drug trafficking

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'CEO of Purple Drank' Brought Down by Own Instagram Page

Law enforcement officials monitored Harrison Garcia's account

(Newser) - The self-described “CEO of Purple Drank” will be operating out of a new office: federal prison. According to the Washington Post , a judge has sentenced Harrison Garcia, also known as “Cuban Harry” and “Muhammad_a_Lean,” to 30 years after the 27-year-old was found guilty of armed drug... More »

'El Chapo' Hires Experienced Legal Team

Jeffrey Lichtman suggests witnesses for the prosecution aren't credible

(Newser) - Days after public defenders argued his case should be dismissed , Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has said adios and hired a private legal team. Jeffrey Lichtman says Guzman has hired himself and Marc Fernich, who successfully defended the son of mafia boss John Gotti in a 2005 racketeering trial, along... More »

Huge Amount of Meth Found Stashed in Floorboards

Haul had street value of $680 million

(Newser) - Police in Australia discovered a record-breaking amount of meth stashed under floorboards, but they didn't need to rip up a floor: The 2,000-pound haul was discovered in a shipment of 70 boxes of wooden floorboards in a Melbourne warehouse, the BBC reports. Two Melbourne men, ages 53 and... More »

A Major US Drug Kingpin Moonlighted as a Pro Racer

Or was it the other way around?

(Newser) - "I very much still consider myself a race car driver," 62-year-old Randy Lanier says. And that's no small statement considering Lanier recently got out of prison, where he spent a quarter-century for importing at least 600,000 pounds of marijuana into the US. Rolling Stone takes a... More »

Guy Won $3M in the Lottery, Allegedly Sank It Into Meth Ring

Ronnie Music could now face life in prison

(Newser) - When Ronnie Music Jr. won $3 million in a Georgia Lottery scratch game last year, he decided to invest—in methamphetamine, say police. Music, of Waycross, Ga., pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking and firearm charges last week after prosecutors accused the 45-year-old of supplying drug dealers with at least... More »

8 Tons of Coke Seized in Colombia's Biggest Bust Ever

'A hit against criminals,' country's president triumphantly tweets

(Newser) - Colombia's Defense Ministry has announced what it says is the country's biggest cocaine bust ever, with 17,500 pounds of coke seized from the nation's most notorious trafficking gang, CNN reports. The multiday operation targeted Clan Usuga, which has been described by the US Justice Department as... More »

DEA Busts Relatives of Venezuelan President

First lady's nephews were flown to US

(Newser) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro regularly accuses the US of plotting against him, and the arrest of two family members by American authorities is unlikely to soften his stance. The two men were arrested in Haiti on Tuesday and flown to New York the same day to answer charges of plotting... More »

Indonesia Plans Island Prison Guarded by Crocodiles

'You can't bribe crocodiles'

(Newser) - The Guardian reports the head of Indonesia's anti-drug agency has proposed an innovative new prison for drug convicts on death row: an island surrounded by blood-thirsty crocodiles. According to the Washington Post , the inmates would have food delivered to them on the island but would otherwise be left to... More »

US Tracked Billions of Calls Long Before 9/11

USA Today: DEA, Justice Department collected data for 20 years

(Newser) - Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA and its surveillance tactics may have riled people up, but the agency apparently took its cue from two other government departments: the DEA and the DoJ. For almost 10 years before 9/11 took place, the agencies secretly kept records of billions of international... More »

Amid Record Meth Seizures at Border, a 'Clear Trend'

Would-be smugglers are strapping it to their bodies, says official

(Newser) - Stashed in gas tanks, fire extinguishers, even wheels of cheese—those were some of the ways drug runners tried and failed in fiscal 2014 to smuggle methamphetamine through ports at the California-Mexico border, where meth seizures reached record levels, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. According to US Customs and Border... More »

How Feds Grab Bank Accounts, No Crime Needed

IRS confiscates big bucks with 'civil forfeiture' law

(Newser) - Carole Hinders was successfully running a Mexican restaurant in Iowa when IRS agents gave her the bad news: They were seizing her $33,000 checking account. She had committed no crime, but raised suspicions by repeatedly depositing amounts lower than $10,000 in her bank. And Hinders isn't alone,... More »

Italy to Shrink Deficit Using Hookers, Cocaine

Illegal activities to be added to GDP

(Newser) - Surprisingly enough, this idea didn't come from Silvio Berlusconi: Italy plans to include things like illegal drug sales, prostitution, and cigarette smuggling in its GDP figures for the first time, immediately giving the size of the economy a big boost, Bloomberg reports. Prime Minister Mario Renzi has pledged to... 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 »

With Kingpin Gone, Cartel Turf War Looms

But in Sinaloa, Guzman is remembered for generosity

(Newser) - The world's most powerful drug lord is now being held in an underground cell, but few expect Joaquin Guzman's arrest to stop either the flow of drugs or the flow of blood in Mexico's cartel wars. In Sinaloa, the state that gave its name to Guzman's... 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 »

Price of Drug Baron's Freedom: $300M

UK prisoner faces 10 more years if he doesn't pay up

(Newser) - Authorities in Britain have given one of the country's most notorious drug smugglers a choice: cough up $300 million in ill-gotten gains or spend another decade in prison. Prosecutors believe Curtis Warren amassed a huge fortune from years of trafficking and spent the cash buying houses, ski resorts, vineyards,... More »

89-Year-Old Drug Mule Pleads Guilty

Indiana man caught with 200 pounds in Michigan

(Newser) - Leo Sharp was your typical 80-something retiree, splitting time between his place in Indiana and a property in Florida where he grew his beloved lilies. And then, of course, there was the occasional cross-country drive with hundreds of pounds of cocaine for a powerful Mexican cartel. The 89-year-old pleaded guilty... 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 »

Bolivians Toss $1M From Low-Flying Plane

And anti-drug cops swoop in to grab it

(Newser) - Kind of a risky way to pay people, isn't it? Alleged drug dealers ran into trouble last weekend by throwing more than $1 million from a low-flying plane in Bolivia, the BBC reports. Police saw the whole thing, arrested three Bolivian nationals on the ground, and grabbed the bag... More »

Why the World's Murder Capital Is So Messed Up

Drug trafficking, geography make Honduras the most dangerous country on Earth

(Newser) - Honduras has officially taken the crown as the world's most violence-riddled country, with an average of 20 people killed a day in a country the size of Tennessee, reports NPR , which took a trip there to get a look at what's causing all this killing. As in many... More »

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