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Tag: DEA

Federal Judge Criticizes DEA Agents for Questionable Tactics Dealing with Pipe Shops

DEALetterHatBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A judge admonished questionable tactics by the DEA to shut down a dozen pipe shops in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court, the owners of Ziggyz pipe shops said the DEA threatened his landlords in an attempt to force the stores to close, the Tulsa World reports. 

The judge did not like that tactic.

“The government may not attack what it views as illegal activity by simply putting someone out of business, through ‘leaning’ on their landlords or customers or other backdoor means,” U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton wrote in an order dated Aug. 18.

Under the judge’s order, federal agents are prohibited from contacting Ziggyz landlords or seeking forfeiture proceedings.

Cocaine Drops for 4th Year in Row After DEA Was Kicked Out

boliviaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For the fourth year in a row, cocaine production declined in Bolivia after the DEA was forced to leave the country, Mint Press News reports. 

Last year, cocaine production dropped 11% over the prior year, according to the United Nations.

The DEA was forced out of Bolivia seven years ago, and instead of seeking punitive measures, the Bolivian government found alternative crops for farmers.

“Bolivia has adopted a policy based on dialogue, where coca cultivation is allowed in traditional areas alongside alternative development [in others],” Antonino de Leo, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s representative in Bolivia, told VICE News.

“It’s not only about making money off a crop. In the old fashioned alternative development approach, we substitute one illicit crop for a licit crop. It’s about a more comprehensive approach that includes access to essential services like schools, hospitals, and roads in areas that traditionally have been hard to reach,” Leo added.

Observant, Off-Duty DEA Agent Busts Man with Large Amount of Cocaine in Suitcase

dea-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent was off duty getting his car worked on when he saw a suspicious encounter.

Ricky Nuckles, 41, parked his car at a gas station, where another car pulled up, and a man placed a large suitcase in the back of Nuckles’ car before driving off, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Suspicious, the agent confronted Nuckles, who ran into the store and ditched his cell phone.

The agent spotted a firearm in the driver’s seat and called 911.

As police and more agents arrived, they found cocaine worth $750,000 and a handgun after Nuckles agreed to a search.

“Thanks to a vigilant off-duty DEA agent, 22 kilograms of cocaine is off the streets, and Nuckles’ drug-trafficking days are finished,” U.S. attorney John Horn said.

Nuckles was sentenced Thursday to 17 years and 7 months in prison.

Judge Gives Rare OK to Discovery in Lawsuit Challenging DEA Bulk Surveillance

spy graphic

By Mark Rumold
Electronic Frontier Foundation

A federal judge in Los Angeles has given our clients, Human Rights Watch, the go-ahead to take discovery from the government in our ongoing lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the DEA’s bulk surveillance program. Friday’s decision is rare, and it’s a decisive victory—both for HRW and for the general public. EFF is not aware of any other case where discovery has been allowed into a government mass surveillance program. And the order forces the government to answer questions, under oath, about the steps it took to ensure that all illegally collected records have been fully purged from all government systems.

The case stems from the DEA’s disclosure in January of this year that it had secretly collected Americans’ international call records in bulk for over two decades. News reports described the program as massive—sweeping in billions of records of Americans’ calls to more than 100 countries around the globe, including Canada, Mexico, India, and Italy. The DEA relied only on an obscure administrative subpoena statute to obtain the records in bulk. That means, unlike the NSA’s bulk surveillance program, there was no judicial involvement whatsoever. Making matters worse, reports confirm that multiple agencies searched the illegally collected records for all kinds of cases—from terrorism, to drug trafficking, to export violations.

In April, immediately following a lengthy report in USA Today, EFF filed suit on behalf of Human Rights Watch against the DEA, DHS, FBI, and various unnamed agencies. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the program, and seeks to ensure that the program is permanently stopped rather than merely suspended as claimed by DEA. The suit further asks the court to ensure that all illegally collected records are accounted for and destroyed.

To read more click here.

Overdoses of Synthetic Drug, Spice, Surges As More People Abuse It

spice_race_article2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Overdoses or other problems from taking synthetic drugs are skyrocketing as demonstrated by the increasing number of calls to poisoning control centers about “spice,” ABC 15 reports.

In Arizona alone, poison control centers have fielded 140 calls.

“It scared me a lot,” Joshua Truax, a recovering spice addict, said.

Truax said he first smoked spice when he was 15 and quickly became addicted.

“I gave everything to my buddy and I said, ‘don’t let me get high anymore’,” Truax told ABC 15. “And within 10 minutes I was fighting him to get my stuff back and get high again.”

Spice often comes from China and is a combination of hazardous chemicals.

The side-effects are alarming – psychotic episodes and hallucinations.

Other Stories of Interest

New DEA Leader: ‘El Chapo’ Likely Still in Mexico After Prison Escape

'El Chapo' Guzman

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is most likely still in Mexico after his escape from prison last month, the DEA’s new acting administrator said.

Chuck Rosenberg told reporters, though, that he has no hard evidence of the escapee’s whereabouts but said Guzman is likely relying on the vast resources of his Sinaloa organization in Mexico.

“I think he is still in Mexico,” Rosenberg said. “Do I know that? No, I do not know that. Where is he safest and best protected, probably Sinaloa.”

The U.S. is offering a $5 million reward for the capture of Guzman, a powerful cartel leader.

“I know the Mexicans are trying everything they can to find him,” he said. “They are working on it; we are working on it with them.”

Other Stories of Interest

San Diego Union-Tribune: Advocates of Marijuana Legalization Miss Mark

marijuana-istockBy David W. Murray & John P. Walters
The San Diego Union-Tribune

A recent example of the logical abandon of today’s backers of legal marijuana is the plan to defund the Drug Enforcement Administration’s program to eradicate illegal marijuana (DEA/CESP), an $18 million program that eliminates millions of plants a year and arrests thousands of criminals, many of whom were brought here to labor for Mexican drug cartels controlling the marijuana black market.

Yet Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) wants to end the effort as a “ridiculous waste” of federal resources, when multiple states “have already legalized marijuana,” use of which should “no longer be a federal crime.” Clearly, the congressman has not thought this through. He is, in fact, arguing against his own legal marijuana case.

A central tenet of the legalization movement is that criminal marijuana was to be supplanted by “safe, regulated and taxed” marijuana under careful control. It is a contradiction of that principle to foster, by cutting the DEA program, the proliferation of unregulated, untaxed and “unsafe” marijuana plants controlled by violent criminals, thereby corrupting the entire point of a “legalized” marijuana market.

While a “regulated and taxed market” was the position sold to legislators, the real objective seems to be a dope-growing paradise, unregulated and unopposed. Congressman Lieu doesn’t even try to explain how this is supposed to advance America’s well-being.

For years now, Americans have been subjected to efforts by advocates for legalized marijuana to make their case. Today, the arguments often come from legalization lobbyists, often with legal or political training, seeking to legitimize what they hope will become a billion-dollar business in addictive toxins – repeat customers guaranteed.

Or consider the argument that marijuana is “safer to use” than alcohol. That alcohol is dangerous all acknowledge, costing the health of thousands. But the proper argument is that each intoxicant presents its own unique threats. It is not productive medically to “rank” them. But what is the logical implication of the alcohol talking point?

The regulation of alcohol is precisely the idealized model that lobbyists put forth for legal drugs. Hence, every time they insist that alcohol is the more damaging substance, what they are actually showing is that the model of legal, regulated sales of addictive substances produces widespread harm to adults and adolescents.

To read more click here. 

 

DEA Gets New Leader of Philadelphia Field Division; Pledges Fight Against Heroin

Gary Tuggle

Gary Tuggle

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 23-year veteran of the DEA has been named as the next head of the Philadelphia Field Division.

Philly.com reports that Gary Tuggle will oversee the city and five regional officers in Pennsylvania and Delaware, replacing Don Dongilli, who retired last year.

Tuggle’s career began as a Baltimore City police officer before joining the DEA in 1992.

Most recently, Tuggle served as the assistant special agent in charge of the DEA’s Washington Office.

Tuggle said he plans to focus on the heroin and prescription drug epidemic.

Other Stories of Interest