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Archive for February 23rd, 2011

FBI Busts 17 Baltimore Cops in Towing-Car Repair Scheme


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI on Wednesday busted 17 Baltimore cops in an extortion scheme involving  two brothers who own a car repair, the Baltimore Sun reported.

The Sun reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint alleging that the brothers paid the cops to arrange for their company to tow cars at accident scenes, rather than city-authorized companies. The brothers also did the repairs on the cars.

An FBI affidavit alleged that the scheme had been going on since 2009.

The charges triggered some reader comments on the Baltimore Sun website including this one:

“Boy I’m so glad I retired in May, I’m so ashamed to have even been a part of the organization, when I see all the negative stuff going on there. I can’t help but feel that due to the consistently high attrition rate the place will always be sub standard. With the economy and all I understand money is a non issue but the working conditions have always been deplorable. I honestly feel so sorry for the citizens, they deserve so much better, COME ON LADIES AND GENTLEMAN OF THE AGENCY, HAVE SOME PRIDE!”

Read the Criminal Complaint

Mexican Authorities Nab 1 Suspect in Slaying of ICE Agent; Authorities Have Indentified Others

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mexican authorities say they have nabbed a suspect in the slaying of ICE agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico last week, the Associated Press reported. Another agent was wounded after being shot twice in the leg.

The Mexican Defense Department issued a brief statement Wednesday but provided no details, AP reported. The two men were ambushed while driving back to Mexico City.

AP, citing a U.S. law enforcement official familiar with the investigation, reported that authorities have identified a “handful” of people in connection with the shooting in northern Mexico. Zapata and the wounded agent Victor Avila were assigned to the ICE attache in Mexico City.

The suspects appear to have ties to the drug cartels, AP reported.

Ex-U.S. Atty and Current Gov. Chris Christie Tries to End Speculation About Presidential Bid: There’s “Zero Chance”

Christopher Christie/campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-New Jersey U.S. Attorney and current Governor Chris Christie tried Wednesday to put an end to speculation that he might make a bid for president as a Republican in 2012.

Appearing on NBC’s Today show, Christie, 48, told Ann Curry:

“There is no chance , zero chance, under any circumstances. Close the door, nail it shut…The fact is I’m not running.”

Curry then asked the beefy governor about his weight loss, which has fueled speculation about a presidential bid.

“You’re also losing weight, how much?” asked an insistent Curry.

“We don’t give numbers out Ann, we set ourselves up for failure,” he said, as Curry kept pressing him. “Look at you , you don’t have to worry about it.”

I feel better,” he added about his weight loss. “What’s most important is I started to do this because I have four children between 7 and 17 and I want to be here for them for the long haul. They’re not worried about the numbers and neither am I. It’s that I’m feeling better, we’re moving in the right direction. Just like New Jersey. We’re not better yet, but were moving in the right direction.”

He was elected governor in November 2009 and served as U.S. Attorney from 2002 to 2008.

19 Firearms Found Last Week at U.S. Airport Checkpoints

gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — As part of an occasional snapshot of what’s going on at our nation’s airports, ticklethewire.com periodically publishes stats on activity at checkpoints.

For the week of Feb. 14-20, the Transportation Security Administration reported that 19 firearms were found at checkpoints along with two “artfully concealed prohibited items.”

Additionally, six passengers were arrested following an investigation for suspicious behavior or for possession of fraudulent travel documents, the TSA reported.

Internal Probe Targets Several at ICE For Alleged Misconduct

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A splash of trouble is bubbling over at ICE.

The Center for Investigative Reporting reports in the Washington Post that several several agents at  Immigration and Customs Enforcement,  including the ex-head of its intelligence office, have been the target of an internal investigation into personal misconduct.

The journalistic investigative reporting unit reported that James M. Woosley, ICE’s assistant director for intelligence, “was relieved of his position.” The unit reported that several other mid- to low-level ICE employees are the target of the probe and that matter with Woosley has to do with travel. The report did not provide more details of the alleged wrongdoing.

To read more click here.

Disney Secretary Sentenced for Leaking Insider Financial Info

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Disneyland is normally associated with fun and happiness.

Well, ex-Disney secretary Bonnie Hoxie is anything but happy.

A tearful Hoxie was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to four months of home confinement — she could have gotten 4 to 10 months in prison — for leaking inside financial information about Disney to her boyfriend, the New York Daily News reported.

The paper reported that she told the judge she was “blindsided by love” and fell for a phony Prince Charming who ended up getting busted after trying to peddle the insider info to an undercover FBI agent posing as a hedge-fund executive.

“It was completely irresponsible; it was completely bad judgment,” Hoxie, according to the Daily News.

ACLU and Muslims Sue FBI For Spying at Calif. Mosque

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The ACLU and a Muslim group filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles federal court against the FBI and seven of its agents, alleging that a paid bureau informant violated the constitutional rights of hundreds of Muslims when he infiltrated a California mosque and indiscriminately conducted surveillance, the Washington Post reported.

The lawsuit focuses on informant Craig Monteilh. The suit alleged that he was ordered by his FBI handlers to spy on the group, the Post reported.

The suit seeks class action status and unspecified damages, the Post reported.

“The FBI should be spending its time and resources investigating actual threats, not spying on every American who happens to worship at a mosque,” Peter Bibring, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California said, according to the Post.

FBI officials declined comment, according to the Post.

To read more click here.

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