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Tag: panama

Drug Smugglers Try Wigs, Secret Pockets

Seized in the investigation/ICE photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Suspected drug couriers from the east coast and Panama apparently used some innovation, smuggling cocaine and heroin in small pockets sewn into Lycra shorts and in their hair weaves and wigs, according to the website Government News Service.

GNS reports that 12 individuals were charged in a 20-count indictment, the results of a three year investigation of ICE, Homeland Security and the DEA, allege the individuals.

ICE officials called the investigation a game of cat and mouse. Law enforcement officials would crack down on the smuggling ring, only to have smugglers adapt to new law enforcement techniques, and so on.

Ronaldo Edmund, Kelvin Cook and Julio Archer, of the US, allegedly recruited mostly female couriers, reports GNS, to smuggle heroin and cocaine by the kilo from Panama to the U.S.

To read more click here.

DEA’s Joseph Evans Who Heads Up Mexico Operation Named ticklethewire.com’s Fed Of The Year

Joseph Evans/dea photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City, has been named ticklethewire.com’s Fed Of The Year for 2010.

Faced with one of the more daunting tasks in  the DEA — battling the violent Mexican Drug Cartels — Evans is credited with developing key partnerships with the Mexican Federal Police and the Mexican government. He is known as an innovative leader and is well respected among colleagues.

A 19-year veteran of the DEA, he was assigned to the Mexico City post in October 2009. The DEA credits his partnership with helping apprehend or kill several key drug kingpins including Arturo Beltran Leyva, Harold Mauricio Poveda Ortega and Narario Moreno Gonzalez.

His area of responsibility also includes Central America and Canada.

The former Marine previously worked for the DEA in Miami, New York, Panama, Venezuela and Costa Rica.

The Fed of Year in 2008 was Chicago’s U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. In 2009, the award went to Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI.

Panamanian Pres. Ricardo Martinelli Wanted DEA to Wiretap Political Opponents

Panama Pres. Ricardo Martinelli/wikipedia photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – Good or bad, one thing is certain: The WikiLeaks documents are pretty fascinating.

One of the latest ones of interest has surfaced in some publications including  the Washington Post, which reports that Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli was trying to put the squeeze on the DEA to wiretap his political opponents.

“He clearly made no distinction between legitimate security targets and political enemies,” then-U.S. Ambassador Barbara Stephenson wrote in her Aug. 22, 2009 report, the Post reported.

The Post reported that Martinelli via a BlackBerry message wrote to Stephenson: “I need help tapping phones.”

In her cable, the U.S. ambassador said Martinelli’s requests were rebuffed, the Post reported.

“We will not be party to any effort to expand wiretaps to domestic political targets,” Stephenson wrote.

Another cable reported that head of the Mexican military told U.S. authorities last year that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, moved around a lot and was “difficult” to capture because he surrounds himself with hundreds of armed men and a sophisticated web of snitches, the Post reported.

To read more click here.

Related Story: Cables Portray Extended Reach of DEA (NY Times)