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Drug Related Crime

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Officials say the Oklahoma marijuana farm where four people were killed was operating under an illegally obtained license. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics says Friday that the license application by Kevin Pham fraudulently stated that the operation was 75% owned by an Oklahoma resident, as required by state law. Pham has been arrested on drug and weapons charges. Court documents do not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf. The man wanted in the Nov. 20 shooting deaths of four people at the farm has been extradited back to the state from Florida. Wu Chen, also known as Chen Wu in jail records, was booked into the Kingfisher County jail on Thursday.

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José Irizarry accepts that he’s known as the most corrupt agent in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration history, admitting he conspired with Colombian cartels to build a lavish lifestyle of sports cars, jewels and paramours around the world. But as he used his final hours of freedom to tell his story to The Associated Press, Irizarry says he won't go down alone, accusing some long-trusted DEA colleagues of joining him in skimming millions from money laundering stings to fund a decade-long joyride of luxury travel, strip clubs, party boats and prostitutes. Now federal investigators are following Irizarry's confessional roadmap, questioning up to two-dozen agents and prosecutors.

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Armed guards were a fixture outside the marijuana growing operation in rural Oklahoma where four people were slain execution-style. The owner of the local paper, Jack Quirk, said Wednesday that the postal carrier was frequently met with guns. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced Tuesday that the suspect in the weekend killings, Wu Chen, was taken into custody by Miami Beach police and brought to the Miami-Dade County Detention Center. The suspect will be charged with murder and shooting with intent to kill and faces extradition to Oklahoma. No attorney has been assigned to him yet.

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Police in Oklahoma say the suspect in the killings of four people at a marijuana farm has been arrested in South Florida. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says in an evening post on Facebook that Wu Chen was taken into custody without incident Tuesday afternoon by officers with the Miami Beach Police Department. It adds that the arrest came “after a car tag reader flagged vehicle he was driving,” and says he was taken to the Miami-Dade County Detention Center. Police say the man will be charged with murder and shooting with intent to kill and will face extradition to Oklahoma.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has announced she is pardoning an estimated 45,000 people convicted of simple possession of marijuana, a month after President Joe Biden did the same under federal law. Biden has been calling on governors to issue pardons for those convicted of state marijuana offenses, which reflect the vast majority of marijuana possession cases. Biden’s pardon applied to those convicted under federal law and thousands convicted in the District of Columbia. Brown is also forgiving more than $14 million in unpaid fines and fees. Oregonians passed a ballot measure legalizing recreational use of marijuana in 2014.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has announced she is pardoning an estimated 45,000 people convicted of simple possession of marijuana, a month after President Joe Biden did the same under federal law. Biden has been calling on governors to issue pardons for those convicted of state marijuana offenses, which reflect the vast majority of marijuana possession cases. Biden’s pardon applied to those convicted under federal law and thousands convicted in the District of Columbia. Brown is also forgiving more than $14 million in unpaid fines and fees. Oregonians passed a ballot measure legalizing recreational use of marijuana in 2014.

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A Southern California man was arrested on suspicion of running two illegal drug labs that used high-speed pill presses to create bulk amounts of tablets containing fentanyl and methamphetamine that were sold on the dark web. Federal prosecutors say Monday that the 36-year-old defendant was named in an 11-count indictment that charges him with various narcotics and weapons offenses that could result in a sentence of life in federal prison. He used the online moniker “Narco710” while frequenting at least nine marketplaces on the dark web where he and his co-conspirators sold nearly $2 million worth of illegal narcotics, according to prosecutors.

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Federal authorities filed drug trafficking charges Friday against three men allegedly involved in a deadly shootout with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents off the coast of Puerto Rico.One agent was killed and two more were injured after men traveling on a boat headed toward Cabo Rojo on a key smuggling route exchanged fire with a routine patrol, according to a Friday release by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI is leading the investigation into the shooting.

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A Louisiana jury has convicted a career criminal of raping a police informant who had been sent into a drug house in a sting that went unmonitored and unprotected by law enforcement. Antonio D. Jones was found guilty Thursday of two counts of third-degree rape and could face up to 50 years in prison. The conviction came two months after the attack on the woman was reported in an AP investigation that exposed the perils such informants can face seeking to “work off” criminal charges in often loosely regulated, secretive arrangements. Jones' attorney says he intends to appeal.

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U.S. authorities say a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent and a suspected smuggler died during a shootout Thursday morning off the Puerto Rico coast. Two other U.S. officers were injured. CBP spokesman Jeffrey Quiñones says Air and Marine Operations agents were on routine patrol when the shots were fired off the coast from Cabo Rojo, a major drug smuggling corridor for cocaine coming out of South America known as the Mona Passage. It lies between Puerto Rico’s western coastline and the Dominican Republic. CBP says one of two suspected smugglers died. The FBI is leading the investigation.

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Security video from a Georgia jail shows a detainee being repeatedly punched in the head and neck after guards storm into his cell and push him against a wall. The video was made public Monday by civil rights attorney Harry Daniels, who says 41-year-old Jarrett Hobbs was attacked without justification by jailers in Camden County, Georgia, after Hobbs was booked on traffic and drug possession charges Sept. 3. Camden County Sheriff Joe Proctor said in a statement Monday he was launching an internal investigation. Hobbs is Black. The sheriff's office did not release the races of the jailers. A spokesman for the sheriff declined to answer further questions. Daniels said he wants authorities to pursue charges against the jailers involved.

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A former Kansas police detective and three other men have been charged in a federal indictment with operating a sex trafficking operation involving teenage girls in the 1990s. In a grand jury indictment unsealed Monday, former Kansas City, Kansas, Detective Roger Golubski, and Cecil Brooks, Lemark Roberson and Richard Robinson were charged with conspiracy against rights and two counts of involuntary servitude. Golubski was already facing separate charges alleging that he preyed on Black women and girls for decades. The new indictment alleges that Brooks, Roberson and Robinson raped and beat girls and kept them at an apartment complex to provide sex to men. Golubski is accused of providing police protection for their activities and sexually assaulting the girls.

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José Irizarry accepts that he’s known as the most corrupt agent in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration history, admitting he conspired with Colombian cartels to build a lavish lifestyle of sports cars, jewels and paramours around the world. But as he used his final hours of freedom to tell his story to The Associated Press, Irizarry says he won’t go down alone, accusing long-trusted DEA colleagues of joining him in skimming millions from money laundering stings to fund a decade-long joyride of luxury travel, strip clubs, party boats and prostitutes. Now federal investigators are following Irizarry’s confessional roadmap, questioning up to two-dozen agents and prosecutors.

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New Mexico's largest city has seen a record 17 police shootings this year. The latest happened early Thursday, when Albuquerque police say they shot a man who lunged at officers with a knife. Police Chief Harold Medina said the shooting happened more than 12 hours after police got calls about a man who had allegedly broke a window at a bank and threatened a person over frustrations about not being able to use his debit card. The police chief said the man had been arrested three times over the past three months and that authorities had been working with a crisis intervention unit to get him help. Instead, officers ended up trying to negotiate with him at 2 a.m. along the side of a downtown building.

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An Oklahoma appeals court has denied death row inmate Richard Glossip's request for a new evidentiary hearing that his attorneys suggest would prove he is innocent. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied Glossip's request in a decision on Thursday. A separate application is still pending with the court. Glossip has narrowly escaped execution several times, including in 2015 when his lethal injection was called off at the last minute when the wrong drug was delivered to the prison. He has long maintained his innocence in the 1997 murder-for-hire killing of his boss, Barry Van Treese.

Nearly four dozen people have been arrested in what federal authorities say was the culmination of three investigations into a drug and firearms operation that stretched from central Arkansas to California and Texas. Federal prosecutors in Little Rock said in a statement Wednesday a total of 80 people were indicted and 45 were arrested on weapons and drug trafficking charges. The statement said weapons, including machine guns, cash and drugs have been seized as part of the investigation.

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President Joe Biden says he hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin will be more willing to negotiate the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner now that the U.S. midterm elections are over. Biden said in a news conference Wednesday that he is “determined to get her home” as well as others. He says, “My hope is that now that the election is over, that Mr. Putin will be able to discuss with us and be willing to talk more seriously about a prisoner exchange."

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Republican U.S. Sen. John Kennedy won a second term Tuesday, fending off challenges from Louisiana Democrats. Kennedy’s reelection was expected in the reliably red state of Louisiana where a Democratic U.S. Senator hasn't been elected in 14 years. Throughout his bid for reelection the state’s former treasurer has gained key endorsements, notably from former President Donald Trump who carried 58% of Louisiana’s vote during the 2020 presidential election. Kennedy, who has proven to be popular in Louisiana and on Capitol Hill, raised an astounding $36 million in his reelection bid — 10 times as much as his Democratic challengers combined.

A federal jury convicted a 75-year-old California physician of prescribed an opioids and other powerful drugs to a patient who didn’t need them and who eventually died of an overdose. Prosecutors say Thomas Keller prescribed drugs in dosages that far exceeded the usual course of professional practice and was for no legitimate medical need. Jurors on Thursday found Keller guilty of four counts of distributing controlled substances outside the scope of his professional practice. Keller could face 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced.

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Two Haitian politicians are facing U.S. sanctions over allegations they abused their positions to traffic drugs in collaboration with gang networks and directed others to engage in violence. The Treasury Department said Friday it was imposing sanctions on Haitian Senate President Joseph Lambert and former Sen. Youri Latortue, who are accused of using their official roles to engage in the drug trade. Lambert was also designated by the State Department for diplomatic sanctions and visa restrictions. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says there's “credible information” of Lambert’s involvement in a killing. Spokespeople for Lambert and Latortue haven't returned WhatsApp messages seeking comment.

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CARLSBAD, Calif. — Some of the people rushing to emergency rooms thought the CBD vape they inhaled would help like a gentle medicine. Others puffed it for fun.

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LOS ANGELES — A short walk from police headquarters in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, a cluster of bustling shops are openly selling packaging and hardware that can be used to produce counterfeit marijuana vapes that have infected California's cannabis market.

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