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Tag: Wisconsin

FBI Changes Mind; Will Keep La Crosse, Wisc. Office Open

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has backed off a little on its plans and will keep open its La Crosse, Wisc. office, U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl announced Tuesday.

Kohl had been fighting to get the FBI’s plan to close half of its office in the western district of Wisconsin.

The original plan called for the closure of Kenosha, Wausau and La Crosse offices to save money.

“Local law enforcement officials convinced us that having an FBI presence in western Wisconsin is a crucial layer in their efforts to fight drug trafficking, gang violence and other serious criminal enterprises,” Kohl said in a statement. “While I support streamlining operations, we have to consider whether distance challenges in our state would compromise the FBI’s mission and risk neglecting some of our rural communities. I’m gratified that Director Mueller and Attorney General Holder kept an open mind to our concerns and reevaluated their plans.”

 

Sen. Kohl Asks FBI Director Mueller Not to Close Wisc. Offices

Sen. Herb Kohl/gov photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Senator Herb Kohl warned FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday morning about the danger of the FBI’s plan to close three FBI offices in the senator’s home state of Wisconsin, reports WXOW.

Kohl opposed the closures of offices in La Crosse, Kenosha and Wausau, Wisc., telling Mueller that if the closures go through “the Western District of Wisconsin will be especially hard hit, and will lose half of its FBI offices,” according to WXOW. “I have strong objections to these closures,” he said.

Mueller said that the FBI, looking at the Western part of Wisconsin, hopes the coverage will remain the same, with just as many agents overall, despite the office closures. He told Kohl there remained an open “crack” as to the final decision.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

FBI Plans to Shut Down 3 Offices in Wisconsin

Sen. Kohl/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s footprint in Wisconsin could be shrinking.

The agency plans to close three of its seven offices in the state, according to a press release by Sen. Herb Kohl’s office.

The Wisconsin Democrat raised the issue on Tuesday to Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr., who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The offices that would be closed include:Wausau, Kenosha and La Crosse.

“If these closures go through, the Western District of Wisconsin will lose half of its FBI offices and may have to make do with fewer agents,” Kohl said at the hearing. “I have serious concerns about the ability of the remaining two offices to adequately support already underserved rural areas.”

 

Appeals Court Admonishes Wisc. Fed Judge for Hitler Remark

hitlerBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More than six decades later, Adolph Hitler’s name still stirs up trouble.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago admonished U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa of eastern Wisconsin for comparing a convicted drug dealer Jose Figueroa’s love of family to Adolf Hitler’s love for his dog.

The Appeals Court, which said the judge’s comments were odd, ordered that Figueroa be re-sentenced, AP reported. He had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for heading up a drug conspiracy.

The judge’s comments came after Figueroa asked for leniency in sentencing because of his love for his family, the AP reported.

Randa responded, according to AP: “Hitler was admired by his family … loved his dog. Yet he killed 6 million Jews.”

FBI Hunts for Suspected Wisconsin Bomber 40 Years Later

leo burtBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Forty years ago Tuesday, a van loaded with explosives rocked the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, killing one person and wounding three others — all part of a protest against the war in Vietnam. It was also the biggest domestic terrorism attack until the Oklahoma City bombing 25 years later.

Three of four of the anti-war culprits were captured and served time in prison. But 40 years later, the hunt for the fourth suspect — Leo Burt, a student and aspiring journalist at the time — continues.

“We’re still pursuing leads like he’s still alive,” Bruce Carroll, a campus police detective assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, told AOL News. “I’ve expressed my doubts in the past that he’s still alive. It would be very hard to live totally undercover for 40 years. That being said, stranger things have happened.

“But we’ve had a bunch of leads and we still have leads that are active,” he said.

On Monday, the FBI upped the profile of the case, prominently displaying a story on its website that began: “Where is Leo Burt? You can earn up to $150,000 by helping us find him.”

The bombing occurred on Aug. 24, 1970. The country was in turmoil. Richard Nixon was president. The rock ‘n’ roll landscape was flush with giants like the Rolling Stones and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. And campuses like the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor were bubbling with the anti-war, anti-establishment sentiments that were polarizing the nation.

According to published reports, the protesters parked a van loaded with 2,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil outside the East Wing of Sterling Hall, which housed the Army Math Research Center that conducted research for the military. The building also housed the physics department.

The potent bomb went off at 3:42 a.m. The bombers said the explosives were never intended to hurt anyone. But the blast killed physics researcher Robert Fassnacht, a father of three, who was reportedly finishing up some work before heading off on a family vacation. It also wounded three others and caused an estimated $2.1 million in damage to the the university. As an aside, The New York Times reported that Fassnacht’s family said he was against the Vietnam War.

After the bombing, the hunt for the attackers was on. Karleton Armstrong was captured in Toronto in 1972 and sentenced to 23 years, but served only about seven. His brother Dwight Armstrong, who just died this year, was caught in Toronto in 1977 and served three years. And David Fine was captured in California in 1976 and served about three years.

Retired FBI agent Kent Miller, a deputy coroner in Wisconsin, was assigned to the case in the late 1990s. He said he “goes back and forth” as to whether fugitive Burt is still alive.

“I think there’s a good chance he’s still alive,” he told AOL News. “If he’s alive, he’s living quietly somewhere, most likely outside the country.”

Over the years, he said, the bureau followed up on hundreds of tips — including ones that Burt was homeless in Denver and working at a Costa Rican resort.

Forty years later, the incident is still not easy for some to talk about. In 1971, Paul Quin, a physics researcher at the the university who was injured in the blast, told the Wisconsin State Journal: “Sometimes I still think about [the bombing]. It sends a shiver up my spine when I’m working late on Sundays.”

But on Monday, Quin, who is listed as a physics professor emeritus, declined an interview with AOL News.

“I do not discuss this event,” he responded by e-mail.

As time passes, some of the links are vanishing. In June, Dwight Armstrong died at age 58 in Madison, Wis., The New York Times reported. After getting out prison, he served additional time for involvement in a methamphetamine ring. He then drove a cab, the Times reported.

His level of remorse was left in question.

He once told the The Capital Times in Madison: “We did what we had to do; we did what we felt a lot of other people should have done,” he said. “I don’t care what public opinion is; we did what was right.”

FBI Hunts For Suspected Wisconsin Bomber 40 Years Later

leo burtBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Forty years ago Tuesday, a van loaded with explosives rocked the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, killing one person and wounding three others — all part of a protest against the war in Vietnam. It was also the biggest domestic terrorism attack until the Oklahoma City bombing 25 years later.

Three of four of the anti-war culprits were captured and served time in prison. But 40 years later, the hunt for the fourth suspect — Leo Burt, a student and aspiring journalist at the time — continues.

“We’re still pursuing leads like he’s still alive,” Bruce Carroll, a campus police detective assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, told AOL News. “I’ve expressed my doubts in the past that he’s still alive. It would be very hard to live totally undercover for 40 years. That being said, stranger things have happened.

“But we’ve had a bunch of leads and we still have leads that are active,” he said.

On Monday, the FBI upped the profile of the case, prominently displaying a story on its website that began: “Where is Leo Burt? You can earn up to $150,000 by helping us find him.”

To read more click here.

President Obama Nominates U.S. Attys. for W. Va. and Wisconsin

wisconsin-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – President Obama continued to press forward Thursday in his effort to put his appointees in key jobs by nominating U.S. Attorneys for West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The President nominated William J. Ihlenfeld, II, for the U.S. Attorney post in the Northern District of West Virginia and John William Vaudreuil for the Western District of Wisconsin U.S. Attorney job, according to a White House press release.

Ihlenfeld, a private attorney, has served as Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Ohio County, W. Va., solicitor for the Village of Clearview, and as a Ohio County Juvenile Referee, according to the bio on his website.

Vaudreuil has been an assistant U.S. Attorney in the office since 1980.

Mobster Al Capone’s Wisconsin Hideout For Sale

The question is: Did Al Capone leave behind any bootleg liquor? It has got to be an interesting home — certainly more so than the ones being built these days.

Al Capone/fbi photo

Al Capone/fbi photo

By ROBERT IMRIE
Associated Press Writer
WAUSAU, Wis. — The buyer of a scenic property in northern Wisconsin will get more than just its bar and restaurant: They’ll have a former hideout of Chicago mobster Al Capone.

The 407-acre wooded site, complete with guard towers and a stone house with 18-inch-thick walls, will soon go on the auction block at a starting bid of $2.6 million.

The bank that foreclosed on the land near Couderay, about 140 miles northeast of Minneapolis, said Capone owned it in the late 1920s and early 1930s during Prohibition.

For Full Story