Post Tagged with: "drug war"

Drones Smuggle Tobacco Into Prisons

Drones Smuggle Tobacco Into Prisons

Georgia’s WALB reports:

Trying to get contraband into a prison is nothing new, but there is a new method. This week, some creative crooks tried to get tobacco to South Georgia prisoners by using a remote controlled helicopter, but they didn’t get away with it.

A lieutenant from the Calhoun State prison noticed a small helicopter flying over the gates of and a search began. Sheriff Josh Hilton says about an hour later deputies noticed a suspicious black dodge car with Gwinnett County tags on Edison Street.

Full Story: WALB: Crooks get creative to smuggle contraband

(via Gawker)

November 27, 2013 0 comments
To Move Drugs, Traffickers Are Hacking Shipping Containers

To Move Drugs, Traffickers Are Hacking Shipping Containers

Makes sense:

The scheme sounds like a work of near science fiction. But police in the Netherlands and Belgium insist its true, and say they have the evidence to prove it: two tons of cocaine and heroin, a machine gun, a suitcase stuffed with $1.7 million, and hard drive cases turned into hacking devices.

The plot, which began in 2011, reportedly involved a mix of international drug gangs and digital henchmen: drug traffickers recruited hackers to penetrate computers that tracked and controlled the movement and location of shipping containers arriving at Antwerp’s port. The simple software and hardware hacks—using USB keyloggers and more sophisticated purpose-built devices—allowed traffickers to send in drivers and gunmen to steal particular containers before the legitimate owner arrived.

The scheme was first noticed last year, when workers at a container terminal in Antwerp began to wonder why entire containers—said to contain cargo like bananas and timber—were disappearing from the port. In January, the plot appeared to culminate in a daring raid in the province of Limburg, near Antwerp. A truck that had left the port and was unwittingly carrying containers stuffed with drugs was attacked by suspects armed with AK-47 assault rifles. According to police, the gang had assumed the driver, who was not killed, was from a rival drug gang.

Full Story: Vice Motherboard: To Move Drugs, Traffickers Are Hacking Shipping Containers

October 22, 2013 0 comments
Silk Road Round-Up

Silk Road Round-Up

Black Market Reloaded screenshot

The biggest story of the week biggest tech story of the week (obviously the shutdown is the biggest general interest story of the week) is that the Feds (claim to have) busted Silk Road, the anonymous, Bitcoin driven marketplace for illegal drugs and other wares. Here are some of the most interesting follow-up stories I read this week:

FBI agent Christopher Tarbell busted both LulzSec’s Sabu and Silk Road.

But the guy they arrested claims he’s innocent

One of my favorite takes on Silk Road and its significance, particularly with regards to making the drug trade less violent.

But for better or worse, there are other competitors to Silk Road.

That’s because the Feds busted Silk Road, not Tor.

More about Ross Ulbricht, the man allegedly behind Silk Road.

October 4, 2013 0 comments
Feds Raid Silk Road

Feds Raid Silk Road

ulbricht_linkedin-660x278

Kim Zetter reports for Wired:

The FBI has arrested the San Francisco man they say ran Silk Road, the notorious underground digital bazaar that allowed traffickers to anonymously peddle heroin, cocaine and nearly anything else illegal.

Ross William Ulbricht, 29, who allegedly operated the site as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was charged with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. [...]

Hundreds of illicit drugs were available for anyone to purchase on Silk road, from Afghani hash to LSD and ecstasy, though the terms of service did provide some limitations – they prohibited the sale of weapons of mass destruction, the solicitation of murder, or the sale of stolen bank card data or anything else whose purpose was to harm or defraud.

Ulbricht allegedly violated his own rule, however, when earlier this year he allegedly solicited a murder-for-hire of another Silk Road member who was threatening to release the identities of thousands of users of the site, according to the criminal complaint unsealed this morning. Ulbricht hasn’t been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, however.

Full Story: Wired: Feds Arrest Alleged ‘Dread Pirate Roberts,’ the Brain Behind the Silk Road Drug Site

Previously: A Bitcoin-based E-Bay for Illegal Drugs

October 2, 2013 0 comments
Adderal, A Love Story

Adderal, A Love Story

Dose Nation‘s James Kent writes:

Adderall is a clever brand and a deceptive brand. In America, amphetamine has traditionally been associated with tweakers, speed freaks, bikers, truckers and all-night sex orgies. Adderall changed all that. Stimulants like Ritalin have long been shown to help people with ADD and ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) concentrate for longer periods. So in 1996, Shire Pharmaceuticals introduced Adderall, a patented blend of amphetamine salts, to compete in the market for ADD/ADHD medications. The product was so successful that in 2001, Shire introduced the Adderall XR capsule in order to supply a low but steady dose to users all day long. Adderall XR is marketed as a productivity drug to help people with ADD, ADHD or narcolepsy remain alert and focused, but because it’s essentially pure pharmaceutical amphetamine, it quickly became the prescription stimulant of choice for college students, wage laborers, the military, and pretty much everybody else.

Full Story: High Times: Adderall: America’s Favorite Amphetamine

(via Brainsturbator)

Previously: The Nazi Origins of Meth — AKA “Tank Chocolate”

June 28, 2013 0 comments
The Masked Crime Fighting Teams Of Guerrero, Mexico

The Masked Crime Fighting Teams Of Guerrero, Mexico

warrior-state

Bernardo Loyola and Laura Woldenberg write:

On January 5 in El Potrero, a small town in the Mexican state of Guerrero, a man named Eusebio García Alvarado was kidnapped by a local criminal syndicate. Kidnappings are fairly common in Guerrero—the state, just south of Mexico City, is one of the poorest in the country and the site of some of the worst violence in the ongoing battle between the drug cartels and Mexican authorities. Guerrero’s largest city, Acapulco, is known to Americans as a tourist hot spot. It’s also currently the second most dangerous city in the world, according to a study released by a Mexican think tank in February.

Eusebio’s kidnapping, though, was exceptional. He served as the town commissioner of Rancho Nuevo and was a member of the community activist organization Union of Towns and Organizations of the State of Guerrero (UPOEG), and the brazenness the criminals showed in snatching him up pissed off his neighbors so much that they took matters into their own hands.

The day after Eusebio was abducted, hundreds of people from the nearby towns of Ayutla de los Libres and Tecoanapa decided that they could do a better job policing their communities than the local authorities. They grabbed whatever weapons they had—mostly hunting rifles and shotguns—set up checkpoints at entrances to their villages, and patrolled the roads in pickup trucks, often hiding their faces with ski masks and bandanas. Overnight, UPOEG transformed from an organization of advocates for better roads and infrastructure into a group of armed vigilantes operating without the endorsement of any branch of the government. The kidnappers released Eusebio that day, but UPOEG’s checkpoints and patrols didn’t disappear with his return. In fact, there was a groundswell of support. Five municipalities in the surrounding Costa Chica region followed suit and established their own militias. Soon, armed and masked citizens ensured that travelers and strangers weren’t allowed to enter any of their towns uninvited.

These militias captured 54 people whom they alleged to be involved in organized crime (including two minors and four women), imprisoning them inside a house that became an improvised jail. On January 31, the communities gathered on an outdoor basketball court in the village of El Meson to publicly try their detainees. The charges ran the gamut from kidnapping, extortion, drug trafficking, and homicide to smoking weed. More than 500 people attended, and the trial was covered by media outlets all over the world.

Full Story: Vice: The Warrior State: The People Of Guerrero, Mexico, Have Taken Justice Into Their Own Hands

(Thanks Trevor)

June 7, 2013 0 comments
LA Times Writer Apologizes, Sort Of, For Attacks On Journalist Who Exposed CIA/Crack Connection

LA Times Writer Apologizes, Sort Of, For Attacks On Journalist Who Exposed CIA/Crack Connection

Nick Schou writes about Jesse Katz’s “apology” for ruining Gary Webb’s life:

The New York Times, Washington Post and L.A. Times each obscured basic truths of Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series. But no newspaper tried harder than the L.A. Times, where editors were said to have been appalled that a distant San Jose daily had published a blockbuster about America’s most powerful spy agency and its possible role in allowing drug dealers to flood South L.A. with crack.

Much of the Times’ attack was clever misdirection, but it ruined Webb’s reputation: In particular, the L.A. Times attacked a claim that Webb never made: that the CIA had intentionally addicted African-Americans to crack.

Webb, who eventually could find only part-time work at a small weekly paper, committed suicide.

No journalist played a more central role in the effort to obscure the facts Webb reported than former L.A. Times reporter Katz. [...]

“As an L.A. Times reporter, we saw this series in the San Jose Mercury News and kind of wonder[ed] how legit it was and kind of put it under a microscope,” Katz explained. “And we did it in a way that most of us who were involved in it, I think, would look back on that and say it was overkill. We had this huge team of people at the L.A. Times and kind of piled on to one lone muckraker up in Northern California.” [...]

As Katz admitted to Mantle, “We really didn’t do anything to advance his work or illuminate much to the story, and it was a really kind of tawdry exercise. … And it ruined that reporter’s career.”

Full Story: LA Weekly: Ex-L.A. Times Writer Apologizes for “Tawdry” Attacks

See also:

Webb’s original “Dark Alliance” stories from the San Jose Mercury News.

The Crack Up, Webb’s 1998 follow-up for Orange County Weekly.

June 2, 2013 1 comment
Revisiting the “Crack Babies” Epidemic That Never Happened

Revisiting the “Crack Babies” Epidemic That Never Happened

The New York Times owns up to contributing to the crack baby scare:

This week’s Retro Report video on “crack babies” (infants born to addicted mothers) lays out how limited scientific studies in the 1980s led to predictions that a generation of children would be damaged for life. Those predictions turned out to be wrong. This supposed epidemic — one television reporter talks of a 500 percent increase in damaged babies — was kicked off by a study of just 23 infants that the lead researcher now says was blown out of proportion. And the shocking symptoms — like tremors and low birth weight — are not particular to cocaine-exposed babies, pediatric researchers say; they can be seen in many premature newborns.

The worrisome extrapolations made by researchers — including the one who first published disturbing findings about prenatal cocaine use — were only part of the problem. Major newspapers and magazines, including Rolling Stone, Newsweek, The Washington Post and The New York Times, ran articles and columns that went beyond the research. Network TV stars of that era, including Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather, also bear responsibility for broadcasting uncritical reports.

Full Story: The New York Times: Revisiting the ‘Crack Babies’ Epidemic That Was Not

May 20, 2013 0 comments
Legal Drug Linked to More Cannibalism than Bath Salts

Legal Drug Linked to More Cannibalism than Bath Salts

Legal Drug Linked to More Cannibalism than Bath Salts

Full Story: Narco Polo: Legal Drug Linked to More Cannibalism than Bath Salts

(Thanks Jill!)

By now you’ve likely heard that Eugene had only marijuana, not bath salts, in his system.

See also:

Did Bible Study and Anti-Drug Vow Cause Miami Cannibal Attack?

There Is No Miami Zombie Apocalypse, Just Mentally Ill People With No Safety Net

July 2, 2012 1 comment
DEA Deprives Man in Holding Cell of Food or Water for Four Days

DEA Deprives Man in Holding Cell of Food or Water for Four Days

Emphasis mine:

By his own admission, Daniel Chong planned to spend April 20 like so many other college students: smoking marijuana with friends to celebrate an unofficial holiday devoted to the drug.

But for Mr. Chong, the celebration ended in a Kafkaesque nightmare inside a San Diego Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell, where he said he was forgotten for four days, without food or water.

To survive, Mr. Chong said he drank his own urine, hallucinated and, at one point, considered how to take his own life. By the time agents found him on the fifth day and called paramedics, he said he thought he could be dead within five minutes. [...]

A spokeswoman for the D.E.A. said the case was under investigation, but confirmed that Mr. Chong had been “accidentally left in one of the cells” from April 21 until April 25, and that he had not been charged with a crime.

New York Times: California Man’s ‘Drug Holiday’ Becomes Four-Day Nightmare in Holding Cell

(Thanks Donnie)

Recently: Undercover Cops Seduce High School Students and Entrap Them into Selling Weed

May 5, 2012 1 comment