States to Crack Down on Trucks

Nine northeastern states have agreed to crack down on the smoke that billows from big diesel trucks and buses.

The states -- New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont -- announced Friday a coordinated effort to begin roadside inspections and ticket offenders.

Connecticut and New Jersey already ticket smoking, heavy-duty vehicles. The other states agreed to set up programs within two years.

While automobiles must pass periodic emissions tests and increasingly tougher anti-pollution devices, large diesel trucks require no such inspections and far less stringent controls.

Largely unregulated until the late 1980s, the trucks have become cleaner, but still belch out millions of tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxide and account for about half of the fine soot released from moving sources, federal and state officials say.

The American Trucking Associations, in a statement, endorsed emissions testing of "excessively smoking vehicles as an environmentally responsible practice."

The states' memorandum of understanding did not specify penalties but said truckers would be allowed to finish routes without incurring multiple penalties in the region.

Israeli Gets Long Term in Drug Case

MIAMI -- A former Israeli jet-setter convicted of disguising $43 million in Colombian drug proceeds as profits from a family jewelry business was sentenced to more than 19 years in prison.

Eli Tisona, 56, was found guilty in July of all 146 federal counts against him in one of the nation's biggest drug laundering trials. Charges included money laundering, filing false bank statements and making illegal overseas wire transfers. Tisona, who owned a fish farm in the Colombian drug capital of Cali, was considered one of Israel's biggest mobsters.

Tisona was sentenced to 19 years and seven months, according to a release issued Friday by U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Scott's office. The release did not specify when the sentencing took place.

Ex-U.S. Prosecutor Gets Seven Years

MIAMI -- A former Justice Department attorney was sentenced Friday to more than seven years in prison for laundering drug money for a Colombian cocaine kingpin.

Michael Abbell, who will remain free pending appeal, was convicted of transferring money from Cali cartel leader Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela to jailed cartel members and their families to ensure their loyalty and silence.

Abbell, 58, headed Justice's effort to extradite Colombian drug smugglers before becoming their attorney more than a dozen years ago. The now-defunct cartel made about $40 million a month shipping cocaine into the United States from 1983 to 1991.

Abbell and William Moran, a lawyer, were convicted in July of conspiracy to commit racketeering and laundering drug money. U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler threw out the racketeering convictions last month.