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Drug Trafficking

December 6, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- He allegedly raked in millions of dollars to give drug traffickers easy access to the United States. The cocaine flowed north, prosecutors say, and the money in his pocket bought him elegant houses and a couple of private jets. Tomas Yarrington, former governor of the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas, has been indicted by U.S. federal prosecutors on a host of drug-trafficking, money-laundering and racketeering charges. He is one of the highest-ranking former Mexican officials whom the United States has attempted to prosecute in many years.
November 22, 2013 | By Richard Marosi
SAN DIEGO -- The son of one of Mexico's most wanted drug kingpins has been arrested while trying to cross into the U.S. with his wife in Nogales, Ariz., federal authorities said Friday. Serafin Zambada, who was arrested on Wednesday, is expected to be transferred to San Diego where he is wanted on drug trafficking charges, according to Amy Roderick, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego. Authorities said Zambada is the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, a top leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel , which is believed to smuggle more drugs into the U.S. than any other Mexican organized crime group.
November 20, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
Law enforcement authorities said Wednesday that 17 reputed gang members were charged in connection with a narcotics trafficking operation that sold drugs from Mexico on the streets of Ventura County. Methamphetamine and heroin were supplied by an organization in Mexico that was directed by a member of the Mexican Mafia, a California prison gang that exerts control over a number of Latino street gangs, according to authorities. Six of the suspects were taken into custody Wednesday by a multi-agency task force, the FBI said.
November 13, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - At his peak, Mexican drug lord Juan Juarez Orosco allegedly oversaw the distribution of 8 tons of cocaine every month from Colombia to the United States, making him one of the most wanted narcotics traffickers in the world, authorities said. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors revealed that the 64-year-old Juarez, known as "El Abuelo," or "the Grandfather," was in U.S. custody after his arrest in Panama and extradition to New York. Charged in U.S. federal court with running an international cocaine network, Juarez faces life in prison if convicted.
November 3, 2013 | Tracy Wilkinson
He appears in a restaurant, picks up everyone's tab, then vanishes with his many guards. He stars in his wedding, government officials among the guests. He is captured, then released. Twice. Or maybe not. Joaquin " El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's most-wanted drug-trafficking fugitive, chalks up more sightings than Elvis. He is everywhere, and nowhere, a long-sought criminal always a step ahead of the law, yet always in sight or mind. A mythology has developed around Guzman, the commander of Mexico's most powerful narcotics network, the so-called Sinaloa cartel, named for the Pacific coast state that is the historic cradle of Mexican drug trafficking.
October 22, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
Nothing feels worse, Micheal Williams said, than having gun-toting officers with battering rams bust down your door at 6 in the morning to arrest you in your underwear in front of your 7-year-old son. Standing behind glass in court with your arms and legs shackled as you await federal prosecution, he added, isn't great, either. "It was, like, I can't believe I got myself into this," the 30-year-old Navy veteran said on a recent Wednesday afternoon in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
October 4, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - An alleged drug cartel leader suspected of masterminding the June slayings of nine Guatemalan federal policemen was arrested Friday in the southern Mexico border state of Chiapas, officials said. The suspect, Eduardo Francisco Villatoro Cano, became one of the most wanted men in Guatemala after more than a dozen armed men believed to be allied with his drug-running organization stormed a police substation June 13 in Salcaja, a municipality near Quetzaltenango, the country's second-largest city.
September 11, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
Eight of 70 defendants charged in a wide-reaching investigation that targeted the small but ruthless Armenian Power gang pleaded guilty this week in federal court, authorities said Wednesday. Four of the eight were allegedly "members or associates" of the organized crime syndicate, which investigators say took root in east Hollywood in the 1980s. The other four took part in Armenian Power-driven crimes, but were not actual gang members, according to a U.S. attorney's office news release.
August 30, 2013
Re "The view from inside," Opinion, Aug. 28 What a cruel and inhumane experience for Debi Campbell, serving 16 years in federal prison for a first-time nonviolent drug crime. She admits that because she broke the law she deserved to spend time in prison, but not for most of her adult life. How can this country purport to help rehabilitate convicts when in our prisons there is only misery, despair and hopelessness? Lawmakers need to reform not only our sentencing laws but our entire prison system.
August 29, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Marijuana advocates in California and elsewhere cheered the Obama administration's announcement Thursday that it would not interfere with new laws in Colorado and Washington state permitting recreational use of cannabis. But the advocates cautioned there is still a ways to go before legalization.  Dale Gieringer, a leading marijuana advocate in California, said he is encouraged by the new U.S. Justice Department memo, but he notes he has been encouraged by past memos only to see federal enforcement increase.
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