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Archive for July, 2009

N.Y. DEA and Locals Bust Heroin Ring that Hid Drugs in Toy Bears

heroin stuffed in teddy bear/dea photo
heroin stuffed in teddy bear/dea photo

Agents have seen it all when it comes to hiding drugs like heroin. Here’s the latest hide-and-seek game where the dealers lost.

BY Samuel Goldsmith
New York DAILY NEWS
NEW YORK –– They don’t stock this option at your local Build-A-Bear store.

Authorities announced Saturday a massive heroin bust in the Bronx, where dealers were moving millions of dollars in dope inside Build-A-Bear dolls.

The drugs were packaged in tiny glassine bags branded with names like Barack Obama, Swine Flu and Crime 360, a nod to a detective series on A&E.

“The agents walk in and there’s heroin and all the dime bags and the Build-A-Bears just sitting there,” said Erin Mulvey, spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

State, local and federal law enforcement officers seized 33 pounds of heroin with a street value of about $33 million and arrested 12 people on Friday. The suspects were waiting to be arraigned late Saturday.

For Full Story

25 Guns Found at Airport Checkpoints During Holiday Week

airport-photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The holiday week from June 29 to July 5 brought more than fireworks and hotdogs.

The Transportation Security Administration reported finding 25 firearms at airport checkpoints around the nation during that period.

Also during that time, six passengers were arrested for suspicious behavior or for fraudulent travel documents, the TSA said.

Baltimore U.S. Atty. Hires 3 Prosecutors to Work Exclusively on Gangs

baltimoreBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore announced Monday that it has hired three new prosecutors to focus exclusively on gangs in a community that has seen the presence of such groups as MS-13, TTP Bloods and the Black Guerilla Family.

“A record number of federal prosecutors are now pursuing cases against violent criminals, and the volume of federal violent crime prosecutions continues to increase,” said U.S. Atty. Rod Rosenstein in a prepared statement. “The new gang prosecutors will allow us to devote even more resources to joint efforts with our local, state and federal partners to put dangerous gangs out of business.”

The U.S. Attorneys office said the new gang unit will be funded for an initial two-year term.

The new gang prosecutors include: Clinton Fuchs, Thiru Vignarajah and William Moomau.

Fuchs served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles and Richard J. Leon before joining a private law firm. Moomau was previously chief of the Homicide Unit of Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office. And Vagnarajah served as a law clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Guido Calabresi and Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer before joining a law firm.

Transportation Security Admin. Agent Arrested at Newark Airport

Airport crowd

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Well,  it’s always a little awkward when someone from the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees our airports, gets arrested.

But that’s what happened Friday morning at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The Associated Press reports that airport authorities arrested TSA  agent  Wanda Weems of Newark after she boarded a Continental Airlines flight bound for Houston without going through the pre-flight screening.

The wire service reported that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman John Kelly indicated the woman was wanted on traffic-related warrants. (A typical airport check would not have discovered that.)

As a result of Weems’s antics, the Associated Press reports that the flight was delayed for more than an hour. Passengers were taken off the plane and screened again.

Authorities did not disclose why Weems avoided the security.

U.S. Park Service Police Arrest D.C.’s Marion Barry For Stalking Ex-Girlfriend

Councilman Marion Barry

Councilman Marion Barry

Here’s a guy who just can’t avoid the arm of the law. You’d think at this stage of his life he would have figured it out.

By Tim Craig and Jenna Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — D.C. Council member Marion Barry found himself mired in more political, legal and personal drama yesterday after his arrest late Saturday on charges that he was stalking a female companion.

Barry’s latest run-in with the law centers on his relationship with political consultant Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, who alleges that he continues to approach her even though they split up a few months ago.

Barry, Watts-Brighthaupt and police gave conflicting accounts of how the former mayor ended up in police custody Saturday night after attending several Fourth of July functions.

For Full Story

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Alaska FBI Says Sarah Palin Not Under Investigation

Gov. Palin/state photo

Gov. Palin/state photo

Strike that off the list of reasons Sarah Palin may have resigned…

By Josh Meyer
Los Angeles Times

A day after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resigned, a federal official in her home state dismissed one potential explanation for her sudden and unexpected resignation: a rumored FBI investigation into the former Wasilla mayor on public corruption charges.

Despite rumors of a looming controversy after the Republican governor’s surprise announcement Friday that she would leave office this month, some of them published in the blogosphere, the FBI’s Alaska spokesman said the bureau had no investigation into Palin for her activities as governor, as mayor or in any other capacity.

“There is absolutely no truth to those rumors that we’re investigating her or getting ready to indict her,” Special Agent Eric Gonzalez said in a phone interview Saturday. “It’s just not true.” He added that there was “no wiggle room” in his comments for any kind of inquiry.

The FBI has been active in mounting corruption investigations in Alaska, some to see whether local, state and federal lawmakers illegally received favors, money or free construction work from businesses or people seeking favors.

For Full Story

Defense Attys and Sen. Specter Attack Pitts. U.S. Atty. Buchanan

Conservative Holdover- Pittsburgh U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan
Bush Holdover- Pittsburgh U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

It’s hard to imagine that Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan will stay on as the top prosecutor under the Obama administration. So far, she’s still there. But how long can she last?

By The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH – Defense lawyers and a U.S. senator are criticizing comments made by Pittsburgh’s U.S. attorney last month as her office dismissed fraud and theft charges against a noted pathologist.

Lawyers for former Allegheny County medical examiner Cyril Wecht are calling on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to formally rebuke U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, saying she “vindictively … expressed the view that Dr. Wecht was a criminal and was guilty of the charges made against him.”

“We trust you will agree such statements by a United States prosecutor are completely improper, violate all notions of prosecutorial ethics and decency, and warrant remedial action by the Department of Justice,” former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh wrote in a June 16 letter to Holder.

Prosecutors originally indicted Wecht on 84 counts in January 2006, but the case was whittled down before a trial that ended in a hung jury. The charges were then trimmed again until 14 counts remained, but the government’s case was undermined when a judge threw out two search warrants.

For Full Story

Weekend Series on History: The FBI’s Hunt For Public Enemy No 1 John Dillinger

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx_mQctz944