Monday, June 21, 2010

Satellite U.S. Attorney's office

The Ferraro Law Firm is hiring -- and its hiring federal prosecutors. Jeff Sloman, the former U.S. Attorney, joined the firm, as did Alan Kaiser. Two more well-regarded prosecutors are set to join next month -- Melissa Damian and Russell Koonin.

The firm is known for asbestos litigation, and the website says in bold on the first page: "We have helped more than 20,000 people recover over approximately $ 1 billion dollars in asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits." That's billion with a B:

In other news, lots of summer not guilty verdicts -- in addition to the cops last week, Jan Smith and Christy O'Connor also notched an NG...

A bunch of SCOTUS opinions due out shortly. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

The world’s biggest drugs and money laundering “super cartel” in Colombia has been smashed by the American government, officials said. Anti-drug agents arrested and charged dozens of members of the powerful Colombian cartel, including two major kingpins, after a series of raids across South America.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, estimated the cartel made an estimated $5 billion (£3.37bn) profit from their trade over the past few years.

"Don Lucho" is arrested by US anti-drug agents as part of a major operation in South America. He is believed to be one of the kingpins of the "super cartel". Photo: CBS NEWS
Agents involved in Operation Pacific Rim said on Friday that the gang trafficked cocaine to every continent except Antarctica, with drugs bound for Europe and Britain smuggled through Spain.

They believe the gang were responsible for almost half of the cocaine on American streets, or more than 912 tonnes with an estimated street value of about $24 billion (£16.2 billion). The drug cartels buy coca from Colombia’s peasant farmers for about £250 per pound. After being refined into cocaine, the same quantity can then be sold for about £15,000 in Europe.

They were said to have made so much money they could not launder it all, CBS News reported. Among those arrested were kingpins, “Don Claudio” in eastern Columbia and “Don Lucho”, who was captured in Argentina. Both are now awaiting extradition back to the US.

Agents and Colombian authorities are continuing their hunt for other cartel members. The arrests follow that of one of Colombia’s most wanted drugs barons, known as “Don Mario”, who was captured near his jungle lair in April, during another major strike against the cocaine trade.

The cartel operated sophisticated drugs labs in the country’s jungles, engaged ruthless hit men and used submarines to transport the drugs all over the world. “Their tentacles reach all over the globe,” one ICE agent, who declined to be named, told the American broadcaster said.

“It’s mind-boggling the kind of profit these guys were producing. They invest in businesses, big investments, apartment complexes, office buildings. “But there’s so much left over that they have to do something with this cash. Sometimes all that’s left is to hoard it and hide it.”

William Brownfield, the U.S. Ambassador to Colombia, said the operation began last September at Buenaventura, a busy Colombian port, after officials intercepted a suspicious fertilizer container that was later found with more than $28million (£19million) worth of shrink-wrapped cash.

An ICE spokeswoman was unavailable for comment as was a Colombian government spokesman. It is a significant boost to the American government’s high-profile war on drugs, after Barack Obama, the US President, announced a new push against central and South American drugs cartels.

He last year declared that US would confront the drug cartels that were “sowing chaos in our communities”. It is also a significant victory for the Colombian government ahead of next week’s second round of the local presidential elections.

On Thursday, Antonio Maria Costa, the U.N. drug and crime czar warned that international crime syndicates posed a growing threat to global security. She told a high-level General Assembly meeting in New York that demand for illegal drugs, diamonds and other items is fueling transnational organised crime.

Anonymous said...

How come Jan gets to try cases with O'Connor all the time?

When do I get to try a case with O'Connor?

Anonymous said...

"another major strike against the cocaine trade"

Big whoopie-doo. For every cartel leader that gets arrested there are twenty more Dons in line to take his place. They come out bigger and stronger with their smuggling techniques, intelligence and equipment. You cannot beat the cartels and the proof is here-- after 40 years, the United States' war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread. It has been an epic failure and has failed seriously to put a dent in the cocaine, weed and heroin trade.

The gov't justifies the war on drugs by pointing to the amount of crime that takes place by those who are addicted and need the money to buy drugs.

The only way to put an end to this-- Drug use should be treated just like alcohol use -- regulated, taxed and restricted to adults. Drug abuse should be treated like alcohol abuse -- as a public health problem, not as a criminal problem. It's time to declare defeat and bring the troops home. Nice thought eh? But it will never happen-- The cartels and the cops don't want drugs legalized because it'll end the lucrative business for the cartels and we'd see mass layoffs of cops and prison guards and both will fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo in place.

Now here's a thought to consider: drug lords could make huge political contributions to insure that these drugs remain illegal. Makes perfect economic sense, doesn't it?

Something else to consider-- Even if legalization was to happen drug cartels will still be smuggling in drugs at prices lower than they can be purchased for legally. What percentage of users are really going to turn down illegally imported drugs, when they cost half as much? Even slightly lower prices will still fill the pockets of the cartels, because the drugs are produced in Colombia in high enough volumes to turn a profit.

Arrest us, burn our crops, dismantle our organization it will not make a difference.

The Family of Fabio Ochoa Vásquez

Anonymous said...

Forget O'Connor -- when do I get to try a case with the HUNK Jan? That strawberry blond hair drives me nuts.

Anonymous said...

Why no respect for the new magistrate judge?

Anonymous said...

This insanity of extraditing drug kingpins to the US to stand trial must be put to an end. Waste of money, waste of time.