drug traffickers

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Hit Man Who Killed 300 Freed

Jhon Jairo Velasquez was Escobar's chief assassin

(Newser) - The Colombian hit man known as "Popeye" has been freed from prison after 22 years—which works out to around 27 days for each of the 300 people he has admitted killing. John Jairo Velasquez was the chief assassin for drug lord Pablo Escobar and is believed to have... More »

Isolated Tribe Says Elders Were Murdered

Also, video shows young members' first contact

(Newser) - A video that purports to show footage of first contact with a formerly isolated tribe on the Brazil-Peru border has been released by Brazil's FUNAI agency, along with some disturbing news from tribe members themselves. As had been hinted at in previous reports, some of the younger members say... More »

'Preppy Drug Ring' Busted in Affluent Philly Suburbs

11 members allegedly wanted to keep elite high schools stocked

(Newser) - After a four-month investigation, authorities yesterday busted 11 alleged members of a drug ring—a drug ring notable because some of its members were students and alums of pricey prep schools living in the leafy, affluent "Main Line" suburbs outside Philadelphia. Their goal, police say, was to keep five... More »

In Mass Trial, 30 Sentenced to Death for Drug Smuggling

Vietnam also hands out dozens of prison sentences; 89 defendants were tried

(Newser) - Thirty people were today sentenced to death in Vietnam in a single trial, the AP reports. The 21 men and nine women were convicted of heroin trafficking during a 20-day trial, said to be the largest such trial the country has ever held. The defendants were found to belong to... More »

Guy Crushed to Death by His Own Marijuana

Drug smuggler had half a ton in his backseat, crashed car

(Newser) - Very important lesson for drug traffickers: Do not store your half-ton of weed in the backseat of your car. A Brazilian drug smuggler did just that, police say, and the man was killed when he crashed into a tree while being chased by police ... because the 1,100 pounds of... More »

Weeds Actress Praises Mexican Drug Lord

Joaquin Guzman could be 'hero of heroes,' Kate del Castillo says

(Newser) - Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, best known in the US for her role in Weeds, has shocked Mexico with praise for Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin Guzman. In an open letter slamming the Catholic church, the media, and the Mexican government, Castillo—who played a drug boss in the Telemundo hit... More »

Feds Helped Mexican Drug Honcho Move Millions

Transferred cash, drugs across international borders

(Newser) - The New York Times last month revealed that undercover US agents have laundered and smuggled millions of dollars for Mexico's drug cartels—and today the paper shines a light on one such operation, in which federal agents helped one drug trafficker and his Colombian supplier move cash and cocaine... More »

Feds Bust Iraqi Drug Ring in California

Authorities arrest 60, seize 4K pounds of pot, cite ties to Mexican cartel

(Newser) - Authorities have arrested 60 alleged members of an Iraqi drug ring run out of a southern California social club, seizing some $630,000 in cash, 3,500 pounds of marijuana, and a cache of firearms and explosives, the Los Angeles Times reports. The El Cajon-based club has been a “... More »

Drug Smugglers May Have Wiped Out Amazon Tribe

Uncontacted tribe missing after traffickers overrun lands

(Newser) - Authorities in Brazil fear that a "lost" tribe deep in the Amazon has been wiped out after encountering the outside world at its worst. The tribe, which had never previously been contacted by outsiders— and was photographed earlier this year aiming bows and arrows at a plane flying over... More »

Mexico Nabs Drug King 'El Brad Pitt'

Nicknamed stemmed from disguise he wore

(Newser) - Mexico’s federal police have arrested the alleged leader of the armed wing of the Juarez Cartel—one Marco Antonio Guzman, also known as “El Brad Pitt.” Guzman was nabbed on Wednesday in Chihuahua, the northern Mexican state that’s home to Ciudad Juarez, site of an estimated... More »

ICE Busts Hundreds in 168-City Gang Sweep

Half of those nabbed in multi-city raids have Mexican cartel links

(Newser) - A vast multi-city gang sweep shows the extent to which Mexican drug cartels have penetrated American cities—and, say federal officials, the extent to which the government is willing to go to take them down. Some 678 gang members, including 421 nationals, were busted in 168 cities during Project Southern... More »

Drug Submarine Seized in Colombia

$2M used to ferry cocaine to Mexico, say officials

(Newser) - A submarine that aimed to ferry masses of cocaine to Mexico has been nabbed off the coast of Colombia. The 100-foot-long fiberglass vessel was found stashed in a jungle area in southwestern Colombia. The sub—big enough to carry four people and eight tons of cargo—was capable of traveling... More »

Drug Catapult Seized at Mexican Border

Border fence pot-flingers foiled

(Newser) - Mexican drug smugglers trying to get marijuana across the border have resorted to medieval methods. A pot-flinging catapult was seized after National Guardsmen in Arizona spotted it being used other side of the border and alerted Mexican authorities, AP reports. The smugglers got away but left behind their vehicle, 35... More »

Mexican Cartel Claims to Have Retired

La Familia dissolved, banners say

(Newser) - Banners have appeared in the heartland of Mexico's La Familia drug cartel claiming that the criminal organization has been dissolved but authorities are understandably skeptical. The cartel, one of Mexico's most brutal, declared a month-long truce earlier this month and authorities believe that it is weakened and in disarray but... More »

FAA Not Sure Who Owns Thousands of US Planes

Chaos prompts terror fears; agency calls for re-registration

(Newser) - The FAA lacks key information on who owns some 119,000 private and commercial aircraft in the US, prompting concerns that terrorists or drug traffickers could use the paperwork mess to their advantage—something the latter group is already doing. The FAA is calling for all owners to re-register the... More »

105-Ton Pot Cache Seized in Mexico

Tijuana raids net huge stash, some in Homer Simpson packaging

(Newser) - Mexican authorities have made the biggest marijuana bust in years. Some 10,000 packages of pot weighing a total of 105 tonssome of it wrapped in Homer Simpson packagingwere seized in pre-dawn raids in Tijuana, the BBC reports. Gangs had been planning to smuggle the dope into the... More »

Rebel Leader Killed in Colombia

27 die in raid on FARC camp

(Newser) - Guerrilla leader Sixto Cabana was among 27 rebels killed in a raid on a camp near the Ecuadoran border, Colombian officials announced. Cabana, who had been a member of the FARC rebel group for over 25 years, was a senior commander in the organization and was wanted in the US... More »

Afghan Cops Kill 64 in Drug Busts

36K pounds of narcotic seized in Helmand raid

(Newser) - Afghan cops say they have killed 64 militants and drug traffickers during a 3-day operation in Helmand province, according to law enforcement authorities. Ten other people were arrested and 36,000 pounds of narcotics were seized, along with weapons and suicide vests. Afghan authorities said that the dozens of people... More »

Ecuador, DEA Bust Drug-Smuggling Sub

Vessel's huge payload a serious development

(Newser) - The Drug Enforcement Administration said yesterday it has helped seize a diesel electric-powered submarine constructed in a remote jungle and capable of transporting tons of cocaine. The sub was captured near a tributary close to the Ecuador-Colombia border, and Ecuadorean authorities said it was seized before it could make its... More »

Jamaica Ready for Rumble Over Drug Lord's Extradition

Supporters set up barricade, fire on cops

(Newser) - Jamaica has caved to US pressure to extradite alleged drug kingpin Christopher "Dudus" Coke to New York, but it'll have to drag him out of his stronghold in the capital to do so. Gunmen, who have set up barricades blocking all entrances to Kingston's Tivoli Gardens neighborhood and vowed... More »

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