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Archive for October 22nd, 2010

Weekend Series on Crime History: Drug Kingpin Pablo Escobar

Feds Say Father-Son Thwarted Iran Embargo Through Deception

By Justin Blum
Bloomberg

WASHINGTON — In its search for American-built F-5 fighter jet parts, Iran turned to a father-son company operating out of a yellow stucco cottage on a country road on Ireland’s northwest coast.

Tom and Sean McGuinn are accused in a U.S. indictment of conspiracy, trade violations and making false statements to illegally export items with military uses beginning in 2005. Over the past decade, the McGuinns shipped more than $120 million in U.S.-made equipment to the Islamic Republic, Clark Settles, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, said in an interview.

They succeeded through simple deceptions and persistence, according to court and government documents and interviews with U.S. officials and people who did business with their company, Mac Aviation Ltd. They are still free in Ireland.

Their tale illustrates how Iran is leaning on a network of people often operating out of houses or storefronts to evade a U.S. embargo and obtain parts with military uses, American officials said.

To read more click here.

Postal Supervisor Ran Multi-Million Dollar Gambling Ring

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James “Harlem” Washington was helping deliver more than the U.S. mail.

Washington, a supervisor for the U.S. Postal Service, was convicted Thursday in federal court in New York of running a “Lotto” type numbers gambling operation at the Postal Service and other government facilities that collected about $10 million in wagers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Authorities charged that from 2005 to 2009 Washington and others at the Postal service and other local and state government agencies ran a “Lotto”-type gambling business, which relied on numbers selected from the New York State Lotto drawing.

The gambling operation paid out $100,000 or more per month in prizes, authorities said. Thousands of players each month paid a $20 entry fee and picked six numbers, just like the Lotto.

A number of others have already pleaded guilty in the case.

Pentagon Hosted al Qaeda Operative for Lunch

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — At the Pentagon, just across the Potomac, this lunch guest was one of the more unusual ones.

The Pentagon confirmed that radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born al Qaeda operative now on a U.S. kill-or-capture list, had lunch at the Pentagon after the Sept. 11, attacks as part of an outreach program to talk to moderate Muslims, the Associated Press reported.

The cleric exchanged emails with the Army psychiatrist charged in the Ft. Hood shooting rampage.