A New York man labeled as a "marijuana kingpin" has been charged with five felonies by Manhattan prosecutors. The man allegedly ran a million-dollar marijuana smuggling ring that smuggled tons of marijuana from Florida and California into New York. The man and three other members of the smuggling ring were originally arrested in October 2010 on drug charges as part of a federal takedown known as Operation Green Venom. Prosecutors charged the alleged kingpin with the murder of five men while overseeing the drug ring. They also charged him with five attempted murders, as well as obstruction of justice, money laundering and drug trafficking.
Recently, Standard Chartered Bank has been forced to pay a large fine of $340 million to the state of New York for allegedly laundering money to Iran over a time period of seven years. The state of New York's action in this case raises the question of the appropriateness of a state's prosecuting these particular felonies. Federal authorities had the information necessary to prosecute the bank for five years, but they did not act before the state authorities did.
In the aftermath of the recent high-profile shootings, a series of five bills introduced in the New York State Senate would make New York into the state with the toughest gun control laws in the country. The new laws are intended as a response to the recent uptick in violent crimes.
Recently, over fifteen people in central New York were indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the United States. The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to smuggle millions of dollars' worth of cocaine into the country. The conspiracy was detected by law enforcement using wiretaps on the defendants' phones, although it is unclear whether or not the wiretaps were supported by a warrant or by probable cause.
Drunk driving charges are generally classified as misdemeanors but state prosecutors may use certain factors to elevate the charges to the felony level. Felony DWI is a more serious charge with more serious consequences. In New York, one of the elevating factors is an aggravated DWI, which is where the driver's blood alcohol content is more than over 0.15. The legal limit is 0.08.