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Tag: DEA

Mexican Police Arrest Cartel Member Accused in 1985 Torture, Murder of DEA Agent

Ezequiel Godinez Cervantes is in custody.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mexican police arrested a 77-year-old man accused in the 1985 torturing and killing of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Salazar.

The arrest of Ezequiel Godinez Cervantes is major break in what was the first time a cartel had murdered a DEA agent.

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

The FBI tipped off Mexican authorities that Godinez had crossed the border.

“The killing of an American agent on foreign soil was a huge game changer for the United States,” Gretchen Von Helms, a criminal defense attorney who has no ties to the case, told NBC 7 San Diego. “They were obviously very interested in protecting their agents down there and at the time the DEA operated in Mexico much like it was in the United States. You didn’t believe that you could be killed.”

Camarena was working undercover in February 1985 when he disappeared. His body was found a month later on a ranch in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Guadalajara Cartel accused the agent of taking down a marijuana plantation.

“His name has morphed into a symbol of the drug wars between the United States and Mexico,” Von Helms told NBC 7.

Camarena was depicted in the Netflix show “Narcos: Mexico.”

Godinez, who also is accused of killing two Americans he mistook for DEA agents, was handed over to immigration officials for planned extradition to the U.S., where he will be charged.

Feds Consider Classifying Fentanyl As Weapon of Mass Destruction

File photo of pills laced with fentanyl.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Fentanyl is so toxic and lethal that the Department of Homeland Security is considering classifying it as a weapon of mass destruction.

The powerful opioid was responsible for 30,000 overdose deaths in 2017, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The new designation would authorize customs officials and the FBI to inspect more shipments and develop detection tools, The Times reports. Prosecutors also would have more leverage in their fight against the opioid crisis.

Earlier this year, customs officials in Nogales found 254 pounds of fentanyl hidden among cucumbers inside an 18-wheeler. It was the largest fentanyl seizure ever recorded at a port of entry.

DEA Agent Accused of Tapping Sheriff’s Deputy on the Head During DUI Stop

Agent taps the sheriff’s deputy on the head.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A DEA undercover agent in Florida is accused of tapping a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy on the head during a DUI stop last December, the Palm Beach Post reports.

The agent apparently became frustrated during a field sobriety test.

“You’re under arrest for DUI,” PBSO deputy Patrick Zeitz said. Then, “You’re lucky I’m not charging you with something stupid like Batt-Leo.”  Batt-Leo is battery on a law-enforcement officer, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison, the paper explains.

“You, as somebody who does this profession, should know better,” Zeitz said.

“You’re right,” Brendan D’Arcangelo said. “You’re right, bro.”

The DEA has refused to say whether he is still employed at the agency.

He faces four counts of DUI with damage to property or a person, first-degree misdemeanors each punishable by up to a year in jail. A plea conference is set for April 5.

The paper reports that D’Arcangelo’s pickup slammed into two vehicles stopped at a red light. No one was seriously injured.

Ex-DEA Official: Sean Penn Should Be Behind Bars for ‘El Chapo’ Stunt

Sean Penn and “El Chapo,” via Twitter.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Jack Riley, the former number 2 guy at the DEA, has never been one to mince words. In this case, he’s got some strong ones for actor Sean Penn. He thinks the actor should be behind bars for interfering in the apprehension of the drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

“Oh, my God! If I could get my hands on Sean Penn!” Riley tells the N.Y. Post.  “The people he put at risk because of that stunt. He should be in jail.”

The Post explains:

On Oct. 2, 2015, Mexican marines were finally closing in on the drug lord. They had tracked him to a rugged hilltop compound in La Tuna. Just as the order was about to be given to move in, two people inexplicably arrived: Sean Penn and Kate del Castillo, a Mexican soap opera actress who had praised Chapo online. The two were there ostensibly to speak to Guzman about making a film of his life, but Penn later published an infamously softball interview with the kingpin in Rolling Stone.

Fearing the actors would be caught in the crossfire, commanders ordered the marines to stand down. The military waited for the celebrities to leave and, instead of going in on foot, chose to attack by helicopter. They lost the element of surprise, and El Chapo escaped again.

In 2015, Riley was named ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year. 

Mistrial Declared in Trial of Ex-DEA Agent in New Orleans

By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

Federal prosecutors have a decision to make whether to go after ex-DEA agent Chad Scott again.

A mistrial was declared Monday in the trial of the former agent after jurors failed to reach a verdict.

Scott is accused in a seven-year conspiracy of stealing property and money taken during investigations, reports WVUE.

According to  NOLA.com, Scott faced two counts of falsification of government records, related to a Ford pickup truck the prosecutors said was “a gift … from a dope dealer,” three counts of obstruction of justice — related to accusations Scott induced false testimony at a hearing and trial for an alleged drug supplier, Jorge Perralta — and two counts of perjury, related to Scott’s testimony in the Perralta case.

Ex-DEA Task Force Officer in Texas Pleads Guilty to Lying

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A former DEA task force officer, who worked for the McAllen, Tex. police department, has pleaded guilty to providing false statements in connection with a federal conspiracy case.

On Thursday, Ricardo Ruiz Jr. agreed to plead guilty to one count of giving false statements to federal agents, in exchange government prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining four counts against him, including two counts of interference with commerce by threat or violence, one count of impersonating an officer, and the remaining count of making false statements to federal agents, The Monitor  reports. 

The former McAllen officer and three others originally faced conspiracy charges in connection with an incident in May 2017, when Ruiz and the others allegedly orchestrated the seizure of a 2013 Cadillac ATS from an unnamed San Juan resident, the paper reports.

 

Trial Begins for DEA Agent Accused of Leading Corrupt Drug Task Force

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A federal corruption trial began Tuesday for a former DEA agent charged with 10 criminal counts, from perjury to falsifying government records, as part of a sprawling investigation of a New Orleans-based task force.

Chad Scott, who led the task force, “betrayed his duties and abused his power by lying, cheating and manipulating so he could get what he wanted,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Duree told the jury during opening arguments, NOLA.com reports.

The task force is accused of dealing drugs, shaking down suspects and pocketing cash during raids.

Duree told the jury that Scott even “got a dope dealer to buy him a truck.”

Two members of the task force have pleaded guilty and are expected to testify against the longtime former agent during the trial.

As a result of the investigation, some drug cases were dropped or overturned.

In all, Scott was charged with 10 criminal counts, including obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

Scott faces a second trial in October on four more charges, including conspiracy and stealing property.

Former DEA Special Agent Found Dead in Jail After Domestic Violence Arrest

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former assistant special agent in charge of the DEA’s St. Louis division has been found dead in jail a day after he was arrested on allegations of domestic violence.

Larry “Jay” Reavis, 51, was shaking in a cell in the St. Louis County Jail about 8:30 a.m. Friday. A little more than an hour later, he was pronounced dead, St. Louis Post Dispatch reports.

Sources said Reavis may have been experiencing alcohol withdrawal and that there were no signs of trauma or a suicide.

Police were called to the jail for a medical call at 9:41 a.m. Friday.

Jail officials declined further comment and are expected to provide more details this week.