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Tag: Drugs

Column: U.S. Falls Short in Helping Mexico Battle Drug War

drug war-gunBy Jackson Diehl
Washington Post Deputy Editorial  Page Writer

WASHINGTON — Last month, 303 people were murdered in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, which lies alongside El Paso. This month, the dead include three men killed by a sophisticated, remote-controlled car bomb — the first in Mexico’s drug wars. In a city of 1.2 million, more than 2,600 died violently in 2009; some 200,000 more may have fled.

Meanwhile in Washington, the Government Accountability Office has drawn up a list of assistance promised to Mexico by the United States since 2008, but not delivered. It includes: at least nine Black Hawk helicopters; three Bell helicopters; four airplanes for sea patrolling; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft; 218 polygraph units; two railroad inspection units; mobile gamma radiation trucks; and five training programs, ranging from “financial intelligence” to “drug demand reduction.”

Since the end of the Cold War, neglect of Latin America has become something of a fine art in Washington, practiced by Republican and Democratic administrations alike.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

The Life of a Coca Farmer and Cocaine

About 500 N.Y. Feds, State and Local Cops Bust Up Bloods and Latin King Gangs in Small Town

About 500 FBI and other law enforcement officers gather get briefed before raids/fbi photo

About 500 FBI and other law enforcement officers gather to get briefed before raids/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

About 500 federal, state and local police on Thursday converged on the town of Newburgh, about 50 miles north of New York City, to round up gang members of the Bloods and the Latin Kings, who authorities say have been responsible for a good chunk of crime and drug trafficking in the city along the Hudson River.

Law enforcement agents and officers raided dozens of homes, and as of Thursday, 23 of 78 gang members named in federal indictments had been arrested. About 34 were already in custody, authorities said. Newburgh has a population of about 29,000.

FBI agent Jim Gagliano (left) briefs acting adic George Venizelos (right) /fbi photo

FBI agent Jim Gagliano (left) briefs acting adic George Venizelos (right) /fbi photo

“In a city as small as Newburgh and as violent—there have already been four homicides this year, all directly related to gang violence—these arrests will have a substantial effect on the crime rate in the city,” FBI special agent Jim Gagliano, who who headed a 16-month, FBI-led Safe Streets Task Force investigation said in a statement.

The FBI said the task force had made nearly 100 drug buys totaling more than five kilos of crack cocaine.

“The majority of these buys were done while we recorded video and audio,” Gagliano said. “Not only did we get the subject’s voice on tape, we also see the exchange.”

Actor Michael Douglas’ Son Cameron Gets 5 Year Sentence in DEA Bust

Kirk Douglas letter to judge/ticklethewire.com photo

Kirk Douglas letter to judge/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Actor Michael Douglas’ son Cameron, who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, got a five year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine in New York federal court on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. District Judge Richard told the 31-year-old Douglas that this was his “last chance to make it.” Douglas apologized for his crime during the sentencing which was attended by his father, AP reported.

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Does Recent DEA Enforcement in Afghanistan Signal Hope in Narco-Terrorism War?

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. He is the author of the book “Carving Out the Rule of Law: The History of the United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Michigan 1815–2008”.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

In October, 2008 this column pointed out the growing link between international narcotics traffickers and terrorists, especially in Afghanistan. This was not news to federal law enforcement. Still, few politicians or members of the public were aware of this relationship.

Support for a well financed and coordinated international enforcement strategy, despite the best efforts of a few at DEA, seemed to be desperately lacking.

This dim political recognition came despite the alarming facts: The Taliban was expected to receive $70 million from the poppy harvest that year, and half of the terrorist organizations were financed — at least in part– by drug trafficking. The money was used to buy more sophisticated weapons and explosive devices and to train and equip more Taliban fighters.

DEA Agent Forrest Leamon died in Afghanistan

DEA Agent Forrest Leamon died in Afghanistan

In 2009 the Obama administration launched a bold strategy to attack narco-terrorism in Afghanistan. A multi-agency task force was established in Kabul to disrupt financial channels. The military targeted dozens of drug lords and began to participate in seizure and interdiction efforts.

And, importantly, the number of DEA personnel stationed in Afghanistan jumped from from 13 to almost 100. Add to that number the dozens of retired federal agents who were sent as contract civilian trainers to advise and assist the Afghan anti-narcotic program.

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Ex-Slugger Jose Conseco Tweets About Fed Grand Jury Subpoena

Jose Conseco/abc news

Jose Conseco/abc news

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

What better way to announce that you’re going before a grand jury than to tweet it to the world.

Ex-baseball slugger Jose Conseco did just that on Tuesday when he announced on Twitter that he had been subpoenaed by a grand jury looking into whether baseball star Roger Clemens lied to Congress about taking illegal performance-enhancing drugs, the Associated Press reported.

The AP wrote that Conseco posted on Twitter that he had received a grand jury subpoena “about roger clemens,andrew pettite and others” on April 8.

“Its like the godfather,” Canseco wrote on Twitter, according to the AP, “when I thought I was out they drag me back in. And now it begins again.”

Mexican Cartels Operating in 230 U.S. Cities, Justice Dept. Says

The evidence keeps mounting that the war on the Mexican drug cartels is every bit the United State’s war as well. The cartels have sunk their tentacles into major cities around the U.S. like Chicago. In fact, the Post reports that the Justice Dept. has found that Mexican cartels are operating  in 230 U.S. cities.

drug war art

By Steve Fainaru and William Booth
Washington Post Foreign Service

The Flores brothers had never looked like much in the eyes of local narcotics agents. But by the time it all came crashing down this year, the drug-distribution network allegedly run by the 28-year-old twins from the Mexican American barrios of Chicago was one of the largest and most sophisticated ever seen in the U.S. heartland, according to interviews and federal indictments.

Pedro and Margarito Flores allegedly operated as an American annex to a major Mexican drug mafia, and their arrest and the dismantling of their purported network opened a window on how powerful Mexican cartels operate in the United States, distributing cocaine and heroin with the corporate efficiency of UPS, while back home competitors are tortured and beheaded.

For Full Story

Camden, NJ Prosecutor Worries About DEA Taking Over Task Force

Prosecutor Warren Faulk/county photo

Prosecutor Warren Faulk/county photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Camden, N.J. in the past has been dubbed the most dangerous city in America.

So it might be seen as good news that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has decided to take over the the Philadelphia-Camden High Intensity Drug Trafficking task force from the local prosecutor.

But the Camden County prosecutor, according to the Philadelphia Daily News, isn’t exactly doing hand stands over the news.

County Prosecutor Warren Faulk told the Philly paper that he’s concerned the DEA will focus only on big cases and ignore street level dealers.

camden-map

“We’re a team player and will do what has to be done and we’ll get the job done,” Faulk told the paper. “But we certainly have concerns about this that we’re going to have to see about.”

“We don’t have thresholds,” Faulk said, “We’ll prosecute anyone.”

To read more click here.