Crime Safety

Murder, Investigation, Child Pornopgraphy, Costa Rica Costa Rica has Experienced an Alarming Rise in Child Pornography Cases

As if novel coronavirus COVID-19 weren’t enough to worry about, the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) announced earlier this week that there has been a disturbing increase in child pornography cases in Costa Rica between 2014-2019, as reported by Interpol Crimes Against Children Taskforce. In 2015, 43 cases were investigated of child pornography, but that number has now risen to 137 cases....

Identity theft costa rica American man Steals Identity and Pretends to be Costa Rican for 12 Years

Floridian native Robert Allen Wright has spent the last twelve years living as a Costa Rican, after having stolen the identity of Costa Rican, Jose Humberto Howell Brokke. Wright (50 years old), managed to marry a naturalized Costa Rican named Gloria Patricia Hernandez Navaez, and they had one child together. Navaez is originally from Colombia. She and Wright were working together in their own rea...

Indigenous murder Costa Rica Brutal Bloodshed, Murder, Rape and Torture of Indigenous From Costa Rica

When the call came into the police precinct in Panama City, Prosecutor Rafael Baloyes groaned: another group of indigenous, newly wandered across the Costa Rica-Panama border, and already in trouble. What his men discovered once they hacked their way through the jungle to the tribe’s encampment was nothing like any of them had ever seen. They found an outdoor torture chamber, within the chapel gro...

Missing person Christian Tijerino American-Costa Rican Citizen Missing in Costa Rica

The Judiciary Investigative Police (OIJ) is requiring the assistance of the citizenship to locate the man in the photo included here, his name is Christian Tijerino López, he is 33 years of age and has been missing since Tuesday, February 18. Tijerino is an American-Costa Rican citizen, he has family in Costa Rica and frequently travels between both countries. He arrived to Costa Rica in Decem...

Tourists Arrested at Costa Rican Airport With 1,087 Marijuana Chocolate Bars

Officers of the Costa Rican Drug Control Police (PCD) of the Ministry of Public Security captured two men with 1,087 bars and 9 pieces of chocolate containing marijuana as they were trying to leave the country through the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste. The confiscated bars weighed a total 83 kilograms and 652 grams. The men arrested are a Canadian with the last name...

Costa Rica Cocaine Drug Police Seize Largest Load of Cocaine in the History of Costa Rica

Policia de Control de Drogas (PCD), a drug interdiction arm of the Ministry of Security, not unlike the US DEA, made the biggest drug bust in the history of Costa Rica. The operation took place on February 14th, but there was so much cocaine to process that it took them all night to examine and count. A shipping container vessel was searched in the Port of Moin, and almost six tons of cocaine were...

Missing Expats in Costa Rica American Expat Tandra Joy Thorbeck Found Dead in Costa Rica

At about 5PM Saturday night, the word came from neighbors of missing American Tandra Joy Thorbeck, that they had discovered the remains of what they thought was Thorbeck, within walking distance of her home. The body was accompanied by personal belongings of hers, making it more likely that they had indeed found Tandra’s final resting spot. The remains were found on a side road perpendicular to th...

La Reina Del Sur Costa Rica La Reina Del Sur: Who Will Fill the Shoes While Incarcerated in Costa Rica

This is the fifth installment of The Costa Rica Star’s exclusives six part original series of the upcoming book, “Drug Diva”, by Carol Vaughn the story of one of Central America’s fiercest female narco-traffickers, Cristel Gomez Espinoza. You can read our previous published first installment here , the second installment here third installment here and fourth here. Cristel Yariella Gomez Espino...

Reina del sur, queen of the south,Sandra Avila Beltran, Cristel Gomez Espinoza La Reina Del Sur: Inspiration for Costa Rica’s Drug Diva

This is the fourth installment of The Costa Rica Star’s exclusives six part original series of the upcoming book, “Drug Diva”, by Carol Vaughn the story of one of Central America’s fiercest female narco-traffickers, Cristel Gomez Espinoza. You can read our previous published first installment here , the second installment here and the third here. Mexican beauty Sandra Avila Beltran was having c...

Costa rica crime, murder, airbnb Accused Murderer of American Tourist in Costa Rica Carla Stefaniak Confessed

The first witness to testify on Monday, January 27th, at the murder trial of Bismark Espinoza Martinez, accused killer of Venezuelan/American tourist Carla Stefaniak, was the cleaning lady at the hotel where Carla was killed, Karla Gonzalez. Both Gonzalez and Espinoza were employees at Villas Le Mas in Escazu. Karla’s best friend, Veronica Espinoza, is Bismark’s mother, and had recommended him for...

Costa Rica Crime French Tourist Stabbed to Death in Playas del Coco Costa Rica

A 48-year-old French tourist identified as Christophe Jean Lietaert was stabbed to death in Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The crime occurred the afternoon of Wednesday, January 23 when apparently Lietaert was with two other men when apparently they began arguing about the French man’s cell phone, at some point one of the men took out a knife and attacked the foreigner injuring him in...

Costa Rica USA Drug Trafficking Costa Rica has Managed to Seize Historic Amounts of Drugs

As a result of the joint patrolling operations with the United States,Costa Rica has managed to seize historic amounts of drugs in the past two years that sum over 81 tons of cocaine and marijuana. The information was released by the Minister of Public Security, Michael Soto, during a visit this week of the US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo to the Joint Operations Center in the Juan Santama...

Queen of the South, Drug Cartel in Costa Rica La Reina Del Sur: Costa Rica’s Drug Diva Sorority

This is the third installment of The Costa Rica Star’s exclusives six part original series of the upcoming book, “Drug Diva”, by Carol Vaughn the story of one of Central America’s fiercest female narco-traffickers, Cristel Gomez Espinoza. You can read our previous published first installment here and the second installment here. It is well known how dangerous La Reina del Sur de Costa Rica is –...

Card Fraud Costa Rica The Costa Rica Vacation Scam: $5000 Ice Cream

Costa Rica recently was reclassified from a Level 1 country (Take normal security precautions), to a Level 2 country (Take greater security precautions), for the year 2020. Other Level 2 countries include Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. This reclassification came as a huge surprise to Costa Rican government officials, who boast of a reduction in crimes – especially vi...

La Reina Del Sur: How Costa Rica’s Drug Diva Ascended the Throne

This is the second installment of The Costa Rica Star’s exclusives six part original series of the upcoming book, “Drug Diva”, by Carol Vaughn, scheduled to be released towards the end of the year. You can read the first instalment here Cristel Yariella Gomez Espinoza, aka, La Reina del Sur de Costa Rica, was born into narco aristocracy Her father, brother, uncle, husband, boyfriends and other...

Ann bender 4th trial in costa rica Will They Successfully Bring Ann Bender Back to Costa Rica for a Fourth Murder Trial

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again – and expecting different results.” This week Costa Rica’s Justice Department and Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), announced through press releases and wanted posters that they are once again on the hunt for the American widow of John Felix Bender where they are looking at putting her on trial for the 4th...

US Costa Rica Travel Alert The US Elevates the Travel Alert for Costa Rica

The United States Government elevated the travel alert for Costa Rica from a Level 1: Exercise Normal Caution to a Level 2: Exercise increased caution in Costa Rica due to crime. "While petty crime is the predominant threat for tourists in Costa Rica, violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault, occurs in Costa Rica. The Costa Rican government provides additional securit...

Costa Rican Female Cartel Leader La Reina del Sur: Costa Rica’s Most Notorious Female Cartel Leader

The Costa Rica Star will be publishing an original exclusive six part series from the upcoming book "Drug Diva", by Star reporter Carol Vaughn, author of "Crazy Jungle Love". These sneak-preview excerpts document the astonishing saga of Cristel Gomez Espinoza, one of Central America's most dangerous and powerful drug capos. Look for the entire book to be released at the end of 2020. Tuesday, A...

Drugs, Cartels, Submarines, Cartel Drug Submarines are Back on the Beaches in Costa Rica

The Star reported in May 2019 on the emergence of “Drug Subs”, semi-submersibles that are tooling the waters between Colombia and Costa Rica, bringing tons of cocaine en route to the USA. US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials expressed concern that the number of drug subs was increasing, and in fact, it was reported in December that eight subs had been either abandoned on the beach in Costa R...

Two Women Arrested for Stealing Money From US Tourist in Costa Rica

The Judiciary Investigative Police (OIJ) confirmed the arrest of two women suspected of stealing $4,000.00 (USD)  between cash and the use of his credit card. Apparently the tourist of last name Atwood and a native of the United States met the two women in a bar in downtown San Jose and invited them to his hotel room. At some point during the night the women gave the man a sleeping pill without...

Costa Rican Orchid Smugglers Costa Rican Orchids: A Goldmine for Illegal Smugglers

Orchid poachers are called “Materos”, from the word matas, or plants, and they operate in Costa Rica much like drug dealers, with similar profits. They live under the radar, changing their phone numbers frequently, and going into the most remote and dangerous areas of Costa Rica’s rain forests and jungles, in pursuit of rare and exotic orchids to sell on the black market. Orchid collectors’ obsess...

Costa Rica Sexual Abuse Costa Rican Pastor Arrested in Las Vegas for Sexual Abuse of a Minor

A Costa Rican pastor was arrested by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police in Nevada, USA as a suspect of sexually abusing a child under 14 years of age. Bramwell Bernardo Retana Reyes, age 44, a pastor of the local church Iglesia Cristiana Oasis de Paz, now faces seven counts of lewdness and one count each of sexual assault of a child under 14, luring a child with a computer to engage in a sexual ...

United States Costa Rica Donations The US Continues to Support Costa Rica’s Fight Against Drug Trafficking

The United States continues to offer its support to Costa Rica in its fight against drug trafficking and transnational crimes. For the first time in history, Costa Rica purchased a Maritime Patrol Aircraft using Air Surveillance Service funds. This aircraft, thanks to the U.S. government, is also equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The King Air 250 is joining the fight against drug tr...

Human Trafficking Costa Rica Does Not Meet Minimum Standards For Elimination of Human Trafficking

The U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report 2019 gives information on which countries are making improvements in tackling human trafficking, Costa Rica still placed in Tier 2, the same position it held last year. “The Government of Costa Rica does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated i...

Organ Smugglers are Back at it Again in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has cultivated a reputation as a medical tourism mecca. Patients come from all over the world to take advantage of the highly trained medical teams operating in Costa Rican hospitals, at prices often lower than in other countries. Now there’s a return of a problem first discovered in 2017: illegal organ trafficking. The illegal organ trafficking business was first brought to light tw...

Costa Rica Drugs Costa Rican Authorities Seize Over a Ton of Marijuana

Costa Rican authorities from the Ministry of Public Security seized over a ton of marijuana and packages of cocaine and arrested three people aboard a vessel intercepted in waters of the Pacific. The National Coastguard Service reported the interception of the suspicious fast boat close to Drake Bay in the South Pacific of Costa Rica. Officers found 46 bags which after inspection by the Drug C...

Costa Rica Airport Surprise Ending for Two Americans Arrested on Thanksgiving at SJO Airport in Costa Rica

On Thanksgiving, two American citizens were detained at Juan Santamaria Airport under suspicion of money laundering. Their names are Collin Andrew Skees (25) and Benjamin Edward Howze (41). They were traveling to the United States with $644,344 in clean bills, wrapped like drugs are often smuggled, in layers of plastic, all tucked among clean changes of underwear for Skees and Howze, in their carr...

Costa Rica Airport Thanksgiving Arrest of Two Americans at Juan Santa Maria Airport in Costa Rica

Two American citizens were arrested at Juan Santamaria Airport on Thursday, November 28, and charged with money laundering. They arrived on a flight from Los Angeles, but were scheduled to fly out again two hours later on a flight to Atlanta. They are a 25-year old with last name of Skees, and a 41-year old with the last name of Howze. They were carrying more than turkey stuffing: between the two ...

Costa Rica Money Laundering Americans Try to Enter Costa Rica With Over Half a Million USD in Cash

Two American men tried to enter Costa Rica through the Juan Santamaria International Airport carrying a total of $644,344.00 in their carry-on luggage. The information was confirmed by the Ministry of Public Security. Apparently one of the men is 25 years old and of last name Skees and the second one is 41 years of age and surname Howze. Both man have a clean criminal record. According to ...

5 Dimes Tony, kidnap, murder,costa rica Kidnap and Murder of American Expat in Costa Rica Still Under Investigation

The owner of the sportsbook company 5Dimes was kidnapped on September 24, 2018, on his way home from work after having dropped off an employee in Granadilla, Curridabat, at about 10PM. Then he disappeared. Not too many hours after Creighton’s kidnap, his wife began receiving ransom calls. The kidnappers demanded $5 million dollars. They wanted it paid in virtual currency, specifically in Bitcoi...

Costa Rica Drug Traffic International Drug Trafficker Detained in Drake Bay Costa Rica

A man with the last name Rojas Mendiola, a resident of Drake Bay in Osa, Puntarenas was detained by the Judicary Investigative Police (OIJ) as a suspect of working with a Colombian drug trafficking group assisting in the logistics to transport drugs coming from Colombia and going to North America. The drug trafficking group which has established operations in Costa Rica moved cocaine and mariju...

2019 and 2020 Crime in Costa Rica October 2019 was a Blood Bath of Violent Crimes in Costa Rica

Between October 7 and November 7, 2019, Costa Rica has recorded 63 violent deaths – a murder every 12 hours – according to the OIJ (Organismo de Investigacion Judicial). They report a total of 476 homicides to date, an increase from the 413 homicides reported last year, despite an expanded police force and repeated pledges by the Minister of Security that homicide rates were going to drop. What...

Crime, Jamaica, Costa Rica Are Dangerous Jamaican Criminals Seeking Refuge in Costa Rica?

Jamaican police reported earlier this month that the leaders of several criminal gangs in Jamaica have left their little island, and relocated to Costa Rica where they are allegedly living quite the high life, while continuing their dangerous criminal activities. The OIJ (Organismo de Investigacion) has been analyzing this situation over the last five years – especially the unusual number of Jamai...

Costa Rica Cocaine Traffic Belgium Costa Rican Police Finds One Ton of Cocaine In Container Destined to Belgium

Costa Rican Drug Control Police (PCD) detected during one of their routine revisions at APM Terminals in Limon a total of 954 kilograms of cocaine inside a container carrying a legal load of banana pulp with lemon concentrate. According to the information released by the Ministry of Public Security, the 20 feet container had Belgium as its destination. Agents of the PCD detected 29 briefcases h...

Costa Rica Drug Traffic Boat Carrying 1,410 Kilos of Cocaine Intercepted in Costa Rica

A boat carrying 1,410 kilograms of cocaine was intercepted in waters of the South Pacific of Costa Rica and three Colombian men were arrested. The Costa Rican Coast Guard service had the assistance of the Colombian National Army, the authorities caught up with the vessel 13 nautical miles from Boca Chica, in the Terraba-Sierpe Wetland area in Sierpe, Osa, Puntarenas, the boat was then transfer...

Three Americans on Vacation in Costa Rica Killed by Drunk Driver

Early Saturday morning, three American tourists and their Costa Rican van driver were killed in a head- on vehicular crash near La Cruz, Guanacaste. They were traveling in a minivan, when they were hit by a truck driven by a Salvadoran citizen, who remains unidentified. The three who were killed were a 46-year old couple by the last name of Niemiec, and their 50-year old fellow passenger whose las...

Michael Dixon Costa Rica Costa Rica Mystery: UK Reporter Still Missing After 10 Years

Ten years have gone by with the family of British journalist Michael Dixon, who vanished in Costa Rica on 18 October 2009, still not knowing what happened to him and if he is alive or dead. "I will never stop thinking about Michael and I will never rest until I know what happened to my son. If anyone has any information, it's not too late to speak out," Michael's mother, Lynn Dixon, said. ...

Online Gamblin crime in costa rica Fraudulent American Charged With Illegal Gambling Business in Costa Rica

The U.S. Attorney’s office of Chicago has charged an American with conducting an illegal sports gambling operation based in Costa Rica, according to a 14-count indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Chicago, on October 11th. The accused was operating under the names Michael Frontier, Ira Goldberg, Brian Seagel, and Mathew Sullivan. He is also accused of hiding his personal gambling profits ...

prison. cell phones The Clever new way to Smuggle Cell Phones Into Costa Rican Prisons

Costa Rican prisons are often just temporary residences for criminals who are sentenced to extended jail time, but manage to get their sentences reduced and return to their lives of crime in short order. Many maintain their criminal activities while serving prison time, remaining the leaders of their gangs, and continuing whatever illegal activities they were involved in on the outside. Remaining ...

Costa Rica Police Chase Tourist Catches Police Chase on Video in San Jose Costa Rica

Gary Krause was filming a video in front of the Plaza de la Democracia in San Jose, Costa Rica when he accidentally caught  police chasing and catching a man. The video was being shot by Krause, a native of England who lives in the United States, for a religious show that airs in the United States, as he is giving a little information on the National Museum, in the background police appear chas...