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."
By JACK CLOHERTY, JASON RYAN and PIERRE THOMAS
WASHINGTON Nov. 17, 2010
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.