MALONE - Authorities charged eight people, including four from
Franklin and St. Lawrence counties, over their alleged roles in an
international drug smuggling operation linked to the Russian Mafia
that moved about $27 million worth of marijuana.
The two-year investigation exposed a pipeline moving thousands of
pounds of marijuana from the north country to Cleveland, prosecutors
said. The crime syndicate is alleged to have moved the marijuana,
which came from Canada through the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, over
the last three years.
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MASSENA -- Federal authorities are charging two Canadian men with
trying to smuggle $1.5 million in Ecstasy across the border at the
Massena port of entry.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested 53-year-old
Mitchell David and 50-year-old Silas Benedict Wednesday night after
finding 50,000 Ecstasy star-shaped tablets stuffed inside a spare tire
in plastic sandwich bags.
The two men, of Cornwall Island, were charged with importation and
possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance.
Federal prosecutors in Syracuse are handling the case. Officials said
the men did not yet have attorneys.
FORT ERIE, Ont. -- Canadian border police seized 44 pounds of cocaine,
with an estimated street value of $2.7 million, that had been
concealed in a truck attempting to cross the Peace Bridge, officials
Ontario public safety officials said it was the largest seizure of
cocaine ever made in the Niagara Falls and Fort Erie section of the
The drugs were confiscated last Saturday, when a truck driver
attempting to cross at the Peace Bridge was referred for secondary
inspection, according to a news release from the Canada Border
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Ohio is one of 31 states where drug smuggling has been directly linked
to Franklin and St. Lawrence counties, Champagne said.
The first transaction in this investigation occurred Sept. 14, 2007,
and the last on June 14, 2009, and included 45 separate trips made
between the two states, using Avis rental cars and coordinating
cellular-telephone calls, investigators say.
Champagne said at least 18 of the loads, which had a street value of
$500,000 each, came directly from Franklin County in one year, with
the entire smuggling operation having a value of $18 million to $27
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Super-swimmer Michael Phelps returned to big-time advertising Sunday
with a TV spot for Subway titled "Be Yourself." Oh, the irony.
Surely Phelps -- 14-time Olympic gold medalist and endorsement
juggernaut -- was being only himself, only human, when he was
photographed in November hitting a bong at a party at the University
of South Carolina. That photograph, first published by the British
tabloid News of the World in January, resulted in a three-month
competition ban and cost Phelps a reported $500,000 deal with
Kellogg. The swimmer promptly issued a sniveling apology, copping to
"regrettable," "inappropriate" and "youthful" behavior (doesn't the
latter want to excuse the former?). Phelps, 24, has more or less
cheerfully dined on PR ashes ever since, in interviews with Matt
Lauer, among others.
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Decriminalisation of cannabis has moved from public to political
debate following the release of a city committee report
A new Social Affairs Committee report on cannabis has recommended
that the City Council seriously consider decriminalisation of the
substance's as being a means to curbing gang violence.
The Social Liberals, Red-Green Alliance and Socialist People's Party
(SF) at City Hall have all backed the legal sale of cannabis in small
quantities for personal use for some time. And in February, the
committee was given the green light to review the matter when the
council's largest party, the Social Democrats, gave their support to
looking into the issue. Over the past few years the government has
made a point of cracking down hard on the city's cannabis dealing,
sending waves of police and armoured vehicles into the city's
self-proclaimed autonomous area of Christiania, where much of the
trade is based.
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The following is an excerpt from Ryan Grim's new book, "This Is Your
Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America (Wiley,
In the summer of 1999, the sixties generation celebrated itself by
throwing a concert to mark Woodstock's thirtieth anniversary. The
do-over event was organized by the same ponytailed businessman who'd
put the first one together, and typical of something organized by an
aging boomer, it was a corporate shit show. Pizza sold for six
dollars a slice, and in the middle of a heat wave, water cost four
dollars for a tiny bottle. For those who couldn't make it to the
concert in upstate New York -- at a Superfund-listed former U.S. Air
Force base -- the entire festival was available on pay-per-view.
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CONCORD -- The controversial bill to legally let those with
debilitating illness use marijuana to relieve pain is one person away
from getting to the desk of Gov. John Lynch.
The bill (HB 648) needs the signature of Senate President Sylvia
Larsen before it goes to Lynch, according to Assistant Secretary of
State Paula Penney.
Once the bill is Lynch's possession, the governor has five days to
decide whether to sign, veto the bill or let it become law without
his signature. Sundays and holidays don't count during this five-day
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How Right-Wing Posses Started the Crack Trade, and Other Tales That
Will Blow Your
Vivian Blake's War
In the late 1970s, a young Jamaican man named Vivian Blake, a
scholarship kid from the Tivoli Gardens ghetto of Kingston, arrived in
New York as part of a traveling cricket exhibition, stuck around, and
began selling marijuana.
One of the last great political proxy fights of
the Cold War was then unfolding in Jamaica: Both the left-wing party,
friendly to Castro, and its right-wing opponents built violent
electioneering posses to persuade friendly voters and attack
unfriendly ones--800 Jamaicans died. Blake was affiliated with the
right-wing Shower Posse. He helped funnel pot and, later, cocaine to the
United States and sent guns back home to help the posses intimidate
voters. After the election, the new government tried to drive the posses
off the island, and many arrived in New York and Miami, fully formed,
violent organizations, deprived of their political purpose and looking
for something to do.
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