Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

October 2010
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for October 11th, 2010

Border Patrol Agent in Tex. Fatally Shoots Unarmed Teen After Struggle

Border PatrolBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and other agencies are probing an incident Friday in which a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Texas shot and killed an unarmed teen who was driving a pickup truck filled with marijuana,the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that the driver Juan Mendez,18, of Eagle Pass, Tex., died after getting into a struggle with an agent.

According to the AP report, the agent stopped 18-year-old Juan Mendez’s vehicle around 9 a.m. and Mendez tried to escape and struggled with the agent, who then shot him twice as he broke free. Authorities captured a 15 year old who ran from the truck.

Authorities said they found 325 pounds of marijuana in the truck, AP reported. The agent has been placed on routine administrative lead pending the outcome of the investigation.

“CBP regrets the loss of life and awaits the results of the investigation into this incident,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Dennis Smith, according to AP.

Head of Sacramento FBI Drew Parenti Stepping Down

Drew Parenti/fbi photo

Drew Parenti/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Drew Parenti, head of the FBI’s Sacarmento bureau, is retiring to take a job as vice president of security for Penske Truck Leasing in Reading, Pa., the Sacramento Bee is reporting.

Parenti, 50, a 26 year bureau veteran, said the FBI is “a hard organization to leave,” according to the paper.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner told the Bee: “I am very, very sad to see him go. We had some controversial prosecutions a few years ago that obviously took a toll on our relationship” with the Muslim American community, the paper said.

“Drew came in and helped us get on a lot better footing, and I think that has paid dividends for law enforcement and the community,” said Wagner. “He immediately took an interest in reaching out to members of underserved communities.”

To read more click here.

FBI Investigative Specialist Killed While Crossing Street in Suburban D.C.

rockvilleBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — An investigative specialist in the FBI Washington Field Office, who was the son of a retired FBI agent, was struck by a car and killed early Sunday morning in Rockville, Md., as he crossed the street with a friend, reporter Martin Weil of the Washington Post reported. The friend was also killed.

FBI special investigator Adam J. Hosinski and his friend Rory J. Weichbrod, a wine salesman, both 26, were crossing Rockville Pike in the Washington suburb after exiting a subway around 3:20 a.m., the Post reported The two had gone to high school together.

The Post reported that the driver stopped and got out of the car, then drove off and parked and walked back to the scene. Police said drinking may have been involved, the Post reported.

Hosinski had worked at the FBI’s Washington Field Office since joining the bureau in 2006 as an investigative specialist, a field office spokeswoman told the Post.

A “great young man” and the son of a retired FBI agent, Hosinski served “at all times with a tremendous amount of pride and dedication,” spokeswoman Katherine Schweit told the Post.

“It’s devastating for the family,” his grandmother, Alice Hosinski told the Post. “He was a great kid.”

Steroids Had Plenty of Victims

The author (right) Greg Stejsal and Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

The author (right) Greg Stejsal and Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

“Say it ain’t so, Rocket.”

(“Say it ain’t so, Joe.” Reported words of a young fan to Shoeless Joe Jackson after the Black Sox gambling scandal.)

Roger Clemens may have lied under oath in front of a Congressional committee regarding the use of steroids during his baseball career, but so what? Couldn’t our prosecutorial resources be used for more important things?

In the late 1980s and early 90s, as an FBI agent (now retired), who helped shepherd the largest steroid investigation in history, similar questions were posed to me. Why should we pursue the illegal distribution of steroids?

In 1989, University of Michigan head football coach Bo Schembechler and his strength coach, Mike Gittleson, shared a big concern.

They believed steroid use was becoming pervasive in college football. Their concern was not only that some players and teams were getting a competitive advantage but that high school players were beginning to think that steroid use was a necessary and accepted practice in getting to the next level.

Bo and Mike knew that steroids were an effective performance-enhancing drug, but could also cause very serious health problems. Not the least of these is severe depression. I learned of numerous cases of young, aspiring athletes who committed suicide after using steroids. (One of those suicides was the son of an FBI agent I knew.) I also thought of my own daughter and son, who, at the time, were beginning to participate in sports. Would they be faced with the choice of having to use steroids in order to reach their athletic goals?

Many believe steroid use is a victim-less crime. It’s not. Using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) affect the very integrity of the sport in which they are used. I see three sets of victims. The first is the players who choose to remain clean but must compete against the “enhanced” players. The other victims are aspiring athletes who use PEDs to continue pursuing their sport, or become disillusioned and quit. The third victim is the fan – more on that just ahead.

When we began our steroid investigation, dubbed Operation Equine, our goal was to pursue the steroid dealers, not the users. We reasoned prosecutors would have little interest in going after users whether they be gym rats or professional athletes. However, in retrospect, perhaps the only way to snag the media’s attention would have been to arrest celebrity athletes. We were also stunned when Major League Baseball stifled a yawn when presented with facts about all their “juiced” players.

Our investigative team was faced with a quandary when one of the dealers we arrested told us he had been supplying Jose Canseco and other members of the then Oakland A’s. (Later we learned one of those A’s was Mark McGwire.) No doubt, these are headline-generating names. For the reasons outlined above, we chose to pursue this dealer’s suppliers, not the star players/users.

It was way back in 1994 that information about the players’ use of steroids was given to the office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. It was ignored for nearly a decade. Yes, nothing happened for nearly 10 years until Canseco himself became the messenger. (Ironically, the U.S. Attorney’s office in northern California didn’t deem steroid dealing a crime worthy of prosecution at the time. What might have happened had they prosecuted the Oakland A’s dealer there, the future home of BALCO?)

If Roger Clemens did use steroids, the ramifications were far greater than just a high profile athlete using a substance to enhance his performance. The past and future are forever altered. Here’s where the Fan as a Victim enters the picture. In baseball, perhaps more than in any other sport, you not only compete with your contemporaries but against players from the past through statistics. These statistical achievements have long been considered sacrosanct, the lifeblood of every baseball fanatic.

These numbers transcend generations of players and fans. Thus, the use of PEDs not only potentially alters the final score, but has, to some extent, destroyed the integrity of those precious stats. Maybe more importantly, when star athletes turn to PEDs, they inadvertently encourage the same behavior by young aspiring athletes who seek to emulate their heroes.

People may argue about whether Congress should be involved in these issues, but persons testifying in front of Congressional committees under oath must tell the truth. Or invoke the protection of the 5th Amendment. To do otherwise renders the whole process a farce.

Ironically, if Clemens had used steroids during his career and admitted it, he most likely wouldn’t have been prosecuted. However, he now faces a serious charge of perjury, and perhaps worse – a tarnished career that no stellar statistic can ever repair.

It goes beyond just saying it ain’t so.

Column: Ex-FBI Agent Who Probed Steroids Said Drug Had Plenty of Victims

The author (right) Greg Stejsal and Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

The author (right) Greg Stejksal and Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

Greg Stejskal was an FBI agent for nearly 32 years before retiring in 2006. He was the Senior Resident Agent of the Ann Arbor FBI office and spearheaded Operation Equine with former FBI agent Bill Randall.

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

“Say it ain’t so, Rocket.”

(“Say it ain’t so, Joe.” Reported words of a young fan to Shoeless Joe Jackson after the Black Sox gambling scandal.)

Roger Clemens may have lied under oath in front of a Congressional committee regarding the use of steroids during his baseball career, but so what? Couldn’t our prosecutorial resources be used for more important things?

In the late 1980s and early 90s, as an FBI agent (now retired), who helped shepherd the largest steroid investigation in history, similar questions were posed to me. Why should we pursue the illegal distribution of steroids?

In 1989, University of Michigan head football coach Bo Schembechler and his strength coach, Mike Gittleson, shared a big concern.

They believed steroid use was becoming pervasive in college football. Their concern was not only that some players and teams were getting a competitive advantage but that high school players were beginning to think that steroid use was a necessary and accepted practice in getting to the next level.

Read more »

Feds Won’t Appeal Witness Ban in NY Gitmo Trial

Judge Kaplan

Judge Kaplan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Saying they didn’t wish to delay the trial, federal prosecutors on Sunday said they won’t appeal a judge’s ruling that bans a key witness from testifying in the first criminal trial of Guantanamo Bay terrorism suspect, Reuters news service reported.

“The government . . . has decided not to pursue an appeal from the court’s decision,” said a letter from the New York U.S. Attorney’s Office to the presiding judge in the case, Reuters reported.

The letter said the government case is sufficient without the witness.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan cause a delay in the trial when he ruled that the witness, Hussein Abebe, couldn’t be used in the trial against Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who is accused of conspiring in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans.

The judge ruled that the government discovered the name of the witness during a harsh interrogation of the defendant in an overseas jail run by the CIA. The government insisted it would have learned about Abebe even without the interrogation, an argument the judge rejected.

Prosecutors had said that the witness told FBI agents he had sold the defendant explosives for one of the bombings.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Column: Top Goal in Afghanistan Should Still be to Capture bin Laden

Jack Devine ,a former CIA deputy director of operations and chief of the CIA Afghan Task Force from 1986 to 1987, is president of the Arkin Group, a private intelligence company based in New York.

bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a "religious duty"

Osama bin Laden

By Jack Devine
Washington Post Outlook Section

There is no doubt that Osama bin Laden is foremost on the minds of the courageous CIA and Special Forces officers in Afghanistan who are looking for him.

Where he hasn’t appeared lately is in the debates about what the United States is trying to achieve in Afghanistan and whether our emphasis should be on counterinsurgency and nation-building or on counterterrorism.

It has been nine long years since bin Laden and his disciples attacked the United States, bringing about the catastrophic loss of American lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and more in the military battles that followed.

The debate about where we are headed in Afghanistan must include finding bin Laden.

To read more click here.