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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Heroin traffic biggest problem, due to Balkan route: customs official

“Bulgaria, just like any other country, faces problems with the drugs and their distribution,” said Stefan Bakalov, head of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Department with the Sofia Airport Customs, in an interview with FOCUS News Agency. “Here we are faced with a combination of several kinds of traffic – traffic of heroin, traffic of cocaine, traffic of amphetamines. The heroin trafficking is the biggest problem, since Bulgaria is in the so-called Balkan route. The good thing in this ‘bad’ geographic location is that the Balkan route has an offset and the heroin traffic now is not completely orientated through it. Over the last 3-4 years there were branches to the routes through the former Soviet republics and mostly to Russia,” Bakalov remarked. In his words, the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report – 2012 of the United States Department of State, which was released a week ago, accounts that in January-November 2011 the Bulgarian customs have seized 246 kilos of heroin, 0.6 kilos of cocaine, 17 kilos of synthetic drugs, 15.6 kilos of marihuana, 2.5 kilos of opinion and 16.8 kilos of hashish. “For the entire 2011 the heroin seized by the Customs Agency runs to around 300 kilos, which is 1/3 more compared to 2010,” he added.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Sheen's ex-wife charged with cocaine distribution

Charlie Sheen's ex-wife has been charged in Colorado with possession and distribution of cocaine stemming from her arrest in Aspen. Brooke Mueller was arrested by police on Dec. 3 after a woman reported being assaulted at a nightclub. Pitkin County chief deputy district attorney Arnold Mordkin said Friday that Mueller has also been charged with third-degree assault. Both drug charges are felonies. Possession with intent to distribute is the most serious and carries a penalty between four to 12 years. Conviction on the possession charge could result in up to 18 months behind bars. Mueller has vowed to fight the charges. Sheen and Mueller divorced last year after Sheen was arrested on suspicion of assaulting her in 2009. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and completed his probation in 2010.

Ex-drug prosecutor who handled Las Vegas celebrity cases gets 9 months in jail in crack case


A former top Las Vegas drug prosecutor who handled the high-profile Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars cocaine possession plea deals was sentenced Monday to nine months in county jail in a felony crack possession case. Former Deputy District Attorney David Schubert apologized to the court for what he called “a tragedy,” and then stood silently as a state court judge berated him as “a disgrace to his oath as a prosecutor and a lawyer.” 0 Comments Weigh InCorrections? Personal Post (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department/Associated Press) - This undated police booking photo released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department showes former Deputy District Attorney David Schubert. Schubert a former top drug prosecutor who handled the Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars cocaine possession plea deals in Las Vegas has been sentenced to nine months in jail in his own felony cocaine possession case. Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth also said that the terms of a plea deal that could have gotten Schubert probation and a chance to clear his record were “offensive.” “I’m not going to give you the special treatment,” the judge said. Police arrested Schubert in March 2011 after they watched another man get out of Schubert’s car, go into an apartment complex and return. Officers found Schubert with a $40 rock of crack cocaine and confiscated an unregistered 9 mm handgun from his car. Schubert once handled Clark County’s highest-profile drug prosecutions as the district attorney office’s liaison to a federal drug task force. Hilton, 30, was arrested after police said 0.8 grams of cocaine fell out of her handbag following a Las Vegas Strip traffic stop in August 2010. The celebrity socialite received a year of probation on misdemeanor cocaine possession and obstruction charges. She successfully completed probation last fall. Mars, 26, was cleared in January of a felony cocaine possession charge after staying out of trouble for a year and meeting other conditions of a plea deal. The Grammy-winning pop star, whose real name is Peter Hernandez, acknowledged in court in February 2011 that he had 2.6 grams of cocaine after a performance at a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino nightclub. Schubert resigned from the prosecutor’s office after his arrest and underwent two months of inpatient substance abuse counseling. The 48-year-old has been undergoing outpatient alcohol and drug counseling since May, and has been practicing criminal defense law in some of the same courtrooms where he was a prosecutor for 10 years. Schubert pleaded guilty to a felony charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance not for sale. The conviction could threaten his law career, depending on a review by the State Bar of Nevada and action by the state Supreme Court, bar official Phil Pattee said. The judge ordered Schubert to surrender March 12 to begin his jail sentence. Defense attorney William Terry said he may appeal the sentence or ask the judge to take the rare step of setting it aside.

Kathryn Fuller, who barely survived taking contaminated cocaine that killed her 'Amazing Race' producer boss, is likely to be arrested and prosecuted by police

Kathryn Fuller, who barely survived taking contaminated cocaine that killed her 'Amazing Race' producer boss, is likely to be arrested and prosecuted by police in Uganda when she is released from the hospital. 

Police spokesman Asuman Mugyenyi said Monday that Miss Fuller is being treated as a witness and suspect after she was found unconscious on the floor of her hotel February 18 alongside Jeff Rice, who died.

The announcement casts doubt on her ability to fully recover from paralysis that has left the right side of her body limp. Her father said she must return home to South African for medical treatment.

Kathryn Fuller

'Suspect and witness': Kathryn Fuller is subject to arrest in Uganda when she is released from the hospital, where she is recovering from taking contaminated cocaine

Poisoned or Overdose? Jeff Rice was found dead on his hotel balcony in Kampala, Uganda
Katheryne Fuller, who was found unconscious in a Ugandan hotel next to the lifeless body of 'Amazing Race' producer Jeff Rice, is recovering in hospital

Bad drugs: Jeff Rice (left) has produced episodes of 'The Amazing Race' and other shows for American TV. He was working on a film in Uganda when he and Miss Fuller (right) took cocaine laced with fatal additives

'Ask people to pray that we come home,' Stuart Fuller, her father, told The Mercury newspaper.

Mr Fuller has been staying in the Ugandan capital of Kampala since Miss Fuller was discovered ill. 

Mr Rice, American TV and film producer, was found dead bleeding from his mouth and nose after taking the cocaine in hotel room he and Miss Fuller were sharing.

The pair were in Uganda working on a film Mr Rice was producing. 




Miss Fuller is currently recovering at a clinic in Kampala, but her father said she needs medical facilities and expertise only available in South Africa. 

'She can regain the use of her right side, but needs to come to South Africa for treatment and to recuperate,' Mr Fuller said.

However, Miss Fuller must likely face charges of consuming cocaine in Uganda.  

The case has alerted officials there to the possibility that Uganda is becoming a 'consumption destination,' a spot for adventurers and addicts to take illegal drugs with little risk of police detection.


Family man: Mr Rice is the father of two small daughter, aged 7 and 1. He and his wife worked out of Durban, South Africa

Mr Fuller said he was disappointed in his daughter for taking the drugs, but says she has already paid the price for her mistake. 

'I am cross, extremely cross. She’s an extremely bright woman who made a mistake,' he said.

'After this, she’ll have to prove herself. We’ve been through hell, but which father wouldn’t rush to support his daughter?'

Police arrested Moses Kalanzi, a 23-year-old 'special hire driver,' for supplying contaminated cocaine and heroin to Mr Rice. 

The driver is co-operating with police and could face charges for his role in the transaction, according to Ugandan newspaper the Daily Monitor.

Work: Rice helped producers on The Amazing Race, which follows teams as they travel around the world for a prize of $1 million. He worked on its latest season

Work: Rice helped producers on The Amazing Race, which follows teams as they travel around the world for a prize of $1 million. He worked on its latest season


'There was constant communication between the special hire driver and Rice on phone about the purchase of the drugs,' said a police spokesman. 'So we want to know the source of the drugs and how it is trafficked into the country.'

Father-of-two Mr Rice, 39, who worked on the series The Amazing Race, was discovered slumped over a table bleeding from his nose and mouth at the Serena hotel in the capital, Kampala. 


Family: Miss Fuller's father Stewart Fuller traveled Kampala in the hopes of taking his daughter back to south Africa for treatment

Family: Miss Fuller's father Stewart Fuller traveled Kampala in the hopes of taking his daughter back to south Africa for treatment

An official toxicology report confirmed the narcotic with a 'lethal additive' was in Mr Rice’s blood, dispelling initial suspicions he had been poisoned by attackers or that he had swallowed it to conceal the drugs from police.

Mugenyi, the Ugandan police spokesman, said: 'Rice… used cocaine which had lethal additives and that’s what killed him.'

Brad Nathanson, a private investigator and friend of Mr Rice, said he had been shown the toxicology report by police and there was no evidence of 'foul play' in Rice’s death.

He said: 'In fact it was as a result of buying bad drugs, cocaine to be specific … it was a bad concoction.' 

'I have read the toxicology report … it shows that there were small traces of cocaine in their blood and urine.' 

Mr Nathanson said he had traveled to Uganda as a favor to the Rice family following rumors he had been poisoned.

Miss Fuller was found unconscious at the same time Mr Rice’s body was discovered 

Mr Rice and Ms Fuller were believed to have voluntarily consumed the drugs, meaning she could be prosecuted under Uganda’s drug laws. Drug use can carry a jail term in Uganda.

As well as the Amazing Race, Mr Rice also worked on Animal Planet's Whale Wars and the South African version of The Biggest Loser.

He is survived by daughters, ages 2 and 7.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

INDONESIAN authorities claim an Australian man arrested this week allegedly carrying 1.1kg of hashish inside his body was couriering for an international drug network.


INDONESIAN authorities claim an Australian man arrested this week allegedly carrying 1.1kg of hashish inside his body was couriering for an international drug network. Because the amount exceeds 1kg, Edward Norman Myatt, 54, could face the death penalty if convicted of importing the drug, said I Made Wijaya, chief of Customs at Bali's Ngurah Rai international airport. "We believe he is a courier," Mr Wijaya yesterday told a press conference at which the Ballarat-born suspect was exhibited along with the drugs. "He is covering up information on the network in Indonesia." Speaking later in Denpasar, Gories Mere, chief of the national counter-narcotics agency BNN, said international drug syndicates were supplying illegal drugs into Bali. The trade had been in methamphetamines, Mr Gories said, but now the type of drugs being trafficked was changing. Mr Myatt was taken into custody at the airport on Monday afternoon after arriving from New Delhi via Bangkok. Mr Myatt was under surveillance by 40 officers when the Thai Airways flight landed because his movements had already attracted attention, Mr Wijaya said. Customs officers searched his baggage and clothing at the airport without finding any evidence of drugs, but remained suspicious. Mr Myatt was taken from the airport for a CT scan at a Kuta medical centre, but momentarily escaped the car when stopped in traffic and dived into a swamp near the roadway, Mr Wijaya said. The suspect was quickly caught and the scan later showed "suspicious objects" in his stomach. Mr Wijaya said 71 capsules containing hashish and one with crystal methamphetamines were recovered from Myatt's body over the following four days. The total weight, including packaging, was 1.11kg. The estimated street value of the hashish was Rp661.8 million (about $67,750). Under Section 113 of the Narcotics Law, Mr Wijaya said, "the suspect faces maximum penalty of death" or a prison term between five and 20 years. Mr Myatt, who was carrying Australian and British passports, had an April 4 return ticket to New Delhi. He had visited Bali five times previously. A Customs source said later that Mr Myatt was thought to have been working in Britain recently, but he had changed details of his story several times during questioning. Eleven of the 12 Australians now imprisoned at Bali's Kerobokan jail are serving lengthy terms for drug trafficking. They include Gold Coast woman Schapelle Corby and the Bali Nine heroin smuggling convicts. Two of the Bali Nine, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, have been sentenced to death and their last resort is an appeal for presidential clemency to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Sydney man Michael Sacatides was arrested at Ngurah Rai on October 1, 2010, with 1.7kg of methamphetamines concealed in his luggage. Sacatides was last year sentenced to 18 years' jail.

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