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Archive for January 29th, 2010

Retired DEA Agent Praises Nomination of Michele Leonhart for DEA Administrator

Ralph Lochridge is director of communications for D.A.R.E America (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). President Obama has nominated  Michele Leonhart for administrator of DEA, the top post. She is currently the acting administrator.  The Senate must still confirm her.

Ralph Lochridge
Ralph Lochridge

By Ralph Lochridge
Retired DEA Agent

As a retired DEA agent and having had Michele Leonhart work in an undercover capacity for me and having worked for her when she was head of the Los Angeles DEA field office, she is absolutely the best choice to lead the DEA.

She has excelled at every executive level position along the way to the top.

Smart. Assertive. Professional. Her experience and background just add to the mix that will help the DEA and the nation in this fight against international drug traffickers and money launderers.

Maryland Gang Leader Who Produced “Stop Snitching” Videos Convicted in Baltimore Fed Court

stop snitching 2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Ronnie “Skinny Suge” Thomas, a Maryland gang leader who produced and starred in the infamous “Stop Snitching” videos was convicted Thursday in Baltimore federal court of being part of an organization that was involved in drug trafficking, conspiracy to commit murder and robbery.

Authorities alleged that Thomas and another gang member  Sherman Pride, who was also convicted Thursday,   were part of the Tree Top Piru Bloods (TTP Bloods).  Twenty five other people have been charged in the case.

“Many dangerous criminals have been convicted and removed from Maryland as a result of superb work by police and prosecutors on the TTP Bloods investigation,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement. “Racketeering cases often are time-consuming, but they make a dramatic contribution to public safety.”

The “Stop Snitching” videos became quite popular and advocated violence against those who cooperated with police.

Authorities say the TTP Bloods is an offshoot of “the Bloods”, which began in Los Angeles, California in the early 1970s.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the Maryland TTPs began in the Washington County Detention Center in Hagerstown, Maryland in about 1999.

“The gang was formed for mutual protection in response to the aggression of other inmates from Baltimore and spread throughout Maryland mostly by recruiting from inside Maryland prisons,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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Steam Building to Move 9/11 Trial out of New York

subway-photo-istock
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Steam is building to move the 9/11 terrorism  trial from New York City to a military base.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was once for it, has declared it a bad and very expensive idea. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein concurs.  And Politico reports that the Obama administration is considering a move.

Luisita Lopez Torregrosa writes in Politics Daily that President Obama can do a lot of things “but he cannot push New York City around.” Many in New York and outside were up in arms, citing the potential disruption  in the city, the potential dangers and the high cost of providing security.

” You don’t have to be a politician or a lawyer to see the idea was misguided,” Torregrosa writes. “It had a touch of arrogance, going against the grain, and a bit of the out-of-touch attitude that has plagued the Obama presidency.”

U.S. Inching Toward Cooperation Agreement With Underwear Bomber, Washington Post Reports

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Federal authorities are “inching toward an agreement” with the underwear bomber to secure his cooperation, the Washington Post reported, attributing the information to “two sources familiar with the case.”

Federal public defenders have been involved in talks, the Post reported, that could result in a guilty plea.

The handling of the case has raised its share of controversy, particularly here on Capitol Hill where some politicians have suggested the U.S. could have gotten far more sensitive information from Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had they placed him in military custody rather than charged him in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Given that, it’s likely the government feels even more pressure to hammer out a deal so it can pick up where it left off in receiving information from the suspect. He offered information right after the incident, but then clammed up.

To read the full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Looks Like Bush-Appointed U.S. Atty. Jim Letten in New Orleans Will Get the Nod

U.S. Atty Jim Letten/gov photo

U.S. Atty Jim Letten/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It looks like New Orleans U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, a Bush appointee, will be sticking around.

Reporter Bruce Alpert of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said after meeting Thursday with Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. that he expects the Justice Department will soon “make clear that Jim Letten” will keep the job.

The paper reported that Vitter said the anticipated clarification about Letten’s job means “he will drop his holds on several of President Barack Obama’s Louisiana criminal justice nominees.”

Letten has the support of the state’s Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.

To read the full story click here.