Tradecraft: The Barium Meal or Enema

BARIUM MEAL: The technique of providing a suspect with a traceable item of information and then watching to monitor its progress in the hope of tracing it to an adversary is known as a barium meal after the medical procedure that allows physicians to follow the passage of mildly radioactive material through the body.

Often used to find “leaks” in the espionage, counter-espionage and organized crime circles, this is where a false piece of attractive intelligence is given to a suspected traitor to see where it “comes out on the other side” This is where the enema saying comes from.

During the Cold War this technique was used quite extensively to see how bad an agency or agent had been penetrated and/or compromised. Very often it was insignificant and small pieces of false “treasure” that gave away traitors, ie small details that might be overlooked in a standard report.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

 

The Invisible Drug Lord: Hunting the Ghost

The Invisible Drug Lord: Hunting the Ghost

For over a decade now I have been researching and studying how 21st century drug cartels and organized crime syndicates operate.

I do this mainly for two reasons:

  1. Research for my writing

  2. Considering freedom loving guerillas/partisans have always (and are currently) seen as criminals (ie domestic terrorist) anyway, observing the TTP of ‘successful’ criminal groups, both past and present is a no-brainer.

If you take one thing away from this study it should be this:

“Your best protection in the 21st century is not a private army but ANONYMITY.”

*I recommend downloading the full report to a flash drive for reference.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

 

What Happens When A Government Fights A Dirty War On Its Own People?

A Well written Big Picture snapshot by the Brushbeater.

Pay particular attention to the Government/Crime Nexus mentioned.

“Crime becomes a tool of political power rather than a question of morality.”

 

Our nation is at an impasse- a question of direction, going far beyond singular issues such as firearms ownership, personal privacy or economics- but one that encompasses those who see America as a thing to be preserved and another who see it as a thing needing to be destroyed. It was said by a number…

via What Happens When A Government Fights A Dirty War On Its Own People? — American Partisan

Modern Crime: China Suppliers Flood U.S. with Dangerous Opiates

China at this very moment is waging war on the United States on several fronts without ever deploying a military unit. This is the essence of Fourth Generation Warfare folks. Weaken your enemy from the inside.-SF

Fentanyl P

 

The dozen packages were shipped from China to mail centers and residences in Southern California. One box was labeled as a “Hole Puncher.”

In fact, it was a quarter-ton pill press, which federal investigators allege was destined for a suburban Los Angeles drug lab. The other packages, shipped throughout January and February, contained materials for manufacturing fentanyl, an opioid so potent that in some forms it can be deadly if touched.

When it comes to the illegal sale of fentanyl, most of the attention has focused on Mexican cartels that are adding the drug to heroin smuggled into the United States. But Chinese suppliers are providing both raw fentanyl and the machinery necessary for the assembly-line production of the drug powering a terrifying and rapid rise of fatal overdoses across the United States and Canada, according to drug investigators and court documents.

“We have seen an influx of fentanyl directly from China,” said Carole Rendon, the acting US attorney for the northern district of Ohio in Cleveland. “It’s being shipped by carrier. It’s hugely concerning because fentanyl is so incredibly deadly.”

The China connection is allowing local drug dealers in North America to mass produce fentanyl in pill form, in some cases producing tablets that look identical to an oft-abused version of the prescription painkiller OxyContin. It also has been added to Xanax pills. And last week, fentanyl pills made to resemble the painkiller hydrocodone were blamed for a wave of overdoses in the Sacramento area, including nine deaths.

The fentanyl pills are often disguised as other painkillers because those drugs fetch a higher price on the street, even though they are less potent, according to police.

The Southern California lab was just one of four dismantled by law enforcement in the United States and Canada in March.

pills

In British Columbia, police took down a lab at a custom car business that was allegedly shipping 100,000 fentanyl pills a month to nearby Calgary, Alberta where 90 people overdosed on the drug last year. The investigation began when border authorities intercepted a package in December containing pharmaceutical equipment. Police would not describe the equipment but told STAT it came from China.

Federal agents shut down a Seattle lab set up in the bedroom of a home in a residential neighborhood. Similarly, investigators last week raided a suburban Syracuse, N.Y. residence that police charged was a “Fentanyl Processing Mill.” Investigators found six people inside the home mixing and packaging the drug and seized enough fentanyl to make 5,866 doses. As they entered the home, police reportedly were warned by the alleged dealers not to touch the fentanyl without gloves because of its potency.

The emergence of decentralized drug labs using materials obtained from China — and often ordered over the Internet — makes it more difficult to combat the illicit use of the drug.

“We had a spike in 2007” of fentanyl-related deaths, said Russell Baer, a spokesman for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. “We traced it to a single production lab in Mexico and the deaths went away. Now, it is not restricted to one site.”

Fentanyl is legally used to treat people with severe pain, often after surgery, but this prescription fentanyl is not the source of most of the illegal trade.

People who unknowingly take fentanyl — either in pill form or when cut into heroin — can easily overdose because it is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and many times that of heroin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It works quickly, and multiple doses of the antidote naloxone are often required to reverse an overdose.

US health and law enforcement officials began warning of a spike in fentanyl deaths last year, a trend that has continued into this year. Fentanyl has surpassed heroin as a killer in several locales. A recent report by the CDC identified 998 fatal fentanyl overdoses in Ohio in 2014 and the first five months of 2015. Last month, federal prosecutors in Cleveland charged a local man with selling blue pills that appeared to be 30 milligram doses of the milder painkiller oxycodone. When tested, the 925 pills in his possession turned out to be fentanyl.

“One of the truly terrifying things is the pills are pressed and dyed to look like oxycodone,” said Rendon. “If you are using oxycodone and take fentanyl not knowing it is fentanyl, that is an overdose waiting to happen. Each of those pills is a potential overdose death.”

In Calgary, the fentanyl pills were produced to look similar to a version of OxyContin that was easily abused before it was replaced in 2012 by a tamper-resistant form, according to police. The pills are the same shade of green as OxyContin and are marked “80”, which was a frequently abused dosage of the drug. On the street, the fentanyl pills are called “shady 80s,” said Calgary Police Sergeant. Martin Schiavetta. They are sold for about $20 a pill, and some addicts take 15 to 20 pills a day.

“We have tracked the import from China,” Schiavetta said of fentanyl sold in the Canadian city. “The dealers ask for fentanyl powder and there are websites that guarantee delivery. If it is stopped at the border, they will send you a new one.” He said the packages are labeled as different products, such as car parts.

In Edmonton, Alberta, police inspector Dwayne Lakusta said fentanyl and pill presses are coming from China. “It is getting worse,” he said of that city’s fentanyl problem. “We will be battling this every day moving forward.”

Federal agents in Southern California became aware of the fentanyl operation there when a US Customs and Border Protection agent discovered a commercial pill press being sent from China to Gary Resnik, a Long Beach, Calif., man who has since been charged in the drug ring along with three other men.

Resnik allegedly set up a company called “Beyond Your Dreams” to order the machine, which was shipped through Los Angeles International Airport by a Chinese company called Capsulcn International, according to court records. Those records allege the Chinese company has a history of shipping pill presses to customers in the United States using fake shipping labels. Attempts to identify a specific location of the company and contact information were unsuccessful.

PillPress

Federal agents eventually seized six pill presses they allege were used by the Southern California dealers. Each machine could produce thousands of pills an hour.

The dealers allegedly operated one lab out of a single-story home they rented in Baldwin Park, Calif. Investigators believe none of the men arrested actually lived there. DEA agents and technicians wearing bright-yellow hazardous material suits shut down the lab on March 15.

A storage unit was rented to house supplies and equipment. Agents also discovered handwritten notes listing ingredients and mixtures necessary to manufacture the fentanyl pills, according to court records.

The drug allegedly sold by the Los Angeles dealers was a fentanyl analog, called acetyl fentanyl, which has a slightly different chemical composition. Federal investigators have identified a dozen analogs of fentanyl produced in clandestine labs, all of which act similarly in the body to heroin, with the exception of being more potent.

China last year made it illegal to export acetyl fentanyl, a move that drew praise from US officials. However, several police agencies in North America say the drug continues to stream out of the country.

A report this month from the Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs found China remains a major producer and exporter of drugs like fentanyl for illicit international markets. The country’s vast chemical and pharmaceutical industries — combined with lax regulation, low production costs, and government corruption — make China an “ideal source” for the export of materials needed in illicit drug production, according to the report.

In an affidavit, DEA agent Lindsey Bellomy said that based on wire transfers and other evidence, she “strongly believes” the Southern California group acquired its fentanyl from China. The affidavit lists a dozen deliveries from China to members of the group in January and February.

When police stopped one customer after he allegedly purchased fentanyl from the group, he was found to have “several thousand pills” later determined to be acetyl fentanyl by lab technicians. The customer told police he purchased drugs from the group every couple of days, and that he, in turn, sold his buyers a minimum of 1,000 pills, a quantity known as “a boat.”

Read the Original Article at Stat News

 

Modern Crime: Japanese Yakuza Not Going Down Without a Fight

kusters odo yakuza tokyo

The yakuza, Japan’s notorious organized crime syndicates, are on the decline. While they still wield influence, their numbers have dwindled to around 53,000 members last year from a height of more than 180,000 in the 1960s, according to a recent report in the French newspaper Les Echos that cited data from Japan’s National Police Agency.

A constellation of modern developments has eroded the power of the crime syndicates, whose origins go back around four centuries.

“The role of the yakuza in society is being reduced,” said Curtis Milhaupt, director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Japanese Legal Studies. “It’s changes in society in general. It’s changes in social expectations in how government should operate, and reduced tolerance of the yakuza.”

The downturn has unleashed an outpouring of violence. Last year, a schism within the Yamaguchi-gumi gang, Japan’s largest yakuza organization, resulted in a faction splitting off to form the rival Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi gang. The two are now shooting, firebombing, and ramming cars into each other’s homes in an escalating turf war.

“Generally when you see crime groups splintering and infighting, it suggests they are under stress,” said Milhaupt.

One of the reasons the breakup occurred was that members in the 100-year-old Yamaguchi-gumi decided it was time to shed some of the old yakuza ways, according to yakuza expert and Tokyo-based VICE contributor Jake Adelstein.

“Shinobu Tsukasa, the head of the Yamaguchi-gumi, is a puritan in the sense that he doesn’t approve of making money by engaging in selling drugs or swindling old people,” Adelstein said. “The Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi may not approve of these things but seems more willing to tolerate them.”

The infamous colorful tattoos that formerly marked the gangsters are also increasingly less common.

“The smarter yakuza have been ‘clean skins’ for years now,” said Adelstein. “There’s no advantage.”

Yakuza gangs have long functioned as quasi-legal organizations in Japan, operating legitimate as well as black market businesses like loansharking, extortion, prostitution, and gambling, often with the knowledge of police. But seemingly mundane legal changes beginning in the early 1990s have undercut the yakuza.

In the early 1990s, Japan passed a law that allowed police to label yakuza as violent organizations. The law criminalized their activities, allowed the police to hold yakuza bosses responsible for their underlings’ actions. Other laws clamped down on companies that knowingly worked with the yakuza.

“The goal is to make them disappear completely,” National Police Agency Lieutenant Tetsuya Yamamoto told Les Echos.

 

The new laws are working. In 2012, former yakuza boss Tadamasa Goto paid $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the family members of one of his henchmen’s victims. He also expressed his condolences as part of the settlement, a significant move for a Japanese gangster.

Then, around 10 years ago, the Japanese Supreme Court lowered the amount of interest creditors could charge their customers. That put pressure on lenders, Milhaupt said, hurting the yakuza’s legitimate moneylending businesses as well as its loansharking.

Lastly, in the same way residents of Little Italy in New York no longer hold mafia dons in high esteem, regular Japanese folks aren’t turning to yakuza toughs for help like in the old days. Japan has instituted a series of modernizing reforms over the past few decades that have undercut those customs.

“One of the traditional roles of the yakuza was to serve as fixers,” said Milhaupt. “They were in effect an alternative to the courts, because the courts were slow. It was easier and expeditious in some ways to use these illegal fixers. The Japanese courts are now efficient by any standard. The market for the yakuza has declined.”

But the gangsters still have some influence.

In 2012, one in five Japanese companies succumbed to yakuza extortion schemes, according to a study by the National Police Agency. The yakuza have also reportedlycornered the sensitive market on nuclear industry workers and are suspected of havinginfiltrated Japan’s Olympic committee ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Four years ago, a Japanese tabloid newspaper published a photograph of Shinzo Abe, who at the time was between stints as prime minister, alongside Icchu Nagamoto, a Yamaguchi-gumi financier known as the “Blackmarket King.” The photo was snapped in June 2008, almost a year after Abe had resigned from office, and released shortly before he was re-elected in 2012. Nagamoto was arrested on violations of moneylending laws a few months before the photo’s release.

Abe denied the connections. But Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi — who was imprisoned by the Allied powers as a war crimes suspect before becoming prime minister — was known for being pals with yakuza.

According to the Tokyo Reporter, an Abe aide later suggested that Nagamoto might have visited the then-former prime minister with a delegation that included the third man in the 2008 photograph: Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and an ex-Republican candidate for president of the United States, who at the time was coincidentally visiting the Land of the Rising Sun.

Read the Original Article at Vice News