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Tag: Drugs

Group of Armed Men Tried to Rob a DEA Agent. It Didn’t Go Well

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A group of armed men chose the wrong person to mug.

An undercover DEA agent was in a residential area of northeast Atlanta investigating drug trafficking Tuesday when the armed men approached the agent and tried to mug him.

Nearby agents responded and exchanged fire with the muggers. One suspect was shot and taken to the hospital, Chad W. Cook, associate special agent in charge of the DEA in Atlanta, said told reporters.

“Other agents on the scene attempted to intervene and shots were exchanged between the assailants and the agents,” Cook said.

Three suspects were arrested, and they are being charged in federal court. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is leading the probe.

No federal agents were injured.

DEA Agent Who Protected Violent Puerto Rican Drug Cartel Pleads Guilty

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former police officer accused of joining the DEA so he could protect a violent Puerto Rican drug cartel has pleaded guilty.

Fernando Gomez, who infiltrated the DEA and was working in the Chicago field office, was arrested in December and charged with racketeering conspiracy for his alleged decade-long affiliation with the Organizacion de Narcotraficantes Unidos. The gang, which imported vast shipments of cocaine into the U.S., was accused in the indictment of participating in at least eight drug-related killings in New York and Puerto Rico and smuggling thousands of kilograms of cocaine.

Gomez is accused of helping the gang beginning in 2006 when he was a detective with the city of Evanston.

Under a plea deal, the 42-year-old former U.S. Marine faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 21 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, The Associated Press reports.

DEA Opens New Office in Duluth, Minn., to Crack Down on Illicit Drugs

News conference announcing the new DEA office in Duluth, via the DEA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The DEA is opening a new office in Duluth, Minn., to crack down on illicit drugs.

Richard Salter Jr., special agent in charge of the DEA’s Omaha Division, said a partnership with the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force “provides a force-multiplier for all involved agencies.”

“This partnership brings additional federal law enforcement and prosecutorial resources that will help dismantle criminal drug trafficking organizations currently causing destruction to many of our families and communities,” said in a news release.

The Duluth Post of Duty is the DEA’s 240th domestic office. The new office is part of the Omaha Division, which has 11 offices covering Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and counties in Western Illinois and Western Wisconsin.

Salter said he’s grateful for the partnerships with state, local and tribal law enforcement.

“We’re merely embedding DEA agents into the very successful and long-standing Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force,” Salter said. “The DEA’s strength is our global network of intelligence and operational resources throughout the United States that enables us to respond rapidly and expand investigations that often link to other major U.S. transportation-hub cities, the U.S.-Mexico border, and ultimately to drug cartels in Mexico and fentanyl suppliers in China.”

Sinaloa Cartel Paid $1M a Month to Bribe Mexican Officials, Ex-Trafficker Testifies in El Chapo Trial

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

How much did it cost to bribe Mexican officials to run one of the world’s largest drug-trafficking empires?

The Sinaloa Cartel dished out as much as $1 million a month in bribes to police and military officials, according to Vicente Zambada Niebla, who testified during the trial of alleged drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, The New York Times reports

Zambada is the son of Ismael Zambada García, one of the cartel’s leaders. 

El Chapo has pleaded not guilty to charges of international drug trafficking and conspiracy to murder rivals.

DEA Agent Indicted on Charges of Decade-Long Affiliation with Deadly Drug Gang

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A sweeping federal indictment alleges a DEA agent began working with a gang a decade ago while he was a police officer in Illinois and continued the work while at the drug agency’s Chicago field office.

According to the indictment, Fernando Gomez, 41, was affiliated with the Organizacion de Narcotraficantes Unidos, a Puerto Rico-based group that imported vast amounts of cocaine into the U.S. and was involved in at least eight drug-related killings.

He was arrested at the DEA’s field office Tuesday morning, The Chicago Tribune reports

When Gomez was a detective for Evanston police, prosecutors said he began working with the gang, obtaining guns from drug dealers and giving them to gang leader Jose Martinez-Diaz, AKA “Tony Zinc.”

The indictment alleges Gomez became a DEA agent to provide protection for the gang.

2 DEA Agents, 8 Sheriff’s Deputies Taken to Hospital for Fentanyl Exposure in Ohio

File photo of pills laced with fentanyl.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Two DEA agents and eight sheriff’s deputies were taken to a hospital in Ohio early Wednesday after they were exposed to the powerful opioid, fentanyl.

The agents and Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s deputies were raiding a home in Rocky River around 5:30 a.m. when they came in contact with fentanyl.

Fentanyl is an increasing danger to law enforcement as more drug dealers use the potentially lethal opioid to make heroin and painkillers more potent.

The deputies and agents were examined and determined to be OK, Cleveland.com reports

During the raid, two young children were at the home, where one man was arrested.

DEA Concerned About Drug-Laced Cash

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is concerned about dirty money.

More specifically, the agency is concerned that drug-laced cash seized in narcotics busts could seriously injure—even kill—its agents, the Daily Beast reports.

So, the DEA has has begun reaching out to potential industry partners about decontaminating confiscated currency, the website reports.

“Some of the substances on the currency may be extremely harmful to human health and potentially result in death,” says a DEA solicitation posted late last week on a U.S. government procurement portal.

“It is expected that most of the substances on the contaminated currency will be controlled substances including, but not limited to, narcotics (fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, heroin), cannabinoids (marijuana, THC, JWH compounds), stimulants (amphetamines, cathinones), hallucinogens (LSD, PCP, NBOMes), depressants (benzodiazepines, barbiturates),” the solicitation continues. “Precursor chemicals used to make these substances and other unknown harmful chemicals may also be present on the currency.”

Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison for Helping Smuggle Drugs

Border marker, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who helped smuggle what he thought were drugs along the U.S.-Mexican border, was sentenced to 70 months in prison Wednesday.

Noe Lopez, 38, believed he was helping deliver meth and cocaine that was dropped off at the border, but he actually was talking to a confidential informant.

“You held a position of trust,” U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw scolded Lopez. “This was the ultimate betrayal and breach of that trust.”

Lopez apologized for his actions.

“It’s something I regret — I’m going to regret — the rest of my life,” said Lopez, who worked out of the Imperial Beach station.