A traffic stop along Interstate 85 in Anderson County late Monday that led to an investigation by federal authorities is tied to possible human smuggling, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed to the Independent Mail on Tuesday. What began as routine traffic stop for a pickup truck that wasn't staying in its lane near rural Townville quickly turned into something larger, local authorities said. "ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations received a call from local law enforcement regarding possible human smuggling activity," Carissa Cutrell, a spokeswoman from ICE, said in an email. ICE defines human smuggling as "the importation of people into a country via the deliberate evasion of immigration laws." According to the federal agency's website, human smuggling "includes bringing illegal aliens into a country, as well as the unlawful transportation and harboring of aliens already in a country illegally." Cutrell said three … [Read more...] about Interstate 85 traffic stop linked to possible human smuggling, ICE spokeswoman confirms
A prison guard assigned to the Fountain Correctional Facility in Atmore was arrested Thursday for attempting to smuggle banned items into the prison, the fourth Alabama corrections employee to be arrested on contraband charges this week. Tony Williams, who had worked for the Alabama Department of Corrections for more than 10 years, was charged with use of office for personal gain. ADOC officials said multiple packages of cellphones were found in Williams' vehicle during a search. The guard told investigators he had bought the phones to sell back to inmates inside the prison. Williams resigned from ADOC following his arrest, a release stated. Williams' arrest follows the arrests of three prison employees in two separate investigations on Monday, Dec. 17. Tiffany Grey and Tawanda Rhymes, both correctional officers at Ventress Correctional Facility, were arrested and charged Monday with use of office for personal gain and failure of duty, according to an ADOC … [Read more...] about Atmore prison guard faces contraband smuggling charges
Corrections and clarification: An earlier version of the map accompanying this story misidentified Colorado. DENVER – If you can dream up a way to smuggle marijuana out of Colorado, chances are someone else has already tried it: Cars and trucks. Potato chip bags and jars of peanut butter. The U.S. mail. Not even the sky is the limit: A pilot last year confessed he used his skydiving planes to deliver nearly a ton of pot to buyers in Texas and Minnesota, court records show. Authorities say growers are using loopholes in Colorado’s legal cannabis system to produce marijuana destined for illegal export, tempted by the high prices that Colorado’s high-grade marijuana commands on the black market, including convenient and discreet marijuana-infused candy. And with margins of as much as 300%, smugglers are willing to take big risks. “What we’re hearing from out of state is that that best dope around is Colorado dope,” says Tom Gorman, … [Read more...] about When smuggling Colo. pot, not even the sky’s the limit
JINZHOU, China — Zhang Zhejun used a fat plastic straw to gently tap the pale yellow pharmaceutical powder onto a piece of silver foil that lay on an electronic scale. He made sure the amount was just right before he poured it into a clear capsule. When you’re making cancer drugs at home, the measurements must be precise. Mr. Zhang has no medical experience and no background in making drugs professionally. He did this out of desperation. His mother suffered from lung cancer and required expensive drugs that China’s ambitious but troubled health care system couldn’t provide. He was aware of the risks. The drug he was making hadn’t been approved by regulators in China or the United States. Mr. Zhang had bought the raw ingredients online, but he wasn’t sure from whom, or whether they were even real. “We’re not picky. We don’t have the right to choose,” he said. “You just hope the sellers have a conscience.” … [Read more...] about In China, Desperate Patients Smuggle Drugs. Or Make Their Own.
Story highlights Two Australian drug smugglers, part of the Bali Nine, await word whether they'll face a firing squad Less is known about the seven other members of the group (CNN)Indonesia has a tough stance on drug smugglers, and since assuming office in October, President Joko Widodo has made it clear he intends to show no mercy toward those found guilty of such crimes. That tough stance casts a further pall on two Australian drug smugglers, part of the so-called "Bali Nine." They are waiting to learn whether they will be put to death by firing squad after an Indonesian court rejected a last ditch effort to gain clemency from Widodo on Monday. April marks a decade on death row for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran for their part in a failed heroin smuggling plot. The 31-year-old Chan has been called the ringleader and 33-year-old Sukumaran has been described as his collaborator. The seven others who took part in the operation are serving lengthy prison sentences for … [Read more...] about Who are the ‘Bali Nine’ being held in Indonesia for drug smuggling?