Coast Guard commander charged with illegally importing narcotics

news

VIDEO: Here's what happens when the Coast Guard finds a drug-smuggling submarine

OAKLAND, Calif. — A United States Coast Guard commander was charged with illegal importation of controlled substances Wednesday, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said.


According to a complaint, James Silcox III, 41, received three shipments of Tramadol, a controlled substance and narcotic, to post-office boxes over the summer.

In July, an 865-gram package from Singapore headed for a post-office box was flagged by Customs and Border Protections officers at the U.S. Postal Service's international mail facility at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.

Officers at the postal service's San Francisco air-mail facility intercepted another 650-tablet Tramadol package from Singapore in August, before receiving another package September 13 that held 458 grams of Tramadol.

After law-enforcement officers swapped out the August package's Tramadol for substitute material, they delivered it to Silcox's post-office box Monday. He picked up the package the same day, and officers arrested him Tuesday at his Coast Guard Island residence.

Silcox was released on a personal-recognizance bond after appearing in San Francisco federal court Wednesday morning, and he will return Sept. 26 to identity counsel and attend a preliminary hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each violiation, but federal sentencing guidelines will ultimately affect any imposed sentence.

In addition, indictments are only allegations of committed crimes and Silcox is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Griswold is prosecuting the case, which came from an investigation by the Homeland Security Investigations; the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area-Transnational Narcotics Team; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General; and the Coast Guard Investigation Service,

———

©2019 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: Twitter

For an organization that is constantly shining a light on things that would rather be kept out of the public eye, the moderators of U.S. Army WTF! Moments have done a remarkably impressive job at staying anonymous.

That is, until Monday.

Read More Show Less

For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.

"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.

In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.

"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."

Read More Show Less

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.

Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.

Read More Show Less
ABC News anchor Tom Llamas just before his network airs grossly inaccurate footage

Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.

Read More Show Less

The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.

On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.

Read More Show Less