reward on his head offered by the U.S. government, as does his brother, Victor Manuel. "He was one of our most wanted," said Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos in announcing that Miguel Angel Mejia Munera had been shot dead along with two of his men in a rural area near the northern city of Medellin.
Police killed a drug lord known as one of the "twins" who controlled Colombia's biggest emerging cocaine gang staffed by former right-wing militia fighters in a shootout on Tuesday.An informant guided police to the farmhouse where Mejia Munera, dressed in camouflage military fatigues, was found with his bodyguards, three of whom were captured.He and his still-at-large twin brother gained influence after they and other cocaine-funded paramilitaries disbanded under a government peace deal criticized by rights groups for not forcing former militia fighters to give up crime.
"The twins were the most powerful leaders in Colombia's new generation of criminal bands, which combine paramilitary and drug-cartel structures and pose the biggest threat to Colombia's future," said Pablo Casas, an analyst at Bogota think tank Security and Democracy.The twins were paramilitary leaders who demobilized in 2006. But they refused to turn themselves in to face jail time along with other militia leaders as part of the peace pact.The "paras" were formed in the 1980s to help rich Colombians beat back leftist rebels who are still fighting the state in the name of socialist revolution.The United States has given Colombia about $5.5 billion in aid over the last seven years aimed at combating the drug trade and bolstering security.
Urban crime rates have plummeted and investment is up in Colombia due to the military push. But cocaine exports from the Andean country remain steady at more than 600 tonnes per year, according to the United Nations. (Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
Ongoing investigation of a drug ring operating in Langston Terrace in Northeast, DC.
A 38-count federal indictment was unsealed today, charging eight individuals with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin. The arrests were a result of an operation by members of the FBI/MPD Safe Streets Task Force. Authorities believe the ring was led by Rex Pelote, Sr.Today, Charles Edward McRae, along with Linda M. Jones, were arrested, in the District of Columbia. Each are members of the Rex Pelote, Sr., crew. Previous arrests consisted of Loretta Belt on April 7, 2008 and Edward Tyrone Farley on April 15, 2008.During the arrests and execution of the search warrants, authorities seized more than 200 grams of heroin, more than 300 grams of crack cocaine, and one firearm.
“If you’re a resident in that community you would be concerned about a daily operation of any quantity,” Chief Lanier said. She said the investigation into Langston Terrace began after a spate of violence in 2006. Chief Lanier called the take down in Langston Terrace significant.“Today’s announcement of the indictments, arrests and searches relating to members of the Langston Terrace Crew illustrates the success of the Team DC concept wherein the FBI and MPD share resources, personnel and intelligence to address violent crime issues in the District of Columbia,” ADIC Persichini said. “The FBI will continue to participate in this joint law enforcement effort to make the streets of the District of Columbia safer for its citizens.”Mayor Fenty also praised the efforts of Team DC and said, “I’m pleased that many of the arrests occurred in the Fifth District, an area that has experienced a critical amount of violence.”
US Attorney Taylor stated, “Today is a good day for Langston Terrace. We want to bring some justice and peace back to our communities.”
Jose Rayuela-Lanuza customs uncovered $4 million in heroin concealed in Peruvian candy boxes at Newark Liberty International Airport
Customs and Border Protection agents say they uncovered $4 million in heroin concealed in Peruvian candy boxes at Newark Liberty International Airport. Tuesday's discovery came three days after a Colombian citizen was arrested on charges of trying to smuggle $1 million dollars worth of liquid heroin through the airport.
In the latest incident, authorities say they were suspicious about the travel documents of a Spanish man who arrived on a flight from Peru. Jose Rayuela-Lanuza was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Michelle McKenzie of Negril, Westmoreland was fined 860,000 Guyanese dollars, the value of the drugs she was caught with.One of three Jamaicans held with cocaine in a dart board at Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana last Friday was sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday.The Court ordered that she be deported at the end of her sentence.McKenzie, who is four months pregnant, pleaded guilty to having trafficked 956 grams of cocaine.…McKenzie left behind a two-year-old child in Jamaica
Carlos "El Puma" Landin, the suspected leader of Mexico's powerful Gulf drug cartel who was one of the country's most wanted men, was arrested last year by U.S. authorities while shopping in the Texas border town of McAllen.The Gulf cartel and its armed wing the Zetas dominate smuggling routes into Texas via the violence-wracked Mexican border cities of Matamoros, Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo.
Landin was found guilty by a jury in January of a total of nine counts of drug trafficking and money laundering."U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Landin to the maximum -- life imprisonment -- for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and various counts of distributing more than 50 kilograms of cocaine," the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement."Landin also received the maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment for conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and laundering more than $1.6 million in drug proceeds," it said.
Bernalillo County deputies went to 21-year-old Ashley Harrod's northeast Albuquerque apartment Tuesday to serve her with eviction papers.New Mexico high school secretary has been busted for allegedly serving students cocaine. Inside they found Harrod and two teenage boys with cocaine on the table. Deputies also found four vials of cocaine and a glass pipe in the apartment. The boys told deputies that Harrod invited them over to get high at lunchtime. Sandia High School Students were surprised to hear an administrator was allegedly supplying drugs to students. "You'd think there would be some kind of hiring procedure to make sure we are not getting people like this, and it's a real problem and it makes teachers that are really good and really dedicated to their students, it makes them look really bad," said Dylan Waters. Albuquerque Public Schools officials said they put Harrod on paid administrative leave as soon as they found out about the incident. Harrod is facing contributing to the delinquency of a minor and drug possession charges along with two counts of child abuse.
Ghul Khan Arghun Shah and Zarbadan Minajan were sentenced to death for bringing into the kingdom packets of heroin hidden in their stomachs.They were executed in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah. Separately, Syrian Ibrahim Hussein al-Jarkh, also convicted of drug smuggling, was beheaded in the northern city of Tabuk, the ministry said.
Montriel Ramont Esaw will serve more than six years in a federal prison following his conviction of distributing crack cocaine.
Montriel Ramont Esaw 23-year-old Anchorage man will serve more than six years in a federal prison following his conviction of distributing crack cocaine.
Montriel Ramont Esaw was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Anchorage. The U.S. Attorney's Office said Esaw sold more than 21 grams of crack on three occasions in 2007. Officials say when he was arrested, he was found with 20 grams of crack, 16 grams of marijuana, and just more than $2,000 in drug sale proceeds.
Simone Ferre, 65, has been charged with drug smuggling after cocaine worth £80,000 was found in her bag at Birmingham International Airport.Custom Officers stopped Simone Ferre, 65, as she arrived on a flight via Brussels from Nairobi, Kenya.The cocaine was discovered concealed in her hand luggage. She was remanded and will appear at court in Solihull.
Jason Young, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Jason Young, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, was sentenced to eight years in prison.Jason Young, 37, of Upton Road South, Bexley, is one of four men sentenced to a total of 52 years at the Old Bailey for their roles in the plot to deal 43 kilos of the Class A drug.He was arrested on August 4 last year following a covert police operation which tracked the men to a hotel by Dartford Bridge. From there the gang went to a nearby car park where Young and Alister Morin, 34, stayed while there other accomplices, Michael Linker and James Scarciglia followed a lorry just arrived from France to Bow Arrow Lane, Dartford.Both vehicles parked up on opposite sides of the road then Linker went to the rear of the truck with the rucksacks while Scarciglia waited in the car. A bag, which was later found to contain £6,000 payment for the transportation of the drugs, was transferred to the parked vehicle.Police then swooped on the men when Scarciglia backed his car up to the rear of the lorry and Linker, who was inside the lorry, had put 43 kilos of cocaine into the rucksacks. Young, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, was sentenced to eight years in prison.Morin, 34, of Burns Avenue, Chadwell Heath, Romford, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine and was sentenced to 15 years.Scarciglia, 40, of Harrow View, Harrow, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and was sentenced to 15 years.Linker, 37, of Church Road, Frenchay, Bristol, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and was sentenced to 14 years.Mr Young was arrested last August following a covert police operation which tracked the four men to one of their exchanges in Dartford.Det Insp Grant Johnson of the specialist crime directorate said: “In this case, class A drugs with an estimated value of £5 million have been taken off the streets and the perpetrators punished for their crime.”
"The cocaine underworld is one to which violence is no stranger, and Mr. Esrabian spoke of, condoned and recognized this fact," Mr. Mack said.Hussein El-Hajj Hassan was an ambitious 27-year-old cocaine dealer who had subverted the chain of command in Ottawa's drug underworld when he was shot twice in the early evening hours of Aug. 20, 2004, assistant Crown attorney Dallas Mack told a jury yesterday. He was making his opening statement to the jury in the trial of Shant Esrabian, who is charged with first-degree murder in Mr. El-Hajj Hassan's death.Mr. Mack told the jury that Mr. Esrabian was one of the three men who stood over Mr. El-Hajj Hassan the night he was killed in an isolated wooded area of Ottawa's west end. The other men, Mark Yegin and Fadi Saleh, are also charged with first-degree murder.
Mr. Esrabian, dressed in a crisp pink button-down shirt in the prisoner's box, has pleaded not guilty.Mr. Mack told the jury that Mr. El-Hajj Hassan was fast becoming a major player in Ottawa and Cornwall's cocaine markets in the months leading up to his death. He bought tens of thousands of dollars' worth of the drug each month from Mr. Saleh, his primary supplier, Mr. Mack said.
"In the months leading up to the murder, Mr. El-Hajj Hassan had grown frustrated with Mr. Saleh's organization," Mr. Mack said.He decided to go over his supplier's head and deal directly with Rafei Ebrekdjian, the Toronto man who supplied Mr. Saleh with his cocaine, Mr. Mack said.He told the jury that the day before Mr. El-Hajj Hassan died, he travelled to Toronto with $170,000 to purchase cocaine directly from Mr. Ebrekdjian, which brought the total he had paid the Toronto supplier to more than $400,000.The shipment was supposed to come on Aug. 21, 2004.Mr. El-Hajj Hassan met with Mr. Yegin, Mr. Esrabian and Mr. Saleh on Aug. 20, under the pretense that he was going to sort out issues related to his Cornwall dealings, the prosecutor said."No one was there that night by accident," Mr. Mack told the jury.
Mr. El-Hajj Hassan's mostly naked body would not be found until almost a year later when Mr. Yegin directed police to his shallow grave.On June 27, 2005, his body was recovered, curled into the fetal position, his skull crushed and right hand hacked off.Mr. Mack described Mr. Esrabian, 29, as a Montreal cocaine dealer who had been a high school friend of Mr. Saleh's and a powerful associate in his drug organization.
Mr. Mack told the jurors they would be presented with evidence that shows Mr. Esrabian travelled from Montreal to Gatineau on Aug. 19, 2004, and that calls made from his cellphone place him in the area of Ottawa at the same time and place that Mr. El-Hajj Hassan was killed.Mr. Mack told jury members that, during the five-week trial, they would hear from drug dealers, a member of the Hells Angels, and Mr. Yegin.The first witness, who is to testify this morning, is Soumia Labrouki, Mr. El-Hajj Hassan's widow.She gave birth to their third child three months after he died
Tuesday, April 29
Gentra Maria Taylor was charged with cocaine distribution and smuggling contraband into a detention facility
Gentra Maria Taylor, 39, of 8603 N. 39th St., was charged Thursday with cocaine distribution and smuggling contraband into a detention facility.The sheriff's office reported that on April 17, a jail employee discovered the .2 grams of cocaine in a letter that was sent to inmate Detrick D. McGriff, 41. McGriff had been arrested Dec. 4 on a charge of violation of probation for possession of cocaine.The cocaine was contained in three Zip-Lock style bags.While Taylor sent McGriff two letters that day, only one contained the drug, the report said. They did not appear to have been tampered with, the report addedTaylor was picked up on a warrant at 1002 S. Lake Anoka Blvd., in Avon Park.
Nehemiah Hellems appeared before the court charged with kidnapping. He's accused of holding a woman at gunpoint at a Durant Motel in August of 2007.The ultimate of several drug suppliers, began with a frantic phone call from a Durant convienence store. A woman called police saying she had escaped from a motel next door, where she had been held at gunpoint for an entire night. When her captures began cooking meth inside the room, they started a fire, which gave her a chance to escape.Authorities say the woman was kidnapped because she had snitched on a man accused of selling meth. That man, Jimmie Rodgers Sr., was one of the largest suppliers of meth to Bryan and Marshall County drug users. An investigation by Durant police and the Bryan County Drug Task Force led to at least 4 other arrests, including that of Jimmie Rodgers Sr. And police say those involved were part of one of the largest drug families in the area. "By taking them two down, it made a dent [in meth production], but like always there is someone waiting in the wings to take over," said Chuck Carroll with the Bryan County Drug Task Force.Investigators say Hellems is a secondary player in all of this. The two men in charge of the family meth ring - Jimmie Rodgers Sr., and Jimmie Rodgers Jr. - have already been to court and are now facing prison time. Hellems trial began Monday morning, and the jury began deliberations Monday afternoon.
Jonathon Griffin was charged with being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to supply.
Jonathon Griffin, aged 19, from Bonnington Close, was charged with being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to supply.18 bags of cocaine with an estimated street value of £50,000 were recovered when police raided a property in St Helens.Officers executed a drugs warrant at Bonnington Close, Eccleston, on Saturday, April 26.
bloodiest days in Tijuana's history Luis Alfonso Velarde aka "Crutches," "Mr. Three Letters" "La Perra," all might be dead
"Crutches," a.k.a. Luis Alfonso Velarde, a reputed local drug lord with a handful of YouTubevideo tributes to his name.Another, even bigger "cartel" operative nicknamed "Mr. Three Letters" might be dead too, along with "La Perra," reported El Sol de Tijuana. And they may all have been ambushed by another cartel leader known as "El Cholo."But no one was willing to confirm any of that on the record.
Official silence, many here argue, helps feed the culture of corruption. It is a widely recognized truth that drug traffickers operate in Baja California and elsewhere with the protection of some public officials.On Tuesday, Gen. Sergio Aponte Polito, the commander of troops in the Baja region, took the extraordinary step of writing an open letter to a local newspaper that identified several law enforcement officials he alleged were linked to organized crime.
The letter's implicit argument was that officials who protect organized crime are likely to escape prosecution thanks to the culture of secrecy that surrounds law enforcement here."Isn't this corruption?" the general asked. "What a disgrace for the society of Baja California!"Calderon's government has worked hard to clean up law enforcement. His top police official, Genaro Garcia Luna, has purged the Federal Investigative Agency of corrupt cops. Soldiers have temporarily disarmed police in Tijuana and other cities, and several reputed drug bosses have been extradited to the United States.Yet the widespread violence shows few signs of abating. An estimated 2,500 people were killed in drug-related violence last year, officials say. So far this year, more than 850 people have been killed, according to tallies by news agencies.The objective measures by which U.S. officials determine the strength of the drug trafficking business also offer a mixed bag.
Monday, April 28
David Bancroft, 61,accused of smuggling nearly £250,000 worth of cocaine is alleged to have been found smuggling 15kilos of the Class A drug in Dover, Kent at the weekend.Bancroft of Nesbit Close, Wickford has been released on bail.He will appear at Dover Magistrates' Court on Thursday to face the charge
Sunday, April 27
Nicholas Garland,Shane Liddy,Richard McNamara,Darryll Bennett attacked Stephen Green who died from a blood clot in the brain after the attack
The four teenagers are facing life sentences after being convicted of murder. Nicholas Garland, 18, Shane Liddy, 19, Richard McNamara, 19, and Darryll Bennett, 18, all from Luton, had all denied the charge.Four youths who were "fuelled by drink and drugs" stamped on his head and struck him with a stick. The impact of the blows dented his cycle helmet.
Stephen Green, 55, a corporal who served with the Army for nine years, was attacked in an underpass as he was cycling home from work in Dunstable, Beds.One of the teenagers was later overheard boasting to the others: "Did you see his face, did you see the way I was battering him."Prosecutors said the killers were unemployed and desperate for a "raise", which is a slang term for robbery to raise cash for alcohol and drugs.Mr Green's rucksack was taken but discarded shortly afterwards with its contents of £5.65.The victim died in hospital from a blood clot in the brain after the attack last May.
Mr Green served in the Royal Ordnance Corps and did tours of duty in Belize, Cyprus and Norway as well as serving with the UN. After leaving the Army he took a job as a factory worker in Dunstable.He was attacked last May 4 on a path that ran under the M1. Bennett stopped Mr Green as he cycled through the tunnel and demanded: "What have you got for me?"Mr Green had no time to hand anything over before he was punched to the ground and kicked repeatedly.He was left severely injured as the youths ran away laughing. It was two hours before a passer-by found him and he died 10 days later.Luton Crown Court heard that the youths went back to McNamara's home, where his mother overheard them talking.Mrs McNamara heard Bennett say: "Did you see his face, did you see the way I was battering him." McNamara replied: "You were going mad, man. I tried to get you off."Bennett then said: "I know, I was hyper. I was saying, 'I'm going to kill him, I'm going to kill him'."The teenagers were arrested on May 16. McNamara sobbed and had to be supported by a woman police officer. Mr Green's blood was found on trainers belonging to McNamara and Garland.Det Chief Insp John Giles, who led the murder inquiry, said: "These four people would clearly target innocent members of the public to pay for drugs and alcohol."In this case Mr Green was the person to fall into their trap. The amount of violence used towards him was unimaginable. This was a callous and pre-meditated crime."During this investigation we have received help from some people who are very close to the offenders and I would like to thank them for their assistance."Mr Green's brother, Richard, 53, said: "Our family was devastated by the loss of Stephen."Memories of him, especially his smile, will be with us for ever. He loved life, enjoying trips out, the theatre, football and most of all he enjoyed our family gatherings."His mother, Thora, said: "We were very proud of him. Stephen was loved by us all and also by our friends. He was so generous and kind and gave donations to charities."He was also a blood donor and had a tie pin for 10 years reflecting his commitment to giving blood and helping others. Stephen will never be forgotten."
20-year-old Carson City woman who lost her job as a preschool teacher for selling cocaine in an undercover sting was sentenced to 30 days in Douglas County Jail as part of her probation.District Judge Michael Gibbons ordered Brittany Baxter-Stuchell to turn herself in on Monday. He delayed imposition of the sentence so Baxter-Stuchell could attend a funeral.She pleaded guilty to sale of a controlled substance stemming from a Feb. 28, 2007, transaction in the parking lot at Target in north Douglas County.According to court documents, the sheriff's Street Enforcement Team set up the purchase. Baxter-Stuchell allegedly took the cocaine from her purse and said she could provide marijuana, Ecstasy or hallucinogenic mushrooms.She said Monday she no longer associates with her co-defendants, one of whom had been her boyfriend."These are not people or situations I surround myself with," she said.
"You may not think you're a drug dealer - you're not importing drugs from Colombia - but in pleading guilty to sale of a controlled substance, you're a drug dealer," Gibbons said.Her lawyer, Derrick Lopez, said Baxter-Stuchell realized the felony conviction put her dreams of becoming a teacher on hold for at least 15 years until her record may be sealed."She did have dreams of becoming a teacher," Lopez said. "She knows now that is gone for a very long time. That is a significant punishment."She received probation because she cooperated with law enforcement in other drug investigations. "I know I made a very big mistake," Baxter-Stuchell said. "I am not on drugs. I hurt my family very badly and I hurt my schooling. I am taking full responsibility."Gibbons suspended a three-year sentence in Nevada State Prison and placed Stuchell on three years probation.She must undergo substance abuse evaluation and treatment and may not use drugs or alcohol during probation.
He ordered her to pay $1,000 restitution at $150 per month. She must graduate from high school or earn her general educational development certification and pay $500 to reimburse the county for her court-appointed attorney.She faced six years in prison and a $20,000 fine
Curtis Newton Jr., who is also known as "Munchy," was charged with Thursday third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), a felony; fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor; and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, because his 11-year-old brother was present during the alleged crime.Newton's girlfriend, 22-year-old Megan Martin, was at the scene of 102 Greenvale Circle, a Greenburgh Housing Authority property, and was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.Newton had been barred from the housing property for several years, but had recently had his restriction order rescinded and was living with his mother at the time of the arrest, according to police.
Friday, April 25
Convicted drug smuggler Brian Brendon Wright was today ordered to pay a confiscation order of £2,311,371 following a hearing at Woolwich Crown Court. Wright, 61, who headed an international drugs smuggling gang, was jailed for 30 years in April 2007 having been found guilty of conspiracy to evade prohibition on the importation of a controlled drug and the conspiracy to supply drugs. His Honour Judge Peter Moss today told Wright that he would have to serve a consecutive 10 years default sentence if the money was not paid in 12 months. Robert Alder, Head of Restraint & Confiscation Unit, HM Revenue & Customs, Criminal Investigation Division, said: "The size of this Confiscation Order reflects Brian Brendon Wright's role at the very top of a global organised crime network that lived off the misery of the countless victims of the illegal drug trade. "Confiscation Orders like this ensure that career criminals such as Wright are denied the opportunity to profit from their crimes."
Wright, originally from the Republic of Ireland, lived a luxurious lifestyle. He portrayed himself as a wealthy entrepreneur and professional gambler with an avid interest in the horseracing world. His friends and associates included many noted figures from the sports and entertainment industries. However, in reality he was the mastermind behind several multi-million pound cocaine shipments into the UK.
Passing sentence, Judge Peter Moss told him: "You were a master criminal, manipulative, influential and powerful." He added: "I accept that you will be a very much older man when you are entitled to be released." The investigation that led to 20 convictions worldwide with jail sentences totalling over 250 years, followed an unsuccessful smuggling attempt in September 1996 using a vessel named the Sea Mist which was discovered carrying 599kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of £80 million. Over the next two years four further drug shipments were smuggled ashore.
In February 1999, officers seized 472kg of cocaine from a lock-up garage in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex and from a farm in Laleham in Surrey. Following the arrest of several members of his gang, Wright, fled to northern Cyprus in 1999. He was eventually discovered in hiding in Spain in 2005 and extradited to the UK.
The case was prosecuted on behalf of HMRC by The Revenue & Customs Prosecution Office (RCPO) which was created by Royal Assent on 07 April 2005 and is an independent prosecuting authority reporting directly to the Attorney General.
Mohammed Tayeb Ahmed was arrested Wednesday as he was driving around in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on Morocco's northern coast.
Spanish police have captured one of the world's top hashish traffickers, who escaped from a Moroccan prison five months ago, police said Thursday. Morocco had issued an international arrest warrant for the drug lord, known in Spain as El Nene, who was serving an eight-year sentence in the prison of Kenitra, 40 kilometres north of the capital Rabat. Ahmed, who had accumulated a fortune estimated to be worth 30 million euros (47 million dollars), had bribed prison personnel into allowing him to have three cells with air conditioning, television, DVD and a computer with internet access, according to Spanish police. His escape with the help of prison guards did not become known until a week later. Eight guards have been handed sentences ranging from 2 to 4 years in the affair. Ahmed was originally from Ceuta, a city of some 75,000 residents, many of whom are of Moroccan origin. Ceuta had stepped up security controls after nine Islamists fled from the same Kenitra prison earlier this month. The nine had been convicted of involvement in the 2003 Casablanca suicide bombings which claimed 45 lives. Morocco has been regarded as the world's top hashish producer, but it could be losing that position to Afghanistan after a government campaign against cannabis cultivation eradicated a part of the crop. Moroccan farmers are growing cannabis - the plant from which hashish is made - on an estimated 60,000 hectares. Traffickers like Ahmed then smuggle the drug through Spain to the European market.
Juan "The Ice Man" Romo-Jimenez, whom authorities identified as the leader of a drug ring, was arrested Wednesday morning when cops raided his home near Apopka.Nearly three dozen people, including Romo-Jimenez, were named in a grand-jury indictment accusing them of conspiracy to traffic cocaine over 400 grams, a first-degree felony, the Orange County Sheriff's Office stated.Five documented gang members and associates, also including Romo-Jimenez, were charged with criminal racketeering.
The street gang named in the indictment is linked to homicides, home invasions and armed robberies across the state, sheriff's Cmdr. Victor Payne said.
"This case had a huge community impact," said Lt. Carl Metzger of the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation. "Residents in that portion of Orange County should sleep better."Four SWAT teams executed the search warrants early Wednesday, netting 33 arrests, including seven people in custody from a March sting and four others not named in the indictment.Officers are still searching for 14 people.Six months ago, Orange County's gang unit began investigatinggang members and associates selling drugs in Pine Hills, Apopka, Winter Park and northwest Orange County. Investigators found that the drugs being sold were coming from Mexico, Payne said.Last month, seven people connected to the drug-smuggling ring who were supplying the Orange County dealers were arrested, including Romo-Jimenez's main supplier, Metzger said.
Deputies recovered 4 kilograms of cocaine worth about $300,000 and four guns in March, Payne said.On Wednesday, several agencies worked together on the arrests. Metzger called the collaboration a "perfect example of teamwork."During Wednesday's operation, officers recovered $3,000 in cash, six cars, 110 grams of cocaine and several guns, including three rifles and four handguns.
Thursday, April 24
Canada-wide arrest warrant for Dennis George Grant, 31, following a month-long probe into the smuggling operation, in which a man imported narcotics into Canada and then sold the drugs to distributors.The ring was uncovered by officers working out of Peel police 12 Division.Grant, who lives in the City Centre, is alleged to be a "major figure in the ring," according to Peel Cst. Samantha Nulle.He's wanted for unauthorized possession of a firearm (two counts), careless storage of a firearm (two counts), possession of a controlled substance and numerous other firearms, drug and property offences."Investigators believe that he is in possession of a firearm and should be considered armed and extremely dangerous," Nulle said.Grant is described as black, 5-foot-8, 150 pounds. He has short black hair and a large mole on his right cheek next to his nose.He's known to travel extensively throughout Canada, the United States and Jamaica. He might be travelling under an alias, Shawn Aulotte, police said. He holds a passport under that name. Grant is also known to frequent downtown Toronto.
businessman who sold Viagra-laced chocolate as a food supplement called "Boom" was indicted Wednesday for mail fraud by a federal judge, and faces 20 years in jail if found guilty.Tibor Liska pleaded guilty of selling by mail some 12,000 packets a month of sildenafil -- a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction sold under various names, including Viagra -- mixed with chocolate and herbs, US Attorney Michael Garcia said.The "Boom" food supplements were distributed between March 2006 and November 2007 through the Yoi Jin Sei company in the United States, Australia, Colombia, Switzerland, Russia, Argentina, Japan and Slovakia, Garcia added.
The publicity surrounding the product said it contained plant-based food supplements, without specifying that it contained a drug that requires a prescription and could have side effects.Liska was charged with mail fraud and could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years behind bars and fined up to 250,000 dollars if found guilty, Garcia said.He is due for trial on July 25.
Tyrone Bolden, 30, who has 13 prior convictions, was sentenced to 30 years as a career offender on drug and firearm charges by Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony Alaimo.Bolden must serve the entire sentence and, upon release from prison, will be supervised for eight years by probation officers."He's a longtime drug dealer, gun-toter and thug. He's earned the status of career offender, and I recommend a life sentence because he's certainly earned it," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Darrin McCullough, arguing for the maximum penalty allowed in the case.During the sentencing, Bolden maintained his innocence and said he needed treatment for a cocaine addiction.A federal jury in Brunswick convicted Bolden on Feb. 5 of his most recent crimes, single counts of possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of crack cocaine and possession of a firearm by a felon.Bolden had a loaded .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol to protect his hidden stash of crack on Dec. 12, 2006, when investigators with the Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team searched his bedroom at his family's Reynolds Street home, according to testimony and evidence during his trial.Investigators discovered about a half-ounce of crack with an estimated street value of $1,200 to $1,400, along with some Xanax tablets in a hidden compartment behind the headboard of Bolden's bed, Capt. Terry Wright, the commander of the enforcement team, told the Times-Union after the sentencing.
The gun was found beneath the mattress of the bed, McCullough said during the sentencing.Wright said Bolden fled before the search but the U.S. Marshals Service arrested him later in Orlando. An investigation by U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents determined Bolden had gotten the pistol from another individual, he said.Before being sentenced, Bolden protested his conviction to Alaimo."I'm wrongly accused. ... I'm not guilty and I'm appealing because it's not right," complained Bolden, who also said he needed treatment for his cocaine addition, not prison.
His attorney, John Gilmore, argued for leniency, telling the judge that Bolden's many children needed him and that his past convictions involved "very small amounts" of drugs.
"He keeps going back to dealing drugs to support his own [drug addiction] needs. He has a large number of children that depend on him, and because he was dealing crack, there is a large racial disparity in sentencing against him," Gilmore said.
In response, McCullough told the judge that Bolden at 30 already has "13 convictions, nine illegitimate children and is a danger to the public."
Three of Bolden's past convictions were for felony drug offenses, court records show.
The judge ordered Bolden, who has been jailed since his arrest, immediately taken to prison to begin serving his sentence.
Gang of drug smugglers with one of them wanted by the Assam police for the murder of a revenue intelligence officer have been arrested by the North 24
Parganas district police and two vehicles used by them seized.The four were arrested from a flat at Baguihati near the Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport on Saturday night, said Additional Superintendent of Police North 24 Parganas, Subrata Sen.Ten kg of gangja, 500 grams of heroin and 21 cell phones were seized from them, he said. They were dentified as Pakhi Miyan alias Hazi Samsul Haque, Karim, Gyanendra Das and Ali Ahmed. After interrogating them the police raided a place in Bally in Howrah district and seized two vehicles used for transporting consignments, Sen said.Of the four Pakhi, originally a resident of Bharat 1village in Assam's Nagaon district was wanted by Assam police for his alleged involvement in the murder of a revenue
intelligence officer, Tarun Knti Dutta in 2006. According to police sources, Dutta was murdered because he conducted a series of raids in the Mourajhar area in Assam, where Pakhi operated from.Pakhi also had 21 drug smuggling cases against him. "He is a very big catch so far as drug peddling in concerned and after interrogation we think we might get some leads," Sen said.
Yasemin Vatansever and Yatunde Diya are being held in a correctional home for girls in Accra should be released July 17
Two teenage British girls sentenced in January by a Ghana court to one year in prison for smuggling cocaine will serve the full 12 months of their sentence and should be released July 17, a lawyer told AFP today.The sentence included time already served and a British diplomat said at the time of the sentencing the two girls, now aged 17, were likely to be released April 18 as they would qualify for a three-month reduction."The defence lawyer told us that once the girls were sentenced to one year, it would mean nine months as a three-month remission would routinely be allowed provided there was good behaviour," said Sabine Zanker, a lawyer with Fair Trials Abroad, the Britain-based body that provided legal representation for the girls."Until two or three weeks before April 18 it was his understanding they would be released" on that date, she told AFP by telephone from London."But the prison authorities said the reduction would not be applicable to juveniles. The rationale behind this is that the idea of rehabilitation is more important than punishment," Zanker continued.Yasemin Vatansever and Yatunde Diya are being held in a correctional home for girls in Accra.The two were stopped with 300,000 pounds worth of cocaine on July 2 last year, during a joint Ghanaian-British narcotics operation, British officials have said.They had entered the country in late June and been due to board a British Airways flight back to London when they were arrested.
The indictment identifies five ringleaders who were owners and managers, including three from the area: Abel Trevino Jr., 43, of Houston; Victor Hinojosa, 41, of Houston; and Oscar Jaime Garcia Prado, 42, of Brookshire. Others are Miguel Montemayor, 39, of Roma and Eduardo Trevino, 40, of Linares, Mexico.Those accused as drivers and loaders include: Leticia Enedina Fournier, 58; Guadalupe Karr Cortez, 47; Jesse Trevino, 48; and Alejandro Carmargo-Guerra, 59, all of Houston; Victor Rocha, 39, of Dickinson; and Enrique Alvaro Saldana, 53, of Roma. Another set of defendants is accused of using and paying for drug-transport services: Rafael Armando Ramirez, 32, of Houston; Guadalupe Castaneda, 46, of Roma; Eduardo Cirilo, 43, of Pharr; Eduardo Salinas, 29, of Mission; Jose Armando Muniz, 33, of Weslaco; and Luis Larios, 36, and Robert Salazar Rivera, 48, both of Monterrey.
Eighteen people have been charged in the alleged Mexican drug importation ring that used modified commercial buses
Eighteen people have been charged in the alleged Mexican drug importation ring that used modified commercial buses to smuggle cocaine and marijuana to Houston, Dallas and other U.S. cities.A 16-count federal indictment unsealed Wednesday charges the defendants with drug trafficking and money laundering among other felonies that carry penalties up to life in prison.At least 10 defendants, including several from the Houston area, were arrested Wednesday. The list includes owners, managers, drivers and loaders. The indictment alleges that the owners and managers of Transtar, Neptune Tours, Los Primos, USA-MEX and Ameri-MEX charter services transported drugs in exchange for thousands of dollars in kickbacks from cartels. The managers used their share to pay drivers and loaders. The companies have offices and terminals in Houston, San Antonio, Roma, Rio Grande City and across the border in Monterrey, Mexico.Drug dealers paid $500 to get one kilo of cocaine from south of the border to Houston and as much as $7,000 to get the same load all the way to New York.White House Drug Czar John Walters, in Houston Wednesday for a news conference about the investigation, said this case shows officials are "taking meat off the bone" by reducing the flow of drugs into the United States and forcing smugglers to resort to sophisticated schemes to avoid detection."They are paying sums they never paid before because it's more dangerous to bring drugs into the United States because we are creating more risk at the border and inside the United States," Walters said."Our goal is to reinforce what's going well in these individual cases on a wider and wider scale and drive the information that these cases give us back to the top of these criminal organizations. ... "Walters also credited cooperation from the Mexican government.Officials said the operation sent millions to Mexico and linked it to Mexican and South American drug cartels, but declined to offer specifics. U.S. Attorney Don DeGabrielle said unsuspecting passengers who booked seats on the buses secretly packed with illegal drugs were in potential danger, but traveled unharmed.Authorities were alerted in 2001 about allegations that passenger bus services were fronts for drug smuggling. Officials opened an investigation in 2003. The probe was nicknamed Operation Road King II and continued through last month.During the undercover operation, officials seized 570 kilograms of cocaine, 3,000 pounds of marijuana and thousands in cash, DeGabrielle said.Cocaine and marijuana were found in clandestine nooks in luggage compartments, undercarriages and other places in at least seven vehicles, he said. Contraband is alleged to have been smuggled from the Rio Grande Valley to Houston, Dallas, Allentown, Pa., and Joliet, Ill.Prosecutors pursued criminal charges last year. A Houston grand jury handed down an indictment on March 31. The government also seeks forfeiture of eight Houston homes that were allegedly purchased with the proceeds of the enterprise.All 18 in Houston's indictment are charged in the conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana and face a minimum sentence of 10 years if convicted. Most are also included in the conspiracy to launder drug proceeds, which carries up to 20 years upon conviction. The other 14 counts of the indictment involve aiding and abetting the possession of drugs with intent to distribute, which carries a range of punishments from five years to life imprisonment plus millions of dollars in fines.
Monday, April 21
Jarvis McKenzie, a/k/a "Jay Rock," faces a mandatory minimum of twenty ( 20 ) years imprisonment and a maximum of Life on the charges.
A federal jury convicted Jarvis McKenzie, a/k/a "Jay Rock," age 30, of Columbia, on drug and firearms violations. McKenzie was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 50 grams or more of crack and 5 kilograms or more of cocaine; three counts of use of a telephone to further a drug felony; and felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. McKenzie faces a mandatory minimum of twenty ( 20 ) years imprisonment and a maximum of LIFE on the charges.The case arose out of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ) led Columbia Violent Gang Task Force into the illegal activities of members of the Gangsta Killer Bloods set of the Bloods street gang. The FBI obtained information from confidential sources, cooperating defendants and federally issued wiretaps.
The investigation identified McKenzie as one of the primary suppliers of cocaine and crack cocaine to the gang members. In January of 2007, federal agents executed nine federal search warrants at various residences, including McKenzie's. Agents seized over $250,000 in cash from McKenzie's residence, as well as two automobiles and two firearms. Over $320,000 in cash was seized overall in the nine searches. McKenzie is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm and ammunition based upon his prior state convictions for voluntary manslaughter, possession of a firearm during a violent crime and possession of crack.
This case was investigated by agents of the FBI's Columbia Violent Gang Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stacey D. Haynes and Jane B. Taylor of the Columbia office
Johann Dupleiss was found to be carrying cocaine valued at €142,000 internally when he was searched at Dublin Airport
Johann Dupleiss (aged 41) was found to be carrying cocaine valued at €142,000 internally and inside the lining of a briefcase when he was searched at Dublin Airport on his way to England after travelling from Kenya.Dupleiss, of Laurimen Road, Penhill, Stellaback, Capetown, pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs at Dublin Airport on June 5, 2007. He had no previous convictions.Judge Patrick McCartan imposed a sentence of four years imprisonment, backdated to the date of his arrest.Sergeant Martin Halpin told Mr Remy Farrell BL, prosecuting, that 1.84 kilograms of cocaine was found by Customs and Excise officials inside the lining of a briefcase carried by Dupleiss. He volunteered that he had also swallowed 20pellets which were recovered via a "dry toilet" facility.
Sgt Halpin said the total amount of cocaine recovered was 2,038 grams with a street value of €142,000.Dupleiss told gardaí he believed he had swallowed pellets containing gold and that the suitcase contained confidential documents for a man in the United Kingdom which was his ultimate destination.Dupleiss said he had became friends with a man in Nairobi who had asked him to transport the items for a fee of Stg£1,500 (€1,866) and he agreed, as he was under financial pressure due to his girlfriend’s pregnancy and his mother’s illness.Mr Timothy O'Leary SC (with Mr Niall Nolan BL), defending Dupleiss, said his client "simply wished to serve the sentence that the court imposes, survive the sentence, and go back to Africa".
He said his client had cooperated as fully as he could with gardaí and had entered an early guilty plea.Mr O'Leary asked Judge McCartan to note that Dupleiss had been assessed to have a "significant suicide risk" due to depression, complications with a malarial illness and being in custody away from home.
Five men and a woman were arrested over the past few days in three operations which yielded a considerable amount of cocaine and heroin, the police said. In the first operation, some 300 grams of heroin were found on Friday hidden in 30 capsules. A 31-year-old man from Kirkop was arrested after a car chase which saw two police cars damaged. The police explained that early on Friday afternoon members of the Drug Squad saw a man who was already known to them acting suspiciously as he drove a Mercedes near the Bulebel traffic lights. The police tried to stop his but he escaped, damaging a police car in the process. The police followed in a high speed chase towards Ghaxaq and they eventually stopped him at Zejtun where he damaged another police vehicle, as well as his own. The second drugs discovery was made on Saturday when a Brazilian was intercepted by customs officers and members of the Police Drug Squad upon arriving on a flight from Rome. The man was found to be carrying 26 capsules with 260 grams of cocaine. The Brazilian was arraigned in court and pleaded not guilty. He has been remanded in custody.
Last night a 24-year-old Nigerian carrying a Spanish ID card was arrested at the airport after he was found carrying more than 800 grams of heroin. The police later arrested two Nigerian men and a woman in connection with this case.
Ijaz Rahim, 25, studying for a management diploma at Yorkshire College in Manningham Lane, was desperate to raise cash to pay his second year fees, Bradford Crown Court heard.Undercover officers intercepted the package of heroin and substituted the drug for sugar and flour before putting the parcel into his hands.Rahim pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to importing the class A drug from Pakistan.The student, whom the court was told to be of "impeccable character", was sentenced to six years and eight months in jail.The court heard he fell prey in a moment of weakness to accepting delivery of the heroin, with a street value of up to £90,000.Prosecutor Tom Storey said the Serious Organised Crime Agency intercepted the parcel after it arrived in the country on November 23 last year. It was addressed to a property in Hollins Street, Girlington, Bradford.Officers replaced 16 packages of heroin in the parcel with a mixture of sugar and flour.The 4.41 kilograms of heroin seized had a 62 per cent purity.An undercover officer delivered the package and Rahim answered the door and took it, Mr Storey said.Rahim, of Hanover Square, Manningham, was also linked to a property in Northampton Street, Bradford, the court heard.Before the delivery, Rahim received a text message alerting him to details of four parcels, it was alleged.But Mr Storey stressed there was no evidence Rahim received any other drugs consignments.He said another package of heroin was delivered to an address in Thursby Street, Barkerend, Bradford.A test purchase officer took it to the door after that delivery was also intercepted.Mr Storey said the Serious Organised Crime Agency took over the inquiry from West Yorkshire Police."The Crown says it is part and parcel of a wider picture," he told the court.Judge Roger Scott said: "I call it a conspiracy because that is in essence what it is."Nick de Lapoer, Rahim's barrister, said the student was having difficulty paying his fees while on an educational visa.He worked at a Bradford takeaway called Posh Nosh to boost his income but, said Mr de Lapoer, he borrowed cash from a man and "accepts he knew he was to be involved in a conspiracy"."He found himself impecunious and in the financial power of someone else and he was weak," he added.Mr de Lapoer conceded Rahim prevaricated with the police and his probation officer."He is a young man who found himself in a terrible position facing a very lengthy term of imprisonment," he said.Judge Scott said although it may seem a "mundane" way to smuggle drugs into the UK, very many items arrived in packages from Pakistan.The judge said the heroin had a street value of between £60,000 and £90,000."We are awash with cocaine and heroin in West Yorkshire, as they are in other parts of the world, and courts must send a message out that drug crime is not worth it," he said.The judge said Rahim was "at the end of the line" of the chain."In other areas, you would be described as a mug, but even mugs caught importing heroin get sent to custody for a long time," Judge Scott said.
Megan Spychalski,Daryl Griffin are charged with first-degree reckless homicide and face up to 40 years in prison.
Megan Spychalski, 20, of West Allis, and Daryl Griffin, 51, of Milwaukee are charged in Grabowski's death.Bryan Grabowski went to sleep on a futon in his girlfriend's bedroom Monday and never woke up.body bore a single but, for police, all too familiar mark: a small puncture wound on his right arm between the bicep and forearm. Spychalski is charged with selling Grabowski the heroin that killed him. Griffin is charged with selling Spychalski the heroin she sold to her friend. Both are charged with first-degree reckless homicide and face up to 40 years in prison.
According to the criminal complaints:Grabowski, 21, lived in Florida and was staying with Spychalski while visiting family and friends in Wisconsin.Spychalski told investigators that she began injecting heroin in November. On Monday, a day after Grabowski arrived in West Allis, he asked her if she would buy some for him.Spychalski called Griffin, picked him up and together they drove to a gas station on Milwaukee's north side. Griffin came out of the gas station with half a gram of heroin for her and half a gram for himself. She paid him $100.Griffin shot up as Spychalski drove him back to the city's south side. After she dropped him off, she drove a few blocks, pulled over and shot up.She told investigators the heroin was stronger than she was used to and she immediately threw up.Spychalski drove home and sold Grabowski what was left of her half gram. She left to get groceries, and when she returned, Grabowski was high. They went for a walk. Grabowski took the hypodermic needle he had used, broke it in half and threw it into someone's yard.
They came home. Grabowski went to sleep.On Thursday, Spychalski, cooperating with police, called Griffin and told him she wanted to buy more heroin.They met in a car at S. 49th St. and W. National Ave. Police recorded their conversation."My guy wants to know if it's the same stuff as last time," Spychalski told Griffin."It's better," he said.
Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, 27, pleaded guilty to smuggling more than 100 kilos of marijuana in 2005. Aldrete faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison and is scheduled for sentencing on July 16. Former agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos are serving prison terms for shooting Aldrete from behind while he was running back to Mexico during a failed smuggling run near Fabens in February 2005. Ramos and Compean were convicted of violating Aldrete's civil rights and of tampering with evidence for not reporting the shooting and because Compean picked up his shell casings. Their cases are on appeal."We waited for this time. We knew it would come. It's another step (in proving) my husband's innocence," Monica Ramos, the wife of Ignacio Ramos, said when she left the courthouse. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who has been criticized for the prosecution of Ramos and Compean, said in a news release that Aldrete was prosecuted because there was evidence."Just as Aldrete's illegal conduct did not excuse the crimes committed by Compean and Ramos, likewise, their crimes did not excuse his," Sutton said. "Compean and Ramos had their day in court and an El Paso jury convicted them after a two and half week long jury trial. Now, Aldrete has had his day in court and will soon be paying for his crimes."
Turkish security forces confiscated almost 22 kilograms of heroin and 11.5 kilograms of hashish in two separate operations on Thursday. Counter-narcotic operations were staged in the northwestern provinces of Edirne and Bursa, police said. At Edirne's Pazarkule border crossing, police impounded almost 22 kilograms of heroin in a car destined for Greece. They detained the foreign driver. In a separate operation in Bursa, security forces seized 11.5 kilograms of hashish and arrested two people red-handed.
Arrested a Bangladeshi expatriate truck driver when he attempted to smuggle about 5.5 kilogram of heroin
Al-Abdali Customs officials recently arrested a Bangladeshi expatriate truck driver when he attempted to smuggle about 5.5 kilogram of heroin into the country.
Security reports said customs officials found the stuff when searching the suspect truck at the border.
Vu Nang Sy, Nguyen Thi Ngoc and Vu Ngoc Viet were sentenced to death. According to prosecutors, the criminals sold large quantities of drugs on 14 occasions from mid 2004 to April 2006, when they were arrested.
Bac Giang People’s Court on Wednesday sentenced three drug traffickers to death, gave four life in jail – and a total of 122 years in prison to another 13.
Three members of a Limerick gang and a well known Dublin based drug trafficker arrested with at least 1kg of heroin
Gardai have smashed a major drug deal in Dublin, seizing at least 1kg of heroin estimated to be worth around €200,000.The deal, which involved three members of a Limerick gang and a well known Dublin based drug trafficker, was intercepted by Gardai from the National Drugs Unit on the Naas Road.The three were in Dublin to collect the drugs when the Garda Drugs Unit, assisted by Limerick Gardai, made the arrests. Three are being detained at Clondalkin Garda station while another is being held at Tallaght Garda station.One of the arrested is thought to be a woman.The woman and two of the men being held at Clondalkin Garda station are due before Kilmainham District Court Monday morning.All four are believed to be aged between 28 and 42 years old.On Friday Gardai in Clare seized €53,000 worth of cannabis, ecstasy and amphetamines during raids in Ennis.
Taiwanese woman has been stopped allegedly attempting to smuggle up to 3.5kg of cocaine into Australia in Peruvian handicrafts
Australian Customs and the Australian Federal Police have once again intercepted a traveller who allegedly felt that she could outsmart a customs dog, a drug particle detector and human intelligence.
A 25-year-old Taiwanese woman has been stopped allegedly attempting to smuggle up to 3.5kg of cocaine into Australia in Peruvian handicrafts.The woman arrived at Brisbane International Airport on a flight from Santiago, Chile, via Auckland on Friday 18 April.A Customs detector dog reacted positively to the woman when she left the aircraft.An x-ray of her bags by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service also led to a referral to Customs.During questioning Customs officers became suspicious of a series of wall hangings in the woman's bags. When x-rayed, a possible concealment in the frames of the hangings was detected.A trace particle detection test also indicated the possible presence of cocaine.
The woman was referred to the Australian Federal Police, who charged her with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to section 307.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.The woman appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Saturday, 19 April and was remanded in custody to reappear on 30 May 2008.
The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment and/or a $825,000 fine.
Saturday, April 19
Scott Miller,Mark Catchpole former Olympic swimmer and rugby star was part of a much bigger investigation into a suspected massive drug syndicate
police had been watching former swimmer Scott Miller, 33, of Dee Why, and rugby star Ken Catchpole's son Mark, 40, of Seaforth, for two years.But while the arrests, which linked both men to a pill press found in a Brookvale storage unit, came as a shock to Australia's swimming community, it did not surprise numerous Northern Beaches locals that rumours abounded about Miller having a pill press and producing illicit pills to pay off debt.
In the past several years Miller was linked to numerous firms including being director of a horseracing syndicate. Locals said Miller fled his Dee Why unit amid intense media interests and was possibly staying with relatives in the area.
Miller is required to report to police daily as a part of his bail conditions.
Firas Faisal al-Aghbar ,Firas Hussein Maktabi were executed for drug smuggling in the northwestern city of Tabuk
Firas Faisal al-Aghbar and Firas Hussein Maktabi were found guilty of taking delivery of a shipment of hallucinogenic drugs and were executed in the northwestern city of Tabuk, said a ministry statement carried by the official SPA news agency.Meanwhile, Saudi Abdul Rahman al-Zahrani was convicted of kidnapping and raping a female expatriate while his compatriot Abdul Rahman al-Fifi was found guilty of aiding and facilitating the attack.Both of them soldiers, they had stopped an expatriate who was in a car with his 20-year-old daughter and ordered him to step down, terrorising him with their military identification cards, SPA said.
Zahrani drove away with the victim's car and daughter, while Fifi held the father at knifepoint in another car, allowing his accomplice to head to a deserted area where he raped the woman. They were both executed in Riyadh.The executions bring to 49 the number announced by Saudi Arabia this year.
Thursday, April 17
Jamie Lee Lang was back in jail after an undercover sting snared her, for a second time, selling dope.
Jamie Lee Lang received four years probation for running a heroin dealing business from the home where she lived with her two young children. On Wednesday, the Richlandtown woman was back in jail after an undercover sting snared her, for a second time, selling dope. Lang, 29, and alleged accomplice Allen Klein, 53, of Feasterville, were incarcerated on 10 percent of $50,000 bail — $5,000 – following their arrest in Perkasie. Klein was with Lang when she sold 26 bags of heroin for $340 around 4 p.m. to a confidential informant outside the Tidal Wave Car Wash on South Ninth Street, police said. Lang, of 115 East Cherry Street, now faces a possible stint in state prison for violating her probation, said Detective Donald Bender of the Quakertown Borough Police Department, which collaborated on the arrests with the Pennsylvania State Police Bethlehem Troop M Vice Unit.Lang was last busted in an under cover operation on July 19 when police raided her home and found $3,301 and 102 bags of heroin. The raid was prompted after Lang sold $180 worth of heroin on two occasions, June 26 and July 19, to an informant at her home where she lived with her children, then ages 4 and 6. Lang pleaded guilty to drug dealing charges in November and was sentenced on March 14. Bender said the two children are staying with Lang’s mother. Lang and Klein were charged with delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and criminal conspiracy.
Carl Williams seeking leave to appeal his minimum 35-year sentence for his role in three underworld slayings.
Carl Williams will appear in a Melbourne court seeking leave to appeal his minimum 35-year sentence for his role in three underworld slayings.Tight security will surround Williams' appearance before Justice Marcia Neave in the Court of Appeal.
Williams was last year convicted of the murders of gangland rivals Jason Moran, Lewis Moran and Mark Mallia, and a failed conspiracy to murder underworld figure and former lawyer Mario Condello.He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 35 years.It is understood Williams' lawyers have launched the appeal on the grounds the sentence was manifestly excessive and the sentencing judge, Justice Betty King, made errors of law and fact.If the original sentence stands, Williams will be 71 years old before he will be eligible for parole.
Jason Moran, 36, and associate Pasquale Barbaro, 40, were shot dead in a mini-van in the car park of the Cross Keys Hotel in Essendon North, as five children inside looked on, on June 21, 2003. Williams was convicted only for Moran's murder.
Two months later, on August 18, 2003, the charred remains of Mark Mallia, 30, were discovered in a drain in West Sunshine.Then, on March 31, 2004, crime family patriarch Lewis Moran, 58, Jason Moran's father, was gunned down by two men in the front bar of the Brunswick Club in Sydney Road, Brunswick.A series of police raids averted an attempt on the life of Mario Condello outside his home in North Road, East Brighton, on June 9, 2004.Condello was later shot dead in the driveway of his house on February 6, 2006. Williams was not charged with that murder.
Steven Peter Verrall charged with 14 Commonwealth counts of importing drugs and one count of dealing in the proceeds of crime.
Steven Peter Verrall who has previously been sentenced to seven years in jail for drug trafficking allegedly has a multitude of false identities, no job or government benefits, and no paperwork for a car he says he paid $10,000 for.The Bli Bli 36-year-old is charged with 14 Commonwealth counts of importing drugs and one count of dealing in the proceeds of crime, as well as three state charges including drug trafficking and possessing property derived from trafficking.Police prosecutor Andy Macpherson said police had seized documentation, CCTV footage of money transfers and had telephone intercepts.“The latest escapade into drug trafficking involved an extensive network of crime contacts. He was in regular contact by telephone and email,” he said.“A vehicle owned by the defendant and used for the distribution and collection of drugs is on surveillance footage.“He has failed to appear (in court). Police are aware he has a passport in another name.“Mobile phones used in commission of the trafficking (were) set up in false names.”Sergeant Macpherson said Mr Verrall, who had recently travelled to Thailand when he was arrested, was found with a number of envelopes with drugs that had been intercepted through the mail system by the Australian Federal Police.He said police had photographed and forensically examined and tested the parcels and then forwarded them to the mailing addresses.Sgt Macpherson said the parcels were sent to false addresses but ended up in Mr Verrall’s possession.He said police had seized $10,000 from Mr Verrall’s home and $11,000 from his mother’s home as well as false identities and SIM cards allegedly used in the importation of cocaine.“He does not have any legitimate source of income, he’s not receiving government benefits,” he said.
“There’s no paper trail for purchase of that vehicle.”Commonwealth prosecutor Aimee Aisthorpe said the 14 charges of drug importation carried a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment, while dealing in the proceeds of a crime had a 20-year maximum.
“If convicted he will be spending quite a lengthy term in custody,” she said.
“He would be looking ... in the range of three to six years.”
Ms Aisthorpe said police had documents, CCTV footage, post office box keys, phone intercepts and knew Mr Verrall planned to travel just before he was arrested.
She said Mr Verrall had "up to 13 post office boxes using false names and false identity documents” which showed he was able to obtain false identities easily.
Solicitor Lindsay Hall told the court Mr Verrall could post a surety in any amount, live with his parents, abide a curfew and report to police daily if granted bail.
He said his client had been on bail for a year before he was sentenced in 1997 and did not flee.“He must have known some significant period would flow but he did appear in the supreme court,” he said.Mr Hall said the prosecution had not provided him with any evidence against his client and had remained silent on charges against a Thai man also charged during the investigation.
Magistrate Cliff Taylor refused bail because he believed there was an unacceptable risk of reoffending.Co-accused Paul Manning is charged with aiding and abetting the commission of importation and aiding the importation of a marketable quantity of cocaine. Mark Domrow and Ben Woolgrove are charged with conspiring to import drugs.
Hayden Reginald Van Dijk, 29, was yesterday jailed for six years by Justice Chisholm in the High Court in Christchurch after admitting charges of making methamphetamine and possessing equipment to make it.A co-offender, Julian Vivian Alexander Paul Mackie, 32, who was found guilty of allowing premises to be used for drug-making, was sentenced to a year's home detention.The judge said that on January 30 last year, the landlord visited the Salisbury Street house and what he saw prompted a call to the police. They noticed chemical smells and saw items usually associated with a methamphetamine laboratory. Help was then sought from a specialist team.
Soon after, Van Dijk was seen leaving, carrying four bottles of chemicals, and he was arrested.Among items found were 17kg of toluene, two litres of sulphuric acid, the remains of cold medicines used as a precursor for P, a covert surveillance camera, "and the list goes on", the judge said."There is ample evidence to support the inference this was a significant commercial operation."Van Dijk had a long list of previous convictions for drug-related offending, but a significant aggravating factor was a previous conviction for making methamphetamine, for which he served time in jail."It's regrettable you did not learn your lesson then," the judge said.
In the case of Mackie, the judge said until he heard submissions from defence counsel James Rapley, he thought there was no option but jail.Mackie, who lived in the house with Van Dijk, knew what was going to happen and allowed it to happen.
With "huge misgivings", Justice Chisholm said he would impose home detention, given there was solid evidence Mackie had made efforts to turn his life around.
Wednesday, April 16
Drug agents found 15 kilos of cocaine worth about $2 million when they stopped a tractor-trailer Monday for a routine safety inspection, police spokesman Wendell Johnson said.
The 18-wheeler was heading north on Interstate 65 near Priceville when it was pulled over. A routine inspection led police to believe the truck was carrying contraband, and a drug-sniffing dog alerted that drugs were present, Johnson said.Highway interdiction agents from the Madison-Morgan County Strategic Counterdrug Team arrested Jose G. Martinez Vazquez, 39, and Aldo Raymundo Garza, 37, and charged them with trafficking in cocaine.
The suspects are from Brownsville, Texas, and investigators believe the two men were headed for Chicago, Johnson said.They are being held in the Morgan County Jail.
Drugs squad officers became suspicious when they saw the Ford Fiesta on a remote car park, and when they approached it there was an overpowering smell of cannabis, said prosecutor Paul Abraham at Teesside Crown Court.
The pair of 19-year-olds were dividing up cannabis from a Tesco bag and weighing it on electronic scales. They said they were waiting for two friends who would have bought it for £20 a bag.
The car driver said he had bought the drug on credit for £600 and he would have made £1,000 profit.Mr Abraham added: "It would appear to have been a mobile cannabis factory, and they were separating it into deals."They also had £195 cash inside a Paystation box, a silver shaker used for separating cannabis, a set of electronic scales, and 12 clear plastic bags containing cannabis. They were taking it from a Tesco bag and separating it."Michael Thompson, now 20, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply it on December 8, 2006, at Piercebridge near Darlington.Judge Bryan Forster QC told him: "People speak highly of you and you have let yourself down by becoming involved in what that other person was doing.
"You are clearly capable of much better and I am sure you have brought a lot of distress to your mother and your family by what has happened."
Thompson of Bates Avenue, Darlington, was given a four months sentence in a young offender's institution suspended for 12 months with supervision, 80 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £250 court costs.
The driver was sentenced in January to 12 months detention suspended for two years with 120 hours unpaid work after he admitted the same charge.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gordon Taylor and United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott, announced the arrest of Gustavo BANUELOS, 47, Eduardo ROSILLO, 27, both of Modesto and Samuel NUNGARAY, 23, of Manteca, and the service of two (2) federal search warrants related to the investigation. As a result of this investigation law enforcement seized approximately 7 pounds regular cocaine, 1 ½ pounds flavored cocaine, over 2 ½ pounds suspected methamphetamine, and 5 weapons. Some of the seized cocaine includes flavors such as strawberry, lemon, coconut and cinnamon. The arrest and search warrants were served without incident. The street value of the cocaine seized in this investigation is estimated to be approximately $272,400.“Attempting to lure new, younger customers to a dangerous drug by adding candy ‘flavors’ is an unconscionable marketing technique. Cocaine is cocaine and jail time is jail time, no matter how you flavor it,” stated DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gordon Taylor.This investigation began approximately 10 months ago, when agents received information that Gustavo BANUELOS was distributing large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine in the Modesto area. That same month, an undercover agent was introduced to BANUELOS at a bar in Modesto for the purpose of purchasing cocaine. During the course of this investigation, agents conducted more than 6 undercover purchases of cocaine, totaling over 4 pounds. Approximately 7 ounces of the purchased cocaine was flavored either with strawberry, lemon, coconut or cinnamon.According to the affidavit, the undercover agent would contact BANUELOS directly to arrange for the purchase of either regular cocaine and/or flavored cocaine. BANUELOS would then meet with undercover agents at a local bar in Modesto to conduct the transaction. Flavors offered to the undercover varied depending on availability of the product. The price of regular cocaine ranged from approximately $600-$700 per ounce, while the flavored cocaine ranged from $1,100 - $1,400 per ounce. Court documents describe the “strawberry” flavored cocaine as pink in color, the “cinnamon” flavor an off-white/tan color, while the “coconut” flavored cocaine appeared to be a fine white powdery substance with a coconut-like odor.
The investigation culminated on March 6, 2008, when BANUELOS agreed to meet with undercover agents at Vintage Faire Mall on Dale Rd., in Modesto. Law enforcement conducted surveillance of BANUELOS prior to his arrival at the meet location. Agents observed that BANUELOS was being followed in a separate vehicle by an individual subsequently identified as Samuel NUNGARAY. During the meeting BANUELOS delivered approximately 9 ounces lemon cocaine, 5 ½ ounces strawberry cocaine and over 1 ounce coconut cocaine to undercover agents. Law enforcement arrested BANUELOS and NUNGARAY without incident. Agents conducted a search of NUNGARAY’s vehicle subsequent to his arrest and seized approximately 1 ounce cocaine, a digital scale and a loaded .38 caliber semi-automatic pistol in the center console. According to court documents, NUNGARAY was acting as protection for BANUELOS during the drug transaction.Shortly thereafter agents served federal search warrants at BANUELOS’ residence located at 221 El Vista Avenue, Modesto and at the residence of his suspected source of supply, Eduardo ROSILLO, at 2205 Northridge Drive, Modesto. At BANUELOS’ residence law enforcement seized approximately 1 ounce of flavored cocaine, over 2 ½ pounds of suspected methamphetamine and one illegal sawed-off rifle. From ROSILLO’s residence law enforcement seized over 4 pounds cocaine from the kitchen, approximately 7 ½ ounces cocaine from a candy bowl on the kitchen counter and 2 ounces cocaine throughout the residence. Additionally, agents seized 3 guns to include a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .357 caliber revolver and a .32 caliber handgun. ROSILLO was arrested at that time without incident.