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Archive for May, 2010

Jurisdictions Move to Ban K-2 “Spice” Drug

k2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The latest danger to youth is a concoction called K-2, packets of herbs that can be smoked like marijuana to get high, USA Today reports.

Reporter Donna Leinwand writes that almost a dozen states and multiple cities have passed bans or are considering passing ones of the product known as “Spice” that is sold online and in stores, often as an incense. The product can sicken people.

David Ausiello, a DEA spokesman, said K@ is a “drug of concern”, USA Today reported. “We’re in the early stages of trying to figure out how potent it is.”

For Full Story click here.

Wisc. Narcotics Cop Who Fled FBI Agents to Plead Guilty in FBI Sting

beeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.

A Wisconsin state narcotics agent, who fled in his car when confronted by FBI agents last March,  is expected to plead guilty to stealing $1,100 in an FBI sting, according to the Associated Press.

Johnny Santiago, a special agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice,  is expected to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee, AP reported.

According to an affidavit filed in court in March by FBI agent Susan Blish, the agent said she and FBI agent Daniel Hargreaves planted $17,740 in cash in a vacant store front in Milwaukee as part of an investigation into theft of cash by police.

The placement of the cash was videotaped and the video continued to play as Milwaukee police and Santiago,a state special agent, entered the store around 1:25 p.m.

The videotape shows Santiago discovering the cash and reporting it to the other police officers. As is policy in the Milwaukee police department, a lieutenant arrived at the scene and counted the cash.

Read more »

Wife of 70s Harlem Kingpin Arrested by DEA in Puerto Rico; Husband Inspired Film “American Gangster”

american-gangsterBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

This time it’s no movie.

The DEA  last week arrested the wife of a 1970s Harlem heroin dealer Frank Lucas, who inspired the Denzel Washington film “American Gangster”, for trying to sell two kilos of heroin at a Puerto Rico hotel, the Associated Press reported.

Julianna Farrait, 70, appeared Thursday in court. Back in 1975, Lucas was busted at his New Jersey home with half a million dollars, AP reported. He was convicted and released from prison in 1991. Farrait served five years in that case.

For Full Story

Weekend Series on History: Nixon Gets FBI Honor

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBoctOA4zjQ

Pres. Obama Nominates No. 2 Justice Official James Cole

James Cole/law firm

James Cole/law firm

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON —  As predicted, President Obama nominated attorney James M. Cole as deputy attorney general Friday, filling  the number two spot left vacant by the resignation of  David Ogden, who stepped down after less than a year, the Washington Post reported. Ogden and Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. did not get along all that well.

Cole, 58, a defense attorney, had spent 13 year in the Justice Department and is a longtime friend of Holder’s. The pick comes at a time of intense pressure to battle terrorism and Republican criticism of President Obama and the Justice Department.

To read more click here.

Govt. Report Says Program to Spot Suspected Terrorists at Airport Not Effective

airport-photoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A behavior-protection program designed to spot suspected terrorists and others who pose dangers at U.S. airports doesn’t appear to be working all that well.

The Boston Globe reports that at least 16 people who were later tied to terror plots passed through U.S. airports without being detected by federal officials who were part of the program created in 2003 by the Transportation Security Administration.

The Globe reported that a General Accounting Office report released Thursday questioned the scientific basis of the program dubbed “SPOT” (Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques).

The report said the Transportation Security Administration “without first validating the scientific basis for identifying passengers in an airport environment.”

“A scientific consensus does not exist on whether behavior detection principles can be reliably used for counterterrorism purposes,” report said.

“TSA has bungled the development and deployment of a potentially important layer of aviation security,” Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) told the Globe. He had requested the report.

To read more click here.

Read Full Report

FBI Pursued Sources of Legendary Columnist Robert Novak in the 1980s

James Novak/meet the press

Robert Novak/meet the press

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Legendary syndicated newspaper column Robert Novak, who was nicknamed “The Prince of Darkness”,  was on the FBI’s radar way before he stepped into a controversy in 2003 by publishing the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

The Washington Post’s Joe Stephens reports that just obtained FBI records show the FBI had launched three leak investigations in the 1980s seeking Novak’s sources as a result of two columns and after a 1983 appearance on the tv show “The McLaughlin Group”.

Stephens reports that agents “conducted interviews, reviewed appointment calendars, requested polygraph tests and considered using an administrative subpoena to obtain phone records, they apparently were unable to confirm the identity of any of the sources.”

Novak, who worked for the Chicago Sun-Times,  died of a brain tumor on Aug. 18, 2009.

To read more click here.

Pres. Obama Nominates U.S. Atty. for Pa. and Tenn.

William Killian/law firm photo

William Killian/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama nominated two more U.S. Attorneys on Thursday, this time for Pittsburgh and Knoxville, Tenn.

David Hickton

David Hickton

The nominees are: Private attorneys David J. Hickton for the Pittsburgh post and William C. Killian for Knoxville,  according to a White House press release. Hickton replaces the controversial Bush-appointed Mary Beth Buchanan, who lost Tuesday in her Republican primary bid for a Congressional seat.