Cocaine in berry shipment stopped at Canadian border

As if Salmonella and Hepatitis A in frozen strawberries weren’t bad enough, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers recently intercepted 280 pounds of cocaine in a shipment of berries crossing into Canada at Port Huron, Mich. (although the story in The Packer does not specify which kind of berries).

The commercial truck shipment was crossing at the Blue Water Bridge Oct. 21, and CPB officers with the Port Huron Anti-Terrorism and Contraband Enforcement Team selected it for an enforcement exam, according to a news release.

During the inspection and interview of the driver, officers found plastic wrapped packages in some of the berry boxes. The officers conducted a field test of the suspected narcotics in the packages, and confirmed it was cocaine, according to the release.

“This arrest demonstrates the continued effort by our officers, their dedication to our border security mission and the focus on the export of illicit narcotics” Port Director Michael Fox said in the release.

The driver, a Canadian citizen, was arrested and the case was sent to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. The suspect was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations, according to the release.

Restaurants, food porn, coke: Brisbane’s Miami Vice

Despite the food porn on TV, the back kitchen of most restaurants seem about the same: bad food safety, a lot of drugs, and an inordinate amount of Pink Floyd.

A high profile Brisbane restaurateur has been charged with cocaine trafficking, following raids on his home and restaurant on Friday.

Daniel Milos, 40, was arrested a little more than two months after a man was acquitted of the violent murder of his brother Peter Milos, also a chef, at a home in the affluent suburb of Morningside, in May 2014.

Daniel Milos was one of several people arrested in 11 simultaneous raids in Brisbane on Friday morning that allegedly netted $750,000 worth of drugs, including cocaine and ice.

Police have described it as one of the largest cocaine busts in Queensland history.

Milos owns the up-market Italian restaurant Mariosarti in the riverside suburb of Toowong and has been a frequent donor to Queensland’s Liberal National Party.

He counts former premier Campbell Newman and former prime minister John Howard among those he has rubbed shoulders with, while, in 2016, a $300 per head LNP fundraiser with Julie Bishop as keynote speaker was abruptly moved, when party supporters raised concerns with the foreign minister’s office over Milos’ alleged drugs links.

Milos has previously been jailed for drug trafficking, in 2000.

He was sentenced to nine years for selling heroin but paroled after just 12 months.

‘Stay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be’ Police smash cocaine ring at Sydney Fish Market in Christmas Day raid

A former rugby league first grade player, a Bondi entrepreneur and a maritime worker are among 15 men arrested on Christmas Day in a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring bust.

sydney-cocaine-fishPolice will allege the men were importing cocaine via the iconic Sydney Fish Market and other NSW ports.

It’s alleged they used a shipping vessel named Dalrymple to ferry drugs between NSW ports and a larger ship stationed out at sea that held drugs smuggled from Chile.

About 500 kilograms of cocaine was seized from a dinghy at Brooklyn on the NSW Central Coast.

Several of the men were arrested on board the Dalrymple vessel as it docked at Sydney Fish Market on Christmas night.

The operation by NSW Police, Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force has been running for more than two-and-a-half years.

Police say they have seized 500 kilograms of cocaine and more than 600 kilograms of the same drug in Tahiti which they will allege was destined for Australia.

Authorities valued the total amount of cocaine seized at $360 million. 

Hipsters, you’re spending money at Chipotle to pay for an alleged cokehead’s habit

Stephanie Strom of the N.Y Times reports Chipotle Mexican Grill was dealt another blow on Thursday after the executive leading many of Chipotle’s efforts to recover from five food safety fuck-ups in six months was charged with drug possession and accused him of having a connection to a cocaine delivery service in New York.

johnny.deppThe company said it had placed Mark Crumpacker (right, not exactly as shown), its chief creative and development officer, on administrative leave. “We made this decision in order to remain focused on the operation of our business and to allow Mark to focus on these personal matters,” Chris Arnold, a Chipotle spokesman, said in an email.

He made $4.3 million last year.

Mr. Arnold said other executives had already been assigned to take on Mr. Crumpacker’s work during his absence.

The company’s same-store sales, or sales in stores open at least a year, have fallen dramatically after food safety crises involving contamination by E. coli and norovirus. More than 500 people became sick after eating at a Chipotle in the second half of last year.

cocaine.blow.meThe company has adopted a number of more stringent food safety protocols and spent millions of dollars on marketing to win back customers, efforts led by Mr. Crumpacker. Just this week the company announced Chiptopia, a new loyalty program that rewards frequent customers with free food. Buy four burritos, for instance, and get a fifth one free.

On Thursday, Mr. Crumpacker was named in an indictment from Manhattan prosecutors as one of 18 repeat buyers of cocaine from a business that delivered drugs to customers.

Mr. Crumpacker could not immediately be reached for comment.

The district attorney said the drug ring delivered more than $75,000 worth of cocaine over a year. Three men were charged with running the operation, which prosecutors said was based on the Lower East Side.

The indictment described meetings between the traffickers and buyers in Duane Reade drugstores, Chinese food restaurants and hotels.


Man arrested at NY airport for smuggling cocaine in frozen meat

Many years ago when I was a teenager, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (Canada), some friends went to Jamacia, and came back with a wooden owl – filled with ganga.

johnny-depp-blowThings haven’t changed much.

From the frozen meat files, a man who was flying from Trinidad to JFK Airport tried to smuggle more than 7 pounds of cocaine hidden in three packages of frozen meat last month.

When Yudishtir Maharaj arrived in New York on March 20, U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspected the packages they found in his luggage. 

They discovered white powder inside the meat, which tested positive for cocaine, authorities said.

Maharaj, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, was charged with importing a controlled substance, according to customs officials.

1 dead; cocaine found in bottle of Caribbean soft drink in UK

The UK Food Standards Agency is warning the public about a soft drink that has been found to contain high levels of cocaine. The product has been linked to the death of one person in Southampton and is the subject of an ongoing investigation by Hampshire Constabulary.

The product is labeled as ‘Cole Cold Pear-D’ and the packaging bears the manufacturers name as S.M. Jaleel & Co Ltd, Otaheite, Trinidad. cocaine.beverage.dec.13However, the company has said they do not export Pear-D to the UK.

Investigations are ongoing to find out whether more bottles of the product have been distributed in the UK. Members of the public should not consume this product and, if found, should take it to their local police station. 

Nigeria intercepts chickens stuffed with $150,000 worth of cocaine

I make an OK stuffed chicken but it may be more crowd-pleasing with $150,000 worth of cocaine inside.

Nigerian authorities say a mechanic who struggled in Brazil for more than six years had hoped the drugs would buy him a life of luxury in his native land.

“This was like a retirement plan for him,” said Mitchell Ofoyeju, spokesman for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

The accused was arrested over the weekend at the airport in Lagos after he came in from Sao Paolo with 2.6 kilograms of cocaine, Ofoyeju said. Photos from the agency showed egg-shaped packages wrapped in gold aluminum foil and tucked into the browned chickens.

Authorities have found drugs sandwiched inside the fabric of suitcases, sewn into wigs worn by female passengers, tucked into underwear or hidden in phone chargers and even in a stethoscope, Ofoyeju said.

Cocaine cut with animal de-wormer sickens dozens

Lay off that whiskey, and let that cocaine be.

That’s how the 1927 song made famous by Johnny Cash goes, but maybe add the line, if you’re going to do cocaine, try not to do it with animal drugs.

KTLA in Los Angeles reports doctors are warning cocaine users about product cut with levamisole, used for deworming livestock.

The warning follows reports of several patients developing serious skin reactions after smoking or snorting cocaine believed to be contaminated with the veterinary drug.

The report, published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, said six patients developed purple-colored patches of necrotic skin on their ears, nose, cheeks and other parts of their body and, in some instances, suffered permanent scarring after they had used cocaine.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, up to 70% of cocaine in the U.S. is contaminated with levamisole, which is cheap and widely available.

‘Gasquet’s kiss’ to clear Contador of clenbuterol?***

It was just a kiss.

Two years ago French tennis player Richard Gasquet was cleared of doping after insisting he had tested positive for a tiny quantity of cocaine because he had kissed a girl in a disco in Miami. Both the French Tennis Federation and WADA considered that even though this was an unlikely cause for a positive, it was the most probable reason.

Cycling Weekly – which I read daily – reports that a lawyer for Alberto Contador will use essentially the same defense: that even if eating contaminated beef sounds like an implausible reason for finding tiny traces of a banned substance in his organism, that is the most likely explanation.

If the glove don’t fit you must acquit.

Also, like Gasquet said about his cocaine positive, the clenbuterol could have had no effect on his performance because it was present in such tiny quantities.

Cycling is a mess.

Cocaine found in Red Bull drinks

Cases of Red Bull are being pulled from store shelves by officials in several countries due to the detection of cocaine in the products.

Trace amounts of the drug (0.4 micrograms per liter) were detected in Red Bull Cola by German authorities two weeks ago.

A few days later, Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment said that the cocaine level was too low to pose a health risk. However, bans on the drink were initiated in several German states due to concerns that their sale may violate narcotics laws.

When the Department of Health in Taiwan heard about the German’s discovery, they decided to test Red Bull Energy Drink—another product by the same manufacturer. They, too, found 0.4 micrograms of cocaine for each liter tested.

A statement made by the folks at Red Bull two days ago said,

"It would have been absolutely impossible for Asian (or any other) authorities to have found traces of cocaine in Red Bull Energy Drink. We believe that Asian authorities mistakenly applied concerns about Red Bull Simply Cola to Red Bull Energy Drink, a completely different product with an entirely different formula. Nevertheless, we had Red Bull Energy Drink product samples from Asia analyzed by an independent and accredited institute and confirmed that Red Bull Energy Drink does not contain any cocaine."

The same day, officials at the Centre for Food Safety in Hong Kong said a laboratory analysis found 0.1 and 0.3 micrograms of the illegal drug per liter in samples of Red Bull Sugar-free, as well as Red Bull Cola and Red Bull Energy Drink.

Are they lying, too, Red Bull?

The remainder of the statement by Red Bull said,

"A German authority had raised concerns regarding the use of de-cocainized coca leaf extract in Red Bull Simply Cola. …

"De-cocainized coca leaf extracts are used as flavoring in food products around the world and are considered to be safe. Indeed, in 21 C.FR. 182.20, the Food and Drug Administration regulations provide that it is acceptable and safe to use de-cocainized coca in food products in the United States."

Each country—and each consumer for that matter—is entitled to determine the level of risk that is acceptable to them. Food producers should respect that, and provide the information needed to make those determinations.

They should also provide sufficient data when calling anyone a liar. People who are already pulling products likely need more data than results of an undisclosed number of samples tested by a single, unnamed institute. Less arrogance is definitely in order.