View Full Version : The Mega Merged Drug Busts Thread
Drugs hidden inside book covers
October 3, 2006 - 3:12PM
Eight books held an interesting story for customs officials who discovered a kilogram of drugs inside the covers.
Pseudoephedrine was found concealed inside the books, airfreighted from the Philippines and intercepted at Cairns International Airport on Friday.
Police were today questioning a woman who was believed to be the intended recipient of the package after search warrants were executed on a property in Edge Hill, Cairns, yesterday.
A customs spokeswoman said the books were searched after an X-ray revealed anomalies.
Pseudoephedrine is prohibited as it can be converted in clandestine laboratories from its legitimate use to produce illegal amphetamine-type substances, such as methamphetamine.
Charges have not yet been laid.
Importing a marketable quantity of border-controlled precursors can attract a maximum penalty of 15 years' imprisonment and a $330,000 fine.
The Age (http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/drugs-hidden-inside-book-covers/2006/10/03/1159641313237.html)
Has anyone heard about the raid at Revolver in Melbourne Sunday night? was at love machine when the word started spreading, the bouncers were tellin ppl. is it true or ??
Locked Up: Cannabis Farmers in Triad Link
30 Sep 2006
EIGHT people who ran three huge North-East drugs factories believed to be linked to London-based triads were given jail sentences yesterday.
The seven men and one woman, who are all of Vietnamese origin, had been involved in the large-scale cultivation of cannabis at three houses in County Durham.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that each cannabis factory had the potential to yield crops worth UKP200,000 a year. continued...
Police were alerted to the operation when a member of the public reported suspicious activity at a house in Murphy Crescent, on the Woodhouse Close estate, in Bishop Auckland.
Officers raided the property on September 10, last year, and were amazed to discover the house had been converted into a sophisticated cannabis cultivation operation.
The property was jointly owned by Thai Thi Vu, 45, of Collingwood Street, Coundon, and Than Van Liu, 42, of Brancepeth Road, Ferryhill.
They had bought the property in March last year with the sole intention of converting it into a cannabis farm, where 55-year-old sailor Hai Van Tran, an illegal immigrant, was employed as a "gardener".
Within a week, police investigations led them to a series of other properties across the county.
Almost identical factories were discovered at properties in Haig Terrace, in Ferryhill, owned by Kuay Khin Dip, 47, from London, and in High Street, West Cornforth, owned by Michael Quan, 43, of School Avenue, West Rainton, and Dip.
More than 400 seedlings and 1.8 kilos of cannabis were discovered at the home of Thai Thi Vu and her 25-year-old husband, Quang Xuan Vu.
Thien Van Nguyen, 24, had been paid to work as a driver's mate, delivering the equipment, and Nam Nguyen, 17, had taken a job as a gardener at Haig Terrace to repay a family debt.
Forensic evidence also led police to the home of a ninth person, Phuc Danh San, 47, of Eden Close, Coundon, where they found growing equipment in the garage.
Judge Michael Cartlidge said the group could be split into two, according to their level involvement in the operation.
The "administrators" bought cheap properties with the sole intention of converting them into cannabis farms and the "gardeners" were employed to tend to the crops.
He said: "Defendants Liu, Tran, Mrs Vu, Dip, Mr Vu and Quan were involved in conspiracy to produce huge quantities of cannabis.
"There may be more important persons still to be arrested."
Thai Thi Vu, Dip and Quan, were each sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison. Liu was jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Police have been unable to trace Quang Xuan Vu and believe he may have returned to Vietnam.
He was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison in his absence.
Tran, Thien Van Nguyen and Nam Nguyen, were sentenced to 24, 15 and four months respectively. The teenager will serve his sentence as a detention and treatment order at a young offenders institution.
The trio are expected to be deported after serving their sentence.
Liu, Thien Van Nguyen and Nam Nguyen pleaded guilty at earlier proceedings, but the other six were convicted by a jury after a three-and-a-half week trial.
Each was convicted of conspiracy to supply Class C drugs, except Thien Van Nguyen, who admitted being concerned with the production of cannabis.
Sentencing of San was adjourned until Friday, October 27, for reports by the probation service.
She was found guilty of conspiracy to supply, but Judge Cartlidge conceded she had been "put upon" by other defendants to store growing equipment in her garage.
Detective Sergeant Lee Hurridge welcomed the sentences and said it should send a clear message to criminals that supply of any drugs would not be tolerated.
He said: "I feel these sentences reflect the seriousness of what has been done.
"The Vietnamese community is very tight-knit and we know there is a Vietnamese triad in London. Whether it is involved we do not know for certain, but this was definitely part of a larger-scale operation.
"The people here may have only kept a cut of the money and the rest could have been going into serious organised crime, such as higher class drugs, prostitution and people trafficking."
October 03, 2006 - Posted at 11:21 a.m.
A traffic stop Monday evening resulted in the discovery of about two tons of marijuana hidden inside the trailer of an 18-wheeler.
About 9:20 p.m. Monday, Trooper Shawn Hallett was patrolling the area of U.S. Highway 59, south of State Highway 185. The trooper saw the 1999 Freightliner rig and noticed its trailer’s license plate light wasn’t working.
Hallett pulled the truck over just south of state Highway 185 and talked to the two men inside the rig.
Things didn’t add up, according to Hallett. The truck's paperwork wasn’t right for the load, and the men were acting nervous.
With backup officers already on the scene, Hallett got permission to search the truck. Hallett said 75 barrels were found inside the trailer.
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Following a hunch, Hallett opened one of the barrels and found a few of the marijuana bundles.
When all of the maijuana was revealed, the street value of it was estimated to be $2.6 million.
Each of the 23-year-old men in the truck were arrested on suspicion of delivery of marijuana, a first degree felony.
According to Howard County Police, 25 pounds of marijuana were found in an apartment in the 9100 block of Bourbon Street in Laurel. A federal drug task force made the bust after police found drugs, money orders and cash in a card board box found earlier inside the resident’s pick-up truck.
Police say the residents of the apartment were under surveillance, and seen loading a suspicious cardboard box into their pickup truck. When they began to drive away officers quickly pulled the vehicle over and conducted an initial search with the help of a K-9 unit. After the dogs alerted, the search moved to the inside of the vehicle where police discovered $14,000 in money orders, $750 cash and marijuana inside the card board box.
In addition to more than 25 pounds of marijuana, police also discovered a semi-automatic handgun and a rifle inside the suspects’ apartment.
The two suspects, 33 year old Mark David Joseph of Frederiksted, Virgin Islands and 36 year old Sherrell Goring of the Bourbon Street address in Laurel were each taken into custody and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. More charges in the case are still pending.
LITTLE ROCK In a major drug bust, Pine Bluff police have seized six-point-six pounds of cocaine and 243 ecstasy pills. Police placed the value of the drugs seized at 285-thousand dollars.
The bust was made yesterday when drug investigators served a search warrant at a Pine Bluff residence on South Tennessee Street. Police also found a handgun, two digital scales and a small amount of marijuana while searching the home.
Officers detained a man who was inside the home, Tarrence McFarland, 29. Police released him for what they described as "existing health reasons."
McFarland faces two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver plus other drug and weapons counts.
by STAFF REPORTS
published October 5, 2006 7:51 am
ASHEVILLE – Drug-enforcement agents arrested two men Wednesday on charges of conspiring to traffic marijuana.
Jose Juan Negrete-Cardenas, 17, and Jonesboro, Ga., resident Uriel Villalobos-Soto, 28, are to appear in court today.
Officers of the Metropolitan Enforcement Group said in warrants that the two men conspired with a third person to transport more than 50 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds of the drug.
Each was being held in the Buncombe County jail in lieu of an $80,000 bond.
BY MICHELLE SHAW | COMMUNITY PRESS STAFF WRITER
BETHEL -- Anonymous tips led to the arrest of two Bethel residents on suspected drug charges.
Michael Schaffer, 36, and Rita Schaffer, 35, 138 Clare Street, were arrested Sept. 29 after the Bethel Police Department with assistance of the Clermont County Narcotic Task Force executed a search warrant and turned up an undisclosed amount of cocaine, $1,100 cash, several scales, a police scanner and other narcotics paraphernalia.
"If (someone) calls in a tip, we are going to work with it," said Bethel Police Chief John Wallace. "Sometimes it works on our side and other times we run against a wall."
The arrests came off of a three-month investigation by the department, Wallace said.
The two were both charged with trafficking in drugs, possession of cocaine, permitting drug abuse and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the police report.
While Wallace would at some point like to have an officer to strictly focus on drug activity, the department works closely with the narcotic task force to investigate cases in Bethel and Tate Township.
"Eventually, I would like to dedicate someone to that realm since it is a huge problem throughout Clermont County," he said.
Although Wallace also pointed out that there is not a bigger problem in Bethel as compared to anywhere else. But, as was the case in this investigation, the police were led by tips from citizens.
"The one tip they've got could be the one we need to put it together," he said. "Sometimes you get lucky and all the stars and moons are in alignment."
A Middletown man was arrested after a brief chase during which New Castle County police say he threw two bags of cocaine out of a window. Kelly Perkins sped away from police after they tried to stop him for a traffic violation at 6:21 a.m. at the Middletown Square Shopping Center, said spokesman Cpl. Trinidad Navarro. Perkins, 39, of the 100 block of E. Lockwood St. in Middletown, threw two bags of cocaine out the window, then pulled over, police said. Officers recovered the cocaine, which weighed 12.1 grams, Navarro said. Perkins was charged with trafficking cocaine, maintaining a vehicle for keeping a controlled substance, disregarding a police officer's signal, tampering with physical evidence, and traffic offenses. He is being held at the Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $53,501 bail.
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentuckians sip their bourbon, and have also been known to cook with it. But inhale it?
The very idea of bypassing the taste buds seems sacrilegious in a state that claims to produce the world's best bourbon, which generates more than $1 billion a year in sales.
State officials in the land of Old Grand-Dad, Jim Beam and Wild Turkey are pushing to ban a device that vaporizes liquor and allows people to inhale the intoxicating fumes for a quick high without the burn of hard liquor.
Teresa Barton, head of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, said banning alcohol vaporizers is a matter of public safety, not preserving the state's sipping whiskey industry. She said such devices could become "a real deadly trap" because they have "no purpose other than to get you drunk."
So far, 17 states have banned them, including California, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and several others are considering doing so, said Sherry Green, executive director of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws. Tennessee, the home of Jack Daniels, already prohibits the vaporizers.
"When you inhale alcohol right into the lung tissue, that gets drawn right into the blood supply immediately, so it's a very rapid onset of the intoxicating effect, and so has obviously very high abuse potential," said Robert Walker, an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research.
Walker said alcohol vaporizers bypass altogether the tactile pleasures of drinking wine with a fine meal or a cold beer with a pizza: "You're going strictly to the intoxicating effect of alcohol."
In addition, Green warned that the devices could provide a dangerous legal loophole for teenagers in states where current law forbids only "underage drinking," not "underage inhaling."
Kevin Morse, president of Spirit Partners Inc. in Greensboro, N.C., which markets the Alcohol Without Liquid, or AWOL, devices, said they are harmless.
"At the end of the day, it's just a new way for adults to enjoy alcohol in a different manner," said Morse, who sells single-user devices over the Internet for $299 each or multi-user devices for $2,500 each.
The devices, which resemble asthma inhalers, can be used for just about any kind of alcohol, including wine, vodka, even martinis.
Morse said attempts to ban the devices have been great for business. "We haven't spent the first dime on advertising," he said. "When these legislators start repeating these rumors, then we start selling them like crazy."
Neither the liquor industry nor anti-drinking groups take credit for the bans on the devices.
"Legislators are basically banning this on their own," said Amy George, spokeswoman for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. George said MADD has not taken an official position on the issue in any of the states that instituted bans because, she said, not enough research has been done to show that they are necessary.
One of the world's largest distributors of alcoholic beverages, London-based Diageo, with brands including Smirnoff and Crown Royal, has pushed for the bans, saying the vaporizers "could encourage alcohol abuse and drunk driving."
Ed O'Daniel, president of the Kentucky Distillers' Association, said he, too, supports a prohibition on the devices. A ban died in a state Senate committee in February, but O'Daniel said he believes it will pass in the next session.
Greg Brooks, a private investigator from North Carolina, said he tried the AWOL device in a New York bar a couple of years ago.
"You get a mild euphoria," he said. "It's like having one drink, maybe. It dissipates quickly. If you like getting drunk or getting a real heavy buzz, this isn't the thing for you."
By The Tribune Chronicle
GIRARD — A man was arrested Thursday afternoon after police said a motorist found him passed out behind the wheel of his car in the median of Interstate 80.
Daniel R. Law, 53, of Sharon, Pa., was charged with abusing harmful intoxicants, having physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle without control, a police report said. Law has 39 prior arrests for possessing and abusing chemical inhalants, the report states.
Motorists told police that while following Law about 3 p.m., they saw him travel from lane to lane and hit the guard rail at times before stopping in the median. One of the witnesses removed the keys from the ignition of Law’s pickup truck because he was attempting to leave, the report states.
Police said they found a gallon can of Toluene and a small rag in Law’s pocket. He was taken by ambulance to Forum Health Northside Medical Center for treatment, then booked at the police station and released with a court date of Oct. 10.
POT GROWER GETS 3 YEARS
by Don Lajoie, Windsor Star, (Source:Windsor Star)
07 Oct 2006
Trafficker Hit With Record Prison Term For Grow-Ops
A convicted drug trafficker has been handed a three-year penitentiary term, the longest prison sentence handed down in an Essex County courtroom for operating a marijuana grow house.
Sinh Kim Ho, 30, made no statement before sentencing and only looked straight ahead as his penalty was meted out by Superior Court justice Terry Patterson Friday on nine drug-related charges, including possession of controlled substances for the purposes of trafficking and theft of hydro electrical power.
Noting that Ho had been in charge of grow house operations at three residences in the city and that police seized drugs with an estimated street value of $2 million, Patterson said the crimes called for a sentence that would satisfy the goals of deterrence and denunciation.
"The RCMP is expressly and strongly concerned about grow house operations in residential settings and the involvement of organized crime," said Patterson. "This obviously was a sophisticated, wholesale operation and it clearly requires a penitentiary sentence."
Federal prosecutor Richard Pollock said Ho came to the Windsor area from Toronto in 2004 and purchased four houses in the city. Three of the properties, in the 900 block of Curry, the 2300 block of Mercer, and the 4000 block of Maple Leaf Crescent, were renovated to be "completely dedicated to the production of drugs."
In June, 2004, police were informed of suspicious activity and the Windsor police drug squad placed Ho under surveillance. A search warrant was executed at the home Ho shared with his wife at [address redacted] on June 22, where officers seized sets of keys for the other addresses.
At the Maple Leaf Crescent location police discovered a house that showed no signs of human habitation but, instead, had been turned into a hot-house drug factory. They seized 455 marijuana plants at various stages of growth and 10 kilograms of marijuana with a total street value of $709,000. They also found cultivation and growth equipment including lights, fans, ventilation systems and plant nutrients.
They discovered that the electrical system had been bypassed to allow for the theft of power. At least $5,000 worth of electricity had been stolen, Pollock said.
At the Mercer address they found 361 plants, some approaching one metre in height, and 35 kilograms of marijuana with an estimated street value of $1 million. They also seized hydroponic growth and cultivation equipment and evidence of bypassed electricity.
At the Curry residence, officers found 153 plants, some of them more than two metres high, valued at $353,000, and evidence of electricity theft, including receipts made out to fictitious customers. Pollock noted information provided by neighbours of those addresses placed Ho at those homes and in control of the properties.
Pollock told the court Ho had invested heavily in the operation and his actions were "premeditated to profit from crime." He added that the size and sophistication of the illegal enterprise showed it was obviously for the purposes of moving large sales volumes, most likely for export.
Defence lawyer Rob Dipietro said his client had pleaded guilty and it was his first offence in citing mitigating circumstances.
Ho was one of seven people arrested that summer after police raided 11 houses and apartments and seized $5.5 million worth of marijuana. Four women and three men, all related by blood or marriage, were arrested. Ho's brother Trang Kien Ha, 34, has already been sentenced to 18 months.
Charges against Ho's wife, Nhung Trang Nguyen, were dropped.
Four arrested on marijuana and meth charges
Posted on Mon, Oct. 09, 2006
Four Columbus residents were charged early Saturday morning with methamphetamine possession with intent to distribute and marijuana possession.
Around 12:30 a.m., Columbus police arrested the following at 5720 Old Dominion Road: Devorre J. Flowers, 29, of Yellowstone Court; Brittany Kokenzie, 26, of Old Dominion Road; Willie J. Davidson, 26, of Moon Road; and Samantha L. McQuagg, 21, of Veterans Parkway.
As of Sunday afternoon, they were in the Muscogee County Jail with bonds totaling $17,750 for Flowers and $12,750 apiece for Kokenzie, Davidson and McQuagg.
Women charged with drug possession
Posted on Mon, Oct. 09, 2006
Two women were arrested Saturday night on drug charges at 335 28th St. in Columbus.
Around 9 p.m., Columbus police arrested Teresa Holt, 34, of 16th Avenue in Phenix City, for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and four counts of possession of a dangerous drug. Lovida Williams, 31, of 28th Street was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and violating the school attendance law. They were in the Muscogee County Jail on Sunday afternoon with bonds totaling $12,750 for Holt and $11,150 for Williams.
Visitng Lawyer Accused of Drug Possession Pardoned
by Bassam Za'za', (Source:Gulf News)
06 Oct 2006
Dubai: A Mexican lawyer who was being tried for illegally bringing in six seeds of cannabis has been pardoned by the Ruler.
The seeds were found in his baggage at the airport. The Dubai Court of First Instance dismissed the case yesterday after receiving a notice from the Attorney General. The notice said that according to the Ruler's directives the case is to be dismissed.
Lawyer Ali Abdullah Al Shamsi said that his client came to Dubai to spend two days at the Burj Al Arab.
"He is a renowned lawyer in Mexico and works closely with the Mexican government," said Al Shamsi, who thanked the Ruler for pardoning his client.
US and Canadian Cops Smash Alien Smuggling Ring
October 10, 2006
Jim Kouri, NewsLog
by Jim Kouri
The last of 11 defendants arrested in February pleaded guilty to alien smuggling yesterday in U.S. District Court here. They had been apprehended in the United States and charged in a joint U.S.-Canadian takedown of a Northern Border alien smuggling conspiracy.
Nosh Gojcaj, 35, of Macomb, MI, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him and 17 other individuals with Conspiracy to Smuggle Illegal Aliens into the United States, and Harboring and Transporting Illegal Aliens within the United States. The indictment was unsealed Feb. 14 with a joint, simultaneous U.S.-Canadian take down of the alien smuggling organization.
Earlier this year, nine other co-conspirators had pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy charge.
Co-conspirator Salah Rashem, 45, of Rockford, Ill., pleaded guilty to “Re-entry after Deportation” as an aggravated felon on Sept. 27.
The guilty pleas were entered before the Honorable Paul D. Borman, U.S. District Judge. Each of the convicted defendants face a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, with the exception of Rashem who faces a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Also charged in the indictment, but not yet apprehended by U.S. authorities are: Maitham Aziz Alzehrani, 34, of Windsor, Ontario; Kola Bajraktari, 34, of Windsor, Ontario; Fran Gashaj, 40, of Windsor, Ontario; Zef Shpati, 40, of Windsor, Ontario; Kai Zheng You, 40, of Toronto, Ontario; Duke Bracaj, 36, of Windsor, Ontario. Colin Price, 40, of Windsor, Ontario, jumped bond and fled the country after being arraigned in the United States.
The Canadian-based defendants will first answer to related Canadian charges before facing possible extradition to the United States.
The charges were based upon the interdiction of at least 74 illegal aliens smuggled into the United States by the organization, and more than 2,000 incriminating telephone conversations intercepted by ICE and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police during in late 2005.
“Alien smuggling organizations are driven by greed with little regard to the health, well-being, dignity, or motivation of their human cargo,” said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Detroit.
“Attacking and dismantling these criminal groups is critical to securing our borders and ensuring compliance with our immigration and customs laws. Smugglers should understand that we will not tolerate nor allow the U.S.-Canada border to be used as an opportunity for them to profit from their crimes. Rather we will use our shared border as an opportunity for our nations to work together to bring them to justice.”
Post staff report
Police seized about 100 marijuana plants Tuesday afternoon in what investigators called a fairly elaborate indoor growing operation at a Fort Thomas home.
Fort Thomas police and agents from the Northern Kentucky Strike Force executed a search warrant about 1 p.m. at a rental home at 172 Brentwood Place in South Fort Thomas.
Inside they found at least three rooms filled with the illicit weed, some as tall as four feet, according to Lt. Mark Dill.
Ryan M. Jacobs, 32, who lived at the address, was arrested and charged with cultivating marijuana.
"It was a pretty sophisticated grow operation," Dill said.
"He had lights and power converters ... and he was measuring humidity and temperature in the rooms. He had an irrigation system to ensure the plants were properly watered at all times."
Jacobs was also charged with violating his probation in Ohio on a cocaine possession charge, Dill said.
The probe began after narcotics agents and police obtained information concerning activities inside the home. Plants were confiscated from the basement and second floor, but Dill said no money or guns were found in the search.
Investigators do not believe the illegal street drug was being sold out of the house. Rather, Dill said, the drug was harvested and transported elsewhere for sale.
Melbourne & Sydney, Australia
Raids net drugs, cash
October 12, 2006 - 4:04PM
A joint commonwealth and state law enforcement taskforce has raided 15 properties across Melbourne and Sydney and arrested nine men allegedly involved in two separate criminal syndicates involved in trafficking heroin and methamphetamine, also known as ice.
The nine men will be charged with trafficking in a commercial quantity of illicit drugs. Three of the men will also be charged with the importation of a commercial quantity of heroin, which relates to a 17 kilogram importation in 2005.
A cock-fighting pit and 500 fighting roosters were also uncovered at a Rockbank property, north west of Melbourne.
Justice Minister Senator Chris Ellison welcomed today's arrests.
"The operations of the past week have resulted in $1 million in cash recovered and further quantities of heroin, 'ice' and cocaine seized, which takes the total amount of illicit drugs seized by the taskforce (Gordian) to 7.5 kilograms - with an estimated street value of $7.5 million,'' Senator Ellison said.
Up to $300,000 in cash and four vehicles were also seized during the raids.
The raids follow on from nine arrests made last Friday, where five men and four women were arrested and charged with money laundering and drug trafficking offences for their alleged involvement in a criminal syndicate responsible for laundering $93 million overseas - the proceeds of drug trafficking.
Taskforce Gordian the multi-agency effort, comprised of the Australian Crime Commission, Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police, New South Wales Police, New South Wales Crime Commission, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Customs Service and AUSTRAC.
The Age (http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/raids-net-drugs-cash/2006/10/12/1160246236121.html)
Damn.. they were some high rollers.. meth, coke n heroin, yum
Six arrested in Jeff Davis busts
From staff reports
Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agents Thursday morning arrested six people on drug charges in connection with two separate and unrelated investigations into drug trafficking in Jefferson Davis County.
In one case, agents arrested Adrian Spikes of U.S. 84 West, Charlie Williams of Granby Road, and Nykea and Fyez Easterling of Lucas Warner Road, all in Jefferson Davis County, according to a bureau press release.
Narcotics Bureau spokesman Warren Strain said the arrests were the result of a seven- to eight-month investigation involving numerous drug buys by undercover officers.
"We believe these individuals moved in to fill the void created by the arrest of other mid-level drug dealers in Jefferson Davis County," Narcotics Bureau Director Marshall Fisher said in the prepared release. "We will continue this investigation and more arrests are possible."
Agents also seized a 2002 Mercedes Benz and approximately $2,300 in cash.
The agents were assisted by agents of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Bassfield Police officers and Jefferson Davis County Sheriff's deputies.
In the other case, agents arrested one adult and one juvenile, and are searching for Arthur McKinney of 38 Mission Lane in Jefferson Davis County.
Tracy Johnson, no age or address listed, was charged with possession of Lortab. The juvenile was charged with conspiracy to sell ecstasy.
The arrests were the result a three-month investigation. Agents searched McKinney's home and found 72 tablets of ecstasy and seven tablets of the prescription painkiller Lortab.
Agents also confiscated $4,500, two shotguns, an SKS assault rifle, two handguns and two vehicles.
Agents were assisted in the arrests by the MBN Special Response Team, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Jefferson Davis County Sheriff's Department.
The arrests come about eight months after David "Super Dave" Warner pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg to drug charges involving a large cocaine and marijuana distribution system in Jefferson Davis County.
Warner managed to elude state and federal drug agents until his arrest 13 months after state and federal authorities raided his home. The drug case involving Warner was termed "one of the biggest cases in recent years," and federal officials labeled Warner as the state's "drug kingpin" because of the extent of his activity.
Three nabbed in cocaine bust
By Elizabeth Dinan
HAVERHILL, Mass. -- A pound of cocaine police said was planned for sale on the Seacoast was seized during a raid on a Massachusetts home by Portsmouth, Kittery, York and Haverhill police, as well as agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, the Essex County (Mass.) Drug Task Force and the Cross Borders Initiative.
The Thursday raid resulted in the arrest of three men: Johnny Delgado, 30, of 257 Rivermore St., Haverhill; Ramone Rosario, 25, of the same address; and Jeremy Gagalias, 24, of 120 Howard St., Lawrence. All are charged with a felony count of trafficking cocaine over 200 grams, with Delgado facing the additional charge of being in possession of a .22 caliber rifle without a Massachusetts-mandated firearms identification card.
Seized during the raid at 257 Rosemont St., Haverhill, were a half-kilo, or 1.1 pounds, of powder cocaine and $20,251 in cash.
Portsmouth Police Capt. Janet Champlin said her department is considering filing additional charges and has an open investigation. That investigation began two months ago among the cooperating agencies, said Champlin.
"We believe this is a substantial step in making a dent in drug distribution in this area," she said.
"They are major suppliers to the area and part of a trail where the cocaine is coming from."
Cross-border ecstasy pipeline busted
CanWest News Service; Windsor Star
Published: Friday, October 13, 2006
WINDSOR, Ont. -- A six-month cross-border joint police operation has busted an extensive ecstasy and methamphetamine ring that ferried drugs from the Toronto area to Windsor and Michigan.
A total of 25 Canadian and U.S. residents are facing charges in the operation the Canada Border Services Agency, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and police departments in Windsor and Michigan.
The investigation identified an organization that was bringing drugs from the Toronto area to Windsor. Various methods were then used to courier the drugs across the border.
Authorities managed to intercept about 55,000 ecstasy tablets and analysis revealed some of the tablets also contained methamphetamine.
"Cooperation has made it possible for the police and law enforcement to work quickly and effectively on trans-border cases such as this," said RCMP Staff Sgt. Joe Kispal, the head of the Windsor RCMP drug unit.
"The results speak for themselves when we are able to seize illegal commodities on both sides of the border."
Facing charges are 16 Canadian residents, including 13 from Windsor and three from Toronto, and nine residents of the U.S.
South Coast NSW, Australia
Man charged over 'ice', cannabis
October 15, 2006 09:12am
A 52-year-old man from the NSW south coast has been arrested for the possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, police have said.
Police executed a search warrant at a residence in East Corrimal north of Wollongong about 8.30pm (AEST) yesterday.
They charged the man with three counts of supplying a prohibited drug, four counts of possessing a prohibited drug and four counts of possessing goods illegally obtained.
The man was refused bail and will face Wollongong Local Court today.
Suspected meth lab raided
By Dionesis Tamondong
Local and federal agents raided an Agana Heights home yesterday where, authorities said, the drug "ice" was allegedly being manufactured.
Since about 3 a.m. yesterday, law enforcement agents have been at the concrete-wall, tin-roof home along Paasan Drive. Three canopies were erected on the narrow street in front of the house, where agents -- some in hazardous materials suits -- were situated.
Sgt. John Davis, of the Guam Police Department's Violent Street Crimes Task Force, said the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency, Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency, Guam Homeland Security and Guam Fire Department are involved in the investigation.
Davis said no arrests have been made but several people have been questioned and released. He would not say what items agents had confiscated from the home or the names of people that have been questioned.
The house is located less than a mile from Agana Heights Elementary School, the mayor's office and the busy Agana Heights gym, as well as Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
The investigation started around 2 a.m. after Hagåtña Precinct officers pulled over a couple of vehicles and found items containing pseudoephedrine and other chemicals and solvents used to make crystal methamphetamine, Davis said. Also known as 'ice,' crystal methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that has been linked to many violent crimes on Guam.
Information obtained from the pullover led officers to the house on Paasan Drive. Davis could not provide the amounts of the suspected items or if more was found in the home and would not say who was driving or owned the vehicles that were pulled over -- a Nissan Pathfinder SUV and a Nissan Altima sedan -- or who owned the home, noting that the case is still under investigation.
As of 7 last night, a section of Paasan Drive remained blocked off by police -- from where the road intersects with Ulloa Untalan Avenue to Garrido Drive. Police used flood lights as they continued their investigation into the evening.
Police spokesman Officer Allan Guzman said agents were likely to remain at the scene throughout the night, as is done when investigating a suspected makeshift ice laboratory.
"They're dealing with dangerous chemicals and everyone has to proceed with caution," he said.
Makeshift drug labs are a recent but growing threat for Guam, officials said during the Pacific Law Enforcement Drug Summit in August.
Davis, during that conference, said such lab seizures are increasing in every state and in Guam because of the accessibility of ingredients needed in making crystal methamphetamine and the huge profits made from it.
In December, a law that places more restrictions on the sale of over-the-counter drugs containing pseudoephedrine was enacted.
Leonard Baza, 22, who lives two houses away from the home that was being investigated, described his neighborhood as a quiet one, with kids often seen playing along the street.
The University of Guam business student said he was a bit surprised to see the street cordoned off and several police vehicles in the area, but despite the investigation, he said he does not consider his neighborhood to be a dangerous area.
Westbrook police conduct drug raid next to police station
By Charlie Smith
WESTBROOK (Oct 16, 2006): The Westbrook police seized marijuana, oxycodone and drug paraphernalia during a raid on Haskell Street on Oct. 13.
According to police, Nicholas Demers, 20, was arrested on Friday morning and charged with drug trafficking. Normally a class B felony, Demers was charged with trafficking within 1,000 feet of a drug-free zone-the baseball field across Main Street-which is a class A felony. Westbrook police have passed the case onto the Attorney General's office.
Westbrook Police Chief Paul McCarthy said officers entered Apartment 3 at 9 Haskell St., which sits on the other side of Haskell Street in view of the Public Safety Building, with a search warrant on Friday morning. The officers found several ounces of marijuana, 1,300 milligrams of oxycodone, digital scales and drug paraphernalia, a number of double-edged knives and cell phones, and a large amount of cash, said McCarthy.
n the streets of Muslim communities in Great Britain, local grocery markets legally sell a narcotic stimulant called khat (pronounced “cot”). Green bundles of the leafy plant wrapped in banana leaves sit inside beverage coolers next to Snapple and Coca-Cola.
Khat is chewed like tobacco to produce a euphoric state that can turn into an outburst of irrational violence according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
It is imported from places like Yemen, Kenya and Somalia into Great Britain at the rate of some 30 tons per month. It is sold legally throughout Great Britain, mostly in neighborhoods densely populated by North African Muslim immigrants to whom khat chewing at home is as common as coffee drinking in America.
For the past year concern among counter-terrorism analysts has been rising. They have warned that huge, largely ignored, increases in khat smuggling from Great Britain into major U.S. cities, including Dallas, may be funding international terrorist groups. Khat is as illegal in the United States as cocaine and heroin but until today smuggling cases had been rarely prosecuted.
The DEA announced a record large seizure of 25 tons of Khat worth more than ten million dollars and the arrests of a forty-four member international narcotics trafficking organization. An 18-month investigation resulted in the indictment of a United Nations’ employee who is accused of using a secure diplomatic pouch to smuggle khat. The organization also allegedly smuggled khat using human mules on international flights and shipments by overnight express packages.
The investigation found that khat was then distributed from New York by land to the District of Columbia, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, Maine, Massachusetts, Utah, and Washington where it was sold on the streets.
According to the indictment, money was laundered through “hawalas” which are informal networks of money remitters commonly used in Africa and the Middle East to transfer money. Tentacles of the organization stretched from the United States to co-conspirators in Europe, Africa, Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates.
In January 2005, Harvey Kushner, director of the criminal justice department at Long Island University, dedicated a full chapter of a new book to raise alarm that American law enforcement was virtually ignoring a booming illegal khat industry almost entirely controlled by Middle Easterners from countries identified as terrorist safe havens.
In his book, “Holy War on the Home Front,” Kushner called for a congressional investigation into why America’s homeland security bureaucracy had not given top priority to an estimated $1.5 billion khat smuggling industry into the U.S., which produces an illegal cash flow back to Great Britain, Somalia, Kenya and Yemen.
British counter-terrorism experts say their country has in recent years become a hotbed for Islamic extremist groups that advocate killing Americans, recruit suicide bombers and raise money for terror operations. U.S. intelligence agencies have identified Yemen, Kenya and Somalia as havens for terrorist networks, particularly for Al-Qaida.
Sajjan Gohel, Director of International Security for the Asia-Pacific Foundation told CBS 11 News, “organized crime and terrorism are very common bed fellows. They work hand-in-hand. They are able to communicate their activities and assist each other. And that is a tragic irony in that you will find in the illegal drug trade that terrorism in not too far behind.”
In 2000, for instance, Al Qaida operatives blew up the USS Cole after it docked at a Yemeni port, killing 17 American servicemen. In 2002, the CIA piloted an armed drone into Yemen and blew up a car full of suspected terrorists. Kenya, also a major khat producing country, is where Al Qaida operatives in 1998 blew up the American embassy and in 2002 aimed shoulder-fired missiles at a departing Israeli passenger jet and also attacked an Israeli resort in Mombassa. In 2003, an Al Qaida plot was foiled to re-bomb the new American embassy in Kenya using a planeload of khat ostensibly headed for Somalia.
“You don’t have to make a quantum leap to link drug smuggling from the Middle East, to Middle Eastern communities and …the great possibility of that funding terrorist conspiracies, both here and abroad,” Kushner told CBS 11News in a January 2005 interview in New York City. “It’s certainly known worldwide that Osama bin Ladin was dealing with the (heroin) trade in Afghanistan … coming into this country. It’s great cash flow. It’s hard to trace and it’s quick money to support terrorist activities.”
CBS 11 News found that most police labs don’t have the capability to test khat and Kushner complained that awareness was so low that street-level cops most often think they’ve come across some kind of salad when they accidentally discover khat during searches.
The latest enforcement action dubbed “Operation Somalia Express” indicates that there is a new concerted crackdown on khat flowing into the United States.
In London last year, Officials of Her Royal Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department told CBS 11 News that most of the seven tons per week legally imported into Great Britain comes from Somalia, Kenya and Yemen.
But interdicting khat smuggling aboard U.S.-bound flights was not a priority because khat is considered a legal vegetable, even being classified as a bean in some countries.
Few outside the insular transplanted immigrant communities from the Horn of Africa and parts of the Arab Middle East even know what khat is. The leaf is probably best known in the U.S. as the ingredient that fueled the deadly true-life events portrayed in the movie “Blackhawk Down.” The movie depicted a 1993 battle between American troops and khat-fueled Somali insurgents, their teeth blackened from the drug. Drug experts, as well as those who use khat, say the leaf does not impair motor skills but rather creates a mild, amphetamine-like euphoria that heightens senses and self-esteem.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warns that khat can be psychologically addictive and has been known to cause aggressive behavior and feelings of paranoia among chronic users.
Federal authorities with jurisdiction over the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and North Texas acknowledge making regular discoveries of khat - by happenstance. In fact, more than 2,800 pounds of khat has been seized at D/FW since 2000. Applying a commonly used rule of thumb that most commodity seizures represent only 10-percent of what actually gets through, an estimated 14 tons of khat could have made its way through D/FW Airport. Drug dogs are not trained to ferret out khat.
CBS 11 News has learned that North Texas customs enforcement investigators broke up a sophisticated khat-smuggling ring at D/FW Airport in 2003. The operation involved a local airline employee, conspirators in Great Britain and North Texas-based distributors. As a major refugee resettlement city, Dallas is home to thousands of Somali, Ethiopian and North African immigrants.
Abdulkadir Araru, a Kenyan journalist based in London, has written extensively about khat. He said he has chewed it for 25 years and once was employed as a “clearing agent” who helped transport the drug into Canada before that country criminalized it in the late 1990s. Araru said his group would fly students in to Great Britain, where they would pick up large suitcases packed with khat then fly it home to Canada for about $1,000 round trip.
Araru said young white British mules are used now to haul loads into the U.S. and probably get paid about $2,000 on average to make the trip. Such smugglers are considered not as likely to draw attention as would someone of Middle Eastern descent.
“There is lots of money in it,” he said, adding that the price goes up once it crosses into illegal American territory. “Compared to other serious drugs, it’s very, very marginal, but of course for anyone who is carrying it or selling it, you’ll make good money. There are quite a number of chewers in the United States: the Arabs and Somali refugees and more refugees from Ethiopia.”
In the U.S. khat use is most prevalent among immigrants from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Yemen according to the DEA. Kushner warns that khat has the potential to become the new crack epidemic in those communities.
Belgian grandparents convicted for heroin dealing
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Belgian court has sentenced two 73-year-old grandparents to two-year suspended jail terms this week after they were convicted of dealing in heroin and other drugs, the tribunal said on Wednesday.
The elderly pensioners had taken over the business of their grandson, who himself had been imprisoned for selling heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.
The court established that the couple had sold a variety of drugs to people, including one minor, who dropped by their apartment near the northern town of Aalst. Some even came by to make large orders, the court said.
"The only thing that counted for them was to continue the profitable drug dealing business of their grandson," the judges wrote in their ruling on Tuesday.
The couple, who had no prior criminal record, were also ordered to pay fines of 1,000 euros each.
Cocaine seized in dawn drugs raids
19 October 2006
WEB EDITORIAL - email@example.com
SIMULTANEOUS drug raids took place at four homes in Cambourne in the early hours of last Wednesday ( October 18 ) morning.
Police wearing riot gear burst in to the properties in Swansley Lane, School Lane and High Street at 7.15am and seized a quantity of Class A drugs, namely cocaine.
Between 50 to 60 officers in eight marked police cars and vans and the police dogs section were involved in the biggest drugs burst Cambourne has every seen.
Detective Sgt Martin Brunning: "The raids were a huge success, we were acting on intelligence and made several arrests. This is part of an ongoing crack down on drugs in the Cambridge area."
Three arrests were made, a 35-year-old man from Cambourne was arrested and charged with possession of drugs and has been bailed until December 13. A 39-year-old woman was arrested on intent to supply class A drugs and was bailed until December 7. Allen Entwistler, 34, from Camborune was charged with theft to appear at Cambridge Magistrates Court on October 20.
One of the houses had been raided a couple of times in the past couple of years.
Cambourne is Cambridgeshire's newest development and has only 3,000 houses but it has been classed as a police priority after incidents of anti-social behaviour with youths from nearby villages gathering in Cambourne in groups of up to 100.
Only last month the town's only pub, The Monkfield Arms was ramraided in the early hours of the morning. Thieves crashed in to the side of building and removed a cash machine.
Man sentenced to 20 years on drug charges
Pacific Daily News
James Dino, 55, was sentenced in the District Court of Guam yesterday to 20 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to drug charges.
Dino was charged in May 24, 2004, with possession of 50 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. He pleaded guilty on May 24, 2004.
Dino was sentenced yesterday to 20 years -- the mandatory minimum sentence for his second offense.
Following his prison term, Dino must serve 10 years supervised release and 200 hours of community service, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Calhoun-Cleburne task force nets 66 drug-related arrests
ANNISTON, Ala. At least sixty-six people are in custody today on drug-related charges and more arrests are expected during an operation spearheaded by the Calhoun-Cleburne Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.
Task Force Commander Richard Smith said Operation Fallout began about 4-30 a-m yesterday.
Officers are trying to arrest about 135 people on 170 warrants for charges ranging from possession to distribution and manufacturing controlled substances involving methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, prescription pills and other drugs.
Most of the arrests were in Calhoun County, but some suspects were located in Cleburne and Talladega counties. Officials said the investigations for some of the cases go back seven or eight months.
Smith said the majority of the suspects surrendered without incident, but one escaped by running out the back door of his residence and disappearing into the fog.
He said ages of those arrested range from 18 to 65, including a few minors.
Hide-out stormed, accused dealer arrested
By Kara Lawrence
October 21, 2006 12:50am
SURROUNDED by a 3m concrete wall and an electric fence, some secluded acreage in Sydney's west has been home to a wanted man.
Now Anthony John Michael Perish, 37, is behind bars after a 14-year search for the accused drug dealer.
Mr Perish - whose elderly grandparents Anthony Perish Sr, 91, and Frances Perish, 93, were shot dead at Leppington in a 1993 unsolved murder - had a warrant issued for his arrest in 1992.
His grandparents' murder remains unsolved and Mr Perish is not listed as being among numerous "persons of interest" in the murders.
However, police wanted Mr Perish for the alleged supply of 2.5kg of amphetamine -"speed" - on August 5, 1992.
Despite a lengthy national search, police did not arrest him until mid last month.
When the heavily-armed State Protection Group arrested him at his West Hoxton farmhouse, they allegedly found Mr Perish in possession a .22-calibre pistol.
Mr Perish was charged with supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug over the 1992 amphetamine matter, as well as possessing an unregistered firearm.
He has not entered a plea and will appear in Liverpool Local Court on November 22. This week, Mr Perish was refused bail after making an application in the Supreme Court.
Mr Perish's lawyer Bill O'Brien told the court his client had been under police surveillance and had his phone tapped.
He argued the case against his client was weak and the identification of him flimsy.
Mr O'Brien argued that the drug charge was not enough to cause Mr Perish to have fled, considering his co-accused had not get lengthy sentences.
Justice Peter Hidden refused bail saying Mr Perish was a flight risk.
Daily Telegraph (http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,20617934-1242,00.html)
Substantial Stephen Street marijuana grow-op busted
Oct 21 2006
One man is facing criminal charges following the bust of a "substantial" marijuana grow operation yesterday.
Mission RCMP executed a search warrant in the 9500-block of Stephen Street on Friday, Mission RCMP said in a news release, and seized 812 marijuana plants and three firearms.
Mission RCMP say they arrested 45-year-old Robert Pearse, and he is facing charges of production of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking. As well, he faces three counts each of unauthorized possession of a firearm, contravening firearms regulations and unsafe storage of a firearm.
Regional NSW, Australia
$150,000 worth of cannabis found in car
October 22, 2006 08:09am
Article from: AAP
A MAN has been charged with drug offences after police found $150,000 worth of cannabis in a car in NSW.
Officers carrying out anti-drug patrols stopped a Ford Falcon travelling along the Barrier Highway, about 10km from Cobar, at about 11.20pm (AEST) yesterday.
They found two boxes in the back of the car containing what police believe to be 14kg of cannabis, with an estimated street value of $150,000.
The officers also discovered money in the vehicle.
A 31-year-old Adamstown man was arrested at the scene and taken to Cobar police station for questioning.
He was later charged with having goods in his personal custody suspected of being stolen, possession of a prohibited drug, supplying a prohibited drug and supplying cannabis of a more than indictable but less than commercial quantity.
Bail was refused and he is due to appear at Bourke Local Court later today.
Large haul of drugs, weapons found
October 21, 2006 11:59pm
Article from: AAP
A POLICE drug bust at a house north of Hobart today unearthed a large haul of weapons and explosives.
Police said drug investigators found at the Broadmarsh house 800 ecstasy tablets, methylamphetamine and four cannabis plants, and also seized a sawn-off shotgun, a pistol, ammunition, explosives and about $6,000 in cash.
Police said the raid followed the arrest of a 34-year-old man in Queensland after he allegedly gave them information about the property.
23 October 2006
Sofia. The police and the customs officials captured a great amount of drug precursor – 500 kg, the Customs Agency announced. It is used for the production of amphetamines. The amount of that quantity on the black market could have reached BGN 100 million.
The quantity was discovered in a Volvo truck in 10 sacks each of 50 kg. The sacks were hidden between roof-tiles. The Serbian driver (37) was arrested and charges will be pressed against him.
Brownville camp owner charged in marijuana trafficking case
By Diana Bowley
Monday, October 23, 2006 - Bangor Daily News << Back
By Diana Bowley
Bangor Daily News
DOVER-FOXCROFT - A tip from a game warden, weeks of surveillance, and a joint investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Bowdoin man and the seizure of more than 20 pounds of processed marijuana.
Darryl Dickey, 39, of Bowdoin and Brownville, was arrested last Wednesday for trafficking in marijuana. Dickey was released from the Sagadahoc County Jail after furnishing $1,000 cash bail. His initial court appearance is set for Nov. 30, at the West Bath District Court.
In May, a local game warden found a patch of marijuana growing off a woods road in Township B, Range 10 WELS, north of Brownville, and reported his find to the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department.
Through an investigation and surveillance, the department reportedly connected the marijuana patch to a Brownville camp owned by Dickey, according to Investigator Guy Dow of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department.
Dow said marijuana plants were discovered outside Dickey’s camp. A search warrant was executed at the camp on Oct. 15, where small amounts of dried marijuana were found, he said.
Another search was conducted on Oct. 18 at Dickey’s Bowdoin home, where Piscataquis County and Sagadahoc County deputies found more than 20 pounds of dried marijuana, according to Joseph Manhardt, chief deputy of Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department.
Manhardt said the marijuana had a street value of about $74,000.
"We’re extremely happy with the drug seizure," he said. The find was one of the largest in Sagadahoc County in recent years, he said.
Dow said Dickey was convicted of cultivating marijuana off the same woods road two years ago.
Manhardt said his department seized Dickey’s new all-terrain vehicle and a four-wheel drive pickup truck. He said the department would seek forfeiture. If the court sanctions the forfeiture, it is unknown if the proceeds from the sale will be shared, he said.
Also assisting in the investigation was the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Ecstasy importer needed to pay off drug debt
25 October 2006
A Timaru man has been jailed for four years for importing nearly 3000 ecstasy tablets to pay off an English drug debt.
Kent Nicolson, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was sentenced by Justice Fogarty in the High Court in Timaru.
The court was told there was no evidence of large-scale dealing but that Nicolson's offending was a one-off attempt to settle the debt.
Nicolson told police he imported the tablets – he mailed them to himself from England to a Timaru address – to help pay a 6000 ($NZ16,825) debt.
He said he became addicted to crack cocaine in England and sent 2887 ecstasy tablets to himself from Worthing.
Customs intercepted the drugs in Auckland and a controlled delivery was set up.
Nicolson signed for the package and hid it in a garage.
The tablets had an estimated New Zealand street value of between $173,000 and $230,000.
Porterville police confiscate 100 pounds of marijuana
By Sarah Elizabeth Villicana, The Porterville Recorder
Porterville Police Department detectives made a major bust Tuesday morning, preventing between 80 and 100 pounds of marijuana and a half pound of peyote from reaching the streets.
At about 7:30 a.m., detectives with Porterville's Special Investigations Unit served a search warrant in the 2000 block of West La Vida Avenue. The warrant was obtained after a two-and-a-half-week investigation into suspected drug sales.
A handgun, scales, peyote and about 100 pounds of pot were confiscated Tuesday by Porterville police. (Recorder photo by John Tipton)
During a search of the home, officers reportedly found between 80 to 100 pounds of marijuana. Police said the marijuana was packaged for sale and had an estimated street value of $150,000.
Detectives also reportedly located packaging materials, pipes, scales and other narcotics paraphernalia.
Sgt. Jake Castellow called the bust the largest seizure of marijuana within the City of Porterville in about a year.
Even more unusual than the large quantity of marijuana was a half pound of the controlled substance peyote, also seized from the residence.
Peyote is a cactus that produces small buttons which can cause hallucinations when ingested.
“I've been in law enforcement 12 years and this is the first time I've seized peyote,” Castellow said.
No occupants of the residence on West La Vida Avenue were home at the time of the search and no suspects had been arrested in connection with this case.
Police were seeking several subjects, Castellow said.
Based on their investigation, authorities said they believe suspects were selling the drugs from the residence.
The case remained under investigation by the PPD Special Investigations Unit. Anyone with information regarding this case should contact Detective Marcial Morales or Sgt. Jake Castellow at 782-7400.
Bust of Northern Colorado meth organization to be announced
By Coloradoan staff
Federal and Weld County law enforcement officials this morning will announce the dismantling of a major Northern Colorado methamphetamine organization.
A press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Denver at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Participating law enforcement agencies include the U.S, Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Weld County Drug Task Force.
According to a press release, the organization distributed large quantities of high-quality methamphetamine, and often used buses to transport the illegal drugs from California to Colorado.
Major drug haul made in Afghanistan
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan police and NATO troops have seized more than 9 tonnes of hashish in a southeastern province bordering Pakistan, a major smuggling route, the alliance said on Wednesday.
The drugs were found in a truck after the driver was stopped at a checkpoint in Zabul province and he became nervous as his vehicle was searched, NATO said in a statement.
The driver and three others in the truck were arrested.
Since April, more than 13.5 tonnes of narcotics have been confiscated by police in what the United Nations has said will be a record year for the production of opium, the raw material for heroin, in the world's largest produced.
Afghan officials say the growing Taliban insurgency is fuelling the drugs trade, which in turn helps fund the rebellion.
This has been the bloodiest year of fighting in Afghanistan since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban's strict Islamic government in 2001 for refusing to surrender Osama bin Laden over the September 11 attacks in the United States.
More than 3,000 people have died, mostly militants but also civilians and more than 150 foreign soldiers.
British Defense Secretary Des Browne wound up a four-day visit to Afghanistan, like most high level foreign visitors a trip kept largely secret until it was over, due to security fears.
As part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Britain has charge of the southern province of Helmand, a Taliban stronghold and the heart of the Afghan drugs trade.
It has suffered several casualties since NATO took over the south from U.S.-led forces late this year.
Browne met President Hamid Karzai and other Afghan leaders. He gave no media conference in Afghanistan but in a statement issued in London paid tribute to U.K. forces.
"I am enormously proud of the work being done here by British forces. They continue to do an outstanding job in bringing security to the people of Helmand so that the rebuilding can begin," he said in the statement.
Browne also met NATO commander British General David Richards who has said that the coming winter will be the tipping point for the Afghan campaign, saying failure to step up reconstruction during the time will drive frustrated Afghanis to the Taliban.
NATO, Afghan Police Seize Pot, Opium
By FISNIK ABRASHI
KABUL, Afghanistan - NATO-led troops and Afghan police seized over nine tons of marijuana from a truck in southern Afghanistan, the alliance said Wednesday.
Four people in the truck were detained, NATO said. No date was given for the seizure in Zabul province, on a road between the southern city of Kandahar and Kabul.
In the country's west, U.S. and Afghan troops recovered over 120 pounds of opium from a car in Farah province, another NATO statement said Tuesday.
The U.S. soldiers were supporting an Afghan army checkpoint when a car failed to stop, the statement said. An Afghan soldier noticed a suspicious bag where the spare tire was supposed to be and alerted the next checkpoint, where the car was searched and the driver and passenger detained.
Afghanistan grew 59 percent more opium this year, yielding a record crop of 6,100 tons, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crimes.
The agency said that is enough to make 610 tons of heroin, outstripping world demand by a third.
Some 2.9 million Afghans, or 12.6 percent of the population, are involved in opium cultivation. The U.N. predicted revenue from this year's harvest would top $3 billion.
Opium cultivation has surged since the Taliban was ousted in late 2001. The former regime had virtually eradicated the crop with a ban it enforced by jailing farmers.
But Taliban-led militants are now implicated in the drug trade, encouraging poppy cultivation and using the proceeds to help fund their insurgency, Afghan and Western counter-narcotics officials say.
Pharmacist charged in drug case
By AMY V. TALIT, The Bristol Press
BRISTOL -- A local pharmacist was charged Tuesday with more than 40 counts of illegally distributing and supplying prescription drugs in connection with a case against two Ruth Street residents who face numerous counts of sale and possession of drugs, according to police documents.
John P. Skinnon, 34, of 52 Salvatore Ave. was arrested at the pharmacy where he works and charged with 20 counts of illegal distribution of a narcotic substance, 24 counts of illegally supplying a prescription drug and one count of illegal distribution of a controlled substance.
Police did not identify where Skinnon is employed.
Wesley Musumano and Diane Weidman, both 29, of 35 Ruth St., No. 30were arraigned Wednesday in Bristol Superior Court. Though bonds of $900,000 were set by the judge for each, Musamano posted bond late in the day and Weidman is expected to remain in prison until her next court date, according to court records.
Skinnon posted $50,000 bond and will be arraigned in Bristol Superior Court May 8, according to court records.
Details of his connection to the Musumano-Weidman case were not released by police, who said the investigation is ongoing with additional arrests anticipated.
According to police,Musumano andWeidman, both 29, of 35 Ruth St., No. 30 were the subjects of a drug investigation by members of the Bristol police Narcotics Enforcement Team and the Statewide Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, which culminated in their arrests Tuesday.
Court records indicate Musumano had made several sales of the prescription painkiller OxyContin to an undercover police officer on several dates between March 30 and April 11. On each date, according to court records, Musumano would meet the police officer at a public location and make the drug sale. The first several sales were of OxyContin, but court records show the last few sales included heroin.
When police went to the Ruth Street home Musumano and Weidman share to execute two search warrants, Musumano allegedly saw the officers’ approach and ran upstairs, where his 6-year-old son was. He reportedly threw a box filled with drugs and drug paraphernalia out of a window to the back yard, where officers were waiting, before attempting to escape capture by jumping from that window, according to records.
Police seized 45 bags of heroin with an estimated street value of $450; 41 OxyContin pills (80 mg strength) with an estimated street value of $3,200; 35 Oxycodone pills (30 mg) with an estimated street value of $1,050 and 45 methadone tablets (40 mg) with an approximate street value of $1,200. Also seized from Musumano was equipment used to allegedly forge prescriptions, including a computer and scanner and $7,000 cash.
Officers also searched a vehicle owned and operated by Weidman and reportedly found her in possession of 50 OxyContin pills (80 mg) with a street value of more than $4,000 and 30 bags of heroin with a street value of $300. They also reportedly found a weapon in the vehicle, though police did not specify the type.
Musumano was charged with three counts of possession of narcotics, two counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell, three counts of conspiracy to commit sale of narcotics, sale of narcotics, interfering with police, destruction of evidence and risk of injury to a minor. He was held overnight with bond set at $1,100,000 until his arraignment Wednesday, where his bond was reduced to $900,000.
Weidman was charged with four counts of possession of narcotics, possession of weapons in a motor vehicle, three counts of sale of narcotics, three counts of conspiracy to commit sale of narcotics and interfering with police. She was held overnight with bond set at $620,000, an amount increased to $900,000 at her arraignment.
At Musumano’s arraignment, the prosecutor read a statement given by the man’s 6-year-old son to police in which the boy said, "Daddy brings medicine to his friends. His friends used to come to the house, but now daddy brings the medicine to his friends."
The minor child was taken into protective custody by agents of the state Department of Children and Families after the arrest, according to court records.
According to court records, Musumano has pending drug charges in another court.
Neither Musumano nor Weidman has any legal means of support as neither has a job, according to court records. Musumano nevertheless posted his $900,000 bond Wednesday afternoon. Both he and Weidman are scheduled to return to court May 17.
Members of the Hartford police department vice and narcotics units joined Bristol officers and statewide task force members to execute the search and arrest warrants, according to police.
Older article but pretty interesting. Since it pertained to painkillers and they are my fav, I thought I'd post. Mmmmmmm.. opiates!
City workers watch as lunch-time raid nets $1m ice pack
October 26, 2006
A CITY street, lunch hour ticking to its end, office workers scurrying back to their desks - and in the middle of it all, a $1 million drug bust that police say cleared the streets of two kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.
Drug squad detectives swooped on a car in Park Street about 2pm on Tuesday and detained two men. They were cuffed and questioned, and their arrest was filmed on a hand-held camera as passers-by stopped to watch. Inside the car, police allege, was about two kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, known as ice.
A smaller quantity of the drug, with a street value of $7000, was seized during a later operation in Bondi, where a 49-year-old man was arrested. In connected raids in the city and Maroubra, police allegedly seized items linked to the supply of prohibited drugs.
The man arrested in Bondi was charged with offences including supplying a large quantity of a prohibited drug. Another man, 25, faced the same charge. A man, 21, was questioned but released.
The arrests were made by detectives from Strike Force Bronsgrove. It was set up in May to investigate the supply of the drug in Sydney.
Sydney Morning Herald (http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/city-workers-watch-as-lunchtime-raid-nets-1m-ice-pack/2006/10/25/1161749190659.html)
Sydneysider charged over $250,000 drug haul
October 27, 2006 - 7:04AM
Police have charged a Sydney man over a $250,000 cannabis haul.
Officers seized 126 hydroponic plants up to a metre high and a firearm during a raid on a home in Chamberlain Road, Padstow, in Sydney's south west, yesterday morning.
They had received reports about drugs being grown at the house.
A 27-year-old man has been charged with enhanced indoor cultivation of a plant for commercial purpose, possessing a prohibited drug, supplying a prohibited drug, possessing property suspected of being proceeds of crime and firearm offences.
He has been refused bail and will appear before Bankstown Local Court today.
The one about a half pound of peyote gettin seized was interestin.
And that dude in Mass is real fucked cuz Mass has the stricted gun laws in the nations and the combo will put him away for a very long time. Real rough.
Burbank, California - Snoop Dogg was arrested on suspicion of illegal drug and gun possession, police said.
The rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, was arrested on Thursday at Bob Hope Airport, police said. Snoop Dogg posted $35 000 bail and was scheduled to appear in court on December 12.
Airport police officers stopped Snoop Dogg at a loading zone for a vehicle code violation. When officers searched the vehicle they found a gun and marijuana, police said.
"There was no basis for this arrest," the rapper's attorney, Donald Etra, said. "We believe that once this is cleared up, all charges will be dismissed."
The Orange County district attorney's office has been considering charges against Snoop Dogg after authorities last month discovered a 53-centimetre collapsible baton in his bags as he boarded a New York-bound flight from John Wayne International Airport.
The rapper was convicted in 1990 of cocaine possession and charged with gun possession after a 1993 traffic stop.
He pleaded guilty in exchange for three years' probation and a promise to make public service announcements against violence.
He was acquitted of murder in 1996 following the death of an alleged gang member who was killed by gunfire from the vehicle Snoop Dogg was travelling in.
Cocaine courier tried to blow evidence away
27 October 2006
A DRUG courier caught red-handed with thousands of pounds worth of cocaine tried to blow away the evidence, a court was told.
The High Court in Glasgow heard Mark Green, 31, of Toreness Street, Partick, Glasgow, ran away from the police, bit open the bag containing the drug and then began shaking it.
But, the police caught up with Green, managed to wrestle him to the ground and grab the bag of cocaine.
Yesterday judge Lord Hardie jailed Green for five years after he admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine last November, at Lumsden Street, Glasgow.
He also pleaded guilty to obstructing the police.
Lord Hardie told Green: "You took steps to obstruct the police officers by running away and seeking to dissipate drugs into the atmosphere."
Peter Hammond, prosecuting, told the court that the cocaine left in the bag had an estimated maximum street value of £6000.
Billy Lavelle, defending, said: "The accused was was approached by a man and asked to take what he thought was amphetamine to someone he knew. He undertook to do this without thinking of the consequences."
Green was caught because the police were looking for someone of a similar description who had an outstanding warrant. When they asked to check Green's details he panicked and ran off.
(KIRKSVILLE) Two meth suspects on the loose are now behind bars.
The Adair County Sheriff's Department arrested 20-year-old William "Billy" Lewis of Kirksville and 20-year-old Lexis Lewis of Kirksville just after 6 p.m. Tuesday on a county gravel road.
Authorities had been searching for the pair since Thursday when three others were taken into custody in connection with a meth bust on Motter Hill Road that turned up an active meth lab, drugs, drug paraphernalia and other evidence.
Both Billy and Lexis Lewis are charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. Investigators tell KTVO other charges are pending.
The two were spotted by an attentive motorist who saw them fighting on the front lawn of a residence Tuesday evening.
Timothy Atterbery of Kirksville recognized Billy Lewis and contacted the authorities.
The other three suspects already in custody in this case are 42-year-old Robert Pettibone of Kirksville, 42-year-old Jerry Mahurin of Kirksville and 44-year-old James Butler of Unionville, Missouri. All three face a charge of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
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