The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 17, 1996 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

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Salina, Kansas
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Thursday, October 17, 1996
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Page 6
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AB THURSDAY. OCTOBER 17, 1996 NATION DAY OF ATONEMENT THE SALINA JOURNAj. The Associated Press Some of the thousands of people crunch together Wednesday in New York at the one-year anniversary of the Million Man March. T DRUG TRIAL Jury finds 'big cheese' guilty of trafficking Abrego is believed to have shipped 15 tons of cocaine into U.S. By The Associated Press HOUSTON — The man investigators believe transformed Mexico's drug trade from a backwoods marijuana operation into a huge cocaine business was convicted Wednesday of shipping nearly 15 tons of the drug into the United States. Juan Garcia Abrego, 52, could ABREGO get up to life in prison at sentencing Jan. 31. After the verdict, the federal jury decided the government should seize $350 million in illegal profits from the man nicknamed "La Muneca," or "The Doll," for his baby face. Prosecutors charged that Garcia Abrego was making $2 billion a year before Mexican police captured him in January, sedated him and hustled him onto a plane to Houston. The jury took 12 hours to convict the leader of the Gulf drug cartel. One of his hands appeared to twitch as he was found guilty on all 22 counts of trafficking in nearly 15 tons of cocaine and laundering some $10.5 million. "We're very hurt," said his sister, Blanca Esthela Garcia Abrego. Defense attorney Tony Canales said he will appeal. "I guess the jury says in this verdict that it doesn't bother them that huge amounts of money were paid to informants," he said. "There's nothing wrong with cutting deals with people." The defense had branded the government's case an election-year "show trial" and ridiculed some of the prosecution's 50 witnesses as "star rats" who spoke from scripted testimony in return for reduced sentences on their own convictions. Prosecutors didn't disagree with the "rats" assessment. "I like the word 'rats,'" prosecutor Jesse Rodriguez said during closing arguments. "Who else can lead you to the big cheese?" Authorities said Garcia Abrego started out small as a drug trafficker, floating bundles of marijuana across the Rio Grande near the border town of La Paloma, Texas, where the government said he was born. The defense said he was born in Mexico. Authorities believe Garcia Abrego is largely responsible for transforming Mexico's drug trade. They say he muscled his way to the top by ordering the 1984 killing of a former associate. He was also alleged to have doled out millions of dollars in bribes to high-ranking Mexican officials to get them to look the other way. Among Garcia Abrego's alleged associates was Raul Salinas, the elder brother of former Mexico President Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Jean Curry 2737 Belmont 823-5129 We'll always be there for you. Shelter insurance Cos., Home office: Columbia, MO Visit our new location! 833 E. Crawford, Salina 913-827-1100 Real People. Real Deals. Marchers celebrate anniversary Farrakhan credits Million Man March for reduction in U.S. crime By The Associated Press NEW YORK — The spirit of the Million Man March helped reduce violent crime across the country, the Rev. Louis Farrakhan told nearly 40,000 followers who gathered Wednesday to celebrate the march's anniversary. At last year's rally of at least 400,000 black men in Washington, D.C., the Muslim leader led a mass pledge to "never raise my hand with a knife or a gun to beat or cut or shoot any member of my family or any human being." Those words reverberate in new FBI crime figures that showed a national crime decrease, Farrakhan said. Murder was down 7 percent, rape down 5 percent and violent crimes down 3 percent nationally in 1995. "I know Clinton wants to take credit for it," the Nation of Islam leader said. "I know the police want to take credit for it. The real truth is that the spirit of the Mil- ThaJOto. TOOLt° hf e MONTH Save $11 While they last! Special purchase! World's Day of Atonement Nation of Islam leader, Rev. Louis Farrakhan May 11 ,1633 nx, New York dity " HP school and ftfep school in Boston A year at Winston-Salem Teachers College; quit to work as & musician Recruited into Nation of I slam by Malcolm X in 1955, Appointed to New York Temple in 1967. Became leader of movement In 1976, lion Man March should take credit for it." Farrakhan, from a podium enclosed with bulletproof glass, spoke to a crowd of black men, women and children that extended for blocks around the United Nations. Where last year's march was nearly all male, the upbeat anniversary crowd in Dag Ham- marskjold Plaza mixed men, women and children. Hundreds of Muslim women, in traditional white garb, dotted the crowd. Families packed picnic lunches as generations sat side-by-side for the five-hour rally on a crisp fall day. Scores of alumni from last year turned out as well. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stayed away, saying the demonstration would be overshadowed by Farrakhan's "rhetoric of hatred." Some in the crowd disagreed. "It's not about Farrakhan," said Jerry Walter, 56, a retired city worker from the Bronx. "It's about respecting yourself, your family and your community." Farrakhan told the crowd, "I come not as an enemy, but as « friend." He then launched into hfe topic: "Can the United Natiorii avert the war of Armageddon?" * Rally organizers would issue j worldwide appeal against exploitation and violence, and call upon nations to repent and atone for inju& tice. ,: The Rev. Al Sharpton told thfe crowd they should take credit for New York City's drastic drop in crime since 1993. "Crime is down because love is! up," said Sharpton, who plans to run for mayor next year. "Crime is down because hope is up. Giuliani didn't lower crime. Crime is down" because we lifted ourselves up." ; Police estimated the crowd at 38,000, but Farrakhan scorned any official count following last year's flap over attendance at the Million" Man March. I "White men can't jump," h^ said, "and white men can't count. 1 ' Some supporters of last year's march who were not participating this year cited confusion over thi$ year's message. Last month in Louis, fewer than 500 people tended a conference organized by the same people. Cordless Variable-Speed Driver - Drill with Flashlight • reg. 109.99 • keyless chuck • two batteries fit any Makita 7.2 volf Makita WATERS TMWO&* HARDWARE 460 South Ohio or 2106 South 9th Street Special order wallcovering, floorcoyenng. everyday low price paints and window treatment! or any spray equipment are not included I in the sale. No rainchecks, no special orders, not In conjunction with any other discount, or on clearance items.frior sales excluded. 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