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6/14/13 5:00am

Morning Roundup: June 14, 2013

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The fireworks blew the cocaine's cover.
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By Bryan Le

drunken slips

6/13/13 5:20pm

Mexican Official's Drunken Brag Fuels Corruption Allegations

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Not the warmest of welcomes Photo via

An ex-governor of Tabasco—one of Mexico's poorest states—is in hot water since recordings have surfaced of him drunkenly boasting about his lavish wardrobe. At a party in October, Andres Granier, 65, bragged about owning 300 suits and 400 pairs of shoes, and shopping in Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, "the best of Los Angeles." Granier says he was intoxicated when he made the comments, which he claims are untrue. The recordings surfaced at an inopportune time for the former governor, who is currently being investigated by state and federal prosecutors for possibly mishandling millions of dollars of state funds before leaving office in December. Grenier appeared in Mexico City on Wednesday to face prosecutors. "I come to clear my name," he said. "I have no reason to run." According to federal statistics, 57% of Tabasco's citizens were living in poverty in 2010. Granier's successor, Arturo Nuñez, says the financial administration of Tabasco state under Granier had been "a labyrinth of trickery, missing documentation, and a debt of over 20 billion pesos" or about $1.5 billion.

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By Victoria Kim

eating disorders

6/13/13 4:16pm

How Anorexia Alters Depth Perception

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Anorexia can make a door seem too small to
squeeze through. Photo via

Anorexia nervosa not only affects how sufferers perceive their own bodies, but how they perceive the physical world around them on an unconscious level, a new study finds. Researchers at Utrecht University in The Netherlands conducted an experiment in to how "body perception abnormalities" in people diagnosed with anorexia nervosa can affect ingrained, unconscious actions. They observed 39 participants (19 diagnosed with anorexia and 20 without) who were asked to walk around a room that contained "door-like openings" of various sizes. The participants—distracted by a memory exercise—were unaware that the actual experiment was to observe how they approached the openings. Participants without anorexia rotated themselves to fit through the smaller doorways, when their width got down to just 25% wider than their shoulders. But participants diagnosed with anorexia were found to walk through the doorways as if their bodies were much larger than actual size, beginning to rotate their bodies to fit when the doorways were 40% wider than their shoulders. This experiment is the first to verify that even ingrained motor behavior is affected by altered perceptions of size in individuals with anorexia. Said researchers: "The disturbed experience of body size in anorexia nervosa is more pervasive than previously assumed."

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By Victoria Kim

drugs in prison

6/13/13 2:59pm

Rikers Guard Sues Over "Debasing" Strip Search

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Elio Soto says the search was "debasing and
illegal" Photo via

It's well documented that corrupt prison staff are a major conduit for the drugs flowing into US prisons. But now a guard at Rikers Island in New York, who was forced to strip during a customary drug search while he was on duty, is suing the Department of Corrections, saying the strip search was "debasing and illegal." Elio Soto, who was not being specifically investigated for bringing drugs in, says supervisors ordered him to strip naked, squat and cough. The searchers found nothing on him. 

Soto is not alone among prison staff in objecting to such searches (which are of course routine for inmates, who undergo cough-and-squat procedures on a regular basis). "I wouldn't go for that," a correctional officer in Arkansas tells The Fix. "They would have to walk me off the compound. I'm not in prison, I'm a C/O. I got rights. If I can't be trusted, what am I doing working here?" So what does he think of Soto's suit? "He should sue them," the correctional officer says. "I've never seen that happen here, but you never know. I would like to think that our union would take care of that."

That's not to say that staff drug smuggling doesn't happen in our source's facility: "I have seen the FBI come right on the compound and arrest a guard that was bringing in drugs." He continues, "I don't know if I could work here if they tried to do that to me. I would probably quit on the spot. I need my job, but that's going too far." As authorities try to cut off the supplies of drugs in US prisons, cases like this might start occurring more often.

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By Seth Ferranti

shroom busts

6/13/13 1:48pm

State Park Visitors Busted for Shroom and Alligator Theft

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Warning: do not mix gators and shrooms
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The old outdoorsman's adage "take only photos, leave only footprints" was evidently ignored by the five people who stole dozens of psychedelic mushrooms and a two-foot live alligator from a Florida state forest. This spring there has reportedly been a rich harvest of "magic" mushrooms, which contain psychedelic psilocybin and grow naturally in the woods. “With heavy rains, really increased humidity, they grow very prolifically,” says park officer Steve McDaniel. He arrested Rick Daniel Myers on drugs charges and for possessing an alligator, which was wrapped in a bandana in his backpack. The other four members of the party were also detained for harvesting the illicit fungi, which is classified in the same drug category as heroin and cocaine. “Shrooms similar to the ones found in this forest can cost you up to $200 an ounce on the street,” explains TV reporter Tim Barber. As for the gator, “it looked pretty lifeless," says McDaniel, "It was in a black backpack, the guy was wearing it for several hours in the heat." But wildlife officials said the alligator was released back into the wild and will be fine. Lui Delgado, clinical director of a local addiction center, warned that shrooms and alligators are a potentially hazardous combination: “anytime you are in an altered state, some things can happen."

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By Bryan Le

most wanted

6/13/13 12:45pm

Whitey Bulger Admits to Making Millions from Drug Trafficking

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James "Whitey" Bulger Photo via

At the opening of his long-awaited trial yesterday, 83-year-old James "Whitey" Bulger admitted through his attorney that he made millions of dollars from drug trafficking and gave payouts to corrupt law enforcement agents, but he denied being an FBI informant and killing two young women and businessmen. The notorious mobster, who was on the FBI's Most Wanted list for a decade, was finally captured in California in 2011 after a 16-year manhunt.US Attorney Brian T. Kelly called him "a hands-on killer who was the leader of a criminal enterprise," and accused him of using his connections to make millions of dollars selling illegal drugs, including cocaine, in his neighborhood, while promoting the "myth" that he had nothing to do with drugs. Although the initial indictment alleged that Bulger forced cocaine dealers to give him a cut of their profits, the government is gearing up to present evidence that he personally cultivated a new drug supplier and parceled out 50 pounds of cocaine for distribution in Charlestown and South Boston. Bulger also faces 32 counts of racketeering, extortion, money laundering and firearms possession, which include allegations that he participated in 19 murders in the 1970s and 1980s. While both prosecutors and defense admit that Bulger is "no saint," his attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., claims that those who accuse his client of murder can't be trusted. Carney has accused “greedy” FBI agent, John J. Connolly Jr. of accepting payoffs of up to $50,000 from Bulger for leaked information related to bugs, searches and indictments, then filling his file with false reports to hide their corrupt relationship. The trial is expected to last until September.

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By McCarton Ackerman

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