Articles Posted in Drugs

Authorities from the U.S. and Mexico successfully stopped and captured a boat attempting to smuggle approximately one ton of marijuana in the international waters about 150 miles southwest of San Diego, according to officials. The boat was originally detected by a standard Border Patrol aircraft on Thursday morning and notified Coast Guard officials. The Coast Guard responded by sending a C-130 Hercules aircraft and crew to support the Coast Guard Cutter, Terrapin, sent to intercept the suspicious boat in international waters. The Terrapin is an 87-foot patrol boat and is based out of Bellingham, Washington. The crew of the Terrapin is formally trained to handle situations like this and when they got aboard the boat in question, they found three suspected smugglers and ninety bales of marijuana. The haul of drugs weighed approximately two-thousand pounds and were hidden on a fairly small boat called a “panga.” The suspected smugglers stated they were nationals of Mexico and were turned over to the Mexican Navy, along with the drugs and the boat. On August 1st, the Coast Guard captured two other pangas with four other suspected smugglers carrying about twelve-thousand pounds of marijuana.

“Coast Guard: Boat Carrying 1 Ton Of Marijuana Captured” – Times of San Diego

A study was conducted to determine drug usage among the youth booked into Juvenile Hall in San Diego. The study revealed marijuana use is at a record high among the youth coming through, with more than half of them testing positive for the drug through urinalysis; fifty-three percent to be exact. The last study, in 2000, found forty-two percent of those who were booked into Juvenile Hall tested positive for pot, an eleven percent difference. The youth were questioned along with being drug tested and were asked a series of questions to determine their level of experience with substances. According to the study, ninety-percent responded that they had tried marijuana before with an average age of 12 as the earliest they had come in contact with it. Eighty-eight percent said it was easy to come by the drug, with only sixteen-percent admitting pot was bad for them; compared to 34 percent for alcohol and 58 percent for tobacco. Not only had these kids experienced the drug, some admitted to having ridden in a vehicle driven by someone under the influence and going to class drunk or high. There is a growing belief that marijuana isn’t that bad for you and it is affecting today’s youth and their decision making process.

“Marijuana Use Among Juvenile Hall Youth At High: Study” – NBC 7 San Diego

Every year for three decades, the UCSD has held a music festival called the Sun God Festival. Students attend and relax, getting a day to relieve tensions before returning to the classroom and studies. As of late, however, the administration has become concerned with increased drug use happening at the festival and the poor decisions students are making; mixing drugs with alcohol. This year a San Diego student, Ricardo Ambriz, fatally collapsed in his dorm room after attending the festival all day. Witnesses heard Ambriz talking “gibberish” before he collapsed, and as he left the festival around midnight, he was “reaching his hands into the air attempting to grab at things.” The level of abuse has increased since 2012, with 21 people being hospitalized in 2012 and 48 people this year, 2014. Witnesses say earlier in the day Ambriz admitted to taking some type of drug and continuously drank alcohol throughout the day. During the autopsy, the medical examiner performed toxicology tests and found a drug called 5-APB or “Benzo Fury,” a drug derived of MDA, which has been linked to amphetamines. The festival website has added information and warnings about drugs and mixing drugs with alcohol. A police investigation produced no information as to where Ambriz may have gotten the drug.

“UCSD Student Dies Of Overdose After Attending All Day Music Festival” – LA Times

Supposedly a new medication exists to help overdose victims on the verge of death caused by opiate overuse. Officers at the Santee Sheriff’s station have started carrying the new drug as part of a pilot program; they have been using them in the field for about two weeks. Even though the officers have carried the drug on their persons for the past two weeks, it had remained unused up until this past Wednesday. The mother of a 37-year-old victim, a known heroin user, called 911 around 8am to get emergency help with the overdose of her son. Her son was lying unconscious with no pulse in their home on Bradley Avenue in Bostonia. Sheriff’s sergeant Scott Hill was the first emergency responder to arrive on the scene and immediately gave the unconscious man the new drug. The drug, called Naloxone, is designed to reverse the affects of opiate overdoses and moments after Sgt. Hill sprayed the nasal solution in the victim’s nose he started breathing again. As soon as the victim started breathing again he was taken to a nearby hospital for continued treatment. Using a drug like this is designed to buy more time and not cure the overdose completely and in doing so has the potential to save many lives. The drug is undergoing a six-month test to see if using it permanently as a utility for officers is a realistic and helpful option. Part of the research is being done by UC San Diego.

“Sheriff Makes First Use of Anti-Overdose Medication” – Times of San Diego

Cesar Chavez Parkway in San Diego became a danger zone Monday night when a southbound grey and red sedan swerved its way into northbound traffic. The sedan pummeled a man riding a motorcycle in said northbound traffic, causing the driver to be rushed to the hospital and fighting for his life with life-threatening injuries; a compound fracture to his leg and head injuries. The driver of the sedan, however, managed to escape, making it a hit-and-run case and initiating a search by authorities to locate him/her. Witnesses managed to see where the sedan driver who hit the motorcycle sped off to, stating the vehicle was seen driving east on Newton Avenue. Authorities have not yet released the description of the driver but have continued the search throughout San Diego and its surrounding areas Tuesday night. They are not yet able to determine the cause of the driver’s actions and if the behavior was a result of drugs or alcohol. Hopefully police are able to locate the driver soon and the motorcycle driver in the hospital undergoes a speedy recovery.

“Motorcyclist Seriously Hurt in Hit-and-Run Crash” – CBS 8 San Diego

A shocking portrayal of drug using’s true potential occurred in Lakeside earlier this week. Trista Lynn Stier, a native to the area, was operating her vehicle under the influence of marijuana and methamphetamine. When an individual smokes meth, their world is full of hallucinations and perceptions completely unique to themselves; it can be very dangerous. During a stage of the drug using cycle called “tweaking,” which occurs at the end of a drug binge when the drug no longer provides a rush or a high, the user is capable of anything. Tweaking can cause a state of complete psychosis and is the stage of the methamphetamine high that can manifest itself into physical danger. Trista Lynn Stier was most likely in a similar state when she deliberately crashed head-on into a truck, killing herself and the truck driver instantly. 50-year-old Douglas M. Menegos was driving his truck on State Route 67 when Trista Stier sped the wrong way up an off-ramp, resulting in the collision of their two vehicles. Because of the circumstances of the crash, police drug tested the driver at fault and this is when it was determined 29-year-old Trista Stier tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana. Even though Stier’s actions were likely solely the result of the effects of the drugs, authorities cited her death as suicide; her deliberate head-on crash is all they have to speak as to how she felt and why it happened.

“Deadly Crash on SR-67 Caused by Suicidal Driver” – CBS 8

A San Diego woman, Tanya Lorenzo, is finally stepping out to speak her version of the truth about her husband, San Diego police officer Gilbert Lorenzo. Tanya, 24, sat down with NBC 7 and described a horrible scene of domestic violence where she legitimately felt her life was in danger. According to Tanya, her husband Gilbert Lorenzo, 31, sunk his teeth into her back and then proceeded to drag her along the carpet by her neck. In an attempt to get him to release her, she grabbed his groin area; he didn’t let up. The fight only came to a close because the neighbors ran to Tanya’s rescue and pulled Gilbert off of her. Tanya went on to describe her feelings on the matter, stating she never thought her husband could do something like that – causing her to feel her life was in danger. Gilbert Lorenzo, on the other hand, has a different version to tell. He claims to be not only guilt-free of domestic violence, but that he is victim himself! He claims his wife Tanya is bi-polar with violent mood swings, possessing prescription medication for the disorder. He also claims she has abused or continues to abuse alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine…and it doesn’t stop there. Mr. Lorenzo filed a formal document requesting custody of his children, stating their mother is unpredictable, violent and has made threats to take the kids to Mexico. Tanya’s response to Gilbert’s allegations was simple, in which she stated she has never been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and has never used drugs. Like many women who become victims of domestic violence, Tanya kept quiet the first time her husband showed signs of it. She wanted to stand by her husband and was reluctant to tear her family apart over one incident. When it happened again, however, it was a different story; she feared for her life. At this point in time, Tanya feels she will never be able to forgive him and she can no longer help him. There has been no word on Gilbert Lorenzo’s status in the police department and if he will remain a part of the force.


“Accused Cop, Wife Allege Physical Abuse, Drug Use in Public Feud”

The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) indicted 11 airport employees in San Diego on March 18, 2014; the charges ranging from drug smuggler to drug courier. Airline baggage handlers seemingly go through security unchecked, and the employees in question were taking advantage of this loophole. Three of the employees – Felix Garcia, Paulo Perez and Saul Bojorquez – were baggage handlers working for Delta Global Staffing. Also charged were eight other employees, accused of being transporters, suppliers and distributors.

In the Federal Grand Jury indictment, it was noted that those involved had created a process to successfully distribute drugs to cities around the country – including Hawaii, where the street price of methamphetamine is upwards of twenty-five grand a pound. The three baggage handlers were caught smuggling in cocaine and methamphetamine through their personal backpacks. The baggage handlers would show their employee identification to the security personnel, waiving security procedures and allowing them to go through unchecked. They would then rendezvous with the couriers in order to hand over the product and ensure its ability to get on the aircraft and be taken to its final destination. In the indictment, it was cited that the baggage handlers would meet the couriers in a designated airport bathroom and give them the drugs underneath the stall dividers. Once the drugs made it to their designated city, they were then handed off to local traffickers.

The investigation by the DEA leading to the indictment lasted about a year, and during the process law enforcement confiscated 17 pounds of cocaine, 18 pounds of methamphetamine and over $100,000 in cash. All of those in question were arrested the week of March 11, 2014, and remain in police custody. One indicted employee has yet to be located, and the age range of the accused ranges from early 20’s to late 40’s.

Two local gangs in San Diego located out of North Park have been indicted for a large compilation of criminal affairs. San Diego police and the FBI have arrested 17 gang members and associates who had direct involvement in the case, which is comprised primarily of sex trafficking crimes spread throughout the country, but also other crimes including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery, and drug trafficking. Three other suspects were arrested in Arizona and New Jersey and three remain yet to be found and brought to justice. Sadly, prostitution has became an increasingly profitable business for street gangs, whose members proudly flaunt their “pimp status” with gold chalices and scepters worth thousands of dollars on the internet through social media sites, showing the extent to which gang activity can spread. San Diego U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy stated on this issue, “The kind of sex trafficking described in this indictment is nothing less than modern-day slavery. Unfortunately, more gangs are expanding from traditional pursuits like drug dealing into this lucrative business.” Duffy also stated that this will be the second time her office has utilized the racketeering statute to pursue a street gang, the first in 2011 when 39 members of an Oceanside gang were indicted for charges involving the prostitution of women and underage girls. All defendants in the current case have been accused of luring young women and girls into prostitution either against their will or by methods of persuasion and manipulation. Shockingly, they are accused of traveling to several cities throughout 23 states and selling sex in local hotel rooms, acts that have accumulated 60 known female victims thus far, 11 who were minors as young as the age of 15. The defendants being held locally are set to make their first court appearance in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Major.

In connection with the case, murder accusations date back to 1995 with the killing of a 20-year-old pizza deliveryman named Tariq Khamisa who was shot to death during a robbery believed to be executed by gang members. Authorities have also taken several illegal items into custody that were found during their arrests, including two guns, six luxury cars, more than 50 pairs of Air Jordan shoes, flat-screen televisions, thousands of dollars in cash, and multiple marijuana plants. The indictment states that the crimes were headed by a combination group of the two gangs in the North Park neighborhood that police have named “BMS”. Members of the group even went so far as to cross ties with other local street gangs for the management of prostitutes, hotel room booking, money handling, and the distribution of drugs. Attorney Duffy said, “Members of BMS are really akin to a crime family whose members were all working together to commit various crimes for one purpose. And that purpose was simply to earn money for the organization.” All the defendants recruited young girls and women into prostitution through various methods including threats, violence, and promising them a glamorous lifestyle, and then branded them as property with tattoos and bar codes. Many of the victims were picked up through popular social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Several of the defendants and their obedient victims were also found to have attended “Players’ Balls” parties which took place all throughout the country. These parties are intended to celebrate the gangsters, pimps, and prostitutes and glorify their so-called business ventures. The victims of this case have thus been pulled out of the horrific life they had fallen prisoner to and are being offered medical and psychological services.


The oldest brother of Mexico’s highly feared Arellano Felix drug clan, Francisco Rafael, was murdered in Baja California. Rafael was shot to death by a gunman wearing a clown costume at his rented beach house in the Baja beach resort of Los Cabos. The attorney general’s office in Baja California Sur state relayed that relatives of Rafael confirmed his identity at the scene of the crime. A graphic photo from the scene showed his body in a grotesque form lying on the floor inside the house. Authorities are investigating the motive behind the killer and any connection to his clown disguise, as both are yet to be uncovered. According to an official at the Baja California Sur state prosecutor’s office, the killer’s clown costume was a complete head to toe get-up including a wig and a round red nose. Sadly, this murder is just one violent act of many related to the clan.

The Arellano Felix drug clan is known for its violence and brutality as it ruled the drug trade in Tijuana throughout the 1990’s. Surprisingly, Arellano Felix was already in prison when the gang rose to power. Kirby stated, “He (Arellano) was never really part of the leadership of the big organization, mostly because he was in jail in Mexico. He was arrested before they became what they really became.” In 1993, Arellano was arrested and sentenced to 10 years for aiding the murder of Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo and weapon possession. Due to his illegal past, Mexican officials were heavily worried that upon his release from jail, Felix would return to drug trafficking. Out of desperation to keep this from happening, Mexican officials asked their U.S. counterparts to push his extradition as his current sentence reached completion. Former federal prosecutor in San Diego, John Kirby, found enough evidence to bring charges on the 1980 drug case and helped co-write an indictment in 2003 against the Arellano Felix cartel. Finally in 2006, Arellano Felix was extradited to the U.S. facing charges relating to the 1980 case when he sold cocaine to an undercover police officer in the United States. After being sentenced to six years in prison on these drug charges, he was granted parole and released in 2008 before being deported back to Mexico.


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