The Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have seized marijuana and conducted raids at 16 locations across Southern California.
They have arrested more than 11 people who are suspected of drug dealing last Wednesday, but names were not disclosed, the Sheriff officials said.
The raids have targeted a single group of criminals, who are allegedly into illegal making and selling cocaine, meth and marijuana at medical marijuana dispensaries, Capt. Ralph Ornelas said.
Authorities have so far seized a total of 35 marijuana plants, 78 pounds of processed pot, seven gallons of concentrated cannabis oil and more than 4,000 pre-packaged, marijuana-laced edible products, with a total street value of about $350,000.
The raids took place at five medical marijuana clinics, two processing sites, a grow site and a sailboat in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties in California.
Mexican drug cartel leader Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel Villareal, a top kingpin and, one of the three leaders of Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel, was killed during a gunbattle with soldiers Thursday.
Nacho Coronel is considered as the founder of the country’s massive methamphetamine trade. He was killed during a gunfight near the city of Guadalajara. This is the biggest strike against the Sinaloa cartel which is led by Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman and this could mean more violence as factions fight for the cocaine and methamphetamine empire that the founder left behind.
Coronel was the No. 3 of the gang led by El Chapo who is also a Mexico’s most wanted drug lord. The major hit to one of the world’s most powerful drug cartel is the latest since President Felipe Calderon launched a military offensive against drug traffickers is late 2006.
Coronel, who had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head was believed to be the “forerunner in producing massive amounts of methamphetamine in clandestine laboratories in Mexico, then smuggling it into the U.S.” according to the FBI.
The 56-year-old Coronel, controlled meth and cocaine trafficking routes that was said to extend from Mexico’s Pacific Coast and inland up to Arizona.
An army raid was closing in one of Coronel’s safehouses in an upscale suburb of the Western City of Guadalajara, when the drug lord opened fire on soldiers.
“Nacho Coronel tried to escape and fired on military personnel, killing on soldier and wounding another,” Villegas said at a news conference in Mexico City. “Responding to the attacks, this Capo died.”
Coronel’s downfall came amid persistent allegations that Calderon’s administration appeared to be favouring the Sinaloa Cartel, or not hitting it as hard as other drug gangs.
The army operation happened as it challenges a long-held notion that the Mexican government officials were supporting the Sinaloa cartel to win the drug war.
After a month of intelligence work, the Mexican army zeroed in on Coronel at his mission in a ritzy suburb of Guadalajara.
“I absolutely believe that this will have an impact on… the Sinaloa federation’s capability to move their drugs, at least in the short term,” said Dave Gaddis, deputy chief of operations that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “They will require time to rebuild”
Allison Lenore Coss, 24 and Scott Edward Sippola, 36, a Michigan couple were found guilty in federal court of conspiracy and using e-mail to threaten a person’s reputation. They were convicted Thursday because the said couple was trying to extort $680,000 from actor John Stamos. The couple was threatening to sell old photos of the said actor with strippers and cocaine to the tabloids unless he paid up.
The couple ended up in a dramatic courtroom Wednesday afternoon and defendant Allison Coss testified and said that her actions to attempt to sell allegedly compromising photos t her friend John Stamos for $680,000 were morally wrong, but not legally wrong.
The couple pleaded not guilty last month to a three-count federal grand jury indictment.
They were arrested by police in December at an Upper Peninsula airport after actor Stamos reported that he is being victimized of an extortion attempt.
The charges that the court laid for the couple could lead them in prison for up to five years. Sentencing was scheduled for Oct.8.
Stamos said in a statement after the court’s decision that he was “shocked and perplexed” by the “false stories” which was offered by Coss and their defense lawyers.
“These slanderous allegations to smear my reputation were part of their defense to redirect attention away from the federal crime of extortion,” said Stamos.
The government rested its case Wednesday and does not plan to call one rebuttal witnesses. The defense testimony began and there is one potential witness remaining to testify Thursday morning. After that, there was a closing attorney statements and jury instructions before deliberations was expected later in that day.
Defense attorneys of the couple told the jury that it wasn’t a crime to offer the images to Stamos before going to the celebrity media. Many fans waited for the actor outside the courtroom to congratulate the former “ER” and “Full House” star as he left the federal courthouse.
Stamos met Coss in Orlando, Florida in 2004 after he separated from his supermodel wife Rebecca Romjin where Coss attended a party in his hotel room.
Stamos was late to hear the verdict but was present minutes later when the judge polled each juror.
Helping to stem a vicious crime wave in Puerto Rico’s central mountains was the latest mission of Army National Guard Lt. Anthony Santiago.
Puerto Rico, which was once-tranquil heartland has become a new refuge for drug gangs who were flushed out of the big cities according to local officials. This prompted Gov. Luis Fortuno to deploy National Guard troops to help police restore the peace. He initially dispatched soldiers to the capital, which San Juan, and other high-crime metropolitan areas. He then agreed to send them to the mountains a month later at the request of local mayors. The guardsmen will stay until the year’s end as 1,000 new police recruits complete training at their academy. The guardsmen role is restricted only of backing up police.
Puerto Ricans say that they are desperate for reprieve following one of the U.S. Caribbean territory’s most violent years on record.
Most of the violence were blamed on gangs which are battling for control of the cocaine and heroin trade.
Puerto Rico’s island which has 4 million people is a major transshipment point for drugs bound for the U.S. mainland.
Lt. Santiago, who previously served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division said that manning a checkpoint in the island makes him feel like he is back in Iraq except for the lush green surroundings and the lack of respect shown by criminals compared to the suspected militants he detained during the war.
Police chief for the central mountain region, Noel Torres Roca, has tallied at least eleven murders this year. This rate was slightly ahead of last year’s rate.
Torres said that the soldiers are helping to reduce crime in the said island. He also said that they free up police to cover more of his territory.
A resident in the place said that he is happy to see the soldiers.
“We need to cover some very big areas that we could not before this because we do not have much personnel,” police chief Torres said.
Torres also said that the people from San Juan came and contaminated what we call the ‘jibaros,’ the people who work in agriculture and convinced them you can make more money in drugs or selling guns or stolen cars.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised to crack down on violence, drugs and truancy in France’s impoverished suburbs during a visit on Tuesday to Trembray-en-France, the scene of a brutal bus attack last month.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said his government would step up security and take tough measures to tackle drug dealing and truancy during a visit to the crime-plagued district of Seine-Saint-Denis, just north of Paris.
“No city, no neighbourhood, no building in Seine-Saint-Denis will escape the rule of law,” Sarkozy declared to a crowd gathered at the local municipal building.
Sarkozy’s visit came weeks after a crowded bus was attacked in the suburb of Tremblay-en-France in Seine-Saint-Denis and a gang of hooded youths threw Molotov cocktails at the bus. The driver managed to get all the passengers safely off the bus.
But the incident led bus drivers to briefly boycott routes in the troubled suburb.
The bus attack came days after police made a drugs bust in Tremblay-en-France, in which they seized several kilogrammes of cocaine, heroin and cannabis, and almost a million euros in cash.
On Tuesday, Sarkozy visited two bus depots in Seine-Saint-Denis. In an address to bus drivers, Sarkozy stressed that, “the violence in public transport and in schools in Seine-Saint-Denis must end”.
The tougher law-and-order measures included the provision of about 600 additional video surveillance cameras and doubling the number of state inspectors to crack down on illegal businesses in the housing projects.
Sarkozy also said that the stopping of government subsidies to families who fail to send their children to school would become systematic and announced the creation of special schools for pupils who seriously disrupt school-time.
While President Sarkozy has been eager to demonstrate his commitment to appoint non-white French people to senior government posts, commentators highlighted the president’s change in tone on Tuesday, and speculated on his eagerness to please voters on the political right.
Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party is still reeling from an embarrassing defeat in recent regional elections – a poll that was also marked by the comeback of the far-right National Front party.
Dozens of protesters at Tremblay-en-France’s municipal building, mostly immigrant residents complaining about their treatment by local officials, were kept at bay with special security and extra police.
Edwin Valero, a former boxing champion was arrested for his wife’s murder and hanged himself in a jail in Venezuela. The former WBA Super featherweight and WBC lightweight champion was addicted to cocaine and had grown increasingly violent.
After the wife’s death, Edwin Valero was arrested Sunday and early Monday, the boxer hanged himself in his cell according to the Police.
The 24-year-old wife, Jennifer Carolina Viera was hospitalized many times and this was said to be the cause of violence of the fighter. The boxer’s wife was treated one time at a hospital for a gunshot in her left leg and Viera told the officials that she had been shot outside her house by an unknown attacker on a motorcycle. Last month also, she was hospitalized in a hospital in western city of Merida where the doctors and nurses treated her for injuries and also include punctured lung and broken ribs. This time, Valero was arrested and was charged harassment of his wife. He was detained last March 25 according to The Attorney General’s Office but his wife told the police that her injuries were caused by a fall.
After that incident, Valero was rehabilitated and was held for nine days in a psychiatric hospital in Merida. He was allowed to go free on April 7 after a bail was posted by some people close to the fighter.
The Venezuelan government arranged a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for Valero in Cuba but he missed the flight to Cuba and was scheduled to fly there soon said Milda Mora, the lawyer of Valero.
Mary Finol, the mother-in-law of the boxer told the reporters at her daughter’s funeral in El Vigia in western Venezuela that her daughter told her family that Valero “didn’t sleep, he didn’t eat, he used drugs every day and he was growing more violent all the time.”
Edwin Valero started boxing at the age of 12. He was the third of eight brothers and grew up in poverty, live in streets and sold fruit to make a living while drinking liquor.
He gained his fame because of his record of 27 straight knockouts and the last victory that he had is in Mexico in February where he fought and won over Antonio DeMarco.
Valero’s funeral was scheduled Wednesday.