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Secret Service Threatened to ‘Go for Kill Shot’ if New York Mets Mascot Approached President Clinton in 1997

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service threatened to shoot the New York Mets’ mascot with a sniper if he approached then-President Bill Clinton in 1997, the New York Daily News reports.

AJ Mass, who once wore the Mr. Met costume, detailed the account in his new memoir, “Yes, It’s Hot in Here — Adventures in the Weird, Wooly World of Sports Mascots.”

The threat came after he couldn’t squeeze his costume’s dome-sized head through a metal detector at Shea Stadium, where the president was honoring Jackie Robinson.

“We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” the agent warned. “Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. But approach the President, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?”

Mass said he couldn’t believe the reaction.

Feds Arrest Numerous Suspects in Case of Revenge Kidnapping in North Carolina

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI wasted no time tracking down a group of men accused of a revenge kidnapping of a North Carolina man.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the latest suspect to be arrested plans to confess to the violent scheme that allegedly was orchestrated by Kelvin Melton, an inmate serving a life sentence for a murder plot.

According to authorities, Melton wanted revenge on Colleen Janssen, the North Carolina prosecutor in his murder trial. Two men and two women drove from Atlanta to Wake Forest to abduct Janssen’s father, Frank Arthur Janssen.

At least six people have been arrested so far in connection with the kidnapping plot.

 

Justice for Sept. 11 Victims Could Be Years Away As Terrorism Case Hits Yet Another Legal Snag

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The first – and maybe only – trial of those accused of orchestrating and financing the Sept. 11 attacks has hit yet another legal snag that could delay the case for years.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the 9/11 conspiracy case against five suspects at Guantanamo Bay is mired in controversy related to the defense team for the suspected mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

The defense team earlier this week accused the FBI of trying to turn one of the lawyers into an informant.

Then on Thursday, the judge in the case confirmed that the defense team is under investigation for alleged wrongdoing.

The sluggish pace of the case has frustrated victims of the terrorist attacks.

Border Patrol Agent Assaulted by Suspected Illegal Immigrant Carrying 45-Inch Stake

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent pursuing two men suspected of entering the country illegally was assaulted by one of them carrying a 45-inch wooden stake in the San Diego community of Otay Mesa, the U-T San Diego reports.

Agents spotted two men leap out of bushes and run. While one surrendered, the suspect with the wooden stake did not.

As one of the agents caught up with the fleeing suspect, a fight ensued. The man kicked the agent in the face and swung at him with fists.

Other agents caught up with the suspect and arrested him.

Gang Land News: Ex-New York Mobster Alleges that Rev. Al Sharpton Was the Mob’s Go to Guy

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ex-mobster who became a man of the cloth tells Gang Land News that Rev. Al Sharpton  used his ties to the mob to make money, and Sharpton was the mob’s hired gun.

Ex-Colombo crime family Capo Michael Franzese tells Jerry Capeci of Gang Land News that Sharpton used his influence with black entertainers to get cash payoffs from mobsters and mob-connected firms.

He allegedly helped recruit entertainers for a record label with mob ties.  Sharpton insists he had no idea whether some people had mob ties.

Franzese also alleged that Sharpton helped him in a union organizing scam. Franzese planned to unionize hotel security guards in Atlantic City and needed Sharpton’s help.

“I told Sharpton about it. I told him we were going to picket at one of the hotels and needed his help. It was a long time ago, but I remember like it was yesterday. He said, ‘Mike, for the right price, I’ll have six busloads of the nastiest looking n—- down there as quick as you can say Al Sharpton. I’ll have them slamming the front doors of those hotels day and night.”

“Everybody on the street knew Sharpton was a gun for hire,” Franzese told Gang Land.

Sharpton told Gang Land News that Franzese was the “biggest liar” and denied being involved in any mob-related union organizing campaign.

Gang Land News is a paid subscription site, but worth it.

 

Parker: More Info on the Downside of Smoking Marijuana Including Impact on Brain Structure of Young Adults

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. 

Ross Parker

 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

A recent study by researchers from Northwestern University and Harvard University Medical School has concluded that even moderate use of marijuana by young adults affects the structure of their brains.

The study, published in the April 16, 2014 Journal of Neuroscience, found that the size and shape of the region of the brain involved in emotion and motivation were abnormal in these casual users compared to non-users. Further, the more an individual uses marijuana, the more pronounced these structural changes are.

The study is significant because most of the recent studies showing the effects of marijuana on the brain were performed with heavy rather than casual users. The study joins the increased amount of recent scientific and medical evidence that marijuana use, especially for young brains, has unhealthy side effects. As reported the last few months in this column, these reports have shown:

  • The tripling of calls to Poison Centers in states that have legalized marijuana in some form about young children who have ingested marijuana (University of Maryland, Center for Substance Abuse Research)
  •  Dramatic increase in the need for medical intervention for children in states that have decriminalized marijuana use (American College of Emergency Physicians)
  • The marijuana addiction rate for youth is 17%, three times that of adults (American Society of Addiction Medicine)
  • In medical marijuana states, one-third of the 12th graders report that one of their sources of supply is from adults with a medical marijuana prescription (University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research)
  • Increased use of marijuana by American teens and a sharp decline in their perception that marijuana use can be risky (Same source)
  • Use of marijuana during pregnancy affects the baby’s brain (Live Science)
  • Increased statistics of marijuana-related emergency room visits (DAWN)
  • Chronic use of marijuana may result in increased anxiety by down regulating the cannabinoid receptors in the brain (Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Neuron)

After years of very limited research on the medical effects of marijuana, this barrage of recent studies seems to be receiving little attention among state legislatures which are following the trend toward legalization which has changed the national culture in such a short period of time. Twenty years ago marijuana was illegal in all states in all forms. Today two states have legalized recreational use as well as numerous random municipalities, and 21 have authorized its “medical” use. Numerous states are considering similar bills, and the federal policy on enforcement has been altered dramatically by the present administration.

Pro-marijuana advocates are quick to point out their views on the harm of prohibition and the benefits of legalization. If there is to be a full and fair discussion on the future on this issue, the mounting scientific and medical evidence deserve full consideration.

 

FBI Used Drones to Investigate Dog Fighting, Drug Trafficking, But Mum on Other Flights

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI uses controversial drone technology in the U.S. but has refused to identify how often agents deploy the unmanned planes.

Motherboard.com reports that the obscurity of the drone missions has irked privacy advocates.

But now, some of the missions have come to light thanks to documents obtained by MuckRock.

The FBI has used drones to investigate dog fighting operations and drug trafficking and to search for some of the bureau’s 10 most wanted fugitives.

Unfortunately for transparency advocates, the records don’t indicate details of a lot of other cases.

Medical Privacy Laws Hampering Law Enforcement’s Efforts to Crack Down on Drug Deaths

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Law enforcement is struggling to crack down on growing drug abuse because of a lack of recent data on drug deaths, especially from heroin overdoses, NBC News reports.

The problem, which was raised at a gathering of law enforcement Wednesday to discuss drug abuse, is that patient privacy laws are making it difficult for authorities to gather information on patient deaths.

“I don’t care about the names of the individuals, I just need the numbers!” Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsay said at the Police Executive Research Forum.

Information also is lacking on what is sometimes referred to as “drop-offs” at emergency rooms.

Of particular concern is opiate-related deaths because of large spikes in the past two decades.