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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Todays drug busts

    Drug cartel’s bold macho marketing helps feds bust pot headed to Houston (UPDATED)

    The Gulf Cartel’s bravado may be catching up with it.

    A U.S. Border Patrol agent searching for a hidden compartment in a tractor-trailer rig headed north from the Texas-Mexico border to Houston found an “access panel” boldly welded with the letters, “C.D.G.,” an acronym for the drug-trafficking syndicate’s name in Spanish, Cartel del Golfo.

    Yes, welded.

    In Mexico, seeing “CDG” may be enough to warn police to stay out of the way, but in the United States it appears it will be used against you. It connected to dots, and has led authorities to believe they know owned the dope.

    Authorities at the Falfurrias checkpoint between the Rio Grande Valley and the rest of Texas thought enough of the CDG find to include it in the arrest affidavit for charging the truck’s driver Troy Hanks, an American citizen from Texas, with smuggling 1,245 pounds of marijuana wrapped in gray duct tape.

    UPDATE: Read the affidavit below. This is what the feds say happened, but their version of the truth may end up being challenged in court. This is a public record on file at the courthouse, not some sneaky document that isn’t supposed to be seen by the public. Still, it is quite interesting.

    As for the pot, it was hidden among a load of pallets supposedly destined for Houston, according to the affidavit.

    The cartel has started going by CDG in the past few years – using it like a flag for a warring army that is taking on some of Mexico’s other drug-trafficking organizations.

    Since then CDG has turned up on trucks, tattoos, graffiti, and now – drug stashes.

    This seems to be sort of like a brand, or marketing as well as a warning in a business worth billions.

    Some of this is noted in a prior Narco Confidential blog entry about a U.S. government guide to understanding narco speak. The guide is posted in this entry.

    If you see CDG in Mexico, the chances are you’ve come face-to-face with the big leagues of Mexican criminality.

    In some places, it seems to denote territory and can be a sigh of relief, in some circles, as the CDG has cast itself as the “good guy” gangsters in that they are not believed to extort, kidnap and inflict other such crimes on innocent civilians – unlike their chief rivals, the Zetas, known by the letter Z.


    (From Todo Sobre Narcotrafico En Mexico/http://todosobrenarcotraficoenmexico.blogspot.com/ )

    It is common for drug loads – such as individual bricks of cocaine – to be marked with mysterious stamps, such as pineapples or whatever to denote where it has come from or in some cases initials for where it is going – but welding CDG on a secret compartment seems to leave no doubt not only where the load is from, but who is having it shipped.

    The truck’s driver refused to answer questions, repeatedly said he feared for his life, and added that he had heard members of U.S. law enforcement were working for the cartel, according to the arrest affidavit.

    He maintained that when he picked up the truck, the trailer was already full and that he knew nothing about the marijuana.

    Drug cartel’s bold macho marketing helps feds bust pot headed to Houston (UPDATED) | Narco Confidential | a Chron.com blog
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Almost $2 million in counterfeit cigarettes, Viagra seized

    July 3, 2012 | 9:26am

    Authorities seized almost $2 million in counterfeit cigarettes and counterfeit Viagra pills Monday and have made two connected arrests to culminate part of a lengthy investigation that spanned several Southland cities.

    Twenty officers from various agencies fanned across Los Angeles County and searched four locations Monday morning to locate the counterfeit goods, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

    In the cities of Rosemead, Montebello, South El Monte and unincorporated East Los Angeles, deputies say they discovered $1.8 million in counterfeit cigarettes and nearly $100,000 in counterfeit Viagra pills as well as counterfeit tax stamps from five states. They say the bogus stamps would have cost the California taxpayers nearly $260,000 in state taxes and $300,000 in lost federal tax revenue.

    An unidentified 42-year-old woman and 37-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of the sale and distribution of counterfeit merchandise at their residence, Sheriff's Det. Kevin Olive said. Investigators say they found about $110,000 in cash that had been hidden inside the home on the 9400 block of Ralph Street in Rosemead. Both suspects face up to three years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted.

    Olive said the investigation began more than a year ago and is continuing. Officials say federal charges could still be filed if investigators determine the goods were smuggled into the U.S with “intent to defraud the government.”

    "Counterfeiting and piracy impacts public safety by funding organized crime, street gangs, and even terrorism through the sales of these counterfeit products,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said in the statement. "Criminals engaged in counterfeiting products cost society billions of dollars in lost government revenues, foreign investments and local business profits."

    Almost $2 million in counterfeit cigarettes, Viagra seized - latimes.com
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Ivory, Hippopatamus Tusks Seized From Woman Arriving At LAX

    Purses Made From Ostrich, Crocodile And Other Exotic Animals Also Confiscated

    July 2, 2012 12:55 PM

    LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Seven ivory tusks, a hippopotamus tusk and purses made of ostrich, stingray, crocodile and elephant skins were seized from the luggage of a U.S. citizen arriving from Europe, officials said Monday.

    A 63-year-old woman arriving last Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport from Greece via Germany was found in possession of the endangered animal products, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    CBP officers say the woman provided a negative declaration about the items she was bringing into the country, but an X-ray examination revealed a tusk-like object in the box she said was an “elephant tooth” from her dead uncle’s estate.

    After consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CBP officers confirmed that all 15 items were prohibited from importation under the Endangered Species Act.

    The seized items included seven ivory tusks, several of which were carved into statues, a hippopotamus tusk, two ostrich-skin purses, a stingray leather purse, a purse of elephant hide and three crocodile-skin purses.

    Ivory, Hippopatamus Tusks Seized From Woman Arriving At LAX « CBS Los Angeles
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Lukeville CBP Officers Arrest Local Man for Drug Smuggling

    (Friday, June 29, 2012)

    Lukeville, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Lukeville port of entry arrested a 33-year-old male resident of Ajo, Ariz., on June 28, for attempting to smuggle more than 102 pounds of marijuana into the United States.


    CBP officers referred the man for inspection of his Toyota van. During secondary inspection, officers found 81 packages of marijuana worth an estimated $51,000 throughout the vehicle.


    The vehicle and drugs were processed for seizure. The subject was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations.


    Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


    The Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within CBP tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports of entry. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. This mission also includes border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.



    U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

    Department of Homeland Security

    Lukeville CBP Officers Arrest Local Man for Drug Smuggling - CBP.gov
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    7,500 lbs. of pot stashed inside razors shipment

    8:40 p.m. PDT, July 2, 2012

    SAN DIEGO -- Nearly 10,000 pounds of marijuana worth about $4.9 million was found in two separate commercial shipments at the Otay Mesa cargo facility,U.S. Customs and Border Protectionannounced Monday.

    A 33-year-old Mexican national entered the cargo port about 10 a.m. Friday driving a tractor pulling a trailer said to be loaded with a shipment of disposable razors, according to Angelica De Cima of the CBP.

    Officers ran the cargo through the port's imaging system and subsequently removed 298 packages containing nearly 7,500 pounds of marijuana from the shipment of razors, De Cima said.

    Officers seized the drugs along with the tractor and trailer. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents arrested five people in connection with the alleged smuggling attempt, De Cima said.

    About 7 p.m. Friday, a 31-year-old Mexican man drove a 2002 International Bobtail truck with a shipment of plastic articles into the commercial port. Officers screened the cargo and seized 341 packages filled with 2,253 pounds of marijuana, De Cima said.

    Border Bust: 7,500 lbs. of pot stashed inside razors shipment - KSWB
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    4,000 pounds of illegal fireworks seized in East L.A.

    By City News Servicedailybreeze.com
    Posted: 07/03/2012 06:10:30 AM PDT
    July 3, 2012 1:12 PM GMTUpdated: 07/03/2012 06:11:08 AM PDT

    EAST LOS ANGELES - A cache of 4,000 pounds of illegal fireworks worth at least $10,000 was seized from a business in unincorporated East Los Angeles, and its 34-year-old landlord was arrested, authorities said today.

    Deputies discovered the fireworks after receiving information they were being stored at and sold from the location in the 700 block of South Kern Avenue, said Sgt. David Ladjevic of the Los Angeles County sheriff's East Los Angeles Station.

    Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters were summoned to remove and dispose of the fireworks, he said.

    Victor Nolasco of East Los Angeles was cited for possession of illegal fireworks and released, Ladjevic said.

    It was the third major seizure of illegal fireworks by the Sheriff's Department in the span of a week. Deputies seized 8,000 pounds of commercial- grade fireworks from a home in the 1600 block of East 124th Street in the unincorporated Willowbrook area and arrested 71-year-old Aaron Piggee on Wednesday.

    A week ago today, deputies seized a cache of fireworks of roughly the same size at a storage facility in the 10900 block of Firestone Boulevard in Norwalk. No immediate arrests were made in that case.

    4,000 pounds of illegal fireworks seized in East L.A. - Press-Telegram
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Seventeen Charged in Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

    U.S. Attorney’s Office
    July 02, 2012 Western District of Pennsylvania
    (412) 644-3500

    PITTSBURGH—Thirteen residents of Pennsylvania and four residents of Ohio have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating federal drug laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

    The 18-count indictment, returned on June 12 and unsealed today, named the following individuals:

    Kashma Jordan a/k/a Gold, 32, of 3349 Lodwick Drive, Warren, Ohio, 44485;
    Robert Harvey a/k/a Bob, 38, of 2692 Brier Street SE, Warren, Ohio, 44484;
    Juan Worthey, Jr. a/k/a Bones, 37, of 163 Church Street, Washington, Pennsylvania, 15301;
    Mario Rodgers a/k/a Rio, 39, of 527 Washington Street NE, Warren, Ohio, 44483;
    Brandon Wise a/k/a B-Wise, 28, of 133 Maple Avenue, Washington, Pennsylvania, 15301;
    Allan Williams, 37, of 4475 Berkshire Drive SE, Warren, Ohio, 44485;
    Will Levy a/k/a Q, 37, of 28 Central Avenue, Washington, Pennsylvania, 15301;
    Keith Malone a/k/a K-Rizz, 36, of 940 Bruce Street, Washington, Pennsylvania, 15301;
    Alex Hockett, 25, 311 W. Maiden Street, Washington, Pennsylvania, 15301;
    Brent Anderson, 30, of 2920 Taft Street, Washington, Pennsylvania, 15301;
    Eric Everett a/k/a Fifty, 27, of 207 S. 20th Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17104;
    Brandon Boone, 29, of 750 Cleveland Road, Washington, Pennsylvania, 15301;
    Joshua Williams, 32, 305 Donnan Avenue, Apartment 2, Washington, Pennsylvania, 15301;
    Christina Wright, 34, 735 Regent Drive, Washington, Pennsylvania, 15301;
    Terrell Percy Williams a/k/a Rel, 33, of 1413 Soles Street, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, 15132;
    Michael Porter, 30, of 501 Pirl Street, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, 15132;
    and Derrick Knox, 31, of 804 Josephine Street, E. McKeesport, Pennsylvania, 15035.

    According to the indictment, from in and around January 2011 and continuing thereafter to in and around June 2012, the 17 defendants and others conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Additionally, Knox, Levy, Terrell Percy Williams, Wise, Malone, and Wright are charged in separate instances of distributing less than 500 grams of cocaine; Worthey is charged with distributing more than 500 grams of cocaine; and Wise also is charged with distributing less than 28 grams of cocaine base in and around Washington, Pennsylvania.

    The law provides for a maximum sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $10,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

    Assistant United States Attorney Barbara K. Swartz is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

    An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

    FBI.gov is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice

    FBI — Seventeen Charged in Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy
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