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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

Topic: smuggling

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January 8, 2015 at 2:02 PM

2 men charged with smuggling people across Canadian border

 The Associated Press Two Canadian men have been charged with smuggling people from Pakistan, India and other countries across the northern border into Washington state. A federal grand jury indicted Mohinder “Paul” Chawla and Terry Franklin Bens on Wednesday on charges of bringing people they charged thousands of dollars into the U.S. over the past five years. Bens…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Canada, human trafficking, smuggling

November 10, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Hong Kong man sentenced for smuggling attempt

The Associated Press SEATTLE — A Chinese citizen was sentenced to two years in prison for violating the Arms Control Export Act by attempting to smuggle satellite parts back to Hong Kong. See Kee Chin was caught at the Seattle airport in February trying to smuggle 10 devices called “accelerometers” in his suitcase. The devices are specialized…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Hong Kong, smuggling, U.S. Attorney's Office

October 21, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Bulgarian fugitive in 18 human-trafficking deaths arrested in Kirkland

A convicted Bulgarian fugitive and human trafficker, responsible for the deaths of 18 Sri Lankan nationals who suffocated in the back of a cargo truck in 1995, has been arrested in Kirkland, where he had been working as a long-haul trucker, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Members of the Marshals-led Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force arrested 58-year-old Plamen Vladimirov Trifonov last week, according to a federal court docket. He is being held pending a Nov. 1 extradition and detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate  Judge James Donohue.

Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal James Adkins, who commands the task force, said Trifonov was arrested after federal law-enforcement authorities determined he had been living in the Seattle area. Adkins said Trifonov immigrated illegally to the U.S. in 2005 and was arrested by U.S. Immigration authorities in 2006. Trifonov was facing deportation, and Adkins said “nobody had a clue” that he had been convicted in 2002 and sentenced to eight years in prison in Bulgaria. At the time, Adkins said, it would not have mattered since Buglaria and the U.S. have only had an extradition treaty since 2009.

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: bulgaria, manslaughter, smuggling

November 7, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Drug-smuggling Canadian pilot gets 10 years in prison

A Canadian helicopter pilot who flew loads of drugs into the U.S. from Canada for organized criminal groups has been given a 10-year prison sentence. Henry Rosenau, 61, was a helicopter pilot who flew dozens of loads of marijuana and cocaine into the U.S., often flying dangerously low to avoid radar detection and landing in remote…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: drugs, operation frozen timber, smuggling

January 9, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Man sentenced in 20-ton cocaine smuggling scheme

From The Associated Press: A  man convicted of conspiring to smuggle 20 tons of cocaine into the United States was sentenced today to 30 years in prison. Hector Fabio Zapata Alavares of Colombia is the third and final defendant sentenced in the case in federal court in Seattle. The 31-year-old worked with a crime ring that had a contract…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Drug Enforcement Administration, drugs, smuggling

November 14, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Former FBI chief in Seattle endorses marijuana legalization initiative

Charlie Mandigo is not a household name, but the former Special Agent in Charge for Seattle’s FBI office is well-known with law enforcement. In his 27-year FBI career, he led investigations against Ahmed Ressam, “Millennium Bomber” caught at Port Angeles, white supremacists in North Idaho and countless drug smuggling cases. Now retired and in the private…

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Comments | More in Government, The Blotter | Topics: Election 2012, FBI, Legislature