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CRIME CORRESPONDENT NEWS DESK

Manuel and Mario Bonilla, face counts of conspiracy and operating a continuing criminal enterprise

Monday, 31 March 2008

The brothers, Manuel and Mario Bonilla, face counts of conspiracy and operating a continuing criminal enterprise. The others face a conspiracy count.
The Oklahoma defendants are Mario Bonilla, 23, of Tulsa; Holly King, 29, of Wann; Cecilia Lorena Bonilla, 20, of Tulsa; Michelle Moreno, 27, of Tulsa; and Felix McVay, 51, of Haskell.Manuel Bonilla and one other defendant remain at large. Both live in Mexico.The indictment alleges the smugglers used vehicles for occasional shipments of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and guns from Juarez, Mexico, since 2001.Some of the defendants also face counts of using a phone to commit a crime, bulk cash smuggling, using a gun in a drug-trafficking crime, traveling across the U.S. border in a racketeering crime and possessing large quantities of drugs.In addition to the criminal charges, prosecutors are seeking a $6 million judgment against the defendants. They say that represents the amount obtained through the conspiracy. federal indictment unsealed today accuses 11 people of involvement in a smuggling operation that moved large amounts of drugs from Mexico to the Tulsa and Kansas City areas.

In the Comfort Zone Hedge fund manager Matthew MacIsaac of MM Asset Management Inc had been charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine.

Mr. MacIsaac, ranked among Canada's most successful fund managers, had been charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine.
He was among 33 people arrested after police raided a bar called the Comfort Zone at 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday. Sources say Mr. MacIsaac, who lives in a nearby loft, tried to explain the $600 in cash in his pockets to police by saying: "I'm a hedge fund manager."The arrest came after a six-week investigation known as Project White Rabbit, a probe that began when a 26-year-old Hamilton man died of an accidental overdose after allegedly purchasing drugs at the Comfort Zone. Police seized heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and GHB - known as the date rape drug - valued at $30,000 at the club, along with $35,000 cash."Drugs were being used openly; drugs were being sold openly," said Toronto Detective Sergeant Ed Roseto.Over two weeks, MM Asset Management repeatedly denied any involvement by an executive with the firm, until Mr. MacIsaac's lawyer, Austin Cooper, confirmed Friday that his client works at the hedge fund, and had been charged. He said the fund manager, who is free on bail, has yet to enter a plea.MM Asset Management executive Ben Cubitt insisted two weeks ago that the Mr. MacIsaac who serves as the fund's secretary was not the same Mr. MacIsaac charged after the raid. Mr. MacIsaac's first lawyer, Lenny Hochberg, declined to comment when asked if he was representing the same Mr. MacIsaac who worked at the fund.Mr. Cooper quickly confirmed the affiliation when he was asked on Friday. He also said there had been no attempt to hide the information.
"He is a good man," Mr. Cooper said. "I'm afraid that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that police made a sweep and arrested everybody in the place. Of course, we are going to defend him vigorously."
Mr. MacIsaac likely earned $3-million last year. He and partner Hillel Meltz, MM Asset Management's president, and two remaining colleagues at the $300-million fund would have split $10-million of performance-based fees on a fund that returned 17 per cent for investors.
Through his lawyer, Mr. MacIsaac declined to be interviewed. Mr. Meltz was unavailable last week.
A rival fund manager said Mr. MacIsaac is building a sprawling cottage near Tofino, on Vancouver Island. MM Asset Management runs what's known as an event-driven fund called MMCap Fund Inc. that plays takeovers and other stock market moves. It has stakes in a number of small Canadian resource companies. The fund was launched in 2002 and has among the highest returns in the industry, with 20-per-cent plus performance in five of the past six years and two years of 40-per-cent-plus returns.
Among its backers are Arrow Hedge Partners Inc., a well-known fund-of-funds manager that has $20-million invested. Sources say Toronto-based MM Asset Management has told its institutional and wealthy individual clients about the charges against Mr. MacIsaac. Investors in the fund say Mr. Meltz flew back from his home in Israel to help deal with the issue. "These guys are great traders, they've put up great numbers. Obviously, though, this problem is a setback,' said one investor in MM Asset Management.The "setback" began with a St. Patrick's Day celebration that saw Mr. MacIsaac attend two parties before heading to the Comfort Zone club about 4 a.m., sources said. He took about $800 out of bank machines for the evening and had $600 in his pocket when he was arrested. There were 150 people in the club at the time.He was allegedly approached for drugs by the undercover police officer, a source said. Mr. MacIsaac allegedly tracked down some drugs and gave them to her. When she insisted on paying him, he allegedly refused.
The hedge fund filed a report on charges facing Mr. MacIsaac with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) a few days after the arrest, sources said. The regulator must be notified if a registered company executive is charged with a criminal offence. The OSC put out a notice last Thursday stating that Mr. MacIsaac's registration - which is needed for him to manage money - is now being reviewed monthly, rather than undergoing the typical annual review. MM Asset Management's principals started their careers at Connecticut-based K2 Advisors LLC, a large U.S. hedge fund that states on its website that it "adheres to the highest standards of ethical conduct in an era of increased scrutiny and transparency."

Quoc Viet Lai accused of taking bribes to smuggle almost $4 million in drug money out of the country

The Australian Crime Commission has accused senior Vietnam Airlines pilot Quoc Viet Lai of taking bribes to smuggle almost $4 million in drug money out of the country in previous trips dating back to 2005.He is alleged to have picked up suitcases of cash in Melbourne and Sydney and carried them onto planes back to Vietnam, using his privileged status as an airline pilot to bypass customs bag checks.
The experienced pilot was charged last night with 40 counts of money laundering and will appear in a Sydney court today.The arrest gives a glimpse into one of the nation's most secretive and significant operations fighting organised crime.In its last annual report, the Crime Commission revealed that since March 2005, Operation Gordian had arrested 63 people, stopped the sale of drugs worth $1 billion and tracked $93 million in drug money leaving Australia. That figure is believed to have ballooned since then.Lai is the second international pilot from Vietnam's government-owned carrier to be arrested by the commission for allegedly carrying suitcases filled with drug money onto planes bound for Vietnamese airports.The first pilot, Van Dang Tran, was jailed for 4½ years last August for attempting to smuggle $6.5 million out of Australia.Lai, who was arrested yesterday morning after flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Sydney, is accused of collecting the proceeds of drug sales on 17 occasions in 2005 and 2006 from Vietnamese money remitters in Footscray and the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta.Operation Gordian, which includes assistance from the Australian Federal Police, Austrac and state police forces, monitors drug money as it leaves Australia instead of retrospectively tracing proceeds of crime after a drug bust.The operation has uncovered how several sophisticated drug syndicates send their money from drug sales in Australia back to South-East Asia via electronic money transfers and physical couriers.

John Broome, former chairman of the Australian Crime Commission's predecessor, the National Crime Authority, said Australia was a highly lucrative market for South-East Asian drug barons.

"If we don't stop the laundering of funds out of Australia, we are giving them enough to buy a huge amount of extra heroin to send back here," he said.

Recent media reports have revealed that Australian law enforcement agencies are concerned about an increase in the amount of heroin reaching Australia.Mr Broome, who has been a critic of the lack of action taken by some agencies to combat money laundering, said it was too early to tell whether last year's changes to anti-money-laundering legislation were having an effect. He said an obsession with terrorism meant some agencies had "dropped the ball" on organised crime.
"If you ask what is more damaging to Australian society, major crimes like drug trafficking and money laundering or terrorism, the answer is clear: it is drug trafficking and money laundering."It is estimated that between $2 billion and $3 billion is laundered in Australia each year.The arrest of a second international airline pilot also puts the focus back on airport security. While recent changes, arising from the 2005 Wheeler report on airport security, would have reduced the alleged ease with which the pilots allegedly smuggled the drug money onto their planes, sources say vulnerabilities remain.

Nicholas Vacca,Anthony Vacca two counts of possession of a Class B substance, one count of possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute

Nicholas Vacca, 23, and Anthony Vacca, 25, were to be arraigned this morning in Dedham District Court on two counts of possession of a Class B substance, one count of possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substance Act, said Dedham Police Detective Robert Walsh. Anthony Vacca was also charged with possession of a stun gun, found in his bedroom at the 130 Oak St. residence, Walsh said.
Walsh also said Nicholas Vacca used to coach Pop Warner football in Dedham, though he said he did not have any other details on the man's association with youth football.The brothers shared the house with their parents, Donna Vacca, 49, and Michael Vacca, 50, who will be summoned to court on charges of drug possession resulting from a small amount of cocaine and marijuana found in their bedroom during the investigation, Walsh said. Donna Vacca was charged with operating an uninsured motor vehicle on the day her sons were arrested.After getting a search warrant, officers with the Norfolk County Police Anti-Crime Task Force entered the house disguised as Department of Public Works employees to avoid being spotted by the suspects, who had set up a surveillance camera on the roof of the house with a monitor in the bedroom to keep a lookout for police, said Walsh.
Customers, mostly from Dedham and West Roxbury, were using an aluminum ladder to climb in and out of the bedroom window of one of the brothers, said Walsh.
The arrests were made by a law enforcement group comprised of Norfolk County towns whose police chiefs have signed a memorandum of understanding granting task force officers powers of arrest outside their normal jurisdiction.
About a dozen Oxycontin pills, half an ounce of marijuana "packaged for distribution," and a few Suboxone pills were seized from the house, said Walsh. Suboxone is a prescription medication that treats addiction to opiates, like Oxycontin.Oxycontin costs about $1 a milligram, said Walsh, so one 80-miligram pill can go for $80. "It's very lucrative. What makes Oxycontin and Oxycodone so dangerous is that the people who use them recreationally get hooked on them, and if they don't get the pills, they get sick," said Walsh. "It makes it an insidious drug."
When users can no longer afford Oxycontin, they switch to heroin, said Walsh. "At that point, they're not getting high, they're just holding sickness at bay."
A Suboxone pill, which helps to diminish the symptoms of opiate withdrawal, goes for $10-$15 a pill on the street, said Walsh.
"Everyone knows heroin is a dangerous drug," said Walsh. "But a lot of kids who abuse prescription drugs don't realize they're flirting with danger."

Said Othman found dead with 71 bags of cocaine hidden inside his body .

Said Othman, 38, was discovered by workmen clearing a grass verge on the A45 near Stretton-on-Dunsore, Warks.Police fear the married man from Coventry was illegally importing drugs into the UK. They are checking ports and airports where he went.

Jury took just over four hours to clear Ian Rush.

Ian Rush accused of setting up a company to continue the work of a Lowestoft couple, who supplied high speed boats to international drug smugglers, has been found not guilty.Following a four week trial at Ipswich Crown Court, a jury took just over four hours to clear Ian Rush.The ending of the case has cleared the way for the sentencing of Ellen George, 41, from Colville Road, Lowestoft, who was one of the owners of the business which HM Revenue and Customs alleged Rush had succeeded.
George has pleaded guilty to money laundering offences after Customs investigators, working in co-operation with the authorities in Spain, searched her home in Lowestoft and discovered £1.2 million in cash stashed in holdalls, cupboards and under the stairs. During Rush's trial, the prosecution alleged that he had worked with Neil Davison and Ellen George, who ran Crompton Marine and who specialised on manufacturing high speed inflatable boats, HM Revenue and Customs claimed that after Davison and George were arrested in March 2004, Rush set up his own business, Nautexco Marine to continue supplying boats to drug smugglers. Davison, also of Colville Road, is currently on bail in Spain accused of drug smuggling offences.
Rush, a father-of-three from Brand End Road, Butterwick, near Boston pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to retain the proceeds of drug smuggling and conspiracy to acquire criminal property.Giving evidence, Rush had earlier told the jury that he had been unaware of the activities of Davison and George, who operated from the Brook Yachts site in Lowestoft, and for who he had delivered boats to Spain.

David Munoz arrested in El Paso, Texas

The FBI arrested 52-year-old David Munoz on Thursday in El Paso, Texas.
The FBI says Munoz had facilitated two deliveries of 50 kilograms of cocaine to two undercover agents. Authorities believe Munoz had traveled between New Mexico, Texas and Mexico on several occasions to meet with the agents.
Munoz faces 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.
The FBI says his arrest was the result of a three-year investigation.

Naomi Roberts, pleaded guilty to one charge of supplying 112mg

Naomi Roberts, pleaded guilty to one charge of supplying 112mg of the drug on January 7, when she appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court.Roberts, of Kennelworth Road, St Leonards, is currently on an 18-month conditional discharge, which was imposed on January 2007.She admitted breaching the order.The court heard that Roberts was contacted by an undercover police officer and arranged a meeting, at which she handed him two wraps of the drug in exchange for £10.
Aiden Harvey, mitigating, said, "She was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"She became involved with more sophisticated dealers.
"There was no financial gain. She doesn't have a habit."
Roberts was bailed on condition she lives with her mother in Vicarage Road, Hastings, and reports daily to police, to return to court on April 11 for sentencing.

Lieutenant-general Gheorghe Papuc is suspected of being the head of one of Europe's leading drug running cartels.


Gheorghe Papuc, who is head of the country's law enforcement, is suspected of being the head of one of Europe's leading drug running cartels.Moldova already arrested three high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs on suspicion of involvement in the transportation of the country's largest heroin bust, a 10 million euro load of heroin aimed for the European Union.On Saturday, the arrests were announced by the General Procurator's office of Moldova. The arrested officers are indicted for protecting drug shipments bound for Europe, and they are currently said to be cooperating with investigators. According to sources close to the investigation, they have pointing to their boss, Gheorghe Papuc, as the ring leader of the operation, Vesti reported on Sunday.Lieutenant-general Gheorghe Papuc, 54, has been the minister of the interior of Moldova since 2002. Appointed by Communist strongman Vladimir Voronin just a year he took office, Papuc has been Moldova's highest ranking police officer for six straight years. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova (Ministerul Afacerilor Interne al republicii Moldova) is in charge of the country's police, international collaboration through Interpol, and anti-corruption activities. Moldova is Europe's poorest country and has been identified by international watchdogs as the most corrupt for two years in a row.Last Thursday, traffic police pulled over a minibus for a random routine check and stumbled upon the largest drug haul in the country's history: In the bust, Moldovan police confiscated 200 kg (441 lbs) of heroin with a street value of approximately 10 million euros, Infotag reported.The heroin was en-route from Afghanistan, using Moldova as an entry-point to Europe. Moldova borders the European Union and a visa free regime is currently being re-established with Romania, which Moldova was a part of until 1940.According to news agency Vesti, police detained three people in the operation, including Turkish citizen Murat Kalarar. An investigation aimed at establishing the involvement of others led them to high-ranking officials in the Moldovan government. Investigators uncovered a cartel-like operation where high ranking Moldovan police provided protection to drug smugglers by ensuring the safety of the transportation of narcotics through the country.
However, as more details became known, the investigation was halted on orders from police headquarters in Chisinau. The original arresting officers were also removed from their jobs.
Due to the involvement of the leadership of Moldova's national police, the investigation had to be carried out by Moldova's secret service, the Information and Security Service (SIB, by its local initials), who quickly closed in on Interior Minister Gheorghe Papuc. The minister himself has currently been placed under house arrest with Secret Service officers standing guard around-the-clock.
Moldova, Europe's poorest country, is frequently described as a "black hole" and there is fear it may be turning into a narco-state.
This is not the first time the high-ranking law enforcement officer finds himself in trouble with the law. Shortly after he took office, the press revealed that Gheorghe Papuc used fake university certificates to pad his resume, including one which allegedly had him graduate from university with a law decree at age 38.
Two Moldovan newspapers, “Kommersant Moldovi” and “Accente”, were closed by the government after publishing details of the fake certificates. According to an independent journalistic investigation by the Pro TV channel they were purchased by Papuc to advance his career. These truthfulness of the published facts have been confirmed by deposed minister of Security, Tudor Botnaru.
Papuc was investigated in 1995 for forgery. According to documents made public by Pro TV, Papuc also committed other crimes: “Being in charge of various divisions, he used to take possession of certain goods: construction materials, confiscated armament, accompanied cargo vehicles for a charge etc. Having a number of passports on him, he conducted illegal operations with real-estate goods and automobiles. Moreover, "he owned 4-5 real-estate properties and 3 automobiles at the same time under different names”, according to written information resulting from an investigation by the FSB, Russia's Secret Service.
A biography placed on the Moldovan government's official website claimed that Papuc holds three university degrees. This section of the biography of Gheorghe Papuc disappeared from the Moldovan government's website overnight. A former English version of the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has also been removed.
There have been no reported cases of drug smuggling involving the authorities 'de facto' independent republic of Pridnestrovie (also known as Transnistria or Transdniester, in English).

Millie Elder,sentenced to 12 months supervision for drugs charges.


Millie Elder,sentenced to 12 months supervision for drugs charges. There was no fine or prison sentence handed down.Elder was in tears as Holmes begged the judge to let her off and go free without conviction."It would be so gratefully received by all of us if the compassion of the court was such that her early admissions of possession of the drug can be taken into account," Holmes said. "If she could now begin the rest of her life without having to take forever these convictions."Elder pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine or P and drug utensils and allowing her Auckland flat to be used for drugs last year. Her lawyer Chris Comesky told the judge a drug conviction would ruin her plans to visit her biological father in Greece and hinder her career."She is also interested in a career in the tour boat industry," Comeskey said. "All of that is based out of the United States and Canada."But the judge said there was no evidence that that was true.
"There is no evidence before me of the direct consequences of convictions," said Judge Anne Kiernan. "Such as inability to travel to another country, effect on employment or inability to pursue a chosen career."
The judge said Elder's charges were so serious that she must be convicted on all three. She then sentenced the 19-year-old to 12 months supervision, with a condition that she attend any rehabilitation programme recommended by the court.Both Elder and Holmes had nothing to say to media outside the court.
Elder will continue giving voluntary talks to teens to discourage them from doing what she did.

Cathy Graham, Michael Anthony Graham Jr, Donquita Lamar Graham

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Charged Michael Anthony Graham Jr., 23, of 420 Walnut St. with three counts of trafficking crack and three counts of distribution of crack in proximity to a park, according to sheriff's reports. Anthony Graham's brother, Donquita Lamar Graham, 20, of the same address, faces charges including possession of crack, possession with intent to distribute crack and possession with intent to distribute crack in proximity to a park, the report notes. The men's mother, Cathy Graham, 50, of the same address, also faces charges including possession of crack, according to the report. Around 8 a.m. Friday, authorities searched the Graham house, where they seized $1,598 from Donquita Graham and found him with nearly 7 grams of crack, the report notes. Authorities also found Cathy Graham with less than a gram of crack and seven Tylenol with Codeine pills, according to the report.
Bond had not been set Friday night for Zhivago Robinson, Demego Robinson or Laquada Robinson. The trio remained in custody at York County Detention Center.

Demego Antwane Robinson,Laquada Keyann Robinson,Zhivago Anwah Robinson arrests came as part of an ongoing drug investigation

charged Demego Antwane Robinson, 32, of 407 Rich St. with multiple offenses, including drug conspiracy, trafficking crack and distribution of crack in proximity to a school, according to the York County Sheriff's Office.
Robinson's brother, Zhivago Anwah Robinson, 26, of 1410 Bavand Circle was charged Thursday with possession of crack and marijuana, violation of liquor law, driving with a suspended license, distribution of crack and distribution of crack in proximity to a park, the reports note. Police also charged Laquada Keyann Robinson, 28, of 1025 Glenarden Drive, Apt. D, with offenses that included threatening a public official's immediate family and drug conspiracy, according to reports.
The arrests came as part of an ongoing drug investigation that included agents from the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, the FBI and Rock Hill Police. The investigation led to the arrests of the Robinsons on Thursday after authorities said Demego Robinson bought a 1995 Mercedes with drug money and conspired with his sister to put the car in her name.
Police arrested Zhivago Robinson as he parked a 2004 Mitsubishi Gallant at 920 Sylvia Circle, where officials seized two bags of marijuana, the report notes. Police also said Laquada Robinson threatened to hurt an officer's child, according to the report.
"We have taped conversations of her threatening to have an officer's 8-year-old assaulted," Brown said.
Brown declined to release the officer's name or discuss the circumstances.

Stanley Krizinofski, Azure L. Catalano charged with drug offenses

Stanley Krizinofski, 41, of Cherry Street, is charged with four counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and one of tampering with evidence. All are felonies. He also faces a misdemeanor count of aggravated unlicensed driving.
Passenger Azure L. Catalano, 30, is charged with single felony counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and tampering with evidence. She also faces a misdemeanor charge of second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia.
Police said they seized crack, packaging material and tablets of Klonopin, an anti-seizure medication.

Drug-addicted prisoners forced to go “cold turkey” received compensation payments totalling £750,000

Drug-addicted prisoners forced to go “cold turkey” received compensation payments totalling £750,000 in the last year, according to official figures.The payments stem from a test case by six prisoners settled out of court in November 2006 by the Home Office. They came after a High Court judge approved damages after their claims the practice amounted to an assault and breach of human rights.Payments totalling £750,000 subsequently went to 197 prisoners forced to stop taking drugs at jails across England and Wales under the Opiate Dependent Prison Litigation.The statistics show nationally more than £2 million was paid in compensation by publicly-run prisons in 2006/07 - incredibly enough, down 54 per cent on the previous year’s pay-outs which totalled £4.4 million.Justice Secretary Jack Straw, released the data to MPs in response to a parliamentary question.

Mokbel has managed to stall extradition proceedings by challenging a single signature on his arrest warrant

Saturday, 29 March 2008


Court workers in Athens yesterday called a snap 24-hour strike as part of industrial action to protest government moves to change their pension plan, further complicating the drawn-out extradition process.The move came as one of the city's top criminal lawyers threatened legal action over claims about her in some Australian media outlets.Channel 7 reporter Norm Beaman sparked the trouble after suggesting Greece's Supreme Court had lax security and a "woman" had been allowed to sit next to Mokbel and could have concealed a gun in her "heavy shawl".
That woman is top Athens criminal lawyer Aida Tzavela, assisting Mokbel's legal team, who last night was furious and threatening to take legal action against The Age newspaper which published Beaman's suggestion.
"How dare he say that, this is ridiculous thing to suggest - I think he has confused Aida with Al-Qaida," she said.Mokbel has managed to stall extradition proceedings by challenging a single signature on his arrest warrant, declaring Lebanese nationality and a birth right to be tried in Beirut and arguing his life would be in danger from corrupt police and underworld figures if he was made to return to Victoria.But now it may be the courts themselves which spare him a one way ticket home.Garbage collectors have joined court workers on strike, refusing to collect mountains of rubbish accumulating on Athens' streets, as have public transport workers.
Mokbel's lawyers met early this morning AEST to discuss the implications of the strike.

But if court does go ahead, Mokbel's legal team is also considering introducing new evidence such as the fact his original arrest warrant did not carry any mention of claims he murdered gangster Lewis Moran; part of the basis he is now being extradited on.Mokbel spoke this morning with Yiannis Vlachos about his case expected before the courts, if it does decide to sit, about 10pm (AEST) today.His team of lawyers have also held discussions among themselves this morning (AEST) to discuss the possibility of one last challenge against the warrant.
This morning speaking from his cell, Mokbel said "I'm not sure what's going on. We'll see."

Thang Ngoc Dang charged with trafficking in marijuana by possession and by transportation

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents charged Thang Ngoc Dang, 37, of 10330 Crestgate Terrace, Unit 105, with trafficking in marijuana by possession and by transportation, both felonies, court records show.
Dang, described in arrest reports as a nail technician with a manicure salon on Wake Forest Road, was arrested March 19 at his home. Agents seized 89 pounds of high-grade marijuana he had just unloaded from an undercover officer's vehicle, according to a search warrant made public this week.
Unknown to Dang, the marijuana he is accused of buying from drug dealers in Canada was under the eye of both Canadian and U.S. authorities."Our undercover agent acted as the facilitator of the transaction," Marc LaPorte, a spokesman with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said Friday. "It would have happened anyway. We just stepped in and did the movement for them."Dang was arrested the same day Canadian authorities arrested four people in Toronto on drug-trafficking and drug-exporting charges. Canadian police also used 12 search warrants to seize 60 pounds of marijuana, three vehicles, 130 cartons of cigarettes, $180,000 in cash and $100,000 in money orders.The arrests were part of an international undercover drug operation Canadian police dubbed "Project OCUJO," LaPorte said. He said an undercover agent who infiltrated the drug ring learned about the American side of the operation.
Canadian police declined to comment when asked whether the drug ring had sent previous shipments of marijuana to Raleigh."Some of those details are still under investigation," said Detective-Inspector Rick Penney with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "I can tell you it wasn't a first-time occurrence."The Toronto drug ring shipped the marijuana to Raleigh after receiving a $300,000 payment, said Donny Hanson, resident agent-in-charge of the DEA's Raleigh office. Canadian police identified Dang for Raleigh DEA agents.According to a search warrant filed this week at the Wake County Clerk of Court's Office, a surveillance team watched as Dang met a DEA undercover agent at O'Charley's restaurant March 19. While the two were in the restaurant, officers put a GPS tracker on Dang's BMW.Raleigh police and federal officers continued to watch as Dang and the agent left the restaurant and as Dang moved the marijuana from the agent's vehicle to the BMW, according to the search warrant. The officers then followed Dang home and surrounded his residence at Bexley at Brier Creek Luxury Apartment Homes.

Leonard Garcia is looking at anywhere from a 40-year to life sentence.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Rising featherweight star Leonard Garcia was arrested yesterday along with 12 other people in connection with a drug smuggling ring in Texas.KCBD News in Lubbock, Texas, first reported the story. According to the report the arrests were made after a four-year investigation into a cocaine trafficking ring that ran from El Paso to Lubbock. The Federal indictment states that all who were arrested conspired to sell cocaine dating all the way back to 2001.According to The Fight Networks report:
The United States District Attorney’s Office said about two kilograms of cocaine were seized during the operation, along with drug trafficking paraphernalia, firearms and money, the report said. According to the report, three of those arrested could face up to 40 years in prison and up to a $2 million fine; the others could face a life sentence and up to a $4 million fine.
So the outlook definitely is no longer bright for Garcia as he is looking at anywhere from a 40-year to life sentence.
Garcia burst onto the scene in the US with an excellent fight against Roger Huerta at UFC 68. After losing two of three fights in the UFC, Garcia made the move to the WEC’s featherweight division and was expected to fight on the upcoming WEC 34 card this June.

Thirteen members of an alleged drug trafficking organization are off Lubbock streets after a four-year investigation. Authorities say the cocaine ring spans from El Paso to the Hub City. Ten people arrested during those raids Thursday and we're told they will all end up at the Lubbock County Jail. The roundup started early Thursday morning with a bust in the 1500 block of 23rd Street. The Drug Enforcement Administration led the operation. Lubbock Police, Lubbock Sheriff's Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety assisted along with several other area agencies. Federal indictments allege that all who were arrested have conspired to sell cocaine going back to as early as 2001. Authorities also executed seven search warrants in both Lubbock and Lynn Counties on Thursday. Our cameras also caught a bust at an apartment in the 7200 block of 73 Street. It's allegedly linked to the cocaine ring as well. The U.S. District Attorney's Office says that operation seized about two kilograms of cocaine along with drug trafficking paraphernalia, firearms and money. Three other suspects were taken into custody prior to Thursday morning. El Paso authorities tell us John Patrick Morales II was arrested Wednesday night.NewsChannel 11 has learned one of those arrested is mixed martial arts fighter Leonard Garcia. He was arrested Tuesday in allege connection with the cocaine ring. Garica is currently ranked sixth in the featherweight class in MMA. He has fought in UFC and Ultimate Fighting championships. One other suspect is already in custody in the Lamb County. If convicted, three of those arrested could face up to 40 years in prison and up to a $2 million fine. The others could face up to life in prison and up to a $ 4 million fine.Those accused were named in five federal indictments that were unsealed Thursday morning. All but one of those named in the indictments has been arrested.

Christopher Bywaters had built up a significant client base after initially buying half an ounce of cocaine from a supplier for £400 and selling it on

Christopher Bywaters after starting to smoke cannabis his attitude on life began to change.At Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday Bywaters, from Peacehaven, was jailed for two and half years.Police discovered cocaine under the gearstick cover and sun visor of his car in September last year The court was told how he had built up a significant client base after initially buying half an ounce of cocaine from a supplier for £400 and selling it on for £750.Mrs Bywaters revealed yesterday how Bywaters had become mixed up in a cycle of debt and drug use.
Before the drug dealing offence the 20-year-old had no previous convictions and was described by friends and family as a "lovely, shy, polite boy,"Mrs Bywaters said he was a "quiet boy" and sought to improve his confidence in drama classes.Following GCSE success at Tideway School in Newhaven, Bywaters began a carpentry course in Brighton when he was 17. He worked part-time for his uncle's landscape gardening business and formed ambitions to start his own business.Bywaters' attitude started to change at around this time. His mother said: "He had started smoking the year before, and after that he started smoking pot. He had mood swings, but that's just their hormones at that age, isn't it?"Mrs Bywaters thinks her son got in with the wrong crowd at college."He was homely and had never been drinking. He used to think it was stupid.
Moody "Christopher was easily influenced, and became popular for the wrong reasons."
In September 2006 Bywaters' uncle stopped employing him.Mrs Bywaters said: "He had become unreliable and moody."I don't blame my brother for sacking him. It's hard enough trying to make a living when you're running your own business, let alone when you have to drag a reluctant teenager around with you."
Bywaters was living at home at this time when his mother became concerned his involvement with drugs was deepening.
"He was going out at all times of the night. I didn't know where he was.
"I didn't have a clue he was taking drugs".
By February 2007 Bywaters had rekindled his ambition to start a landscape gardening business and was studying horticulture.
But the cost of studying and running a car with no income landed him in financial difficulty.
It was at this point recreational use turned to dealing.

Ayou Xie,Golden City takeaway Qi Wu,converting the property into a cannabis farm with hydroponic lights, water sprays and thermometers.

Qi Wu, 40, was recommended for deportation in 2006 after fraud convictions, Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday.But Wu was allowed to continue living in the UK, and last October rented a six-bedroom house on Marton Road, Middlesbrough.
Just 18 days later, police found he was converting the property into a cannabis farm with hydroponic lights, water sprays and thermometers.
In a second separate case, an even larger cannabis farm was uncovered in a flat above the Golden City takeaway on Norton Road, Stockton on November 14 last year.
Chef Ayou Xie, 26, lived there and minded 264 healthy ‘skunk’ cannabis plants in three rooms. A fridge also revealed 361 cannabis cuttings. Xie and two unidentified men bought equipment. Only Xie, who had no previous convictions and was refused asylum in 2000, was arrested.Recorder Toby Hedworth QC said Xie helped cultivation in an operation which could have generated huge profit, jailing him for two years for his limited role. Both Xie and Wu admitted producing the Class C drug. Judge George Moorhouse jailed Wu for 15 months, accepting he was under others’ control and showed remorse.

Schapell Corby now has only one option a plea for clemency to Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, which requires an admission of guilt.

Indonesia's Supreme Court has formally rejected a final appeal filed by Australian Schapelle Corby against her 20-year sentence for drug trafficking, an official said Friday.

'The Supreme Court turned down the final appeal filed by the convict (Corby),' said Nurhadi, spokesman for the Supreme Court, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name. The state-run Antara news agency quoted Nurhadi as saying that a team of three judges unanimously made the decision to turn down the appeal. He added that the judges may have wanted to send a strong message to other drug offenders in Indonesia. 'One of (the reasons) could be to create a deterrence effect for other perpetrators,' he said.
Corby, a former Gold Coast beauty student, lodged the appeal in August 2006.
Corby, a single, attractive 30-year-old, was sentenced by Bali's Denpasar District Court to 20 years and is now serving her jail sentence in Bali's Kerobokan prison.
She was caught at Bali's airport in October 2004 with 4.1 kilograms of marijuana in her boogie board bag. The arrest sparked a media frenzy that strained relations between Indonesia and Australia. Corby now has only one option - a plea for clemency to Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, which requires an admission of guilt. Yudhoyono has previously said he is opposed to granting pardons for drugs crimes

Pedro Hernandez could have faced up to 15 years in prison for each of the sales

Pedro Hernandez, 21, will be eligible for parole in as little as six months if he successfully completes the prison impact-incarceration program.Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Fred Day said Hernandez, of 299 W. Arden Lane, sold small amounts of heroin to an undercover officer of the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group.
All three sales took place in a commercial parking lot on Route 120 in Grayslake, Day said.On Oct. 3, Hernandez gave the officer 3.5 grams of heroin in exchange for $140.On Oct. 9, another 2.5 grams was sold for $135, and on Oct. 12, Hernandez sold 4.2 grams for $150.Hernandez was arrested as the final sale was completed, Day said.
Circuit Judge James Booras agreed to recommend Hernandez for the military-style boot camp program, which could significantly reduce his time behind bars.
However, Booras told Hernandez that if he is not accepted into or fails to complete the impact-incarceration program, he will have to serve at least three years of the six-year term.If convicted after a trial, Hernandez could have faced up to 15 years in prison for each of the sales, Day said.

Gareth Angus Laurenson had concerns about his safety from the people he had been dealing with.

Gareth Angus Laurenson, at Craigpark Road, Scalloway, on 14 September last year where they found almost 50 grammes of the Class A drug, valued at £6,930, along with £6,260 in cash.When Laurenson and his girlfriend returned home the police found another £470 on his person.
Interviewed at Lerwick police station the 29 year old, who now lives at Meadowfield Road, Scalloway, said he was paid drugs and money to hold heroin for other people.Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said he admitted “carrying out this holding role for a similar quantity of drugs on a fortnightly basis” since 1 February last year.Mr Mackenzie said Laurenson had a history of heroin abuse, and his addiction had got worse before his arrest.
“Payment was sometimes in money and sometimes in kind to feed his addiction and there was a sense of relief that the police had brought this to an end,” the fiscal said, adding that Laurenson had concerns about his safety from the people he had been dealing with.
Sheriff Graeme Napier deferred sentence for reports, warning that it was likely he would be going to prison for a significant period of time.

David Kevin Wilson extradited to New South Wales

David Kevin Wilson, 43, was instrumental in the operation in which 70 bags of heroin were allegedly shipped into Australia in three wooden chests of drawers.Three New South Wales people, including Wilson's brother, are also charged with the heroin importation.An Adelaide magistrate has ruled that Wilson be escorted to Sydney by federal police officers

James Spencer is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking

James Spencer of Cornwall, and a 16-year-old girl, whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, are facing charges. Spencer is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a controlled substance, possession of property obtained by crime, and breach of undertaking The girl is charged with possession of a controlled substance and two counts of breach of probation More than $2,000 worth of cocaine and marijuana was seized by police this week at a Ninth Street residence near 1 a.m.
Eight grams of cocaine and about 11 grams of marijuana were found at the Cornwall home.

Marlyn Gonzalez remains silent

Marlyn Gonzalez, of 221 Bruce St., was arrested Monday night at Union and Common streets after her release from Lawrence General Hospital, where she spent five days recovering from an opiate overdose. Police Chief John Romero said Gonzalez won't say who she was carrying the drugs for."The detective didn't get three words out of his mouth and she said, 'My lawyer told me not to talk to police"' Romero said. "I'd have to believe the heroin was earmarked for Lawrence." Last Thursday morning, Gonzalez became ill and her boyfriend took her to the hospital, where she admitted swallowing the heroin. According to the police report, some of the bags broke open in her body and she was treated with Narcan, a drug that reverses the effect of a heroin overdose.She was arraigned yesterday on charges of trafficking heroin over 28 grams. The heroin she was carrying had a street value of about $50,000, and she was paid $4,000 for smuggling it into the country, police said.

Jury retires,Ian Rush, 43, is alleged to have set up his own business, Nautexco Marine, to continue supplying boats to drug smugglers

The jury in the trial of a man accused of continuing the trade of a Lowestoft company, after its owners were arrested for involvement in supplying boats to drug smugglers, has retired to consider its verdicts.Ian Rush, 43, is alleged to have set up his own business, Nautexco Marine, to continue supplying boats to drug smugglers after the arrests of Neil Davison and Ellen George, of Colville Road, Lowestoft, who ran Crompton Marine in Lowestoft.
Rush, of Brand End Road, Butterwick, near Boston, has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to retain the proceeds of drug smuggling and conspiracy to acquire criminal property.

Andrew Monarch extradited from Spain

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Andrew Monarch left the United Kingdom and lived on a false passport after Mark Sayer was shot dead on the doorstep of his home near Redcar, east Cleveland, in 1996.He was extradited from Spain last year after being arrested in October 2005 by Spanish authorities on suspicion of conspiracy to murder Mr Sayer, a court heard.
Four other men were convicted and jailed for their parts in the death of the 22-year-old including the gunman Karl Henderson and getaway driver Edward Winter.
The killing was organised by Middlesbrough drug dealer Zarin Sherrif after his supplies of cannabis were stolen, Franz Muller, QC, told Teesside Crown Court today.A fourth man, Joeseph Marshall, was convicted of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent, but cleared of conspiracy to murder.Sherrif, then aged 33, and of Ayresome Park Road, was convicted of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent.Winter and recently-freed convict Henderson - recruited by Marshall in July 1996 after a meeting in Blyth, Northumberland - were convicted of murder.Marshall, from Amble, Northumberland, originally asked Henderson and another pal to meet some friends in Middlesbrough to discuss "business", the court heard.But when Marshall later took them to a beach and dug up a thick black bin bag containing a gun and cartridges, the other man pulled out and Winter was recruited to drive.The jury was told that Mr Sayer was assasinated after answering the door at his rented home in Staithes Road, Dormanstown, on the evening of September 1.Mr Muller said the killer and the driver dumped the weapon - a Winchester pump-action shotgun - near the A66 as they fled north, and abandoned their car in Stockton.Mr Monarch, who lived in Whorlton Grove, Redcar, at the time and was a friend of Sherrif's, is suspected of picking the pair up and taking them to a Middlesbrough hotel for the night.Mr Muller told the jury that phone and pager records showed there was contact between Mr Monarch and Sherrif immediately after the murder as well as Sherrif and public call boxes in Stockton.It was also claimed Mr Monarch received several pager messages from Henderson and Winter's hotel room the following morning - one expressing "a certain amount of pleasure at what had been achieved".Mr Muller told the jury that Winter was arrested the following day, Henderson was found in Berkshire five days after that, and Sherrif a further three days later.Mr Monarch's solicitor arranged a meeting with the police the following day, but he failed to show up and was not traced despite "considerable efforts" by detectives.After finally being found in Spain and arrested by officers from Cleveland Police last July, Mr Monarch told them: "I've had nothing whatever to do with any murder at any time in my life."
Mr Monarch denies conspiracy to murder and the trial - scheduled to last more than two weeks - will continue tomorrow.

Marlyn Gonzalez, 26, was charged with trafficking more than 28 grams of heroin,

Marlyn Gonzalez, 26, was charged with trafficking more than 28 grams of heroin, police said.Police said Gonzales flew to her native Dominican Republic earlier this month and returned home to Lawrence, a heavily Latino immigrant city, after swallowing nearly four dozen baby carrot-sized bags of heroin. They said she took a pill to prevent her from going to the bathroom on the plane ride.As detectives arrested her at 5 p.m. at Union and Common streets, Gonzalez said, "My lawyer told me not to talk to police."Gonzalez was held overnight on $5,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned this morning in Lawrence District Court on the narcotics charge and an outstanding warrant, police said.
Police said the woman flew to the Dominican Republic earlier this month and returned home to Lawrence after swallowing nearly four dozen baby carrot-sized bags of heroin. She also took a pill to prevent her from going to the bathroom on the plane ride home.Last Thursday morning, Gonzalez, of 221 Bruce St., #2, became ill and her boyfriend took her to the hospital. She admitted to swallowing the heroin and doctors said she was suffering an opiate overdose caused by some of the heroin bags breaking open.She was given Narcan, a drug which reverses the effect of a heroin overdose, and she was admitted to the hospital, staying in the intensive care unit during part of her stay. Detectives closely monitored her condition over the weekend.The heroin Gonzalez was carrying had a street value of approximately $50,000. Gonzalez was paid $4,000 for smuggling the illegal drugs into the United States. She planned to use the money to pay off court fines on a shoplifting charge in New Hampshire, police said.The investigation remains open and further charges could be pending."It's a lot of drugs and we'd like to find out where it was going," police Chief John Romero said last night.Detectives are now looking into all of Gonzalez's visits outside the United States, including a trip to South Korea in the past year, Romero said.Born in the Dominican Republic, Gonzalez is unemployed, according to a booking slip.Commonly known as drug mules, visitors to foreign countries occasionally return to the United States after ingesting narcotics. The drugs are sometimes packaged in condoms or small balloons and then ingested.Hospital staff are required to notify police when they come across such cases.

James Stephen Rolen corrections officer charges related to receiving a bribe to smuggle heroin, marijuana and drug paraphernalia to inmates.

James Stephen Rolen, 31, a former corrections officer who had worked at Sheridan federal prison since 2003, received the sentence Monday by U.S. District Judge Garr M. King, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah Horsley. Rolen pleaded guilty in November after an indictment on charges related to receiving a bribe to smuggle heroin, marijuana and drug paraphernalia to inmates.
Last February, FBI agents and prison authorities investigating the smuggling of contraband into the prison obtained a wiretap of Rolen's cell phone, Horsley said.
FBI agents listened to phone calls between Rolen and inmate Alfredo Carranza Jr., who asked Rolen to smuggle heroin and marijuana, promising to pay about $2,000. Carranza's juvenile sister gave Rolen part of that money. Carranza also asked Rolen to smuggle in a digital scale, water balloons and plastic wrap to conceal the drugs within the prison, Horsley said.On Feb. 23, 2007, Rolen met with Eliverio Martinez-Franco in a rural area near a Salem dairy farm to pick up black tar heroin and marijuana, Horsley said. Rolen was arrested two days later when he tried to enter the prison carrying a backpack filled with the drugs and paraphernalia.Carranza was sentenced in November to 30 months in prison on convictions of bribery and conspiracy to distribute heroin and marijuana, Horsley said. Carranza's sentence will start after he finishes the 97-month sentence he already was serving for a federal methamphetamine conviction from Sacramento, Calif., Horsley said.Martinez-Franco pleaded guilty to federal heroin charges and faces sentencing April 7.

Edward R. Ritter found with 19 bags of marijuana in his Upper Providence Township home

Edward R. Ritter found with 19 bags of marijuana in his Upper Providence Township home, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said yesterday.
Ritter was charged Thursday with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. Only the third count is a felony. Ritter was freed on bond. News of the arrest caught the school by surprise. An engineering professor at Villanova who declined to be identified described Ritter as a "quiet" man who enjoyed a good reputation at the school.
"I never saw anything like this coming," the professor said. Few faculty were at work yesterday at the Catholic university because it was Good Friday. But those who were in the engineering department talked about Ritter's arrest with shock.
Ferman said her office was investigating whether any drugs were sold by Ritter on campus. Police say they found both marijuana and drug paraphernalia at Ritter's home. Ritter could not be reached at his campus office yesterday. His current status at Villanova was not immediately available.

Domingo Cardona pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of more than 5 ounces of cocaine

Domingo Cardona, 30, has been imprisoned since Sept. 21, 2006, when parole officer Sterling Wheeler found a marijuana bud in the freezer of his home at 27-1/2 Gilman St., during a routine, but surprise, visit.Wheeler arrested Cardona, and a subsequent, more thorough search turned up about $30,000 cash, bundled up and stashed inside a cell phone box; a 500 gram brick of cocaine in a duffle bag under a pile of clothes; and bags, scales and another $4,270 in cash elsewhere in the apartment.Cardona was on parole after pleading guilty to cocaine possession and sales charges in 2004, court records show. Cardona also had prior drug convictions in Rhode Island at the time.Cardona admitted to possession and six sales of cocaine, and was given several consecutive sentences totaling 5-1/2 to 27 years on Aug. 9, 2004, court records show. He was released to home confinement, with an electronic monitoring bracelet less than a year later, on July 1, 2005, however.Cardona moved back into the same apartment, and apparently picked up where he'd left off.On Monday, he pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of more than 5 ounces of cocaine with the intent to sell, and was sentenced to 10 to 30 years in prison.
He and his lawyer, Adam Bernstein, also agreed with state prosecutors Brian Graf and Jane Young that 2-1/2 years of his previous, suspended sentence would be imposed, with credit for time served since his arrest.

Russell Burke,Christopher Burke,Jeanette Burke Merseyside drug smuggling scaffolders

John Mullally was one of three men who masterminded a racket in which millions of pounds worth of cocaine and heroin were shipped into the UK in scaffolding packaging. Russell Burke, of Strathmore Road, Fairfield; Christopher Burke, of Babbacombe Road, Childwall; and Jeanette Burke, of Old Hall Street, Liverpool city centre, all face similar hearings during June and July.They used a legitimate construction business as a front for their trade.
The 20-strong gang was jailed for a total of more than 200 years in July 2006 following a police operation codenamed Lima, which watched their activities for more than a year.Mullally, 45, formerly of Rutherford Road, Mossley Hill, was jailed for 14 years for conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.
Yesterday, he was back before Liverpool crown court for a Proceeds of Crime hearing, where it was ruled he should be stripped of £376,132 in cash and assets.
Judge Mark Brown told Mullally he had 28 days to release thousands of pounds from several bank accounts.Thousands of pounds more are already being held by Merseyside police after being seized when he was arrested.Judge Brown also warned Mullally he would be jailed for a further three-and-a-half years if he failed to hand over the total amount within six months.Mullally is the first of three members of the gang to face being stripped of their ill-gotten gains this week.David Baker, of Inchape Road, Broadgreen, and Keith Burke, of Quebec Quay, Liverpool city centre, are both due to appear in court tomorrow.
The gang’s scheme centred around a construction firm called KBE Engineering, which was set up by Burke in Aintree.Burke received 11 years for his part in the drug-smuggling operation, while Baker was jailed for 24 years for conspiracy to supply and contempt of court.The criminals had strong links with Spain, Holland and the Balkans.They moved scaffolding between Merseyside and the continent to give the impression of a legitimate construction business.While workers carried out genuine jobs across the North West, deliveries of scaffolding equipment were sent abroad for fake jobs.When the metalwork returned to Britain, its packaging was filled with huge quantities of class A drugs.The undercover investigation resulted in heroin and cocaine worth £2.5m being recovered before it hit the streets and clubs of Merseyside.

Purshottam Sondhi ,Bittu Atwal were arrested on the Rajasansi International Airport

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Purshottam Sondhi was arrested on the Rajasansi International Airport road late Saturday night in a trap laid by the DRI officials, DRI joint director Deepak Rastogi said Sunday.Sondhi's associate Bittu Atwal, also from Jalandhar, was also arrested.In another seizure, the Punjab police in the adjoining border district of Tarn Taran caught a man Saturday with 4 kg of heroin valued at Rs.40 million. Three smugglers were arrested with the drug consignment.
The total seizure of 26 kg of heroin worth Rs.260 million is one of the biggest hauls of the illicit drug in recent years.Sondhi had concealed the drug consignment in 26 carbon packs, which were kept among suits for women.DRI investigations revealed that the consignment was to be delivered to someone at the airport from where it was to be taken to Canada.It is not the first time that names of Akali leaders have figured in drugs smuggling. Earlier, Akali leaders from Ferozepore and Dera Baba Nanak area have figured in such rackets.But Akali leaders in Chandigarh denied that Sondhi was associated with the party.DRI officials said that the heroin consignments were entering India through Pakistan after originating from Afghanistan.

Alan Mills,Kramer Craft, Peter Gill charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Kramer Craft, 27, of Hinsby Court, St Neots, and Peter Gill, 37, of Penrwyn Court, St Neots were due before magistrates in Peterborough.Alan Mills, 60, of Princess Margaret Road, East Tilbury, Essex, was also due in court charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine.Other men arrested in the raids included a 47-year-old from Great Paxton, a 36-year-old from St Neots and a 35-year-old from St Neots.
The men not charged have been released on police bail until June 16.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said a lorry stopped on Friday morning in East Tilbury was found to be carrying seven kilograms of cocaine with a street value of £1million.Armed officers were involved in the raids, which saw two people arrested in East Tilbury, two in St Neots, two in Great Paxton and one in Basildon, Essex.

Tia Trout arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession.

Tia Trout, 445 Chipeta Ave., No. 20, after contacting her on suspicion that at least one of the brake lights of her black Chevrolet Monte Carlo was out.
After officers warned Trout about her broken taillight, she agreed to allow an officer search her car for drugs, Trout’s arrest affidavit said.
While searching Trout’s purse, a police officer found two plastic bags with a white resin, which tested positive for cocaine, according to the affidavit.
After the search of her car, officers sent a team to search Trout’s apartment, but they found nothing of note, the affidavit said.
Trout was booked into Mesa County Jail later that night.

Hector Saldana Castaneda will spend 25 years in prison for a felony delivery of at least 5 grams of methamphetamine

Hector Saldana Castaneda, 41, must serve at least five years of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. District Judge Jeffrey Neary gave the sentence Thursday, said Coleman McAllister, Sioux County attorney.
A search warrant was issued for Saldana Castaneda's house after Northwest Iowa Drug Task Force conducted a controlled drug buy. The confidential informant bought one ounce of crystal meth for $1,000. The Oct. 18 search turned up more meth, drug paraphernalia, plastic bags, a gram scale and $1,620 in cash.Saldana Castaneda will be deported once he finishes his prison term. He was deported in 1996 after being sentenced to 18 months in prison for a cocaine possession conviction in Nebraska.

Stacey West,Melissa Bernhard,Craig Mohring charged with one count of trafficking in heroin.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Stacey West, 21, from the 3000 block of Shamrock Drive in Morrow, was arrested on Jan. 30 after delivering the a controlled substance to a house in Hamilton .She was charged with trafficking in heroin and possession of heroin, both fifth-degree felonies and possession of drug paraphernalia, a forth-degree misdemeanor,
Melissa Bernhard, 24, and Craig Mohring, 26, both of Williamsburg, Ohio were arrested Jan. 24 after police say the pair delivered heroin to a house in the township. Both were charged with one count of trafficking in heroin.

Benjamin Ogbonnaya Ikeh accused of trying to smuggle heroin into Australia

Nigerian man has faced a Cairns court accused of trying to smuggle heroin into Australia by concealing the drug internally. The Cairns Magistrates Court heard the 39 year old man passed a total of 54 pellets containing 945 grams of a white powder believed to be heroin after being taken to Cairns Base Hospital by the Australian Federal Police on March 20. An x-ray had allegedly earlier revealed he was concealing more than 50 packages internally. The pellets are currently the subject of forensic testing to determine the exact weight and purity of the drugs. The man was stopped by Customs officers after arriving on a flight from Narita in Japan last Thursday, prosecutors said. He was referred to the AFP after officials became suspicious he was concealing drugs internally.Benjamin Ogbonnaya Ikeh, 39, appeared briefly in Cairns Magistrates' Court yesterday, charged with importing a marketable quantity of heroin.If convicted, the offence carries a maximum penalty of 25 years jail or a $550,000 fine.Wearing a black jumper, Mr Ikeh sat in silence in the dock yesterday. He did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody. The court did not hear details of the police allegations. However, a joint statement released by the Australian Federal Police and Customs Service indicated that the man was apprehended at Cairns airport on Thursday after arriving on a flight from Narita, Japan.
Customs officers became suspicious that he could be concealing drugs internally and he was taken to Cairns Base Hospital where an X-ray allegedly indicated more than 50 packages.Police will allege the man passed a total of 54 pellets containing about 945g of white powder, believed to be heroin.
In court yesterday, duty solicitor Kate Power said Mr Ikeh had consented to the internal body search.She said Mr Ikeh was a Nigerian national but had been living in Tokyo, Japan. This was his first visit to Australia and he had planned to stay for one week.Magistrate Trevor Black adjourned the case until May 12 to allow investigators to complete forensic testing and determine the exact weight, quantity and nature of the drugs.The arrest is the latest in a series of recent drug busts by Customs officers.

Avi Nashalti, Eli Klugman,Oren Mordechai,Eliezer Goldberg ecstasy smuggling

Authorities have arrested four people who are alleged to have attempted to smuggle thousands of ecstasy pills into the country from Europe, law enforcement officials announced Thursday. Prosecutors will file an indictment against the four suspects in the coming days. The first alleged incident occurred on November 22, when a package containing thousands of ecstasy pills arrived from Belgium. The box, which was addressed to an 81-year-old Italian tourist who at the time was staying as a guest at a Tiberias hotel, was received at a Haifa post office.
Police say customs officials were tipped off to the ecstasy shipment and began a covert investigation in tandem with police intelligence investigators from the national office and the Northern District. Law enforcement officials say the Tiberias hotel manager, Eli Klugman, used the Italian tourist's passport in order to arrange for the shipment to be delivered under her name. Klugman, 35, picked up the package at the Haifa post office, where undercover agents were waiting to arrest him. Police who interrogated Klugman then focused their attention on another suspect, Oren Mordechai, a 55-year-old reputed drug dealer from the Dead Sea area. Mordechai is alleged to have been involved in the smuggling plot.
Earlier this month, two released inmates from Givat Ada and Pardes Hana were arrested for attempted drug smuggling. Both men had earlier served time in prison for attempted murder, theft, and drug-related crimes.
Police say one of the suspects, Avi Nashalti, 40, flew to the Netherlands, where he sent a package containing thousands of ecstasy pills to Eliezer Goldberg, a Givat Ada resident.
Dutch authorities became aware of the contents of the package and proceeded to inform their Israeli counterparts, who requested that the delivery be allowed to proceed. Once the package arrived, police launched an undercover investigation which resulted in the arrest of both Nashalti and Goldberg. Police say the quantities of ecstasy that Nashalti allegedly sent are worth upwards of NIS 3 million. Prosecutors are in the process of preparing indictments against the suspects.

Valentin Espinoz,Samuel Rodriguez ,Felipe Reyes accused of selling a large amount of cocaine to undercover police.

Three men are in custody accused of selling a large amount of cocaine to undercover police.Officers arrested Valentin Espinoz, Samuel Rodriguez and Felipe Reyes Sunday morning on West Galbraith Road.Investigators say they had at least 100 pounds of cocaine.All three men are in jail without bond
.

Lorenzo Cruz Jaimes,Fredy Jaimes Cruz,Addlfo Jaimes,Genaro Lara facing charges of conspire to traffic cocaine

Lorenzo Cruz Jaimes, 32, of the Hallsboro address, is being held in Bladen County Jail on a $5 million bond, facing charges of conspire to traffic cocaine by manufacture; conspire to traffic cocaine by possession; conspire to traffic cocaine by sell; and conspire to traffic cocaine by deliver.Also in Bladen County Jail on a $1 million bond each are Fredy Jaimes Cruz, 24; Addlfo Jaimes, 31; and Genaro Lara, 30. All three were charged with the same charges as Lorenzo Jaimes.Saul Calvillo Rojas, 24, also on a $1 million bond in Bladen County Jail, faces those charges as well as trafficking in cocaine by manufacture; trafficking in cocaine by possession; trafficking in cocaine by sell; and trafficking in cocaine by deliver.Juan Carlos Mendoza, 20, is being held in Columbus County Jail, also on a $1 million bond, for the same charges as Lorenzo Jaimes as well.A total of 11 kilos of cocaine, $3,000 in cash, four vehicles, three hand guns, two assault rifles, a farm tractor and several ATVs were seized during the searches, Bunn said. There was no conflict or injury during the bust, Bunn said.Investigators are still trying to determine the immigration status of the six arrested, he added.

Seized five tonnes of hashish and three maunds of heroin, and arrested two ‘high value’ drug traffickers

The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on Monday seized five tonnes of hashish and three maunds of heroin, and arrested two ‘high value’ drug traffickers near Kohat.
The ANF said in a press release issued here that it had acted on a tip-off that an inter-provincial and international smuggling gang would try to smuggle huge quantities of narcotics from the Tribal Areas to Quetta. The ANF searched a Nissan truck near the old toll plaza on the Indus Highway in Kohat and found 5 tonnes of hashish and 3 maunds of heroin. Two ‘high-value’ drug traffickers were arrested on the spot, the ANF statement said.
During initial investigations, officials said the suspects had disclosed that they were taking the drugs to Quetta, to be smuggled abroad. In a second operation, the ANF said it seized 2 mounds of hashish from a Bedford truck near the Charsadda-Nisata interchange on Charsadda Road and arrested two drug traffickers.

Alvin Macauley,Denise Blevins charged with second degree possession of a firearm while possessing with the intent to distribute

Arrested Alvin Macauley, 35, and Denise Blevins, 33, both of Roanoke, Va., and Cecilia Bullard, 28, of New Castle, Va.The arrests were announced by Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne J. Forrest and Warren Township Police Chief Russell Leffert.
Forrest stated that the investigation began at approximately 9:40 a.m. when Larson observed a blue 1996 Cadillac with a Virginia registration traveling in the center lane on Route 78 East.
Larson observed that the Cadillac was crossing the right and left lane markings and the rear license plate was partially obstructed, so he stopped the Cadillac. After approaching the vehicle, requesting driving credentials and speaking with the occupants, Larson learned that there was an automatic handgun under the front passenger seat of the vehicle.
Larson then removed Macauley, Blevins and Bullard and handcuffed them for his safety. He then retrieved a black .380 caliber loaded semi automatic handgun from under the front passenger seat. While Larson was retrieving the handgun, he observed a vial of cocaine in plain view on the front passenger seat. He also found $5,000 and 50 folds of suspected heroin inside the vehicle.
At this time Macauley, Blevins and Bullard were arrested. Macauley was searched and found to have an additional $1,400 in his wallet. Bullard was then searched and found to be in possession of 13 unknown prescription pills and one fold of heroin.
Macauley was arrested and charged with second degree possession of a firearm while possessing with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, second degree unlawful possession of a weapon, third degree possession of heroin, third degree possession with intent to distribute heroin, and possession of under 50 grams of marijuana, a disorderly persons offense.
Blevins was arrested and charged with third degree possession of heroin, third degree possession of cocaine and third degree and possession of prescription pills.
Bullard was arrested and charged with third degree possession of heroin and third degree possession of prescription pills.
All three were transported to the Warren Township Police Department for processing. The Somerset County Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force was then contacted by the Warren Township Police Department to assist in this investigation.
At the Warren Township Police Department, Macauley was found to have an additional eight folds of heroin in his front left pants pocket. A search of the Cadillac was conducted by members of the Warren Township Police Department and a member of the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.
The search yielded a marijuana cigarette in a Newport brand cigarette box located in the center console. In addition, police found a pocketbook containing one bag of cocaine, eight folds of heroin, 15 Xanax pills and a Nike brand backpack containing marijuana (under 50 grams) and a marijuana smoking pipe.
Macauley was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set at $75,000, no 10 percent option. Blevins was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set at $10,000, no 10 percent option. Bullard was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set at $10,000, no 10 percent option.

Lorne Clarke pleaded guilty to offences under the Excise Act

Lorne Clarke pleaded guilty this morning (Monday) to offences under the Excise Act as well as the Controlled Drug and Substances Act and the Criminal Code. Clarke was arrested Saturday afternoon . Police found 1500 cartons of unstamped cigarettes, and a small quantity of drugs in the vehicle.Clarke has been fined 48-thousand dollars in a Moose Jaw court after being arrested Saturday on the Trans Canada Highway.
In addition to the fine police seized the mini van he was driving and money he was carrying.

Jose Moreno,Joseph Muniz, Continental Airlines arrested

Charged today were Jose Moreno, 43, of Kenilworth, a Continental ramp employee, and Joseph Muniz, 55, of Perth Amboy, a Continental mechanic.
Muniz, who had unfettered access to Continental aircraft, allegedly was directed by Moreno to retrieve heroin hidden aboard certain flights from Colombia and El Salvador, according to special agents with the Department of Homeland Security.
In a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's office, one shipment of drugs was hidden within a life preserver compartment aboard a flight from Cali, Colombia, that had been allowed to continue onto a domestic flight from Newark to Houston, before anyone tried to retrieve the illicit cargo in hopes of eluding surveillance by U.S. Customs.Both men were expected to be released on $250,000 bail. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Carletta said there are believed to be others involved and the investigation is continuing.

Allegedly smuggling unauthorized drugs into VietnamHuynh Kim Hoang,Du My Hanh,Tran Van Hiep ,Nguyen Thi Hong Thoa

Five former executives from the Ho Chi Minh City Import-Export Corp. (Yteco) will appear before the HCMC People’s Court today for allegedly smuggling unauthorized drugs into Vietnam. Former Yteco director Huynh Kim Hoang, his ex-deputy Du My Hanh, the company’s former administrative department manager Lam Ngoc Kiet, and his deputy Tran Van Hiep and Nguyen Thi Hong Thoa, who headed the pharmaceutical group, are accused of forging documents to allow the company to import more than their official quota of various medicines.According to court documents, the accused changed Ministry of Health documents to import VND380 million (US$24,000) worth of drugs and vaccines.
Hoang and Hanh are also alleged to have ordered subordinates to illegally import seven types of vaccines worth more than VND8 billion ($500,000) in 2004.

Richard Dale Halstead,was charged with felony possession of cocaine

Richard Dale Halstead, 25, of 1642 Riverbend Drive, was charged with felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of drug-related objects and probation violation, reports stated. According to Floyd County Jail records: Halstead was kicked out of a vehicle in the 800 block of Old Dalton Road because of a fight around 11:30 p.m. Saturday.Police confiscated a glass pipe with suspected crack cocaine. There was a warrant out for his arrest. He remained in jail Sunday night on $1,250 bail.

Purshottam Sondhi allegedly carrying 22 kg of Heroin

Purshottam Sondhi was arrested by DRI officials on the highway leading to Amritsar’s Raja Sansi International Airport late on Saturday night. The Akali Dal functionary from Jalandhar was allegedly carrying 22 kg of the prized narcotic carefully wrapped in sheets of carbon paper possibly to escape detection during baggage X-ray at the airportContained in 26 plastic packets and wrapped in carbon sheets, the heroin was meticulously laid out between dozens of suiting. A DRI officer told reporters that Mr Sondhi was merely a courier who had been instructed to await a call at the airport parking lot after which he would have handed over the suitcase containing the narcotics to a specific passenger, whose identity is still a mystery. DRI’s joint director at Amritsar said the consignment, which could be worth well over Rs 22 crores in the international drug market, was probably meant to be smuggled to Canada on board Air India’s Amritsar-Birmingham-Toronto flight.
Mr Sondhi’s interrogation later led DRI men to detain one of his key associates, Bittu Atwal, from Jalandhar’s Sunnypura locality.Interestingly, after his arrest, an Akali Dal spokesperson categorically denied that Mr Sondhi represented the party.But this is not the first instance where political functionaries have been associated with narcotics smuggling.Two Akali men arrested from Dera Baba Nanak and Ferozpur earlier were expelled from the party and a Punjab police dossier sent to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in 2007 contained details of political patronage to the illegal drug trade in Punjab.Interestingly, the Tarn Taran police also detained three drug smugglers with about four kilos of heroin close to the India-Pakistan border this afternoon. The cops were however understandably tightlipped about any political connections that the men may have.

Stanley Val Williams, Kenneth Bernard Harris, Nolan Curtis Martin Jr. and Dwayne Lamont King pleaded guilty to conspiracy

Aristedes Victor Balbuena faces a minimum prison term of at least 10 years on cocaine conspiracy charge. Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Griffin told U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose that Balbuena sold 2 kilograms of cocaine -- about 4½ pounds -- to another drug dealer on Mardi Gras Day last year on Broad Street.Investigators recorded 1,200 phone calls between the dealer and Balbuena over several years. In February 2001, officers who stopped Balbuena found a shoe box filled with $13,428. The next year, Louisiana state police discovered $69,780 hidden in luggage inside a car in which Balbuena was a passenger. Balbuena has indicated that he wants to cooperate with prosecutors in hopes of a lighter sentence. DuBose set his sentencing for Sept. 12. Four Mobile County men pleaded guilty last week to federal drug charges that led to the arrest of a Houston man believed to be a major cocaine supplier. Stanley Val Williams, Kenneth Bernard Harris, Nolan Curtis Martin Jr. and Dwayne Lamont King pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. A fifth defendant, Wayne Maurince Lafitte, has also signaled his intent to plead guilty.

Richard John Ichihara has prior convictions for felony drug trafficking offenses

According to government prosecutors,Richard John Ichihara has three prior convictions for felony drug trafficking offenses that constitute a "prior felony drug offense." This can enhance punishment to a term of imprisonment not less than 20 years and up to life imprisonment in the event that the defendant is convicted of the offense of possession of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.Ichihara was earlier convicted in the Superior Court of Guam on January 27, 2000 for two counts of importation of a controlled substance and one count of possession of a restricted substance with intent to distribute.Considered by prosecutors as the local kingpin of the drug syndicate, Ichihara pleaded not guilty to the superseding indictment filed against him and his three confederates --- Jackie Yong Lee, Kum Soon Yoo, and Won Yiel Lee.Lee and Yoo also pleaded not guilty to the charges of possession, distribution of illegal drugs, and money laundering. Yiel Lee remains at large.
During their arraignment last Friday, Yoo and Lee were both released and ordered to turn over their passports to the authorities while Ichihara was remanded to the custody of the US Marshals Service.Their trial is set for May 13.
Ichihara allegedly distributed the drugs coming from off-island to local residents for distribution on Guam. From January 2004 up to the date of indictment, Ichihara allegedly distributed more than 3,000 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride and more than 30,000 grams of a mixture of substances containing detectable amounts of methamphetamine.Ichihara also allegedly imported approximately 18 grams of "ice" on December 3, 2007 and distributed approximately 24 grams of "ice" on Dec. 22, 2005.
On Feb. 3, 2008 he was arrested while in possession of approximately 23.35 grams of "ice."

Cruz Jaimes’ bail was set at $5 million. Bail for the other five men was set at $1 million each.Cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $1

Saturday, 22 March 2008

The men were arrested after a traffic stop just off N.C. 211 in eastern Bladen County near the Columbus County line about 5 p.m. Thursday. They are:Lorenzo Cruz Jaimes, 32, of 52 Charles Ave., Hallsboro Fredy Jamies Cruz, 24, of 48 Charles Ave., Hallsboro Adolfo James, 31, of 48 Charles Ave., Hallsboro Saul Calvillo Rojas, 24, no address available Genaro Lara, 30, no address available
Juan Carlos Mendoza, 20, of Austin, TexasCruz Jaimes is charged with manufacturing 400 grams or more of cocaine. He also is charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine by manufacture, possession, sell and deliver.
Cruz Jaimes’ bail was set at $5 million. Bail for the other five men was set at $1 million each.Cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $1million was confiscated and six men were arrested Thursday, Columbus County Sheriff Chris Batten said.Sheriff’s investigators in Bladen and New Hanover counties also were involved in the case that included the recovery of 10 kilograms of cocaine near Hallsboro after the six arrests in Bladen County.“We’re just glad to get this off the street,” Batten said of the drug seizure, one of the largest ever in Columbus or Bladen counties.
“We’ve hurt a lot of people in the pockets; we’ve hurt a lot of people on the street who thought they were going to have access to this on the street this holiday weekend.”Calvillo is charged with eight drug related crimes, the other four men with four each. Calvillo is charged with trafficking cocaine by manufacture, possession, sell, and delivery, and with conspiracy to traffic cocaine by manufacture, possession, sell and deliver.

Cruz Jaimes, James, Calvillo, Lara and Mendoza are each charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine by manufacture, possession, sell and deliver.All but Mendoza are being held in the Bladen County Jail. Mendoza is being held in the Columbus County Detention Center because the Bladen jail was full, Sheriff Steve Bunn said.
New Hanover County Sheriff Sid Causey said his investigators have been chasing leads involving drug distribution in Bladen County for a few weeks.When the New Hanover drug agents learned Thursday that a shipment of cocaine would be delivered in Bladen County, they notified drug officers at the Bladen County Sheriff’s Department.
Officers stopped a 1999 Dodge Durango and a 1994 Chevrolet King Cab with six men inside the two vehicles, Bladen County Sheriff Steve Bunn said. He was not sure which vehicle contained which men, but said a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cocaine was found in the Durango.Bladen officers seized the drugs, the vehicles and $2,962 in cash.Drug enforcement officers in Columbus County “conducted surveillance” at 18 Roberts Lane and 52 Charles Ave. near Hallsboro, then obtained search warrants for the two houses and property.Charles Avenue and Roberts Lane are small, private drives in an area “matted with mobile homes” just off of Pameter Road in Hallsboro, Batten said.


Inside the Roberts Lane home drug officers found 10 kilograms of cocaine, Batten said. Officers seized the drugs, two SKS assault rifles and three handguns.
Investigators seized vehicles and other materials from the Charles Avenue property they believe were purchased with drug proceeds, Batten said. Seized items include a 2005 Cadillac Escalade, a Ford Escort, a John Deere tractor with loader, a Frontier mower, a cement mixer, hole digger and all-terrain vehicles.

Oral Watson leader of a North Jersey narcotics ring with ties to a violent Jamaican drug posse was arrested along with several of his associates

The leader of a North Jersey narcotics ring with ties to a violent Jamaican drug posse was arrested along with several of his associates, including a UPS driver who delivered cocaine for the ring along his Teaneck route, authorities said today.
A joint task force led by officers from the gangs units of the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with Elmwood Park police, arrested six members and associates of the drug gang on Thursday. They seized an estimated $200,000 in cocaine, $85,000 cash, a Romanian-made AK-47 assault rifle, a loaded Taurus 9mm. semi-automatic handgun, two luxury cars and $40,000 in jewelry, authorities said.
The alleged ringleader, Oral Watson, 31, of Paterson, is being held at the Passaic County Jail on $500,000 bail, said Passaic County Prosecutor James Avigliano.
Authorities described Watson as a Jamaican national who moved to New Jersey as a child and became a flamboyant ringleader who threw lavish parties in rented music halls. He owned a 2007 BMW and a 2004 Mercedes that were seized by police and a four-story Paterson home where officers found a closet full of designer clothes and about 300 boxes of shoes belonging to his girlfriend, a telephone company employee who was not arrested in the sweep, authorities said.Watson was arrested as he tried to drive away from a drug stash house in Hackensack, authorities said. His car rammed a police vehicle as he jumped out and fled on foot, said Ricky Rosario, a Passaic County Sheriff's Department detective sergeant and a member of the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office Narcotics Task Force. Watson was arrested after a short chase.
Amilcar Caballero-Pardo, 35, of Garfield, a UPS employee for 14 years, was arrested Thursday at a UPS hub in Secaucus, Rosario said. He had been observed delivering drugs, which were hidden inside computers, to Watson along his Teaneck route, Rosario said. Also arrested was Dwight Donald Lewis, 37, an alleged drug gang leader from Paterson, Laura Kida, 39, of Parsippany, Carlos Calle-Munoz, 26, of Dover, and Fabricio Zambrano, 27, of Morristown. All were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
The ring distributed drugs out of Morris, Passaic and Bergen counties and has ties to the Shower Posse, a violent drug gang in Jamaica, authorities said

Sara Wuchevich Young pleaded guilty to conspiring to import cocaine

Sara Wuchevich Young, 34, formerly of Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale, has cooperated in ongoing drug investigations involving her ex-husband and was given a reduced sentence by U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra. She faced at least 10 years in prison and has already served two years.As part of an agreement, Young pleaded guilty to conspiring to import cocaine aboard a powerboat called the Le Go II that was outfitted with secret drug compartments and registered in her name. Young kept the drug ledgers for the operation that ran three 740-kilogram boatloads of Colombian cocaine from the island of Saint Vincent to South Florida until 2001 when federal agents intercepted the third shipment. The case was delayed in part because of ongoing investigations.Young also hired a crew for the boat through Fort Lauderdale-based Crewfinders International. Prosecutors acknowledged that she was never aboard the boat during the smuggling operations."She was basically a secretary," said defense attorney Ana Davide, arguing that Young played only a minor role and lived in fear of her controlling ex-husband, who she said directed the operation.But Marra didn't reduce her sentence on that basis.At 25, Young, who grew up in Pompano Beach, was a struggling single mom working minimum wage jobs in Fort Lauderdale when she met Robert "Bobby" Young, then a convicted murderer, kidnapper and trafficker about 30 years her senior."I was very young when I met Bobby and he put stars in my eyes," said Young, her voice straining to control emotion as she read her statement to the judge before sentencing. "I was a struggling single mom and he promised me the world."
Robert Young is best known for his role in the execution-style murder of the legendary powerboat king, Don Aronow. In 1995, Robert Young pleaded no contest to the $60,000 hit job on Aronow and was sentenced to 19 years in a deal that spared him life in prison.Federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents said Robert Young contracted with Rodgrigo Chegwin-Vergara, who brokered shipments for Colombian cartels, to bring six boat-loads of cocaine into South Florida. In return, Robert Young received about one-third of each load to sell. Prosecutors said Robert Young made about $2,000 on each kilo he shipped.
Prosecutors said the cocaine was hidden in secret compartments built into the boat. Once in South Florida, the cocaine was transported in large blue plastic containers and cash was delivered in 5-gallon plastic paint buckets.

Jacques Lavigne faces at least 20 years in federal prison

Friday, 21 March 2008

Jacques Lavigne, 64, faces at least 20 years in federal prison.After his arrest in October, Lavigne told investigators that he had cleared about $1 million in profit since he began selling cocaine from his Country Club Plaza home at the Locarno Apartments in the early 1990s.Lavigne quietly gave one- and two-word answers as he pleaded guilty to nine federal drug distribution felonies. He had no plea or cooperation agreements with prosecutors.More than 30 years ago, he pleaded straight up to 63 felonies for fixing greyhound races in Florida. In that case, according to a Sports Illustrated profile of him, his conspiracy stole about $2 million before prosecutors sent him to prison for 2½ years. Other than a friendly chat with investigators after he went to prison, he never cooperated against co-defendants.
According to prosecutors, Lavigne imported up to 154 pounds of cocaine into Kansas City between 2002 and 2007, selling most of it to an associate who peddled the dope to a “white collar” Plaza area crowd. Federal and city investigators learned of that associate last summer and persuaded him to begin recording his conversations with Lavigne.On the day of Lavigne’s arrest in October, authorities seized more than 2 pounds of cocaine and $400,000 from his apartment. They also intercepted an inbound shipment of more than 20 pounds of cocaine from a truck in Lafayette County. The driver of that truck, Oscar A. Torres, also is charged in the case.
Lavigne told friends in Kansas City that his name was “Frank Moran” — an identity he purchased in Florida before moving to Missouri — and that he owned several beauty supply warehouses in the area with a partner, according to court records.
He acknowledged Thursday that some of the money from drug sales went to purchase a handsome collection of diamond jewelry, commercial artwork, a 2003 Mercedes-Benz and a pair of matching Sony 32-inch flat-screen TVs that investigators also seized

Siezed 18 kilograms 315 grams of heroin woman trafficker on a Moscow-Vladivistok passenger train

Russian police in the Far East seized on Thursday 18 kilograms 315 grams of heroin from a 46-year old woman trafficker on a Moscow-Vladivistok passenger train.
“The price of the drugs is estimated at close to 37 million rubles (1.6 million dollars), police told Tass on Friday, adding it was the biggest haul of illegal drugs this year. The woman trafficker may face up to 10 years in jail and a major fine. Last year the Far Eastern police registered 15 thousand 335 crimes related to illegal drugs.

Duane S. Collins found guilty earlier this week of trafficking over 28 grams of cocaine

Duane S. Collins, 48, of 154 Lynnway, #207 was caught in Peabody nearly two years ago and was found guilty earlier this week of trafficking over 28 grams of cocaine by a Lawrence Superior Court jury.He was sentenced Thursday morning to serve not less than five years and not more than seven and one-half years in state prison by Judge Leila R. Kern.However, the judge ordered that the punishment will not commence until he completes a recently imposed 18-month jail term he is currently serving on a Middlesex County drug case for violating his probationary terms,Assistant District Attorney Michael A. Patten asked for a higher punishment, 8-to-10-years in prison, based on Collins' record and prior drug trafficking conviction in 1999.
Defense lawyer Russell L. Sobelman tried unsuccessfully to persuade Kern for an immediate straight five-year term, which is the minimum mandatory punishment for the crime, and eliminate the 18-month sentence he is now serving, but she declined. Collins was arrested July 6, 2006 after police discovered 38 grams of cocaine, nearly two ounces, in 34 individual bags in his red Ford Explorer.
Police were called to Su Changs restaurant at 373 Lowell St., a little after 5 p.m., on a report of a drunken and disorderly patron at the bar.When Peabody Patrolman Gerald Fitzgerald tried to place Collins into a cab, he refused to leave and police arrested him for disorderly conduct and intoxication.
Before towing his vehicle from the parking lot, police conducted a search and found the cocaine on the passenger's seat in a camera case.
Collins, a lobsterman by trade, testified that the cocaine was not his, that it belonged to two men he had picked up in Gloucester that night, but the jury was not swayed.The judge credited Collins the 12 days he has spent in jail awaiting trial on the case.

Karlos Megale Council has been charged with possession with an intent to sell/deliver cocaine

Karlos Megale Council, of a Barlow Road address, was dealing cocaine. The informant described the type of car Council drove and his whereabouts. Reports said Edwards set up surveillance at Hawthorne Court Apartments on West Wilson Street and waited for Council to appear. At approximately 12:23 a.m. Wednesday, Council came to the apartments in the car the informant had described. "When Edwards approached Council, he took off running," said Tarboro Police Chief Robert Cherry. "Edwards followed in hot pursuit, ordering him to stop." As he ran, Council pulled something from the front of his pants, threw it down and continued running. Cherry said Edwards ordered Council to stop. Council complied and lay waiting on the ground while Edwards handcuffed him. Edwards seized a bag containing seven grams of cocaine, a scale and the suspect's car during the arrest. Council has been charged with possession with an intent to sell/deliver cocaine, possession of cocaine and maintaining a vehicle for the purpose of transporting cocaine.

Ashly Vincent Livingston,Edwin Richard Crawly were picked up on warrants issued by the United States and implemented in cooperation with the US DEA

Two Britons were arrested Friday in the Thai seaside resort of Pattaya on charges of using the Internet to illegally export steroids to the United States, police said.
Police gave the names of the two detained men as Ashly Vincent Livingston, 45, and Edwin Richard Crawly, 44. They were arrested in a sting operation involving US anti-drug agents, police said.The Britons were picked up on warrants issued by the United States and implemented in cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).The men are set to be extradited to the United States as Thai police said they face no charges in the kingdom.The Britons, who were living in Pattaya with their Thai wives, also had 40 million baht (1.2 million dollars) worth of their assets frozen, police said.Livingston's wife was arrested on a separate Thai warrant for drugs charges, police added.Livingston and Crawly set up an online store to sell steroids to customers in the United States. Steroids are legal in Thailand but are a controlled substance in the US.Earlier this month, the DEA worked with Thai police on an elaborate sting operation to arrest alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who has been charged in New York with conspiracy to provide arms to terrorists.
Bout is being held in Thailand while prosecutors decide whether to bring him before a Thai court before extraditing him to the United States.

Darren Rota admitted two charges of possessing cannabis for supply

Darren Rota, 43, who admitted two charges of possessing cannabis for supply and one charge of supplying the drug, was jailed for 22 months when he appeared in Tauranga District Court.Between March and November last year, Te Puke police received several complaints regarding Rota and other associates selling cannabis tinnies to passing motorists.About 7am on November 22, police searched Rota's Te Kahika Rd home. They found two plastic bags containing 32g of cannabis pre-packed into tinnies, utensils, plus $1220 cash, in a flax bush.Rota was arrested, charged and released on strict bail conditions.But at 4pm on December 3, police found Rota sitting in a Volvo parked on the corner of SH2 and Te Matai Rd in Te Puke.They searched the car and found $140 cash, zip- lock bags and drug utensils. Concealed in Rota's underwear there was also a zip lock bag containing 30 cannabis tinnies.Rota told police he had found the cannabis lying on the ground prior to their arrival.He planned to defend the charges, but pleaded guilty on February 19.Crown prosecutor Heidi Wrigley told Judge Peter Rollo on Wednesday that Rota had two prior convictions.
Defence lawyer Craig Tuck said Rota was taking a pragmatic approach, but had hoped to be eligible for home detention.Judge Rollo told Rota that given his "ill- advised" pattern of offending - including offending while on bail - imprisonment was the only option.

Anthony Rollins earlier admitted trading a shotgun for cocaine

Anthony Rollins earlier admitted trading a shotgun for cocaine.Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Seykora says that in the summer of 2005, convicted cocaine dealer Steve Berg traded one-sixteenth of an ounce of cocaine to Rollins for a 12-gauge shotgun. The prosecutor says Berg also sold Rollins cocaine on four other occasions. The 33-year-old Rollins was sentenced in state court last August to five years in prison for two counts of assault with a weapon. He opened fire with a semiautomatic pistol at a vehicle in January 2006 after losing a fight. It turned out he shot at the wrong vehicle. No one was injured.

Jamie Blunder,Greensboro firefighter arrested for cocaine possession and trafficking


A Greensboro firefighter has been suspended without pay after being arrested for cocaine possession, according to police.Archdale police arrested Jamie Blunder on Monday for possession of cocaine with intent to sell. Officers said Blunder had almost six ounces of cocaine and $9,400 in his possession at the time of the arrest.
Archdale Police arrested a Greensboro firefighter for cocaine possession and trafficking after getting a tip about a suspicious person at an apartment complex.
Investigators tell us they stopped Jamie Blunder's car at the Westbrook Court Condominiums. They say they found 5.9 ounces of cocaine with a street value of $17,000 and $9,412 in cash. Blunder was booked into the Randolph County Jail on a $50,000 secured bond. He's facing charges of possession of cocaine with intent to sell and deliver and trafficking cocaine. Blunder lives in Jamestown. He worked at Station 53 on Willow Road. Blunder joined the Greensboro Fire Department in 1998 and was promoted in 2002.
Fire Department adminstrators say they were unaware of the charges the media alerted them. They confirmed the arrest and charges early this morning. They immediately suspended Blunder with pay, pending an administrative investigation. Late Friday afternoon, they changed Blunder's status to suspended without pay.Blunder did report to work Friday morning. Department leaders say there is a possibility Blunder worked a shift after the arrest. He was scheduled to work on Tuesday.
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