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February 2014

San Diego Police Chief Seeks Change in Drug Law

San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne is backing a statewide effort to reduce most nonviolent crimes, including drug possession for personal use and petty theft, from felonies to misdemeanors, an idea that will undoubtedly face opposition in some circles. Lansdowne, who is working with San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón to try to qualify the measure for the November ballot, said it would reduce prison populations and shift up to $250 millon per year to treatment and education programs.

Source: San Diego Union Times, Published: 2/6/2014 12:00:00 AM

December 2013

More Teens Smuggling Meth - Boy's Death Draws Attention to Minors Carrying Drugs Across the Border

A Tijuana teenager’s recent attempt to smuggle methamphetamine into San Diego might have drawn little public notice — except that after he was pulled aside for questioning at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, he sipped the liquid and died. Now the case of Cruz Marcelino Velázquez Acevedo, a 16-year-old high school student, has shined a new spotlight on the issue of underage drug smugglers from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Source: San Diego Union Times, Published: 12/2/2013 12:00:00 AM

November 2013

5 Extradited in Plot to Import North Korean Meth to U.S.

Five men have been charged with conspiracy to import 100 kilograms of nearly pure North Korean-produced methamphetamine into the United States, and federal officials said the case illustrates the emergence of North Korea as a player in the global drug trade. The men were part of a sprawling international drug trafficking ring led by a former American soldier, Joseph Manuel Hunter, who has separately been charged with conspiring to murder a Drug Enforcement Administration agent and with importing cocaine into the United States, federal officials said. “These guys worked for and with Joseph Hunter in a transnational criminal organization that involved drugs, weapons, chemicals, murder and a close involvement with rogue nations,” said a senior federal law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly. The five men — including British, Chinese and Philippine nationals — were arrested in Phuket, Thailand, in September and were extradited to the United States on Tuesday night. They appeared in federal court in New York on Wednesday.

Source: The Washington Post, Published: 11/20/2013 12:00:00 AM

Alleged Leader of Mexican Narcotics Trafficking Organization Extradited to U.S.

The alleged leader of a Mexican narcotics trafficking organization responsible for trafficking multi-ton quantities of cocaine, Juan Juarez Orosco, aka “El Abuelo,” was extradited to the United States from Panama on November 8, 2013, and arraigned on Nov. 10, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom in the Eastern District of New York.

Source: Imperial Valley News, Imperial Valley, California, Published: 11/13/2013 12:00:00 AM

New Pill Could Solve Missouri's Meth Problem

Few drugs have destroyed as many lives as methamphetamine. About 12 million Americans have used it -- nearly 5 percent of the population. It's often made from cold medicine in makeshift labs. Police have tried everything to stop this. Now a small drug company believes it has a solution and it's putting 45 million coupons in the Sunday papers to sell its product. For nearly 20 years, Missouri has been in the middle of the country's methamphetamine epidemic. And so has Sgt. Jason Grellner, commander of the Franklin County narcotics unit.

Source: WIBW, Topeka, KS, Published: 11/2/2013 12:00:00 AM

Police Say Meth-Making on the Rise, Drug Found in Parks

Drug agents and park police say meth-makers have been dumping their portable-yet-explosive “labs” in wooded areas meaning danger for anyone picking up trash as number of meth labs rise. The county's park system seems like an odd spot for a drug-making operation but it is not when it comes to methamphetamine. Its makers often use remote areas to concoct the drug or dump its hazardous waste. Hunters found bottles of the highly explosive methamphetamine last year on the ground at Deer Creek and Walborn reservoirs in Lexington Township. The reservoirs, three miles apart and both part of the Stark County park system, boast hundreds of acres of parkland. Hunters, hikers and park maintenance workers found three of these "portable meth labs" around this time last year, all in wooded areas, said Chief Park Ranger Dan George.

Source: The Suburbanite, Akron, Ohio, Published: 11/2/2013 12:00:00 AM