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Archive for May, 2011

FBI Reports Drop in Violent Crimes in 2010; Murder Dropped by 4.4%

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Violent crimes and property crimes dropped in 2010 compared to the previous year, the FBI’s Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime report showed.

The report, released Monday, showed a 5.5 percent decrease in reported violent crimes compared to 2009. Property crimes dropped 2.8 percent.

The FBI reported that murder declined 4.4 percent , while forcible rape dropped 4.2 percent, robbery 9.5 percent, and aggravated assault 3.6 percent—all when compared with 2009 crime figures.

Geographically, the South saw the largest decline in violent crime (7.5 percent), followed by the Midwest (5.9 percent), the West (5.8 percent) and the Northeast (0.4 percent).

As for property crime, motor vehicle theft was down 7.2 percent, larceny-theft was down 2.8 percent, and burglary was down 1.1 percent. Arson fell 8.3 percent nationally.

To read more stats click here.

FBI Arrests Philly Mob Boss, Underboss and 9 Others


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mob in Philadelphia got a rude awakening Monday morning.

FBI agents rounded up Philly reputed mob boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, underboss Joseph Massimino and nine other reputed associates, capping a lengthy probe that focused on crimes including violence, gambling, loan sharking, witness tampering and extortion,  the Justice Department announced.

Others arrested, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer,  included reputed mobsters Anthony Staino, Martin Angelina and Gaetan Lucibello and alleged mob associate Louis “Bent Finger” Lou Monacello.

The arrests came as a result of 50-count, superseding indictment of 13 mobsters, the Justice Department said. Two were already in prison.

The Philadelphia LCN Family has shown a remarkable ability to reorganize and reinvigorate itself, even as its members were sent to prison,” Assistant Attorney Gen. Lanny Breuer said at a press conference in Philly. ” According to the superseding indictment, Ligambi rose through the ranks of the organization, becoming an underboss, then acting boss and, finally, when his predecessor was sent to prison, the boss.

“Attorney General Robert Kennedy understood that the devastating grip of organized crime in this country had to be broken,” Breuer later said. ” Attorney General Holder has renewed that commitment. While we have pried loose La Cosa Nostra’s grip on power and influence, we know that there is still work to be done.

Ex-Teammate Who Testified in Fed Grand Jury Says Lance Armstrong Took Banned Drugs


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The doping case involving Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong — the subject of a federal grand jury in Los Angeles — is heating up.

A former teammate of Armstrong’s Tyler Hamilton told 60 Minutes that the international cycling authorities helped the legendary Armstrong cover up a positive test for the banned drug EPO in 2001.

Hamilton, who has testified before the grand jury, also told 60 Minutes that he saw Armstrong take banned drug and that he finally told his own family about the illegalities that had been going on.

“Well, I just told my family for the first time four days ago about all this. It was brutal. Was the first time, really, I confided in them and then told them the whole story, you know, starting from the first time I doped till to up through the end,” Hamilton told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley.

To read more and see interview click here.

Did Ex-FBI Agent Lin DeVecchio Cross the Line with the Mob?

N.J. Gov. Christie Loads Up Administration With Former Fed Prosecutors

Christopher Christie/campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Assistant U.S. Attorneys seem to have found a new home with New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie.

The Asbury Press reports that Christie, who was the U.S. Attorney in Newark from from 2002 though 2008, has appointed more than two dozen former federal prosecutors to his administration or State Superior Court. Nearly 20 worked directly for him.

Montclair State University political scientist Brigid Harrison told the Asbury Press that the move gives the image that the Christie administration is for clean government.

“The most obvious advantage is that there is a public perception that prosecutors are squeaky clean. And in a state with a reputation for corruption like New Jersey has, that offers voters and Gov. Christie a certain degree of credibility and legitimacy that comes automatically,” Harrison told the paper.

To read more click here.

New Head of Denver FBI Has Colorful, Global Experience

James Yacone/fbi photo

By Felisa Cardona
Denver Post

DENVER — James F. Yacone is a decorated combat veteran, an accomplished criminal investigator and a graduate of West Point, but he doesn’t like to brag.

The walls in his office at the Denver FBI are nearly bare, with just a sampling of photographs from his military service overseas despite his many awards and accolades.

“I am just an ordinary person put in extraordinary circumstances,” he said.

Yacone, 45, took over as special agent in charge of the Denver FBI in April after the retirement of James Davis, who went on to head the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Weekend Series on Crime History: Robert Kennedy, J. Edgar Hoover and the Mob

3 Somali Pirates Plead Guilty in Hijacking of Ship That Resulted in 4 American Deaths


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Three Somali pirates pled guilty Friday in federal court in Norfolk, Va., to leading the group that hijacked the S/V Quest in the Indian Ocean,  which resulted in the death of four American crew members in February.

“These men have admitted to pirating an American yacht and holding four U.S. citizens hostage at gunpoint for ransom. Tragically, their piracy led to the execution of the four American hostages,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride. “Piracy is big business in Somalia, and today pirates got another reminder of the tremendous cost of participating in this criminal venture. If you pirate an American ship, you will be caught and you’ll face severe consequences in an American courtroom.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk added in a statement: “Today’s pleas are a crucial step in the judicial process. Mohamud Hirs Issa Ali and Mohamud Salad Ali, the leaders of these violent pirates, were armed hijackers who directed their subordinates to take hostages and seize the Quest, resulting in the death of four innocent Americans. Modern piracy isn’t swordplay and derring-do; it’s armed robbery and cold-blooded murder at sea.”