CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2012 |
It was a promise that spoke to high school girls of humble means and less-than-stable homes — quick money to get their hair and nails done, buy a house, even get their kids back from foster care. It was, a girl allegedly told her schoolmates, simply a matter of "using what you got to get what you want. " That was how 19-year-old Kimberly Alberti lured underage girls at her school to work for her pimp, prosecutors allege, bringing them into the control of a sex-trafficking ring in which they were beaten, raped and locked up while being forced into prostitution.
August 8, 2012 |
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.
June 18, 2012 |
As more attention is being paid to children and their safety online, a new initiative joining State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, Yahoo and the Polaris Project is targeting modern slavery. Essentially, the hope is to use the very tool that is instrumental in perpetuating the $32-billion human trafficking industry to direct users to the national hotline whenever certain related terms are searched through Yahoo. And the goal there is to help identify more victims by connecting survivors and community members to resources and support.
June 9, 2012 |
All was not well in Poland and Ukraine, co-hosts of Euro 2012, when the planet's second-most-important soccer tournament kicked off Friday. And that could prove to be both good and bad thing as the sport moves toward World Cups scheduled in Brazil, Russia and Qatar over the next 10 years. It's a bad thing because, in the run-up to Euro 2012, attention has been focused away from the playing field because of charges of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and worries about violence in the host countries.
June 1, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The failed federal gun-tracking operation called Fast and Furious showed an "outstanding lack of understanding of how criminal organizations are operating on both sides of our common borders," the Mexican ambassador to the United States said. In a forum Thursday on Capitol Hill, Arturo Sarukhan complained that his government had been left in the dark about operations to stop gun smuggling at the border. He also revealed that his government was conducting its own official investigation into how some 2,000 U.S.-purchased firearms made it across the border and into the hands of drug cartels amid the escalating violence in Mexico.
May 19, 2012 |
SAN DIEGO - Alleged drug kingpin Victor Emilio Cazares, among the most wanted trafficking suspects in the United States, has been arrested in Mexico, U.S. and Mexican officials say, despite having changed his appearance through plastic surgery. A senior U.S. law enforcement official in Mexico confirmed this week that Cazares was captured April 8 at a highway checkpoint near the western city of Guadalajara. Mexican authorities on Friday confirmed Cazares was in custody. Mexican authorities did not make the arrest public at the time, and it has not been previously reported.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 2012 |
The man with eight pounds of methamphetamine in his carry-on bag stood in the snaking security line at Los Angeles International Airport's Terminal 4, inching toward the checkpoint, when a TSA screener approached. But it wasn't to stop the contraband, according to prosecutors. It was to make sure it got through. The screener, John Whitfield, allegedly told the man to get to the back of the line so he and his luggage would get to the X-ray machines when Whitfield's shift started.
April 14, 2012 |
CARTAGENA, Colombia -- President Obama said Saturday that he is open to a debate about current drug laws but that he believes legalizing narcotics could lead to even greater problems in those countries hardest hit by trafficking and violence. Obama told Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday that he is willing to discuss whether current laws are "doing more harm than good. " But "legalization is not the answer," Obama said. As president of Colombia, which was ravaged for years by drug-related violence, Santos raised the question of legalization during this weekend's Summit of the Americas meeting here.
March 25, 2012 |
A conclave of Central American presidents meeting in Guatemala to discuss a major overhaul of their drug laws — including legalization or decriminalization — failed to arrive at a consensus Saturday and agreed to meet again soon in Honduras. Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina had invited five counterparts to discuss what he described as growing frustration with Washington's anti-drug policy, which many in the region say is exacting too high a price in crime and corruption.
March 21, 2012 |
When the ATF made alleged gun trafficker Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta its primary target in the ill-fated Fast and Furious investigation, it hoped he would lead the agency to two associates who were Mexican drug cartel members. The ATF even questioned and released him knowing that he was wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. But those two drug lords were secretly serving as informants for the FBI along the Southwest border, newly obtained internal emails show. Had Celis-Acosta simply been held when he was arrested by theBureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in May 2010, the investigation that led to the loss of hundreds of illegal guns and may have contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent could have been closed early.