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Archive for December 23rd, 2011

Weekend Series on Crime: The Philly Mob

NY Assemblyman Indicted for Bribes

William Boyland Jr./ gov photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A New York state Assemblyman has been charged by a federal grand jury for soliciting more than $250,000 in bribes, reports the New York Post.

William F. Boyland, Jr. is charged with soliciting more than $250,000 in bribes in order to fast-track development deals and to help a carnival company, the Post reported.  Boyland and his aide Ry-ann Hermon were arrested last month by FBI agents on an array of corruption charges.

Indictments were secured on Wednesday by Brooklyn federal prosecutors on 19 counts each, including fraud, bribery and extortion. Hermon was also charged individually on two additional counts for attempting to shake down a carnival to line his own pockets, aside from bribing the carnival company for Boyland’s benefit.

To read more click here.

Dept. of Corrections Employee Accused of Aiding Heroin Dealer

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Seattle Department of Corrections worker wasn’t acting so correctly, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Corrections Officer Christian Knight is charged with providing suspected heroin and meth drug dealer Todd Hamilton, a convicted felon with connections to the Aryan Nation,  “security” and intelligence on investigations, according to court documents. Hamilton was on probation. Knight is no longer with the Corrections Department.

A detailed 120-page criminal complaint, which also names Hamilton as a defendant,  showed that Knight provided sensitive investigative information via texts.  Knight is also accused of delivering heroin for the drug organization, the Post-Intelligencer reported.

Hamilton and several suspects were affiilated with “The Hated,” an Aryan Nation-affiliated gang operating in state prisons, according to charges unsealed this week.

“This drug-trafficking organization damaged many lives with the heroin and methamphetamine they spread in our communities,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement. “This conspiracy thrived on threats and violence, and used a corrupted former corrections officer to try to avoid arrest.”

To read more click here.

ATF Changes Policy, Gun Control Advocates Unhappy

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The ATF is loosening restrictions on the sale of guns to noncitizens, reports the New York Times.

Justice Department lawyers have decided that a rule requiring noncitizens to document that they have lived in a state for at least 90 days has no legal basis, according to a letter sent to firearms dealers on Thursday, reports the Times.

Citizens also must generally be residents in the states they purchase firearms in, but the 90-day rule does not apply to them.

“Once the regulations have been revised, both U.S. citizens and aliens legally present in the U.S. will be subject to the same requirements for state residency and proof of residency,” the A.T.F. said in the letter.

Gun control advocates such as Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, had immediate criticism of the move. The change in law “defies common sense and puts Americans at risk” by making it easier for foreign terrorists to buy guns in the US, said Lautenberg, the Times reported.

To read more click here.

Feds Hand Out Seized Money to Local Law Enforcement

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It was more than just a stocking stuffer. Federal agents gave more than $1.2 million in confiscated drug money to five police agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

The money came from a former medical marijuana dispensary in the area. DEA and IRS agents announced the holiday gift from the US Department of Treasury Asset Forfeiture Fund from a federal building in Oakland, Calif.

“This is a true holiday gift,” said Hayward Police Chief Diane Urban, according to the paper. Her department received the largest payment, nearly $475,000.

“The assets forfeiture program is one of the federal government’s most effective tools against drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime,” said Scott O’Briant, IRS-Criminal Investigations Special Agent in Charge, according to the paper. “The program disrupts and dismantles criminal enterprises by seizing their assets” and then distributes those resources to local law enforcement to help fight crime.

To read more click here.

 

 

FBI Suspects “Geezer Bandit” Ain’t Such a Geezer: Looking for Customers Who Bought Elderly Mask

fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Dumfounded by the success of the “Geezer Bandit” — a prolific bank robber who appears to be in his 70s — the FBI in Southern California  is now aggressively pursuing the theory that he is actually a younger man who has donned a mask while sticking up 16 banks in the San Diego area since August 2009.

The LA Times reports that investigators in the case have served a search warrant at a costume store in the San Luis Obispo area. The warrant asks for a list of customers who bought a mask known as “The Elder.”

After the last robbery on Dec. 2 in San Luis Obispo, Calif., the FBI issued a statement, according to the paper, stating:

“The robber was described as someone who appeared to be an elderly white male, but may have been wearing a synthetic-like mask and gloves to conceal his true physical characteristics.”

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