CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 11, 2012 |
SAN DIEGO - Two former U.S. Border Patrol agents who fled to Mexico while under investigation for smuggling hundreds of illegal immigrants into the country were found guilty Friday of multiple counts of conspiracy, bribery and human smuggling. The conviction ends a long-running case that became an example of the pernicious reach of corruption into Border Patrol ranks. Raul Villarreal, 42, was once the face of the agency in the San Diego area, making frequent appearances on Spanish-language television newscasts as a media liaison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 2012 |
A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy accused of trying to smuggle a burrito stuffed with heroin into a courthouse lockup was sentenced Monday to two years in jail. Henry Marin, who was once portrayed as a dim-witted bumbler on a reality television show that focused on sheriff's recruits, said nothing as a courtroom deputy handcuffed him and led him away to the type of cell he was once responsible for guarding. Marin, 27, was one of several sheriff's employees recently accused of smuggling narcotics and other contraband into jail for inmates.
June 12, 2012 |
SABHA, Libya - Abdallah takes out his pistol and hands it to a friend. He says he is in good company, so he does not need it. Dressed in military camouflage gear and scarves, Abdallah and his six Libyan Tuareg companions sit under a tree that provides scant protection from the Saharan sun in southern Libya. They have been smuggling munitions to Tuareg insurgents in northern Mali for much of the last eight months. "We know the desert; there is nobody who can stop us," says one of the men, Omar.
May 16, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Responding to an increase in smuggling tunnels along the California and Arizona borders, the House on Wednesday passed legislation aimed at helping law enforcement combat underground drug trafficking. In a rare bipartisan vote, the House overwhelmingly approved the Border Tunnel Prevention Act. President George W. Bush in 2006 signed legislation making it a federal crime to build or finance a cross-border tunnel to smuggle drugs, illegal immigrants and weapons.
May 13, 2012 |
COLUMBUS, N.M. - From a small hill at a state park here, the border town of Palomas, Mexico, can be made out through the desert haze. It lies four miles to the south, but the corruption that roils Palomas and the rest of Northern Mexico may as well be a block away. Last year, black sedans and hatchbacks loaded with federal agents poured into Columbus, a town of 2,000 people, arresting the mayor, the police chief, a city trustee and nine others. They have all pleaded guilty in a gun-smuggling operation that sold about 100 firearms, mostly assault rifles, to Mexican drug cartels.
April 26, 2012 |
The Transportation Security Administration labeled the drug-smuggling case at Los Angeles International Airport that came to light Wednesday as a "significant" breach in security . If so, there's a bigger problem than just the LAX case. Earlier this month, a former TSA officer admitted his role in a drug-smuggling scandal from 2010 to 2011 on the East Coast. The case is taking place in New Haven , Conn., and others involved have already pleaded guilty. Here's what the Hartford Courant reported on April 17 : "Three Transportation Security Administration officers, two police officers and more than a dozen drug dealers in Florida, New York and Connecticut are charged in the smuggling conspiracy that delivered illegal oxycodone pills from Florida to the Waterbury [Conn.]
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2012 |
A private company has agreed to pay millions to install technology in California prisons to block Web searches, text messages and phone calls by inmates using smuggled phones. The deal won't cost taxpayers a dime, state officials insist, because the company, Global Tel Link, also owns the traditional pay phones prisoners can legally use. Company officials are betting that once the contraband cell devices are disabled, demand for pay phones will skyrocket. Like other states, California is battling a plague of phones smuggled to inmates.
April 12, 2012 |
Two illegal immigrants were shot to death by camouflaged gunmen northwest of Tucson in an incident evoking a pair of 2007 attacks, Arizona authorities said Wednesday. One of the victims was identified as Gerardo Perez-Ruiz, 39, of Toluca, Mexico. The second man remained unidentified but was thought to be from Guatemala. They were among a group of 20 to 30 people riding in the bed of a Chevy truck on Sunday when men with rifles ambushed them, Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Dawn Barkman said in an interview.
March 30, 2012 |
The government of Turkey is asking American museums to return dozens of artifacts that were allegedly looted from the country's archaeological sites, opening a new front in the search for antiquities smuggled out of their original countries through an illicit trade. The J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Harvard University's Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection are among the institutions that the Turkish government has contacted, officials say. Turkey believes the antiquities were illegally excavated and smuggled out of the country after the passage of a 1906 law that gave the state ownership of antiquities in the ground.
March 22, 2012 |
Craigslist offers an array of opportunities -- but hiring human smugglers isn't legally among them, federal authorities say. They've arrested a Mexican man who allegedly used the site to recruit staff for his Texas-based human-smuggling operation. José Gustavo Diaz-Velasquez , 29, was arrested last week in the border town of Rio Grande City, Texas, after a yearlong federal investigation. Immigration agents began investigating Diaz-Velasquez in August after they discovered nearly a dozen Craigslist posts recruiting drivers for the smuggling operation, U.S. Atty.