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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

Arrests WorldWide (Drug Enforcement)

Arrests WorldWide (Drug Enforcement)

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2,500 citizens are arrested abroad. One third of the arrests are on drug-related charges. Many of those arrested assumed as U.S. citizens that they could not be arrested. From Asia to Africa, Europe to South America, citizens are finding out the hard way that drug possession or trafficking equals jail in foreign countries.
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Drug Enforcement automatically monitors news articles and blog posts tracking breaking news of arrests and drug incidents as they happen worldwide .These inter-active News Reports are followed as they develop. Giving you the chance to comment on breaking stories as they happen. Drug Enforcement alerts you to topics that are frequently linked to and commented upon in the world press. Someone is arrested every 20 seconds for a drug related offense !Readers are solely responsible for the content of the comments they post here. Comments are subject to the Blogspots terms and conditions of use and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or approval of the Drug Enforcement site. Readers whose comments violate the terms of use may have their comments removed or all of their content blocked from viewing by other users without notification.

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Drug Enforcement automatically monitors news articles and blog posts tracking breaking news of arrests and drug incidents as they happen worldwide .These inter-active News Reports are followed as they develop. Giving you the chance to comment on breaking stories as they happen. Drug Enforcement alerts you to topics that are frequently linked to and commented upon in the world press. Someone is arrested every 20 seconds for a drug related offense !Readers are solely responsible for the content of the comments they post here. Comments are subject to the Blogspots terms and conditions of use and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or approval of the Drug Enforcement site. Readers whose comments violate the terms of use may have their comments removed or all of their content blocked from viewing by other users without notification.

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Sunday, March 29

Anthony Chambers, who prosecutors say stabbed his friend to death during a drug-fueled argument in a Chinatown apartment

Anthony Chambers, who prosecutors say stabbed his friend to death during a drug-fueled argument in a Chinatown apartment in February 2008.Authorities say Chambers, 52, is a homeless drug addict who frequently stayed at a friend’s studio apartment in Chinatown. On Feb. 10, 2008, they say Chambers and another friend, Edward “Red” Quiles got into a heated argument after Quiles accused Chambers of stealing his stash of heroin. “Drugs are part of the case,” said assistant district attorney Ian Polumbaum. “Drugs explain why these two men joined together, then collided, ending in a homicide.”Polumbaum’s case lays out a timeline where Chambers and Quiles spent a night buying and using heroin before passing out early the next morning. Later, the friend who had rented the apartment, woke up to hear the other two men fighting and “engaged in a physical scuffle.”“Find my [expletive]. Where’s my [expletive],” Quiles allegedly yelled at Chambers. “Mr. Quiles was accusing Mr. Chambers of stealing drugs from him,” Polumbaum said.
Chambers allegedly replied, “I don’t have your stuff.”Then the tenant left the apartment and Chambers later called 911 to summon police. During the fight, prosecutors say Chambers pulled a knife and stabbed Quiles. Chambers fled the apartment, but he and his blood-covered hands were quickly discovered by police, responding to his own 911 call.Quiles bled out and died. Now Chambers is claiming self defense, but prosecutors don’t buy it. It will be up to a jury to decide what’s true in this sad case of drug-fueled death.“Try to reconcile the evidence with the defendant’s own version of what happened,” Polumbaum told jurors. “Pay close attention to his claim that he did this killing in self defense.”

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Paul Finney was stopped by police after he and another man were seen arriving at a house in Lanchester, County Durham

Paul Finney was stopped by police after he and another man were seen arriving at a house in Lanchester, County Durham, which was under observation by officers. He was subsequently found with two bags of cocaine - 40 grammes worth - with a street value of £1,500.
"After being caught he attempted to eat [the drugs] but was prevented from doing so."Martin Towers, prosecutingProsecuting, Martin Towers told Teesside Crown Court: "After being caught he attempted to eat [the drugs] but was prevented from doing so."
A search of the property in question revealed larger quantities of cocaine. Finney's phone also revealed text messages indicative of drug dealing, said Mr Towers. Meanwhile, a bedroom in the house, in Manor Grange, which was used by Finney's co-defendant Clive Roland, was also searched and 1.16g of cocaine was found in a jacket belonging to him, along with a can of CS spray. Both men had an assortment of previous convictions with 35-year-old Finney serving a number of jail sentences. Stephen Duffield, for Finney, who admitted possession of cocaine with intent to supply, said he had turned his life around since the offences, on October 20 2006. He was now working for a construction company and was well paid. He was also clean of drugs, although he continued to take the heroin substitute methadone. Finney, of Bede Terrace, Bowburn, Durham, was given a nine month jail sentence, suspended for two years, by Judge Stephen Ashurst, who said he should pay £750 costs. Roland, 46, of Manor Grange, Lanchester, said he had used drugs for pain relief and claimed the cocaine found to be his possession had been bought months earlier. He admitted possession of drugs and a prohibited weapon. He was given a 12 month community order with a supervision element by the probation service.

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Adi Kauf-Stern, 20, of Tampa, Fla., was charged with second-degree robbery and possession of a controlled substance.

Adi Kauf-Stern, 20, of Tampa, Fla., was charged with second-degree robbery and possession of a controlled substance. Michael Smith, 19, of Mount Kisco, and Timothy Gallo, 19, of Water Mill, were charged with possession of a controlled substance, robbery and criminal possession of a dangerous weapon.Christian Webster, 20, of Southport, Conn., was charged with second-degree robbery, possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence when he threw an unspecified weapon into a storm drain, prosecutors said.Greg Sable, 22, a resident assistant at the New Complex dorm where the incident took place and the person whom police say was robbed, was charged with several counts of possession and sale of a controlled substance. Authorities said Sable had been selling Ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine and OxyContin out of his room.All five pleaded not guilty.Police say the accused robbers were dissatisfied with the quality of an earlier cocaine purchase.Bart Zienkiewicz, 18, a freshman from Rhode Island, said he shares a suite with Sable.
Zienkiewicz said he was in his own room around 8 p.m. Thursday when Kauf-Stern knocked on the suite door and went to Sable's room, saying she wanted to buy $50 worth of cocaine, police said.Then, Smith and Gallo rushed into the room and hit Sable with pellet guns, police said.Zienkiewicz said he was ordered into Sable's room and made to lie down on the floor as the men took Sable's drugs, jewelry and money, before fleeing to a car where Webster was waiting, police said."They looked at us and they said, 'Don't say anything to the police, don't call anyone,'" Zienkiewicz said.
Zienkiewicz was issued an order of protection against the four students by Nassau District Judge Sharon Gianelli.Sable had at least nine bags of cocaine and 46 Ecstasy pills in his room, an assistant district attorney said yesterday in First District Court in Hempstead.Kauf-Stern was paid $500 to be part of the alleged revenge scheme, the prosecutor said, who did not identify who paid Kauf-Stern.Edward Zaloba of Forest Hills, Kauf-Stern's attorney, said his client was paid simply to keep quiet and had not known about the crew's plan.Sable's attorney, Martin Geduldig of Garden City, said his client had been struck, robbed and was himself a victim.Webster was ordered held on $200,000 bail, Smith was ordered held on $150,000 bail, Kauf-Stern and Sable each were ordered held on $75,000 bail, and Gallo was ordered held on $60,000 bail.

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Amanda A. Smith, 20, of Lindley, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Third Degree


Amanda A. Smith, 20, of Lindley, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Third Degree – a class B Felony – and Unlawful Possession of Marihuana – a violation.

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Juan J. Rodriguez, 21, of Rochester, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Third Degree


Juan J. Rodriguez, 21, of Rochester, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Third Degree – a class B Felony – and Unlawful Possession of Marihuana – a violation.

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Durran M. Henderson, 26, of Rochester, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Third Degree


Durran M. Henderson, 26, of Rochester, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Third Degree – a class B Felony – and Unlawful Possession of Marihuana – a violation.

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Michael J. Loza, 28, of Bath, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Third Degree


Michael J. Loza, 28, of Bath, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Third Degree – a class B Felony – and Criminal Nuisance First Degree – a class E Felony.

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Sonya L. Dennis, 41, of 17th Street, Niagara Falls, had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance

Sonya L. Dennis, 41, of 17th Street, Niagara Falls, had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for having 5.9 grams of crack cocaine when police found her and another woman drinking in a parked car at Main and Niagara streets April 23.

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Panthong "Nik" Khemthong, was arrested along with her boyfriend Chatchai Noppolkrang, 26

Miss Teen Thailand 2007 was arrested yesterday morning for allegedly attempting to bribe state officials to the tune of Bt300,000 to let her alleged drug-dealing boyfriend walk free.
The 20-year-old university student, Panthong "Nik" Khemthong, was arrested along with her boyfriend Chatchai Noppolkrang, 26 - who was named a major ya-ba dealer in Don Mueang area with a previous criminal record - in a police sting operation at 3.30am yesterday when they reportedly delivered the bribe to policemen. This followed Friday night's arrest of Chatchai, wanted for selling ya-ba and Ecstasy pills since last May as well as a night-time property intrusion and assault since February 9 at a Lak Si cinema. A search of his Mini Cooper found two fake drivers' licences and a pistol. Chatchai allegedly confessed to police that he had no ID card and used the drivers' licences in the name of Kampol Jorjong. He said he had bought the gun from fellow drug-dealers years ago. Chatchai then allegedly offered to pay Bt300,000 to the officials in exchange for his freedom. The officials played along, allowing him to get the money. An ensuing sting operation led to his re-arrest and that of his girlfriend Panthong. The two were taken to Don Mueang police station, where police initially charged them with attempting to bribe state officials. Chatchai also faced charges of possessing and carrying a gun in public and using forged documents.
Panthong's name had previously been mentioned in crime news when a youngster shot her male friend dead on March 17 while her group was out clubbing in Chiang Mai.

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Wednesday, March 25

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Sunday, March 22

Rizal Balgos will be deported to the US to stand trial for his crimes

Rizal Balgos, 60, who is now detained at the BI detention center in Bicutan after hiding in the country for more than two years.Balgos was arrested last March 6 by operatives of the BI law enforcement division in front of his residence in Barangay Macate, Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya.Earlier, Libanan issued the mission order for Balgos’ arrest at the request of the US embassy in Manila.“Like all the other fugitives that we have captured, he, too, will be deported to the US to stand trial for his crimes,” the BI chief said, even as he vowed to continue without the letup the BI’s campaign against foreign fugitives believed to be hiding in the country.
According to BI Associate Commissioner Enrique Galang, Balgos was issued an arrest warrant by the US District Court in Hawaii in 2007 for narcotics distribution.
Galang, who is also the commissioner-in charge on law enforcement, said Balgos was implicated in a corruption case involving officers of the Kauai police department who allegedly protected and conspired with him in his drug dealing activities.

Citing information provided by the US embassy, Galang said the police officers made sure that Balgos’ drug dealing activities were not interrupted as he was always informed in advance of forthcoming searches and arrests of known drug lairs and suspects.

This arrangement between Balgos and his police protectors reportedly lasted from 2004 until 2006 when the law enforcement corruption case was uncovered.Balgos, however, fled the US to the Philippines a few months before the Hawaii court issued the warrant for his arrest.A check of the BI’s travel information database revealed that the Balgos is an overstaying alien as he arrived in the Philippines on Aug. 20, 2006 and did not bother to extend his stay in the country.It was also gathered that Balgos is also an undocumented alien as his passport was already canceled by the US government.

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Friday, March 20

Arrested Gilberto Rivera, 25, of Oakdale and Felix Cruz, 29, of Brooklyn

Arrested Gilberto Rivera, 25, of Oakdale and Felix Cruz, 29, of Brooklyn, after they completed a transaction in the parking lot of the Islandia Marriott Hotel on Saturday.Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota and Major Walter Heesch, commander of the State Police on Long Island, announced the arrests at a Hauppauge news conference yesterday. Heesch said a kilogram of heroin - about 2 pounds - is worth about $350,000 on the street."We developed information from a confidential source," Heesch said. The district attorney, the Suffolk police and sheriff, and the Drug Enforcement Administration later joined the State Police.Spota said Suffolk had 63 fatal heroin overdoses in 2008 and that Rivera is "a major dealer."These dealers are flooding our community with cheap, potent heroin," Spota said. "It's reaching right down into high school."Detectives seized $25,000 in cash and 5,000 packets of heroin packaged for street sales from inside the men's car, police said.Since Saturday, police have seized about 3 kilograms of heroin, cocaine, oxycodone pills, drug processing equipment and 50 guns from the two ringleaders and their underlings. They also seized about $200,000 in cash.Heroin and cocaine in both powder and crack forms were packaged at an apartment Cruz maintained at 32-15 112th St. in East Elmhurst and were then taken to Suffolk for sale.Rivera used local runners to sell the drugs.
Rivera and Cruz were charged with second-degree possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Rivera is also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and is being held on bail of $25 million or $50 million bond. Cruz's bail is $1 million cash or $3 million bond.Also arrested on various drug, weapons and conspiracy charges were: Rolando Hamilton, Brooklyn; Paul Ortiz, Shirley; Willie Hart, Central Islip; Edward Davis, Bay Shore; Juliann Critelli, Bay Shore; Corarene Singh, Central Islip; Magdalena Davis, Central Islip; Robert Pittell, Centerport; Tariq Williams, Bay Shore; James DeVito, Nesconset, and Marty Hake, West Sayville.

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Death sentence for Luu Van Tuong, 44,from Binh Phuoc province


Luu Van Tuong, 44, was caught red handed on September 13, 2008 by the Tay Ninh provincial police while carrying more than 3.4kg of heroin from Cambodia to Vietnam via the Trans-Asia Highway. Police found 10 packages of solid substance kept inside a carton which was later identified as heroin. Tuong confessed that a Cambodian national named Bon had hired him to transport the carton to Vietnam at a cost of VND50 million. He also said that he had received VND32 million from Bon’s wife to successfully carry a box of heroin to Vietnam in August 2008. In the court room, the jury rejected Tuong’s petitions, upheld the first instance court’s ruling and fined him an additional VND30 million.

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Thursday, March 19

Correctional Facility officer John Gonda, 38, of White Haven, who authorities said “was selling large quantities of cocaine in the Wilkes-Barre area.”

Correctional Facility officer John Gonda, 38, of White Haven, who authorities said “was selling large quantities of cocaine in the Wilkes-Barre area.”The motorcycle gang was responsible for dealing $3.6 million of cocaine throughout the Wilkes-Barre area, Corbett said in announcing Operation Avalanche.Corbett said 19 of the 22 people are in custody.The arrests were the result of a nine-month probe. SWAT teams raided several properties earlier this month, including at the group’s headquarters on Main Street, Ashley

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Wednesday, March 18

Dasan Riddick,34, of Allentown was a target of a large scale drug operation in Monroe County involving the distribution of bricks of heroin.

Dasan Riddick,34, of Allentown was a target of a large scale drug operation in Monroe County involving the distribution of bricks of heroin.Riddick was arrested by police in the Saylorsburg area Tuesday night. A search of Riddick and his vehicle netted more than six bricks of heroin, marijuana and $1,400 in cash.The street value of the confiscated heroin is estimated at more than $6,000.
Members of the Barrett Township Police, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Stroud Area Regional Police and Monroe County Detectives office assisted in the investigation leading up to the arrest.

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Ramandeep Johal of Renfrewshire, Scotland claimed that a cousin from Vancouver had forced him to take shipmen of the drugs worth $1.3 million

Ramandeep Johal of Renfrewshire, Scotland claimed that a cousin from Vancouver had forced him to take shipmen of the drugs with $1.3 million in street value but Johal is looking at years in jail and a total collapse of his liquor business after pleading guilty.

An Indo-British millionaire was busted after Canadian authorities found cocaine hidden in hollowed-out gravestones that was destined to his Scotland-based liquor distribution business.
Ramandeep Johal had a memorial inscribed with the name of a fake dead Scots pensioner in a bid to fool customs men. We can reveal his deadly plan was smashed when Canadian Mounties detected traces of coke on the two-foot headstone for 70-year-old "Loving father & husband" Albert Thomas. The stone - which even had its own sentimental poem called Wings Of The Angels - was made of wood laminate and had been painted to make it look like stone. It contained 8937 grammes of cocaine, which was 53 per cent pure and had an estimated street value of around s750,000. Married dad-of-one Johal, of Renfrewshire, was a director of drinks distribution firm Barrell's & Booze.
But he admitted being involved in supplying cocaine at Glasgow's High Court last week. He faces years in jail when sentenced next month. In a special investigation we followed the cocaine trail from the drug barons who control its supply from abroad to the users who pay s2 for a line on the streets of Scotland.
One former associate of Johal said: "He was really slick and believed he was untouchable. "He thought he had all the bases covered and believed headstones were the perfect scam. "He was well known in the drinks trade throughout Scotland and was outwardly a very respectable guy." Canadian investigators intercepted a 'heavy box' which had been posted in British Columbia, addressed to an 'S Adams' but bound for 31-year-old Johal's drinks warehouse in Hillington, Renfrewshire.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called in after border control agents in the country became suspicious of the package and a scan showed traces of cocaine.
Inside they found the memorial, which colleagues smashed open to reveal the drugs cargo. While Johal waited back in Scotland for the package to arrive, Canadian Mounties, British Customs and Strathclyde Police put together an elaborate sting.
The Mounties sent the headstone to Scotland where Strathclyde officers swapped it for a fake. A detective posing as a delivery driver took the replacement package to Johal's drinks warehouse on June 20 last year.
Unsuspecting Johal signed for the box, prompting a full-scale police raid on the premises during which the shamed businessman tried to claim 'S Adams' was a former employee. Johal protested he had been threatened by a cousin in Canada who forced him to receive the drugs. He told police: "I didn't do it of my own free will. Please make sure my family is OK." A Canadian investigator told the Sunday Mail: "He claims a cousin in Canada asked him to do this but we have never been able to find any such cousin. "You would think he would be able to give us a name or location or a way to contact his cousin but he has not been able to give us that information. So we've reached a dead end on that." Johal also stands to see any remaining assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime act although his once-successful business has now gone bust and his home is about to be repossessed. Canada Border Services Agency Pacific Regional Director Blake Delgaty said: "This seizure demonstrates our partnership with law enforcement agencies, both here and abroad, lead to great success. "These joint operations ensure the security of our borders and play a big part in making our communities safer." The cocaine epidemic gripping Scotland was underlined in December when it emerged the number of people treated in hospital for abusing cocaine has increased tenfold in the past decade.
The price of a gram has fallen from an average of s71 in 1999 to s40 this year - meaning users can snort a line for just s2. European Union research found 15 per cent of Scots aged 16 to 34 had used cocaine - three times the EU average.

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Alfredo Lira Jr.23-year-old of Dallas pleaded guilty Tuesday in Tyler to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

Alfredo Lira Jr.23-year-old of Dallas pleaded guilty Tuesday in Tyler to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.
Prosecutors say Lira was arrested April 16, 2008, in Dallas with about 13 pounds of cocaine.Investigators say Lira bought the cocaine in San Antonio, for distribution in the Tyler area.Lira also was wanted in East Texas on 2002 charges of distribution of methamphetamine. Lira last August pleaded guilty to those charges.
No sentencing date has been set for Lira, who also faces a $3 million fine.

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Moises B. Martinez Jr., a prison case manager, and guard Sylvia Castillo Chairez were indicted last week

Moises B. Martinez Jr., a prison case manager, and guard Sylvia Castillo Chairez were indicted last week in Midland. Jacob C. Guzman was indicted on Jan. 28, though his Midland lawyer, Dan Wade, believes a second indictment was also issued last week.
All three defendants worked at the Reeves County Detention Center in Pecos.Martinez and Chairez turned themselves in Tuesday morning. Guzman turned himself in earlier.Investigators said the three are accused of taking cash from inmates to smuggle in contraband including tobacco and cell phones.According to an indictment against Guzman, investigators allege the guard was paid $100 by someone in Tennessee to smuggle tobacco into the prison in September 2008. When the tobacco was found during a search before Guzman could go into the jail, the indictment alleges, he tried to destroy it.Wade declined to comment on the case against Guzman Tuesday.Court records do not list lawyers for Martinez or Chairez.
Investigators said Martinez is accused of taking five bribes, ranging from $500 to $900 to smuggle contraband into the prison between June and July 2008.Chairez is accused of taking six bribes of $500 to $1,100 to smuggle cell phones into the prison between November 2007 and June 2008. Investigators said Chairez was paid by someone in New York.The Reeves County Detention Center, a sprawling prison complex at the edge of Pecos, is owned by the county but run by Boca Raton, Fla.-based GEO Group Inc. The prison houses about 3,000 federal criminal immigrant inmates.The facility suffered widespread damage in two riots in as many months in December and January. Relatives of inmates at the jail have claimed that poor conditions, including a lack of medical care, prompted the inmates to riot. County officials have said repairs could cost up to $20 million.

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Charged Rafael A. "Benny" Rivera, 27, of Brooklyn, N.Y., with three counts of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.

Charged Rafael A. "Benny" Rivera, 27, of Brooklyn, N.Y., with three counts of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.He had already been charged Thursday with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communications facility. The new charges doubled his bail to $400,000. Rivera, Kailey R. Radnor, 20, of Zullinger and Joshua D. Gage, 28, Waynesboro, had their preliminary hearings postponed to March 24 in Franklin County Central Court, to give them time to consult lawyers. The preliminary hearing for the fourth suspect, Heather N. Manning, is scheduled for April 14. The Waynesboro Police officer assigned to the drug task force filed the charges on every suspect, but waited until Monday to file the charges against Manning. The drug task force identified Rivera as the supplier of large amounts of heroin into the area. Though he lives in New York, he allegedly shared a residence with Radnor on Zana Court in Washington Township. Investigators found more than 1,200 small bags of heroin, some cocaine and marijuana and $4,500 in cash in the home. The drug task force did not know the approximate weight of the heroin recovered. Each packet, which sells on the street for $20 to $30, could be one or several doses, depending on the user, according to information obtained from the drug task force.
Before they located the residence, a confidential informant told investigators that some of Rivera's associates learned of his arrest and planned to come from New York to take over his business.
Radnor, who was driving Rivera when the task force arrested him, was charged with criminal conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a small amount of marijuana. She is in Franklin County jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. Investigators learned of Rivera and Radnor's involvement after finding $660 worth of heroin at the home of Gage and Manning. Both were charged with possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance. Manning's two small children were present at the time of the search. The drug task force was assisted by Waynesboro Police Department in the investigation. Officers from Chambersburg Police Department and Pennsylvania State Police's K-9 unit assisted with the search warrant raids on the two residences on Thursday and Friday.

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Tuesday, March 17

Arrested Katie M. Luessenhop, 26, of 250 S. Edwards Blvd., Apt. 146, Lake Geneva, on charges of felony bail jumping.


Arrested Katie M. Luessenhop, 26, of 250 S. Edwards Blvd., Apt. 146, Lake Geneva, on charges of felony bail jumping. She is accused of having contact with someone she was prohibited from contacting under the provisions of her bond, Undersheriff Kurt Picknell said.The arrest was the result of an ongoing drug investigation, and a charge of felony possession of heroin also has been referred to the district attorney's office, he said.Luessenhop was released March 11 on a $10,000 cash bond and was scheduled to appear in court at 1 p.m. today.Luessenhop is charged with felony possession of heroin and misdemeanor possession of cocaine. She was arrested Sept. 18, after police were called to the school parking lot for a disturbance, according to the criminal complaint.She gave police a small wrapped container, which she said contained cocaine. She also gave police a file folder inside which was a small plastic bag containing a powder, according to the complaint. Police then searched her purse and found another small bag containing powder.The samples where sent to the state crime lab, where testing revealed two of the samples to be heroin and one of the samples to be cocaine, according to the complaint.Luessenhop pleaded not guilty to the charges Feb. 25.

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Saturday, March 14

Robert Shannon is going to federal prison for 20 years.


Shannon’s lawyer told the judge at sentencing Friday that his client is a “glorified mule” and that others ran the drug empire, but prosecutors say Shannon controlled a vast transportation network that used the Hells Angels for muscle. Shannon’s fleet of trucks carried pipes with marijuana stashed inside, trailers with false walls and drugs in RVs and even a church van. “It was huge. You're talking about tens of thousands of pounds of cocaine. Tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana,” said ICE Agent in Charge Leigh Winchell. Shannon set up shell companies with forged documents to move his vehicles through the border and even offered drug suppliers a guarantee against the cops intercepting the load. “If 100 of the 7,100 pounds of marijuana we seized during this investigation were taken off, the guys who provided the marijuana would be compensated and insured for a percentage of that load. It's big business,” said Asst. U.S. Attorney Adam Cornell. At sentencing, the judge didn’t buy prosecutors’ arguments that Shannon threatened a co-conspirator who cooperated with law enforcement. This is a big drug case with 38 other people indicted or convicted. Some of them include Americans who received the drugs and used Shannon’s trucks to ship cocaine up into B.C.

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Yvan Cech, 65, receive a 13-year sentence for his role in smuggling 700 kilos of cocaine

Yvan Cech, 65, receive a 13-year sentence for his role in smuggling 700 kilos of cocaine, packed into aluminum ingots, into the country where much of it was sold to the Hells Angels.The sentence is considerable when Cech’s age is factored in, as well as the fact he has no prior convictions. At the time of his arrest in 2006, the Slovakian-born businessman, who is a Canadian citizen, owned and operated a hotel-casino in the Dominican Republic while splitting much of his time in Quebec City. But, Levasseur argued before Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer at the Montreal courthouse Friday morning, Cech played the most important role in the conspiracy as a high-level drug smuggler.The prosecutor pointed out that Richard Sanschagrin, a former police officer, received a 12-year prison term for role. Chagrin received the ingots once they entered Canada, warehoused the shipments before distributing the cocaine.Cech’s son-in-law, Atilio Martinez, a 47-year-old Kirkland resident, received a 9-year prison term for handling the distribution and accounting for Cech’s network while working out of a photo shop on Jean Talon St. E. Cournoyer wanted to hear Levasseur and defence lawyer Julio Peris’s thoughts on whether Cech’s questionable arrest in the Dominican Republic should factor into his sentence.
On May 8, 2006, Cech was sitting on an Air France plane at the airport in Santo Domingo about to head off to Paris when he was arrested by four Dominican Republican police officers. This was three days before the Sûreté du Québec made more than 20 arrests in this province in Project Fusion, the investigation into Cech’s network and clients.By the beginning of that month, the SQ knew they had to act fast if they still wanted to arrest Cech while he lived in the Dominican Republic. Investigators knew Martinez had flown to the Dominican Republic to meet with Cech to discuss the fact that $761,000 had been seized by police from Martinez’s home in Kirkland along with accounting documents. They were worried Cech was going to head to the Czech Republic where he had a residence and it would be more difficult to return him to Canada.

Cech claims he was held in a filthy cell in the Dominican Republic for three days, was unable to sleep, was given no food and was unable to contact a lawyer before SQ officers escorted him to Canada on May 12, 2006. He was only able to speak to a lawyer after he was brought to the SQ’s headquarters on Parthenais St. Without sleeping for four days he decided to collaborate with police. He gave 29 statements to investigators, but eventually refused to sign a contract that would make him a prosecution witness. He pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and gangsterism in December.
Cournoyer already ruled last month that the circumstances surrounding the arrest were not enough to declare a stay of proceedings in Cech’s case. But he said yesterday it was clear “something happened,” likely with the goal of pressuring Cech into becoming an informant.“I have three or four deductions but they were not introduced as evidence,” the judge said.Peris argued the questionable arrest should be factored into Cech’s sentence. He also argued the fact that it took the Crown more than a year to turn over the evidence it had in the case to the defence should also be factored in.The defence lawyer did not ask for a specific sentence length but asked that his client be left with only three years left to serve when Cournoyer renders his decision on April 17.Cech has already served the equivalent of nearly six years behind bars while awaiting the outcome of his case.

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Friday, March 13

Monica Aguirre charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine

Monica Aguirre shuffled her feet as she made her way to the lectern to address U.S. District Judge Felix Recio.During the hearing, Aguirre's attorney, Noe Garza, asked Recio to give his client time to clear pending judicial matters. The matters include a pending arrest warrant for failure to appear in Cameron County Court-at-Law No. 3 and various unpaid traffic tickets in Los Fresnos.Because of the pending judicial matters, Recio denied bond and said, "There is no condition or combination of conditions that would reasonably assure the defendant's appearance at further court proceedings."Aguirre, charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, was arrested March 4 as she allegedly tried to cross the B&M International Bridge driving a red Jeep with 15.35 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a secret compartment.
Her two infant sons accompanied Aguirre. The children were released to the custody of a relative.

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Edvinas Leonavicius, jailed for 11 years

Edvinas Leonavicius, 25, arrived at the Eastern Docks on May 8. UK Border Agency officers discovered the drugs in 17 brown-taped packages hidden beneath the gear stick in the centre consol of the vehicle he was driving. When questioned by HMRC investigators Leonavicius stated he was visiting Chester as a tourist for one week.
The parcels contained 12 kilos of ecstasy and half a kilo of cocaine, worth £260,000.
Sentencing at Canterbury Crown Court on Thursday Her Honour Adele Williams said: "There was a degree of sophistication with this importation, containing a quantity of dangerous class A drugs which wreak havoc with peoples lives."

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Joaquín Guzmán Loera, is one of 38 new billionaires.

Joaquín Guzmán Loera, is one of 38 new billionaires.For eight years Joaquín Guzmán Loera reportedly managed his international drug smuggling operation from behind bars while enjoying a lavish prison life with access to booze, women and a home entertainment system. Then in January 2001, facing extradition to the U.S., Guzmán slipped into a laundry cart and escaped.Since then "El Chapo," or Shorty, as he is called, has tightened his grip on Mexico's drug trade as head of the Sinaloa cartel, one of the biggest suppliers of cocaine to the U.S. It is a lucrative business to be in these days. Thirty-five million people in the U.S. use narcotics or abuse prescription drugs, spending more than $64 billion annually. The Drug Enforcement Agency and other industry experts believe Guzmán, 54, has controlled anywhere from a third to half of the wholesale Mexican drug market over the past eight years. In 2008 Mexican and Colombian traffickers laundered between $18 billion and $39 billion in proceeds from wholesale shipments to the U.S., according to the U.S. government. Guzmán and his operation likely grossed 20% of that--enough for him to have pocketed $1 billion over his career and earn a spot on the billionaires list for the first time.While others with ten-figure fortunes have criminal records, Guzmán is probably the only one for whom the U.S. government is offering a $5 million reward for his capture. "He clearly is a sociopath and willing to engage in high levels of violence, but he is skillful in managing these turbulent waters," says Bruce Bagley, chairman of international studies at the University of Miami. While traditional drug cartels are built around a family hierarchy, Guzmán's operates more as a confederation of different groups. He hires gangs that have peeled off from competitors, offering attractive profit sharing. "The Sinaloa cartel is kind of a new animal in a way. He offers them a better deal," adds Bagley.Guzmán grew up in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa in a rural region that has produced big drug traffickers. The farm boy was likely exposed to the trade at a young age. Officials say he honed his drug-running skills working for different gangs, most notably as an airplane logistics expert for Miguel Angel Félix Gallardo, "El Padrino," or the Godfather, the country's leading trafficker at the time. Gallardo was arrested in 1989.By the early 1990s Guzmán had started his own international firm. Business didn't always run smoothly. In 1993, at the northern border, Mexican authorities seized a 7-ton shipment of cocaine, believed to be his, that was hidden in chili pepper cans. The same year rival gang members, apparently trying to kill Guzmán at the Guadalajara airport, bumped off a Catholic cardinal instead. Also that year he was captured and convicted for homicide and drug trafficking.A 1995 U.S. indictment alleges he directed a vast network of employees and assets, including warehouses in California, New Jersey and Chicago; a tunnel, running 65 feet deep and 1,416 feet long, between Mexico and Otay Mesa, Calif.; an executive jet rental business; and railcars carrying cooking oil. At least one of his employees was in charge of paying off Mexican prosecutors and police, allegedly dropping $1 million in cash in 1991 for the release of Guzmán's brother, "El Pollo," from a Mexico City prison. (El Pollo was murdered in 2004.)How long can Guzmán, who may be in Guatemala, continue to elude authorities? The Mexican government is trying to crack down on the murderous drug trade that has killed 6,000 people in the past year, including Guzmán's son, who was gunned down in May. It has dispatched thousands of soldiers to hot zones. In November it arrested the nation's top antidrug authority for allegedly agreeing to a $450,000-per-month deal to tip off drug traffickers about raids and arrests. That pressure, along with more pressure from rival drug gangs, appears to be making business harder for Guzmán but hasn't persuaded him to get out of the industry

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Tuesday, March 10

Sandy Rodriguez Brito, 21, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, was apprehended Saturday night at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport

Sandy Rodriguez Brito, 21, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, was apprehended Saturday night at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport while waiting for two drug mules to fly in from the Dominican Republic. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Brito at the airport about 10 p.m.Brito fled from a Salem motel room on Nov. 25, when one of three drug mules he hired began absorbing small bags of cocaine lodged in her digestive tract, according to police and court documents. Mally Cruz Rodriguez, 25, was pronounced dead at Caritas Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, Mass., shortly after her sister, Nelly Cruz Rodriguez, another drug carrier, called 911.Nelly Cruz Rodriguez also suffered from drug intoxication and was rushed to an area hospital to have several bags of cocaine removed from her. Federal officials revealed yesterday that a grand jury has indicted Brito and four others in connection with the case. They are Brito's sister Dionaliz; a cab driver Escolastico Suero, 45, of Methuen; Angel Baez-Gil, 45, of Lawrence; and Nelly Cruz Rodriguez, according to federal officials.Brito and his sister accompanied the three drug mules on a flight from Puerto Rico to Fort Lauderdale and then to Boston. Suero picked up the group at the airport with Baez-Gil, according to police affidavits.Suero, Baez-Gil and Nelly Cruz Rodriguez remain jailed as they await trial. Federal officials will bring Brito to New Hampshire, but no exact date has been set, police Capt. Shawn Patten said yesterday."We've worked closely with the federal authorities to make sure all the people involved in this case are brought to justice," Patten said. "We're looking forward to getting Mr. Brito back to the state of New Hampshire to face these charges."It's unclear what charges Brito, who has yet to be extradited, will face. Salem police said previously he could be charged in connection with supplying the fatal drugs that caused Cruz Rodriguez's death. The federal indictments, handed down last month, remain sealed in U.S. District Court.
Police were first alerted to the drug ring when Cruz Rodriguez made the 911 call from the Park View Inn about her ailing sister.Brito had allegedly taken suitcases belonging to the sisters and abandoned them with $40 cash and a cell phone when he fled with his sister and a third drug mule, according to a police affidavit.A key clue came about when detectives found a drugstore receipt for laxatives inside the motel rooms the group rented. Surveillance footage from a CVS in North Andover, Mass., showed Brito, Baez-Gil and Suero buying the laxatives around 3 a.m. on Nov. 25.Dionaliz Rodriguez Brito remains at large, but authorities are pursuing leads on her whereabouts.

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Sunday, March 8

Keith Morez, 60, Sevenoaks, and fellow gang members Chris Brown, 55, from Greenhithe, and Gerard Dutton, 61, from Suffolk,jailed for 10 years


Keith Morez, 60, from Sevenoaks, and his unemployed fellow gang members Chris Brown, 55, from Greenhithe, and Gerard Dutton, 61, from Suffolk, were each given 10-year sentences at Kingston Crown Court.The Metropolitan Police’s Projects Team spent several months investigating the organised criminal network, which involved importing and supplying cannabis from southern Spain, as part of Operation Cromer.
Det Insp Grant Johnson said: “This group was highly organised in the way they imported drugs.“They used criminal contacts in the UK and Spain, going out of their way to disassociate themselves from the cargo by using false companies and deliberately deceiving legitimate haulage companies.”The Met’s Projects Team passed intelligence onto Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers who searched a Spanish registered lorry in April last year finding 1.5 tonnes of cannabis resin with a street value of around £4.2million.The lorry was seized in Coquelles Port in Normandy, France, and had been travelling from Murcia in Spain bound for the UK. The drugs were found hidden in six pallets of floor tiles when the vehicle reached England.In July, 2008, another Spanish-registered lorry was stopped by HMRC officers at the Port of Dover where they discovered 1.56 tonnes of the now class B substance worth around £4m that had been hidden in pallets of ‘dressed stone’.Intelligence from the seizures led Guardia Civil Grupo de Drogas officers to search a warehouse in southern Spain where a further 690 kilos of cannabis valued at £1.93m was found.
DI Grant Johnson said: “Both of these lorry loads were significant seizures, headed for the streets of the capital and these sentences are testament to how seriously both the police and judicial system, take this dangerous, newly reclassified, class B drug.”Morez, of Billet Hill, ran a legitimate traffic management company but was found to be a senior member of the drug network, the Met said.He acted as Brown’s right-hand man, liaising with criminals in Spain and was responsible for transporting the drugs once they reached the UK.Police arrested him in October last year while he was in his car on the A20 in Kent. He pleaded guilty on January 13 this year before sentencing at Kingston with the other men last Friday.Detectives found that Brown was in total control of the importation side of the trafficking and actively involved in both lorry hauls of drugs seized.He was seen meeting face-to-face with Spanish drug suppliers and kept in telephone contact with Morez and Dutton.
Brown was arrested in his car near the Dartford Bridge in July last year.Dutton set up two fake companies so the gang could use them to employ legitimate haulage companies to import the loads of cannabis from Spain into the UK.He was arrested in north Yorkshire in July last year. Police said the lorry drivers and haulage companies involved in the case were innocent victims and had been duped into believing they were carrying genuine loads of tiles and stone.Bob Gaiger, a spokesman for HMRC, said: “This is a perfect example of the successful working partnership that exists between the Met Police and HMRC.“We will continue to work together to prevent drugs from entering the UK and harming our communities. We will not only focus on those transporting these deadly drugs, but also those who mastermind and finance this illegal activity.”

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Francisco S. Perez, posted the $20,000 bail and disappeared

Francisco S. Perez, posted the $20,000 bail and disappeared — only to be caught Wednesday with a cache of weapons, including an assault rifle, body armor, marijuana and other drugs.This time he is being held without bail, Deputy Pima County Attorney Richard Wintory said.Perez's story is not uncommon, said Wintory, who contends judges often set bail too low because they rely on questionable information or mistaken perceptions.To prove his point, Wintory had staff members compile statistics on bail conditions set in all Counter Narcotics Alliance cases for the past five years.They found nearly a quarter of those arrested by the alliance disappear after they are released, Wintory said — a statistic he calls especially alarming because they may be among the most dangerous offenders in the community.
While their motivation is drug running, the nature of the business frequently involves weapons, violent assaults, home invasions, kidnappings for ransom and even murder — sometimes with innocent victims caught up in the crossfire.
Rick Peck, Pretrial Services director, could not verify Wintory's numbers but noted that 16 percent of those arrested for all types of crimes in Pima County abscond after being released from jail.When judges set bail, they are supposed to consider the charges, family ties, employment, financial resources, criminal record, length of time in the community and history of making past court dates.
Much of that information is gathered by Pretrial Services.Wintory believes judges give too little consideration to the type of charges Counter Narcotics Alliance defendants are facing.More significantly, he believes judges rely too heavily on information Pretrial Services gets from defendants' families about their community ties without independent verification."It isn't their ties to the community we should be concerned about," he said. "It's that they have resources and an interest in staying in business. The absconders we've caught are caught committing more of the same types of crimes."Counter Narcotics Alliance defendants, if convicted, almost always face mandatory prison time, Wintory said. Yet if a defendant's wife says the defendant has lived in the same house and worked for the same employer for decades, her word is taken at face value without verification.Too many times, detectives later learn the defendant's address is non-existent and the claimed employer has never heard of the defendant, he said.
Here is one statistic he discovered: Of the Counter Narcotics Alliance's arrestees who run, the largest share — 33 percent — are those who actually posted bail. The rest vanished after being released on their own recognizance or to a Pretrial Services monitoring program.A few show up again, but only when they're arrested for committing another serious crime, such as in Francisco Perez's case, Wintory said.
County Attorney Barbara LaWall said she suspects drug dealers flee more frequently than most suspects because they put up cash. Other defendants put up the equity in their homes or the homes of their loved ones and are unwilling to lose their property to a bail bondsman if they run.Wintory also determined that of the 526 people Counter Narcotics detectives have arrested over the last five years, 304 have been released on bail, on their own recognizance or to Pretrial Services.
A third of those who took flight after posting bail vanished before they were arraigned, Wintory said. That means they hadn't been officially informed of the charges against them and given an opportunity to say "not guilty," so they can't be tried in absentia.If his numbers are accurate, they are a "cause for concern" and need to be looked into, Presiding Tucson City Court Judge Tony Riojas said.
But Riojas and Pretrial Services Director Peck defended Pretrial Services, saying the department does a good job compiling information for judges in a short time.
Peck said he doesn't believe there is a widespread problem with absconders in the general population. He wouldn't comment on Wintory's figures for the more dangerous Counter Narcotics Alliance defendants because his office doesn't separate the numbers that way.

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Thursday, March 5

Christopher Wiggins, 42, from Spain's Costa del Sol, are charged with attempting to import 1.7 tonnes of cocaine

Philip Doo, 52, of Higher Manor Road, Brixham, David Mufford, 44, of Clennon Court, Clennon Lane, Torquay, and Christopher Wiggins, 42, from Spain's Costa del Sol, are charged with attempting to import 1.7 tonnes of cocaine — believed to be valued at more than 500 million euro (£440m).The three Britons have been remanded in continuing custody after they appeared in court yesterday in connection with the cocaine seizure by Irish Navy, Irish police and Customs in a joint task force operation off the West Cork coast last year.The trio were due to go on trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court but barristers asked for the case to be put back to the next session so defence teams could continue discussions with state prosecutors.
"Certain communications are ongoing with the state," said Marjorie Farrelly, senior counsel for Wiggins.three men were detained last November after the authorities swooped on the 60ft ocean-going boat Dances With Waves, 170 miles off the west Cork coast.Seventy-five bales of cocaine were discovered on the vessel which set sail from the Caribbean a month earlier.They are charged that on November 5, 2008, on the ship, Dances with Waves, a ship not registered in any country or territory, they had possession of cocaine knowing it was intended to be imported into a country other than Ireland.Ms Farrelly's application was supported by Tim O'Leary for Mufford and Donal O'Sullivan for Doo, and the state did not object to the adjournment.
Judge Patrick Moran put the case back until April 21.All three have been in custody since their arrest.They are charged with the same offence under Section 34 of the Republic's Criminal Justice Drug Trafficking Act — possession of drugs with intent to import.The seizure exceeded a previous record-breaking haul of 1.5 tonnes of cocaine — valued at 440 million euro (£323m) — which washed up on the Cork coast near Mizen Head in July 2007 after an elaborate trafficking scam fell apart.

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Ruden Portillo, 32, of Danbury, Conn., and Jose Rodriquez, 38, of Brooklyn collared after selling cocaine to undercover deputies

Ruden Portillo, 32, of Danbury, Conn., and Jose Rodriquez, 38, of Brooklyn are being held at the Putnam County jail and are due in Brewster Village Court Monday night.
Smith said that members of the narcotics enforcement unit developed information that the pair were involved in street-level cocaine sales.Undercover officers, posing as buyers, purchased cocaine from the men on several occasions, Smith said.
The two were arrested Feb. 26 during a buy-bust operation. They were collared after selling cocaine to undercover deputies, Smith said.Police seized cocaine, marijuana, cash and fake identifications from the men, Smith said.They were charged with five counts each of third-degree criminal sale and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, felonies.Portillo is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail and Rodriquez on $50,000 bail.Smith said that Portillo, a Guatemalan national, and Rodriquez, from the Dominican Republic, may be in the country illegally. Both men were reported to the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as per Putnam County jail procedure

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Reginald Love,was charged last week with two Class X felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance

Reginald Love, 23, who listed an address in the 200 block of West Bradley Avenue, Champaign.Love was charged last week with two Class X felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance but was arraigned on the counts Wednesday.Assistant State's Attorney Sarah Carlson said Love is accused of selling about 2 grams of cocaine on Dec. 5 and again on Dec. 9 from his home to an informant working with Champaign police.Both transactions, which occurred within 1,000 feet of Stratton Elementary School, were recorded on videotape, Carlson said.If convicted, Love would have to serve the sentence after any he might receive for a 2008 possession of controlled substance case for which he was free on bond when the December sales allegedly occurred.Love's bond was set at $1 million. He was released from jail Tuesday after posting $100,000 cash

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Darrell Woods, 19, of the 1600 block of Harper Drive, Rantoul, was charged with possession with intent to deliver

Darrell Woods, 19, of the 1600 block of Harper Drive, Rantoul, was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and driving under suspension after his arrest Tuesday by Rantoul police.Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Clark said police tried to pull over Woods' car on Century Boulevard for a traffic violation. As officers approached, he sped off with the police following. Clark said Woods eventually stopped the car, got out and ran. He was caught not far away.Woods was searched at the jail and 17 rocks of crack cocaine, weighing 7 grams, were found in his underwear, Clark said.The drug charge alleges Woods had the drugs within 1,000 feet of St. Malachy School, making the offense a Class X felony, punishable by six to 30 years in prison.If convicted, Woods would have to serve the sentence after whatever sentence he might receive for a 2007 aggravated driving under the influence conviction. The state is attempting to revoke his probation in that case.Judge Rich Klaus set Woods' bond at $50,000 and ordered him back in court April 28.

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Miguel Angel Mejia was captured as he moved around the country in a specially-designed articulated lorry


Miguel Angel Mejia to give up all he learned in more than two decades in the bowels of the Colombian underworld, the implications could be dramatic for cocaine smuggling. Miguel and his twin brother, Victor, whose organisation became known as the "Twins Cartel", worked their way up the criminal ladder, starting as assassins, then specialising in moving large cocaine shipments by sea, into the US and into Europe via Albania."He has told me that he wants to fully cooperate with the justice system," said Angélica Mari­a Marti­nez, a lawyer for Miguel Angel Mejia, who is now on US soil awaiting trail on drugs trafficking charges.The Twins were largely unknown until 2001, when $35 million (£24 million) in cash was found in two of their flats in Bogota. The Twins then bought their way into the illegal Right-wing paramilitary United Self Defence Forces of Colombia (known as the AUC), setting up a private army and a fiefdom in the eastern province of Arauca, astride the strategic smuggling route into Venezuela. Victor was killed in a gunfight with police in April last year. In a scene reminiscent of the film Scarface, he held off attacking police with a machine gun as his bodyguards were cut down, until he, too, received several bullets that killed him before he hit the ground. Just three days later, Miguel was captured as he moved around the country in a specially-designed articulated lorry, which had a secret compartment. Police stopped the vehicle at a checkpoint and even thought they knew the Twin was hiding somewhere inside they could not find him. It was only when a tube, which let air into the secret compartment, was sealed up, that Miguel was forced to reveal himself or suffocate.

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Wednesday, March 4

Arrested Julian Burford and Turner D. Williams after officers from Cleveland, Bedford and Garfield Heights seized 70 pounds of cocaine

Arrested Julian Burford and Turner D. Williams after officers from Cleveland, Bedford and Garfield Heights seized 70 pounds of cocaine that police said had a street value of $5 million. Investigators learned during a three-month joint investigation that the shipment would be delivered from California to Cleveland. Police worked with federal authorities to track the shipment. The Iowa State Highway Patrol seized it Thursday and turned it over to Cleveland police. Both men are in Cleveland City Jail for investigation of aggravated drug trafficking. No charges have been filed. Burford, 40, won the local Golden Gloves boxing tournament and twice advanced to the semifinals of the national tournament, where he notched a win over future middleweight world champion Jermain Taylor. Burford then turned pro, compiling a record of 12-2 with 10 knockouts. He lost his last professional fight in 2005. Johnny Avon, one of Burford's former trainers, said the boxer could have been a star. "It's unfortunate," Avon said about the arrest. "He had the potential to be great." Burford faced drug charges before. In 2001, federal authorities accused him of operating a cocaine pipeline between Cleveland and Detroit. He was convicted of drug trafficking in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in 1992 and spent two years in prison, according to state records. Williams was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in 1999, records show.

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Antonio K. Overton, 25, was convicted last week of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and four other drug trafficking charges.

Antonio K. Overton, 25, was convicted last week of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and four other drug trafficking charges.Two of the charges are first-degree felonies, the most serious. Two are fourth-degree felonies, and one is a third-degree felony.Prosecutor Mark Miller had asked the court to impose a 10-year sentence, while Overton's attorney, Jeremy Levy of Toledo, argued for a three- or four-year term.Under law, Overton faced a mandatory three-year sentence on just the corrupt activity offense.Overton was one of 14 people indicted last summer following a two-year investigation of a cocaine distribution ring by the Hancock METRICH drug task force.He was one of the ringleaders in the drug enterprise, and was found to have sold cocaine in Findlay on several occasions while the ring was operating between 2006 and 2008.Authorities said Overton would bring drugs to Findlay and “set up shop” at motels here. He sold some of the drugs himself and also arranged to have “runners” sell drugs.The ring was broken up after several confidential informants made purchases of cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and Oxycodone, a prescription pain reliever, from various defendants.Judge Niemeyer ordered Overton to make restitution of $1,560 to the METRICH task force, for the money given to informants to purchase drugs from him. The judge also ordered Overton to forfeit $722 in cash that was found on him when he was first arrested.Overton has been held in the Hancock County jail since his arrest last August.

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Peter Gill, 39, of Penrwyn Court, Eynesbury, and Kramer Craft, 29, of Seymour

Peter Gill, 39, of Penrwyn Court, Eynesbury, and Kramer Craft, 29, of Seymour Road, Benfleet, Essex, both deny conspiracy to supply class A drugs. They are accused of the adapting the lorry and organising the transportation of the drugs following scouting missions to Amsterdam.Huntingdon Crown Court was told that the drugs had been hidden in a specially-adapted brake cylinder and the lorry brought back into the country by third party driver. Prosecuting, Bridget Petherbridge said: "There were two cylinders on a lorry that normally has only one." She said Mr Craft, formerly from Eynesbury, picked up a parcel of cocaine from the driver at Thames Industrial Park, in East Tilbury, but only after a delay.
The driver was due to arrive with the drugs on March 20, but was a day late and
Mr Craft had to book into a hotel and meet him the following day.Miss Petherbridge told the jury that the pair had used the codenames when discussing the drug transportation on mobile phones and referred also to a 'Mr X'.She added: "Mr Gill and Mr Craft are involved at every turn. Everything we know about the conspiracy to import drugs from the continent starts and finishes with them." Graham Parkins QC, defending, said Mr Craft had been acting under duress and fear for the safety of himself, his partner and his child. He owes £16,000 to a drug dealer who threatened to kill him and pressured him into drug smuggling.

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Jorge Luis Posada Guevara arrived on Saturday. Officials say he was to hand the cocaine stuffed in dried soup boxes to Hidsar Orlando Henriquez Parada

Jorge Luis Posada Guevara arrived on Saturday. Officials say he was to hand the cocaine stuffed in dried soup boxes to Hidsar Orlando Henriquez Parada, who has also been charged, to take to a man in Wheaton.Last month, authorities say another man was caught carrying more than 14 pounds of cocaine hidden in dried soup packets at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

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Miguel Angel Mejia reputed cocaine kingpin extradited


Colombia extradited reputed cocaine kingpin Miguel Angel Mejia on Wednesday, making him the 16th paramilitary warlord dispatched to the United States on drug trafficking charges in less than a year.The 49-year-old Mejia was an anomaly among far-right militia bosses. After initially demobilizing in a peace pact with the government, he returned to being a fugitive and authorities say he ran a major drug gang.His extradition Wednesday aboard a DEA Super King turboprop plane was confirmed by Col. German Jaimes, deputy director of Colombia's judicial police, who said Mejia was bound for Washington, D.C. News media were not invited to witness the departure.
Police killed Mejia's twin brother and alleged crime partner Victor in an April 2008 raid. Mejia himself was captured the next month in a false compartment in a truck cab. The United States had offered $5 million rewards for the capture of either Mejia, who were known as the twins, "Los Mellizos" in SpanishMiguel Angel was first indicted in the United States in 2000 and is to be tried in District of Columbia federal court.He and brother began trafficking in the 1990s and shipped 4 to 10 metric tons of cocaine to the United States and Europe monthly, according to Col. Cesar Pinzon, chief of Colombia's judicial police.Mejia's lawyer, Angelica Maria Martinez, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that her client faced no charges in Colombia but nevertheless confessed to leading a far-right militia that she said was responsible for the massacre of 10 people in 2004 in a town called Flor Amarillo.
Prosecutors say they are investigating Mejia's involvement in many more killings.
Martinez said Mejia was hoping that in exchange for confessing to his crimes and handing over ill-gotten gains he might negotiate a reduced sentence in the United States.U.S. prosecutors have shown themselves ill-disposed to such deals, however, seeking prison terms of well over 20 years for other Colombian paramilitary warlords extradited there on drug trafficking charges.Since taking office in 2002, President Alvaro Uribe has extradited more than 800 criminal suspects to the United States to stand trial, the vast majority on drug trafficking charges.

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Martin Gowan was jailed for 18 months and his fall from grace was completed when he had to forfeit £14,175 under the Proceeds of Crime Act


Financial Investigation Unit successfully applied to Chorley Magistrates' Court to have £14,175 forfeited by Martin Gowan, 44, of Great Meadow, Astley Village.
Gowan used to run the Rose and Crown pub in St Thomas's Road, Chorley, and was also a well-known karaoke DJ.He was arrested by police on May 7, 2008, and later pleaded guilty to possessing a Class A drug and intent to supply cocaine.Gowan also admitted a lesser charge of possessing cannabis resin.In Feburary he was jailed for 18 months and his fall from grace was completed when he had to forfeit £14,175 under the Proceeds of Crime Act, half of which was returned to Lancashire Constabulary.Tests revealed the cash recovered was heavily contaminated with cocaine.Insp Alison Harris, who co-ordinated the raid on Gowan's home last May, said: "This conviction is really good news for the community in Astley Village. Last year's raids were conducted with intelligence from the local community and it shows the good results we can achieve when the police and local people work together."Let this be a reminder to people that neither the police nor the courts will tolerate drugs and the supply of drugs in our neighbourhoods."Gowan's role at the Rose and Crown is unclear although he's said to have taken over the running of the pub from the previous owner last year.Although he never officially applied to change the licence into his name, revellers say he was a permanent fixture behind the bar and on the turntables as the resident karaoke DJ.A spokesman for Scottish and Newcastle brewery, which is responsible for the pub said: "In respect of the Rose and Crown, I can confirm that Mr Gowan has no involvement with the pub and has been banned from the premises by the current licence holder."

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Tuesday, March 3

Beau Michael Yakimishyn, 26, has forfeited his northeast Edmonton home, his $20,000 motorcycle and his $80,000 customized car

Beau Michael Yakimishyn, 26, has forfeited his northeast Edmonton home, his $20,000 motorcycle and his $80,000 customized car as proceeds of crime.Yakimishyn yesterday pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking cocaine and is slated to begin a two-day sentencing hearing in Court of Queen's Bench this morning.According to agreed facts, Yakimishyn sold cocaine at the ounce and kilogram level between April 23, 2005, and Feb. 14, 2006, and was involved in purchasing the drug and distributing it to street-level dealers.As a result of the wiretap operation by Mounties from Alberta, British Columbia and Newfoundland, as well as police from Edmonton and Calgary, it was learned that Yakimishyn was going to Calgary to buy cocaine in January 2006.He returned with more than four kilos of the drug, with an estimated value of $100,000, and converted half of it into crack cocaine at his residence. He then gave an unidentified man three kilos, however that person was nabbed after leaving Yakimishyn's home.An hour later, Yakimishyn left the home and was arrested after police found one kilo of powder cocaine and 25 grams of crack cocaine in the waistband of his pants.Police then used a warrant to search the home and seized an additional 98 grams of crack cocaine as well as a BlackBerry device that contained information relating to the trafficking organization.Court heard Yakimishyn is forfeiting any interest he has in his residence at 16103 73 St. other than $20,000 which was gifted to him for the down payment.As well, he is forfeiting his 2005 Custom Rigid motorcycle, purchased for $20,000, and his 2005 Chrysler 300C customized car, which was bought for $44,000, but valued at $80,000 after upgrades.Yakimishyn had been facing trial with three other alleged drug traffickers, including John Reginald Alcantara, 36, a full-patch member of the Edmonton Hells Angels. That trial continues.In November 2006, police announced they had seized 20 kilos of cocaine, three kg of marijuana, methamphetamine, guns, prohibited weapons and more than $2 million in cash, cars, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, jewelry and homes as part of a massive wiretap investigation dubbed Project KOKER.Eighteen people were charged following the 23-month investigation involving 100 officers, including Alcantara and fellow Hells Angel Alan Peter Knapczyk, 34.Police said the arrests were made using intelligence and wiretaps to intercept 58,000 private communications.

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Monday, March 2

Kiel Povall, of Birkenhead, was sentenced in Jersey and received five years.

Kiel Povall, of Birkenhead, was sentenced in Jersey and received five years.
Working as a courier, the 21-year-old was stopped at Jersey airport in August last year by Customs officials, minutes after landing on the island.He was found to have 12 packages of cocaine hidden internally, which amounted to 167 grams of the drug.
Sir Philip told Povall: “In Jersey, we hate drugs, especially Class A drugs, because they cause misery to those who become addicted to them and they cause distress to their families as well.”Police on British islands like Jersey and the Isle of Man have launched high-profile operations to stop dealers from cities flooding drugs across from the mainland.Steve Le Marquand, director of law enforcement at Jersey Customs, said: “Both these men are typical drugs couriers.“Jersey has a strict zero-tolerance approach to drug smuggling in any form, and any individual who endeavours to bring illegal drugs to the island will be prosecuted with the full force of the law.”

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Timothy Pierce, 24, was arrested after he was caught bringing in 2,400 Ecstasy tablets across on a ferry from Portsmouth.

Timothy Pierce, 24, was arrested after he was caught bringing in 2,400 Ecstasy tablets across on a ferry from Portsmouth.The Birkenhead man was stopped last October by Jersey Customs officials as he arrived at the island.Following a search, the drugs haul was found hidden in bottles of shampoo, shower gel and talcum powder in a toiletry bag.Sentencing Pierce, the Bailiff of Jersey, Sir Philip Bailhache, said: “You behaved foolishly and others are going to suffer as a result of your folly.“But we have to punish you, as you will understand.”

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Victoria Nicholson's who flew to China to start a new life with a man she met on the internet has been jailed in Australia



A British woman who flew to China to start a new life with a man she met on the internet has been jailed in Australia after he forced her to smuggle drugs.
Victoria Nicholson's story was revealed today as police in Sydney began an investigation with the Chinese to track down the cruel hoaxer.The school teacher wrote 'Love is blind' on an internet dating site as she searched for a companion after a string of failed relationships. 'Love is blind': Victoria Nicholson is in an Australian jail after she was fooled by a Nigerian drug runner whom she met online
Miss Nicholson endured several abusive relationships, but raised two children.She headed off to Turkey for a holiday and met a man in Fetya who was to become her husband - but the marriage failed when she found out he was a gigolo trying to use her to get British citizenship.Her search for love on the internet was 'like an addiction' she told Sydney's Sun-Herald newspaper in an interview in a Sydney prison. Then, online, she met a Nigerian called Emmanuel.He told her he loved her and offered the woman a new life in China.Miss Nicholson's 22-year-old daughter warned her about taking the trip to Guangshou. But on the promise of a job and a lover, the lonely heart took off from London in July 2007. She told her family she had nothing to lose.Emmanuel met her at the airport in China and helped her find a job at a private school but within weeks things began to change. Her plans to return home by Christmas collapsed when her return ticket to England disappeared - and Emmanuel started going out alone at night.When she asked if another woman was involved, he said that was not the case but added: 'Nothing's for nothing, Victoria.' Miss Nicholson described the horror scene that followed. When her lover returned home one night with two other Nigerian men, he told her that she and he would be delivering a packet of 'important medicine' to Australia.
But the means of carrying the small package was to be her own body - forced into her during a sex session.She was put on a plane with an escort, who disappeared in the transit lounge of Bangkok airport. She didn't approach any officials to tell them of her plight, fearing that another member of the drug ring was on board the plane.
At Sydney airport, she was pulled aside by customs officers and confessed immediately to the secret package she was carrying.She has since pleaded guilty to a charge of importing a marketable quantity of an illegal drug - 264 grams of heroin - and has been sentenced to a four and a half years jail.'If I'm truthful to myself, I've been a fool,' she told the newspaper.Miss Nicholson has pleaded with Australian authorities to serve out her jail term in Britain so she can be closer to her mother, her daughter and her 21-year-old son, a Royal Navy Iraq veteran.

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Richard Rudolph Gayle, 38, was yesterday apprehended at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA)


Richard Rudolph Gayle, 38, was yesterday apprehended at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at approximately 5:00 hours by the Police Narcotics Unit, under the suspicion that he had swallowed pellets containing cocaine.
The suspected cocaine swallower, Richard Rudolph Gayle, who was apprehended at the CJIA yesterday.Gayle is currently under police guard at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) after X-rays of his abdomen showed several foreign objects in his stomach.The Jamaican, who arrived in Guyana on February 26, was an outgoing passenger at the CJIA bound for Trinidad and Tobago when he was searched by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU). Their initial search discovered no drugs on his person, but Gayle was later detained by the Police Narcotics Unit.
Gayle is said to be cooperating with the police, as he has taken the laxatives necessary to help him pass the pellets out of his system.A few weeks ago another Jamaican national, Errol Barrette, spent three days at the GPHC before finally excreting the pellets containing the illicit substance. He was lucky that none of the pellets containing the drug had ruptured in his stomach.Over the last few years, several drug mules have died when the pellets, containing the drugs they were trafficking, burst while still inside them.

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Steven Atiyeh, 33, of Miami, was returned to U.S. police on the weekend after being intercepted Feb. 17 while arriving at Pearson

Steven Atiyeh, 33, of Miami, was returned to U.S. police on the weekend after being intercepted Feb. 17 while arriving at Pearson on a flight from Mexico, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Atiyeh was detained at Pearson on an immigration violation as Canadian officers suspected he was sought in the U.S., said CBP Chief Kevin Corsaro. "He was arrested due to the excellent work by our Canadian counterparts," Corsaro said yesterday. "These are very serious offences." He said record checks revealed Atiyeh was the subject of a U.S. warrant issued in February 2002 by the District Court of Southern Florida. Atiyeh faces a number of charges including conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 kilos of cocaine.
Officials aren't sure if Atiyeh has family members here.

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Accused drug dealer Richard Buttrose was arrested after police discovered more than $1.3 million in cash and 7.7kg of cocaine

Accused drug dealer Richard Buttrose was arrested after police discovered more than $1.3 million in cash and 7.7kg of cocaine hidden in a Darling Point apartment.
Buttrose, the father of a 21-month-old son and whose wife Pollyanna is expecting to give birth on Monday, was released on bail on Thursday after police had allegedl already caught him selling $2500 worth of cocaine.Yesterday morning, about 9am, as he was reporting to Rose Bay police station to meet his bail conditions, police seized the opportunity to arrest him again. While he stayed at his mother's Vaucluse home overnight they had raided the Darling Point apartment on Sutherland Crescent believed to be connected to him.Detectives estimate the street value of the cocaine found there yesterday would be about $2 million. Police said the latest raid was part of a crackdown on street-level drug dealing in Sydney's eastern suburbs and that their investigations were continuing.Buttrose, who is the son of the publishing icon's late brother, appeared before Central Local Court on Thursday charged with five counts of supplying a prohibited drug as well as possession and goods in custody after more police raids at Paddington and Enmore.

At noon on Wednesday, undercover officers allegedly watched him sell 2g of cocaine to a man outside the Phoenix Hotel on Moncur St, Woollahra. He was later arrested in his Mercedes on Ocean St. His mother, Elizabeth Buttrose, had already put up $300,000 bail in order to have her son released the first time. Under those bail conditions, Buttrose was to stay inside her Vaucluse home from 6.30pm to 6.30am and report to police twice a day.

His lawyer, Brett Galloway, told Central Local Court on Thursday Buttrose's occupation was "company director" - and that his client was in the process of producing a reality television program that turned ordinary people into racing car drivers.A 32-year-old man from Mascot was also arrested and charged on Thursday with possessing a prohibited drug. He was granted strict conditional bail and ordered to reappear in the Downing Centre Local Court on March 18.He was expected to be charged over yesterday's raid last night and is expected to appear before Parramatta Local Court today.

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Sunday, March 1

Andrew Haig, from Peacehaven, was arrested in Bristol with £34,000 cash

Andrew Haig, from Peacehaven, was arrested in Bristol with £34,000 cash - and told police he found the money under a hedge while relieving himself. Haig, of Cavell Road North, was jailed for three and a half years for conspiracy to supply cocaine on Friday. He was caught after selling cocaine to a dealer described as a ‘regional supplier’ in Bath. A list of names and sums of money then led detectives to other members of the drugs ring. Five men were jailed at Bristol Crown Court following a police operation involving 52 days of surveillance at a Bath nightclub. Duncan Whitefoot, 48, from Chippenham, was jailed for eight years for conspiring to supply cocaine and cannabis. He was found with 1kg of cocaine of 48% purity, which police said he had just bought from Haig in the car park of an Ikea store, and ten bars of cannabis resin. He ran Burdells Yard nightclub in Bath, along with Stephen Carter, 54 of Monkton Farleigh, Wiltshire, who was sentenced to five and a half years on the same charges. Geoffrey Skardon, 48, from Bristol, and Timothy Wimble, 46, of Corsham, Wiltshire, were each jailed for five years for the cocaine conspiracy.
Detective Constable Chris Hitchcock of Wiltshire Police said: “These defendants have been supplying drugs across the south of England during several months, and who is to know the extent of the misery they have caused to young people?”

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Travis M. Smith,fled on foot after stepping out of a vehicle in a hotel parking lot on South Blackstock Road

Travis M. Smith, 30, must serve 85 percent of the sentence issued by Judge J. Derham Cole before he is eligible for parole.Spartanburg County sheriff's deputies arrested Smith and Joey Wood, 29, of Moore during a Feb. 12, 2008, traffic stop. Deputies said Smith fled on foot after stepping out of a vehicle in a hotel parking lot on South Blackstock Road, but he was captured after a brief pursuit.Deputies said they saw Smith throw a plastic bag that contained cocaine while he was trying to flee. Charges against Wood are pending.Smith's criminal record includes prior convictions for possession of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine.

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James Lotharp on Friday was sentenced to three years in prison for drug possession

James Lotharp on Friday was sentenced to three years in prison for drug possession by Senior Erie County Judge Michael L. D’Amico. One of a dozen people arrested in a March 2006 sweep of Buffalo drug houses, Lotharp, 38, of Lafayette Avenue, was convicted Dec. 6 on a drug-possession charge for concealing crack cocaine in a magnetic key case hidden in his car. He was arrested at about 7 p. m. March 15, 2006, on Virginia Street near Locust Street. Trial Prosecutor Paul J. Glascott said Lotharp has a prior drug conviction.

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Ian Donaldson, 29, was snared by Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency officers

Ian Donaldson, 29, was snared by Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency officers on Friday afternoon. They swooped using an international arrest warrant issued by a judge in Madrid. Now Donaldson, of Renton, Dunbartonshire, faces extradition to Spain where he is expected to face money laundering and drug trafficking charges. The arrest is part of Operation Sendero - a long-running investigation spearheaded by Spanish police. Fellow suspects Ronald O'Dea, 4 2, and Jim McDonald, 59, both of Glasgow, are already in custody in Madrid.They were arrested following the seizure of 70 kilos of amphetamines from a lorry in Oxfordshire heading for Scotland. Spanish police have already seized assets worth £12million on the holiday island of Tenerife. The haul includes eight luxury homes, a fleet of sports cars and a yacht which were all owned by Donaldson. One of his properties is a £1million cliff-top villa. Donaldson will appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court tomorrow. A decision will be taken whether to keep him in custody in Scotland