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Traffickers

NEWS
February 6, 1987 | WILLIAM D. MONTALBANO, Times Staff Writer
Carlos Lehder, a boastful cocaine kingpin of unsurpassed ambition and appetite, is the biggest fish ever netted in the flagging international war against drugs. A devotee of the Beatles, Adolf Hitler and violence, Lehder invested cocaine millions in quest of respectability and political power in Colombia. Denied those goals, he laughed at the law, and he was accused of trailing a cape of bribery, intimidation and murder from the United States through the Caribbean and into backland Colombia.
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NEWS
October 11, 2009 | Mike Melia, Melia writes for the Associated Press
With a stucco mansion in the hills outside San Juan and four luxury cars, including a Corvette, Wilfredo Rodriguez lived well for a part-time worker on an airport ground crew. U.S. prosecutors say Rodriguez, who wrapped cargo in plastic for American Airlines, built his fortune over the last decade by smuggling drugs aboard commercial flights -- one small slice of the hundreds of tons of South American cocaine that flow through Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland each year. His arrest last month highlights the challenges for law enforcement authorities on this U.S. Caribbean territory, as traffickers flood the island with drug money and make it one of the most violent places under the American flag.
WORLD
August 8, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - It must have seemed like a good idea at the time: a memorial to the thousands of victims of the drug violence that has convulsed Mexico for most of the last decade. Washington, after all, has its Vietnam War memorial. New York has its monument at the site of the World Trade Center. But even as the winning design was being announced, Mexico's tribute was stricken by the conflicting visions and bitter disputes that have driven wedges into Mexican society. Innocent civilians, police officers on duty and soldiers fighting drug cartels are among the more than 50,000 dead in the government's crackdown on the cartels.
WORLD
April 2, 2010 | By Tracy Wilkinson
Drug traffickers fighting to control northern Mexico have turned their guns and grenades on the Mexican army, authorities said, in an apparent escalation of warfare that played out across multiple cities in two border states. In coordinated attacks, gunmen in armored cars and equipped with grenade launchers fought army troops this week and attempted to trap some of them in two military bases by cutting off access and blocking highways, a new tactic by Mexico's organized criminals.
NATIONAL
June 24, 2010 | By Richard A. Serrano, Tribune Washington Bureau
A top Colombian drug lord whom the United States has long considered one of the most dangerous smugglers pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to trafficking tons of heroin and cocaine into the U.S. Francisco Gonzalez-Uribe had been awaiting trial in New York on charges of running a criminal enterprise dating back at least to 2007 that was accused of shipping loads of drugs to New York and other U.S. cities. Federal prosecutors are likely to seek a sentence of life in prison with no parole.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2012 | By Sam Quinones, Los Angeles Times
In its heyday, World Famous VIP Records in Long Beach had a full-time disc jockey playing music for customers, and clerks learned their clients' tastes so well they knew what to put on as soon as customers walked in the store. Over the years, VIP became a family owned chain, with 14 locations across Los Angeles County, the Long Beach store eventually emerging as the flagship. Now owned by Kelvin Anderson, VIP in Long Beach midwifed the careers of some of America's best-known hip-hop stars.
WORLD
March 5, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Five youths were tortured, sprayed with bullets and dumped in an empty lot in Tijuana, where the army is battling a rise in killings by powerful drug cartels. The handcuffed bodies were found a day after soldiers fought drug traffickers in a five-hour shootout in the city. The gun battle killed a police officer and a suspected gang member. "We think this is another message to discourage major blows to organized crime," a spokesman for Baja California state's security ministry said.
NEWS
March 21, 1986 | United Press International
Mayor Edward I. Koch wants President Reagan to pull $100 bills out of circulation because the notes are "the backbone currency of drug traffickers." In a letter to Reagan dated Wednesday, Koch recommended that all $100 bills be eliminated and that a redemption program for the currency be set up. The redemption program proposed by Koch would require those who turn in more than $10,000 in $100 bills to explain how they acquired the currency.
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