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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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Thursday, June 28

Abu Dhabi Police seize 400 kilos of hashish from truck drivers

Police in the capital foiled an attempt by two male drivers to smuggle 400 kilograms of hashish into a neighbouring country. Topic Abu Dhabi Crime Drugs Dubai Half of the 400 kilograms was packed in plastic and foil wrap in two cardboard boxes, and the other half was found in cooperation with Dubai Police, hidden in plastic barrels at a rented house in Dubai that was being used as a warehouse, police said. Col Dr Rashed Boursheid, director of the CID at Abu Dhabi Police, estimated the market wholesale price of the confiscated drugs was approximately Dh4 million. He said the retail price would quadruple to Dh16m. The investigation began when police received a tip off about a large smuggling operation. Police ambushed the gang in Abu Dhabi and confiscated the drugs, Col Dr Boursheid said. The suspects, AM, 43, and DF, 30, both of Asian nationalities, worked as truck drivers. Brig Gen Aameer Al Miheri, deputy director general of police operations at the Abu Dhabi Police, named the operation "6x26" because it coincided with the World Anti-Drugs Day that fell on June 26.

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Tuesday, June 26

Gunmen Tied to Drugs Kill 3 Officers at Mexico City Airport

Three federal police officers were shot to death on Monday in a busy passenger terminal at the Mexico City airport as they prepared to arrest two fellow officers in a drug-trafficking investigation, the authorities said. Connect With Us on Twitter Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines. Twitter List: Reporters and Editors Frightened travelers ducked for cover and scrambled into restrooms as shots rang out in the food court of Terminal 2, one of two main passenger hubs at one of Latin America’s busiest airports.  Federal authorities said officers had gone to the terminal intending to make arrests and were fired upon by the two men. The suspects fled, though the police said in a statement Monday night that they had identified them as “elements of the Federal Police” and were trying to track them down. The airport has generally been considered safe and wins high marks in industry surveys for customer satisfaction and efficiency. But under its placid surface it has also become a hub for trafficking. José Ramón Salinas, the spokesman for the federal public safety department, said that the arrests that were to be made on Monday were the result of an 18-month investigation that has led to the arrest of more than 180 people. In late 2010, the authorities discovered that a cartel was operating out of the airport, aided by flight attendants from the country’s largest airline, AeroMexico, who they said helped transport cocaine to Spain. A follow-up investigation led to the arrest of members of the private security company that operates security checkpoints inside the airport. The authorities said they were turning a blind eye to drug-filled suitcases passing through scanners. The federal police have seized 200 kilograms, or 440 pounds, of cocaine at the airport so far this year, compared with 90 kilograms, or 198 pounds, confiscated last year. The violence on Monday stirred anxiety across the city. “The type of people that use the airport are high middle class that used to feel more or less safe in Mexico City,” said Jorge Chabat, an expert on security and drug trafficking at CIDE, a Mexico City research group. Twitter, where one of the first photographs of the crime scene appeared, buzzed with concern. Gilberto Anaya wrote that it was clear the airport “is not prepared to handle crises.” He asked, “How could the aggressors get away?”

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Bali drug arrest Britons to remain in custody

Four Britons suspected of smuggling cocaine worth £1.6m into the Indonesian island of Bali are to stay in custody for another month. Indonesian police said they extended their detention for more questioning. The Foreign Office previously confirmed Indonesian police were holding Rachel Dougall, Julian Ponder and Paul Beales. They were detained following the arrest of Lindsay Sandiford, who was allegedly caught with 4.8kg of the drug on her arrival on the island. The BBC's Karishma Vaswani, in Jakarta, says police are legally allowed to extend the detention period twice - the first time for a month, the second time for 40 days. Ms Dougall and Mr Ponder are believed to be a couple from Brighton with a young daughter. Mrs Sandiford's last known address was in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Firing squad Following the arrests Indonesian customs officer Made Wijaya said the charge against them would carry the death penalty. But customs officials are also reported to have said that Mrs Sandiford, 55, originally from Redcar, Teesside, may be spared the death sentence because she helped to catch three other members of the smuggling operation - who according to Indonesian law could face a firing squad. Indonesia has some of the toughest anti-drugs laws in the world. The death penalty has been used in the past for drug traffickers but in recent years it has been applied infrequently. More than 140 people are on death row in the country, a third of them foreigners.

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‘Bath salts’ drug believed to be behind violent assault on Toronto cops, arrests in Calgary

A violent assault that left two Toronto police officers with broken bones, along with a startling arrest of a naked man slamming his face into a fence in Calgary, suggests that “bath salts,” which some experts say is the most dangerous street drug they’ve ever seen, has made its way to Canada’s cities. “Balt salts,” a synthetic drug that often results in a chaotic, violent reaction from the user, are suspected to be behind the horrific naked face-eating attack in Miami that left a homeless man nearly dead. Police and hospital officials in the Maritimes warned that the drug has made its way to their shores earlier this spring, but the drug had not been reported to be seen in Canada’s major cities until the last week. Two Toronto officers were sent to hospital after they were injured while trying to arrest a “raging” man at an Etobicoke apartment building Sunday. He is suspected to have been under the influence of the drug, although that has not yet been confirmed. “They sustained several broken bones in the face, nose, hand and wrist,” Const. Wendy Drummond said. Both officers have been treated and released.

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Which countries have the highest rates of cannabis use

Which countries have the highest rates of cannabis use


CANNABIS continues to be the world’s illicit drug of choice. There are between 119m and 224m users worldwide according to the UN’s latest World Drug Report published on June 26th. The Pacific island of Palau reports the highest rate: nearly a quarter of people aged 15 to 64 smoked pot in the past year. Italians and Americans also like to get high, with rates of 14.6% and 14.1% respectively. In Uruguay, where plans to legalise cannabis are being mooted, the rate is 5.6%. While consumption is stable or falling in much of the developed world, it is rising in parts of Asia and Africa. Production is harder to measure but, according to the report, cannabis cultivation in Afghanistan in 2010 was almost twice as lucrative as growing opium poppies.


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Friday, June 22

Ammo and drugs were for local gang

$10 million worth of drugs and 200 rounds of ammunition seized when police smashed a massive smuggling operation were destined for one of Bermuda’s warring gangs. A vast haul that included heroin, cocaine and cannabis was intercepted in the US after a major sting operation mounted by American and Bermudian authorities. The operation focused on Victor Roberts who was jailed for 20 years at Supreme Court yesterday for his part in the plot to bring in the drugs and ammunition. Roberts, 47, travelled to New Jersey last June where he bought and modified an industrial compressor so the stash could be hidden in a secret compartment. He then made arrangements for the compressor to be shipped back to Bermuda. But the unsuspecting smuggler had been under police surveillance from the moment he left the island. Authorities discovered the haul at a warehouse in New Jersey and replaced the drugs and the bullets with ‘dummy’ packages. Roberts was caught red-handed as he tried to retrieve the drugs and bullets from the compressor in the garden of his home on South Road in Warwick on July 20, last year. Police sources told the Bermuda Sun the haul would have ended up with one the island’s gangs where it could have done huge damage. An officer close to the investigation said: “We have no reason not to believe that the drugs and the bullets would have ended up with the gangs. “We do not know which gang. “But ammunition obviously goes with guns and guns go with ammunition; so to say we have stopped 200 rounds of ammunition reaching the gangs is a huge success. “They could obviously have been used to cause serious injury and death. Damage to community “Furthermore the damage that these drugs could have caused in the community can not be underestimated. “There is not only the social problems associated with drugs but the increase in other crimes that comes as a result of drug use such as burglaries and thefts.” Police confirmed the investigation to track down the other members of the smuggling ring was still open. Roberts said in interview that he did not know the identity of any of his co-conspirators and there was nothing to suggest he had any links with the criminal fraternity as he had no previous convictions. He claimed he was contacted in New York and asked to bring back the drugs to Bermuda. He told officers he picked up five duffle bags from a pre-arranged location and then hid the drugs, which he believed were cannabis, in the concealed compartment. The police source added: “This investigation is still ongoing. “We hope in the future to bring other people before the courts for their involvement where there is evidence to do so. “We would still like to hear from anyone who has any information on this smuggling operation on 295 0011.” Sentencing Roberts to 20 years in prison yesterday Puisne Judge Charles Etta Simmons said: “The community needs to be protected from someone who would turn a blind eye to the harm that drugs and ammunition can cause” She said Roberts had played a ‘significant role’ in the plot and added: “One does not have to go far to see the damaging effect of drugs. Lives ruined “Some lives are ruined, lives are lost and families torn apart. “And we can not deny the effect firearms offences have had on our once gun-free community.” Assistant Commissioner of Police David Mirfield said: “The contraband was intercepted as a result of the ongoing partnership between law enforcement and partner agencies here and in the U.S. “The sentence of 20 years imprisonment should send a strong deterrent message to those engaged in the importation of drugs and firearms.”

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Vietnamese student given death for drug smuggling

Tran Ha Duy being escorted by police after being sentenced to death on Wednesday for drug smuggling

The Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday increased the sentence of a 23-year-old student convicted of drug smuggling from life in prison to death.

Tran Ha Duy, a former student of Hong Bang University from Lam Dong Province, received the death penalty for smuggling a total of 7.5 kilogram of crystal methamphetamine (ice) into Vietnam beginning in 2010.

At the court of first instance in March, Duy was sentenced to life imprisonment for smuggling the drug from Benin and Malaysia into Vietnam between October of 2010 and July the following year.

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office appealed that decision, arguing that a life sentence amounted to an insufficient deterrent, noting that drug smuggling has become more “complicated” recently.

According to the verdict, she was working for a man known only as Francis in Benin, adding that the drugs were to be transported to another country from Vietnam.

 

REThey said Duy convinced her friends and relatives to smuggle drugs also. Her younger sister, 21-year-old Tran Ha Tien, a former student of Van Lang University,was sentenced to 20 years in prison for transporting over four kilograms of drugs.

Prosecutors said for every trip, the smugglers were paid between US$500 and $1,000.

Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws, with those convicted of smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine eligible for the death penalty.

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Mexico arrests son of top drug lord 'El Chapo' Guzman

Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, son of El Chapo Guzman, 21 June 2012Mexican marines say Jesus Guzman managed most of his father's properties

Mexico's drugs war Mexican troops have said they have arrested the son of the country's most-wanted drug suspect, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

They said Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar was arrested with another person in central Jalisco state in an operation by marines in the city of Zapopan.

His father is the boss of the powerful Sinaloa cartel.

"El Chapo", or "Shorty", Guzman has been in hiding ever since he escaped from prison in 2001.

Jesus Guzman and the other detainee, Kevin Beltran Rios, also accused of belonging to the Sinaloa cartel, were transferred to Mexico City, and paraded in front of the media.

A spokesman for the Mexican Navy, Jose Luis Vergara, said Jesus Guzman - known as "El Gordo", or "The Fat One" - was a growing force within the organisation.

"He controlled most of the Sinaloa cartel's illegal drug trade between Mexico and the United States," he said.

Mr Vergara said Jesus Guzman also managed most of his fathers' properties. "El Chapo" Guzman appears on Forbes magazine's world billionaires list.

Escobar tactics

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman under arrest in 1993Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman escaped from prison in 2001

The BBC's Will Grant, in Mexico City, says that the net could be tightening around El Chapo, with several of his close allies arrested recently.

Experts say the Mexican authorities seem to be trying to hurt Guzman by targeting his family.

The same tactic was employed by the Colombian army to get to the notorious drug baron Pablo Escobar.

Jesus Guzman Salazar, 26, was indicted on drug trafficking charges in the US state of Illinois in 2009.

Earlier this month, the US treasury department imposed financial sanctions on him and his mother, Maria Alejandrina Salazar.

Last month, two other sons of Joaquin Guzman, Ivan and Ovidio, were also targeted by the treasury department. The measure means US citizens are not allowed to do business with them.

It is unclear whether Jesus Guzman Salazar will be tried in Mexico or extradited to the US.

With presidential elections due in Mexico on 1 July, President Felipe Calderon's war on drugs will be under scrutiny.

More than 55,000 people have died in Mexico in drug-related violence since he declared war on the cartels.

El Chapo was jailed in 1993, but escaped from his maximum-security prison in a laundry basket eight years later.

He heads the Sinaloa cartel, which controls much of the flow of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine to the United States.

The US state department has offered a reward of up to $5m (£3.2m) for information leading to his arrest.

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A gang leader and his son who used a luxury yacht to smuggle cocaine with a street value of £300m into the UK from Venezuela have been jailed.

 The pair, from the Netherlands, hid a tonne of cocaine in a deep compartment specially designed for smuggling. The haul - one of the UK's biggest drugs seizures - was located by border officers in Southampton last year. The men were jailed along with a third man, but the gang leader's other son was acquitted after a trial. Defendants referred to in court only as Klaas L, Robert L and Mohamed Z were convicted of being involved in the transportation of cocaine. Wire tap Their co-accused, Arjan L, 35, was acquitted of the same charge. Klaas L, 61, owner of the yacht, was jailed for seven years; Mohamed Z, 45, for eight years; and Robert L, 33, who was also convicted of possession of a firearm, for five years following a trial in Rotterdam. The drugs were so well hidden that it took the border force, who had been tipped off, six days to find them. The 90% pure drugs were so well hidden it took six days to find them Had the gang been successful, the cocaine could have been transformed into about seven million street deals - a third of the annual UK market, the border force confirmed. Authorities intercepted gang members' telephone conversations with a wire tap and tracked the £1m 65ft pleasure cruiser, the Louise, as it travelled on board a container ship from the Caribbean to the UK. Border force officers discovered a tonne of 90% pure cocaine, the court heard. The haul accounted for almost half of the total cocaine seizures across the UK in 2010/11 which was 2.4 tonnes. Border force director general Brian Moore said: "Today's conviction and sentences see a serious international drug smuggling crime gang brought to justice and clearly demonstrate how the border force are playing a lead role in the fight against the global trade in illegal drugs, helping to protect our communities here in the UK." Loaded machine-gun When the smugglers were arrested in a series of police raids across the Netherlands, officers recovered a loaded machine-gun, a second firearm with silencer, 1.5m euros (£1.2m), and two Harley Davidson motorcycles, the border force said. The cocaine, destined for the Netherlands, via England, was packed inside the boat while it was in Venezuela. The haul is estimated by the border force to be worth about £50m wholesale and up to £300m on the streets. In a police statement, read to the court, Robert L, 33, told how he and his father took the drugs onboard the boat at Isla Margarita, Venezuela. He claimed his father and Mohamed Z made all the decisions and confirmed the final destination for the cocaine was to be Waalwijk, just north of Eindhoven, where the drugs would be bulked out. Klaas L, from the northeast of the Netherlands, was also convicted of laundering 60,000 euros (£48,000). Mohamed Z, from Amsterdam, was also convicted of laundering almost 1.5m euros but was acquitted of possession of a loaded firearm. Passing sentence, the judge said: "The international trade in hard drugs is highly profitable and, with this trade, large criminal profits are gained. "The suspects' actions were mainly financially driven and they did not worry about the social consequences." The yacht has been confiscated and will now be used as a training tool for specialist Border Force search officers.

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Wednesday, June 20

Man supplied drugs in chocolate

A Christchurch man who supplied chocolate bars laced with magic mushrooms to a motorcycle gang has been put on home detention for six months. The two offences of supplying the class A drug psilocybin carry a maximum term of life imprisonment. But Simon Peter McCormick, 36, was seen as a low risk of reoffending at his Christchurch District Court sentencing before Judge David Holderness today. He had admitted charges of supplying the magic mushrooms, possession of a cannabis preparation that was a class B drug and possession of cannabis. Defence counsel Jonathan Eaton said there had been no commercial aspect to McCormick's supply of the drug. He had seen it as "somewhat cool" to have a loose association with a Nelson motorcycle gang but had now distanced himself from the group. He had "significantly cut back" his drug use. Judge Holderness told McCormick: "You knew you were supplying it to the gang. Many members of the community are concerned about the association between gangs and drugs." He noted that McCormick had a good job and was seen as a valuable employee. He imposed six months of home detention - recommended by McCormick's pre-sentence report - with special conditions to apply for six months after that.

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Saturday, June 16

Suspected cocaine dealer in Novato arrested by drug unit

A man suspected of selling cocaine at a Novato shopping center was arrested after a surveillance operation by the county drug squad, a sheriff's investigator said. Miguel Moreno Mejia, 28, of Petaluma was booked into Marin County Jail on suspicion of drug possession for sale and related counts. He was also booked on a Sonoma County arrest warrant alleging he violated his probation in a prior statutory rape case. Mejia's alleged drug customer, Eliezer Xiu-Tziu, 30, of San Rafael, was also arrested in the bust. The operation occurred Thursday at the Hamilton Marketplace shopping center, where investigators developed information that Mejia was selling drugs in the parking lot, said sheriff's Sgt. Pierre Ahuncain of the Marin County Major Crimes Task Force. The task force placed Mejia under surveillance and arrested the two suspects after seeing a suspected drug deal. Detectives found $485 and four individually wrapped plastic bags of suspected cocaine in Mejia's possession. Xiu-Tziu had small amounts of suspected cocaine and methamphetamine. The task force then obtained a search warrant for Mejia's residence in Petaluma, where they found $4,000 in cash, nearly a quarter pound of suspected cocaine and a small amount of meth, Ahuncain said. Both Mejia and Xiu-Tziu remained in jail Friday. Court appearances are set for Monday.

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Collingswood man sentenced to 12 years for leading cocaine distribution in South Jersey

A Collingswood man who led a cocaine distribution network in South Jersey and sold two guns to an undercover detective was sentenced to state prison today. Nicholas C. Stens, 26, of Collingswood, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, including 4.5 years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Irvin J. Snyder in Camden County.  Stens pleaded guilty on March 12 to first-degree cocaine distribution and second-degree unlawful possession of a hand gun. He received 12 years in prison with 4.5 years of parole ineligibility on the narcotics charge, and a concurrent sentence of five years with three years of parole ineligibility on the gun charge.  The charges were contained in a Nov. 16, 2011 state grand jury indictment that stemmed from Operation White Cloud, a cooperative investigation conducted by the FBI/South Jersey Violent Offenders Gang Task Force, New Jersey State Police and numerous other state and local police departments. “Through our multi-agency investigation, we have secured a lengthy prison sentence for the leader of this cocaine distribution network, who also illegally sold guns,” said Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa. “We’ll continue to join forces across all levels of law enforcement to target the criminals who bring narcotics and deadly weapons into our communities in New Jersey.” In January 2011, during the course of the multi-agency investigation, Stens sold a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun and ammunition for $800 to an undercover Voorhees Township police officer, authorities said.  Later, the same officer purchased distribution quantities of cocaine and a 12-guage shotgun from Stens. Two co-defendants of Stens – Dominick M. Leonetti Jr., 48, and Robert A. Schafer, 25, both of Maple Shade – previously pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Officials said the state will recommend that Leonetti be sentenced to up to seven years in state prison, and will recommend that Schafer be sentenced to five years in prison. Leonetti is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 19, and Schafer, on July 13. A third co-defendant, Joseph P. Hackney, 30, of Westmont, pleaded guilty to third-degree conspiracy and faces a recommended sentence of 180 days in jail and a term of probation. Charges of second-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine are pending against two other alleged members of Stens’ network: Roberto L. Ortiz, 27, of Haddon Township, and Eugene “Rick” Wilson, 44, of National Park, N.J.  The charges against those defendants are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The defendants were arrested in early April 2011, when participating agencies executed search and arrest warrants at various locations in South Jersey.  A total of 22 ounces of cocaine valued at over $20,000, $15,000 in cash and a vehicle were seized during the course of the investigation.

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Williston Park Man Convicted of Mailing Himself Cocaine

A jury has convicted a Williston Park man of trying to ship a kilogram of cocaine across the country to himself in a television box. David Kappen, 35, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees and faces 12 to 24 years in prison. He is scheduled for sentencing on July 26. According to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, on Aug. 3, 2010, Kappen and co-defendant Trent Singleton shipped a television box containing a kilogram of cocaine from a UPS store in Rancho Cucamunga, Calif. to an Auto Spa on Willis Avenue in Williston Park. Local police in the UPS store grew suspicious that the defendants were shipping a 27-inch flatscreen television across the country and notified the Nassau County Police Department. When the package arrived in Williston Park on Aug. 5, members of the narcotics team began surveillance around the Auto Spa, observing that a third co-defendant, Jamie Denton, placed the package into Singleton’s rental car at 11:40 a.m. Singleton then left the Auto Spa in his car with Kappen following and later joined him in his vehicle, fleeng when officers attempted to pull them over. Singleton allegedly rammed a police vehicle during the pursuit. Both men were caught on foot shortly thereafter. Singleton pleaded guilty to fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison in December 2011. Denton, who was arrested on Aug. 6, 2010, pleaded guilty to fourth degree criminal facilitation in June 2011. The defense’s claims that Kappen never touched the box and didn’t know there was cocaine in the package. “This verdict is the result of excellent police work by two departments, an outstanding prosecution by members of my office, and the ability of this jury to see the truth,” Rice said in a statement. “Thankfully, this package was intercepted before its contents could poison our communities, and my office will continue to work closely with other law enforcement agencies to keep drugs off our streets and put dealers behind bars.”

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Indonesia to Execute Two Foreigners on Death Row Soon

Two foreigners found guilty of smuggling heroin into Indonesia are expected to be executed by a firing squad in the coming months. The two death row inmates, currently housed at Nusakambangan Island penitentiary, Cilacap, are Namaona Denis from Malawi and Muhammad Abdul Hafez from Pakistan. Namaona Denis was sentenced to death after being convicted of smuggling one kilogram of heroin, while Mohammed Abdul Hafez was convicted of smuggling 900 grams of heroin. Both foreign nationals were tried and sentenced by the Tangerang District Court in 2001. It has been rumored that the two inmates will be executed in July 2012 because Tangerang prosecutors have coordinated with the embassies of the countries of origin of the prisoners. The police will serve as the executioners. Djaja Subagya, head of the Tangerang prosecutor’s office, confirmed the execution plan. “Both of them have tried some legal efforts [to escape] the death sentence, such as appeal, review and clemency, but all have been rejected,” Djaja said as quoted by indopos.com. “Because they have been rejected, we’re going to execute them.” Djaja said he would send official letters to Nusakambangan penitentiary, the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, the Central Java police and embassies of countries where the prisoners are from. “The execution process is long and should not be done carelessly,” he said. Djaja also said the prisoners might want to send their last messages to their families. “Last messages such as where they want to be buried,” he said.

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Heroin drug pusher jailed

A drug addict has been jailed for eight years after being caught red-handed outside a school with several sachets of heroin mixed with another substance, diazepam, which increases the risk of an overdose.

Michael Portelli, 29, from Santa Luċija, was apprehended by officers from the police drug squad outside a school in Ħamrun on April 5 last year. He was carrying eight sachets of heroin and six pieces of cannabis resin.

Magistrate Marseann Farrugia noted Mr Portelli had admitted to selling drugs to sustain his habit.

She said that, according to this admission, he had been selling heroin in the three months prior to April 2011, during which time he managed to sell about 720 sachets. What was worse, she noted, was that the heroin was mixed with the highly dangerous diazepam, which, according to court experts, increased the risk of a drug addict suffering an overdose.

“The court would like to make it clear that drug trafficking is a very serious crime and it is not an excuse that this is done by a drug addict to finance his addiction,” she said in her judgement.

“Whoever has a drug addiction or has family problems should seek help rather than resort to drug trafficking ... possibly ruining other people’s lives.”

In deciding on punishment, Magistrate Farrugia noted that, since 2007, he had been convicted for possession of a firearm, driving without insurance cover, theft, fraud and forging documents and possession of cannabis and had been issued with a probation order for theft.

She said Mr Portelli had been given several chances to reform but he failed to grab the opportunities. She therefore jailed him for six years and also fined him €4,000.

To the overall jail term she added two years after converting a two-year suspended jail term and added three more months for breach of a conditional discharge after having been caught in possession of cannabis.

She also recommended the prison authorities to assist Mr Portelli with his drug addiction problem.

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Heroin dealer jailed for 14 years

A LIMERICK drug dealer caught with almost €145,000 worth of heroin at an outdoor “drug factory” has received the longest prison sentence handed down in Limerick for drug offences. John McCarthy (41), Cliona Park, Moyross, was jailed for 14 years yesterday by Judge Carroll Moran at Limerick Circuit Court. McCarthy was convicted by a jury of possession of heroin worth €145,000 for sale or supply on October 15th, 2010, following an eight-day trial last month. The father of five was arrested after he was observed by undercover gardaí and members of the armed Regional Support Unit on the grounds of a derelict house behind Moyross housing estate. During the trial, evidence was given that gardaí, acting on a tip- off, conducted an operation in an area known as the Four Walls, on the Limerick-Clare border. Almost a kilo of heroin was recovered, along with drug-dealing paraphernalia. It was the prosecution’s case that McCarthy and two other men were observed dividing the drug for distribution. The two others were described in court as “penny boys” or “pawns” who had been “seduced and lured” by McCarthy to take part in the bagging operation. In evidence, Det Garda Sgt Alan Cullen said McCarthy was the owner of the drug. He said he was organising its “manipulation and proposed distribution”. Brian McCartney QC said his client, “beyond owning a few ponies”, did not lead the lavish lifestyle of a “Mr Big”. He added that McCarthy, who suffers from ill-health, had no previous convictions for drug offences. The judge said it could be inferred that McCarthy had financial resources to buy the “large consignment” of heroin. He said he was satisfied McCarthy was acting on his own for financial gain. The the sentence was backdated to May 22nd, the date of his conviction. Adam Llewellyn (20), Moyross, and James O’Keeffe (21), Ballynanty, both in January received four-year sentences, with the final year suspended, for their part in the drug operation.

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Cheaper, stronger heroin claiming more lives

A kid just a few years out of high school who struggled with self-esteem and a lifelong junkie whose promising music career was cut short by drug use were two of the latest victims in a rising tide of heroin overdose deaths in the Twin Cities, according to medical records. The rise in overdose deaths has long been anticipated by drug abuse experts, who say cheap, strong heroin has flooded the Twin Cities market. A soon-to-be-released state report says a record 120 people died in the Twin Cities last year from heroin and opiate overdoses, the latter drug including prescription medications like Oxycontin and Vicodin. And the deaths keep coming. So far in Minneapolis alone this year, heroin overdoses have killed a 25-year-old rugby player, a graduate of Irondale High School, a 23-year-old from Minnetonka, a Stanford graduate who loved the Montreux Jazz Festival, and a man whose family knew he was using crack, but didn't know about the heroin. The victims are primarily men, some of them newcomers to the drug like Joseph Jacobson, 22, a shy man with a lisp who washed dishes at Hopkins High School. His girlfriend said he tried heroin for the first time last October. He was dead by April. The list includes longtime users as well, people like Shawn Ian Pike, 48, a guitar player who had stalked the stage at First Avenue in the '80s punk scene. He was known to use heroin then, and his addiction lasted for decades until March 31, when he died after injecting himself in an Uptown apartment. Tests of the heroin sold in the Twin Cities have shown some of it to be highly potent, among the strongest heroin in the nation. That means no one can be sure when they're giving themselves a lethal dose, said Hennepin County Chief Medical Examiner Andrew Baker. "Every time you take it you're taking a huge crapshoot with your life," he said. That was the warning Katie Murray gave her boyfriend over and over, she said, but Joe Jacobson eventually stopped listening to her. "He was a really good person," she said of Jacobson. "He cared a lot about his friends and people in his life. He didn't care so much about himself." She knew her boyfriend used drugs as an escape, had done marijuana since he was in junior high, and had taken Xanax for a few years, but last fall around October he bought heroin for the first time. "I would always try to encourage him to stop doing drugs and get his life together," she said. "He thought he had dug himself into a hole and it's too late to get out of it." He had severe mood swings, and in December he went on a drinking binge that ended with a suicide attempt in a hotel room. His co-workers at the high school cafeteria noticed that his usually affable demeanor was changing, said one of them, Terry Tucker. In one of her last conversations with him she noticed that he looked exhausted. "What can you do, short of putting him in a straitjacket and carting him up to Hazelden?" she said. Jacobson took his job seriously and was proud of his clean work record, said his aunt, Jody Pruitt. Pruitt, who has been both a public defender and an intensive care unit nurse, knew people who had taken heroin. "I talked to Joe about my experience with people with different types of drugs and there's nothing he should be ashamed to tell me. Drugs are not tied to class. It goes across all types of people and all socioeconomic groups," she said. Despite offers of help, Jacobson's addiction quickly grew, as did a slew of personal problems. A car his dad helped him buy had caught on fire as he drove it down the highway two weeks after he drove it off a used car lot in February. He had been kicked out of his mother's apartment and was living with friends. He landed in a University of Minnesota detox treatment center in March, spending three days there. That's when Katie told him she needed to take a break from their relationship. "We were hopeful that he was going to take sobriety seriously," said Todd Jacobson, Joe's father, an attorney based in North Carolina. He said his son was usually a "very sweet and gentle kid," who could turn angry and spiteful when he was intoxicated. Joe called his dad shortly after he left the detox center, from a bar. The night he died, April 11, Jacobson went to a bar with some friends, his father later learned. They ended up at a house in northeast Minneapolis. Joe never woke up. Todd Jacobson learned from the medical examiner's office that Joe had a moderate amount of alcohol in his blood when he died, and a dangerously high level of morphine, the residual evidence of a heroin hit. There were 130 people at Jacobson's funeral. A wave of deaths Driven by a surge in prescription painkiller abuse, drug addicts have turned to heroin in larger numbers over the past decade, say drug abuse experts. The heroin here comes mainly from Mexico. A social worker at Teen Challenge said the treatment center has seen a tenfold increase in opiate users since 2002.

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Monday, June 11

Graduate smuggled cocaine into UK while working at Northampton’s O2 store

A law student who hoped to become a commercial barrister is facing years in prison after being convicted of plotting to smuggle £224,000 of cocaine from Nigeria into the UK. Christina Ubah, 26, a law graduate of The University of Northampton, signed for a parcel containing the drugs while working at the O2 shop in Abington Street, Northampton. She denied knowing about the consignment of cocaine, which was hidden in bottles of body lotion and intercepted at Parcel Force’s Coventry depot in November. However, Ubah, who said she had not expected a parcel to be delivered when she signed for it, was convicted of drug smuggling by a jury after a three-day trial at Northampton Crown Court. Her legal career now lies in ruins and she also faces a substantial prison sentence. Kate Tompkins, prosecuting, said: “On Thursday, November 17 last year, at 1.55pm, a parcel declared as containing cosmetics, arrived at Parcel Force’s hub in Coventry from Nigeria.

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Graduate smuggled cocaine into UK while working at Northampton’s O2 store

A law student who hoped to become a commercial barrister is facing years in prison after being convicted of plotting to smuggle £224,000 of cocaine from Nigeria into the UK. Christina Ubah, 26, a law graduate of The University of Northampton, signed for a parcel containing the drugs while working at the O2 shop in Abington Street, Northampton. She denied knowing about the consignment of cocaine, which was hidden in bottles of body lotion and intercepted at Parcel Force’s Coventry depot in November. However, Ubah, who said she had not expected a parcel to be delivered when she signed for it, was convicted of drug smuggling by a jury after a three-day trial at Northampton Crown Court. Her legal career now lies in ruins and she also faces a substantial prison sentence. Kate Tompkins, prosecuting, said: “On Thursday, November 17 last year, at 1.55pm, a parcel declared as containing cosmetics, arrived at Parcel Force’s hub in Coventry from Nigeria.

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Five held with haul of 2640 kg raw hashish

 Police said on Sunday that they have confiscated a consignment of 2640 kg raw hashish and arrested five suspected smugglers from Kathmandu. The contraband was packed in 88 plastic sacks and kept at a house in Chalankhel, Setidevi VDC on the outskirts of Kathmandu when an operation team deployed from the Narcotic Drug Control Law Enforcement Unit (NDCLEU), Naya Baneshwor raided the facility and made the arrest on Saturday. The police said that it was the biggest haul ever made by the NDCLEU. The ones detained are identified as Hasta Bahadur Rumba (29), Chandra Bahdur Gole (21), Kumar Lama (28), Tirtha Bahadur Rai (29) and Bire Lama (22). They told the police that they are residents of different villages of Makwanpur district. According to the police, the preliminary investigation revealed that the five were involved in drugs smuggling to India and other countries for a long time. Meanwhile, four persons were held with 60 kg marijuana from Jyamire, Manahari of Makawanpur today morning. The arrestees are identified as Gaurishankar Moktan (43), Indra Bahadur Thing (33), Pratap Singh Thing (30) and Akkal Bahadur Thing (30). The contraband was found during a security check up at 5 am and the four were subsequently arrested.

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Saudi beheads national over trafficking of hashish

A Saudi man was beheaded by the sword on Sunday after being convicted of drug trafficking, the interior ministry said. Ahmed bin Ali Hamdi had been arrested after taking delivery of a 'large quantity of hashish,' the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency. His beheading in the south-western city of Jizan brings to 32 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia this year, according to an AFP tally based on official reports. Under the AFP count, at least 76 people were beheaded in 2011, while rights group Amnesty International put the number of executions last year at 79. The death penalty in Saudi Arabia applies to a wide range of offences including rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking, as well as murder, as stipulated by Islamic syariah law.

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