Hollywood executives arrested in DEA probe

By Abrad · Jun 13, 2006 · ·
  1. Abrad
    A two-year undercover investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) into an international Ecstasy and weapons trafficking organization with Hollywood connections has resulted in the arrests of seven persons, including executives at Limelight Films Inc.
    DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said the probe, known as Operation Director's Cut, resulted in the arrest this week of Limelight Chief Executive Officer Bruno D'Esclavelles, Chief Financial Officer David Liberman and three associates.
    Also arrested, Mr. Payne said, was Alexandre De Basseville of Switzerland, an executive board member of ADB Swiss S.A., a Swiss-based financial, business and consulting service that owns the L.A.-based Limelight Films Inc. Various media outlets have reported that Mr. De Basseville is engaged to Kiera Chaplin, granddaughter of the legendary film actor Charlie Chaplin.
    The Limelight Films Inc. Web site said Miss Chaplin serves as an executive.
    Mr. De Basseville and Mr. D'Esclavelles were arrested in Arlington, Va., and charged with conspiracy to distribute MDMA (Ecstasy). Mr. Liberman was charged with conspiring to launder money.
    "This operation demonstrates once again the poisoning influence of drug money and the greed that causes some people to hurt the lives of the many," DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy said.
    A criminal complaint in the case said Mr. De Basseville met repeatedly over the past two years with undercover agents posing as international drug traffickers. It said he offered to launder drug proceeds, supply weapons and broker Ecstasy deals for the undercover agents.
    The complaint said the agents met with Mr. De Basseville and several of his associates, including the other six persons charged, in various locations, including Arlington, Miami, Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Geneva. On two occasions, it said, Mr. De Basseville and Mr. D'Esclavelles took cash, totaling $300,000, which they thought to be drug proceeds, and laundered it for the undercover agents using Limelight Films.
    In February, the complaint said, Mr. De Basseville and Mr. D'Esclavelles arranged for the sale of Ecstasy from the Netherlands from Thomas Frischknecht to an undercover agent. Mr. Frischknecht sent the agent a package containing 10,000 pills, which the agent received in Arlington, it said.
    The complaint said Mr. De Basseville, Mr. D'Esclavelles and Mr. Frischknecht agreed to sell the agent 500,000 pills in the Netherlands. Mr. Frischknecht, 26, of Switzerland, was arrested in the Netherlands as the undercover agent negotiated for the delivery of the pills.
    Mr. Payne said authorities also arrested Fabian Pruvot, 37, Andre Prikazhikov, 31, and Brian Delansky, 33, all of Los Angeles. Mr. Pruvot and Mr. Liberman were charged with conspiracy to launder money, he said, and Mr. Prikazhikov and Mr. Delansky were charged with conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.

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  1. Alfa
    Never mind the fact that the actions of the dea on Dutch territory are absolutely illegal under Dutch law. I highly doubt that arrest was made with aprovement of the Dutch goverment. Therefore this arrest is probably another abduction by the US.
  2. Forthesevenlakes
    Then hopefully the Swiss and Dutch governments could intervene on behalf of this person? Although there's still the question of if they'd want to. Thats terrifying to know that the DEA can arrest people thousands of miles outside their jurisdiction.
  3. Alfa
    Like hell they will. The DEA has offices all around the world. Agents are running around in every country which officially are not there. They can and will do whatever they please. If there is a scandal, they'll let the government of that country fix it. And believe me there are plenty. Many times when a Dutch citizen is requested to be extradited, the Dutch court, leave the need to come up with any kind of evidence to the US courts. And you probably know how unfair the US justice system is. If the defendand takes his lawyer with him, the lawyer is blackmailed and put under mass pressure to leave.

    Lately the EU has found out that Spanish airports have been used by the US for over 30 illegal flights this year to transport kidnapped prisoners. The Spanish authorities claim they know nothing, but this is most unlikely.
  4. Forthesevenlakes
    This is true. The US justice system practically assumes guilt in most narcotics cases...from drug testing to confiscation of property from people charged with (NOT convicted of) drug violations to mandatory sentencing, the US government will do all it can to fuck people over. I had no idea about the widespread infection of DEA offices and blackmailing lawyers. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I mean what else to expect from people that dedicate their lives to make peoples lives worse in the name of an ultimately unwinnable cause. I wonder how many of these abduction/international DEA bust cases make it into these other countries' news media, and if so, would it cause an anti-US backlash? Not every country carries the same puritan viewpoint towards drugs that the US does.
  5. garbled
    You have to understand that the US forfeiture laws are NOT carried out in the criminal courts. US forfeitures are CIVIL cases where "innocent until proven guilty" has no basis. In civil cases, the burden of proof is on the accused, not the accuser. All a governmental agency has to do is get a judge to go along with the forfeiture and it's on. It's up to the accused to prove that the civil proceding was incorrect/inaccurate. Often times the cost of winning a forfeiture reversal against the government is so costly that many people can't do it. They simply give up and quit.

    If anyone in the US thinks for one minute that they live under the same rules that the country was founded on, then they are delusional. The current rule of law in the US has replaced constitutional law. Ever since the US government went bankrupt in 1933 and was bailed out by switching to the Federal Reserve system, you don't own dick in America. You are permitted to use property, you are permitted to perform upkeep on property, you are even permitted to pass property from generation to generation with the proper payment of royalties, but if you think you own it, just skip paying your taxes and see who comes to relieve you of it.
  6. Nagognog2
    Also note the byline is from the Washington Times. This pulp-fiction press is run by the Reverend Sun Yun Moon (Moonies), who acts as an organ of ultra-right fascist policies by the crazies in Washington.

    Example: When 50,000 people protested in the streets of Washington over Reagan illegaly sending millions of tax dollars to fund the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980's - The Washington Times headline read "Todays Demonstration Paid For By Moscow!"

    These people are nazis. No polite terms. No semantics. They are NAZIS.
  7. old hippie 56
    As swim dear old daddy said, fought them son of a bitches once, and by the way things are looking, going have to fight them here.
  8. Abrad
    Film company allegedly smuggled drugs

    Limelight Films in Los Angeles was a front for drug smuggling and money laundering with connections to Switzerland, federal authorities alleged.

    Seven men were arrested June 1 as part of a two-year federal investigation called Operatin Director's Cut, The Los Angeles Times reported.

    Limelight Chief Executive Bruno D'Esclavelles of Los Angeles and Alexandre De Basseville, an executive in a Swiss financial firm that owned the film company, were arrested in Arlington, Va., and charged with conspiracy to distribute the drug Ecstasy.

    Federal agents had set up a sting operation, pretending to be South American drug dealers wanting to buy Ecstacy.

    The criminal complaint alleges that the film company's executives laundered $300,000 for the undercover agents.

    Actress and model Kiera Chaplin, 23 -- Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter, who was once engaged to De Basseville -- is president of Limelight, which has only produced a handful of documentaries.

    The undercover agents said De Basseville told them movies could be used to launder money. Authorities alleged the men also said they could get thousands of weapons, including AK47 rifles, from Russia.
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