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Archive for February 22nd, 2012

One of Detroit’s Best Known Mobsters Who was Questioned in Hoffa Case Dies at Age 88

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Vito “Billy Jack” Giacalone, one of best known Detroit mobsters, whose criminal career spanned many decades, and who was questioned in the Jimmy Hoffa disappearance in 1975, died Sunday at age 88.

The Detroit News reported that the family held a funeral mass on Tuesday at St. Thecla Catholic Church in Clinton Township, a suburb north of Detroit.

Authorities suspected that Giacaoline and his brother Anthony knew what happened to Hoffa. But they never expected the guy snitch.

“He might have known what happened and may have taken that to the grave with him, but I never expected to get anything out of him,” Keith Corbett, former chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Organized Crime Strike Force in Detroit told the News “He wasn’t going to talk.”

 My Encounter With Vito Giacalone

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
I remember mobster Vito “Billy Jack” Giacalone’s icy stare in federal court.It was the 1990s. I was a reporter at the Detroit News and Giacaoline had just been sentenced for some IRS charge. As he was walking to the elevator, I went up to him and said: “Mr Giacaoline, would you care to comment?” He gave me an icy stare.I got the message.A short time later, before he went off to prison, I worked on a profile piece on him for the paper. I called his attorney to see if he would comment.

His attorney said he’s sure he didn’t want to. I said, I know, but the paper wants me to ask.

His attorney said he’s on the golf course, I’ll call him. The attorney called me back and said: “He doesn’t want to comment.”

I responded: “What did he say?” His attorney said: “He’s not happy you’re doing the story.”

I figured he wouldn’t be thrilled.

Fundraising Efforts Continue for Family of Wounded DEA Agent Joe Piersante

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Efforts to help the family of Joe Piersante, a DEA agent wounded in Afghanistan last year while on a mission, is continuing.

Besides raising money through t-shirt sales,  people are being encouraged to contribute directly to the family by sending a check  to JFCU at the following address and endorsement for their contribution:

Justice Federal Credit Union, 5175 Parkstone Drive, Suite 200, Chantilly, VA 20151

Check should be made payable to: Joe Piersante Warrior Fund. Endorse Check “For Deposit” Account Number: 11000002132840.

The DEA said that Piersante was operating in Helmand Province Afghanistan on a counter-narcotics mission along with a combined task force of Afghan National Units along with Australian Special Operations Forces when he encountered Taliban insurgents.

Piersante was struck in the head with a 7.62 mm round, which penetrated his ballistic helmet, passed through both frontal lobes of his brain and caused severe trauma to both optical nerves.

The DEA says he has progressed and is home, but will need to undergo months of intensive rehabilitation.

Here’s how to get the t-shirt to help the family : Pre-Order Sale. Contact Randy Updegraff @ JPWarriorFund@comcast.net or a POC in your area to consolidate orders. Request payment in advance; checks made out to Randy Updegraff in order to better able to facilitate production of the shirts and gauge demand. Denote quantity and size in orders: (2XL, XL, L, M.) Remit Payment to DEA Philadelphia, 600 Arch Street, Suite 10224, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Attn: Randy Updegraff (Group 2).

People are urged to include a mailing address and e-mail address with each order. Orders will be placed on March 1.

 

Ex-FBI Official Don Clark Says Mexico’s Drug Violence Our Problem Too

British Intelligence Assisted FBI in Tracking Charlie Chaplin

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

MI5, the British intelligence agency, cooperated with J Edgar Hoover’s FBI in tracking the actor Charlie Chaplin in the 1950s for alleged communist sympathies, reports the Guardian.

Describing Chaplin as “Hollywood’s parlour Bolsheviks,” the FBI asked MI5 for cooperation in having him banned from the US. MI5 put together “extensive personal files” on the actor, files which are now being released publicly, according to the Guardian.

“Chaplin has given funds to communist front organisations … He has been involved in paternity and abortion cases,” a Washington-based MI5 liaison warned in October of 1952.

“There is a great deal of good in communism. We can use the good and segregate the bad,” Chaplin had told an American Soviet group in Los Angeles in, according to the files.

Eventually, MI5 found no evidence of Chaplin being a threat.

“We have no trace in our records of this man, nor are we satisfied that there are any reliable grounds for regarding him as a security risk,” Sir Percy Sillitoe, then head of MI5, told the chief police commissioner in South Africa, where Chaplin was planning a visit,according to the paper.

To read more click here.

Comedian David Cross Claims he Snorted Coke Under the Table Near Obama at White House Correspondents Dinner

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

David Cross, the stand-up comic and star of TV shows “Mr. Show” and “Arrested Development”, claims he snorted a very small amount of cocaine in the same banquet room where President Barack Obama and his Secret Service agents were in 2009, reports FOX news. He reportedly did it under the table.

The incident occurred at the White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner, where Cross attended as the “plus one” to his actress girlfriend Amber Tamblyn. FOX sources the March issue of Playboy magazine as the place where Cross, who has told parts of the story elsewhere already, disclosed the whole of the details.

“It was a tiny granule of coke that I put on my wrist and said, ‘Watch this. I need a witness.’ And then I ducked under the table and did it,” said Cross. “It wasn’t like I got high,” he said, likening the effect to the that of “licking an empty espresso cup … It was just about being able to say that I did it, that I did cocaine in the same room as the president,” Cross said. “I’m not proud of it, nor am I ashamed of it.”

He said his only regret was getting Tamblyn effectively blacklisted from White House events. ”I was her date, her plus-one, and she got dragged through the mud because of what I did,” he said. “She had nothing to do with it. She didn’t know I was going to do it. And because of that she’ll never be invited to the White House again. That’s not cool.”

To read more click here.

Payday: $29.5 in Forfeited Money Distributed to Law Enforcement Across Texas

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It’s payday, thanks to a Mexican drug cartel.

The bulk of $29.5 million in money seized by federal authorities from a Mexican cartel boss has been handed out in “asset sharing” funds by ICE, DEA, FBI and other federal agencies to law enforcement agencies across the state of Texas to combat drug cartels, reports the Washington Times.

Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, the former boss of the Gulf drug cartel, forfeited the money as a result of  a February 2010 court order, according to the Times. Guillen was sentenced to 25 years in November of 2010 for threatening to assault two US agents a deputy sheriff from Cameron County, Tex.

“With equitable asset-sharing like this, federal and local law enforcement can really turn the tables on the bad guys,” said James Dinkins, ICE executive director and head of the agency’s Homeland Security Investigations Division. “We simply take their illegal profits and invest them in local law enforcement efforts.”

To read more click here.

 

Over the Top: Ohio Woman Solicited FBI Undercover Agent to Kill a Fur Lover

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Here’s an animal rights policy even PETA wouldn’t back: a Cleveland Heights woman is being charged with soliciting a hit man to randomly kill someone wearing a fur product, reports FOX Cleveland.

Meredith Marie Lowell, 27, was arrested shortly after the charges were announced on Tuesday, Special Agent with the FBI Stephen D. Anthony said.

Lowell had spoken over the internet with an undercover FBI agent several times seeking to have the agent carry out the murder so she could highlight her anti-fur stance, Fox reported.

To read more click here.

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