Feature Articles

May 2000

May 29, 2000
A Round Up Of The Usual Suspects

By John William Tuohy

John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washingon, D.C.

compiled by John William Tuohy

CALIFORNIA: The Federal government had issued indictments against the alleged leaders of one of Mexico's most violent and powerful drug gangs, the Arellano Felx cartel. It is also offering a $2 million reward for their capture. The FBI expects the Brothers to flee north to California shortly. Brothers Ramon and Benjamin Arellano Felix are charged with operating a smuggling organization that shipped large quantities of drugs into Southern California.
.......Also in California, Customs agents intercepted nearly a half million tablets of ecstasy that arrived on a passenger flight from Paris. The drugs were hidden in cargo boxes that were labeled as cotton pants.

COLUMBIA: In a massive weekend raid on the Modelo penitentiary in Bogata, police said they discovered a private sauna, a gym, distilleries, radios, cellular phones, computers, drugs and dogs and hundreds of weapons. They also found 511 women in the all-male prison, allegedly prostitutes hired to stay for several days to offer their services to inmates.

GERMANY: German customs made that country's largest cigarette smuggling arrest when they seized 120 million untaxed cigarettes coming from China. By German law, the smugglers can be held liable for taxes amounting to $12.4 million dollars.
The stash consisted of low grade cigarettes repackaged under the brand names " Benson & Hedges" and "Regal" Organized crime in the United States is deeply involved in the cigarette smuggling business.

HUNGRY: In a speech this week, FBI Director Louis Freeh said that six FBI agents who are working in Hungary to help combat organized crime, are not to Hungarian sovereignty as the country's main opposition party has charged. The agents are working closely with the Hungarian National Police to address that nations enormous organized crime problem.
The agents presence has been criticized by the opposition Socialists, who say that if FBI agents are given the same powers as Hungarian police it would be a violation of sovereignty. US officials have repeatedly said that the agents are not empowered to make arrests, nor has the US ever asked for the authority. To date, the academy has trained 5,000 police officers from 26 countries.

HOLLYWOOD: The Fox network is planning sitcom for this coming fall season about the Mafia. The show is called "Whacked!".......Also in Hollywood 'Gangs of New York" the $80 million-plus Martin Scorsese drama is set to begin shooting in Rome in August. "Gangs" is set in 19th century New York during the peak of Tammany Hall's political corruption. ........ABC has agreed to adapt the novel "Gangster" into a miniseries. The novel, to be published by Ballantine in February, is the sprawling tale of a brutal crime boss who takes in an orphan with the notion of grooming a protege and heir for his criminal empire. "Gangster" was sold on the basis of a first draft, and made the rounds at studios first as a possible feature......NBC is also planning a series about organized crime which will take place in Miami beach.

JAPAN: Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori denied a report in a tabloid magazine which alleging he was detained by police during a crackdown on brothels in 1958. The article alleged that Mori, then a 20-year-old student at the prestigious Waseda University, was apprehended in a red light district in Tokyo during a sweep against prostitution. The account says that Mori was taken into custody but was never charged. The denial comes as Mori prepares for elections in June.

LIECHTENSTEIN: Police raided homes and made several arrests as part of a probe into money laundering. The homes of twelve persons were raided who are suspected of laundering money for the Russian Mafia or Colombian cocaine cartels.

MASSACHUSETTS: A Norwood, Massachusetts man was convicted by a federal trial jury on money laundering charges. Nabil Sidhom laundered the proceeds of what the US Attorneys office believes were the proceeds of narcotics sale while an employee of American Check Cashing Services. He is charged with wiring $18,000 of purported drug proceeds from Brockton to Miami, Florida. He faces a sentence of 20 years' imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on each of the count....also in Massachusetts, a New Bedford Police Detective Sergeant Stephan Greany was sentenced to ten years on conspiracy, extortion, and bribery charges. Greany extorted money and solicited a bribe from a New Bedford cocaine dealer, James Pike. The officer offered to sell police information to Pike in exchange for $5,000. After e got the money from Pike, Greany divulged the identity of an undercover State Police Trooper to whom Pike was selling cocaine. The sentencing judge said "integrity, honesty, public service, honor and pride all describe what police officers hold close to their hearts. Greedy, disrespectful, disloyal and dishonorable can only describe Mr. Greany. To choose a drug dealer over a fellow officer is the lowest of lows."

MISSOURI: A federal grand jury has indicted former Kansas City Chiefs running back Bam Morris and two others on drug and money laundering charges. he is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute at least 220 pounds of marijuana and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Morris, who retired from the Chiefs in 1999, was on probation for a marijuana conviction in Texas. Morris' participation was allegedly financed by former Chiefs kick return specialist Tamarick Vanover. Mr. Vanover had pleaded guilty to his role in selling a stolen car. He was fired by the Chiefs after it was revealed that he admitted to an FBI agent that he gave $40,000 to Morris to buy drugs.

MEXICO: Eleven former members of an elite Mexican police corps called "El Zorro's" were each sentenced to 50 years in prison for the execution of three youths in 1997. The six youths disappeared after police raided their neighborhood as part of a crackdown on organized crime. The raid led to a shootout between police and gangsters, in which a police officer and two civilians were killed. .....Also in Mexico, it was decided that three of the nine bodies of alleged drug-trafficking victims were exhumed from clandestine graves on a Mexican border ranch, are Americans.
The two-month investigation began late last year sent 65 FBI agents and 600 Mexican military and federal judicial police to look for the graves after a US government informant told authorities that as many as 100 bodies might be found at the sites. All the dead are said to have been murdered by the drug cartels....Under tremendous pressure for the US, Mexican authorities arrested a California man and confiscated 65 pounds in his car at a highway checkpoint in central Mexico. Federal police opened the hood of the arrested mans car and allegedly found a false compartment hidden behind the firewall. When they opened it, they found 33 packages of heroin.

NEW JERSEY: A female juror was dismissed from a trial after she admitted to having a crush on the defendant, a New York City Policeman accused of tipping of members of the Luchese crime family about a police informant operating in their organization. The women reportedly told her book club that she found officer Vincent Davis "gorgeous," and said that the case bore a resemblance to "The Sopranos," One of the book club members told another friend, a prosecutor in the US Attorney's Office in Newark, about the conversation. Davis had been found guilty in March 1998 of sabotaging a US Customs Service probe into the Luchese family in which an informant, Richie Sabol, persuaded Luchese family members to sell stolen cars, guns, and gambling machines from a Cliffside Park warehouse. But a federal appeals court threw out the conviction and released him from prison.
.........Also in New York, a married New York woman was convicted of fraud and forgery after billing her lover's $15,000 penile implant to her insurance company, claiming the lover, Andre Dovilas, 44 was her husband. The jury convicted Jeane Lewis, 43, in less then 17 minutes. Mr. Dovilas was charged, but has fled to Haiti with the implanted evidence. The plot fell apart when Lewis' husband opened the mail and discovered bills from the hospital and the urologist where Dovilas, pretending to be Lewis, had gone for treatment. Lewis will be sentenced on June 15. She faces up to seven years in prison.

OHIO: The Toledo City Council has adopted an ordinance that would require slumlords to live in their neglected properties until they fix them up. The sentenced landlords will be required to wear a wear ankle monitors similar to those worn by prisoners on house arrest.

SAUDI ARABIA: In what is probably the largest execution in this country in the past 20 years, Saudi Arabia beheaded seven Nigerians for taking part in a bank robbery. Three other Nigerians had their right hands and left feet amputated for their role in the robbery. On May 12, the Saudi's executed an Indian heroin smuggler and a Saudi man convicted of raping a shepherd girl.

WASHINGTON DC: The House of Representatives passed House Resolution 3244, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, this week. The bill deals with the growing international sex trafficking industry created by international organized crime.
The Act will protect the victims while cracking down on anyone profiting from their exploitation. The US State Department estimates that over 50,000 women are trafficked into the United States alone each year. The international sex industry is burgeoning and earns fortunes by using the women and children in prostitution, pornography, sex tourism, rape, and slavery.
The legislation would double to 20 years the maximum penalty for enticing and selling people into involuntary servitude, and add the possibility of life imprisonment when violations result in death or involve kidnapping or sexual abuse. It makes trafficking victims eligible for the federal Witness Protection Plan and creates a new visa status for victims who cooperate with law enforcement. Those entering this program, which would be capped at 5,000 people a year, would be able to apply for permanent residence after three years.

WASHINGTON DC: A study released this week by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics found that about 10 percent of inmates tested at local jails tested positive for drug use in June 1998. More than two-thirds of the 712 local jails participating in the study had at least one inmate who tested positive.

Mr. Tuohy can be reached at

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