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Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Americans Account for 80% of Border Patrol Drug Arrests

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Border Patrol drug busts often paint a picture of Mexicans smuggling banned substances into the United States. But according to a report released on March 26 by the Center for Investigative Reporting, the border agency actually catches more Americans transporting drugs into the country.

An analysis of records showed that four out of five people, or 80 percent, found with drugs by Border Patrol agents are U.S. citizens, even though 38 percent of the border agency’s press releases mentioned a Mexican drug-trafficking suspect.

Law enforcement officials and Americans who have been nabbed for drug possession said U.S. citizens are often recruited because traffickers believe they will arouse less suspicion from police.

One case involved a U.S. Naval Academy grad who already made five smuggling runs before he was caught at a checkpoint about 80 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border in December 2010.

Another case involved an unemployed mechanical engineer who had already made seventeen smuggling runs before a drug-sniffing dog found more than 80 pounds of marijuana stashed in his car in 2011.

The report also revealed that the number of Americans arrested with drugs by the Border Patrol in 2011 is three times more than in 2005.

Customs and Border Protection spokesman William Brooks said that while there were U.S. citizens involved in drug smuggling, many are still Mexicans. But the Border Patrol’s own records showed U.S. citizens are involved in drug trafficking of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine 60 percent more than any other nationality. For marijuana arrests of 1,000 pounds or more, the percentage climbs to more than two-thirds.

As the Border Patrol stepped up security by increasing agents and drug-detecting dogs at checkpoints to catch more smugglers, the traffickers also have changed tactics.

“They know the language. They know the culture. They know the routes,” said Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Rusty Fleming. “And the traffickers have learned the art of breaking down the risk.”

Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Mexico Has Deadliest Year in Drug War

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2009 has been a terrible year in the war against drugs entering the US from South America. Mexico ended 2009 with a record number of drug-related deaths. Official figures aren’t in yet but according to the national media 7,600 Mexicans were killed in the war on drugs in 2009. In 2008 6,500 Mexicans died by drug violence according to Mexican Presidenmexicot Felipe Calderon.  Many have likened the situation to a civil war as more than 15,000 Mexicans have died since Calderon declared war on the drug cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006 most of which have been among the cartels and traffickers.

Ciudad Juarez leads all other Mexican cities in the number of deaths with more than 2,575 slayings in the city in 2009. There were 1,600 homicides in the city in 2008. Chihuahua state (the location of Ciudad Juarez) accounts for 30% of drug related deaths in Mexico as Juarez is the main battleground for both the Juarez and Pacific cartels and they’re fighting for dominion of the US drug market. Even street level sales are fought over in these violent turf wars.

That may change in 2010 as a new federal attorney general has led to more personnel being appointed to Ciudad Juarez and as a result more prosecutions. Crime Stoppers International, a community-based private organization that receives anonymous tips from residents and passes them along to law enforcement authorities could also play a major part in progress toward resolution.  Callers can call an 800 number that keeps their identity and location private to allow for truly anonymous tips and reduce fear over reporting such activity in the city.

Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Caribbean Murder Rates Rise with Drug Violence

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2009 has been one of the most violent years in the Caribbean islands Jamaica, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico have all had the highest rate of homicide for their country’s all time record. This comes as a result of the encroaching presence of the drug trade Rick-Novak-Caribbean-Palms-12697in the region. These tourist mecas are now becoming as transit points for South American drugs bound for Europe and the United States. The Bahamas had 82 murders alone and Puerto Rico, home to 4 million people, had its third-worst year on record with more than 890 people slain. Police in Jamaica, the Caribbean nation with the highest murder rate had about 1,660 homicides in 2009 and close to the record of 1,674 set in 2005. Trinidad and Tobago recorded at least 489 homicides, down from 538 in 2008.

All of this is going on in the Caribbean while in the mainland US the murder rate has fallen by 10 % in the first half of 2009 according to the FBI. Officials in these island nations are contending with turf battles between rival drug gangs and an increased willingness to resort to violence.

“You’re finding that even kids, I’m talking teenagers, rather than arguing a point, they pick up a knife and it escalates to that type of level,” said Bahamas National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest.

The rate of drug traffic in the Caribbean is unlikely to fall anytime soon and in fact may rise as more focus is being put on the drugs and related violence occurring on the US/Mexico border.

“If the problem is not addressed now, traffickers will continue to expand operations throughout the region by exploiting these vulnerable transit routes, undermining local governments and increasing the likelihood of political instability,” U.S. State Department official Julissa Reynoso told a U.S. House committee last month. The Obama administration has already asked Congress for $45 million to help the Caribbean islands counter this violence. These countries have only so much funding and can do little to combat the powerful drug traffickers.

Foreigners aren’t often affected in the Caribbean, where an estimated 6 million Americans visit annually, but there have been a few high-profile attacks such as the rape and killing in Puerto Rico of pregnant American tourist Sara Kuszak.

Substance Abuse

6 Countries Where Drug Possession Leads to Hefty Punishment

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drug punishment in other countries

Drug possession is a serious offense in any country but in the following countries the offense can lead to punishment above and beyond the seriousness of the offense.

  1. Malaysia: It’s the death penalty for anyone suspected of drug trafficking in this country. This is defined as anyone who has more than 7 ounces of marijuana or half an ounce of heroine on their person!
  1. Iran: On average at least 500 drug traffickers are executes every year in Iran, that’s more than 10,000 in just a few decades! If you have even a few ounces of marijuana on you it could be as much as 70 lashings for the crime.
  1. Saudi Arabia: In a country where alcohol consumption is punishable offense it should be no surprise that drug possession and use results in public floggings, hefty prison sentences and for drug traffickers public beheadings.
  1. China: Between January of and May of 2006 alone china imprisoned over 53,000 for drug offenses. More than 22,000 of these involved non-violent drug offenses that led to life in prison or the death penalty. 470 people were executes in 2007 alone, most of them for offenses linked to drugs.
  1. Indonesia: This country has some of the most serious responses to drug possession due to its staunch anti-drug policies. Regular drug users will find themselves dealing with a 10-15 year span in prison for the offense while drug dealers receive capital punishment, death by firing squad.
  1. United Arab Emerates: This is by far one of the most fanatical countries in terms of an anti-drug policy. Drug offenders are subject to capitol punishment and those who find themselves with even small traces of drugs on their person (one man faced 4 years in prison for .003 of marijuana on his shoe) face criminal charges that lead to jail terms.
Substance Abuse

Malaysian Twins Escape Death Penalty Due to Identity Confusion

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Malysian twins Sathis Raj and Sabarish Raj, 27 years old, escaped death when the court could not identify which of them was actually guilty of drug trafficking. The twins wept when they heard Judge Zaharah Ibrahim dismissed their case since “she can’t be sending the wrong person to the gallows”.


Drug trafficking in Malaysia is punishable by execution and since it was imposed in 1975, more than 200 people have been executed. One of the twins was arrested after parking his car outside a Kuala Lumpur house where authorities found 1.7 kilograms of opium and 166 kilograms of cannabis. The second twin arrived later and was also arrested. This is where the confusion happened. While one of them is, without doubt, guilty of drug trafficking, authorities cannot identify if it was Sathis or Sabarish that they first arrested. Only the first one arrested had house keys.

The judge called this a ‘unique case’, although some call the situation a bit too odd. How can the police not identify which one of the twins did they arrest first? Did the twins actually wear exactly the same thing when they got arrested? The court said that the twins look the same and had the same DNA making the distinction difficult. Modern science, however, has already provided us with ways on how to identify differences between identical twins. A simple fingerprint can actually reveal a significant difference between the two. Also, the American Journal of Human Genetics published in March last year the results of a study conducted by scientists on 19 pairs of twins showing that there are, in fact, differences in DNA between identical twins.

Although you have to commend the second twin for standing by his brother’s side all throughout the case until they get a verdict (for their case, an acquittal), we simply cannot understand how it is alright to release both men when the court knows that one of them is truly, certainly and absolutely guilty.

Substance Abuse

Seventeen-Year-Old Girl From Hongkong Sentenced to 2 Years, 8 Months in Prison

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The battle against teenage drug use is a global war. With more and more teenagers falling to the wayside, including high-profile teenage celebrities, other cities the world over are also fighting the same war.

As 2008 came to a close, a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl from Hongkong was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for trafficking kentamine and ecstasy. The sentencing followed a rejection of her plea for leniency, which is just right, in my opinion. It is one thing to be seventeen and get caught using prohibited drugs, but the selling of these drugs is a heavier and an entirely different offense altogether.

ecstacyThe young teenager couldn’t help but break down in tears after hearing the verdict. She shared the same fate with her nineteen-year-old boyfriend.

As if their ages were not shocking enough, these two teenagers were actually arrested along with their even younger fifteen-year-old neighbor, who was charged with possession of kentamine and ecstasy. The young girl was given a lighter sentence and was sent to a rehabilitation center. The two older teenagers, on the other hand, were caught selling ecstasy to an undercover officer which is why they ended up with heavier sentences.

The rise in incidents such as these has resulted in the devotion of more efforts towards addressing the issue of teenage drug abuse by the government of Hongkong. They especially took notice when five students of a government secondary school in Fan Ling were caught selling and using kentamine on campus in June 2007.

The Task Force on Youth Drug Abuse has been organized to focus on fighting teenage drug use. It is currently headed by the Secretary for Justice, Wong Yan-lung. Among their proposals is the administration of random urine testing in schools to identify drug use among students, realizing that early detection can play an important role in reforming wayward teens.


Neighbors Give Police a Hand in Drug Bust

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Two men were dealing drugs inside of a local bar and now they are behind bars.

A five-month undercover operation in North College, Kentucky started when residents told police that that they believed activities occurring around the Savannah Café and the No Name Pub were drug related. Both of the bars sit within a residential area.

Residents were complaining about gunshots, fights, and threats from patrons at the bar. These events were occurring throughout the week rather than on the weekend when bars are usually doing most of their business. Some of the residents even said they witnessed the drug activities occurring outside of the bar and that is exactly what resulted in the arrests of the two men.

At one time, both of these bars were a welcomed part of the community because they were not loud and the patrons did not cause any trouble. However, drug dealers moved into the vicinity and the area had grown increasingly noisy.

As for the two men who were arrested, they have been charged with two counts of drug trafficking.


Greely, Colorado Sees Large Drug Bust

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A large scale drug trafficking ring was busted up when the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested 23 individuals. Authorities are saying that the individuals were buying drugs in Mexico and Arizona so that they could bring them back to Colorado and distribute them.

How the drugs were brought to Colorado was through hidden compartments within pickup trucks. Amongst those drugs were methamphetamine, marijuana, and cocaine.

It is believed that the suspects sold drugs throughout the northern Colorado area, Wyoming, Nebraska, and a number of other states. In the meantime, the authorities were able to arrest the suspects and take the drugs off of the street.

Drug Testing Health & Wellness

Nine More Drug Dealers off the Streets

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Nine more drug dealers are now off of the streets in a Colorado drug bust. The Moffat County Sheriff’s department and the All Crimes Enforcement Team or ACET concluded one of the largest narcotic investigations the area has ever been involved in. Other parties involved in the bust were the Craig police, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and the Fourteenth Judicial Attorney’s Office. They served a search warrant at approximately 8:00 p.m. on March 25, 2008.

As a result of the investigation, a total of nine Mexican Nationals, one legal and 8 illegal, were suspected to be operating the largest drug trafficking organization in the Northwest section of Colorado. Each was charged with distribution of Methamphetamine and/or cocaine. They were also charged with one weapons charge and possession of paraphernalia.

They were all residing in the Craig area, but they have been suspected of dealing drugs in Rout and Moffat and other counties throughout Northwest Colorado.

Now we can rest assured that even more drug dealers are off the streets and that lives have possibly been saved. This is a huge accomplishment in the war against drugs.