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Drug Smuggling

WORLD
March 31, 2008 | Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer
It seemed a sweet deal: A free vacation to South America. All expenses paid, and a hefty cash bonus. Just bring a parcel back home to Europe. "I thought I had no worries," said Vera Scheerstra, recalling when her boyfriend in the Netherlands suggested the trip. "I was stupid -- and in love, I guess." For the Dutchwoman, it has turned into a life-transforming experience -- but not in any constructive sense.
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WORLD
January 21, 2008 | Chris Kraul, Times Staff Writer
White House drug czar John P. Walters charged Sunday that the government of President Hugo Chavez was facilitating the rising flow of drugs from his nation to Europe and North America through a lack of enforcement. The public criticism by Walters, who heads the Office of National Drug Control Policy, was unusually harsh for the Bush administration, which has tried to steer clear of provoking the fiery Venezuelan leader.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2008 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
The off-road enthusiasts were revving their dune buggies and all-terrain vehicles Saturday morning when a brown Hummer suddenly cut into the campground. The man at the wheel, a suspected drug smuggler, was heading to Mexico, fast. U.S. Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar, the only person in the way, threw a spike strip in front of the car. The Hummer sped up. "It looked like the man swerved and hit the agent intentionally," said one witness.
WORLD
December 27, 2007 | Tracy Wilkinson, Times Staff Writer
Europe is fast overtaking the U.S. as the leading destination for the world's cocaine, and a single Italian mafia is largely responsible. The 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate, a ruthless and mysterious network of 155 families born in the rough hills here in southern Italy's Calabria region, now dominates the European drug trade.
WORLD
December 20, 2007 | Marla Dickerson, Times Staff Writer
Five decapitated or mutilated bodies have surfaced around the capital in recent days in what authorities think may be the work of drug smugglers retaliating for a major cocaine seizure at an airport last week. The killings are the latest in a spasm of violence that has convulsed Mexico this year as the government has led a massive crackdown on drug traffickers and the major cartels have battled for control of smuggling routes.
NATIONAL
November 24, 2007 | Johanna Neuman, Times Staff Writer
Conservatives expressed bitter disappointment Friday that President Bush did not use the Thanksgiving holiday to pardon two U.S. border agents who have been imprisoned for a year for shooting and injuring a man now accused of drug smuggling. "We had hoped that President Bush, who was compassionate enough to pardon two turkeys in the Rose Garden, might also have had enough compassion to pardon two law enforcement officers who spent their lives defending us at the border," said Rep.
NATIONAL
November 16, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
An admitted Mexican drug dealer shot by a pair of U.S. Border Patrol agents who were later convicted in the shooting has been charged with smuggling marijuana, authorities said. Osvaldo Aldrete Davila was arrested at an international port of entry in El Paso, according to U.S. Atty. Johnny Sutton.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
SAN DIEGO -- Mexican gangster Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, the alleged boss of a family-run drug cartel thought to be responsible for scores of murders in Mexico and the U.S., pleaded guilty Monday to charges that will put him in prison for life without the possibility of parole. Arellano Felix, who appeared wan and submissive, pleaded guilty to running a drug organization and money laundering. In exchange, federal prosecutors agreed to drop other charges and not seek the death penalty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 5, 2007 | From Times staff and wire reports
A suspected drug smuggler stabbed a U.S. Border Patrol agent in the leg Tuesday after agents stopped a car loaded with 186 pounds of marijuana on California 94 near Campo, authorities said. The alleged assailant, an unidentified woman, was arrested along with a man who tried to flee after the agents laid a tire-deflating spike strip in front of their car. The agent, stabbed with a 3-inch pocketknife, was reported in good condition at a hospital.
WORLD
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.
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