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November 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for November 2nd, 2010

Customs and Border Protection Inspector Indicted in Texas for Bribery and Alien and Drug Smuggling

By Allan Lengel

A former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector has been charged in Texas with drug trafficking, alien smuggling and bribery, authorities announced Tuesday.

Luis Enrique Ramirez, 38, fled the United States in February 2009 and was arrested Oct. 30 at the B&M International Port of Entry as he tried to re-enter the U.S. from Mexico, federal authorities said.

Authorities allege that from August 2005 to Jan. 28, 2009, Ramirez conspired to transport and move illegal aliens, and took bribes to allow illegal aliens to enter the United States.

Authorities charged that he also was involved in the distribution of cocaine.


Georgia Cop Tipped Off Friends About an Informant in a Joint FBI-Police Probe

By Allan Lengel

A Polk County police detective from Felton, Ga., was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison Tuesday for interfering in a joint FBI-police probe into a chop shop in Polk County and tipping off friends about an informant in the case.

Mark Howell Sparks, 40, was convicted in July of obstruction of justice, tampering with a witness and possessing a vehicle with an altered vehicle identification number (VIN).

Authorities said Sparks was privy to confidential information and encouraged an informant in the investigation into the chop shop to conceal his friends’ involvement in the operation when talking to investigators. He also tipped off the friends that the informant was wearing a wire, authorities said.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian said Sparks placed the informant in danger by alerting his friends of the informants role.

“Instead of enforcing the law, Sparks broke it, and now he is going to prison,” Quillian said in a statement.

ATF’s Mark Potter Leaving Philly to Become Assistant Director at Headquarters

Mark Potter/atf photo

Mark Potter/atf photo

By Allan Lengel

Mark Potter, head of ATF in Philadelphia, is headed to the mothership in Washington in January to become the agency’s assistant director/chief financial officer, Office of Management.

Potter, who has been with ATF for more than 23 years, has headed up the Philly office for the past 7 1/2 years.

At his new post at headquarters Potter will serve as principal assistant to the Director and oversee ATF’s financial management, human resources, asset forfeiture and seized property, procurement, internal controls and facilities and space management.

Potter says the new job isn’t what he envisioned doing when he entered law enforcement to put away bad guys.

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Gary Condit Refuses to Discuss Relationship with Slain Intern Chandra Levy

Gary Condit in a desposition in 2004/CBS

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Ex-California congressman Gary A. Condit,graying and looking far less youthful than he did nine years ago, took the witness stand Monday in D.C. Superior Court in the murder trial of Chandra Levy and refused to discuss his relationship with the slain intern.

The Washington Post reports that he was asked at least three times if he’d had an intimate relationship with Levy, but he refused to go down that path, as he has in the past. Investigators during the investigation linked the DNA from semen in Levy’s underwear to Condit, who is now 62 and lives in Arizona.

“I don’t believe it’s relevant,” Condit said at one point while on the stand, according to the Post. “I am not going to respond to that question out of privacy for myself and Chandra.”

Ingmar Guandique, 29, has been charged in Levy’s 2001 death. He is currently serving a 10-year sentence for attacking two joggers in Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington, not far from where Levy’s skeletal remains were found in 2002.

The Post reported that Condit did testify that he didn’t kill Levy and he had nothing to do with her disappearance. He called her a friend and constituent.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which handles both federal and local crimes in the District.

To read more click here.

Explosive Packages Were 4 Times More Powerful than Underwear Bomb

By Allan Lengel

The explosives used in the packages from Yemen were four times more powerful than those used by the underwear bomber, the Associated Press reports.

Citing German authorities, AP reported that the two bombs contained 300 and 400 grams of the industrial explosive PETN, compared to about 80 grams used in the Nigerian man who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound plane last Christmas by detonating a bomb in his underwear.

AP reported that authorities suspect the bomb maker is Ibrahim al-Asiri, the master bomb maker for the Yemen-based group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

“It shows that they are trying to again make different types of adaptations based on what we have put in place,” John Brennan, President Obama’s counterterrorism adviser said, according to AP. “So the underwear bomber, as well as these packages, are showing sort of new techniques on their part. They are very innovative and creative.”

Sen. Feinstein Says DEA Needs More Helicopters to Fight Drugs in Afghanistan

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, renewed her call Monday for the State Department to cough up more helicopters for the DEA in Afghanistan.

The public call comes in wake of last week’s major airborne drug raid that netted more than a ton of high-grade heroin in Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan, Feinstein said in a press release.

“This raid netted 2,056 pounds of the highest-grade heroin with a wholesale value of $56 million,” Senator Feinstein said.

“That’s millions of dollars in heroin proceeds that won’t be going to the Taliban. This raid underscores the importance of helicopters to our counternarcotics effort in Afghanistan. Helicopters are critical to getting DEA agents and their Afghan partners to the drug processing facilities that are providing the Taliban with a ready source of cash.

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