Colombian Soccer Legend Faustino Asprilla and His Family Flee Death Threats from Los Rastrojos

first_imgOn December 7, Border Patrol agents seized more than 68 pounds of liquid methamphetamine with a street value of $4.8 million concealed in a pickup truck and arrested the driver of the truck, who is from Florida. Asprilla, who played professional soccer between 1988 and 2004, led the Colombian national team to an appearance at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, the 1994 and 1998 World Cup, and third-place finishes at the 1993 and 1995 Americas Cups. Los Rastrojos originated in Tuluá, a major industrial and commercial center in the department of Valle del Cauca. Colombian National Police and the Armed Forces have weakened the organized crime group in recent years by capturing or killing several of its leaders; meanwhile, Los Rastrojos is also engaged in a violent turf war with another drug trafficking group, the Úsuga Clan. USS Vandegrift decommissioned after seizing nearly 9,100 kilograms of cocaine Unidentified men came to Asprilla’s residence to tell him he needed to meet with a local crime lord known as “Porron” about making protection payments or face violent consequences. Police have offered a reward for information leading to Porron’s arrest. At the outset of the operation, police arrested five Bolivian nationals, including a woman who is the suspected leader of the drug trafficking group. Though Berni didn’t immediately disclose when and where the captures occurred, he told reporters those arrests led to “30 searches in different places in the metro area of the federal capital, resulting in the seizure of 235 kilos of cocaine of maximum purity.” “The Peruvians sold [the cocaine] wholesale, the Colombians sold it abroad and the Dominicans sold it at the retail level in Buenos Aires,” Berni said. Argentine police dismantle international narco-trafficking ring “Today is one of the saddest days in my life,” Asprilla said in a prepared statement. “I am forced to abandon my own homeland, Tuluá, for being a victim of extortion. I have given my whole life to soccer and to represent Tuluá and my Colombia. And today, I’m running from my own land.” Costa Rican Coast Guard seizes 500 kilograms of cocaine After a seven-month deployment in the Central American isthmus in support of Operaton MARTILLO, the USS Vandegrift will return to its home port in San Diego on December 12 for decommissioning. U.S. Border Patrol agents confiscate $7.4 million in narcotics, arrest 3 suspects The 30-year-old ship’s final deployment was highly successful, as its crew seized nearly 9,100 kilograms of cocaine off the Central American coast since May 9, according to the U.S. Navy. Border Patrol agents in Texas’ Laredo sector recently confiscated drugs collectively worth 7.4 million dollars in two separate busts, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). On December 7, Border Patrol agents seized more than 68 pounds of liquid methamphetamine with a street value of $4.8 million concealed in a pickup truck and arrested the driver of the truck, who is from Florida. U.S. military authorities did not immediately disclose whether they made any arrests during either interdiction. Six days earlier, the USS Vandegrift and a LEDET seized about 873 kilograms of cocaine from a small boat off the Central American coast. After the Vandegrift’s helicopters spotted the vessel in an area known to be frequented by narco-traffickers, LEDET agents swooped in, recovering the 22 bales of cargo that had been tossed overboard. The bales tested positive for cocaine. Launched in January 2012, Operation MARTILLO combines the forces of 10 countries in the Americas – Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, Canada, and the United States – along with France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom, who work cooperatively to combat international drug trafficking, enhance regional security, and promote peace, stability and prosperity throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. Colombian soccer legend Faustino Asprillaand his family have fled from their home in Tuluá after receiving death threats from Los Rastrojos, one of the country’s most feared narco-trafficking groups. After receiving information from Colombian authorities, the Costa Rican Coast Guard arrested three suspects and seized 500 kilograms of cocaine from a fishing boat on December 8. The Costa Rican Air Surveillance Service (SVA) provided the location of the suspicious vessel to the Coast Guard, which interdicted the boat 3 nautical miles from Punta Burica. “I feel completely indignant,” Asprilla tweeted on December 9. “How many more people must be going through the same thing, without being heard?” Coast Guard officers captured three suspects as they tried to swim away. “The Peruvians sold [the cocaine] wholesale, the Colombians sold it abroad and the Dominicans sold it at the retail level in Buenos Aires,” Berni said. Police in Argentina dismantled an international narco-trafficking ring by confiscating 235 kilograms of cocaine and capturing 27 suspects, including the alleged leader, Security Secretary Sergio Berni told reporters on December 9. Six days earlier, the USS Vandegrift and a LEDET seized about 873 kilograms of cocaine from a small boat off the Central American coast. After the Vandegrift’s helicopters spotted the vessel in an area known to be frequented by narco-traffickers, LEDET agents swooped in, recovering the 22 bales of cargo that had been tossed overboard. The bales tested positive for cocaine. Police started investigating the ring in 2013, after Argentinian police arrested a Spain-bound drug mule with a kilogram of cocaine in his body at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires. The previous day, Border Patrol agents arrested two women after finding $2.6 million worth of cocaine in the car they were driving in Gatesville, Texas, about 515 kilometers from the U.S. border with Mexico. “This is another example of the enforcement mindset and dedication from our CBP officers,” Laredo-based Acting Port Director Joseph Misenhelter said. “I am very pleased with all of their efforts which resulted in the interception of these hard narcotics.” Unidentified men came to Asprilla’s residence to tell him he needed to meet with a local crime lord known as “Porron” about making protection payments or face violent consequences. Police have offered a reward for information leading to Porron’s arrest. Police in Argentina dismantled an international narco-trafficking ring by confiscating 235 kilograms of cocaine and capturing 27 suspects, including the alleged leader, Security Secretary Sergio Berni told reporters on December 9. Border Patrol agents in Texas’ Laredo sector recently confiscated drugs collectively worth 7.4 million dollars in two separate busts, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). “Today is one of the saddest days in my life,” Asprilla said in a prepared statement. “I am forced to abandon my own homeland, Tuluá, for being a victim of extortion. I have given my whole life to soccer and to represent Tuluá and my Colombia. And today, I’m running from my own land.” Costa Rican Coast Guard seizes 500 kilograms of cocaine The Costa Rican Air Surveillance Service (SVA) provided the location of the suspicious vessel to the Coast Guard, which interdicted the boat 3 nautical miles from Punta Burica. Berni didn’t release the names of the second group of suspects either, saying only they were from Peru, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. The previous day, Border Patrol agents arrested two women after finding $2.6 million worth of cocaine in the car they were driving in Gatesville, Texas, about 515 kilometers from the U.S. border with Mexico. “I feel completely indignant,” Asprilla tweeted on December 9. “How many more people must be going through the same thing, without being heard?” The Vandegrift is a frigate named in honor of General Alexander Vandegrift, a Medal-of-Honor recipient who led Marines in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II and later served as the 18th commandant of the United States Marine Corps. However, frigates are being gradually replaced by faster and more maneuverable ships that can patrol in shallower waters. At-sea interdictions are highly coordinated, with the security forces of the participating countries partnering to identify, stop, and search suspicious vessels. “This is another example of the enforcement mindset and dedication from our CBP officers,” Laredo-based Acting Port Director Joseph Misenhelter said. “I am very pleased with all of their efforts which resulted in the interception of these hard narcotics.” To remind the authorities, extortion has been going on in Tulua for 15 years. The prosecutor’s office has the files of the accusations. Many families were left bankrupt because they had to flee and leave their businesses behind. No government has made the effort to help the displaced persons. Launched in January 2012, Operation MARTILLO combines the forces of 10 countries in the Americas – Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, Canada, and the United States – along with France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom, who work cooperatively to combat international drug trafficking, enhance regional security, and promote peace, stability and prosperity throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. By Dialogo December 12, 2014 The USS Vandegrift’s last reported interdiction occurred on November 20, when it teamed with a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) to seize 907 kilograms of cocaine from a small vessel off Central America’s Pacific Coast. Vandegrift crew members spotted the suspicious vessel and deployed a helicopter and a LEDET to stop and inspect the boat. Law enforcement officers found 14 bales that tested positive for cocaine. U.S. Border Patrol agents confiscate $7.4 million in narcotics, arrest 3 suspects Coast Guard officers captured three suspects as they tried to swim away. Berni didn’t release the names of the second group of suspects either, saying only they were from Peru, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. After receiving information from Colombian authorities, the Costa Rican Coast Guard arrested three suspects and seized 500 kilograms of cocaine from a fishing boat on December 8. Argentine police dismantle international narco-trafficking ring The Vandegrift is a frigate named in honor of General Alexander Vandegrift, a Medal-of-Honor recipient who led Marines in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II and later served as the 18th commandant of the United States Marine Corps. However, frigates are being gradually replaced by faster and more maneuverable ships that can patrol in shallower waters. Asprilla, who played professional soccer between 1988 and 2004, led the Colombian national team to an appearance at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, the 1994 and 1998 World Cup, and third-place finishes at the 1993 and 1995 Americas Cups. U.S. military authorities did not immediately disclose whether they made any arrests during either interdiction. At-sea interdictions are highly coordinated, with the security forces of the participating countries partnering to identify, stop, and search suspicious vessels. At the outset of the operation, police arrested five Bolivian nationals, including a woman who is the suspected leader of the drug trafficking group. Though Berni didn’t immediately disclose when and where the captures occurred, he told reporters those arrests led to “30 searches in different places in the metro area of the federal capital, resulting in the seizure of 235 kilos of cocaine of maximum purity.” In addition to participating in Operation MARTILLO, a multinational mission to crack down on illicit drug trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus, the USS Vandegrift was also involved in community relations projects in Panama City, Panama. For example, 36 of its crew members helped construct a workshop for the visually impaired, helped fix the building for an outreach group and participated with the “Aid for AIDS” community, according to the Navy. The USS Vandegrift’s last reported interdiction occurred on November 20, when it teamed with a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) to seize 907 kilograms of cocaine from a small vessel off Central America’s Pacific Coast. Vandegrift crew members spotted the suspicious vessel and deployed a helicopter and a LEDET to stop and inspect the boat. Law enforcement officers found 14 bales that tested positive for cocaine. Police started investigating the ring in 2013, after Argentinian police arrested a Spain-bound drug mule with a kilogram of cocaine in his body at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires. Colombian soccer legend Faustino Asprillaand his family have fled from their home in Tuluá after receiving death threats from Los Rastrojos, one of the country’s most feared narco-trafficking groups. The 30-year-old ship’s final deployment was highly successful, as its crew seized nearly 9,100 kilograms of cocaine off the Central American coast since May 9, according to the U.S. Navy. Los Rastrojos originated in Tuluá, a major industrial and commercial center in the department of Valle del Cauca. Colombian National Police and the Armed Forces have weakened the organized crime group in recent years by capturing or killing several of its leaders; meanwhile, Los Rastrojos is also engaged in a violent turf war with another drug trafficking group, the Úsuga Clan. USS Vandegrift decommissioned after seizing nearly 9,100 kilograms of cocaine After a seven-month deployment in the Central American isthmus in support of Operaton MARTILLO, the USS Vandegrift will return to its home port in San Diego on December 12 for decommissioning. In addition to participating in Operation MARTILLO, a multinational mission to crack down on illicit drug trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus, the USS Vandegrift was also involved in community relations projects in Panama City, Panama. For example, 36 of its crew members helped construct a workshop for the visually impaired, helped fix the building for an outreach group and participated with the “Aid for AIDS” community, according to the Navy. last_img read more

DPC works to improve advertising rule enforcement

first_imgNew procedures for reviewing lawyers’ ads and a tougher enforcement program for violators continue to be worked on by the Disciplinary Procedure Committee.DPC Chair Bob Brush reported to the Bar Board of Governors last month that the committee is working out punishment recommendations for various types of rules infractions.The committee also met with Tallahassee attorney Barry Richard, who advises the Bar on constitutional issues, to discuss the constitutional ramifications of the rule changes.The committee is looking at a two-tiered review system for lawyer ads. Lawyers could pay a higher fee and get a quick response on whether a proposed ad meets Bar rules before using the ad. Or they could pay a lower fee and file the ad no later than concurrently with its first publication or broadcast. But if a violation was found, the lawyer would be subject to discipline.On another issue, Brush said the committee considered and rejected a change to a Bar policy requiring an audit when a Bar member wants to resign in lieu of disbarment when facing charges of trust account violations. The Bar now will accept the resignation only if the lawyer agrees to an audit of his or her trust accounts, provides a financial affidavit, and provides a valid address to the Bar for the next five years.The committee had looked at only requiring the audit when the Client’s Security Fund requested one. But the board members at their February meeting said they were concerned that could lessen protection for the public and might leave undiscovered other misdeeds by the lawyer.Brush said the committee decided not to make any change, although it would likely save some Bar staff time by doing fewer audits.On other matters:• The committee is discussing whether lawyers should be sanctioned for bad behavior or conduct that is unrelated to the practice of law and does not involve a criminal violation of the law. Brush said the Citizens Forum is looking at the matter and will provide the DPC with its input.• The committee is exploring whether associates and partners of board members should be disqualified from representing lawyers being investigated by the Bar’s grievance system or nonlawyers being investigated by the Bar’s Unlicensed Practice of Law Department.• Disqualification rules when a lawyer switches firms are being reviewed by the committee. Brush noted that under current rules, when a nonlawyer staffer, such as a secretary, switches firms, that employee is admonished not to talk about cases where the firms are representing opposing parties. If a lawyer switches between the same firms, his or new firm must be disqualified from the case, Brush said.• The committee has completed revisions to improve the process of appointing an inventory attorney. Brush said that has been sent to the Rules Committee which will bring it to the board at its May meeting. DPC works to improve advertising rule enforcement DPC works to improve advertising rule enforcementcenter_img May 1, 2002 Regular Newslast_img read more

Podolski set for Arsenal departure

first_img “We had good talks with Wenger,” Touihri told German newspaper Bild. “He wanted to keep Lukas at Arsenal but could not guarantee him a starting position. That’s why we agreed to make a transfer.” Despite moving to Arsenal with a fine reputation, Podolski’s chances became limited as Wenger added the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck to his forward options. He also has Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at his disposal – which is the likely reason why the Frenchman could not guarantee Podolski the game-time he craves. It has so far been a quiet summer on the transfer front with no major departures from the Emirates – although the arrival of goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea has been hailed as a smart piece of business by Wenger. Lukas Podolski looks set to leave Arsenal this summer after his agent claimed the Germany international has been given permission to find a new club. The 30-year-old forward moved to the Emirates three years ago but struggled to hold down a place in Arsene Wenger’s side – spending the second part of last season on loan at Inter Milan. Podolski, who started for the Gunners in the 2014 FA Cup final victory over Hull, has been heavily linked with a move to Galatasaray and his agent Nassim Touihri thinks Wenger has begrudgingly allowed the World Cup winner to leave. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Men’s basketball: No. 10 Wisconsin looks to ride hot streak into Illinois

first_imgEthan Happ is no Drake, but the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s redshirt sophomore forward can now say he’s gone “back-to-back.”Happ was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the second week in a row Monday, making him the first Wisconsin player to accomplish that since Mike Wilkinson in 2005.Happ powered No. 10 Wisconsin (18-3, 7-1 Big Ten) to an overtime win over Rutgers Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. It was a dominant performance, in which he scored a career-high 32 points, grabbed six rebounds and recorded four steals inside one of basketball’s meccas.Men’s basketball: Happ’s 32 points salvage Badgers at Madison Square GardenThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team returned to Madison after an overtime thriller Saturday at Madison Square Garden in Read…Illini proves formidable opponent on their home turfA little more than 72 hours later, Happ — a Milan, Illinois native — will find himself at State Farm Center in Champaign, where Wisconsin will be looking for its sixth consecutive win and 11th straight over Illinois (13-9, 3-6).According to UW, Happ is the lone player in the Big Ten to lead his team in points (17.7), rebounds (8.1), assists (3.1), steals (2.8) and blocks (1.5) during conference play. He is shooting 61 percent from the field in his last three games (28-for-46). Happ also now leads UW in scoring at 14.5 points per game on the season.Illinois is led by Malcolm Hill, who averages 10 more minutes per game than any of his teammates, and it shows on the stat sheet. Hill, a senior guard and second-team All-Big Ten a season ago, leads Illinois in scoring (17.5 ppg), assists (2.7) and is second in rebounding (5.9).Men’s basketball: Koenig’s 20 points open the flood gates in 82-55 win over Penn StateThe University of Wisconsin ended the second half of Tuesday’s game against Pennsylvania State University with a 24-point advantage in Read…At home, the Illini have only failed to score less than 75 points once. Yet, conversely they’ve only broken the 70-point mark on the road once. For whatever reason, Gard said, the Illini light it up at State Farm Center.“[They’re] a much more potent team for whatever reason at home,” Gard said. “Very comfortable there. We’ll have to play very well, specifically defensively, to be able to contain them.”The last time the two teams squared off, UW was down 13 with 12 minutes remaining, but used a 17-0 run to come back and escape with a 69-60 victory. Happ finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and six steals, and if recent history serves as any indicator, he is primed to put up similar numbers Tuesday night.Wisconsin will have practice Monday night in Champaign, Gard said, and a shoot-around tomorrow to make any adjustments before the 8 p.m. tip on Big Ten Network.Women’s hockey: Badgers set NCAA attendance record at Kohl Center amid three-game homesteadWisconsin routed Minnesota State University, Mankato to cap off a three-week homestead that featured an NCAA record-setting attendance for a women’s Read…Gard’s take on committee releasing rankingsThe NCAA’s Tournament Selection Committee, following in the footsteps of the College Football Playoff Committee, will release the projected top 16 seeds — four teams in each region — of the tournament weekly beginning Feb. 11. In football, the committee ranks the top 25 teams.Gard said he understands the purpose of announcing the projections, but he said it won’t affect the way he or his team approaches the task at hand.“It’s great for fans and it probably stirs conversations, but in terms of our approach, it doesn’t change,” he said. “We don’t watch the rankings or talk about the rankings. We just try to move forward one at a time.”Gard also said those rankings will be somewhat unreliable because teams play multiple games in a week compared to college football, when there is one game per week.“Because we play two or three times a week in basketball, it could change tomorrow,” he said.Maryland time setWisconsin’s home game against Maryland on Feb. 19 will tip off at noon and will be televised on CBS.Currently, the Badgers and Terrapins are tied atop the Big Ten standings, each boasting a 7-1 conference record through eight.last_img read more