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FridayFebruary 17, 2012

Latino Daily News: Bringing You the Latest Hispanic Current Events and News Stories 24/7

To reflect the dynamic interests of our audience, Latino Daily News is an online daily news source and virtual cultural center for and about Latinos. We offer the latest news headlines, as well as innovative and insightful Hispanic current events stories, photos, videos, and commentaries from a Latino perspective, 24/7.

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Mexican Actor Gael Garcia Bernal to be new Zorro

Mexican Actor Gael Garcia Bernal to be new Zorro

Photo: Gael Garcia Bernal has become the new Zorro for the upcoming flick.

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Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal will take over from Antonio Banderas as Zorro in the next movie about the mighty masked swordsman, Variety said on its Web site.

Garcia Bernal will star in the 20th Century Fox movie “Zorro Reborn” that will take the legend of the swashbuckling character another step further, but this time in futuristic surroundings far from California or Mexico.

The new Zorro will be a masked man lying in wait to wreak vengeance.

A director has not yet been named for “Zorro Reborn,” which has a screenplay written by Glenn Gers, scribe of “Mad Money in 2008, together with Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy, scriptwriters of the “Harker” vampire film to be directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.

The last Zorro movie was “The Legend of Zorro” in 2005 with Antonio Banderas, who also starred in the 1998 production “The Mask of Zorro.”

Meanwhile Sony Pictures Studios is working on its own Zorro project based on the 2005 novel “Zorro” by Chilean author Isabel Allende, which gives readers a prequel to all the swordsman’s later adventures.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Brazilian President Lula Released From Hospital After Radiation Treatment

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was discharged Friday from the hospital after undergoing combined radiation and chemotherapy treatment for throat cancer.

The 66-year-old Lula, hospitalized in Sao Paulo last week with signs of dehydration, will continue his recovery at home “where he will receive phono-audiological care and physiotherapy,” the medical team treating the former head of state said in a statement.

He will undergo new exams to evaluate his condition in a period of between four and six weeks.

The doctors treating the former president said Sunday that a tomography showed no sign of the cancerous tumor, but the subsequent tests will provide a definitive answer.

On Friday, they also reiterated their advice that the patient “rest this weekend and not participate in (Saturday’s) carnival parade” by riding in one of the Gavioes da Fiel samba school’s floats.

That samba school - made up of fans of Sao Paulo soccer club Corinthians, Lula’s favorite team - is paying tribute this year to the former president and had invited him to join its parade to the Anhembi sambodrome in that metropolis.

After being diagnosed with cancer on Oct. 29, Lula underwent a cycle of chemotherapy that reduced by 75 percent a 3-centimeter (1.2-inch) malignant tumor, and then began a series of radiation sessions together with a lighter form of chemotherapy.

Since beginning his treatment, Lula has lost 9 kilograms (20 pounds).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Man Who Stole Rolex From Hollywood Airport Arrested

Man Who Stole Rolex From Hollywood Airport Arrested

Photo: Man Who Stole Rolex From Hollywood Airport Arrested

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South Florida authorities say they have arrested the man believed to have stolen a Salvadoran woman’s $6,500 watch while she went through security at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Surveillance video of the theft went viral after the blatant theft had many shocked at how easy it was for the man in the video to swipe the watch.

The Rolex belonged to Gloria de Regalado, who lives in El Salvador but also has a home in Key Biscayne.

In the video, a man believed to be 37-year-old Igor Ramos is seen in line behind de Regalado at a TSA security checkpoint. She grabs her coat and before she does not have her stainless steel and gold Rolex, as it’s still in the bin, Ramos spots the time piece, looks around, then takes the watch and gathers his belongings before walking away. Another camera shows Ramos sit down and slide the Rolex into his back pocket.

After de Regalado reports her missing watch surveillance footage was checked and the alleged thief was tracked down to South Florida.

Florida authorities say that when they arrived at Ramos’ Sunny Isles Beach condominium on Friday he answered the door wearing the stolen watch.

The piece has been returned to de Regalado and Ramos has been taken into custody on grand theft charges.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Iowa Woman, Melissa Ramirez, Falls into Uncovered Storm Sewer

Iowa Woman, Melissa Ramirez, Falls into Uncovered Storm Sewer

Photo: Iowa Woman, Melissa Ramirez, Falls into Uncovered Storm Sewer

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An Iowa woman was in critical condition after police say she fell into an uncovered storm sewer over the weekend.

Melissa Ramirez, 24, is believed to have spent more than 24 hours in a storm sewer after she fell 6 feet from the uncovered opening.

Ramirez was found by Council Bluffs police who say she was suffering form hypothermia, as it had reached freezing temperatures.

She was taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center on Monday, where she was said to be recovering but in critical condition.

Public Works Director Greg Reeder said it is likely that more covers are missing as people keep stealing them. However, with between 10 and 20 thousand castings throughout the city, it is difficult to check all of them.

He said the best way for to the city to address the uncovered sewer openings was for people to report any missing covers to contact Public Works.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Trying to Cash $100 Check, Miami Man Confused With a Bank Robber, Now Awarded $3.3 Million Check

Trying to Cash $100 Check, Miami Man Confused With a Bank Robber, Now Awarded $3.3 Million Check

Photo: Footage shows Rodolfo Valladares on ground after being confused with a bank robber

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A man mistakenly thought to be a bank robber has just been awarded $3.3 million by a Florida jury.

On July 8, 2008, Rodolfo Valladares entered an Aventura Bank of America to cash a $100 check. As he approached a teller however, the employee panicked and triggered a silent alarm which brought police to the bank and shoving Valladares to the ground.

The teller believed Valladares was a bank robber based on a memo and surveillance of a man who had recently been robbing banks in the area.

Before Valladares could be claim his innocence, his lawyer says his client was hand-cuffed, put on the ground, and kicked in the head by police, even as he cooperated.

For both the police and bank’s actions, Valladares was awarded $3.3 million by a Miami-Dade jury last week. The jury said that the bank was negligent in triggering the silent alarm, as well as for not cancelling it when employees realized a mistake had been made.

The teller who tripped the alarm, Meylin Garcia, admitted that she did not have the photo of the robber on hand when she saw Valladares and set off the alarm. She did however remember that the suspect was described as a Hispanic male wearing a Miami Heat cap.

Had she actually looked at the photo before setting of the alarm, she would have likely noticed the major differences between Valladares and the suspect. The robber was said to be a man in his 60s weighing about 145 pounds. Valladares was 46 at the time and weighed well over 200 pounds.

Adding to evidence that Valladares was clearly not the bank robber was the fact that he gave no inclination that he was about to rob the bank. He simply handed over his license and check and asked to cash it. Garcia however, kept him at her window, waiting for police to arrive.

After it was determined that Valladares was not the bank robbery suspect, police simply let him go.

Bank of America has said the teller and the bank acted appropriately and have said they are planning to appeal the $3.3 million verdict.

Read more at Miami Herald →

NM Governor Susana Martinez Fails for 3rd Time to Revoke Licenses for Undocumented

NM Governor Susana Martinez Fails for 3rd Time to Revoke Licenses for Undocumented

Photo: Gov Susana Martinez Fights to Eliminate Drivers License for Undocumented

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Undocumented immigrants in New Mexico still have the right to get driver’s licenses, after Republican Gov. Susana Martinez failed for a third time to repeal the 2003 law authorizing the issuance of licenses to people without Social Security numbers.

The state legislature ended its session Thursday rejecting a bill to undo the 2003 measure.

The controversial bill was approved by the lower house, but was later defeated by the Democratic-majority Senate, which instead passed alternative legislation imposing harsher penalties on people who commit fraud when applying for a license and reduces the length of time the document is valid.

For now, New Mexico remains one of the three states where undocumented migrants can obtain driver’s licenses.

“It’s a great victory for the immigrant community,” Marcela Diaz, director of the organization Somos un Pueblo Unido (We Are a United People), told Efe from Santa Fe, the state capital.

For the activist, the message being send is very clear - that New Mexico is a “friendlier” state toward immigrants and it won’t play games with public safety.

“This has been a battle like David and Goliath, because the funds we have don’t compare with the funds the governor used to promote this bill,” Diaz said.

Martinez is promoting an anti-immigrant political agenda that is part of a national drive by the Republican Party, according to Diaz, who said that while immigration is a controversial subject that divides communities, up to now the extremists haven’t achieved their goal in New Mexico.

“What the state Senate did was important, because it said that if the point is to prevent fraud and protect public safety, it’s possible to pass reasonable regulations and statutes to combat fraud,” Diaz said.

“What we want to do is protect immigrant families who live here, work here, and whose kids study here,” she said.

Martinez has said she will veto any bill that would continue to grant driver’s licenses to the undocumented.

Diaz believes that the governor “took off her mask” when she talked of vetoing any kind of agreement, since what she wants is “all or nothing.”

“We see that the governor is not interested in public safety - this is an immigration issue, it is definitely an attack on our families,” Diaz said.

Last July, Martinez announced a program aimed at checking the addresses of 10,000 suspected undocumented immigrants who have obtained driver’s licenses in New Mexico.

The Republican governor says that licenses have turned New Mexico into a “magnet” for the undocumented, who come from other states for the sole purpose of obtaining a driver’s license.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sean Penn Meets with Pres. Fernandez Kirchner, Agrees Falkland Islands Belong to Argentina

Sean Penn Meets with Pres. Fernandez Kirchner, Agrees Falkland Islands Belong to Argentina

Photo: Sean Penn met with Pres. Fernandez Kirchner, discussed Falkland Islands

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After meeting with Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Buenos Aires, actor Sean Penn spoke with reporters about Argentina’s ongoing dispute with Britain over the Falklands Islands, which he referred to as “the Malvinas Islands of Argentina”.

This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the Falklands Conflict, in which Argentina and the United Kingdom fought over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands as well as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The islands, which sit off the southeast coast of Argentina in the South Atlantic, were invaded by Argentine forces in April 1982. In response, British naval forces were dispatched to intercept the Argentineans.

Since the 19th century, Argentina has claimed that the islands are their territory, and have made it clear that they have no intention of giving up their claim.

Penn has recently involved himself in the politics of Latin America, including being offered an ambassadorship by the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, which the U.S. rejected. For a Huffington Post editorial in the summer of 2011, in which he defended Chavez, Penn was criticized by both politicians and celebrities. Ozzie Guillen called him a clown and after spotting him in an airport, Cuban actress Maria Conchita Alonso ripped into him for his support of Chavez, even calling him a “communist a**hole.”

Watch the American actor’s below. (Credit to The Guardian.)

Read more by HS News Staff →

Three Texas Siblings Apprehended Smuggling Drugs at Border

Three Texas Siblings Apprehended Smuggling Drugs at Border

Photo: Border Drugs

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 130 pounds of marijuana in one seizure Tuesday. Three El Paso siblings who were in the vehicle in which the drugs were discovered drugs were taken into custody.

CBP officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 130 pounds of marijuana in one seizure Tuesday

The seizure was made shortly after 4 a.m. at the Ysleta international crossing when a 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 with three occupants arrived from Mexico. A CBP officer performing the primary inspection received a negative declaration from the occupants of the truck. CBP drug sniffing dog “Udo” alerted to the vehicle during the primary inspection so CBP officers initiated a secondary exam on the vehicle.

During the exam the CBP officers located a hidden compartment in the floor of the truck. The compartment held 120 marijuana-filled bundles.

CBP officers took custody of the three occupants including the driver, 24-year-old Porfirio Devora, 23-year-old passenger Rosio Devora Aguayo, and 22-year-old passenger Richard Devora. The three El Paso siblings were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI special agents to face federal charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Calif. Immigration Agent Shoots Fellow Agent Before Being Shot, Killed by Another

Calif. Immigration Agent Shoots Fellow Agent Before Being Shot, Killed by Another

Photo: Calif. Immigration Agent Shoots Fellow Agent Before Being Shot, Killed by Another

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Officials are still investigating a shooting involving three agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement which left one officer wounded, and another dead by the gun of a third agent.

In what is being called “an incidence of workplace violence” by Steven Martinez, the assistant director of the FBI officer in Los Angeles.

A confrontation between two co-workers escalated inside the Southern California federal building, to the point that one agent opened fire and shot at a second agent, said to be his supervisor, several times. A third agent intervened and, trying to protect to the injured agent and anyone else in the vicinity, fired at the first, killing him.

So far, names of the agents involved have not been released, but ICE agents, Long Beach Police officers, and FBI agents are investigating.

The wounded agent was taken to St. Mary Medical Center where it is reported he is “good for now.
The federal building where the incident occurred houses ICE offices as well as the IRS and U.S. Probation and Parole Office and is located across the street from the Long Beach Courthouse.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mother Who Drowned Her Daughters Was Denied Psych Help Due to Immigration Status

Mother Who Drowned Her Daughters Was Denied Psych Help Due to Immigration Status

Photo: Mother Who Drowned Her Daughters Was Denied Psych Help Due to her Immigration Status

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A mother in South Los Angeles has been arrested for the murder of one of her daughters and attempted murder of another.

Police say 32-year-old Lorna Valle tried to drown her 1- and 5-year-old daughters in a baby bathtub.

A family member of Valle’s told KTLA the depressed mother, who is originally from Guatemala, wanted to go back to her native country. Seeing her depressive state, her husband took her to the hospital for psychological help, but was turned away due to Valle being an undocumented immigrant.

ImageWednesday morning, the girls’ father returned home from the grocery store to find Valle drowning the girls in a baby bathtub. The girls were taken to California Medical Center in grave condition.

One-year-old Lindsay Taque was pronounced dead at the hospital, while her older sister, Marian, was transferred to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Marian has since been upgraded from critical condition to serious but stable condition.

Valle is currently on a three-day psychiatric hold at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, with police saying her bail has already been set at $1.5 million.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ATF to Help Honduras Investigate Deadly Prison Fire

ATF to Help Honduras Investigate Deadly Prison Fire

Photo: ATF Helps Honduras Investigate Fire

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At the request of the Honduran government, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today activated its International Response Team (IRT) to investigate the fire that swept through a national correctional facility in Comayagua, Honduras, killing more than 350 inmates.

The ATF IRT provides technical and forensic assistance and oversight worldwide in arson and explosives investigations.

At approximately 10:50 p.m. Tuesday a blaze swept through the prison which housed approximately 850 inmates. The Honduran government requested ATF’s expertise through the Department of State to determine the cause of the fire. The ATF lead element of the team will arrive today and begin reconstructing the scene, identifying the origin of the fire, conducting interviews, and sifting through debris to obtain evidence related to the blaze.

Past activations include the recovery of several improvised explosive devices in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in January 2008; and a nightclub bombing in Bogota, Colombia, that killed 32 people in February 2003.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Actress Daniela Castro catches H1N1 virus

Mexican Actress Daniela Castro catches H1N1 virus

Photo: Daniela Castro, "Pina" on the soap opera "Una Famila con Suerte" contracted the H1N1 virus.

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Mexican actress Daniela Castro has revealed that she has contracted the H1N1 virus, a deadly influenza that can result in patient’s death without treatment. Daniela made the revelation herself on her social networks, immediately receiving support from her fans.

The actress, whom plays “Pina” in the soap opera “Una Familia con Suerte” ( A Family with Luck) on Televisa contracted the virus right before her character’s wedding on the show. Castro still plans to record the last chapters of the show with the proper security precautions. Many of the scenes had to be modified to prevent the influenza from spreading to her fellow actors, whom also received vaccinations. Castro also had to be in isolation during her lunch breaks and a doctor was on site as another preventative measure.

Producer Juan Osorio acknowledge Castro’s dedication and preserverance towards finishing the soap opera despite her condition. ” Daniela, with complete professionalism, fulfilled her performance perfectly” stated Osorio.

As for her fellow actors, they also showed immense support and solidarity towards Castro’s dedication.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cocaine Found on JetBlue Plane Coming in From Dominican Republic

On Feb. 9, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Logan International Airport seized approximately 8.9 kilograms of cocaine that was discovered on a JetBlue flight that originated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

“Customs and Border Protection’s primary mission is preventing terrorists and weapons of terror from entering the United States, however, we also have a corresponding responsibility to enforce many other laws; this includes the interdiction of narcotics,” said Director of Field Operations Kevin Weeks. “Collaboration among CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has resulted in a successful seizure.”

The cocaine was concealed inside an unclaimed suitcase and stowed with the rest of the checked luggage in the cargo hold.

CBP, along with investigators from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) are continuing to investigate this case.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hallmark Original Production “Meddling Mom” Features Notable Latino Cast

Hallmark Original Production “Meddling Mom” Features Notable Latino Cast

Photo: Tony Plana in Meddling Mom

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Sonia Braga (“Angel Eyes,” “Páginas Da Vida”) and Tony Plana (“Desperate Housewives,” “Ugly Betty”) lead a long list of dynamic performers who begin production today on “Meddling Mom,” a two-hour Hallmark Channel Original Movie slated for World Premiere on Mother’s Day 2013. 

Joining Braga and Plana are Mercedes Renard (“NCIS”), Ana Ayora (“Marley & Me,” “Phoenix Falling”), Saundra Santiago (“One Life to Live,” “The Sopranos”), Rose Abdoo (“2 Broke Girls,” “Gilmore Girls”), George Contreras (“The O.C.”), Rafael Amaya (“Doctor Mateo,” “Ugly Betty”), Rob Mayes (“Jane By Design”) and John Nielsen (“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”).

Take Carmen Vega downtown and book her!  Carmen is guilty as charged of slipping into daughter Yolanda’s and son-in-law Rico’s home to leave behind “How to” and “When to” books on baby-making, of manipulating youngest daughter Ally into a doomed relationship with best friend Marisol’s son Pablo (“the lawyer”), and of getting Ally’s real boyfriend pulled off an important account.  She is generally guilty of getting into every other family member’s social life, except her own.  Now Carmen Vega, notorious mother of good intentions, but with equally hideous results, is about to get a crash course in butting out!

Just as her family believes Carmen’s making progress, she finds out that she is going to be a grandmother – finally!  Yolanda and Ally can only shake their heads when they hear Carmen has already purchased furniture for the nursery and picked out names.  Will Carmen ever learn her lesson?  Cuando las ranas críen pelo!

“Meddling Mom” was written by Nina Weinman from a story by Paul Longo.  Frank Konigsberg, Patricia Clifford and Iris Dugow are Executive Producers.  Kyle Clark and Lina Wong are Co-Executive Producers.  Eileen Fields produces.  Patricia Cardosa directs (“Real Women Have Curves”).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jon Secada: We Have to be Aware of Our Health

Jon Secada: We Have to be Aware of Our Health

Photo: Jon Secada: We Have to be Aware of Our Health

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Grammy winner Jon Secada has joined a campaign to make Hispanics more aware of chronic hepatitis C, a condition that contributed to the death of his father.

“It’s a very quiet illness, that you don’t notice what it’s doing to your liver,” the Cuban-American singer and songwriter said Thursday in an interview with Efe.

“I didn’t know what this disease was until I saw my father sick,” Secada said.

His father, Jose Secada, was diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, but kept it secret for a decade. He died last year at the age of 83 of complications from the virus.

Jon Secada, who has sold more than 20 million albums, wants to make people aware of the dangers of chronic hepatitis C and that “there are many treatment options.”

His experience with his dad prompted the 49-year-old singer to get involved in the campaign, which is sponsored by the American Liver Foundation and pharmaceutical giant Merck.

“There are 3 million people affected by hepatitis C in the United States, 30 percent of whom are Hispanic-Americans,” Secada said.

“We have to be aware of our health and ask for help” when it’s needed, he said. “If you don’t take care of your health, in the end you can’t help your family.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rico Hospital Repeatedly Violating Federal Law, Unjust Treatment of Employees

Puerto Rico Hospital Repeatedly Violating Federal Law, Unjust Treatment of Employees

Photo: Puerto Rico Health Care

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An NLRB administrative law judge has found that a Puerto Rico hospital repeatedly violated federal labor laws by changing conditions of work – including the elimination of an entire department - without bargaining with the union representing its employees.

In his Feb. 2 decision, Judge Geoffrey Carter ordered Quality Health Services of Puerto Rico, Inc., doing business as Hospital San Cristobal, to offer reinstatement to eight discharged respiratory therapists and stop subcontracting hospital work without bargaining with the union.

Citing the Ponce hospital’s “pattern of making unlawful unilateral changes to working conditions”, the judge also issued a broad remedial order requiring it to cease and desist from further violations.

This is the third adverse decision by an administrative law judge against the hospital in two years. In February 2011, the National Labor Relations Board affirmed one of those decisions in finding that the hospital unlawfully reduced the number of paid holidays and eliminated its practice of paying holiday pay to employees whose day off fell on a holiday without bargaining with the union.

Hospital employees, including licensed practical nurses and respiratory therapy technicians, operating room and radiology technicians, voted in early 2002 to join the Unidad Laboral de Enfermeras(os) y Empleados de la Salud. Their most recent collective-bargaining agreement with the hospital expired in February 2010.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Border Patrol Prevents $1.12 Million Meth Smuggling Attempt

Border Patrol Prevents $1.12 Million Meth Smuggling Attempt

Photo: Meth Found in Border Inspection

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U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 15 checkpoint prevented a narcotics smuggling attempt yesterday resulting in the seizure of 56 pounds of methamphetamine.

At approximately 3:45 p.m., agents encountered the 56-year-old male Mexican national driver of a blue 1999 Mercury Cougar as he arrived to the checkpoint. During inspection, agents became suspicious of the man’s nervous demeanor and referred him for a secondary inspection.

A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert to the vehicle’s interior. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 24 bundles of methamphetamine concealed inside of the natural voids within the rear quarter panels behind both the driver’s and passenger’s seats.

The methamphetamine weighed a total of 56 pounds and had an estimated street value of $1,120,000. The suspected smuggler and narcotics were taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Read more by HS News Staff →



FridayFebruary 17, 2012