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Drug Smuggling

August 24, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
U.S. forces intercepted a submarine-like vessel packed with tons of cocaine and arrested the crew off Guatemala. Four suspects were captured after they abandoned the semi-submersible vessel discovered by officials from Customs and Border Protection, the Navy and the Coast Guard, the customs agency said in a statement. The vessel was intercepted Sunday about 300 miles southwest of the Mexico-Guatemala border, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a separate statement.
April 28, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Federal police said they arrested two drug smugglers who had disguised themselves as Mexican soldiers and confronted Texas police. Oscar Alonso Candelaria Escajeda and Ivan Gandara Trejo were detained Thursday in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, according to a statement from the federal public security secretary. It said that the two crossed into Hudspeth County, Texas, in January 2006.
January 30, 2007 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
Seven of the largest tunnels discovered under the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years have yet to be filled in, authorities said, raising concerns because smugglers have tried to reuse such passages before. Among the unfilled tunnels, created to ferry people and drugs, is the longest one yet found -- extending nearly half a mile from San Diego to Tijuana. Nearby, another sophisticated passageway once known as the Taj Mahal of tunnels has been sitting unfilled for 13 years, authorities say.
January 19, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) introduced a bill Thursday to pardon two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting an unarmed drug smuggler who fled across the Rio Grande after they stopped his van with 743 pounds of marijuana. Former Texas-based agents Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean were sentenced to 11 and 12 years, respectively, after being found guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon, defacing a crime scene and violating the smuggler's rights.
January 3, 2007 | Sam Enriquez and Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writers
Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Tuesday opened the second front in his campaign against drug violence, sending 3,300 soldiers, sailors and federal police to the troubled border city of Tijuana. Tijuana and surrounding communities are a key battleground in the drug cartels' fight to control smuggling routes to the United States. Their bloody rivalries left more than 2,000 people dead in Mexico last year.
December 13, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Spanish police foiled an attempt to smuggle cocaine into the country inside lollipops, a regional government official said. Gang members in Colombia packed the drug into 55 lollipops and sent them by airmail via Madrid's Barajas International Airport, Vicente Ripa Gonzalez, governor of the northern region of Navarra, said in Pamplona. Civil Guard officers and customs officials intercepted the package at the airport. Three suspects have been arrested.
November 23, 2006 | Sam Enriquez and Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writers
The top cop in this unhinged border city has 300 openings on a 600-member police force, and his fearful greeting gave a big clue why. "Please, please don't use my name or take a photograph," the interim chief begged. One police chief was killed last year, a second quit in the spring, and no one else appears brave enough, or foolhardy enough, to work this side of the law in Nuevo Laredo.
September 13, 2006 | David Holley, Times Staff Writer
The collapse of an apparent attempt to frame an opposition leader in Kyrgyzstan on heroin-smuggling charges threw the Central Asian state into political turmoil Tuesday. Former parliament Speaker Omurbek Tekebayev was arrested at Warsaw's international airport last week after a wooden doll containing heroin was found in his luggage.
July 20, 2006 | Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton, Times Staff Writers
Limelight Films seemed from the outside like so many upstart production companies in Hollywood: It had a Sunset Boulevard address, a connection to Tinseltown royalty and deals to distribute a small slate of low-budget films. But federal authorities have alleged that the film corporation was a front for an international drug-smuggling and money-laundering operation stretching from Los Angeles to Switzerland.
May 10, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Chinese and U.S. agents seized more than 300 pounds of cocaine smuggled from Colombia, authorities said. Nine people were arrested. The suspects include two Colombians held in Hong Kong, along with suspects from Hong Kong and mainland China.
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