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Tag: prison

Prison Where 2 Killer Inmates Escaped Is Under Investigation for Alleged Drug Smuggling Ring

Clinton Correctional Facility

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating an alleged drug smuggling ring that operated at the upstate New York prison where two killers escaped, the New York Post reports. 

“The FBI is investigating the prison for drug trafficking. Agents are re-interviewing inmates and prison workers who have already been interviewed by state investigators,” a source familiar with the investigation said.

“This is a vote of no confidence by the feds in the state investigation. And it’s likely the state investigators did not ask pertinent questions regarding the drug trafficking that the FBI is currently asking. The information on the possible drug trafficking came up in the initial interviews conducted by state investigators with inmates and staff,” the source said.

The investigation is exploring other reported crimes at the Clinton Correctional Facility.

Convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped but both were later captured. Matt was shot and killed Friday, and Sweet was wounded and captured Sunday.

DEA Agent Sentenced to 2 Years for Using Fraudulently Issued Government Credit Cards

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent was sentenced to two years in prison Monday after using fraudulently issued government credit cards to steal more than $113,000 from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Keenya Meshell Banks, 41, of Maryland, was earlier convicted of wire fraud.

Banks was a program manager for the DEA and was responsible for approving and issuing government credit cards to DEA employees, the North Dallas Gazette reports.

Banks admitted submitting fake credit card applications using fictitious DEA employees and then using those cards for her person benefit.

In all, Banks said she obtained at least 32 fraudulent credit cards.

Border Patrol Team Hunts Down, Kills 1 of 2 Escaped Murderers in Upstate NY; Second Captured Alive

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol tactical team shot and killed one of two murderers who escaped from a maximum-security prison in upstate New York following a massive three-week manhunt, CNN reports.

Richard Matt was killed Friday in Malone, N.Y.

On Sunday, a New York State trooper shot and wounded the second fugitive, David Sweat, near the Canadian border.

The Border Patrol tactical team was part of a search involving more than 1,000 law enforcement officers in rural towns near the Adirondack Mountains.

The team was searching in the woods when they heard a cough. That’s when Matt emerged with a 20-gauge shotgun. After refusing to comply with verbal commands, Matt was shot and killed

“You never want to see anyone lose their life,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday. “But I would remind people that Mr. Matt was an escaped murderer from a state prison. Mr. Matt killed two people who we know about. Mr. Matt killed his boss in a dispute and dismembered him. He fled to Mexico and then he killed another person in Mexico and was imprisoned in Mexico.”

 

FBI: Private Prison Staff in Idaho Is Incompetent, Not Criminal

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An FBI investigation into a private prison in Idaho uncovered no criminal wrongdoing, but agents did find plenty of incompetence among the staff, the Associated Press reports.

Investigators also found that state and federal officials failed to properly communicate and monitor prison activities.

Following a 15-month public corruption investigation, the Justice Department said it won’t file criminal charges.

At issue was the state’s largest prison, which was operated by Corrections Corporation of America and considered a violent place for inmates.

The FBI was trying to determine whether the company committed fraud by falsifying records and understaffing the prison. Agents also investigating whether officials tried to sabotage the investigation.

The FBI said the missteps mostly occurred among lower-rung staffers who would have nothing to gain by committing fraud.

Boston Marathon Bomber May Be Sentenced to Most Isolated Prison in U.S.

United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX)

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces two likely, grim possibility – the death sentence or life in one of the most destructive prisons in America, “a place so isolating that it has been called a clean version of hell,” NBC News reports. 

The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Colorado, also known as ADX or supermax, is reserved for the most dangerous criminals, such as terrorists.

Tsarnaev’s defense team on Wednesday argued against placing Tsarnaev at ADX, which is a 490-cell prison in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, saying he would become so isolated that he’d be separated from the world forever.

In ADX, prisoners are confined to their cell for 23 hours a day in solitary confinement in 12-by-7-foot cells with a little window and thick walls. Meals are handed through a slot in the door.

“It breaks down the human spirit, it breaks down the human psyche. It breaks your mind,” former supermax inmate Garrett Linderman told CBS’ 60 Minutes in 2009.

 

AG Holder Says Drug Cases Down Because Less Focus on Smaller Offenders

Holder speaks in Philadelphia/doj photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors handled fewer drug prosecutions last year because of a new approach to handling smaller non-violent offenders, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder said at a National Press Club address that prosecutions for drug cases fell 6% last year.

Holder said the feds are placing more focus on larger drug dealers, instead of smaller offenders.

Prior to the change in focus, Holder said drug users were getting sent to prison with no possibility of parole.

“For years prior to this administration, federal prosecutors were not only encouraged — but required — to always seek the most severe prison sentence possible for all drug cases, no matter the relative risk they posed to public safety,” he said. “I have made a break from that philosophy.”

He added: “These numbers show that a dramatic shift is underway in the mind-set of prosecutors handling nonviolent drug offenses. I believe we have taken steps to institutionalize this fairer, more practical approach such that it will endure for years to come.”

Other Stories of Interest

 

Anonymous-Linked Activist Sent to Prison for Threatening FBI Agent, Sharing Stolen Data

 

Barrett Brown via YouTube

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An activist tied to the hacking group Anonymous was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of threatening an FBI agent and spreading stolen data.

The Business Insider reports that Barrett Brown, who had faced more than 100 years behind bars, read from a lengthy statement before sentencing, saying he broke the law to uncover unlawful government activity.

“If I criticize the government for breaking the law, but then break the law myself in an effort to reveal their wrongdoing, I should expect to be punished just I’ve called for the criminals at government-linked firms… to be punished,” he said. “When we start fighting crime by any means necessary, we become guilty of the same hypocrisy as law enforcement agencies throughout history that break the rules to get the villains, and so become villains themselves.”

Brown was arrested in 2012 after threatening an FBI agent in a YouTube video.

He pledged to “ruin his life and look into his (expletive) kids.”

Brown also was charged with sharing information hacked from defense contractor Stratfor, Business Insider wrote.

Weekend Series on Crime: Prison Gangs