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Kingpin

NEWS
May 3, 2001 | Associated Press
A man accused of operating one of the nation's largest cocaine and marijuana distribution networks was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Omar Rocha Soto, 39, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to operating a continuing criminal enterprise, which prosecutors call a "kingpin" charge. The plea agreement allowed him to avoid a life sentence. Rocha was arrested Aug. 17 as part of a federal investigation that resulted in 102 indictments in more than a dozen cities.
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OPINION
December 5, 2010
Mexico's law enforcement agencies have been on a roll, rounding up formerly invincible leaders of vicious drug cartels in a series of high-profile arrests. In August, federal police arrested U.S.-born kingpin Edgar Valdez Villarreal, known as "La Barbie," who headed a gang battling for control of a drug cartel in a region south of Mexico City. Late last month, the police also arrested Valdez' successor, who happened to be his father-in-law. Then, in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, they captured Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, the leader of the Aztecas, a gang of thugs and assassins affiliated with the Juarez cartel.
NATIONAL
April 26, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
A reputed Afghan drug lord who authorities say operated with the protection of the Taliban has been captured and faces charges that he tried to smuggle more than $50 million worth of heroin into the United States, authorities said. Bashir Noorzai, 44, who is on the U.S. list of most-wanted drug kingpins, was ordered held without bail at his initial court appearance in Manhattan. If convicted, he could face life in prison. The full circumstances of Noorzai's capture were not made public.
NEWS
March 28, 1993 | SAM JAMESON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Climaxing an unprecedented drive against a political kingpin, prosecutors Saturday indicted the man credited with picking three of Japan's last four prime ministers on tax-evasion charges that could subject him to $18.3 million in fines if convicted.
NEWS
October 14, 1992 | SAM JAMESON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Under rising criticism for associating with gangsters and receiving only a slap on the wrist for accepting an illegal $4.1-million political donation, Shin Kanemaru resigned his Parliament seat today, ending a 38-year career that made him the kingpin of Japanese politics. The parliamentary resignation of Kanemaru, 78, also marked the end of his stewardship of the 111-member dominant faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
SPORTS
January 22, 1992 | VINCE KOWALICK, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Matt Austin of El Camino Real High still feels the sting of last season's loss to San Fernando in the City Section wrestling finals. But perhaps more painful for Austin, a 160-pound senior, and his teammates is the realization that El Camino Real's years as a wrestling power might be over. The Conquistadores have struggled to a 10-9-1 record. Last season, they were whipped three times by archrival San Fernando, including in the City championship match.
REAL ESTATE
May 8, 2005 | Stephen Glassman and Donie Vanitzian, Special to The Times
Question: Four kingpin directors dominated our association for 22 years. Until their deaths, not one owner stood up to them or questioned their actions, including me. A director's wife wanted a new garage door and brick patio, so the board passed resolutions that everybody needed new doors and patios. They made owners pay full price for purchases that directors got free. Several large, back-to-back special assessments and fee increases paid for inferior materials and cheap labor.
NEWS
May 5, 1989 | KIM MURPHY, Times Staff Writer
Reputed billionaire narcotics trafficker Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros, a key suspect in the murder of federal drug agent Enrique Camarena, was arraigned Thursday in Los Angeles on narcotics charges but refused to enter a plea, claiming that he had been kidnaped and tortured by U.S. authorities. At the same time, sources close to the investigation of the 1985 murder of Camarena told The Times that authorities have found one of Matta's hairs at the Guadalajara home of a Mexican drug lord where Camarena is believed to have been tortured and killed.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 30, 1992 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN, Patrick Goldstein is a frequent contributor to Calendar.
Every man has his price. What's yours? --Jimmy Hoffa If Danny DeVito were a rubber band, he'd be ready to snap. For two days, the director has been trying to shoot a complicated sequence in "Hoffa," which stars Jack Nicholson as Jimmy Hoffa, dark prince of the American labor movement. Nothing is going right. The sound is garbled. Extras knock over chairs. A flock of pigeons flies across the sound stage's cavernous rafters, making a racket.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 9, 2003 | From Associated Press
Robert W. Merkle Jr., a former federal prosecutor who successfully prosecuted Colombian drug baron Carlos Lehder and battled corrupt public servants, has died. He was 58. Merkle died Monday night at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Fla., after a brief illness, said his son Robert Merkle III. The family did not disclose the cause of death. While serving from 1982 to 1988 as chief prosecutor in the U.S.
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