Share this article

print logo


A leader of a mighty 1980s Colombian cocaine cartel was convicted Wednesday of charges he rejoined a smuggling network after he was released from prison in his homeland and given amnesty.

Fabio Ochoa faces a possible life prison sentence on two federal drug conspiracy charges alleging he joined a 30-ton-a-month smuggling network from 1997 to 1999. Sentencing was set for Aug. 19.

Ochoa, 46, made the sign of the cross, closed his eyes and dropped to his knees in the courtroom after the verdict was read. Jurors reached their verdict after spending five hours on deliberations over two days.

The defense said an appeal was planned.

A onetime leader of the now-defunct Medellin cartel, Ochoa is the most prominent Colombian drug suspect to be tried in the United States since the two countries resumed extraditions in 1997.

He had already served five years in Colombian prisons in the 1990s under a program intended to crush drug barons after years of cartel-ordered bombings and assassinations.

Boy faces assault charge
for stunt in prank video

GAHANNA, Ohio (AP) -- A 13-year-old boy who wanted to make his own version of "Jackass: The Movie" threw a cup of boiling water on his best friend as he slept, causing second-degree burns, police said.

Collin Gaffney was charged with felony assault.

Police Lt. Jeff Spence said Collin videotaped the May 19 incident and others in earlier weeks. The boy told police he planned to make his own movie of pranks similar to "Jackass," a movie version of the defunct MTV show.

Collin and other boys from this Columbus suburb appear throughout the hourlong video of pranks and stunts. The MTV show and movie included a warning against trying stunts at home.

The maximum penalty Collin could receive in juvenile court is confinement in a youth detention center until age 21.

The father of 14-year-old Shaka Townsend said Collin has apologized, but the Townsend family still decided to press charges.

"We felt that grounding was not appropriate to handle this," Townsend said. "We thought the authorities needed to handle it, that it needed to be official."

Man found sleeping on plane
after getting past security

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A man described as a paranoid schizophrenic sneaked through security at Pittsburgh's airport late at night and was found sleeping aboard a parked commuter airplane the next morning, authorities said.

Robert Blose, the airport's security chief, said Tuesday he was "extremely upset" over the weekend incident.

Louis Esquivel remained Wednesday in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond, County Police Superintendent Ken Fulton said. He was charged with criminal trespass, theft, receiving stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Flight attendants told police they found Esquivel, 23, of San Antonio, early Saturday aboard an American Eagle plane.

Allegheny County police said Esquivel told them he was able to dodge security by ducking behind a closed ticket counter in the all-but-deserted airport late Friday.

From there, he went through a tunnel, got onto the tarmac and jumped aboard a United Airlines van, where he found the keys in the ashtray, according to an affidavit. He drove to a gate, got onto an enclosed ramp and boarded the unlocked plane, officials said.

Texas bars same-sex unions
formed in other states

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Gov. Rick Perry signed a law preventing Texas from legally recognizing same-sex unions that are formed in other states.

Tuesday's signing of the Defense of Marriage Act makes it the 37th state to enact such a law, said Kelly Shackelford, president of the Plano-based Free Market Foundation, a group that describes itself as dedicated to strengthening families.

Already, Texas permits marriage only between a man and a woman.

"What this does, it protects your state from having a different definition forced on you from another state," Shackelford said.

The new law denies same-sex couples who were joined in a marriage or civil union in another state the right to claim any legal protection or benefit granted to married people in Texas, including the ability to divorce or to demand job benefits given to married people.

There are no comments - be the first to comment