A criminal gang used a swarm of drones to disarm and prevent law enforcement agents from carrying out a hostage rescue, an FBI official has revealed. A group of tiny drones amassed on the FBI agents outside an unidentified US city, making a series of'high-speed, low passes at agents in the observation post' in an attempt'to flush them' from their position, according to Defense One. 'We were then blind,' said Joe Mazel, head of the FBI's Operational Technology Law unit, at the AUVSI Xponential conference in Denver. 'It definitely presented some challenges'. The disconcerting incident casts a light on the growing ways that criminals, hackers and others are using drones to carry out a number of illicit activities.
BANGKOK – In most cases, the conviction of a Thai man trafficking rhino horns through a bizarre scheme that involved hiring prostitutes to pose as trophy hunters would have marked the end of the story. But investigators took an unusual, next step -- deciding to "follow the money" that helped bankroll the South African operation, and ultimately winning a court order last year to seize Chumlong Lemtongthai's Thai bank accounts and other assets, including a house worth $142,000, to shut him down. It was one of an increasing number of cases illustrating how nations are shifting tactics in fighting a global wildlife trafficking market worth up to $23 billion, with the headline-grabbing police raids having little overall effect in halting illicit trades. The idea is "to pick the pocket of the wildlife traffickers and try to freeze them in their tracks," said Steve Galster, founder of the anti-trafficking Freeland Foundation. This week, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution urging its 193 members to adopt laws making wildlife crimes offenses that can trigger money laundering investigations and allow assets to be seized.
Eight people were found dead Sunday morning inside a sweltering 18-wheeler parked outside of a San Antonio Walmart in what police called a horrific human trafficking case. San Antonio police officers investigate the scene where eight people were found dead in a tractor-trailer loaded with at least 30 others outside a Walmart store. San Antonio police officers investigate the scene where eight people were found dead inside a tractor-trailer parked outside a Walmart. "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations works year-round to identify, dismantle, and disrupt the transnational criminal networks that smuggle people into and throughout the United States.
This article was published in partnership with The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization covering the US criminal justice system. Sign up for their newsletter, or follow The Marshall Project on Facebook, or Twitter. If African-American motorists--or drivers of any color--deplore being pulled over for a broken taillight only to be socked with more serious charges, they can take heart that the practice should disappear within the next 20 years. Not that racial harmony will be achieved or that a new polymer will make taillights indestructible. Rather, it's that human beings won't be doing the driving.
The biggest ever online black market - ten times the size of the notorious Silk Road - has been shut down. AlphaBay, an internet marketplace with 200,000 members and 40,000 vendors selling drugs, counterfeit goods, weapons, hacking tools and other illicit items, has been taken offline by the Justice Department. The dark web site was created by Canadian national Alexandre Cazes, a computer expert, who had been living in luxury in Thailand for the past eight years with three homes and four high end sports cars. The 26-year-old was arrested in Bangkok on July 5 and was due to be extradited to the US, where he faced drug trafficking and money laundering charges, but was found dead in his cell just a week later. Thai authorities say Cazed hung himself.