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Tag: trafficking

DEA Warns Cocaine Is Making a Comeback As Coca Production Rises

Cocaine-jpgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Cocaine is making a comeback.

That’s according to a recently released report by the DEA, which indicated that cocaine use and availability are rebounding, Newsweek reports

The DEA has found that coca production has significantly increased in Columbia, the primary supplier of cocaine in the U.S. since the mid-1990s.

“Average farmer profits increased more than 120 percent between 2012 and 2016,” the report underscores. “A Colombian coca farmer tending a mature quarter-hectare field realized some $1,200 in profits in 2016. This rise in potential profits provides the coca farmers with a strong economic incentive to grow more coca.”

‘El Chapo’s Cartel Influence Continues to Be Strong in U.S. After His Prison Escape

DEA map

DEA map

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was jailed and escaped from a Mexican prison in July, his Sinaloa cartel continues to traffic drugs across the border on a massive scale, The Daily Mail reports.

A newly released map by the DEA shows that El Chapo’s gang continues to yield tremendous influence, sending drugs all over the U.S.

A DEA report indicates that Sinaloa “maintains the most significant presence in the United States.”

“These Mexican poly-drug organizations traffic heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana throughout the United States, using established transportation routes and distribution networks,” the report states.

“They control drug trafficking across the southwest border and are moving to expand their share, particularly in the heroin and methamphetamine markets.”

Other Stories of Interest

Al Jazeera: Obama Should Commute Stiff Sentences of Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Pres. Obama at state of the union/white house photo

By Daniel Denzir
Al Jazeera

Last month Don McIntosh, a journalist and friend of mine in Portland, Ore., posted on Facebook that his half brother Daniel McIntosh had just been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for selling 954 kilograms of marijuana and money laundering as part of a 16-member pot-selling ring. “Our nation’s drug and mandatory minimum sentencing laws are monstrously unjust,” he wrote. “His mom, his wife and three kids are also punished by this prison sentence.”

It could have been worse. Had federal prosecutors prevailed in convicting Daniel McIntosh of distributing more than 1,000 kilograms, his previous drug convictions would have triggered a sentence of mandatory life without parole. Facing the judge before sentencing, McIntosh reflected on what such a long term would mean. “When you love your children as much as I love mine, sir,” he said, “two days away from them … 10 years, 20 years … I don’t know how my mind can even comprehend that.”

The drug war is in its fifth decade and on its eighth president, yet what befell McIntosh for trafficking a drug that many Americans consider less harmful than alcohol still defies comprehension.

The root of extreme sentencing is legislative: Eighty-three percent of those serving life without parole for a nonviolent offense as of 2012 received a mandatory minimum sentence prescribed by law. Judges protest the harsh sentences even as they hand them down.

To read more click here.

Drug Traffickers Increasingly Taking to High Seas to Avoid Driving Across U.S. Border

coast guard photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Drug smugglers are a stubborn bunch.

When security is tight, smugglers find another way into the country.

The Associated Press reports that drug traffickers are increasingly using boats to reach the U.S.

They take the Pacific Ocean from Mexico and South America to California.

Smugglers likely are finding the task easier too because the Coast Guard – the only U.S. military service capable of making arrests so far offshore – lost a quarter of its operating costs last year.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


 

FBI Busts Georgia Sheriff’s Deputy for Selling Pot Out of Squad Car

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Georgia sheriff’s deputy is accused of peddling pot from his squad car.

The FBI said Darrell Mathis, 40, sold a pound of marijuana to an undercover agent and then coordinated a drug-selling scheme with another agent, the New York Daily News reports.

That scheme involved Mathis transporting pot to another state, according to the FBI.

“The FBI considers such allegations of criminal conduct by law enforcement officers to be a priority investigative matter,” said special agent Mark F. Giuliano of the FBI Atlanta Field Office.

Unusual Rift Between ATF, Justice Department Draws FBI, DEA to Help with Firearm Cases

atf file photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and DEA have stepped in to help investigate weapons cases after federal prosecutors in Nevada stopped working with the ATF, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.

But the newspaper said neither agency is probing firearm sales or trafficking cases, leaving the state with little protection.

Gun data obtained by the Gazette-Journal shows that fewer illegal firearms were recovered last year.

In an unusual move, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Reno said it would not prosecute ATF cases until unidentified problems are resolved.

So ATF agents left the Reno office because they couldn’t get cases prosecuted, the Gazette-Journal reported.

DEA Shakes Up Drug Trafficking in Central America

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is shaking up the drug war in Central America following two lethal DEA-related shootings of suspected Honduras drug smugglers, The Global Post reports.

The shooting deaths of trafficking suspects on June 23 and July 3 is part of a new DEA mission called “Operation Anvil” in which U.S. agents team up with Honduran anti-drug forces to combat narcotic trafficking.

As a result of the crackdown, drug traffickers are shifting smuggling routes, the Global Post reported.

Honduras has become the principle launching pad for loads of U.S.-bound cocaine.

Feds Convict Lt. to Colombian Drug Kingpin

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A top lieutenant to a Colombian drug kingpin was convicted in a Manhattan court this week of conspiring to import and distribute cocaine and heroine, according to a Justice Department press release.

Jose Mosquera-Prado, 36, was a top lieutenant in Francisco Gonzalez Uribe’s international narcotics-trafficking organization, says the Justice Department, and was convicted after a two-week jury trial. The organization shipped tons of cocaine and heroine throughout Central and South America, as well as Europe.

DEA agents seized large quantities of narcotics from members of Mosquera-Prado’s drug ring during two undercover operations in early 2009, when Mosquera-Prado was intercepted on recorded telephone calls arranging for the shipment of drugs to New York City. The drugs seized had an estimated value of $2 million. DEA agents worked cooperatively with the governments of both Colombia and the Domician Republic, says the Justice Department.

Each of Mosquera-Prado’s charges-one for importing the drugs and one for distributing them-carries a maximum life sentence. Sentencing is scheduled for  next April 20.

Mosquera-Prado’s boss, Gonzalez Uribe, was considered a Consolidated Priority Target (CPOT) by the Justice department, a designation reserved for “the most dangerous and prolific traffickers in the world.” He was arrested in the Dominic Republic in 2009 and later pled guilty to conspiracy charges of narcotics importation and distribution, then sentenced to 30 years in prison.