Wednesday, January 31, 2018

1,422 in British Columbia died from overdose in 2017

A record 1,422 B.C. residents died in 2017 from illicit drug overdoses, with the majority related to fentanyl. Fentanyl was detected in 81 per cent of the overdose deaths. The number represents a 43 per cent increase in the number of deaths compared to 993 in 2016.

Carfentanil was detected in 64 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths from June to December 2017.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has the highest rate of illicit drug overdose deaths (35.9 deaths per 100,000) and also had the largest increase in rate from 2016 (50%) among health authorities.

B.C. began distributing free kits containing naloxone through pharmacies in December.

About 1,900 kits were made available through 220 pharmacies province-wide.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

500kg of cocaine seized from private jet from Colombia

Millions worth of cocaine has been seized at a small Hampshire airport on a private jet from Colombia. Border Force officers found around 500kg of cocaine after searching an aircraft that flew into the UK from Bogota. Two Britons, two Spaniards and an Italian were arrested. The aircraft crew were questioned before being released without charge.

Trial Starts for 'Skinny Joey' Merlino

A federal prosecutor says the reputed Philadelphia mob boss was a "fixer" in a widespread scheme to collect insurance payments by bribing doctors to write bogus prescriptions for a pain cream.

Joseph 'Skinny Joey' Merlino "called the shots" as he and his cohorts "used the health care system as their personal money tree." Defense attorney Edwin Jacobs said his client was framed by cooperating criminals with incentive to lie to save their own skins.
Prosecutors said Merlino also collected gambling debts for the syndicate, adding the jury would hear recordings of him fretting over whether any "rats" and "stool pigeons" were lurking. Merlino, 55, was among nearly four dozen defendants arrested in a 2016 crackdown. Crimes included extortion, loan-sharking, casino-style gambling, sports gambling, credit card fraud and health care fraud.

Most of the defendants pleaded guilty to lesser charges, with Merlino the only one so far to go to trial on conspiracy charges. He's free on $5 million bond.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Bartholomew Roberts - Black Bart

Bartholomew Roberts (17 May 1682 – 10 February 1722), born John Roberts, was a Welsh pirate who raided ships off America and West Africa between 1719 and 1722.

He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy, as measured by vessels captured, taking over 470 prizes in his short career.

Roberts was quoted as saying ... "In an honest service there is thin commons, low wages, and hard labour. In this, plenty and satiety, pleasure and ease, liberty and power; and who would not balance creditor on this side, when all the hazard that is run for it, at worst is only a sour look or two at choking? No, a merry life and a short one shall be my motto."

Black Bart's flag
On 10 February 1722, the HMS Swallow returned to Cape Lopez and found Black Bart's flagship Royal Fortune. On the previous day, Roberts had captured the Neptune, and many of his crew were drunk.

The pirates' plan was to sail past the Swallow, which meant exposing themselves to one broadside. Once past, they would have a good chance of escaping.

The helmsman failed to keep the Royal Fortune on course, and the Swallow was able to approach to deliver a second broadside. Roberts was killed by grapeshot, which struck him in the throat while he stood on deck. Roberts' wish to be buried at sea was fulfilled by his crew, who weighed his body down and threw it overboard after wrapping it in the ship's sail.

2017 deadliest year in Mexico for Murder

Organized crime-related homicides reached a record high in Mexico in 2017. The country’s bloodiest organized criminals have carried out 18,898 executions in Mexico in 2017, according to a watchdog agency. Last year’s figures showed a massive increase in organized crime-related killings.
Compared to the statistics from 2016, every state in Mexico (with the exception of Sonora) saw an increase in the number of executions related to organized crime. The states with the highest number of killings were Guerrero, Guanajuato, Veracruz, Michoacán, Chihuahua and Baja California.

Organized crime-related homicides in the western state of Nayarit surged from 31 in 2016 to 337 in 2017. Guanajuato also saw a dramatic spike in organized crime-related murders, going from 670 killings in 2016 to 1,983 a year later. It’s no surprise that the states with the highest number of executions by organized crime are also those that are the most strategically important.
Guerrero, which tops the list as the state with the highest number of executions, has transformed from the country’s epicentre of poppy cultivation to a continually disputed gang territory. Splintering of the Beltrán Leyva Organization (OBL) and the Familia Michoacana is creating conflict. The Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación – CJNG) and self-defense groups like the Viagras also have a strong presence in Guerrero.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

NJ Fentanyl Traffickers in 100 pound bust pull long time

Jesus Carrillo-Pineda, 31, and Daniel Vasquez, 28
Two men who were arrested with enough fentanyl to kill the entire population of New York City and New Jersey were sentenced to extended prison time. Jesus Carrillo-Pineda, 31 and Daniel Vasquez, 28, were arrested after police spotted them with a tractor-trailer full of fentanyl in a North Bergen parking lot. Police seized about 100 pounds of fentanyl during the bust. Carrillo-Pineda was sentenced to 10 years in state prison while Vasquez was sentenced to six years.

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Bag stuffed with 1.5kg of crack cocaine found in Cardiff street

A backpack stuffed with 1.5kg of crack cocaine abandoned in the middle of a Cardiff street helped police bust a massive drug network. Police recovered several kilos of cocaine, £450,000 in cash, and jewellery worth about £100,000, as they dismantled seven crime gangs. The men were jailed for a combined 116 years for their roles.

The ringleader, Hysen Lika was caught by police in December 2016 with a 1kg block of cocaine at 86% purity with a potential street value of £130,000. A series of arrests were made throughout the UK and in Spain in May and June last year. The sophisticated operation created “hides” inside vehicles to conceal drugs and cash, with one van found to contain £80,000.

North Carolina makes record Fentanyl busts

Jonathan O'Brian SweetJust days after seizing by far its largest amount of fentanyl ever, the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office confiscated an even larger amount Wednesday. Detectives with the sheriff's office seized 3.3 pounds (1,498 grams) of fentanyl.

Career drug dealer Jonathan Sweet had 5.79 grams of crack cocaine and 90 bags of heroin packaged for sale inside his pants. He faces numerous charges.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Mexican Police seize huge smorgasbord of drugs

Mexican police found a shipment that included 45 kg of fentanyl in a vehicle near the city of Ensenada in Baja California. Also found was 914 pounds (415 kg) of crystal meth, 88 pounds (40 kg) of cocaine and 18.5 pounds (8.4 kg) of heroin.
Ensenada is located about an hour and a half south of the border with the US state of California. The man was initially stopped because he lacked a front license plate.

In November, Mexican authorities seized 31 pounds (14 kg) of fentanyl hidden in a car on a highway between the Gulf of California and San Luis Rio Colorado.

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Notorious Russian mobster Boris Nayfeld has no regrets

New York's most notorious Russian mobster Boris Nayfeld wants to go back to the motherland. Once rich from heroin trafficking, tax fraud and other schemes, Boris Nayfeld, 70, is fresh out of prison for the third time, divorced and broke. "I can't do nothing" Nayfeld said in a thick Russian accent between shots of vodka. But he is not allowed to leave, he is still facing three years' probation from his latest prison term, which ended in October, a two-year stint in a murder-for-hire plot.
Nayfeld was dubbed an "organizer, enforcer and narcotics distributor" for the Russian mafia in a 1997 U.S. Customs intelligence report.Nayfeld first came to the U.S. from Belarus in the late 1970s with a wave of Jewish emigres from the former Soviet Union who said they were fleeing religious persecution. Nayfeld wasn't religious, he got into crime as soon as he arrived. Nayfeld, also known as Biba, has been convicted of fraud, tobacco smuggling and shipping heroin stashed in TVs. He has threatened to kill rivals and escaped one attempt on his life when a bomb placed under his car failed to detonate. He was at the scene when feared Russian godfather Evsei Agron was assassinated. After Agron was killed, Nayfeld served as a bodyguard and chauffer for the next don of the Russian mob, Marat Balagula.

Nayfeld has no regrets. "Never. No. When I'm born again, I do it the same," he said.
Russian criminals today run a range of enterprises throughout New York, including moneymaking Medicaid and credit card fraud rings, as well as traditional protection rackets, gambling and prostitution operations.

Balagula maintained an office at the El Caribe Country Club, a Brooklyn catering hall and event space owned by the uncle of President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Mexican Drug Kingpin Quintero Navidad pleads Guilty

Quintero 'Cadete' Navidad
Major Mexican drug cartel leader Quintero Navidad admitted in San Diego federal court that he organized the transportation and distribution of large quantities of cocaine and heroin into the United States. Sajid Emilio Quintero Navidad, aka Cadete, pleaded guilty to all charges ... conspiracy to distribute controlled substances intended for importation, conspiracy to import controlled substances and conspiracy to launder.

Quintero Navidad, 36, is the cousin of fugitive Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero and an associate of high-ranking Mexican cartel leader Ismael Zambada-Garcia, aka Mayo. Quintero Navidad is believed to be one of the highest-ranking Mexican cartel leaders in the US.

Ismael Zambada García

Rafael Caro Quintero
Quintero Navidad’s guilty plea sends a clear message to other drug kingpins operating in Mexico said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. "There is no place to hide because our federal team will work tirelessly to hunt you down to face justice in our courts”.

HA Larry Amero arrested and charged in 2012 murder plots

High profile HA Larry Amero, 40, was arrested in Ottawa and will be brought to B.C. to face conspiracy charges. Convicted hitman Dean Michael Wiwchar, 32, has also been charged with one count of murder in Sandip Duhre’s January 2012 assassination, as well as conspiracy to commit the murder of Sukhveer Dhak in November 2012. Wiwchar was recently injured in a stabbing inside federal prison.

Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil was already facing charges in the Duhre murder and has made several B.C. court appearances. Both Wiwchar and Alkhalil were convicted last year of first-degree murder for the June 2012 execution of John Raposo in Toronto’s Little Italy.

Dean Wiwchar
After the Jonathon Bacon murder, police issued repeated public warnings that anyone connected to the Dhak-Duhre group could be targeted. A few months later Duhre was shot to death at the Sheraton Wall Centre in downtown Vancouver.

The violent conflict continued and in November 2012, Dhak and Thomas Mantel were gunned down outside a Burnaby hotel.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Coast Guard seizes 47,000 pounds cocaine since November

U.S. Coast Guard boats have seized 47,000 pounds of cocaine in the Pacific since November. A massive amount of drugs was displayed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton in San Diego before it was unloaded. Officials say the drugs seized during 23 separate incidents are worth more than $721 million.

The Coast Guard has broken cocaine seizure records for the past two years, taking in more than 227 tons of cocaine during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. That represents only a fraction of the illegal sea shipments.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Carfentanil deaths up 330% in Alberta

462 people died accidentally from fentanyl in the first three quarters of 2017, up from 293 in the same period last year.

The number of deaths related to carfentanil jumped from 29 in 2016 to 125 in 2017. The majority of the new cases occurred in the Calgary area, with 61 deaths, compared to just eight in 2016. Police again warned that fentanyl of any type can be fatal. If you’re going to use, don’t use alone and make sure naloxone is available.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Police link 2017 killings of Angelo Musitano, veterinary technician

The same hit man who gunned down Hamilton mobster Angelo Musitano last year also killed a veterinary technician who was in "the wrong place at the wrong time" two months earlier in York Region. Video surveillance suggests the same man committed both crimes and that a black Honda Civic was used in both cases. The killer was described as six-foot-two and 250 pounds. Hamilton police said that Musitano, 39, was stalked by several vehicles before he was killed on May 2, 2017 in the driveway of his suburban home while his wife and three children were inside. The killers made a number of mistakes, including botching an attempt to burn a getaway vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee that had been stolen in Quebec a month earlier.

Gang activity on the rise in Vancouver

Vancouver police Chief Adam Palmer said the region hasn’t seen this level of gang violence in more than a decade. “We’ve got several groups that are at odds with each other and they are going out and killing each other,” Palmer said. He added that the rivalries mostly revolve around drugs.

Innocent bystander 15-year-old Alfred Wong died Jan. 15, two days after a brazen shooting that also killed 23-year-old Kevin Whiteside.

Kevin Whiteside, 23
In December, police announced the arrest of 34-year-old Derek Stephens. He is facing 39 firearms-related charges. Police seized guns, more than 1,200 rounds of ammunition, multiple high-capacity magazines, silencers, balaclavas, zap-straps, a Taser and handcuffs.

Earlier that month police announced a significant seizure of firearms, drugs, explosives and stolen property all related to organized crime groups. Since May there have been nine separate incidents where shots were fired that were deemed to be targeted. Last year there were a total of 31 incidents of shots fired in the city. That’s up from 26 in 2016 and 11 in 2015.