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Tag: Drugs

Border Patrol Discovers Meth-Laced Candy at a Checkpoint Near Mexico

Meth-laced candy, via Border Patrol

Meth-laced candy, via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has made an alarming discovery – candy laced with methamphetamine.

The Desert Sun reports that agents discovered several boxes of the candy at a checkpoint on Highway 86 near the Salton Sea.

Drug-sniffing dogs led agents to candy, which was inside a 2012 Nissan Frontier being driven by a 48-year-old man.

The tamarind candy, which was labeled in Spanish, tested positive for methamphetamine.

The DEA is now investigating.

Other Stories of Interest

Former Secret Service Agent Pleads Guilty to Stealing $820K Worth of Bitcoin During Silk Road Probe

bitcoin_bigBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Secret Service agent accused of pocketing $820,000 worth of Bitcoin money while investigating the Silk Road online drug marketplace has pleaded guilty to money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Tech Times reports that then-Secret Service Agent Shaun Bridges admitted Monday to stealing the Bitcoin money and placing it in a personal account.

Bridges said he stole about 20,000 Bitcoin in 2013.

Another federal agent, Carl Force, also admitted to stealing the digital currency several month ago.

“This case shows we will act quickly to hold wrongdoers accountable, no matter who they are,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said.

Cocaine Production in Bolivia 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.

Border Patrol Finds Drug Smuggler in Scuba Gear Near Long Tunnel to Mexico

Photo via Border Patrol.

Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Border Patrol agents found a man in scuba gear, they knew something odd was afoot.

Turns out, the man was smuggling drugs through a tunnel that was partially underwater at the end of the All-American Canal, about 7 miles east of Calexico, Calif., The Associated Press reports.

Near the man was a breathing tank and several vacuum-sealed packages containing 55 pounds of cocaine.

The April 25 discovery unearthed a 150-foot-long tunnel that stretched from the canal to a house in Mexicali, Mexico.

“Drug smugglers will try anything to move their product — even scuba diving in an underwater tunnel,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement. “The ingenuity of the smugglers is matched only by our determination to thwart it.”

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.

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

New DEA Chief: Marijuana ‘Probably Not’ As Dangerous As Heroin

Marijuana

Photo by Steve Neavling

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The new head of the DEA says marijuana is “probably not” as dangerous as heroin, a position that was in contrast to his predecessor, the U.S. News & World Report. 

Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said the DEA would not prioritize marijuana enforcement, but emphasized that agents are still going to pursue pot cases.

“If you want me to say that marijuana’s not dangerous, I’m not going to say that because I think it is,” Rosenberg said. “Do I think it’s as dangerous as heroin? Probably not. I’m not an expert.”

He added: “Let me say it this way: I’d rather be in a car accident going 30 miles an hour than 60 miles an hour, but I’d prefer not to be in a car accident at all.”

Marijuana advocates praised Rosenberg for being less aggressive with marijuana than his predecessor, Michele Leonhart.

“This is not a matter of opinion,” Dan Riffle, director of federal policies at the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, says. “It’s far less harmful than heroin and it’s encouraging that the DEA is finally willing to recognize that.”

Other Stories of Interest

President Obama Calls for Reformed Drug Sentences That Overwhelmingly Face Young Black Men

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama on Thursday delivered a clear message Wednesday when he commuted the federal prison sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders: The time has come to overhaul a criminal justice system that locks away too many nonviolent offenders.

Obama also expressed concern that may of the nonviolent offenders who are incarcerated are young black men, CNN reports. 

During an impassioned speech at the annual NAACP convention in Philadelphia, Obama bemoaned the fact that inmates are confined to horrible prison conditions, including rape and solitary confinement, which he declared “have no place in any civilized country.”

“In too many places, black boys and black men, and Latino boys and Latino men, experience being treated different under the law,” Obama said, claiming his assertion wasn’t “anecdote” or “barber shop talk,” but instead backed by data.

Obama is trying to gain bipartisan support for reforming the current sentencing laws.