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Tag: cocaine

DEA Reports Spike in Cocaine Availability And Use in U.S.

Cocaine-jpgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A cocaine production boom in Colombia has increased use and availability of the drug in the United States for the first time in nearly a decade, the DEA reports.

The DEA’s 2016 National Drug Threat Assessment concluded that more cocaine is reaching the U.S.  because of increases in seizures and overdose deaths. 

The increase occurred between 2014 and 2015.

The DEA estimates a 67% increase in cocaine production in Columbia, one of the largest providers of the drug in the U.S.

The DEA also identified new risks, including cocaine mixed with the deadly opioid fentanyl.

Other Stories of Interest

Brothers Charged After Shootout with DEA Agents in Illinois

dea-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two brothers accused of engaging in a shootout with DEA agents near a mall in Joliet, Ill., have been charged in connection with the incident.

Adan and Fernando Godinez have been charged with multiple gun and drug charges, NBC Chicago reports. 

During the shootout, Adan Godinez was shot in the leg.

Adan Godinez is accused of trying to sell two kilograms of cocaine, valued at $70,000, to an undercover FBI agent in August.

During the alleged drug deal, law enforcement officials tried to arrest the brothers, but Adan Godinez pulled out a firearm and shot at the officers, who were not injured.

The officers returned fire, shooting Adan Godinez.

“It’s a scary situation,” DEA spokesperson Dennis Wichern said said Tuesday. “It’s just a reminder, guys and gals, how dangerous it is at times for law enforcement.”

Other Stories of Interest

Former DEA Task Force Officer Found Guilty of Conspiring to Steal 15 Kilograms of Cocaine

Cocaine-jpgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A jury found guilty a former DEA task force officer who conspired to steal nearly 15 kilograms of cocaine before staging a seizure to conceal the theft, MySA.com reports.

Hector “Jojo” Mendez, 46, was convicted after a jury deliberated for just three hours Thursday.

According to prosecutors, Mendez and a government informant agreed to cut the cocaine and then repackage it for a staged seizure.

During the trial, witnesses and federal prosecutor said he concealed information about the DEA seizure and lied to judges in sworn court filings.

He faces between 10 years and life in prison when he is sentenced in late September.

Other Stories of Interest

Authorities Discover Massive U.S.-Mexico Drug Tunnel, Seize 1 ton of Cocaine

Part of the tunnel.

Part of the tunnel.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities discovered a massive drug-trafficking tunnel underneath the California-Mexico border, seizing one ton of cocaine and seven tons of marijuana and arresting six people.

“We believe this to be the longest tunnel that we have discovered in this district to date,” Laura Duffy, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, told ABC News.

The cocaine was worth about $22 million.

The 800-yard tunnel began at a house in Tijuana and ended in the Otay Mesa neighborhood of San Diego.

“On the surface, few would ever suspect that traffickers were moving multiton quantities of cocaine and marijuana worth tens of millions of dollars in such an unassuming way, through this rabbit hole in the ground, in full view of the world around it,” Duffy said.

DEA: Flight Attendant Fled After Trying to Smuggle Nearly 70 Pounds of Cocaine

Cocaine-jpgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is on the hunt for an airline employee accused of trying to smuggle nearly 70 pounds of what appears to be cocaine onto a plane.

The flight attendant was pulled aside for a random screening last week at Los Angeles International Airport, KRCA reports. 

The female fight attendant fled, leaving behind luggage filled with cocaine, according to the union for LAX police officers.

The union said the case underscores why everyone should be screened before entering an airport.

“LAX is the top West Coast terrorist target and has been the site of airport employees smuggling drugs aboard aircrafts and other criminal activities,” the statement said. “100 percent screening has the potential to stop an ‘insider’ or ‘lone wolf’ terrorist attack and to help decrease the opportunities for airport employees to commit crimes.”

Other Stories of Interest

DEA’s John ‘Jack’ Riley Named ticklethewire.com’s Fed of The Year For 2015

John "Jack" Riley

John “Jack” Riley

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

John “Jack” Riley,  the DEA’s acting deputy administrator, has been named ticklethewire.com’s Fed of the Year for 2015.

Riley, a native of Chicago with more than 25 years of drug law enforcement experience, was appointed the acting second-in-command of the DEA in April as the top administrator, Michele Leonhart, was stepping down.

Riley has stepped into a top leadership role — no easy task — and deserves  credit for working on getting the agency back on track, while providing guidance to the new interim director, an outsider from the FBI, Chuck Rosenberg.  Along the way, he’s made some tough decisions, which hasn’t pleased everyone inside the DEA.

The grandson of a Chicago cop, he headed up the Chicago and El Paso field offices, and has spent years investigating the Mexican cartels and the trafficking of heroin and cocaine across the southern border.

The man is old school. He’s got it out for Mexican drug lord  Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, chief of the murderous Sinaloa Cartel, who escaped from a Mexican prison earlier this year. Riley was once the target of an assassination plot by El Chapo’s operatives.

“Just so you know, I was going to retire — until this dick escaped,” Riley told Yahoo! News in September, adding:  “I’m in it for the long haul.”

Previous recipients of the ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year award include: Former Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (2008):   Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI (2009), Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City (2010);  Thomas Brandon, deputy Director of ATF (2011); John G. Perren, who was assistant director of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Directorate (2012); David Bowdich, special agent in charge of counterterrorism in Los Angeles (2013);  and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn at the time (2014).

Border Patrol Agent Arrested for Allegedly Possessing 110 Pounds of Cocaine

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 14-year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol has been arrested in Southern Arizona on allegations that he was in possession of 110 pounds of cocaine that he had planned to drive to Chicago, The Tucson Sentinel reports. 

Agent Juan Pimental, 47, was jailed without bail on a felony charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine following his Nov. 18 arrest.

Pimental resigned Tuesday after he was stopped by state troopers in a rented vehicle that allegedly had a problematic license plate.

According to the complaint, the former agent allowed police to search his vehicle, where authorities found bundles of cocaine in inside four suitcases.

DEA Busts 2 Members of Venezuelan President’s Family in Alleged Drug-Smuggling Scheme

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, via Wikipedia.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA has busted a drug-smuggling ring that led to the arrest of the Venezuelan president’s family in Haiti, UPI.com reports. 

Arrested were two nephews of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores Freites are accused of trying to smuggle 1,700 pounds of cocaine from Haiti to the U.S.

The nephews tried to claim they had diplomatic immunity, a claim that didn’t work with the DEA.

They were taken to New York awaiting a court hearing today.

Other Stories of Interest

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