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Tag: Wisconsin

FBI Investigating College Student in Wisconsin for Allegedly Trying to Make Ricin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 21-year-old college student in Wisconsin is accused of trying to make ricin, prompting the FBI and police to block off a four-block area Friday after finding a white substance, the Associated Press reports.

Authorities became concerned after professors at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh expressed concerns that the student was making the deadly toxin.

A professor told authorities that the student asked about extracting the toxin from castor beans. When told to ask a biology professor, the student allegedly said, “They are all interested in life and I am interested in, like, ending it,” according to the search warrant.

The substance was sent to the FBI’s lab for analysis.

Wisconsin’s DOJ Delayed Child Pornography Investigations for Months, Records Show

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Wisconsin Department of Justice delayed investigations of child pornography tips for months, the Post Crescent reports.

Criticism of the DOJ’s Internet child pornography unit mounted in March, when Milwaukee Special Agent-in-Charge Willie Brantley was fired and Special Agent Anna King resigned. It was discovered that nearly four dozen cases languished for months.

DOJ officials said they are overwhelmed and were forced to prioritize cases.

“A deep dive on any of these cases will reflect that they … were handled appropriately or resulted in discipline,” said DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation Administrator Dave Matthews.

Officials at the office denied any systemic problems existed.

Wisconsin DOJ Let 43 Child Porn Cases Languish While Predators Were Free

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Wisconsin Department of Justice let at least 43 tips about suspected child pornography languish for four months or longer, compromising the investigations and keeping children in harm’s way, an internal investigation determined.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the number could be a lot higher, revealing a major lapse in judgment by top officials in the state.

The probe resulted in the terminations of Willie Brantley, the former special agent in charge of the Justice Department’s Milwaukee office, and Anna King, a special agent who worked for him. All the cases were shifted from Madison to Milwaukee between 2011 and 2013, the Journal Sentinel reported.

“While there are examples during the three-year period of other (special agents in charge) holding cases between 60 and 89 days, these are outliers and no other (supervisor) ever held a case longer than that,” according to the letter, written by Deputy Attorney General Kevin St. John.

In one case, a 26-year-old man “was left free to allegedly molest an 11-year-old boy he was baby-sitting.”

“We still have concern that other cases under your former supervision, which have now been reassigned, may identify additional victims whose suffering might have been averted had you exercised the most rudimentary supervisory principles,” the letter notifying Brantley of his termination says. “This discipline takes into account the ongoing risk to the public safety that was set in play by your actions.”

FBI’s Reaches 80-Year Anniversary of Botched Attempt to Arrest John Dillinger, His Gang in Wisconsin

John Dillinger/fbi photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was a 80-year-old lesson the FBI will never forget.

Tuesday was the 80-year anniversary of the bureau’s bungled attempt to arrest gangster John Dillinger and his gang at Little Bohemia Lodge in northern Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Agents acting on a tip tried to raid the lodge but were met with a gun battle that killed a Civilian Conservation Corps worker.

Another gangster, Baby Face Nelson, killed one agent and sounded another.

The gang escaped.

“The FBI learned a lot from its early years and during the tragic incident of Little Bohemia in northern Wisconsin,” Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Shields Jr. said Tuesday.

“The lessons we learned back then would shape how the bureau trained its agents, prepared tactically and even how we developed important partnerships with local law enforcement in the many years that followed.”

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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.”