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Tag: dominican republic

FBI Analyzes Minibar Samples at Dominican Republic Resort Following Deaths

Dominican Republic via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is analyzing samples from at least one minibar at the popular Bahia Principe resort and hotel in the Dominican Republican after nine Americans have died in the country in the past year.

The FBI is helping Dominican authorities, who routinely test samples taken from minibars when someone dies in a hotel room, the Dominican Republic Ministry of Health told CNN. The samples are tested for bacteria.

Authorities are trying to determine whether the victims consumed alcohol from the resort before they died and if any of the alcohol contained chemicals or other harmful additives.

Agents have been collecting blood samples from people who have died under mysterious circumstances. Those samples will be compared to minibar samples. The results could take up to a month.

Three of the nine victims were found dead in their rooms at the resort.

FBI Assists Dominican Republic with Mysterious Deaths of Americans

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is assisting authorities in the Dominican Republic investigate a string of American tourist deaths in recent months.

Six American tourists have died of unknown causes at resorts since late last year, CBS reports.

The first death involved a Maryland man who died while celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino late last year.

At the same resort in April, Robert Wallace became ill quickly after drinking a scotch from the minbar and died three days later.

At the Bahia Principe resort, Miranda Schaup-Werner and Yvette Monique Sport died of heart attacks, according to death certificates, but Sport’s sister, Felecia Nieves, is skeptical.

“We were promised within three months that we would receive a toxicology report. To this day, which is almost a year now, we’ve got nothing,” Nieves said.

Also at the Bahia Principe resort, Edward Holmes and Cynthia Day both died in their rooms after celebrating their engagements.

Of the nearly seven million tourists who visit the Dominican Republic, U.S. residents are the most common.

TSA Supervisor Charged on Accusations of Paying Underage Girls for Sex in Dominican Republic

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A TSA supervisor is accused of paying two 15-year-old girls to have sex with him in the Dominican Republic, The New York Daily News reports.

Vernon Lythcott, who was arrested at Kennedy Airport as he planned to board a flight to the Dominican Republic, was charged Friday for having sex with the two underage girls.

The 48-year-old Brooklyn man allegedly paid $80 to have sex with the girls.

“The victims also reported that during the course of that night they had used Vernon Lythcott’s cellular telephone to check their Facebook accounts and had also ‘friended’ Lythcott on Facebook,” Homeland Security special agent Karine Stewart stated in the criminal complaint.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Agents Investigating Sen. Menendez Are Accused of Brow-Beating Two Maids for Information

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents investigating claims that U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez was attending sex parties with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic are accused of brow-beating two maids for information, the Miami Herald reports.

The maids are asking the Dominican National Police to investigate the FBI’s handling of them, saying they were illegally detained and felt threatened, the Herald wrote.

The maids are employees of Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida doctor who is accused of hiring prostitutes for Menendez, a Democrat, at the vacation home in the Dominican.

The maids said they felt pressured to make false claims that the senator was having sex at the house.

So Far, FBI Probe Unearths No Evidence of Sen. Menendez Using Young Prostitutes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI investigation into whether Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., was given prostitutes while staying at a friend’s resort in the Dominican Republic has so far found nothing substantive, the Washington Post reports, citing two people familiar with the investigation.

Menendez is accused of accepting the prostitutes and free vacations from an eye doctor who is a close friend and major campaign donor.

The FBI is following the lead from an unknown tipster, the Post reported.

Menendez has denied meeting with prostitutes, saying the allegations are part of a smear campaign

“As we have said all along, Sen. Menendez welcomes any review because his actions have been appropriate, and we believe the facts will confirm that,” a Menendez aide told the Post.

The FBI also is investigating Menendez’s role in supporting a contract in the Dominican Republic for his friend, Salomon Melgen.

ICE Nabs 14 Foreign Nationals Accused of Gang Ties

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than a dozen foreign nationals in Milwaukee have been arrested for alleged ties to the Mexican Posse gang, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The suspects – 13 from Mexico, one from the Dominican Republic – are in the custody of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is cracking down on foreign-born gangs.

All have criminal histories, ranging from narcotics trafficking to theft.

“Violent street gangs account for a burgeoning amount of crime in our communities in the Midwest and across the country,” Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, told the Journal Sentinel.

DEA Commando-Style Squads Operating Far Beyond the War Zone

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s commando style squads that were established during the Bush years to battle Taliban-linked drug traffickers in Afghanistan are operating in regions far beyond that war zone, field, according to the New York Times.

The Times reports that the DEA now has five commando-style squads that have been “quietly deploying for the past several years to Western Hemisphere nations — including Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Belize — that are battling drug cartels.”

“You have got to have special skills and equipment to be able to operate effectively and safely in environments like this,” said Michael A. Braun, a former head of operations for the drug agency who helped design the program, the Times reported. “The D.E.A. is working shoulder-to-shoulder in harm’s way with host-nation counterparts.”

To read the full story click here.

 

One of “World’s Most Significant Drug Kingpins” Gets 30 Years in NY

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Colombian drug lord Francisco Gonzalez Uribe, designated by the Justice Department as one of “the world’s most significant drug kingpins”, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New York to 30 years in prison, authorities announced.

Gonzalez Uribe, 44, was arrested in 2009 in the Dominican Republic and pleaded guilty to drug charges in June.

“In the international drug trafficking underworld, Gonzalez Uribe was almost peerless,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “Today’s sentence should send a strong message to narcotics dealers around the world that if you try to smuggle drugs into our country, we will find you and prosecute you with the full force of our laws.”

Authorities charged that from at least 2007 through 2009, he headed an organization that shipped thousands of kilograms of cocaine and heroin to countries like Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

The drug then went to the U.S. and Europe.

During the probe, the DEA seized larges quantities of drugs. Recorded phone calls also showed he had been trying to obtain a number of large planes, including a

DC-8 jumbo jet, to ship large quantities of drugs, authorities said.