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Tag: prison

Observant, Off-Duty DEA Agent Busts Man with Large Amount of Cocaine in Suitcase

dea-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent was off duty getting his car worked on when he saw a suspicious encounter.

Ricky Nuckles, 41, parked his car at a gas station, where another car pulled up, and a man placed a large suitcase in the back of Nuckles’ car before driving off, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Suspicious, the agent confronted Nuckles, who ran into the store and ditched his cell phone.

The agent spotted a firearm in the driver’s seat and called 911.

As police and more agents arrived, they found cocaine worth $750,000 and a handgun after Nuckles agreed to a search.

“Thanks to a vigilant off-duty DEA agent, 22 kilograms of cocaine is off the streets, and Nuckles’ drug-trafficking days are finished,” U.S. attorney John Horn said.

Nuckles was sentenced Thursday to 17 years and 7 months in prison.

NYT Columnist: President Obama’s Justice Department Shows Hypocrisy

president obama state of unionBy Alec Karakatsanis
New York Times

Last month, President Obama used his clemency power to reduce the sentences of 46 federal prisoners locked up on drug-related charges. But for the last six years, his administration has worked repeatedly behind the scenes to ensure that tens of thousands of poor people — disproportionately minorities — languish in federal prison on sentences declared by the courts, and even the president himself, to be illegal and unjustifiable.

The case of Ezell Gilbert is emblematic of this injustice. In March 1997, he was sentenced to 24 years and four months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. Because of mandatory sentencing laws, Mr. Gilbert was automatically sentenced to a quarter-century in prison, though even the judge who sentenced him admitted that this was too harsh.

At his sentencing, Mr. Gilbert noted a legal error that improperly increased his sentence by approximately a decade based on a misclassification of one of his prior offenses. In 1999, without a lawyer, he filed a petition seeking his release. A court ruled against him.

Nearly 10 years later, the Supreme Court issued aruling in another prisoner’s case, confirming that Mr. Gilbert had been right. A public defender helped him file a new petition for immediate release in light of this new decision.

Mr. Obama’s Justice Department, however, convinced a Florida federal judge that even if Mr. Gilbert’s sentence was illegal, he had to remain in prison because prisoners should not be able to petition more than once for release. The “finality” of criminal cases was too important, the department argued, to allow prisoners more than one petition, even if a previous one was wrongly denied.

After 10 Years in Prison, Man Seeks Revenge Against FBI Agent in Craigslist Ad

Frederick H. Banks/Twitter

Frederick H. Banks/Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Frederick H. Banks didn’t waste time seeking revenge against the FBI agent who helped land him in prison for a decade.

TribLive.com reports that the 47-year-old Pittsburgh man is accused of harassing the agent and posting a Craigslist ad pretending to be the agent seeking men to have sex with him and his wife.

He was finished with his federal probation less than a month before allegedly posting the ad June 25.

Banks, who spent 10 years behind bars for selling pirated software and using counterfeit checks, was indicted Aug. 5 by a grand jury.

Facing Growing Threat over Homegrown Terrorists, FBI Tries New Approach

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the FBI scrambles to handle an increase in potential homegrown terrorists, the bureau is taking a new approach that would favor counseling over jail, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The bureau is struggling to keep pace with the thousands of Americans believed to be supporting the interests of ISIS.

Especially concerning is the proliferation of teenage suspects.

“Nobody wants to see a 15-year-old kid go to jail if they don’t have to,’’ said one official working on the effort.

But, the FBI official emphasized, criminal charges would still be pursued if the suspect becomes more dangerous.

Not everyone agrees with this approach.

“I get the principle, but there are a lot of potential problems with this, and I think it’s a wrong move,’’ said Peter Ahearn a former FBI counterterrorism agent. “I’m not saying it shouldn’t be done but it shouldn’t be done by the FBI. That’s not the mission.’’

New DEA Leader: ‘El Chapo’ Likely Still in Mexico After Prison Escape

'El Chapo' Guzman

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is most likely still in Mexico after his escape from prison last month, the DEA’s new acting administrator said.

Chuck Rosenberg told reporters, though, that he has no hard evidence of the escapee’s whereabouts but said Guzman is likely relying on the vast resources of his Sinaloa organization in Mexico.

“I think he is still in Mexico,” Rosenberg said. “Do I know that? No, I do not know that. Where is he safest and best protected, probably Sinaloa.”

The U.S. is offering a $5 million reward for the capture of Guzman, a powerful cartel leader.

“I know the Mexicans are trying everything they can to find him,” he said. “They are working on it; we are working on it with them.”

Other Stories of Interest

Video of Sandra Bland’s Traffic Stop Appears to Be Tampered With


By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 52-minute video that shows the traffic stop and arrest of Sandra Bland before she died in a jail cell three days later appears to be edited, raising questions about the whether police cam evidence was tampered with.

NBC News reports that Texas Department of Public Safety authorities were investigating what appeared to be edits pointed out by experts and regular viewers.

Police have said Bland committed suicide, but family and supporters don’t believe that was the case.

In several of the clips, the audio stays constant but the video occasionally repeats itself.

President Obama Calls for Reformed Drug Sentences That Overwhelmingly Face Young Black Men

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama on Thursday delivered a clear message Wednesday when he commuted the federal prison sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders: The time has come to overhaul a criminal justice system that locks away too many nonviolent offenders.

Obama also expressed concern that may of the nonviolent offenders who are incarcerated are young black men, CNN reports. 

During an impassioned speech at the annual NAACP convention in Philadelphia, Obama bemoaned the fact that inmates are confined to horrible prison conditions, including rape and solitary confinement, which he declared “have no place in any civilized country.”

“In too many places, black boys and black men, and Latino boys and Latino men, experience being treated different under the law,” Obama said, claiming his assertion wasn’t “anecdote” or “barber shop talk,” but instead backed by data.

Obama is trying to gain bipartisan support for reforming the current sentencing laws.

Stunning Video Shows How ‘El Chapo’ Escaped from Prison Using Sophisticated Tunnel

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A newly released video shows the stunning prison escape by Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the incredibly sophisticated mile-long tunnel that served as his escape route.

His escape triggered a $3.8 million reward for his.

The video depicts a complicated tunnel complete with PVC pipes, ventilation, a bike for transportation and an escape route with emergency supplies.

Authorities fear Guzman may be hard to find. In 2001, he escaped prison and remained loose for nearly 14 years before his capture in Mexico in early 2014.