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Drugs moving by Amtrak - Southwest Chief? Texas Eagle?

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I may be a bit behind on this because the story below is for a sentencing of a previously reported crime, but do we have any idea of the identity of the Amtrak insider who facilitated the drug-running, what his position was, and what train was involved?

Trafficker sentenced for shipping heroin, cocaine via Amtrak


By - Associated Press - Wednesday, September 12, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) - A California man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for taking part in a drug-trafficking ring that used Amtrak trains to ship heroin and cocaine to Chicago from Los Angeles.
Edgar Roque of Paramount, California was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago by Judge Virginia M. Kendall. Roque pleaded guilty earlier this year to drug and money laundering charges.

 

 


https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/sep/12/trafficker-sentenced-for-shipping-heroin-cocaine-v/

Edited by pennyk
edited for copyright issues

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No idea, but it could explain why so many Amtrak staff seem to be half asleep on the job,,, :D

 

Ed.

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I am not saying that there was not, or could not have been, an insider, but it is known that many Amtrak trains are used to transport drugs. That is why you sometimes see a large LEO presence at some stops on routes like the SWC and CZ. Especially if someone buys a one way ticket with cash at the last minute,

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While I'm sure that sometimes Amtrak is used to transport drugs, I wonder how rare--or common--that is. And to what extent various law enforcement agencies are showing up at Amtrak stations simply to have another reason to justify their funding.

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I've been questioned and had my luggage searched in Chicago by Amtrak police after boarding my Roomette on the Zephyr. I had bought a one way ticket from Chicago to Salt Lake City. They specifically asked if I had any drugs or large amounts of cash.

 

Pretty sure they just look at the manifest for men of a certain age traveling on a one way ticket to certain city pairs.

 

I've seen the "random" searches in Albuquerque and Reno too.. I always plan on being in the diner or lounge while stopped at Reno and off the train wandering while in Albuquerque to avoid them.

 

Also... I never buy tickets with cash (got to earn those bonus points!) so that doesn't seem to make a difference.

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I am not saying that there was not, or could not have been, an insider, but it is known that many Amtrak trains are used to transport drugs. That is why you sometimes see a large LEO presence at some stops on routes like the SWC and CZ. Especially if someone buys a one way ticket with cash at the last minute,

 

How many trains and how many drugs are we talking about? What I mainly see are passengers of a certain mindset gleefully regaling us with vague stories about someone unknown to them being taken off a train. I cannot recall any firsthand accounts of actual evidence, post departure searching, filed charges, acquittal/conviction, or anything else that would substantiate the original claim. For all we know they were never charged and merely sent on their way with the next day's train.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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I'm sure all types of transportation are used to transport drugs. However, Amtrak would seem to be a poor choice given the possibility of drug-sniffing dogs and that conductors could require baggage search on the threat of tossing a passenger.

 

Once it's in the United States, I would think private transportation (cars, trucks) would be the more likely means of transport.

 

However, one time I do recall overhearing someone on the CS talking about transporting "some really good bud", although I suspect it was for personal use.

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I assume it would be fairly easy for a member of the train crew to stash "items", they all have their own bags aboard. It could be a baggage handler or anyone who knew the system from the inside...

 

Ed.

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Would it be 100% legal to take Amtrak with Marijuana from Denver to Grand Junction? But not so if you were taking it to Salt Lake? What about Denver to Portland but you travel through states where it's illlegal?

 

So many weird gray lines.

 

If a dog alerts my bag for drugs, but I've been in Colorado, is it right for that officer to now have the legal right to search my bag?

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Would it be 100% legal to take Amtrak with Marijuana from Denver to Grand Junction? But not so if you were taking it to Salt Lake? What about Denver to Portland but you travel through states where it's illlegal? So many weird gray lines. If a dog alerts my bag for drugs, but I've been in Colorado, is it right for that officer to now have the legal right to search my bag?

 

In the case of interstate transfer under current law it is 100% ILLEGAL to transport a restricted substance across state lines without a federal research or enforcement license or other expressed federal exemption. In the case of intrastate transfer just because it's legal at the state level doesn't mean the federal government won't search and prosecute you for it just the same. Previously this was largely (but not completely) ignored under Holder. Today even relatively minor drug related offenses are being prosecuted to the fullest possible extent under Sessions.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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So even inside the state where it's legal, an Amtrak police officer could charge you on a federal level?

Yep, Goober and the Big Orange Turd are hell bent on putting "Hippies" in Jail! Edited by Bob Dylan

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Yes, it is clearly not legal on a Federal level.

Based on the length of the sentence as part of a plea deal, not after trial, it should be pretty obvious this was not a small isolated incident involving these people

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No idea, but it could explain why so many Amtrak staff seem to be half asleep on the job,,, :D

 

Ed.

 

I'd think with meth being a drug of choice these days, they'd be anything but asleep. :)

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I'm sure all types of transportation are used to transport drugs.

 

 

However, one time I do recall overhearing someone on the CS talking about transporting "some really good bud", although I suspect it was for personal use.

Maybe he was talking about beer.

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I'm sure all types of transportation are used to transport drugs.

 

 

However, one time I do recall overhearing someone on the CS talking about transporting "some really good bud", although I suspect it was for personal use.

Maybe he was talking about beer.

 

You had to be there to understand the context. And what the heck is "really good Bud"?

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So even inside the state where it's legal, an Amtrak police officer could charge you on a federal level?

 

They're legally federal law enforcement officers under a special status in the law. It's kind of a combination. They're legally railroad police, which are usually allowed by state law to enforced state/local laws. They're also federal officers allowed to enforce federal laws without restriction.

 

That being said, it would matter what their priorities are. Even federal law enforcement often have standing orders to make minor pot possession a low priority.

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I am not saying that there was not, or could not have been, an insider, but it is known that many Amtrak trains are used to transport drugs. That is why you sometimes see a large LEO presence at some stops on routes like the SWC and CZ. Especially if someone buys a one way ticket with cash at the last minute,

How many trains and how many drugs are we talking about? What I mainly see are passengers of a certain mindset gleefully regaling us with vague stories about someone unknown to them being taken off a train. I cannot recall any firsthand accounts of actual evidence, post departure searching, filed charges, acquittal/conviction, or anything else that would substantiate the original claim. For all we know they were never charged and merely sent on their way with the next day's train.

I don't know exactly what you're claiming. Are you saying the original claim is that there may have been an insider, and that that is false?

 

I'm sure all types of transportation are used to transport drugs.

 

 

However, one time I do recall overhearing someone on the CS talking about transporting "some really good bud", although I suspect it was for personal use.

Maybe he was talking about beer.

You had to be there to understand the context. And what the heck is "really good Bud"?

Bud is either short for Budweiser, a brewing company, or slang for marijuana.

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I am not saying that there was not, or could not have been, an insider, but it is known that many Amtrak trains are used to transport drugs. That is why you sometimes see a large LEO presence at some stops on routes like the SWC and CZ. Especially if someone buys a one way ticket with cash at the last minute,

How many trains and how many drugs are we talking about? What I mainly see are passengers of a certain mindset gleefully regaling us with vague stories about someone unknown to them being taken off a train. I cannot recall any firsthand accounts of actual evidence, post departure searching, filed charges, acquittal/conviction, or anything else that would substantiate the original claim. For all we know they were never charged and merely sent on their way with the next day's train.

I don't know exactly what you're claiming. Are you saying the original claim is that there may have been an insider, and that that is false?

 

I'm sure all types of transportation are used to transport drugs.

 

 

However, one time I do recall overhearing someone on the CS talking about transporting "some really good bud", although I suspect it was for personal use.

Maybe he was talking about beer.

You had to be there to understand the context. And what the heck is "really good Bud"?

Bud is either short for Budweiser, a brewing company, or slang for marijuana.

Or a very mild abbreviation for the Budd Company!

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And what the heck is "really good Bud"?

Bud is either short for Budweiser, a brewing company, or slang for marijuana.

 

I'm sure BCL knew this (both parts), and was questioning the concept of "really good Budweiser."

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Bud is either short for Budweiser, a brewing company, or slang for marijuana.

 

I get that, but exactly what would be "really good Budweiser". I mean - it OK for what it is, but it's still just an American rice-adjunct lager with a very mild taste. It is a testament to the skills of their brewer and employees that it's so remarkably consistent and lacking in off flavors (that it's mild taste can mask), but it's still Budweiser.

 

Now I have been to one of their breweries for their tour, and I saw they were packaging Elysian Field Space Dust IPA, which is originally from a brewery that they bought out. I was told by an employee at a local craft brewery that one time they made a one-off clone of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale that was really good. They have the skills to make stronger tasting beers, but people want Budweiser.

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Budweiser is actually owned by a Belgium corporation, so technically you could call it a European beer. (But it would not be called that.)

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Getting back to the original story, I believe the drugs in question were being shipped via Amtrak Express and the Amtrak employee in question made sure that the shipments got to their destinations undetected.

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Budweiser is actually owned by a Belgium corporation, so technically you could call it a European beer. (But it would not be called that.)

 

I dunno. That would make a whole bunch of beer brands owned by A-B InBev "European", including all the well known Grupo Modelo beers from Mexico.

 

But yeah - I'm not sure that police are really that interested in personal pot being transported on Amtrak, but you never know what the local police are interested in.

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you never know what the local police are interested in.

 

Around my area, they are mainly interested in making their arrest 'quota'.........yeah, I know...'there are no quota's'...... :rolleyes:

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