Tag Archive: Illegal drug trade


Customs officers in San Diego seized more than a ton of pot -- 2,330 pounds, to be exact -- that was mixed in with a shipment of hot sauce coming into the U.S. from Mexico.

Border patrol agents discovered some hot and spicy contraband last Friday when they came across a tractor trailer filled with hot sauce and marijuana, reports CBS Los Angeles.

The weed, valued at $1.4 million, was discovered at the Otay Mesa cargo facility near San Diego, according to KTLA.

Suspecting that something was amiss, custom officials ran the vehicle through the port’s x-ray system and found “inconsistencies in the cargo,” notes Fox News. After unloading the entire shipment, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found 2,330 pounds of pot hidden amongst hot sauce bottles — a little over one ton of the drug.

Smuggling marijuana with hot sauce sounds like a stoner’s dream (just add a burrito and that’s a pretty good Friday evening), but it doesn’t even come close to some of the weirdest ways to traffic drugs across the border. The List Cafe discusses 10 “creative” ways to smuggle narcotics; real life examples include hiding cocaine under your foreskin and in the stomachs of live boa constrictors. Another listicle from Top10Kid.com features sad examples of surgically implanted drugs in puppies and people, as well as “heroin-covered cocaine.” Read these cautionary tales and alternate between marveling at drug traffickers‘ daring and stupidity.

Amy Winehouse performing in Berlin in 2007

Image via Wikipedia

Amy Winehouse‘s family has released the results of the late singer‘s toxicology tests, which reveal that no illegal drugs were present in the singer’s system at the time of her death, the AP reports.

The final tests showed that alcohol was present, but how it affected Winehouse has yet to be determined. Chris Goodman, a Winehouse family spokesman, released a statement today saying, “Toxicology results returned to the Winehouse family by authorities have confirmed that there were no illegal substances in Amy’s system at the time of her death.”

It was previously suspected that Winehouse died of alcohol withdrawal while others have reported that she had taken hard drugs the night before her death. The new report does not detail why the singer died. Her family is awaiting the full investigation, which is set to begin in October.

 

Milwaukee man who worked as a pastor and a youth counselor until last summer has been charged in federal court with dealing heroin, according to court documents.

Smoke Crack & Go to Church

Court documents describe West as the leader of the group that often went to Chicago to buy heroin, developed an “innovative way of cutting” the drug to maximize profits, hired armed enforcers to protect the operation and personally carried a gun.

West was ordained in 1969 and most recently was a pastor with his wife, Linda Hughes, at the Prayer House of Deliverance, according to his attorney and court documents.

Hughes said she and West split more than a year ago and since then she has been the only pastor at the church, near N. 9th and W. Center streets. Authorities went to the church looking for West, after they received a tip he was hiding there, Hughes said.

West was not in the church and he turned himself in a short time later, according to his attorney.

Hughes said she didn’t know anything about West’s alleged drug-dealing operation.

“I had nothing to do with that mess,” Hughes said.

Jonathan Hughes, 28, son of Linda Hughes and John West, also is charged. Linda Hughes said her son got caught up in the operation but is innocent.

But according to court documents, Jonathan Hughes and his father were partners in the heroin-dealing operation.

West’s attorney, Matt Ricci, said his client told him he worked as a youth counselor until June, but Ricci was not certain where. The church where West was pastor formerly was at 3828 W. Burleigh Ave., according to court documents.

West has cancer, diabetes and gout, Ricci said. He is being held in the Waukesha County jail after a federal magistrate judge refused to set a bail for him.

West was convicted twice in state court of drug dealing, in 1997 and 1998, according to online court records.

Ricci said federal documents portray West as the drug operation’s leader, but the facts may not support that conclusion. West has pleaded not guilty.

Besides West and Hughes, others indicted earlier this month include William “Lucky” Hunter, 56; David “Mouse” Haywood, 39; Antwon “Bree” Pierce, 36; Latrice Griffin, no age provided; Joseph Miller, 34; Karen Hwilka, 53; Cory Panzer, 38; and Phillip Klapka, no age provided.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration along with the West Allis Police Department and other law enforcement agencies investigated the case.

According to court documents:

For at least a year, West regularly traveled to Chicago, where he once lived and referred to as “the store,” to buy 150 grams of heroin at a time – worth more than $20,000 on the street. One person said West bought heroin every day in Chicago.

West’s son, Jonathan Hughes, helped in the distribution of heroin and provided security. Another defendant, Haywood, mixed heroin and also worked security. West and the others sold drugs from a house in the 4200 block of W. Concordia Ave.

West carried a .38-caliber handgun when meeting buyers. Co-defendant Miller said he saw as many as five guns in the house at once. Besides heroin, Miller said, he saw large volumes of crack cocaineand marijuana for sale at the house.

Miller said he believes “West has at least 40 customers that buy drugs from him and West is willing to sell drugs at any time of the day or night.”

Miller was a regular West customer – until he fell a couple of thousand dollars behind in payments. Then Miller’s mother, Hwilka, started dealing with West directly. She started selling heroin from her home in the 3600 block of S. 58th St.

West called her “mama.”

$31 drug-deal raid

In May, Oklahoma judge Susie Pritchett, receiving guilty pleas from a $31 drug-deal raid in 2010 that netted a mother and her two grown children, sentenced the mother and son to probation but the 31-year-old daughter to 12 years in prison (just because the daughter showed “no … remorse”)

An April Associated Press story, citing federal government sources, reported that 247 people on the terrorist “watch list” were nonetheless legally permitted to purchase guns in 2010 — about the same number who did so legally in 2009

 

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