Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "drug traffic" ...

  • Cops and Robbers

    This series charts the path of perhaps the most corrupt officer to wear a Baltimore Police badge, from his history of ignored complaints of abuse and untruthfulness to showing the depths of crimes uncovered by a federal investigation, including drug trafficking and robbery. The story maps out how the corruption was not an isolated event confined to a particular unit, but rather ingrained in the culture of “plainclothes” police units long relied on to combat crime. It exposes new allegations, and educates readers who might otherwise not understand the negative effects of aggressive policing employed in Baltimore’s most high-crime neighborhoods.
  • 60 Minutes: Inside the Epidemic

    Bill Whitaker continues to investigate the origins of the opioid epidemic with a rare prison interview with a pain clinic doctor sentenced to 157 years for drug trafficking.
  • Panama Papers

    The Panama Papers investigation reveals the offshore links of some of the globe’s most prominent figures. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and more than 100 other media partners spent a year sifting through 11.5 million leaked files to expose the hidden financial dealings of world leaders, fraudsters, gangsters, drug traffickers, billionaires, celebrities, sports stars and more. The investigation revealed companies that helped fuel Syria’s deadly air war and a network of people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin that secretly moved as much as $2 billion through banks and offshore companies.
  • Univision: A Tall Tale or Un cuento chino in Spanish

    A Tall Tale tells the story of a Chinese businessman who was arrested for drug trafficking after $205 million was seized from his Mexico City mansion and the political and corporate interests that underpinned his prosecution.
  • Police Secrets

    For years, police agencies throughout the United States have conducted secret surveillance that skirts — and in some cases flouts — laws meant to safeguard Americans’ privacy. They did it to monitor drug traffickers and petty thieves, then sought to conceal their actions from the public and from judges. Our investigating throughout the year revealed the depths of some of that surveillance by federal, state and local authorities.
  • The Narco-Terror Trap

    This project traces the Drug Enforcement Administration’s use of a little-known statute of the Patriot Act to create a role for itself in the war on terror, based largely on unsubstantiated assertions that terrorists were using the drug trade to finance attacks against the United States. The statute, adopted with broad bi-partisan support, allows the D.E.A. to pursue so-called narco-terrorists anywhere in the world, even when none of their alleged crimes occurred on American soil. Between 2002 and 2008, the agency’s budget for foreign operations increased by some 75 percent, which supported expansions into Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, and West Africa. But an examination of the D.E.A.’s narco-terrorism cases reveals that most unraveled as they proceeded through court. The cases relied heavily on sting operations, and the only evidence of any links between terrorists and traffickers was concocted by the D.E.A., which used highly-paid informants to lure targets into staged narco-terrorism conspiracies. The first piece tells the story of three small-time smugglers from Mali who were arrested in West Africa, transported to New York and accused as narco-terrorists with links to Al-Qaeda. It explains how the D.E.A.’s narco-terrorism campaign began in the arrest-first-ask-questions-later period that followed 9/11. And it details the negligible contributions that the effort, whose total cost remains unknown, has made to keeping the country safe from either terrorists or drug traffickers. Nearly three years after the Malian’s arrest, a judge found that the men were not linked to Al-Qaeda, and that they had been motivated to participate in the D.E.A.’s fake conspiracy by an informant’s offer to pay them millions of dollars. The second piece uses an interactive comic – ProPublica’s first – to bring a sharper focus to the patterns in the DEA’s cases. It uses five different narco-terrorism operations in five different parts of the world. The interactivity of the comic allows readers to see how the agency’s stings use essentially the same script in order to make disparate targets fit the designated crime. https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/narco
  • Mob Arrests

    Our story involved the Italian mafia, ties to the Gambino crime family, heroin, pineapples, and a late night police run in southern Italy. This story was the result of years of following the FBI’s pursuit of drug traffickers, working sources and building solid relationships with police officials. It is almost unheard of for the FBI to give journalists access to any kind of operations in a foreign country. This was an important breakup of a major international drug ring and due to our exclusive access were able to provide the American people with a rare behind the scenes view of this story.
  • Mexico Violence

    The June 30 press release from the Mexican Defense Secretary stated that military personnel had discovered a warehouse filled with armed men who opened fire on the troops. Soldiers repelled the attack, 22 “presumed aggressors” died – and just one soldier was wounded. The experienced Mexico staff of The Associated Press doubted the official story: 22 dead on one side, zero on the other seemed unlikely in a firefight. Correspondent Mark Stevenson set out for the warehouse in a remote area of the state of Mexico known to be rife with drug traffickers, and discovered evidence of a massacre. This series details what the AP investigation uncovered.
  • Despite multiple malpractice payouts, doctors often keep practicing

    This story looked at how effective medical boards are at stopping dangerous doctors from practicing medicine. We used a state database to identify the 25 Florida doctors with the most malpractice payouts since 2000. We then looked at how many of these doctors had been stopped from practicing by the Florida Board of Medicine. Turns out, just four of them lost their licenses - and three of those four only lost them after they had been arrested and charged with either drug trafficking or billing fraud. The fourth lost his license after he failed to comply with the terms of a lesser punishment. In other words, not a single one of them had been stopped from practicing due to poor medical care.
  • "Under the Curse of Cartels"

    This project gave readers an unprecedented look at the highly-organized drug trafficking organizations that had taken control of Oregon's drug underworld. This was not just a report about drug dealing. This was about execution-style murders never before publicly linked to Mexican drug cartels. This was about tracing how a cartel-linked trafficker set up a national drug distribution network from rural towns in Oregon. This was about the price paid by end users, including a harrowing account of a young man's death from a heroin overdose. Drug arrests were not news in Oregon. Police agencies routinely issue press releases, prosecutors hold news conferences, and photos of seized drugs and money handed out. That's where the coverage often ends. "Under the Curse of Cartels" documented the true scale behind this drug trafficking -- the sophisticated organizations, their ruthless control, and their elaborate counter-surveillance efforts to detect police investigations. The project took reporting on drug trafficking to a new level with the intimate insider details from both sides of the law. The series was a shocking wake up for Oregon, including many in the law enforcement community who didn't have access to the kind of information collated by The Oregonian.