Tag Archives: drug

Colombian drug lord who hid identity with plastic surgery tells trial of El Chapo trafficking alliance

Colombian drug lord who hid identity with plastic surgery tells trial of El Chapo trafficking alliance A former Colombian drug lord known for an extreme plastic-surgery makeover meant to hide his identity testified on Thursday at a US trial about his lucrative drug-trafficking alliance with notorious Mexican counterpart Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Asked about his distorted facial features, Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia explained that he had undergone at least three surgeries that altered "my jawbone, my cheekbones, my eyes, my mouth, my ears, my nose." Ramirez Abadia told the jury that he bribed authorities in Colombia to destroy any criminal records naming him to better stay ahead of the law while he was overseeing the Norte del Valle cartel. In a 20-year career, the witness estimated, he smuggled 400,000 kilos, ordered 150 killings and amassed a fortune so large that he forfeited $ 1 billion after his arrest in Brazil in 2007. Ramirez Abadia was extradited to the United States, where he pleaded guilty to murder and drug charges and agreed to become a government witness in major narcotics prosecutions like Guzman's. He was the third former drug dealer to testify so far at the trial in federal court in Brooklyn, where Guzman has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and other charges. Guzman, for years Mexico's most wanted drug lord, is also believed to have had plastic surgery to alter his features while on the run On Thursday, Ramirez Abadia described a meeting at a hotel in Mexico in the early 1990s where he struck a deal with Guzman whereby the Colombian cartel would fly his cocaine into Mexico for the Sinaloa cartel to smuggle it into Los Angeles and New York City, the witness said. When Guzman asked for the purest product possible, Ramirez Abadia was happy to oblige because he wanted "a reputation for myself for my cocaine being so good," he said. Guzman also demanded a bigger cut of the proceeds than other Mexican kingpins because his network was so efficient at getting it across the border. "I'm a lot faster. You'll see," he recalled Guzman bragging. After Ramirez Abadia relocated to Brazil and redid his face, he looked so different that drug investigators were forced to use voice recognition technology to make the positive identification needed for a search warrant, his lawyer said after his capture. He was found in a luxurious home with a gym, sauna, swimming pool and nearly $ 1 million in stashed cash. 



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Three police jailed for 40 years in first conviction over Philippine drug war killings

Three police jailed for 40 years in first conviction over Philippine drug war killingsA Philippine court found three police officers guilty on Thursday of killing a student they alleged was a drug dealer, in the first known such conviction under the president's deadly crackdown on drugs. Regional Trial Court Presiding Judge Rodolfo Azucena Jr. ruled the officers murdered Kian Loyd Delos Santos during a raid in Caloocan city's slums in the Manila metropolis last year. It rejected the policemen's claim that the 17-year-old fired back while resisting arrest. The court sentenced the officers, Arnel Oares, Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz, to be imprisoned for up to 40 years without parole, although they can appeal. Activists light candles in front of the picture of 17-year-old student Kian Loyd delos Santos in Manila Credit: AP Photo/Aaron Favila Aside from the prison term, the policemen, who appeared in court in handcuffs and yellow detainee shirts, were ordered to pay damages to Santos's impoverished family. President Rodrigo Duterte's crackdown, which has left thousands of suspects dead, reportedly in clashes with the police, has alarmed Western governments and UN rights experts and horrified human rights watchdogs. The volatile president has stressed he does not condone extrajudicial killings, although he has repeatedly threatened drug suspects with death and has assured police he would back them up in ways that human rights watchdogs say have encouraged law enforcers to act with impunity. "A shoot first, think later attitude can never be countenanced in a civilized society. Never has homicide or murder been a function of law enforcement," Mr Azucena said in his ruling. "The public peace is never predicated on the cost of human life." Mr Duterte's government called the ruling "a triumph of justice" which disproved critics' assertion that the judiciary was a rubberstamp. "As we have always stressed, the conduct of the government's anti-illegal drug campaign is based on accountability. Therefore, we do not – and we will never – tolerate unjustified police violence, brutality or killing," presidential spokesman and chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo told a news conference. Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros, who has railed against the drug killings, said the court decision proved that extrajudicial killings under Duterte's crackdown were being committed by rogue members of the national police force. "This is a light in the darkness," Ms Hontiveros said in a statement. "Despite the gruesome climate of killing and impunity in the country, this verdict sends the message that there is hope and justice. And we will fight for more light and truth until the darkness cannot overcome them." Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to pardon authorities involved in his bloody crackdown, but even he refused to defend the 2017 killing of Kian Delos Santos Credit: NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images Ms Hontiveros said the numbers of drug killings, which started to rise when Mr Duterte took office in mid-2016 and launched his war against drugs, could not have reached "catastrophic levels if these killings did not have a sinister principle and policy behind them." Mr Duterte and police officials have repeatedly stated there was no state policy to kill drug suspects illegally. Mr Duterte faces at least two mass murder complaints before the International Criminal Court, which he said would never acquire jurisdiction over him. Delos Santos's killing on Aug 16, 2017, sparked an outcry and a televised Senate inquiry, and prompted Mr Duterte to temporarily order a small anti-drug agency with only about 1,000 men to oversee the campaign against illegal drugs. The crackdown had been previously led by the national police, which Mr Duterte once described as "corrupt to the core." The policemen claimed Delos Santos was a drug dealer who fired at officers during the raid, but his family and witnesses testified in official investigations that he was shot in a dark alley near a creek as he pleaded for his life.



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El Chapo trial: Four things we learned during week three of the notorious drug kingpin’s hearing

El Chapo trial: Four things we learned during week three of the notorious drug kingpin’s hearingWeek three of the high-profile trial of alleged drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has brought fresh allegations and intrigue as the government makes its case against the man accused of running a multi-billion dollar drug empire. Guzman is facing trial in New York City after being extradited from Mexico, where he managed to escape federal prisons on two occasions. The trial has testimony of alleged assassination attempts, alleged bribes, and huge shipments of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico and into the US.



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3 Filipino police guilty of teen's murder in brutal drug war

3 Filipino police guilty of teen's murder in brutal drug warMANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine court found three police officers guilty on Thursday of killing a student they alleged was a drug dealer, in the first known such conviction under the president's deadly crackdown on drugs.



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Colombian drug kingpin testifies against 'El Chapo'

Colombian drug kingpin testifies against 'El Chapo'NEW YORK (AP) — A former Colombian drug lord known for an extreme plastic-surgery makeover meant to hide his identity testified Thursday at a U.S. trial about his lucrative drug-trafficking alliance with notorious Mexican counterpart Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.



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New drug options, risk factors added to U.S. heart guidelines

New drug options, risk factors added to U.S. heart guidelinesThe recommendations from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, last issued in 2013, acknowledge recent research showing the benefit of very low levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, which contributes to fatty plaque buildup and narrowing of arteries. The medical groups, which announced the guidelines on Saturday at the AHA’s annual meeting in Chicago, still emphasize a healthy diet and exercise as the first line of defense against heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the country. When cholesterol is not controlled by lifestyle efforts, patients are typically prescribed statin drugs, available as low cost generic pills that have long been proven to safely and effectively lower LDL levels and heart disease risk.



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Canada to pardon convictions for cannabis as country becomes second in the world to legalise drug

Canada to pardon convictions for cannabis as country becomes second in the world to legalise drugThe Canadian government is ready to pardon those with a pot possession record of 30 grams or less as Canada became the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace on Wednesday. A senior government official said those with a record will be allowed to apply for a pardon. The official was not authorised to speak publicly ahead of Wednesday's announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity. On Wednesday, Canada became the second country after Uruguay to legalise so-called recreational marijuana. Tom Clarke, 43, shop opened at midnight in Newfoundland, Canada's easternmost province. "I am living my dream. Teenage Tom Clarke is loving what I am doing with my life right now," he said. Clarke has been dealing marijuana illegally in Canada for 30 years. He wrote in his high school yearbook that his dream was to open a cafe in Amsterdam, the Dutch city where people have legally smoked weed in coffee shops since the 1970s. A depiction of a cannabis bud drops from the ceiling at Leafly's countdown party in Toronto on Wednesday Credit:  Chris Young At least 111 legal pot shops are planning to open across the nation of 37 million people on the first day, according to an Associated Press survey of the provinces. That is a small slice of what ultimately will be a much larger marketplace. No stores will open in Ontario, which includes Toronto. The most populous province is working on its regulations and doesn't expect stores until next spring. Canadians everywhere will be able to order marijuana products through websites run by provinces or private retailers and have it delivered to their homes by mail. Longtime pot fan Ryan Bose, 48, a Lyft driver in Toronto, said it's about time. "Alcohol took my grandfather and it took his youngest son, and weed has taken no one from me ever," he said. Canada has had legal medical marijuana since 2001, and amid excitement over the arrival of legal recreational pot, many in the industry spent the last days of prohibition on tasks familiar to any retail business – completing displays, holding mock openings and training employees to use sales-tracking software. US Customs and Border Protection invited Canadian media to a conference call on Tuesday so officials could reiterate that marijuana remains illegal under US federal law and that those who are caught at the border with pot are subject to arrest and prosecution. View this post on Instagram Went to the store to pick up a pack of “cigarettes” ahead of #Weedsday. My fave, infrequently visited neighbourhood pot shop will be one of the first to legally sell recreational weed once the government stamps its approval. These joints I bought for work — they’re going to be on TV tomorrow along with 30 grams of bud and numerous pot plants. ALL LEGAL! — #cannabis #cannabiscommunity #weed #legalincanada #potshop #bcpoli A post shared by Megan Stewart (@mhstewart) on Oct 16, 2018 at 6:36pm PDT A patchwork of regulations has spread in Canada as each province takes its own approach within the framework set out by the federal government. Some are operating government-run stores, some are allowing private retailers, some both. Alberta and Quebec have set the minimum age for purchase at 18, while others have made it 19. "We're not legalising cannabis because we think it's good for our health. We're doing it because we know it's not good for our children," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on the eve of the reform. "We know we need to do a better job to protect our children and to eliminate or massively reduce the profits that go to organized crime."



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What to know about the deadly drug fentanyl

What to know about the deadly drug fentanylFentanyl was first developed in 1959 and introduced in the 1960s as an intravenous anesthetic.



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Mexican military disarm entire police force in resort city of Acapulco 'corrupted by drug gangs'

Mexican military disarm entire police force in resort city of Acapulco 'corrupted by drug gangs'Mexican authorities have taken control of the entire police force in the southern Mexican city of Acapulco, claiming the department has been infiltrated by drug gangs. Two police commanders have been accused of murder, while the rest of the force officers have been stripped of their guns, radios and bulletproof vests and taken for background checks. Acapulco – a beach resort – was a fashionable location favoured by movie stars in the 1950s and 60s, but has since been plagued by escalating violence due to warring drug gangs.



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US surgeon and girlfriend suspected of committing 'hundreds' of drug rapes

US surgeon and girlfriend suspected of committing 'hundreds' of drug rapesA reality TV star surgeon and his girlfriend may have committed hundreds of sexual assault, investigators in California have claimed. Grant William Robicheaux, 38, and Cerissa Laura Riley, 31, have been charged with rape using drugs and sexual assault after two women came forward.



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