A few months after Gary Webb killed himself with his dad's old pistol, I stood shirtless in my back yard, staring at the full moon. The sky was black and cloudless, the moon blurry. Earlier that night, I'd poured myself several splashes of single-malt scotch. I shook my fist in the air and screamed. ... More >>
About two hours before sunrise in Laguna Beach on June 13, 2013, a Mexican man stood on the shoreline and used his cell phone light to signal the landing spot for a boat loaded with 23 foreign nationals--including a drug dealer--who wanted to enter the U.S. illegally. But Jose Ricardo Paleta Tula's ... More >>
Santa Ana residents are helping to wage a secret war against one of Mexico's most ruthless drug cartels—and they're winning
For the eighth time in seven years, federal drug authorities have discovered a major tunnel that is believed have been built by the Sinaloan drug cartel, which controls the so-called plaza, or theater of operations along the California-Mexico border. The cartel's leader, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, o ... More >>
Remember Tosh Plumlee? He was the star of my Sept. 2006 cover story, "Cocaine Airways," which detailed his colorful career as a contract pilot for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. In that story, I wrote about how Plumlee, a Texas native, found work for the CIA in the 1950s flying weapons to Cas ... More >>
Filming began this week in Atlanta, Georgia, on Kill the Messenger, a Focus Features movie based on my similarly-titled 2006 book, as well as Gary Webb's 1998 volume, "Dark Alliance." My book shares its title with a December 2004 obituary I wrote for this paper about Webb's suicide and how what sho ... More >>
An undercover Drug Enforcement Adminstration (DEA) operation investigating a conspiracy to annually import from Mexico more than 75 kilograms of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin into Southern California has resulted in a severe punishment for one of the drug dealers. In pre-sentencing maneuverin ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And are all Mexicans who have shaved heads and tattoos cholos?
A federal law-enforcement investigation into a Canada-based narcotics-and-money-laundering network operating in Southern California has resulted in the loss of freedom for a 33-year-old man who participated in a South Coast Plaza-area deal for 37 kilograms of cocaine. Unbeknownst to Jun Jie Zhang, ... More >>
An Anaheim man involved in a Mexico-Orange County criminal conspiracy annually distributing more than 75 kilograms of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin will pay dearly for his crimes.In late March, U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter handed Adrian Ibarra a whopping prison term of nearly 22 y ... More >>
A call about a guy being beaten in a car parked in a Tustin residential neighborhood, and some follow-up police investigation, led to the discovery of an alleged conspiracy/kidnapping/attempted murder plot by an Arizona drug cartel.That's the spin from the Tustin Police Department, which claims the ... More >>
How the SoCal transplant became a best-selling author by delving into Laguna Beach's legends
An investigative trail (or line?) led a Riverside-based coalition of drug enforcement cops to an empty house in the 23300 block of Red Robin Lane in Lake Forest--and 88 pounds of cocaine with a street value pegged at $4 million.It also led to the arrests of Julio Cesar Perez-Arellano of Aliso Vie ... More >>
Note to marijuana smugglers: If you're going to haul 40 pounds of weed into Southern California in your private airplane, you might want to do that on the 364 other days of the year when President Barack Obama isn't using the same airspace. Apparently the San Luis Obispo man who went un ... More >>
Angel Toy Co.The company literature says Angel Toy Co. distributes teddy bears and other stuffed animals around the world.According to the sentences handed down today, sisters Ling Yu of Arcadia and Meichun Cheng Huang of Irvine are spending the next three years in federal prison for using t ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!!] And why do some Mexicans identify with them?
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security agents seized 17 tons of marijuana Nov. 15, when they discovered a tunnel that appears to be one of the largest cross-border smuggling operations in recent years. According to an Associated Press story on the bust, the tunnel was some 400 yards long and stretched b ... More >>
The Los Angeles Times, and just about every other newspaper that covers world news, is reporting today that the Global Commission on Drug Policy, an influential think-tank made up of world leaders, has just issued a report calling the war on drugs "a costly failure" and calling on the United Stat ... More >>
A documentary opening Friday in Fullerton explores the drug-related violence in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon took office in December, 2006.8 Murders a Day focuses mostly on Juarez, Mexico, the murder capital of the world or, as producer-director Charlie Minn's puts it, "the greatest hum ... More >>
A boat containing 740 pounds of marijuana was discovered on Monday, at approximately 6 a.m., but so far nobody has come to claim the haul, leaving experts guessing that it was most likely a Mexican cartel smuggling operation gone awry.The first clue: The boat was heading north whenever its occupa ... More >>
State troopers in the Midwest are discovering a common thread among drug mules and alleged drug mules pulled over along Interstate 80: Orange County residency.Check out our lineup after the jump . . .
Mexico's drug traffickers would lose some customers but not much money if California voters approve the marijuana-legalizing Prop 19 on Nov. 2, concludes a study by the nonpartisan RAND Drug Policy Research Center. That's because Californians mostly grow their own already.
Renowned forensics experts say a Pinal County, Arizona, deputy's high-profile tale about getting shot after encountering drug smugglers doesn't add up
Only a fraction of Mexicans get U.S. asylum.
Inside the brutal world of America's kidnapping capital
Coe, in center, with a fool and a deluded guyCalifornia Coalition for Immigration Reform head Barbara Coe has been on a non-Mexican racist run as of late. We talked about the revelation earlier this week that she told a Los Angeles Times reporter, "Go home, chink" nearly 20 years ago; now, in var ... More >>
Police believe East LA high-school dropout Jose Saenz has killed a good friend and the mother of his daughter
Rob Krentz's Family Talks About the Life and Death of the Murdered Arizona Rancher
Tougher border enforcement in California and Texas has spelled disaster for southern Arizona
UPDATE: See details about the "Holy Rollers" article that likely spurred the Holy Rollers movie--and the article's zero degrees of separation from OC Weekly--after the jump . . . Yosef (Justin Bartha, left) eases Sam (Jesse Eisenberg) into drug trafficking in Holy Rollers.Director Kevin Asch, who ... More >>
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, this is your Mexican regional music on drugs
"I'm the sheriff. I can do whatever I want." --Prior to his arrest on federal bribery charges, Mike Carona confided his view of the world to a law enforcement colleague concerned about the Orange County sheriff's close friendship with Ed Grech, a local businessman whom the FBI had secretly recorded ... More >>
Alleged coup-plotter Vang Paos shady past eludes mainstream media
A former CIA pilot says secret flights to El Toro could explain a Marine officers suicide
How the Brotherhood of Eternal Love Became OCs Hippie Mafia
Feds deny connection between CIA and ex-Laguna Beach cop and drug dealer. So why are his files secret?
Gary Webb, 1955-2004
Harris shines in his last role
FBI documents link an ex-Laguna cop and drug runner to an Irvine executive with ties to the CIA
Ken Bucchi says he was a drug-running spook. The CIA says hes an impostor