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DEA: Hollywood Coke Ring Moved Drugs in Chartered Jets

  1. Balzafire
    It was a cocaine smuggling operation that was brilliant in its simplicity: private jets were chartered to fly cocaine from Los Angeles to Baltimore. Then millions in cash made the return trip the same way, hidden on the private flights in suitcases, backpacks and even in a microwave oven.

    It worked for months, the Drug Enforcement Administration says, with the Hollywood- based ring moving more than 390 kilograms of cocaine and well over $4 million in drug cash from coast to coast.

    But on Tuesday a federal grand jury indicted 14 defendants, including the charter pilot, on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.

    Five of the suspects were arrested, and the DEA seized 298 kilograms of cocaine and $1.1 million, along with two Aston-Martins, a Mercedes Benz, and a BMW. The seven-month investigation, conducted by a task force of federal and local law enforcement, was dubbed "Operation Snowbird."

    WASHINGTON Nov. 17, 2010


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