The U.S. Coast Guard will be unloading 719 kilograms of cocaine today at its station in Miami Beach. That comes with an estimated street value of $23 million. The coke was intercepted in the Caribbean on September 8 by Coast Guard Cutter Bear.
Gen. John F. Kelly, the chief of the Miami-based U.S. Southern Command, gave a surprisingly candid testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday. He said that because of budget cuts and inadequate funding he's only able to stop about 26 percent of illegal drugs that head from Latin ... More >>
Don Whittington charged up to a desk inside a gargantuan Fort Lauderdale warehouse built from blue corrugated metal. He was seething. "You're a bitch," he hissed at the receptionist. Then, the five-foot-11 Whittington, who was once a championship racecar driver before earning an 18-month federal pr ... More >>
The Wire is widely considered one of the greatest television series of all time. David Simon's bleak depiction of Baltimore corruption was based upon his years as a crime reporter in that city. So it's no surprise that a recent court case provides a near word-for-word, real-life re-enactment of the ... More >>
For this week's cover story on the soaring murder rate in Puerto Rico, I spent five days on the island. I visited crime scenes still wet with blood, picked up AK-47 shells sprayed around neighborhoods like confetti, and interviewed terrified locals.But at the heart of the Caribbean commonwealth's ki ... More >>
In February 2011 near Homestead, a Department of Transportation worker discovered an alligator with a man's body in its mouth, thrashing him back and forth. It didn't turn out to be a case of a man going for a swim in the wrong pond. After investigating, authorities determined the man had been ... More >>
Sure, John Philip Stirling may be Canadian, but he's also the most Miami-flavored drug smuggler to land in local federal court since the heyday of the Cocaine Cowboys. When he was caught at sea last week off Colombia with 800 pounds of coke, the good captain flat-out told the feds: "There's nothi ... More >>
A tip for all you would-be cocaine kingpins: When the FBI catches you off the coast of Colombia with more than 800 pounds of yeyo stashed in your boat, do not argue that "there is nothing wrong with cocaine trafficking." That's exactly the tact John Philip Stirling, a 60-year-old Canadian captain ... More >>
More than 50 members of the Colombian "Bandas Criminales" (AKA BACRIM) drug-trafficking organization have been rounded up after a joint operation based out of Miami. It's the biggest bust of the emerging drug-trafficking gang since Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern Di ... More >>
Will somebody wake him up for his mugshot please?A 50-year-old Colombian drug kingpin was fined $1 million and sentenced to 22 years in prison Wednesday by a federal judge in Miami. And that was the plea deal.Edgar Vellejo-Guarin was indicted in 2001 after Coast Guard officers discovered 4,000 ki ... More >>
Retired Gen. Rene Sanabria, who once ran Bolivia's national anti-narcotics police unit, has pleaded guilty in a Miami court to smuggling cocaine. Sanabria and his co-conspirators were arrested in March and charged with trying to sneak about 315 pounds of cocaine into the Port of Miami.
Off the hook for millions in money laundering.Happy Anniversary, Wachovia!A year after the bank admitted to laundering hundreds of millions in Mexican drug money -- and paying $160 million in fines and penalties -- the company is now off the hook for further punishment.According to the British pa ... More >>
via PlusBoliviaRene Sanabria helped smuggle 220 lbs of cocaine into Miami.From top drug cop to accused cocaine smuggler. That's the story of Retired Gen. Rene Sanabria. From 2007 to 2008 he ran Bolivia's anti-narcotics police, and since 2009 has been a top adviser to Evo Morales' Interior Minist ... More >>
Courtesy Rochelle Desiree Mermelstein GomezLast year, New Times published a feature detailing the strange last days of Max Mermelstein, the master cocaine smuggler who turned snitch in the mid-80s and died under government protection in 2008. Among the readers: Rochelle Desiree Mermelstein ... More >>
Police are after a former beauty queen who's accused of being the ringleader of a gang of pinups who also work as international drug smugglers. Angie San Clemente Valencia is a bosomy 30-year-old Colombian who's accused of paying her merry band of strumpets $5,000 for carrying pounds of blow from Me ... More >>
Robert Platshorn was the first big bust of the War on Drugs. Almost 30 years later, he's free and talking.
Today’s big local story is the news that Miami attorney Ben Keuhne, the Democratic Party hero who represented Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, was indicted on six counts of money laundering, money laundering concealment and obstruction of justice. The U.S. Department of Justice is accusi ... More >>
Just released from prison, Miami hip-hop icon DJ Raw is ready for the takeover
During Miami's cocaine heyday in the Eighties, weird and interesting and scary things happened all over town all the time. Our coke map of Miami is by necessity incomplete, but even selected highlights make the point: Blow knew no neighborhood boundaries.
Billions in cash generated by the cocaine trade fueled Miami's economy
Former Miami homicide detective Nelson Andreu's memories are etched in blood
Donna Weaver hoped to get help from the FBI in finding her husband. Instead she got crooked agents working with violent drug dealers
John Kerry once took a shot at Miami's Felix Rodriguez for his part in the Iran-contra scandal. Now the Bush family friend is shooting back.
Miami attorney Joaquin Perez helps drug kingpins get minimum jail time, maximum profits, by cooperating with the feds
Despite a history of corruption in its north district substation, the Miami Police Department won't get tough with its own cops
Big payoffs. Gruesome murders. Nosy feds. Life as a cargo handler at MIA just ain't what it used to be.
Attorney Russell Carbone played dirty. How dirty? Try conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury.
Having lost their case against the drug kingpins, federal prosecutors vowed to convict jury foreman Miguel Moya of bribery. Didn't quite work out that way.
The feds call Rickey Brownlee one of South Florida's biggest narco-traffickers. His friends and neighbors in Opa-locka call him a valiant victim.
Was Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega really a drug trafficker? Or is it possible he was set up by the U.S. government? Try asking a few dozen people who should know.
In Miami breaking bread has become an intricate part of breaking the law
The feds spent years building their case against drug kingpins Willy Falc centsn and Sal Maglutaa. Life in prison was assured. Too bad the jury didn't see it that way.
Smuggling coke by the ton and making money by the bushel. Getting tortured in Panama and eating smoked pork loin in Houston. The courtroom show is riveting, but like Al says, where's the justice?
When federal prosecutors seek the death penalty in drug-related murders, the defendants are almost always black. Why should Miami's first "kingpin" case be any exception?
As faith in the revolution sinks to new lows, kids in Cuba are getting high
Being thrown in jail was supposed to bring down the curtain on Miami drug lords Willy Falc and Sal Magluta. But there was an encore: Death threats, clandestine cameras, illegal searches, and major security violations.
Overheard in a local schoolyard: "I'll trade you a Kirby Puckett rookie card for a Kirby the Cocaine Canine"
Chapter Two, in which the alleged drug kingpins are linked to a cellular telephone smuggled into their unit in the federal pen