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Latest news: 6-30-2009

Boss of state's largest meth ring made death threats

MS - The alleged ringleader of a methamphetamine distribution ring threatened to kill a state narcotics agent and judges involved in a statewide investigation that produced more than 50 arrests, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Details of the investigation into what officials say is the state's largest-known meth ring operation emerged in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg during detention and arraignment hearings for 16 of 17 suspects facing federal charges.

Full story, Clarion Ledger

Man's claims of abuse, meth use fail to garner clemency

Oklahoma City, OK - The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted unanimously Monday to deny clemency for a man facing execution for killing two campers in southern Oklahoma nearly 14 years ago.

Board members heard two hours of testimony from lawyers, a medical expert, the victims’ family members and the inmate, Michael P. DeLozier, via video connection before making their decision.

Full story, The Joplin Globe

10 arrested in weekend busts 

AL - Franklin County authorities said investigators, working on tips from the community, found where meth labs had been operating and arrested 10 people.

Investigators said the arrests took place from Thursday to late Saturday and the "meth cooks" were discovered at residences in Spruce Pine and Phil Campbell.

Full story, The Times Daily

Meth ring leader, one of 3 brothers, given 7 years

Tacoma, WA - One of three brothers who ran a southeast Washington methamphetamine ring has been sentenced to seven years and three months in prison.

Once 36-year-old Herminio "Memo" Barragan-Mendoza of Olympia completes the sentence he received Monday in U.S. District Court, government lawyers say, he will likely be deported. Barragan Mendoza was in the country illegally.

He is one of 22 people who were arrested in April 2008 after 14-month investigation in which authorities seized 89 pounds of meth, 50 firearms and $255,000 in cash.

Like his brother, Ulises "Mono" Barragan-Mendoza of Lacey, Herminio Barragan-Mendoza pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and to illegal possession of a firearm. A third brother is believed to have remained in Arteaga, Mexico.

From Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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