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Tag: Drugs

Border Patrol Finds Pounds of Cocaine Taped to Woman’s Chest

The 21-year-old woman tried to hide cocaine by taping it to her chest and stomach, via Border Patrol.

The 21-year-old woman tried to hide cocaine by taping it to her chest and stomach, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Even in the days of breast augmentation, Border Patrol agents weren’t fooled by the bulging chest of a 21-year-old woman who had taped about eight pounds of cocaine to her chest and stomach.

At the Morley Pedestrian Gate at the border between Arizona and Mexico, agents wanted a closer look at what was behind the Tucson resident’s strangely bulging shirt.

After a drug-sniffing dog also shared its suspicions, a secondary inspection found about $135,000 worth of cocaine stuffed in her shirt.

The woman, whose identity wasn’t immediately released, was arrested.

Other Stories of Interest

AG Sessions Wants to Prosecute Medical Marijuana Users, Providers

medical marijuanaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to prosecute people who sell medical marijuana in states that have approved the sales for qualifying patients.

In a letter to congressional leaders, Sessions urged lawmakers to undo federal marijuana medical protections instituted in 2014, the Washington Post reports.

Under President Obama, the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment bars the Justice Department from using federal funds to crack down on marijuana in states where medical use has been approved.

Sessions argues in the letter:

I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime. The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.

Sessions’ claim that medical marijuana is part of a “historic drug epidemic” is at odds with researchers who say the real problem is opiate deaths and overdoses, which have declined in states that approved medical marijuana.

John Hudak of the Brookings Institution responded that the letter is a “scare tactic” that “could appeal to rank-and-file members or to committee chairs in Congress in ways that could threaten the future of this Amendment.”

Secret Service Will Now Hire Agents with a History of Smoking Pot

marijuana-istockBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is having trouble hiring agents, but it’s not because there aren’t enough applicants.

Turns out, the agency is forced to turn down a lot of applicants because of a policy that disqualified people who smoked marijuana in their past, the New York Daily News reports. 

Under the agency’s new policy, job candidates who smoked marijuana in the past aren’t automatically disqualified. The agency will now consider the length of time a person hasn’t smoked pot.

Applicants younger than 24, for example, are still eligible for a job if they had not smoked marijuana for a period of 12 months Candidates who are 28 or older must have refrained from smoking pot for at least five years.

Without the revamped policy, the Secret Service projects it wouldn’t be able to fill thousands of employees.

“We need more people. The mission has changed,” Secret Service Director Randolph Alles said, according to CNN. “It’s more dynamic and way more dangerous than it has been in years past.”

FBI: Seattle Cop Smuggled Massive Amounts of Marijuana to Baltimore

Photo of marijuana by Steve Neavling.

Photo of marijuana by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI busted a Seattle police officer who authorities say helped smuggling hundreds of pounds of marijuana to Baltimore.

Alex Chapackdee, a 17-year veteran of the force, was arrested and was among four men charged with conspiring to distribute marijuana, the Associated Press reports. The 44-year-old office is the brother-in-;aw of the group’s alleged ringleader.

“While (it is) always disturbing to investigate one of our own, I am proud of the detectives and commanders who worked diligently on this case,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said in a written statement. “Officer Chapackdee’s conduct is disgraceful and disappointing. While he will have his due process in the courts, I hope these charges demonstrate to our community that SPD will not tolerate corrupt behavior in our ranks.”

According to the FBI, Chapackdee drove marijuana from Seattle to Baltimore in his recreational vehicle several times last fall. The FBI said he deposited nearly $20,000 in cash into his bank account.

Chapackdee, who is on unpaid leave, also is accused of accepting $10,000 a month from his brother-in-law to alert him to any law enforcement investigations and to keep an eye on marijuana grow operations,

Chapackdee’s attorney, David Gehrke, declined to comment on the allegations but said the charges have been difficult for him and his family, which includes a wife and four children.

“This is a huge fall from grace, an embarrassment,” Gehrke said.

The investigation was prompted by a confidential source.

Weekend Series on Crime: Vicious Los Zetas Organization

Border Patrol Agents Find Marijuana, Manure Stuffed into Coffin inside Hearse

Marijuana was found inside this coffin. Photo via Border Patrol.

Marijuana was found inside this coffin. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents stopped a hearse and found marijuana and manure inside a closed casket over the weekend.

Instead of finding a body inside the casket, Willcox Border Patrol agents in Arizona discovered 67 pounds pounds of marijuana and manure that had been used to mask the smell.

A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.

Agents became suspicious when the driver of the hearse gave inconsistent stories. Despite the manure, a canine sniffed out the drugs.

Border Patrol agents estimated the marijuana had a street value of more than $33,000.

President Trump Is Wrong about Border Wall Fixing Drug Problem, Experts Say

Border Port of Entry.

Border Port of Entry.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s claim that a wall will stop illegal drugs from coming across the Southwest border ignores a key fact about the international trade.

Most drugs that cross the border are primarily transported into the U.S. through existing border checkpoints using cars and trucks, the Washington Post reports, citing experts on the drug trade. 

Nevertheless, Trump continues to tout the wall as a solution to stemming the flow of drugs into the U.S.

“The Wall is a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth (and many others)!” the president tweeted this week. “If the wall is not built, which it will be, the drug situation will NEVER be fixed the way it should be!”

Mexican drug cartels “transport the bulk of their drugs over the Southwest border through ports of entry (POEs) using passenger vehicles or tractor trailers,” the DEA writes in its 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment. “The drugs are typically secreted in hidden compartments when transported in passenger vehicles or comingled with legitimate goods when transported in tractor trailers.”

Drug policy experts say it’s a false narrative to suggest drug smugglers primarily run drugs across remote stretches of the border.

“Smuggling drugs in cars is far easier than carrying them on the backs of people through a really harsh desert terrain,” said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “The higher the fence will be, the more will go through ports of entry.”

Inspector General: DEA Seizes Money without Ties to Criminal Investigations

Drugs and cash seized in Portland.

Drugs and cash seized in Portland.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is seizing massive amounts of cash from people who are not connected to a criminal investigation, according to a scathing report by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

In the 74-page report released Wednesday, the inspector general cautioned that the DEA may be violating the civil liberties of people whose is seized, the Washington Post reports.

The inspector general concluded the DEA was unable to demonstrate how asset forfeiture practices benefit criminal investigations.

The Post cites one example:

The DEA took more than $70,000 from a piece of checked luggage without doing any more investigation or attempting to question the owner at the airport — instead simply putting a receipt in the bag and sending it on to its final destination.

“Even accepting that the circumstances surrounding the discovery of this large volume of concealed currency justified law enforcement suspicion and seizure, we find it troubling that the DEA would make an administrative forfeiture without attempting to advance an investigation, especially considering that the DEA had opportunities to contact the potential owners of the currency instead of simply providing written notice of the seizure,” the inspector general wrote.