October 25, 2008


Gaetano Badalamenti, the Sicilian crime boss who was convicted in an epic Mafia trial in the 1980’s of being the ringleader of a sophisticated operation that smuggled heroin and cocaine into the United States, has died, a Justice Department spokesman said. He was 80, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Web site.

Mr. Badalamenti, who came from Cinisi, Sicily, was sentenced to 45 years in prison in 1987 as one of the masterminds of a drug ring known as the Pizza Connection. The ring imported $1.65 billion in heroin from Southwest Asia to the United States and distributed it through pizza parlors in New York and across the country.

Federal investigators often referred to Mr. Badalamenti as the former ”boss of bosses” of the Sicilian Mafia. He fled Sicily in the 1970’s after losing a local mob war. He later lived in Brazil.

He was arrested in Madrid in 1984 and extradited to the United States.

Mr. Badalamenti was at the center of the ring that investigators said brought $1.65 billion in heroin to the United States over five years, ending in 1984. Using money laundered in New York and Switzerland, Mr. Badalamenti bought the drugs and exported them to the United States through associates in the Midwest. They were distributed by members of the Bonanno crime family……..READ FULL STORY http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE5D9133DF930A35756C0A9629C8B63

Savvy criminals are using some of the country’s most credible logos, including FedEx, Wal-Mart, DirecTV and the U.S. Border Patrol, to create fake trucks to smuggle drugs, money and illegal aliens across the border, according to a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Termed “cloned” vehicles, the report also warns that terrorists could use the same fake trucks to gain access to secure areas with hidden weapons.

The report says criminals have been able to easily obtain the necessary vinyl logo markings and signs for $6,000 or less. Authorities say “cosmetically cloned commercial vehicles are not illegal.”…..[IMAGES]…..READ FULL STORY http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4156618

In early March, an investigation, which originated in Henry County, led officers to Saltillo where they found a huge tank about 15 feet underground housing 1,048 marijuana plants, as well as assorted equipment for growing, all of which was seized. During the three-day search, which took place Thursday, February 28 through Sunday, March 1, officers were on the scene 24 hours a day and also confiscated three pounds of bagged marijuana, methamphetamine pipes, three tractors, one bulldozer, one trackhoe, six other vehicles, 15 guns, various chainsaws, weedeaters, welding torches and assorted tools and $4,500.00.This was the second major bust at the 600-acre rural farm of Thomas Gooslin and wife, Tamera, who are still incarcerated following the discovery of an underground marijuana-growing lab late in February. The first bust was the result of information from an informant in Henry County to local officials.
Seized during the second raid Friday, March 21, was in excess of $100,000 cash and more than 550 pounds of marijuana transported in a rental van. DTF Agent Chuck White said the money and drugs are currently locked up at the TBI offices in Jackson. He said the large stash of drugs and cash was just too much to count during the raid………READ FULL STORY http://www.mckenziebanner.com/2008/news/mar18_24/mar24_bust.htm

WEST VANCOUVER — It was a business venture worthy of famed ’70s potheads Cheech and Chong: Police officers called to investigate a possible drunk driver discovered $60,000 worth of marijuana plants being grown inside a car.The 140 plants — in two stages of growth — were being farmed inside a Toyota RAV4.”The investigators also discovered a transformer used to boost the electrical input of the car, as well as a watering can, a spray bottle and fertilizer. The man also had white sheeting, electrical cords and the right lighting.”……..READ FULL STORY http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=f38e2a4b-5901-4094-b496-60b37c6d83b

A Mountie looking for trucks with improperly secured loads on Sunday found a grow-op on wheels inside a cube van.Inside the van was 324 marijuana plants in various stages of growth – 115 mature plants and 209 clones (clippings from a mother plant) – as well as 1,760 grams of bud………..READ FULL STORY http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=c38161c6-56c6-461b-afd6-8869f4723769&k=75113

A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Milwaukee said the ring used a Chicago-based tour bus company called Jackson Coach Lines as a front. The organization had two buses and paid people to act as passengers and drivers……..READ FULL STORY http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,269052,00.html

Smugglers have also found millions of variations to the game: hiding people in dashboards, sewing a man into a seat and even stashing a little girl inside a piƱata.Inspectors found one woman under the hood of a truck, screaming, because she was being “cooked alive” by the radiator………READ FULL STORY http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/1128smuggling28.html

Offenders face up to six months in jail and a minimum of three strokes of the cane if they are convicted of overstaying or illegal entry……WE SHOULD START DOING THAT IN AMERICA,START CANE-ING OR WHIPPING PEOPLE AS PART OF THE DEPORTATION PROCESS…….READ FULL STORY http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest%2BNews/Courts%2Band%2BCrime/STIStory_228171.html?vgnmr=1

The narcotics were smuggled across the border in hollowed-out logs on trucks, fake walls of cargo containers and vehicles, within loads of commercial lumber and beauty bark, inside PVC pipes and in the interior of a propane tanker. Some loads were carried on foot across the U.S. and Canada international border……………..READ FULL STORY http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=179da1ca-0cfe-44cc-b003-5e7547390ab2