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Archive for March, 2009

Mexican Drug Cartels Moving in On Lucrative Illegal Immigrant Smuggling

mexico2

Not a surprise that the Mexican drug cartels would find other lucrative enterprises. This time it’s smuggling of illegal aliens. That’s an area that can only become more violent as the cartels take over. Here’s another reason for the U.S. to step it up and address the Mexican drug cartel and border problems.

By Josh Meyer
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON— Mexican drug cartels and their vast network of associates have branched out from their traditional business of narcotics trafficking and are now playing a central role in the multibillion-dollar-a-year business of illegal immigrant smuggling, U.S. law enforcement officials and other experts say.

The business of smuggling humans across the Mexican border has always been brisk, with many thousands coming across every year.

But smugglers affiliated with the drug cartels have taken the enterprise to a new level — and made it more violent — by commandeering much of the operation from independent coyotes, according to these officials and recent congressional testimonies.

U.S. efforts to stop the cartels have been stymied by a shortage of funds and the failure of federal law enforcement agencies to collaborate effectively with one another, their local and state counterparts and the Mexican government, officials say.

U.S. authorities have long focused their efforts on the cartels’ trafficking of cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamines, which has left a trail of violence and corruption.

Many of those officials now say that the toll from smuggling illegal immigrants is often far worse.

For Full Story

RELATED STORY

Mexican Drug War Spilling Over Border at Alarming Rate (N.Y. Times)

How the Feds Built a Case Against a Powerful Pensylvania State Senator

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

The FBI and U.S. Attorneys Office started piecing together a case against powerful ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo receipt by receipt. There were skeptics who thought they couldn’t make a case. The group of lawyers and investigators proved them wrong. Here’s how.

By Emilie Lounsberry and Craig R. McCoy
Inquirer Staff Writers
PHILADELPHIA — It was early in the investigation, but already the FBI was getting on Vince Fumo’s nerves.

In a typically blunt e-mail, he wrote to a top aide in 2004 that a delicate part of his anatomy had just been “busted by my 2 friendly female FBI agents.”

Then he cursed them.

His aide replied: “I do not like those people. Long live the realm of Fumo-world! :-)”

Now former State Sen. Fumo stands convicted of scores of counts of corruption in a $4 million fraud, his aide has lost his job, and Fumo-world is a smoking ruin.

Relentlessly civil, but also downright relentless, FBI Agents Vicki Humphreys and Kathleen T. McAfee scrutinized Home Depot receipts and analyzed American Express card bills, tallied up toll slips and tracked down yacht captains, all to build a case that everyone told them they could never construct.

They were joined by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John J. Pease and Robert A. Zauzmer

For Full Story

Related Story

Obama to Send Federal Agents, Equipment and Other Resources to Mexico Border

This is a good first step in the battle against the growing menace of the violent Mexican drug cartels. But in all likelihood, this is just a start. More will bborder-fence-photo3e needed.

By Spencer S. Hsu and Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — President Obama is finalizing plans to move federal agents, equipment and other resources to the border with Mexico to support Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s campaign against violent drug cartels, according to U.S. security officials.

In Obama’s first major domestic security initiative, administration officials are expected to announce as early as this week a crackdown on the supply of weapons and cash moving from the United States into Mexico that helps sustain that country’s narco-traffickers, officials said.

The announcement sets the stage for Mexico City visits by three Cabinet members, beginning Wednesday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and followed next week by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

For Full Story

Feds Change of Policy on Busting Medical Marijuana Centers

Jury Acquits Ex-Puerto Rico Gov. Vila on Money Laundering and Lying to the FBI

Ex-Gov Vila

Ex-Gov Vila

This is a big loss for the U.S. Attorney’s office. The ex-governor was charged in an election, which many say contributed to his loss. Now he’s turned out to be the victor. Go figure.

By The Associated Press
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A jury found Puerto Rico’s former governor not guilty Friday on all nine counts including conspiracy, money laundering and lying to the FBI, concluding his monthlong corruption trial.

Anibal Acevedo Vila, who could have faced 20 years in prison if convicted, was the first governor to be charged with a crime since the island became a semiautonomous U.S. commonwealth in 1952.

Acevedo made the sign of the cross as he heard the verdict and began to cry, as did former adviser Luisa Inclan, who was also cleared of similar charges.

For Full Story

History: J. Edgar Hoover Series: Pt. 4

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rbvvgr15aw

Elena Kagan Sworn in as 1st Woman Solicitor General

Elena Kagen

Elena Kagan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Elena Kagan was sworn in Friday, becoming the first woman Solicitor General of the United States.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. swore in the former Dean of Harvard Law School, in a ceremony held in his U.S. Supreme Court chambers.

“Elena Kagan’s intelligence, experience and commitment to the rule of law will make her an exceptional Solicitor General,” U.S. Atty. General Eric Holder said in a prepared statement. “With the addition of Elena Kagan, we are building a strong, effective leadership team to enforce our nation’s laws.”

Kagan is the 45th person to serve as Solicitor General of the United States.

The FBI’s Top Ten Stories of the Week

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Bernie Madoff’s accountant was charged
Madoff's accountant charged

Madoff's accountant charged

with securities fraud. An Albany on-line organ transplant broker was charged with defrauding desperately ill patients. And an ex-FBI agent was convicted in California in a home invasion robbery scheme.

These were just some of the stories that made the FBI’s Top Ten Stories For The Week, ending March 20.

To look at the list of  top 10 FBI stories of the week  click here.