Feds Raid Puerto Rico Airport – Target Drug Trafficking At Island’s Main Airport

June 6, 2012

PUERTO RICO – Hundreds of federal and state agents were conducting sweeps of Puerto Rico’s main airport Wednesday in an anti-drug trafficking operation, officials said.

In addition, there were raids in the commonwealth’s capital, San Juan, said Laila Rico, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno told CNN en Español that 42 arrest warrants have been issued, not all of them in Puerto Rico. He said some arrests would be made in the mainland United States.

The raid was taking place at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, just outside San Juan.

Related indictments, expected to be unsealed Wednesday, deal with the use of the main airport and other airports to traffic drugs, Fortuno said.

The arrests are part of an investigation of two separate cases, the DEA said.

Fortuno said that 200 police and federal agents were participating in the operation.

The governor told WAPA Radio that because of new controls at the island’s ports of entry, it is easier to detect drug trafficking.

Two years ago, authorities arrested three former employees of a private baggage handling company who had worked at an airport in Puerto Rico. Those arrests targeted a drug trafficking ring that used major airlines to smuggle cocaine and heroin to the United States.

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Not Just The Secret Service: US DEA Agents Under Investigation For Hiring Hookers In Columbia

May 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – A month after the Secret Service was rocked by allegations that agents brought prostitutes to a Colombia hotel where they were preparing for a visit by President Obama, the Drug Enforcement Administration today announced that at least three of its agents are also under investigation for allegedly hiring prostitutes in Cartagena.

Two of the agents allegedly had encounters with masseuses in the apartment of one of the agents, according to Sen. Susan Collins, the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“It’s disturbing that we may be uncovering a troubling culture that spans more than one law enforcement agency,” the Maine Republican said this evening. “In addition to the Secret Service scandal, we now learn that at least two DEA agents apparently entertained female foreign national masseuses in the Cartagena apartment of one of the agents. The evidence uncovered thus far indicates that this likely was not just a one-time incident.”

The revelations that Secret Service personnel had been drinking heavily and cavorting with prostitutes ahead of Obama’s trip to Colombia last month overshadowed the president’s trip to the Summit of the Americas. Twelve members of the military were also investgated for allegedly hiring prostitutes.

Eight of the 12 Secret Service employees implicated in the scandal lost their jobs, another is in the process of losing his security clearances, and three agents were cleared of serious misconduct but still could be disciplined. The military has completed its investigation but no disciplinary action has been carried out.

“The Drug Enforcement Administration was provided information from the Secret Service unrelated to the Cartagena hotel Secret Service incident, which DEA immediately followed up on, making DEA employees available to be interviewed by the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General,” a DEA spokesperson said in a statement.

“DEA takes allegations of misconduct very seriously and will take appropriate personnel action, if warranted, upon the conclusion of the OIG investigation.” the statement said.

A spokesman for the OIG said the DEA is cooperating in the investigation, which is being coordinated with the Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, and the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.

The DEA has agents posted in Colombia to work on counter-narcotic and drug interdiction missions with Colombian authorities. According to officials the agents were among those assigned in Colombia, they were not specifically working on the President’s trip.

The revelations about the DEA agents comes ahead of a hearing scheduled on Wednesday with Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

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Innocent Man Abandoned In Holding Cell For 5 Days By DEA In Kearny Mesa California Without Water, Food, Or Toilet Had To Drink His Own Urine To Survive

May 2, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The Drug Enforcement Administration issued an apology Wednesday to a California student who was picked up during a drug raid and left in a holding cell for several days without food, water or access to a toilet.

DEA San Diego Acting Special Agent-In-Charge William R. Sherman said in a statement that he was troubled by the treatment of Daniel Chong and extended his “deepest apologies” to him.

The agency is investigating how its agents forgot about Chong.

Chong, 23, was never arrested, was not going to be charged with a crime and should have been released, said a law enforcement official who was briefed on the DEA case and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Chong told U-T San Diego that he drank his own urine to survive and that he bit into his glasses to break them and tried to use a shard to scratch “Sorry Mom” into his arm.

The engineering student at University of California, San Diego, was swept up as one of nine suspects in an April 21 drug raid that netted 18,000 ecstasy pills, other drugs and weapons.

Chong said DEA agents told him he would be released. One agent even promised to drive him home from the DEA field office in Kearny Mesa, he said.

Instead, he was returned to a holding cell to await release. He also said the lights went off at one point and stayed off for several days.

Sherman says the event is not indicative of the high standards to which he holds his employees. He says he has personally ordered an extensive review of his office’s policies and procedures.

Chong said he could hear the muffled voices of agents outside his windowless cell and the sound of the door of the next cell being opened and closed. He kicked and screamed as loud as he could. His cries for help went unheard.

“I had to recycle my own urine,” he said. “I had to do what I had to do to survive.”

When he was found on April 25, he was taken to a hospital and treated for cramps, dehydration and a perforated lung — the result of ingesting some of the broken glass.

“When they opened the door, one of them said: ‘Here’s the water you’ve been asking for,’” Chong said. “But I was pretty out of it at the time.”

Chong also ingested a white powder DEA agents said was left in the cell accidentally and later identified as methamphetamine. He described having hallucinations, saying: “I was completely insane.”

Chong’s attorney, Eugene Iredale, said he plans to file a claim against the federal government and, if it is denied, he will proceed with filing a federal lawsuit.

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DEA Agents “Accidentally” Locked Student In A Holding Cell For 5 Days In San Diego California – He Was Not Under Arrest – And Somehow Agents Missed The Methamphetamines He Was Found With In The Cell…

May 1, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – A drug suspect was taken to a federal holding facility and “accidentally left in one of the cells” last month until he was found with methamphetamines and and taken to the hospital, the Drug Enforcement Administration said Monday.

The suspect was “left” on April 21, according to the agency. The paramedics were called on April 25, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department confirmed.

The DEA was not answering questions on Monday about what happened in the five days in between: Did the suspect have food and water and a toilet? How did he get methamphetamines while in custody?

Spokeswoman Amy Roderick said such matters are under investigation. She promised a thorough review of detention procedures and the events of April 21 and after.

The DEA said Monday that the suspect was one of nine people detained April 21 following a drug raid that yielded 18,000 ecstasy pills, marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, a Russian rifle, two handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Roderick said all of the detainees were brought to the DEA field office at an office building in Kearny Mesa, where they were questioned, fingerprinted and photographed.

“Each suspect was interviewed in separate interview rooms, and frequently moved around between rooms and cells,” Roderick said.“All suspects were searched incident to arrest, but none were strip or body cavity searched.”

She said seven suspects were brought to the county jail, one was released “and the individual in question was accidentally left in one of the cells.”

The statement then skips to when the detainee was discovered.

“When agents found the individual in question, they were told by the individual that he had used a white powdery substance that he found in the cell,” Roderick said. “The agents who found the young man in question called EMS, and field tested the substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine.”

San Diego city paramedics were summoned to the San Diego DEA field office on Viewridge Avenue about 4:40 p.m. Wednesday.

“Report was a 24-year-old man in a holding cell said he took white powder substance,” San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesman Maurice Luque said. “He was conscious. He was transported to Sharp in non-life-threatening condition.”

The location of the raid was not provided. Roderick said the man admitted to being at a house “to get high with his friends.”

The man is a student at the University of California San Diego. He was reported missing by his roommate last Friday, two days after he was taken to the hospital, UCSD police said. Campus police said the man notified officers on Saturday that he was OK and the missing-persons report was canceled.

He offered no details about where he had been over the previous week, and simply wanted the missing-person case closed, UCSD Police Chief Orville King said.

It is not clear whether the man will face any criminal charges related to the drug raid, but the DEA said he is not under arrest.

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Subpoena Issued As Congress Investigates US Justice Department Efforts That Armed Mexican Drug Cartels With High Power Assault Weapons

October 13, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional investigators issued a subpoena Wednesday for communications from several top Justice Department officials — including Attorney General Eric Holder — relating to the discredited “Fast and Furious” federal gunrunning operation.

The subpoena, issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also covers communications from Holder’s chief of staff, Gary Grindler, and from Lanny Breuer, head of the department’s criminal division.

Among other things, the subpoena includes a request for information regarding relevant Justice Department communications with the White House, as well as details about the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent last December, the source added.

“Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Holder, know more about Operation Fast and Furious than they have publicly acknowledged,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“The documents this subpoena demands will provide answers to questions that Justice officials have tried to avoid since this investigation began eight months ago. It’s time we know the whole truth.”

Holder has promised to comply with any Capitol Hill subpoena, though a Justice Department spokeswoman appeared to dismiss the development as a political exercise.

“We’ve made clear from the beginning that the department intends to work with the committee to answer legitimate questions,” Tracy Schmaler said. “However, this subpoena shows that Chairman Issa is more interested in generating headlines than in real oversight important to the American people.”

Operation Fast and Furious involved agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowing illegal sales of guns, believed to be destined for Mexican drug cartels, to “walk” from Phoenix gun stores into Mexico.

The idea was to track the sellers and purchasers of guns to Mexican cartels. But the program became mired in controversy after weapons found at Mexican and American murder scenes were traced back to the program. Mexican officials and critics in the United States called the operation a failure, saying it exacerbated the longstanding problem of U.S. weapons getting into the hands of the violent Mexican cartels.

A GOP-led congressional investigation into the matter has become politically contentious, with administration and Capitol Hill leaders accusing each other of acting irresponsibly.

In a letter to Holder released Monday, Issa, a California congressman, accused the attorney general of actively obstructing Congress’ oversight function and damaging his own credibility as a top national law enforcement officer.

“Numerous statements” made by Holder about Operation Fast and Furious have “been proven to be untrue,” Issa said.

“The time for deflecting blame and obstructing our investigation is over,” Issa wrote in the letter, which was dated Sunday. “The time has come for you to come clean to the American public about what you knew about Fast and Furious, when you knew it, and who is going to be held accountable for failing to shut down a program that has already had deadly consequences, and will likely cause more casualties for years to come.”

Issa blasted Holder for “negligence and incompetence” on the issue, and for offering a “roving set of ever-changing explanations” designed primarily to “circle the wagons around (the Justice Department) and its political appointees.”

The operation was the Justice Department’s “most significant gun trafficking case,” Issa said. “On your watch, it went spectacularly wrong. Whether you realize yet or not, you own Fast and Furious. It is your responsibility.”

Holder testified before the Judiciary Committee in May that he had known about the Fast and Furious program for just a few weeks. Republicans insist that recently released Justice Department documents show the attorney general actually knew about the program much earlier.

Holder and his aides continue to vehemently deny that charge.

The attorney general responded angrily Friday to GOP critics of his handling of the operation, charging them with using “irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric.”

“I simply cannot sit idly by as a (Republican) member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform suggests, as happened this week, that law enforcement and government employees who devote their lives to protecting our citizens be considered ‘accessories to murder,'” Holder said in a letter to members of Congress.

Such rhetoric, Holder declared, “must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms.”

On Sunday, Issa said the Judiciary Committee has invited Holder to “come and clear the record.”

“Clearly, he knew when he said he didn’t know,” Issa said. “Now the question is, what did he know and how is he going to explain why he gave that answer?”

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Dumbass Undercover Florida DEA Agent Lee Paige Sues After Shooting Himself In The Foot During Drug Education Presentation

February 2, 2011

FLORIDA – Undercover DEA agent Lee Paige learned the hard, painful way that whatever happens on video… immediately goes on YouTube. Paige is currently attempting to sue the U.S. government for releasing a video of him shooting himself in the foot with a Glock during a presentation about drug education at a Florida community center in 2004.

In April of 2006, Paige filed a complaint alleging that the video’s release harmed his reputation after it appeared online and was broadcast on several television news shows. According to Paige, the DEA possessed sole footage from the talk and, therefore, someone within the department must have put it online or released it to the media. In fact, his lawyers claimed someone within the DEA “with animosity for Paige” had released the video on purpose and with malicious intent. At the time, lawyers for the government felt Paige did not provide evidence to back up his claims, and the identity of the person responsible for circulating the video remains unknown. A mystery is afoot, one might say.

Earlier this week, Lee was able to successfully get the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overturn a December ruling terminating his original lawsuit.

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DEA And Rockland County New York Deputies Raid Wrong Address – Home Of Innocent Family Cooking Dinner, Wouldn’t Let Woman Turn Off Stove, Fire Starts, And Three People Were Stuck Upstairs – Threatened To Shoot Family Dogs – Pointed Guns At Man’s Daughter

January 15, 2011

ROCKLAND COUNTY, NEW YORK – A case of mistaken identity put a Spring Valley family in jeopardy.

Deputies surrounded a house on Nereis Drive on reports that an armed gunman, suspected of robbing a medical marijuana delivery provider, was inside. Turned out it was just a family cooking dinner.

Christine Houston told 10News…deputies ordered everyone out of the house and ignored her plea to go back in and turn off the stove. Moments later a fire broke out, trapping three people upstairs, including a seven year old girl. Deputies grabbed a sledge hammer and a skateboard and broke off the metal bars on the windows, then broke the windows to get inside. All eleven people escaped relatively unharmed. one person suffered a minor case of smoke inhalation.

That can’t be said for the kitchen which is a charred mess. A Sheriff’s spokeswoman is denying reports that the department has offered to pay for the damages.

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