I've been writing for over a year about what I call the DEA's African Vacations. Shorter version: DEA agents go to Africa, set up an elaborate sting, whereby cocaine from South America is flown to Ghana or elsewhere in Africa, so that it can be transported to Europe, its final destination. Even though the cocaine isn't headed to the U.S., the feds in the U.S. indict the participants, have them arrested/kidnapped in Africa and fly them to the U.S. to stand trial on charges ranging from conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit narco-terrorism, to conspiracy to distribute or import drugs.
If the Government is successful in the prosecutions, we will bear not only the cost of the overseas investigation, the cost of prosecution (and in many cases, the cost of defending those charged), and the cost of pre-trial detention, but also the cost of incarceration of those convicted for the next 10 or 20 years. [More...]
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A year ago I wrote about the DEA's expensive "African vacation" during which it sent informants and agents to Ghana as part of an elaborate sting operation to intercept cocaine on its way to Europe. It ended up with no cocaine or money, but flew three African men back to the U.S. to face criminal charges. (A year later, the court's docket in U.S. v. Oumar Issa, et. al., SDNY, shows the three are still in custody and the case hasn't even gotten past the discovery phase to the filing of pre-trial motions.)
I'm sure the men's lawyers (some of whom are court-appointed since some of those charged are indigent) will be very interested in Wikileaks' release of embarrassing cables today pertaining to cocaine enforcement operations in Ghana, Mali and elsewhere in West Africa. One set of cables pertains to a longstanding and expensive UK operation called Westbridge, in which the UK teamed up with the Ghana Government. Cables by American diplomats claim corruption in Ghana has ruined the operation. [More...]
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