October 7, 2010 |
The last chance for an alleged arms smuggler dubbed the "Merchant of Death" to avoid extradition from Thailand to the United States on terrorism charges appears to lie with Thailand's prime minister, who faces a tough decision: offend the United States or offend Russia. The difficult diplomatic choice for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva follows a ruling Tuesday by a Thai court clearing a legal obstacle that had barred the extradition. Victor Bout, a former Russian air force officer, is suspected of supplying weapons to various armies and terrorist groups in the Middle East, South America and Africa.
September 7, 2010 |
One by one, Border Patrol agents took the witness stand in the federal courthouse here last week to testify against a fellow officer, their faces creased with anguish. By their accounts, Agent Jesus Enrique Diaz Jr., a husband and father with seven years on the job, tortured a 16-year-old drug smuggler two years ago by wrenching his handcuffed arms upward as he pressed a knee into his back. In an effort to make the boy reveal where he had hidden marijuana bundles near the Rio Grande, Diaz also kicked him and dropped him face-first on the ground, agents testified.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2010 |
An Ecuadoran man told investigators he was held in an 800-square-foot Baldwin Park house while his captors demanded $2,500 above the $10,500 he had already paid to be smuggled into the United States. Another man traveled from New York to pay $12,000 for the release of his 12-year-old son sequestered in the house. Smugglers then kidnapped the man and demanded another $1,000 from his family for his release. These were among the stories emerging Friday after 35 illegal immigrants were found in the house Thursday; one of them had managed to get a cellphone and call 911. Baldwin Park officers arrived at the house to find two men running away.
May 17, 2010 |
A French researcher held in Iran for 10 months returned home to Paris on Sunday just days after France defied Washington by refusing to extradite an alleged Iranian arms smuggler to the United States. Clotilde Reiss, a 24-year-old lecturer and student of Persian language and Iranian history, had been held in Tehran since July on espionage charges after allegedly taking pictures and sending accounts of the demonstrations and violent crackdown that followed the disputed June 12 reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
May 16, 2010 |
A French researcher held in Tehran since the days after Iran's disputed 2009 presidential elections left the Islamic Republic for Paris on Sunday morning just days after France defied Washington by refusing to extradite an alleged Iranian arms smuggler to the United States. Clotilde Reiss, 24, a lecturer and student of Persian language and Iranian history, had been stuck in Iran since July on espionage charges. She is set to arrive Sunday in Paris to join her family and meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
May 2, 2010 |
By many measures, Arizona has become safer since illegal immigrants began pouring into the state in the 1990s. Crime has dropped all across the country since then, but the decrease has been as fast or faster in Arizona. The rate of property crimes in the state, for example, has plummeted 43% since 1995, compared with 30% nationwide. That's no surprise to those who study immigration — both sides, whether for or against increased immigration, agree that immigrants tend to commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans.
May 1, 2010 |
A Pinal County sheriff's deputy was shot by an apparent drug smuggler and suffered a superficial wound Friday night in an encounter sure to inflame passions in the state that recently passed the toughest law against illegal immigration in the country. Arizona has been fiercely criticized for the new law, which makes it a state crime to lack immigration paperwork and requires police to determine whether people they stop are in the country legally. Opponents have contended that the law will force police to racially profile people.
May 1, 2010 |
Twice a week, a caravan of trucks lumbers out of this volatile northwest Pakistan city in the dead of night and makes its way toward Afghanistan, loaded with one of the most coveted substances in a Taliban bombmaker's arsenal: ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Every time the illicit caravan makes its trip, it moves unhindered past a gantlet of Pakistani police checkposts along the Pak-Afghan Highway. A string of bribes paid out to police, politicians and bureaucrats ensures that the smuggled explosive agent reaches its destination, middlemen on the Afghan side of the border who sell it to insurgents, says the co-owner of a Pakistani trucking firm that dispatches the caravans.
February 12, 2010 |
Western Union will pay $94 million to settle a long-running legal battle with the state of Arizona over whether the company allowed its money transfers to be used to send proceeds from human trafficking and drug smuggling to Mexico, officials announced Thursday. The settlement includes $50 million that will help law enforcement operations in border states fight money laundering. Western Union has also agreed to beef up its internal procedures to stop its wire transfers from being exploited.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2010 |
Nallely and Heriberto Salgado boarded the Mexican fishing skiff bobbing off the Baja California coast last week and watched warily in the moonlight as 19 other people squeezed onto the vessel designed to carry no more than a dozen. A smuggler piloting the 25-foot boat promised a short ride before landing on a beach in San Diego. But 12 hours later, the Salgados were still being lashed with sea spray. The thick fog had burned off, leaving a panorama of brilliant blue, with no land in sight.