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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2013 | By Richard Winton
Intercepting communications sent through Blackberry Messenger, an L.A.-based drug task force uncovered an Inland Empire organization that allegedly distributed cocaine across the U.S. and into Europe. Authorities made three arrests in the case Wednesday as federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment naming nine people in the alleged scheme to distribute cocaine to Italy and in the U.S., as well as methamphetamine domestically. Prosecutors said the task force's "Operation Family Guy" targeted a drug trafficking organization allegedly overseen by brothers Milton Urena and Rafael Urena.
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NEWS
July 7, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A new, dangerous illicit drug may be gaining in popularity in several countries, according to a report issued Wednesday in the British Medical Journal .   The drug, phenazepam, is a benzodiazepine used for the treatment of epilepsy. It is no longer prescribed in the United States and several other countries. But it's available in some Eastern European nations and may be distributed via the Internet.   Doctors in Scotland reported nine cases of overdose deaths in which phenazepam was found in blood samples.
NEWS
February 20, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots Blog
Could freestyle skier Sarah Burke, who died Jan. 19, nine days after a devastating crash, have been helped by an experimental drug? A new study offers a glimmer of hope for future victims of traumatic brain injury. In the hours after she has sustained a blow to the head, the victim of a traumatic injury experiences a slow down of blood flow to the brain--arguably when she needs it most. That mismatch between a brain's response and its needs in the wake of injury has set many a neuroscientist thinking: Can a way be found to keep the flow of oxygenated blood pumping normally?
NATIONAL
January 2, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
This just might be a case of life imitating art: On Thursday, Florida officials announced that they arrested a "Breaking Bad" contest winner on suspicion of helping run a nationwide drug ring out of his home. However, instead of making meth, like the chemistry teacher in the popular show, Ryan Lee Carroll and two other men converted their apartment's garage into an elaborate lab for making synthetic marijuana, likely for large-scale distribution, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
BUSINESS
January 23, 2013 | Bloomberg News
Allergan Inc., the Irvine maker of the wrinkle filler Botox, agreed to buy a Silicon Valley pharmaceutical company in a deal valued at $958 million to gain an experimental inhalable migraine treatment. Allergan will pay Map Pharmaceuticals Inc. investors $25 a share, a 60% premium over Tuesday's closing price of $15.58 in New York, the companies said in a statement. The deal was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close late in the first quarter or in the second quarter, the companies said.
SPORTS
April 18, 2012 | By Gary Klein
USC basketball player Ari Stewart, who was arrested in February in Arizona on suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia, will not be charged and has been offered the opportunity to participate in a drug diversion program, a spokesman for the Maricopa County district attorney's office said Wednesday. “This is standard for first-time nonviolent offenses involving possession of marijuana or paraphernalia,” spokesman Jerry Cobb said. “If he successfully completes the drug diversion program his case will be resolved.” A letter informing Stewart of the offer was drafted and mailed last week, said Cobb, adding that the program consists of education, counseling and screening.
BUSINESS
March 5, 2013 | By Shan Li
Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman has fallen off Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's billionaires. Guzman, who has been in hiding since escaping from a maximum-security prison in 2001, is chieftain of the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico's biggest and oldest drug-trafficking network. He first made the billionaire list in 2009 and remained on it until this year. Luisa Kroll, an editor at Forbes, said that Guzman's "whereabouts are unknown" and therefore it's difficult to verify his assets.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 2012 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
"Pusher" is an English-language, London-set remake of Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn's debut feature, directed by the Spanish-born Luis Prieto. While it has the seeds of a distinctive, cross-cultural crime film, it feels mostly like some sort of experiment to crosswire the neon pastels and electronic thump of Refn's recent "Drive" with the grimier style of his earlier work. Frank (Richard Coyle), a mid-level drug dealer, finds himself in over his head when his debts start to mount and a big deal doesn't come through.
WORLD
January 8, 2009 | Reuters
Mexico has captured one of the founders of the Gulf drug cartel's brutal "Zetas" squad of hitmen that is behind much of the country's bloodshed, the attorney general's office said Thursday. Miguel Angel Soto Parra, arrested Wednesday in Mexico City, is a former police officer who was one of the earliest members of the Zetas, a group of hitmen made up largely of army deserters, a source at the attorney general's office said. President Felipe Calderon has scored a number of big arrests since he sent the army to crack down on drug gangs.
NATIONAL
May 23, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - A top Mexican drug cartel commander pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court  in the 2011 ambush attack south of the border that left one American agent dead and a second injured, and three other defendants also admitted their roles in the shootings that sharply strained U.S.-Mexico relations and has prosecutors still hunting for more suspects. The developments in federal court in Washington also provided new details about the ambush, showing that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila were traveling near San Luis Potosi, Mexico, when a Los Zetas Cartel convoy forced them off the road and two “armed hit squads” surrounded their vehicle and demanded they step out. When the agents refused and identified themselves as American diplomats from the U.S.  Embassy, the assailants “fired weapons near and into the vehicle, striking both agents,” court records show.
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