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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Smuggler sentenced for shipped drugs inside car batteries

    A leader of an international drug smuggling ring that authorities say used operable car batteries to ship thousands of pounds of cocaine and heroin to the Washington area was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

    Prosecutors said Miguel Osvaldo Bolanos-Acevedo, 48, hired dozens of couriers to smuggle up to 330 pounds of cocaine from Mexico into the United States over three years.

    "Bolanos-Acevedo distributed dangerous narcotics from his hide-out in Guatemala to the streets of Maryland cities," said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent In Charge Ava A. Cooper-Davis. "We are safer today with him behind bars."

    Prosecutor said the organization would fit up to 10 pounds of Bolanos-Acevedo's cocaine or heroin inside each functioning car battery.

    The drug-laden batteries were redistributed to place likes Washington, Silver Spring, Hyattsville and Waldorf.

    Bolanos-Acevedo was extradited to the United States from Guatemala to face these charges. He was one at least 21 people charged in the investigation.

    The smugglers used their proceeds to buy vehicles to export to Guatemala, and to make wire transfers of money from Maryland to Bolanos-Acevedo and co-conspirators in Mexico and Texas.

    Federal agents sought to seize more than 50 pounds of cocaine, 17 pounds of heroin and $5 million in assets, including vehicles and jewelry.

    The investigation showed that smugglers will try just about anything to smuggle drugs into the country, including crossing the border with family members to defect suspicion from the Border Patrol, authorities said.

    The investigation began in 2002 by the DEA's field office in Greenbelt, along with Maryland's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the Montgomery County Police Department.

    The probe was connected to a 2003 drug seizure by the Louisiana State Police and combined into a multijurisdictional investigation called Operation Jump Start.


    By: SCOTT MCCABE
    Examiner Staff Writer
    March 8, 2010

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/l...pped-drugs-inside-car-batteries-86675992.html

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