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Thursday, 29 September 2011

Global swoop nets huge haul of fake drugs: Interpol


Police and customs officers from 81 countries have seized 2.4 million doses of counterfeit medicine sold over the Internet during a one-week operation, international police body Interpol said Thursday. Fifty-five people were arrested during the September 20-27 operation, codenamed Pangea 4, and more than 13,000 websites closed down, Interpol said. More than 100,000 illegal doses were seized in France, over half of which were for supposed to be for treating male erection problems, France's medical security agency that took part in the operation, AFSSAPS, said. The operation was carried out for the fourth successive year in an effort to inform the public about the risks of buying medicines online. "Interpol's member countries and partners have shown through the success of Operation Pangea IV the Internet is not an anonymous safe haven for criminals trafficking illicit medicines," said Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble. The agency said it had targeted Internet service providers, online payment companies and delivery companies during the operation, in order that the whole supply chain of fake drugs be broken down. "We cannot halt the illicit online supply of medicines without a consistent, constant and collective international effort involving all sectors," said Aline Plancon, head of Interpol's fake drugs department. "The operation itself was only made possible thanks to a combined effort involving the 165 different participating agencies sharing and exchanging live information via Interpol's headquarters in Lyon," she said. Interpol has also posted messages on Internet video sharing sites warning punters "Don't Be Your Own Killer" by buying unlicensed pharmaceuticals.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Prescription Drug Arrest


Yancey County authorities are calling it one of their biggest prescription drug arrests this summer.  A man they suspect as one of the top dealers in the area was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon. Authorities arrested 24-year-old Christopher Elliott at his home on Satin Wood Drive in Burnsville.  Law enforcement believe Christopher and his older brother, James, traveled to South Carolina to get Oxycodone pills and then returned to the area to sell them.  They tell us the brothers have nearly a hundred clients. Christopher Elliot's arrest was part of "Operation Slinger."  The round up effort was launched back in June.  The Burnsville police department teamed up with the Yancey County Sheriff'f office to get prescription drugs of the streets. So far, 40 dealers have been arrested or charged in the operation.

if arresting people for drugs was a sign of success in The War on Drugs, then I guess our government has won.

The United States arrests a lot of people on drug charges. The answer to the failure of The War on Drugs is always spend more money and arrest more people.

In fact, if arresting people for drugs was a sign of success in The War on Drugs, then I guess our government has won. Here is a press release from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition on a new report from the FBI on just how many people are arrested for drugs in this country.

New FBI Numbers Reveal Failure of “War on Drugs”

420times 000002362202XSmall 150x150 FBI: One Drug Arrest Every 19 Seconds In U.S.WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new FBI report released today shows that there is a drug arrest every 19 seconds in the U.S. A group of police and judges who have been campaigning to legalize and regulate drugs pointed to the figures showing more than 1.6 million drug arrests in 2010 as evidence that the “war on drugs” is a failure that can never be won.

“Since the declaration of the ‘war on drugs’ 40 years ago we’ve arrested tens of millions of people in an effort to reduce drug use. The fact that cops had to spend time arresting another 1.6 million of our fellow citizens last year shows that it simply hasn’t worked. In the current economy we simply cannot afford to keep arresting three people every minute in the failed ‘war on drugs,’” said Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “If we legalized and taxed drugs, we could not only create new revenue in addition to the money we’d save from ending the cruel policy of arresting users, but we’d make society safer by bankrupting the cartels and gangs who control the currently illegal marketplace.”

Today’s FBI report, which can be found athttp://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010, shows that 81.9 percent of all drug arrests in 2010 were for possession only, and 45.8 percent of all drug arrests were for possession of marijuana.

A separate Department of Justice report released last month shows that Mexican drug cartels are currently operating in more than 1,000 U.S. cities, whereas two years ago they were in 230 U.S. cities. Meanwhile, a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report released earlier this month shows that nearly one in 10 Americans admit to regularly using illegal drugs.

Sadly, arrests are not a sign of success but a sign of a cycle of waste and idiocy that has our country locked in a downward spiral of drug abuse and violence.

The unmitigated failure of The War on Drugs is on display every day in a multitude of ways. This report is yet another example of the government highlighting their massive failure.

More Than Half Of All Drug Arrests In U.S. Are For Marijuana


We all know marijuana is the most used illegal drug in The United States. It stands to reason that marijuana is responsible for the most arrests out of all of the illegal drugs. But according to new statistics from the F.B.I., marijuana arrests account for more than half of all drugs arrested, meaning more people are arrested for marijuana than all other illicit drugs combined. Of the 854,000 arrests for marijuana, 88% were for possession. Opponents of marijuana legalization like to pretend that The War on Drugs is aimed at gang leaders and dealers, but the simple fact is the drug war budgets of law enforcement agencies are built on the backs of people whose only crime was having some weed on their person.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Ecstasy crime ring smashed,


highly sophisticated drug ring has been smashed by federal authorities with the seizure of a record haul of a precursor drug capable of producing $70 million worth of ecstasy. Customs intercepted more than 2800 litres of safrole oil (an extract of the sassafras plant) in three shipments from China to Sydney's Port Botany between April and August. The oil was concealed in bottles labelled as shampoo and cleaning products. Advertisement: Story continues below In a joint statement, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said there was enough of the banned chemical to produce almost 235kg of MDMA or 2.3 million ecstasy tablets. Three Australian men were arrested during an operation involving more than 50 Australian Federal Police officers in Sydney on Wednesday morning. If found guilty, they face up to 25 years in jail and fines of up to $550,000. "We're not here to play. We're here to do as much damage to these people as we possibly can," AFP Assistant Commissioner Kevin Zuccato told reporters. "This is a significant blow, as far as I'm concerned, a lethal blow to this particular syndicate." Mr Zuccato said the haul was the largest in Australia and showed a highly organised crime ring was at work. "When you look at the sophistication of this syndicate ... there was no backyard lab," he said. "This was going to be a very sophisticated, super-lab as far as I'm concerned." Investigations into the syndicate were continuing and more arrests were possible, he added. Customs spokeswoman Michele Harper said the investigation demonstrated the effectiveness of Australian law enforcement in detecting even the most sophisticated drug concealment methods. "Customs and Border Protection continues to adapt its technology, and targeting and examination capabilities to counter the evolving methods used by drug importation syndicates," she said. A 27-year-old man from Lurnea and a 35-year-old man from North Parramatta were charged with importation of a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. A 33-year-old man from Merrylands was charged with dealing in the proceeds of crime. All three are expected to appear in Sydney's Central Local Court on Thursday.

Authorities confirmed Monday were captured Saul Solis Solis, aka El Lince, one of the main leaders of the group of Knights Templar.


The action was carried out by the Mexican Army. The Lynx, is a cousin of Henry Plancarte Solis, also leader of the Knights Templar. The Attorney General's Office offered a reward of up to 15 millions of dollars for information leading to his capture. The action was achieved in the town of Mujica, in the municipality of Nueva Italia, Michoacán. In the raid also arrested Mario Alberto Gallardo Rodríguez, alias El Mayo, and a young child.

Gunmen halt traffic, dump 35 bodies on busy downtown avenue in Gulf coast city in Mexico


Suspected drug traffickers dumped 35 bodies at rush hour beneath a busy overpass in the heart of a major Gulf coast city as gunmen pointed weapons at frightened drivers. Mexican authorities said Wednesday they are examining surveillance video for clues to who committed the crime. Horrified motorists grabbed cell phones and sent Twitter messages warning others to avoid the area near the biggest shopping mall in Boca del Rio, part of the metropolitan area of Veracruz city. 11 Comments Weigh InCorrections? inShare ( no / Associated Press ) - Soldiers and police block off an area where 35 bodies lay under an overpass in Veracruz, Mexico, Tuesday Sept. 20, 2011. Masked gunmen blocked traffic on the busy avenue in a Gulf of Mexico coastal city and left the bodies piled in two trucks and on the ground, according to authorities. The scene was a sharp escalation in drug violence in Veracruz state, which sits on an important route for drugs and Central American migrants heading north. The gruesome gesture marked a sharp escalation in cartel violence in Veracruz state, which sits on an important route for drugs and Central American migrants heading north. The Zetas drug cartel has been battling other gangs for control of the state. Prosecutors said it’s too soon to draw conclusions from the surveillance video. “We’re not going to confirm or deny anything,” Veracruz state Attorney General Reynaldo Escobar Perez told the Televisa network Wednesday. “We’re looking at it in different ways, we’re seeing different numbers, that’s why we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.” Escobar said the bodies were left piled in two trucks and on the ground under the overpass near the statue of the Voladores de Papantla, ritual dancers from Veracruz state. He said some of the victims had their heads covered with black plastic bags and showed signs of torture. Police had identified seven of the victims so far and all had criminal records for murder, drug dealing, kidnapping and extortion and were linked to organized crime, Escobar said. Motorists posted Twitter warnings said the masked gunmen were in military uniforms and were blocking Manuel Avila Camacho Boulevard. “They don’t seem to be soldiers or police,” one tweet read. Another said, “Don’t go through that area, there is danger.” Veracruz is currently hosting a conference of Mexico’s top state and federal prosecutors and judiciary officials. Local media said that 12 of the victims were women and that some of the dead men had been among prisoners who escaped from three Veracruz prisons on Monday, but Escobar denied the escaped convicts were among the dead. At least 32 inmates got away from the three Veracruz prisons. Police recaptured 14 of them. Drug violence has claimed more than 35,000 lives across Mexico since 2006, according to government figures. Others put the number at more than 40,000.

Monday, 19 September 2011

18 Million Dollars of Cocaine are Seized to Sinaloa Cartel Member in Tijuana


- Another important drug bust goes down just south of the border as a member of the Sinaloa Cartel is detained with a large load of cocaine valued at over 18 million dollars. Baja State police officials captured 48 year old Jesus Hernandez-Valenzuela during a raid on a home at Tijuana’s southwestern neighborhood of La Villa Saturday.   Hernandez-Valenzuela, who said to be affiliated to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, was the only person found at the structure during the special operation.  Inside the drug house authorities also found 214 packages of cocaine, a 9 millimeter semi automatic rifle hand gun, another rifle and 100 rounds of 45 caliber ammunition, amongst other ammo, as well as an SUV. The drug load that weighed little more than 232 kilos has a street value of over 18 million dollars.

US Breaks Up Arizona Drug Smuggling Gang

The alleged leader of a drug smuggling organization accused of moving thousands of pounds of marijuana between Maricopa, Arizona, and the Phoenix metropolitan area was arrested Thursday following a major multi-agency enforcement operation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office (PCSO).

Jose Sarinana-Placencia, 28, and five members of his organization are facing state and federal drug smuggling and weapons charges. The arrests were made after teams of law enforcement officials executed seven search warrants early Thursday morning at locations in Chandler, Ariz.; Mesa, Ariz.; and Maricopa. In addition to the arrests, officials seized 10 weapons, including a Mac-10 pistol and two ballistic vests.

"From every indication, this organization has been a major player in moving narcotics smuggled in from Mexico to the Phoenix area," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Phoenix. "By teaming up with PCSO on this complex investigation, we have been able to expose this network and shut it down."
Sarinana's smuggling organization is suspecting of moving multiple tons of marijuana every month. ICE HSI and PCSO opened an investigation into the organization in February. Before Thursday's operation, the investigation had led to the seizure of approximately 3,000 pounds of marijuana, more than $300,000, nearly three pounds of cocaine and 22 weapons.

"The drug cartels of Mexico are trying harder and harder everyday to move their illegal drugs throughout the United States," said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. "This investigation is a prime example of the cooperative efforts needed by federal, state, county, city, and tribal law enforcement agencies to combat their operations. The Pinal County Sheriff's Office will continue to work with our fellow law enforcement partners during this ongoing war."

The investigation was conducted by the Pinal County Drug Task Force, a partnership between HSI and PCSO funded by the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). Numerous agencies, including the Chandler Police Department, the El Mirage Police Department, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine, assisted ICE HSI and PCSO with executing the search warrants and arresting suspected smugglers.



66 year-old Daniel Healy was found by police to have 100kg of cannabis resin, said to be worth £500,000, hidden in the water tank of the campervan he was driving


66 year-old Daniel Healy – or ‘Mad Danny’ as he is known in Ardfern in Mid Argyll – was arrested last week, as he went to drive across the border between Morocco and Ceuta, a Spanish owned city enclave. Healy was travelling under the false name of John McLeish and was found by police to have 100kg of cannabis resin, said to be worth £500,000, hidden in the water tank of the campervan he was driving, protected in metal containers. Since his arrest he has been held in the Moroccan prison of Tetouan, said to be worse than Guantanamo.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

THE record company behind Irish rockers U2 has allegedly been unwittingly used by a multi-million dollar drugs trafficking ring


THE record company behind Irish rockers U2 has allegedly been unwittingly used by a multi-million dollar drugs trafficking ring. A year-long investigation by the US Drugs Enforcement Authority (DEA) is alleged to have uncovered a racket where the band's record company, Interscope Records, was being used to transport Class A drugs and money inside the United States. It is understood that the record company's Californian headquarters was being used for pick-ups and deliveries of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine while a New York recording studio at the other end was also being used for the drug and cash shipments. Members of the drugs ring allegedly used musical equipment called “road cases” for shipping cocaine from Los Angeles to New York, between January 2010 and June 2011. On the way back, the same cases were filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, according to documents filed in a US court. The illegal trading was allegedly going on for 18 months, but it was not alleged that Interscope Records or its staff knew or were involved in any drug shipments. The allegation was contained in a letter detailing evidence against James Rosemond, a music-industry manager and head of Czar Entertainment. Mr Rosemond, 46, known as ‘Jimmy Henchmen', is a rap music manager who represents artist The Game. He was indicted three months ago on drug trafficking charges. Federal prosecutors say Interscope employees knew nothing about Mr Rosemond’s alleged drug smuggling. However, it is not yet understood how Mr Rosemond's team got access to Interscope's Californian headquarters to drop off and take the shipments. The ring is alleged to have used a New York recording studio at the other end for the drugs and cash shipments, the Wall Street Journal reported. The cases were shipped by music gear specialists RockIt Cargo, which is the company responsible for shipping U2's musical equipment around the world — including during their latest 360 tour. However, there is no suggestion in the filing that RockIt Cargo knew what was inside the cases. RockIt has not commented. Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine, long a highprofile executive within the music industry, has recently become something of a household name thanks to American Idol, which he joined last season to provide creative guidance to contestants. His company, which is part of Universal, released a statement yesterday afternoon. “Interscope Records has been informed by the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York that there is no evidence that any employee of UMG or Interscope Records had any involvement in the drug trafficking ring being prosecuted by that office,” the statement read.

Moroccan cops seize Scot caught with £500k of cannabis resin


holidaymaker is being held in a hell-hole Moroccan jail after being caught in a camper van with £500,000 of hashish. Daniel Healy, 66, was arrested last week as he tried to drive across the border from Morocco to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. The police discovered the 100kg stash of cannabis resin hidden in aluminium boxes stashed in a water tank. Since then, Healy – who is from Glasgow – has spent six nights in the violent and cramped Tetouan prison. Friend Graham Boszormenyi, 46, claimed that Healy was unaware of the hidden drugs. Ex-Royal Navy submariner Graham said: “Daniel is a good friend of mine and I know that he had no knowledge of what he was carrying. “I spoke to him a couple of days ago and he said he plans to plead guilty because he’s been told he’ll only get one year. “But I know the system in Morocco and I don’t believe it for a minute. “I’ve been through this before. Twice they’ve had me in Morocco and I think he could end up getting four to six years – and he’s too old for that. “He’s in the worst prison possible, where there are 60 people in a cell with one shared toilet. “He’s a harmless old man who is known by lots of people around the world. He’s a noisy drunk but he’s not any kind of criminal. “I know the people who are behind this and I think they will help by coming forward to the UK authorities and telling them that he knew nothing about it. “I have spoken to his family in Scotland and they are understandably very worried. “He has been sucker-punched. He had no idea that these people had just used him. It’s backfired on everyone, especially him. “He was travelling under a different name, John McLeish. I don’t know why. He’s due to be tried on Tuesday.” Healy was driving the Spanish- registered camper van when he was stopped on the border between Morocco and Ceuta. He had been expected to get a ferry from Ceuta across the Mediterranean to the Spanish city of Algeciras. Healy’s daughter Siobhan is a celebrated glass artist with a studio in Glasgow’s Dennistoun. The 34-year-old – whose clients include the Scottish government, the BBC and many councils – said: “I don’t know anything about this. “It doesn’t sound like the kind of thing my dad would be involved in.” Officials from the British embassy are expected to make the 215-mile trip from the Moroccan capital Rabat to offer Healy assistance. A US state department report on Moroccan jail conditions said: “They generally did not meet international standards. “Prisons were overcrowded, resulting in poor hygienic conditions and are prone to violence.” A Moroccan police spokesman said: “We arrested a Scottish man and he is now in prison. We can’t tell you anything else.” A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the arrest of a British national in Morocco."

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Panama installs 19 radars to stem drug trafficking


Panama is installing a radar system along its coastline to alert it and three other countries, including the United States, of drug trafficking activity. Panama's Public Safety Ministry says the Central American country has purchased 19 radars and began installing them this month. Article Controls U.S. officials will train Panamanian police to operate the system which will generate a database that will be shared with Mexico, Colombia and the U.S, the ministry said Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. Vice Minister of Public Safety Alejandro Garuz said the radars will detect both aircraft and ships. Panama is on a cocaine smuggling corridor between South America and Mexico. The country purchased the radars and six helicopters from Italy for $250 million.



CUSTOMS and Excise Division officers late on Thursday discovered compressed marijuana valued at more than $30 million concealed in a refrigerated container at the Point Lisas port. Officers believe they have disrupted a major drug-smuggling operation at the port following the discovery, the biggest drug seizure in the country for the year. It's the third multi-million-dollar drug interdiction at the port for the year. In all of the cases, the containers with the narcotics passed through a port in Jamaica. On Thursday evening, it took officers several hours to carefully examine and tag each of the 38 crocus bags containing the illegal drug. A senior Custom source told the Express they were carrying out routine checks together with port security on 32 containers that arrived in the country when they made the discovery. The marijuana was found in the 31st container hidden among frozen chicken parts. The container had left the United States on board a cargo ship, but had stopped off in Jamaica. Customs sources believe the marijuana was stashed inside the container in Jamaica. Portions of the original cargo in the container were removed and replaced with the marijuana to ensure there was no change in the original weight of the cargo, sources said. The container, which had arrived two days before on the vessel Vega Saturn, belongs to a Central businessman, but Customs sources were unable to say if he had knowledge of the drug. "Based on intelligence, we search containers which we find suspicious but there are containers from different countries. We target mainly those from Jamaica and Guyana and then other countries," a Customs source said. Ian Atherly, chairman of port operator Plipdeco, who was at the scene of Thursday's bust, promised the port would do all in its power to stop the illegal flow of narcotics through its facility, admitting the fight is a very difficult one. "We can't stop anyone from sending drugs but once they arrive here the prerogative, onus, responsibility is on us to ensure it does not leave the port," Atherly said. Communications specialist at the Customs and Excise Division, Alicia Charles, in a press release yesterday, stated that Customs officers, in conjunction with Port security, discovered close to one tonne of compressed marijuana in an enclosed 40-foot container at the Port of Point Lisas. On opening the container, which was said to contain frozen chicken parts, Charles said officers found 38 crocus bags of compressed marijuana weighing over 921 kilogrammes. Charles said Customs officials have estimated the value of the drug at $7.4 million.

Accused meth smuggler, caught at LAX, is charged


man bound for Japan has been charged with drug trafficking after Transportation Security Administration officials at LAX discovered nearly 5 pounds of methamphetamine concealed inside TGI Fridays Potato Skins snack bags in his backpack. Lemuel Giovani Espinosa, 21, of Compton appeared in federal court Thursday after agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested him Wednesday. TSA officers discovered the drugs in his carry-on bag during the X-ray screening process as he prepared to board a flight to Narita International Airport, outside Tokyo. U.S. customs officers seized the contraband and determined that it was, in fact, a controlled substance. Espinosa planned to deliver the contraband to a person in Japan in return for a $6,000 payment, according to an affidavit in the case. Federal agents estimate the methamphetamine would have sold on the street in Japan for more than $200,000. "Drug traffickers are always trying novel ways to conceal their contraband,” said Marlon V. Miller, an ICE deputy special agent in Los Angeles. Espinosa was charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He was ordered held without bond pending his arraignment, which is set for Oct. 3. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison

Bali's tourism boom creates haven for global drug gangs


BALI has become a haven for international drug gangs lured by ever-growing throngs of tourists, island officials have warned. The holiday destination has had an increasing number of smuggling incidents, the most severe involving a 41-year-old Ugandan woman found dead in a Kuta hotel room in August with more than a kilo of plastic-wrapped crystal meth in her intestines. This month a South African woman was arrested at Ngurah Rai airport with a similar amount in her underwear.

Irishman caught with 72 cocaine capsules in Brazil


These are the amazing scanner images of the abdomen of a young Irishman caught smuggling cocaine at an airport in Brazil. The man, identified only as P.B.B., was stopped as he tried to board a flight from Sao Paolo to Lisbon in Portugal and then connecting to Brussels in Belgium. He was carrying 72 bags containing almost a kilo of cocaine inside his intestines. The 20-year-old man, who was caught last Monday at Congonhas Airport, was taken to the Santa Misericordia Hospital where the capsules, containing 830g of cocaine, were removed from his body. Police said it was his nervous behaviour that tipped off the authorities. The drugs would be worth approximately €150,000, police sources said. He has now been charged with international drug trafficking which carries a sentence of up to 15 years. Last week a Colombian woman, who flew from Argentina, died in a New Zealand hospital after a bag of cocaine burst in her body. Sorlinda Vega (37) arrived from Buenos Aires carrying 26 packages weighing 1oz each. More than 70,000 people a day are estimated to pass through San Paolo international airport and approximately five a day are arrested for drug smuggling. The airport, which has connections to 53 countries, is known as the main exit point for drug mules bringing cocaine from South America to the rest of the world. Drug mules are paid anything from €1,000 to €6,000 per trip. The largest contingent of those arrested are from South Africa, where poverty makes the lure of easy money even more attractive, but San Paolo’s jails contain smugglers from all over the world. Brazil’s penal system is notoriously slow and it can take up to six months after arrest for the first court hearing or 12 months for a sentence to be passed. Prisoners are allowed parole after two-thirds of their sentences have been served, but have to stay in the country which can be particularly difficult for foreigners with no jobs or family support

Suspected head of drug-smuggling ring arrested in Arizona probe


Jose Sarinana-Placencia, 28, and five suspected members of his organization are facing state and federal drug smuggling and weapons charges. The arrests were made after teams of law enforcement officers executed seven search warrants early Thursday at locations in three Arizona cities — Chandler, Mesa and Maricopa. In addition to the arrests, ICE agents and sheriff’s deputies seized 10 weapons, including a Mac-10 pistol and two ballistic vests. Sarinana’s smuggling organization is suspecting of moving multiple tons of marijuana every month. ICE and the sheriff's office opened an investigation into the organization in February. Before Thursday’s operation, the investigation had led to the seizure of approximately 3,000 pounds of marijuana, more than $300,000 in cash, nearly three pounds of cocaine and 22 weapons. “From every indication, this organization has been a major player in moving narcotics smuggled in from Mexico to the Phoenix area,” said ICE Special Agent in Charge Matt Allen. “By teaming up with PCSO on this complex investigation, we have been able to expose this network and shut it down.” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said the drug cartels of Mexico are trying “harder and harder everyday to move their illegal drugs throughout the United States. “This investigation is a prime example of the cooperative efforts needed by federal, state, county, city, and tribal law enforcement agencies to combat their operations,” he said. “The Pinal County Sheriff's Office will continue to work with our fellow law enforcement partners during this ongoing war.” Maricopa, Az., located about 40 miles south of Phoenix, has become a favorite drug corridor for Mexican marijuana and cocaine, and has brought with it a rise in crime in the city of 43,000. Undercover police officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety were assaulted in the city in March 2010 when they attempted to stop a stolen truck. One man charged in the case later was found to have weapons purchased illegally as part of the federal government’s controversial “Fast and Furious” undercover gun investigation. The Arizona officers reported that their cars were rammed and they were threatened with a Beretta pistol and an AK-47 assault rifle. Angel Hernandez-Daz, 48, a Mexican national, was arrested in the case. Last December, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed south of Tucson and two firearms from the Fast and Furious program were discovered at that site

Manchester dad could be facing the death penalty after being arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling in Indonesia.


 Jack Walker, 53, is being held in jail after being stopped at the airport in the capital Jakarta. It is understood the father of two – who is well known for taking meat around pubs near his home in Wythenshawe – was arrested as he was about to board a flight back to the UK. Officials allegedly found a substantial amount of methylamphetamine – commonly known as crystal meth or ‘ice’. It is believed the drug was found in a concealed compartment of a suitcase. Mr Walker, who is a diabetic, collapsed after he was  stopped.  It is understood his family are anxious he may not be receiving the correct medication to control his condition while in custody. A friend of the family said: “He is well known in the area – he drops off meat at the pubs and clubs. “The family fear he could be facing the death penalty or 20 years in jail. They are desperately trying to get help but say no one is listening. “He has a wife and two children. Apparently someone should have gone with him when he went abroad but pulled out. “He needs medication for his diabetes. Everyone around here is shocked by this. “He is not the kind of guy that you would expect would get involved in anything like this.” Another friend and neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “We’re really shocked - it’s unbelievable. “My husband and I are devastated - we’ve known Jack for 19 years. He's never been in any trouble. I feel so sorry for him. It’s such a shame I just wish they could bring him back here.” A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the arrest of a British national at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Indonesia. Consular assistance is being offered.” He confirmed that the death penalty was used against convicted drug smugglers in Indonesia. The country has some of the toughest anti-drug laws in the world with capital punishment for trafficking and 10-15 years for drug use. Mr Walker was arrested at the end of August.

Brazil catches Irish man with gut full of cocaine


Irish man has been arrested in Brazil with almost a kilo of cocaine hidden in his gut, police there say. The 20-year-old suspect was detained as he tried to board a flight from Sao Paulo to Brussels. Officers said they became suspicious because he looked nervous. When questioned, he admitted having swallowed sealed capsules of cocaine. He was rushed to hospital, where he expelled 72 capsules containing 830g (1.8lb) of the drug. The hospital released a scan showing the man's gut filled with the oval-shaped capsules. The suspect is being held on suspicion of international drug smuggling. If found guilty, he could face five to 15 years in prison. Risk Brazil is a major transit point for smugglers moving South American drugs into Europe's lucrative drugs market. Neighbouring Bolivia, Colombia and Peru produce almost all the world's cocaine. Every year hundreds of people - known as mules - are arrested trying to smuggle the drug on international flights. As well as the danger of being caught, smugglers who hide drugs inside their bodies risk having the capsules burst, with possibly fatal consequences.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Drug dealer Harford jailed for five years


Alleged gang member Jakai Harford has been jailed for five years after admitting drug-dealing charges but being cleared of gun allegations. Harford, who has twice been shot and also lost his brother to gun violence, filmed himself on his cell phone with the narcotics in question. Police found cocaine and cannabis along with a gun during a raid at the defendant’s home in Mission Lane, Pembroke in January. A prosecution witness who told police that Harford had knowledge or control of the gun “is no longer co-operating and is not going to give evidence,” according to Ms Mulligan. Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves described the 28-year-old as “a well-organised drug trader and businessman”. He also called upon him as “a leader” to put a stop to the gang violence blighting Bermuda [see separate story.] The accused man first went on trial at Supreme Court on Monday, having pleaded not guilty to possessing 118 grams of cannabis and 47 grams of cocaine with intent to supply. The court heard from police witnesses that most of the drugs were stashed in the walls and ceiling of a derelict building in Harford’s yard, packaged in twists ready for sale. A semi automatic handgun loaded with a live bullet was also hidden in the building which was enclosed within the yard of the house by a 14-foot-high wall. Detectives who detained Harford found $13,707 cash in his pockets. A further $19,000 was hidden in a laundry basket in a downstairs apartment where his mother, Valita Harford, lived. The residence is located in an increased penalty zone due to being near a church, park and pre-school. It is also on the home turf of the 42 gang that Harford allegedly belongs to. Although Harford denied all the charges at the outset of his trial, he pleaded guilty yesterday morning to possessing the drugs — worth more than $20,000 — with intent to supply. He continued to deny possessing drug equipment, in the form of scales and plastic bags, plus the handgun and bullet. Prosecutor Susan Mulligan said the pleas were acceptable to the Crown and Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves directed the jury to find Harford guilty of the drug possession charges and not guilty of the firearm, ammunition and drug equipment charges. When Harford was sentenced yesterday afternoon, Ms Mulligan explained his DNA was found on the drug wrappings, and video footage on his cell phone showed him handling the drugs and large quantities of cash in the derelict building at night-time. However, she said, Harford’s DNA was not on the gun and there was no cell phone video of him with the weapon. A prosecution witness told police that Harford had knowledge or control of the gun but “is no longer co-operating and is not going to give evidence,” according to Ms Mulligan. Defence lawyer Marc Daniels urged the judge to take into account Mr Harford’s young age and the fact he pleaded guilty to the drug charges. “Mr Harford has certainly had his share of pain and loss and he’s in the position of wanting to move on with his life,” he added. The judge replied: “But if you’re dealing in drugs, you can expect violence, can’t you?” He ordered that the $32,707 found at the house be forfeited to the court as the proceeds of crime. Harford has served time in prison before. He began committing crimes of violence and theft when he was in his late teens. In 2005, he was at the centre of a high-profile Supreme Court case when he was convicted of torturing a man by jumping up and down on his stomach and bursting his intestines. Harford carried out the attack with three other men, and ended up being jailed for four years.

Drug-Dealing Miami-Dade Gang Busted


Authorities said Friday that 11 members of a dangerous drug-dealing gang believed to be responsible for several robberies and shootings in Miami-Dade have been arrested. The criminal street gang "YB" was busted up in "Operation Sugar Hill," a 13-month investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department's Street Gang Section and agents from the Department of Homeland Security. The gang is believed to be behind several armed robberies, including a carjacking, a home invasion and two shootings, police said. Members also sold cocaine, heroin and marijuana in the northwest section of Miami-Dade and parts of the City of Miami, police said. The gang's leader, 32-year-old Marcine Hill, faces racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, sale of marijuana and continuing criminal enterprise charges, police said. Also arrested were 34-year-old Sinclair Anderson; 41-year-old Leshonne Brown; 43-year-old Brent Hughes; 32-year-old Emanuel Rhymes; 23-year-old Ikene Ragin; 26-year-old Christopher James; 25-year-old Brandon Owens; 20-year-old Calvin Hall; 23-year-old Theartis Hawkins; and 36-year-old Diron Wadley. Police said a shotgun, a rifle and a handgun were also recovered. Hill, Anderson, Brown, Ragin and Owens were being held without bond Friday.   Hughes was being held on $7,500 bond, Rhymes on $30,000 bond, James on $25,000 bond, Hall on $47,500 bond, Hawkins on over $55,000 bond and Wadley on $52,500 bond. It was unknown whether any has an attorney.

Exeter crack cocaine and heroin gang jailed


Exeter Crown Court was told the LYNC gang boasted of being able to supply drugs in Exeter "all day, every day". The gang used a park at Cowick Barton in the city as its centre of operations. Two men from Greater Manchester - Kevin Newton, 30, and Billy Downing, 22 - were jailed for nine and five-and-a-half years respectively. Three of the gang were from Dawlish in Devon. James Brooks, 32, and 27-year-old John Rowntree were both sentenced to five years, while 22-year-old John Bullock was jailed for 30 months. Cannabis jail supply Lloyd Simpson, 44, from Exeter, was sentenced to six years. James Prince, 22, from Huddersfield was sentenced to 30 months and 28-year-old Anthony McStein, from Liverpool, was jailed for four years. The gang were arrested after being monitored by police between October 2010 and March this year. The eight ringleaders were jailed for a total of nearly 40 years The force said information provided by local residents had been critical in bringing the "highly organised" gang to justice. The drug dealers brought the heroin and crack cocaine into Devon on a regular basis from Manchester. The court heard that not only did the gang boast about its ability to supply drugs, it also sent mobile phone text messages to addicts advertising when new supplies had arrived in the city. Police said the gang's "utter disregard" for local communities and the welfare of the addicts they supplied "beggared belief". Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote We don't want drugs in Exeter” Insp Jacqui Hawley Devon and Cornwall Police The force praised local residents who worked with officers to provide information on the crimes, in order to "reclaim" their local playing fields. "This is the core bedrock of local policing, working with the community, working with our partners in order to resolve an issue," Insp Jacqui Hawley said. "We don't want drugs in Exeter. We want it to be a safe place and in the main it is." A man and a woman were also sentenced at Exeter Crown Court for conspiring to supply cannabis to Brooks while he was on remand at HMP Exeter. His 30-year-old wife, Donna was jailed for six months, while Blair Murray, 29, from Tyne and Wear, was sentenced to 12 months.

West Malling drugs gang sentenced


gang of four drug dealers have been jailed for conspiring to supply illegal drugs across Kent. Brothers Joseph and Samuel King, Craig Provan and Matthew Newin controlled dealing in towns across Kent from a travellers' site in West Malling. Joseph King, 48, was jailed for 18 years and Samuel King, 47, for seven-and-a-half years at Canterbury Crown Court. Provan, 41, was sentenced to six years, and Newin, 26, to eight years. Joseph King, of Lavender Road, West Malling, and Provan, of The Paddock, Highsted Valley, Rodmersham, were found guilty of conspiracy to supply drugs. King was also convicted of possessing firearms with intent and for possession of criminal property. His brother, of Elm Grove, Sittingbourne, and Newin, of Swanstree Avenue, Sittingbourne, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs. Undercover operation During the seven-week trial, the jury had to be given basic lessons in a 16th Century Romany dialect called Rokker, which was used by two of the gang. They were caught after the travellers' site next to Hoath Woods was infiltrated by undercover police officers. Thousands of pounds worth of heroin, cocaine and ecstasy were exchanged during more than a dozen transactions between June and September last year. The court heard the gang controlled street dealing in a number of towns across Kent and had a particular hold in the Canterbury and Sittingbourne areas.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Fury over 'link' of drug arrests to Jodie's death


SPANISH police investigating the circumstances surrounding Jodie Nieman's death made nine arrests last week. Although police are certain the Kenley beautician died from a heart attack, it is not clear whether her death was drug-related. ​ MISSED: Jodie Nieman An investigation has been launched into drugs supply in Ibiza and police announced last Thursday that they had arrested nine men after seizing cocaine, thousands of ecstasy pills, steroids and laboratory equipment. One of the men is from Croydon but it is not suggested Ms Nieman, who died just days before her 20th birthday on July 15, knew him. The former nail technician's mother Debbie, of Waterbourne Way, Kenley, said she was "disappointed and angry" Spanish police had linked the arrests with her daughter. She said: "We still don't know if Jodie took any pills. The doctor in Ibiza said they weren't told she had taken any tablets. "Until we have results saying she took any drugs, we just don't know and it is upsetting because we are still waiting on tests." Spanish police said most of the pills found are known as Pink Rock Star, similar to those thought to have caused the death of Ms Nieman and the poisoning of others in July, officers added. The UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency took part in the operation against a mostly-British gang which travelled to Ibiza to feed the demand from the summer influx of clubbers. Detectives arrested five British men, including a 39-year-old from Croydon, three from Ireland and one from Poland. They were being questioned by officers from the Guardia Civil on suspicion of various drugs offences. The former Riddlesdown student was just three days into her holiday when she had a heart attack on a night out at the Space club in the Playa d'en Bossa resort. The teenager's funeral took place at Croydon Crematorium on August 16. Mum Debbie said her 19-year-old daughter was a "stylish princess" who would defend her friends to the end. Ms Nieman added: "She had champagne on the plane over and it came in a plastic glass – Jodie just said: 'Who has champagne in a plastic glass?' "That was just Jodie. Every day another person tells me they knew Jodie and they went to the funeral. I didn't know she was so loved."

Three New Brunswick Smoke Shops Raided in "Bath Salts" Bust, Six People Arrested


Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office has announced that three smoke shops in New Brunswick and a gas station in East Brunswick were raided and charged in the sale of illegal drugs. According to the Prosecutor's Office, the raids began on Aug. 2 after four months of investigative work and netted the following arrests: Jarnail Sandhu, 25, of Sayreville, owner of the Shell gas station located at 1010 Route 18 in East Brunswick, was arrested and charged with distribution of bath salts and synthetic marijuana; possession of bath salts and synthetic marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was jailed with bail set at $100,000, with no 10 percent option. Sandhu's mother, Charanjit K. Sandhu, 56, of Nanuet, N.Y., was also arrested and released on her own recognizance. She faces the same charges as her son. Ayman S. Al-Nsairat, 40, of East Brunswick, owner of the Amsterdam Smoke Shop, 29 Easton Ave. in New Brunswick. He was charged with possession of toxic chemicals and possession of drug paraphernalia, and was released on his own recognizance. Maria M. Almanzar, 20, of Union City at the Amsterdam Smoke Shop. She was charged with possession of toxic chemicals and possession of drug paraphernalia, and distribution of toxic chemicals, and was released on her own recognizance. Lukasz M. Poplawski, 21, of Staten Island, N.Y. at the Amsterdam Smoke Shop. He was charged with possession of toxic chemicals and possession of drug paraphernalia, and distribution of toxic chemicals, and was released on his own recognizance. Ranmanjeet K. Dhillon, 24, of Woodbridge, at the Jamaican Discount Smoke Shop at 38-A Easton Ave. in New Brunswick. Dhillon was charged with possession and distribution of toxic chemicals and possession of drug paraphernalia, and was released on her own recognizance. Additionally, the Jamaican Smoke Shop at 40 Easton Ave. in New Brunswick was also raided, and "Some illegal substances and drug paraphernalia were seized," according to the Prosecutor's office. No arrests were made at that location. Bath Salts are mix of chemicals that mimic the effects of cocaine and methamphetamines and were banned earlier this year. 6,547 bags, jars and vials containing synthetic marijuana and bath salts were also seized by police during the investigation, marked for sale for between $20 to $30 each, according to the Prosecutor's Office. Police also seized 2,914 pipes, bongs and hookahs, 193 digital scales, 357 canisters containing nitrous oxide, 13 imitation handguns used to fire blanks, and 46 containers designed to conceal illicit drugs, according to the Prosecutor's Office. Packaging material, grinders, cigars and rolling papers, "All identified as products used to prepare and help sell the illicit drugs," according to the Prosecutor's Office. $25,145 in cash from the sales of the illegal drugs was also seized. More than $163,000 in synthetic Marijuana and bath salts were seized. Members of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Gangs, Guns and Drugs Task Force are handling the investigation, assisted by police in New Brunswick, East Brunswick and Sayreville, according to the Prosecutor's Office

Tuesday, 13 September 2011



An ongoing investigation dating back well over a year continues after a local man aged 73 was arrested last week and remanded on Friday on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant. On Thursday officers of the RGP arrested Angel Vella of No. 7 Maidstone House. The warrant issued by the Portuguese authorities is for alleged offences of conspiracy to import 6000 kilos of cannabis resin into Portugal. Vella appeared before the Magistrates Court on Friday where he was remanded in custody until September 19. Vella, who was granted legal aid and is represented by Carl Rammage, did not agree to being surrendered to the Portuguese authorities. In court the Portuguese Government was represented by Crown Counsel Karina Khubchand of the International Division EU International Department of the Government of Gibraltar.


Woman caught bringing heroin to her prison pal


WOMAN pal of a man jailed over a €440m drugs seizure has been caught smuggling €6,000 of heroin into his prison. The middle-aged woman was caught by prison officers last week when she arrived at the Midlands Prison for a visit to Joe Daly (44). He is serving a 25-year sentence after being convicted of possessing the biggest cocaine haul in the State's history -- a seizure of 1.5 tonnes of cocaine at Dunlough Bay in 2007. Prison staff contacted gardai, who then arrested the woman. She was brought to Portlaoise Garda Station where she was questioned by detectives before being released without charge. A file is now being prepared for the DPP. Captured Sources say if the heroin had got into the jail, it would have had a value of "well over four times" the estimated street value that gardai put on the drug. The woman was not allowed to visit English national Daly after being caught with the drugs. Daly and three other English criminals are serving lengthy jail terms for their role in the plot to smuggle €440m worth of cocaine into Ireland in July 2007. Martin Wanden (48), police- killer Perry Wharrie (51), Gerard Hagan (27) and Daly were captured after diesel, instead of petrol, was put into the fuel tanks of their boat, which was carrying the drugs off the coast of Co Cork. When the vessel capsized, 62 bales of cocaine weighing over 1.5 tonnes were thrown into stormy seas, scuppering a huge drugs operation that had been months in the planning. Liverpool criminal Hagan admitted his role in the enterprise and was jailed for 10 years. However the other three men contested the charges but were convicted after a marathon 10-week trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court which heard from 200 witnesses. Two of the defendants claimed in direct evidence that they were entirely the victims of circumstances, coincidence and bad luck. Joe Daly said he had only gone to west Cork as a favour for his brother, who had wanted a RIB delivered. But it would later emerge that Joe Daly's brother was Michael Daly (50) -- a former Metropolitan Police detective who is now serving combined sentences totalling 29 years in a UK prison in relation to the Co Cork plot and another cocaine importation plot. Gardai believe that Joe Daly became involved in the drugs smuggling operation through his older brother, Michael. Daly presented a defence that depicted him as very much under the influence of the brother. Children Born in London to Irish parents from west Cork, Daly worked as a bricklayer with his own business, JD Bricklaying, is married with three children and lived in Bexley, Kent. It emerged that he had a number of previous convictions in the UK for offences including threatening and abusive behaviour, assaults on police officers and possessing a blade. During the trial, his uncle, Tom Lydon, told how Daly visited him on the day before the drugs seizure and watched the Munster football final between Cork and Kerry on TV. He described him as very obliging -- "the first man to come around" if anyone needed help.

shut down drive-through drug operation near University Mall, expect more arrests


One by one, motorists arrived, rolling down windows and giving up cash, as they would at a fast-food restaurant. This drive-through opened at 11 a.m. some days, but lunch was never on the menu. Instead, customers could order cocaine, oxycodone, ecstasy and marijuana. Guns, too. At a news conference Wednesday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office announced that it had broken up a drug trafficking ring that caught even investigators by surprise. About 11 months ago, deputies began building cases against two men reputed to be dealing drugs in a neighborhood near University Mall. Investigators thought Zavien Brand, 28, and Joseph Nurse, 35, might lead them to a few more people, maybe six or eight, said sheriff's Maj. J.R. Burton. But the small undercover probe soon turned into a larger investigation — dubbed Operation Pandora's Box — as deputies realized the area's loose-knit group of dealers included dozens of people. On Wednesday, sheriff's officials announced they had 54 warrants and, as of 4 p.m., 32 arrests, most on drug and gun possession charges. "We had no idea this was going on," Burton said. They focused on several addresses in the neighborhood near Nebraska and Fletcher avenues. The drive-through was at the Pines I Apartments at 11720 N 14th St., deputies said. Deputies took 29 guns off the street, including seven assault rifles and two weapons believed to be linked to shootings in the area. Also seized: about 1.3 pounds of crack cocaine, 0.64 ounces of powder cocaine, 0.25 ounces of oxycodone and some ecstasy — valued at about $75,000 total, Burton said. Burton hopes the operation sends a message to an area that has long struggled with crime, and he wants residents to know that deputies aren't done. Brand was charged with dealing crack cocaine and being a felon in possession of a gun. Nurse was charged with dealing crack cocaine, marijuana and stolen property. Deputies planned to continue executing search warrants until they arrest all 54 suspects.

Customs seize huge quantity of heroin in Karachi


Drug Enforcement Cell (DEC) of the Pakistan Customs’ Model Customs Collectorate of Preventive, Karachi airport on Monday recovered and seized 73.5 kilogrammes of fine quality heroin concealed in a huge consignment of herbal medicines. In pursuance of an authentic information passed on by the Additional Collector of Customs, Jinnah International Airport, Manzoor Hussain Memon to the effect that an attempt would be made to smuggle contraband heroin powder out of Pakistan under the garb of medicines in commercial quantity in connivance with Customs officials, a surveillance team under assistant collector, Jinnah International Airport, was constituted for mounting discrete watch over all the outgoing passengers and their baggage. During the course of surveillance, the team intercepted a Pakistani passenger Ghulam Mustafa in the early hours on Aug 21, with his four suitcases when he entered the customs departure hall to take Qatar Airways flight QR-319 for Dhaka via Doha (Qatar). Initial scanning of his baggage indicated the presence of medicine boxes inside all four suitcases. He was, therefore, detained and his baggage was thoroughly examined. Upon examination, the suitcases were found to contain heroin in huge quantity (735 packets) of herbal medicines packets kept beneath a small quantity of mixed allopathic medicines for deceiving the law enforcement staff. As per labels on the packets the herbal medicines were ought to be in paste form. However, when unpacked all the packets were found to contain off-white heroin powder of fine quality instead of herbal medicine pastes. The heroin powder, so recovered, was found to be 73.5 kilogrammes upon weighment. It is worth mentioning here that in the recent years, this is the biggest haul of the heroin recovered from the accompanied baggage of an outgoing passenger at Jinnah International Airport. Another aspect of the case is that the passenger had not only taken a deceptive route to Dhaka via Doha despite availability of daily direct fights to Dhaka from Karachi to hoodwink the customs staff. He entered the departure hall at Sehri time when a number of the law enforcement officers were busy in taking Sehri. Moreover, scrutiny of the passenger’s travel documents reveals that he is in fact a Bengali holding Aliens Registration Card as well as a Computerised National Identity Card that stands expired in 2009. Consequent upon recovery and seizure of contraband narcotics, the accused passenger, as well as two customs officials, who were facilitating in clearance, has been arrested and a prosecution case under Control of Narcotics Substances Act, 1997 has been registered. Third customs official involved in the case is absconding. Efforts are being made to arrest him also. Further investigations are in progress. staff report

Troy men found with crack, heroin during traffic stop


Police arrested two Troy men found with drugs Monday evening. An officer stopped a car on 4th Street, just north of Congress Street, around 5:45 p.m., and found the driver, Kevin Peters, 25, did not have a license. The passenger, Shawn Maple, 33, provided a false name. Police say when the officer went back to his patrol car, Peters and Maple took off, but the officer pulled in front of their vehicle to cut it off. When they seized the car, police say they found 45 grams of crack cocaine, 15 grams of heroin, and a large amount of cash. Peters was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, aggravated unlicensed operation and unregistered motor vehicle, and improper or unsafe turn. Maple is also facing several charges, including criminal possession of a narcotic with intent to sell, and false personation. Police did not make it known when Peters and Maple will be back in court.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Drug trafficker may be making a run for it


West Vancouver man with ties to several criminal gangs vanished Sept. 5, only two days before he was due to be sentenced for a drug trafficking conviction. Police say Omid Bayani, 36, appeared to be headed to one of the North Shore gyms he frequented when he left his home that afternoon, but hasn't been seen since. A senior figure in the UN Gang, Bayani arranged to sell 600 litres of the date rape drug GHB to a Hells Angels chapter in Toronto in 2007. But the operation was infiltrated by the Ontario Provincial Police and Bayani was convicted of trafficking. The Crown was asking for a sentence of eight to nine years in prison, and Bayani was supposed to be in court to learn his fate Sept. 7. Bayani was convicted of a series of armed robberies in Alberta in the 1990s and has also faced a variety of drugs, weapons and assault charges in B.C. over the past decade. According to the West Vancouver police, Bayani is Middle Eastern, six feet tall and weighs 240 pounds. He has short, black hair, brown eyes and a goatee, but no moustache. He was last seen wearing a grey-and-white Under Armour shirt, blue Under Armour shorts and running shoes

Stars’ drug cartel links


POP queen Lady Gaga and Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx have been linked to the alleged bosses of an American drug cartel. Warren Braithwaite, 38, and Kevin Mucthison, 47, could be jailed for 50 years after they were charged with drug trafficking. They were arrested along with 20 others accused of smuggling marijuana worth £5million and distributing it in the US. Both have pleaded not guilty. Braithwaite’s interior design firm has carried out work at 43-year-old Foxx’s LA mansion. And Mucthison was a partner with Gaga, 25, for the 2009 launch of her Heartbeats by Lady Gaga headphones

Russian pilot gets 20 years in US jail


Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian citizen, has been found guilty of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the US earlier this year and has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars. Yaroshenko, a pilot, was arrested in Liberia in 2010 and transported to America on charges of drug smuggling. The case itself sets a major precedent as it is the first time that a Russian citizen has been sentenced to a prison term in the US for intent to participate in a crime in a case that was built by special agents posing as drug dealers. Yaroshenko was arrested in a third country. The reaction from the Russian Foreign Ministry followed shortly afterwards. “The verdict of a US judge, who sentenced the Russian pilot to 20 years in prison on the accusation of conspiring to smuggle drugs into the US, raises some very serious questions,” says the ministry’s official representative Aleksandr Lukashevich. The ministry will continue providing assistance to the Russian pilot and will be working towards his repatriation, Lukashevich added. The Russian pilot’s defense team has 30 days to file an appeal but US officials might take as long as two years to consider any appeal. Yaroshenko repeatedly pleaded not guilty in this case, and the defendant and his family, who arrived in the US and was present in the court room to support him burst into tears as the sentence was announced. Konstantin Yaroshenko is a family man with no criminal background whatsoever and he has never previously stood trial. Moreover, he has never even set foot on American soil until last year when he was snatched by US special agents to stand trial. Neither Yaroshenko’s family nor the Russian authorities were informed of his arrest and no information was given to the Russian side as to his whereabouts, so he was considered missing. Russian officials say it is a breach of diplomatic conduct and a breach of international law and place the blame for all of this on the US State Department.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Soldier gets five years for plot to smuggle £80,000 worth of cocaine into Scotland in kiddies marker pens


A scheming Scots-based soldier was jailed for five years yesterday for a plot to smuggle cocaine worth nearly £80,000 into his barracks ... hidden in marker pens. Nigeria-born rifleman Osita Brutus Omenyima tried to run from the police who snared him, but they caught him after a chase across the parade ground. Omenyima's cousin had posted him more than half a pound of the Class A drug from Venezuelan capital Caracas. The 25 per cent pure cocaine was stuffed into highlighter pens in a package which also contained books, pamphlets and a prayer written on a piece of paper.  Border cops at Coventry airport, where the parcel arrived in Britain, noticed some of the 38 pens were leaking. The pens were opened and found to contain 266 grams of cocaine, worth an estimated £79,800 on the streets. Police in Edinburgh set a trap for 35-yearold Omenyima, with an undercover officer posing as a Parcel Force delivery driver and handing him the package at the gates of Edinburgh's Redford Barracks. Eight other officers watched the handover then moved in to make the arrest. Omenyima started sweating when he saw he had been trapped. He fled across the parade ground and threw the parcel away but the cops chased and caught him. The shamed squaddie denied knowing anything about the drugs and insisted he was a "fall guy". But a jury convicted him of being concerned in the supply of cocaine between January and September 2010. Prosecutor Gillian More told the High Court in Edinburgh: "He used the Army to conduct this drug-dealing operation. He used his position in the Army as a front." Omenyima, a qualified accountant, came to London from Nigeria in 2008 to study but then enlisted in The Rifles. He left twin teenage sons in his homeland but remarried in 2009. His new wife gave birth at the end of his trial. Richard Goddard, defending, said Omenyima was a first offender from a lawabiding background whose family would soon have to leave their Army housing. He added: "The consequences of this conviction will be far-reaching, not just for Omenyima but for other innocent parties." Sentencing, Lord Malcolm told Omenyima he had done well in the Army. But he added: "You have thrown all this away by your deliberate involvement in an illegal trade which causes misery to users, their families and society. "There would appear to be no motive other than financial gain." The judge praised police and UK Border Agency for their work to trap Omenyima. The dealer protested his innocence as he was taken to the cells.

Cocaine bag burst kills smuggler


A Colombian woman made a 10,300km flight carrying half a kilogram of cocaine in her stomach - and died at Auckland Hospital 37 minutes after one of the 26 packages of the drug leaked into her body. Sorlinda Arirtizabel Vega, 37, arrived in Auckland from Buenos Aires in Argentina on Tuesday morning. She cleared Customs without any problems and travelled into the city with her partner and children. But by early Wednesday morning, Mrs Vega was dead. She was admitted to the emergency department at Auckland Hospital at 5.44am on Wednesday, and was declared dead at 6.21am. The Herald has learned her partner took her to the hospital and then left to go and see to their children. He was back with Mrs Vega when police arrived, but it is unclear whether he was there when she died. "The woman was unable to be revived, despite vigorous resuscitation, following cardiac arrest," a hospital spokeswoman said. Police were called to the hospital, as is procedure with a sudden death. During a post mortem examination, doctors found at least 26 20g packages filled with a white substance believed to be cocaine. "That is more than half a kilo which, if established to be cocaine, would have had an estimated street value of up to $175,000," said Detective Inspector Scott Beard. He said at least one of the packages had burst inside Mrs Vega, but would not be drawn on what material they were made of. "It went into her body and her body couldn't cope," he said. "There are always serious risks to health when smuggling drugs internally, and this woman has paid with her life." Mr Beard said Mrs Vega was in Auckland on holiday, not for the Rugby World Cup. She travelled to New Zealand with family members. Mr Beard would not be drawn on who those family members were but said they were in Auckland and not being held by police. He said they would be spoken to and police were also looking into whether Mrs Vega had any links with local organised crime groups. She came through Customs at Auckland Airport with no problems, and Mr Beard said she was the first person this year to be caught carrying drugs internally. Emergency doctor Paul Quigley told 3 News there was no way Mrs Vega could have survived. "She had the equivalent of 80 doses of cocaine all in one go, so she would have developed extreme high blood pressure and may have had a stroke and a heart attack," he said. "She may have got a degree of anxiety at first, felt shaky, but it is likely she would have gone into cardiac arrest and collapsed very rapidly." Mrs Vega's death has been referred to the coroner but Mr Beard said a police investigation was continuing.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Annan man was part of £40M cocaine gang


THREE DUMFRIESSHIRE men were part of an international drug smuggling gang which brought up to £40 million of cocaine into the UK. Keith Blenkinsop of Annan was one of the ringleaders in the group which also included Robert Dalrymple of Gretna, David Harbison of Annan and three others. But their drugs network, which stretched from Columbia to Scotland via Spain, unravelled after Harbison turned supergrass. The drugs courier was caught with some counterfeit £20 notes and blurted out details of the drugs operation to police who quizzed him in Dumfries. A five-week trial at Glasgow High Court heard how the gang was importing massive amounts of cocaine into the country between 2007 to 2009 and distributing it in the Glasgow area with some also being sold in Dumfries and Galloway. Blenkinsop, with fellow ringleader Lindsay Harkins of Helensburgh, sewed the cocaine into suitcases in Barcelona and used couriers to bring it into Glasgow, Prestwick and Newcastle airports. Over a two-year period the gang flew out to Spain with suitcases full of Euros and came back with two kilos of cocaine at a time. At the conclusion of the trial on Wednesday, Blenkinsop, 43, of Winterhope Road, Annan; Harkins, 44, of Helensburgh, Andrew Burns, 56, of Helensburgh, Robert Dalrymple, 43, of Loanwath Road, Gretna, and James Elvin, 35, of Clydebank, were all convicted of being concerned in the supply of cocaine in Scotland, England, and Spain. Dalrymple and Elvin were only convicted of being involved in the drugs operation as couriers in 2009. The court heard that despite the massive size of their operation, the gang managed to remain completely under the radar of the UK’s drug enforcement agencies. The gang was snared because a teller in a Marks and Spencer’s bureau de change in Carlisle noticed counterfeit notes among a bundle of sterling that gang member David Harbinson was wanting to change into Euros. When Harbinson was arrested by police, he turned supergrass and gave evidence which put his former associates behind bars. He has now been placed on a witness protection programme. He told advocate depute Iain McSporran, prosecuting, that the gang had a direct connection to Columbian drug barons. Harbinson said that Blenkinsop and Harkins were the brains behind the operation and the other accused were merely couriers paid to take Euros to Spain and bring back drugs. In fact the gang exchanged so much sterling in Euros that Blenkinsop’s local post office won an award for the amount of Euros it sold. The jury was told they sourced their cocaine from the Columbians based in Barcelona and transferred them to Harkins’ house in Barcelona. Harbinson even told police that Harkins had an X-ray machine at the Barcelona house, like those used at airports, to make sure that the drugs would not be spotted – although he never said this in the witness box. When Blenkinsop’s house in Annan was searched 12 kilos of cannabis resin were found in a holdall in the attic. Dad-of-two Harbinson, 41, said that he would fly out to Barcelona with Euros in his suitcase and travel back to Newcastle with two kilos of cocaine. He told the court that he was offered £2,000 per kilo of cocaine to bring it into the UK and added: “I was told that Lindsay would fit up a suitcase and you would never know it was there.” Mr Harbinson said had changed a total of £250,000 sterling into Euros for Keith Blenkinsop in the Dumfries and Carlisle areas. All accused claimed that Harbinson was a liar and a self-confessed cocaine addict and said that no one would have used him as a drugs courier. Blenkinsop was also convicted at the High Court in Glasgow of being involved in the supply of cannabis resin and amphetamines between January 2007 and June 19, 2009. Harkins was found guilty of being involved in the supply of amphetamine. Blenkinsop was caught with three others off the Spanish coast in a yacht containing four tonnes of cannabis resin worth £12 million. Prosecutor Mr McSporran told the court that Blenkinsop had been sentence to four years imprisonment in Spain in 2004 for a drugs offence. All five will be sentenced next month. Judge Lord Doherty ordered background reports before sentencing them. Yesterday, Detective Inspector Gary Coupland who headed up a team of up to 30 officers who worked on the case for around nine months, told the Standard: “This was quite a complicated operation and we used Interpol to gather evidence in South America and Spain. It is a good example of how serious organised crime does not just affect the large city areas.”

Malaysian and Nigerian drug smugglers are using Thais as accomplices

Malaysian and Nigerian drug smugglers are using Thais as accomplices, judging by the two latest drug busts by police with a total haul of 89 slabs of ganja with a street value of RM180,000.

In the first case on Tuesday night, police arrested two Malaysians and a Thai at Bandar Sri Damansara after finding 60 slabs of ganja hidden in an altered floor board and front bumper of a Toyota Crown belonging to one of the suspects.

In the second case yesterday morning, two Nigerians and a Thai woman were picked up at a petrol station in Jalan Duta. Police seized 29 slabs of ganja stashed in two backpacks.

"Over the past three months, we detained other Nigerian drug smugglers who were also accompanied by Thai girlfriends-cum-accomplices," said Federal Narcotics Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim.

Drug bust

SECRET STASH: Some of the 60 slabs of ganja seized by police hidden inside an altered front bumper of a Toyota Crown

"It appears the Nigerians have a new modus operandi of flying to Thailand first and then coming here via land routes with Thai accomplices. From June to last month, we also arrested 13 Nigerians for attempting to smuggle drugs when they landed here at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang."

In the Bandar Sri Damansara bust at 11.15pm on Tuesday, the three suspects were aged 25 to 32.

"Their hiding the 60 slabs of ganja, worth RM120,000, was similar to the approach by another drug syndicate we busted last month in which 10 people were arrested at several locations in the city after we found 88 slabs of ganja, heroin and syabu stashed in altered floor boards and other secret compartments in four Mercedes-Benz cars," said Noor Rashid.

In yesterday morning's bust, police received a public tip-off concerning drug peddling at petrol station in Jalan Duta.

"There was a brief scuffle before we managed to apprehend both Nigerians and we also arrested the Thai woman as she's believed to be their girlfriend-cum-accomplice," said Noor Rashid, adding the three suspects were aged 28 to 41 and the 29 slabs of ganja bore a street value of RM60,000.


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Elderly fugitive sentenced on drug charges


A Manitoba fugitive who spent more than 30 years on the run before being arrested in Florida earlier this year has pleaded guilty to drug-smuggling charges. Ian MacDonald, 72, appeared in a Winnipeg courtroom Wednesday morning and offered a guilty plea to one count of conspiring to import narcotics. The Crown and defence lawyers submitted a joint recommendation of a conditional sentence of two years less one day to be served in community. MacDonald, who has been in custody at the Remand Centre since he was extradited from Florida and returned to Manitoba in March. He had been arrested in January after being tracked to his central Florida home but it took some time to arrange his extradition. As part of the conditions of his sentence, MacDonald is under 24-hour house arrest with the exception of medical appointments or emergencies. He can leave his home for four hours a week for personal business, if accompanied by a person approved by the court. MacDonald must also abstain from drugs alcohol and he cannot leave jurisdiction without permission from the court. In 1980, MacDonald — then known as "Big Mac" — was arrested in Florida on a warrant issued by Manitoba police, who suspected he had helped smuggle a large amount of marijuana into the province. While in custody in June of that year, he faked a heart attack and was taken to hospital, where he escaped by conning a guard into removing his leg shackles, Barry Golden, a senior inspector with the U.S. Marshals Service, told CBC News in January. He escaped and lived on the lam for many years, until an officer who had been assigned to the file in 2009 found information in it that led investigators to a home in Pennsylvania, where MacDonald and his wife had once lived under an assumed name. While speaking with people in the area, officers learned the couple had moved to a town in central Florida, where he was located and arrested.

Police arrest 300 in cannabis crackdown


300 people have been arrested in a two-month crackdown on drug houses. Police carried out 301 search warrants as part of Operation Localise, a nationally coordinated operation focusing on "tinnie houses" - those where cannabis is sold. They made 311 arrests, seized 32.2kg of cannabis and 139g of methamphetamine. Cannabis was found growing at 44 locations, with 2657 plants and seedlings seized. Officers also seized $111,154 in cash, 19 firearms and ammunition. A wide range of charges have been laid, including conspiracy to supply class A, B and C drugs, manufacturing methamphetamine, participating in an organised criminal group, unlawful possession of a firearm and threat to kill. "This was a sustained programme of enforcement to combat drugs and disrupt organised crime groups" said Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess. "Tinnie houses are hubs for criminal offending. The people who run them are often not only dealing cannabis, but also methamphetamine. They invariably receive stolen property, take payments for drugs and are involved in organised crime groups. "Such houses cause misery in communities and we are sending a clear message that they won't be tolerated. "We will continue to protect our communities from the harm caused by drug dealers and stamp out the anti-social behaviour they create." Police are trying to seize assets from 47 of those arrested. They will have to prove they are not the proceeds of criminal activity. Mr Burgess said he was confident the operation had caused "significant disruption" to drug dealing and warned dealers they would continue to be the subject of close police attention.

£40m cocaine smuggling gang convicted


drugs gang responsible for smuggling cocaine with a street value of up to £40m into the UK has been convicted at the High Court in Glasgow. They were involved in importing the drugs from Spain between 2007 and 2009. The ringleaders were Keith Blenkinsop, of Annan, and Lindsay Harkins from Helensburgh. Three men who acted as mules - Andrew Burns, of Helensburgh; Robert Dalrymple, of Gretna; and James Elvin, from Clydebank - were also convicted. The cocaine was concealed inside suitcases and holdalls flown by couriers into Prestwick, Glasgow and Newcastle airports. The court heard how the drugs were concealed beneath a false bottom sewn into suitcases The court heard how the operation came to an end when one of the gang's couriers, David Harbinson, 41, of Annan, was caught with some counterfeit £20 notes and blurted out details of the drugs scheme to police. A teller at a Marks and Spencer bureau de change in Carlisle noticed the currency among a bundle of sterling he wanted to convert to euros. Mr Harbinson subsequently gave evidence against his former associates and has now been placed on a witness protection programme. He told advocate depute Iain McSporran, prosecuting, that the gang had a direct connection to Colombian drug barons. He said Blenkinsop and Harkins were the brains behind the operation while the other accused were couriers paid to take euros to Spain and bring back drugs. In fact, the gang exchanged so much sterling into euros that Blenkinsop's local post office won an award for the amount of euros it sold. The jury was told they sourced their cocaine from Colombians based in Barcelona and transferred it to Harkins' house in the Spanish city. Harkins, a former upholsterer, would then put the drugs inside a suitcase and sew in a false bottom. The cocaine brought in by the gang was mostly destined for the Glasgow area, although some of it was also sold in Dumfries. Refuted claims Mr Harbinson also gave the court a detailed breakdown of how he was approached to become a courier and the payments made to transport the drugs. All of the accused claimed that he was a liar and a self-confessed cocaine addict and said that nobody would have used him as a drugs courier. After a five-week trial Blenkinsop, 43, of Winterhope Road, Annan; Harkins, 44, of West Princes Street, Helensburgh; Burns, 56, of Old Luss Road, Helensburgh; Dalrymple, 43, of Loanwath Road, Gretna; and Elvin, 35, of Garscadden View, Clydebank, were all convicted of being concerned in the supply of cocaine in Scotland, England and Spain. Blenkinsop was also convicted of being involved in the supply of cannabis and amphetamines while Harkins was found guilty of supplying amphetamines. Dalrymple and Elvin were only convicted of being involved in the drugs operation as couriers in 2009.

Crimes by EU citizens treble but few are kicked out


27,000 crimes were committed by EU citizens in the UK last year and more than 30,000 are expected this year. And because of EU rules and human rights laws only a fraction of the criminals are removed from the country. It will fuel concerns over the impact of immigration on towns and cities, especially following the two most recent EU expansions in to Eastern Europe. Critics last night said the restrictive EU rules that prevent removals must be addressed as a matter of urgency. Dominic Raab, the Tory MP who unearthed the figures, said: “Far from helping us tackle crime, the current straitjacket EU arrangements for securing our borders, deportation and law enforcement are imposing a massive net burden on policing and prison cells.”

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Panama police arrest 80 members of cocaine ring


Authorities in Panama say they have broken up a major cocaine trafficking organization that moved drugs from Colombia to Panama and then north to Mexico and the United States. Panama's Drug Prosecutor Javier Caraballo says 80 Panamanians and Colombians were arrested Monday in simultaneous raids across the Central American country. Caraballo says the group moved at least 18 tons of cocaine in the last two years mainly through the Caribbean and was led by alleged Colombian drug trafficker Jorge Indalecio Marmolejo. Caraballo said Tuesday the group distributed cocaine from gangs linked to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Drug gangs are increasingly using Central America to ship drugs and launder money.

Very Unusual' Drug Operation Found At Scene Of Lakewood Fire


Police are calling a drug-making operation found during a Lakewood fire last week one of the most unusual they've seen in decades. Home video captured the huge fire that leveled a home as explosions rocked the neighborhood. UNCUT: Fire Explodes At Lakewood Home UNCUT: Chopper 7 Over Lakewood Fire At first, police thought they were dealing with a meth lab, when they went inside and found what appeared to be equipment for illegal drug manufacturing. Then, they found bag after bag of scored and burned marijuana and what they say were the makings of a hashish oil factory. "(It's) very unusual," Lakewood police Lieutenant Chris Lawler said. "Even some of the people in our narcotics unit haven't seen this in a long time. ... It's very rare. I haven't seen it in my 20 years in law enforcement." Investigators say the suspect had pounds of marijuana and boxes of butane, and somehow set them on fire while making the oil. Hashish oil is a concentrated form of the active ingredient in marijuana. It's extracted through a process using highly flammable butane. "It's suspected that that was probably the cause," Lawler said. The suspect's father spoke with KIRO 7 on Friday night after his son was taken to Harborview Medical Center with burns over nearly 30 percent of his body. "I don't know what in the world my son was doing," James Rogers said Friday. "I think he was fooling around with some explosives or something he shouldn't have been." The suspect remains in the hospital; it's not clear when he'll be released or what charges he may face.

Drug couriers have started to smuggle hashish into Finland inside their bodies in small swallowable packets.


      According to the Customs, the first attempts to bring internally concealed hashish into the country were observed in 2008. In the past several months, however, the phenomenon has become markedly more common.       Customs Inspector Tero Virtanen explains that since last December more than a dozen individuals have been stopped and caught on arrival at Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport for trying to smuggle in hashish inside the body.       ”Most of them have been men between the ages of 20 and 35. They are professional couriers, and some of them have told the officials that they have made several successful runs to Finland before getting caught. Some of them have also performed deliveries to other Nordic countries.”       According to Virtanen, the Customs have confiscated more than ten kilograms of cannabis from the mules. The street value of the lot would have been in the region of EUR 100,000.       In addition to this, the officials have learned in the preliminary investigations about the importation of additional roughly 10 kg of hashish.       “Thanks to the couriers, several different criminal organisations have now been tracked down in Finland. At the receiving end of the chain there are around a dozen suspects and the spectrum of their nationalities is broad”, Virtanen notes.       The Customs believe that hash has been distributed, or was supposed to be distributed, across Southern Finland.       The amounts of cannabis that the couriers have swallowed in small packages have varied from half a kilogramme to a kilo.       The smugglers doing the ingesting of the small packages have been natives of Spain, Portugal, Morocco, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.       Customs officials suspect that the smuggled substance has generally originated from Morocco and Spain.       One of the couriers told the authorities that his fee for the gig was EUR 700.       The use of this technique to bring in hashish is a new development: traditionally the internally concealed drugs smuggled into the country have been substances appreciably stronger than hash, such as cocaine and heroin.       “Larger hashish consignments are still brought in through other means, but this is a quick way to import narcotics. There will always be a ready market for cannabis”, Virtanen says.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Drug couriers killed in Chiang Rai


Two drug traffickers were killed and 22,200 methamphetamine pills seized late on Sunday night in a clash with a combined force of police and para-military rangers of the Pha Muang Force in Thoeng district of Chiang Rai province, police said. Pol Maj-Gen Songtham Alapach, the Chiang Rai police chief, said the combined police-ranger force laid in wait near Rom Pho Thong village in tambon Tap Tao of Thoeng district between kilometre markers 56-57 on the road to Phu Chi Fa mountain near the Thai-Lao border after learning that a drug gang would transport speed pills across the border from Laos. Late in the night, the combined force spotted five men carrying backpacks and AK47 rifles walking down from the mountain and ordered them to stop for a search. The smugglers opened fire and a 10 minute gunfight followed. After the clash, the police and rangers examined the area and found the bodies of two men who were killed in the fight.  One of them was identified as Laopho sae Wang, 50, a villager of Rom Pho Thong village, and the other was an unidentified Hmong from neighbouring Laos. The three other smugglers fled back across the border. A backpack containing 22,200 methamphetamine pills and a 9mm pistol were also found at the scene.

County Antrim man arrested over Ibiza drugs haul


One man believed to be from Northern Ireland and two from the Irish Republic were among 13 people arrested as part of a major drugs haul in Ibiza. A total of 4,000g of cocaine was seized along with 3,600 ecstasy pills and 5,000g of crystal meth after eight properties were searched. Also recovered were 69,000 euros, along with some cannabis and anabolic steroids. It is understood the man from Northern Ireland is 30 and from County Antrim. The latest drugs haul is part of a wider operation by the Guardia Civil which has seen 73 people arrested and 30 properties searched. 'Large demand' The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) said the majority of the pills which have been seized are known as Pink Rock Star and are similar to those believed to have poisoned eight people in Ibiza in July. It said those detained are "members of one of the most active gangs on Ibiza which is the main supplier of cocaine and other designer drugs". A Soca spokesman said enquiries were carried out on the basis of intelligence obtained by the Guardia Civil after other gangs involved in drug trafficking on the island were dismantled. It said the "majority of these gangs were British and took advantage of the influx of young people during the summer". It added that enquiries found that the gang, which is now dismantled, only travelled to Ibiza in summer to "meet the large demand for drugs on the island during this period". Nine of the other men arrested were British nationals. One of the men was a Polish national.

Four drug dealers and a money launderer have been jailed for a total of 16 years and three months.


Four drug dealers and a money launderer have been jailed for a total of 16 years and three months. The men were arrested and put before the courts as part of Operation Parrot, a large-scale investigation carried out by Lancashire Constabulary's Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU.) Appearing before Liverpool Crown Court, Mikki Wills, 22, of Belvedere Gardens, Stockport, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and was jailed for four years. Jamie Halsall, 28, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession with intent to supply heroin and was jailed for six years. Darren Simmonite, 49, of Sackville Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis and was jailed for three years. Terrence Harrison, 54, of Sandstone Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis and was jailed for two years and three months. David Place, 41, of Tulketh Road, Ashton, pleaded guilty to money laundering and was jailed for one year. DI Simon Brooksbank, of SOCU, said: "This was a large scale organised crime gang who were based in Preston but who were also operating throughout Lancashire, Manchester and areas of Yorkshire. "They were a sophisticated group who attempted to frustrate police investigations with their advanced use of telephony systems, while laundering their money in a bid to hide the profits. This ultimately proved unsuccessful and they are now behind bars. "I am pleased with these sentences, which will go towards restricting the supply of drugs onto the streets of Preston." Operation Parrot was aimed at smashing a drugs ring which had been operating across Preston, with a supply chain that reached out into Stockport, Sheffield and West Yorkshire. The covert policing operation was carried out between 2009 - 2010, culminating in a series of raids being executed in November which resulted in the arrest of seven people. During the course of the investigation, officers seized significant amounts of cannabis, cocaine and heroin, with a total street value of over £350,000, along with substantial amounts of cash.

Taiwan busts massive drug smuggling ring


TAIWAN police say they've busted a drug smuggling ring responsible for transporting $66.06 million worth of narcotics to Australia, New Zealand and Japan. A total of nine suspects have been arrested, including the suspected leader of the ring, 40-year-old Fan Chu-lin, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said on Monday. "This is definitely one of the largest smuggling rings to be uncovered in many years," bureau official Yang Ming-chang said. Over a 10-year period, the group allegedly smuggled hundreds of kilograms of ecstasy and amphetamines from Hong Kong and China to Japan, New Zealand and Australia. It also smuggled large amounts of marijuana from Thailand and Holland into Taiwan. According to preliminary estimates, the drugs smuggled by the group over the 10-year period totalled at least $65.5 million, Yang said. If convicted, Fan could face a minimum 20 years in jail under Taiwanese law.

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