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Tag: war on drugs

Serious Hypocrisy: Anti-Drug Texas Politician Arrested by the DEA

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

What’s wrong with this picture?

El Paso, Texas, County Commissioner Guillermo Gandara Jr., who publicly had taken a hardline against drugs, was arrested by the DEA on drug trafficking charges, UPI reported.

The arrest, part of a multi-agency investigation, took place late Wednesday, DEA spokeswoman Diana Apodaca confirmed to the El Paso Times.

“DEA, [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], [the Internal Revenue Service], with the assistance of the FBI along with our local partners are conducting an ongoing operation, and we cannot release further details at this time,” she said, according to UPI.

UPI reported that Gandara is a candidate for state representative and made a statement:

“Legalizing drugs is the coward practice of combating cartels, it is an insult to our men and women in law enforcement, and the laziest form of parenting our children and youth about the effects of drugs,” he said.

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Meth Lab Seizures Up; Experts Point to “Shake-and-Bake”

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

According to an AP survey of the nation’s leading states in meth production, lab seizures by law enforcement agencies rose nationally, the AP reports.

In 2011 Missouri was the leading producer, with 2,096 seizures. Missouri was followed by Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky and then Oklahoma.

Across the nation the rise in meth lab seizures rose by about 8.3 percent from 2010 to 2011. The addictiveness of the drug and an increasingly popular and very quick method of producing it both contributed to the rise, experts say, according to AP. That method, know as “shake-and-bake,” quickly produces the drug using a soda bottle which, experts say, has created smaller labs but much more of them.

To read more click here.

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Payday: $29.5 in Forfeited Money Distributed to Law Enforcement Across Texas

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It’s payday, thanks to a Mexican drug cartel.

The bulk of $29.5 million in money seized by federal authorities from a Mexican cartel boss has been handed out in “asset sharing” funds by ICE, DEA, FBI and other federal agencies to law enforcement agencies across the state of Texas to combat drug cartels, reports the Washington Times.

Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, the former boss of the Gulf drug cartel, forfeited the money as a result of  a February 2010 court order, according to the Times. Guillen was sentenced to 25 years in November of 2010 for threatening to assault two US agents a deputy sheriff from Cameron County, Tex.

“With equitable asset-sharing like this, federal and local law enforcement can really turn the tables on the bad guys,” said James Dinkins, ICE executive director and head of the agency’s Homeland Security Investigations Division. “We simply take their illegal profits and invest them in local law enforcement efforts.”

To read more click here.

 

Jersey City Councilman Arrested Over Pain Pill Prescriptions

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Vincent A. Esposito may need some painkillers to kill the pain from being arrested.

The Madison,  N.J., city councilman, who is also a medical doctor, was arrested Thursday  for writing fraudulent pain pill prescriptions, New Jersey Today reported on Friday. DEA agents and state authorities raided his office.

Vincent A. Esposito, 54, of Madison, New Jersey, also a medical doctor, was arrested on Thursday by officials from the state and the DEA following a search of the doctor’s offices.

Esposito was charged with the distribution of a controlled dangerous substance–namely, OxyConton–and conspiracy, stemming from an investigation of the DEA and the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Local law enforcement agencies assisted the investigation as well.

To read more click here.

Popularity of Synthetic Pot on the Rise

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

New trends indicate an increase in the use of dangerous synthetic drugs not currently covered under federal drug laws, reports Business Wire. The new drugs come from the cannabinoid family, closely related to marijuana.

“Simply making the new drugs illegal is not likely to make them go away,” said Dr. Barry Logan, Director of NMS Labs Designer Drug Initiative. “There is now an established market for these products alongside traditional recreational drugs.”

“The latest trend we are seeing is the appearance of completely new drugs. These new drugs are different in design from the current synthetic drugs and alter the brain’s chemistry by amplifying the effects of normal brain chemicals, producing the same marijuana-like effects,” said Logan.

To read more click here.

Physician Handed Four Life Sentences for Fatal Prescriptions

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Chicago Physician was handed a steep sentence on Tuesday for his role in the deaths of four individuals, the FBI said.

Paul H. Volkman was sentenced to four consecutive terms of life imprisonment, the FBI said.  He was convicted of “illegally prescribing and dispensing pain pills outside the scope of a legitimate medical practice,” the FBI said, resulting in the death of four people between 2003 and 2005.

The 64-year-old was convicted in May of 2011 of 18 crimes, receiving a life sentence on each count as well as being ordered to forfeit $1.2 million. Among the 70 witnesses presented at trial were pharmacists that refused to fill Volkman’s prescriptions, law enforcement officials who investigated the deaths and  Volkman’s employees.

“Volkman was the physician at the center of a criminal scheme to distribute millions of controlled substances to hundreds of individuals in exchange for cash—a scheme that brought addiction, diversion, and death to southeastern Ohio and beyond,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tim Oakley and Adam Wright wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court. “During the course of this conspiracy, Volkman was the top physician purchaser of oxycodone in the country.”

900-Plus Law Enforcement Officers Involved in Arrests of 27 and Execution of Search Warrants in SF Bay Area

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

More than 900 law enforcement officers and agents followed through on arrests and search warrants in the San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesday, according to a press release, as part of a large-scale takedown of a narcotics trafficking ring.

Local, state and federal officers, including an FBI SWAT team, made 27 arrests and seized “a significant amount” of drugs, money and automobiles, mostly in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, as part of “Operation Phallen Gardens.”

The operation was the result of a two-year investigation by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the San Francisco Safe Streets Task Force focusing on a group of individuals who supplied drugs to local gangs.

To read more click here.

Mexico Drugs: How One DEA Killing Began A Brutal War

By Will Grant 
BBC News, Guadalajara 

Twenty seven years ago, the kidnap, torture and murder of a US Drug Enforcement Administration agent by Mexican drug traffickers sparked one of the biggest manhunts the US government has ever launched in North America. It also offered an ominous warning of things to come.

The picturesque Mexican city of Guadalajara is bustling with life. By day, its busy plazas are filled with street vendors and shoeshine boys. At night, the mariachis line up to play for the tourists.

The country’s drug violence feels very far from here and, most of the time, it is. But that was not always the case.

“In 1985, Guadalajara was the base of operations for most of the major narcotics traffickers in North America,” says James Kuykendall, then-head of the Guadalajara office of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

To read more click here.

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