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Archive for August, 2011

ATF Operation Focused on Man Who Bought More than 700 Guns

atf file photo

By Kevin Johnson
USA TODAY

When Uriel Patino walked into a Glendale, Ariz., gun store last August and placed an order for 20 handguns, federal gun agents already knew the 25-year-old man as the most prolific figure in a trafficking ring that was supplying hundreds of guns to Mexico’s brutal Sinoloa drug cartel, according to federal court documents and congressional investigators.

In the prior 10 months, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives traced 673 area gun purchases to the Phoenix resident, congressional investigators found.

Now, Patino was back for more. And the ATF, eager for the young suspect to lead them to a bigger fish in the rich trafficking ring, was more than happy to oblige, despite concerns raised by the local gun store. Alarmed by the size of Patino’s August request, the dealer, who was cooperating with federal investigators, asked the ATF whether a special order for the weapons should be placed because there were only four in stock.

“Our guidance is that we would like you to go through with Mr. Patino’s request and order the additional firearms,” ATF Supervisor David Voth wrote the dealer in an Aug. 25 e-mail.

To read the full story click here.

FBI Probes Hacking of Rural Law Enforcement Websites

istock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the hacking thefts of credit cards, email messages and other information from websites of rural law enforcement departments, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that the hackers collective Anonymous said Saturday it attacked 70 websites of law enforcement departments in retaliation for the arrests of some of its sympathizers in the United States and Great Britain.

Some of the hacked emails contained sensitive information, including tips about suspected crimes, profiles of gang members and security training, AP reported.

The e-mail thefts were mainly from sheriffs’ departments in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi, AP reported.

To read more click here.

Pa. Man Who Bit 2 FBI Agents Pleads Guilty

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Pennsylvania man who bit two FBI agents earlier this year, and tried to promote terror attacks online,  pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Pittsburgh, the Associated Press reported.

Emerson Begolly, 22,  pleaded guilty to using the Internet to promote terror attacks against American military and civilian targets. He posted remarks on an Islamic extremist web forum he moderated.

AP reported that he also pleaded guilty to having a loaded pistol while biting the agents.

The agents arrested Emerson Begolly, in New Bethlehem, Pa., outside of Pittsburgh in January.

Begolly, who had posted pro-terrorist songs and statements online, was sitting in a car outside a fast food restaurant when one of the agents opened the door, AP wrote. Authorities declined to say what the agents were up to, but a criminal complaint said agents had an interest in him.

After the agent opened the door, AP reported that Begolly screamed and reached into his jacket, prompting agents to prevent him from getting what they suspected was a gun, according to the criminal complaint.

“Agents attempted to control Begolly, Begolly bit both agents and drew blood,” the complaint said, according to the AP. The complaint said agents found a 9mm handgun inside his jacket with the safety “off” and one round in the chamber.

Millenium Films Buys Rights to Ex-FBI Agent Paul Lindsay’s Book

Paul Lindsay/simon & schuster photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Good news for ex-Detroit FBI agent Paul Lindsay.

Millenium Films has acquired the rights to “The Bricklayer”, his best-selling novel penned under the pseudonym Noah Boyd, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The publication reports that Scottish actor Gerard Butler will star in the film as a rogue former agent who’s services are needed to battle a criminal group that’s been demanding multi-million dollar ransom payments.

The Hollywood reporter said Hanna Weg (Enigma) is adapting the novel for the screen. Butler, Alan Siegel and Danielle Robinson are producing, with Erik Lindsay and Weg serving as executive producers.

Gerard Butler in "The Bounty Hunter"

Lindsay’s book was published by William Morrow in January of last year.

Lindsay published his first book in 1992 while he was still working as an agent in downtown Detroit. In all, he’s cranked out seven books.

FBI Will Once Again Give Test on Domestic Operations

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
The FBI soon plans to give its employees a test on bureau policies for conducting surveillance on Americans. The test, if you recall, is called the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide. (DIOG)

Last time the test was given for the DIOG, things didn’t go so well. In fact, a scandal developed. The Justice Department’s Inspector General last year found that a number of employees cheated on the open-book test on the DIOG. Some agents passed around the answers. Some finished in such short time it was obvious they cheated. Some folks got in trouble.

This time agents, analysts and other employees are going to take a test focusing just the revisions made on the DIOG. It will be much shorter.

Paul Bresson, spokesman for the FBI, said he expects the test to be introduced in the coming weeks.

“Prior to implementation of the revised Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), all FBI special agents and appropriate professional staff will be required to successfully complete a training course and assessment,” Bresson said in a statement to the ticklethewire.com

“This requirement, to include the assessment, is designed to review important concepts (including items focusing on respect for civil rights and privacy concerns) and to ensure that FBI employees understand the changes that are being made in the revised DIOG.”

“Much like other web-based training regularly provided by the FBI, the DIOG assessment will be part of the educational program.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Agents Say Hijacker D.B. Cooper Probably Died During His Jump

fbi photos

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mystery man known as D.B. Cooper, who parachuted from a plane in 1971 with $200,000 in ransom money, probably died during his jump, according to FBI agents on the case, Ronald Kessler of Newsmax reports.

FBI agent Ralph Himmelsbach was the case agent on the case, reported Kessler, who just authored the book “The Secrets of the FBI.” The case gained renewed interest when a woman claiming to be Cooper’s niece recently came forward, claiming she had heard her uncle talk about the heist. She has reportedly passed a polygraph test.

Kessler reports that Himmelsbach was the agent from the get go when Cooper boarded the Northwest Orient plane in Portland, Ore. He claimed to have a bomb and had the plane fly to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where he got the ransom money. He subsequently parachuted from the plane.”

“I chased his plane in an Army helicopter just for a while until the weather was so bad that they called us back, and then I continued working the case,” Himmelsbach told Newsmax.“Then when the money was found on a river bank, it was turned in to me, and five years to the day after the skyjacking I testified before the grand jury, and they indicted him for aircraft piracy.”

To read the full story click here.

Feds Make Big Stink; Bust 2 Chinese Men for Counterfeit Perfumes

authentic Polo Black

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Apparently the feds wanted to make a big stink out this case.

Two men from China — Shaoxiong Zhou, 42, and Shaoxia Huang, 33 — have pleaded guilty U.S. District Court in Brooklyn — to trafficking in counterfeit perfume. Zhou pleaded guilty Friday. His co-defendant pleaded on Aug. 3.

Authorities said the two admitted offering to supply counterfeit perfume to prospective buyers at a Las Vegas trade show in August 2010. The counterfeit perfume included the brands Lacoste, Polo Black and Armani Code.

Authorities said ultimately a cargo shipment containing counterfeit perfumes was purchased and shipped to the United States in 2011 and was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents upon arrival.

New Mexico Gun Dealer Files Suit to Stop ATF Regulation of Reporting Sales in Border States

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The push back continues against an ATF regulation that would require gun dealers in four Mexican border states to report multiple gun sales of semi-automatic rifles.

An Albuquerque gun store has become the latest to file suit against the U.S. government to try and block the practice from taking effect on Aug. 14, the Associated Press reported. The states effected include New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and Calif.

Ron Peterson Firearms Peterson filed a lawsuit last week, AP reported. The news service reported that it was the third lawsuit to be filed to try and block the regulation from taking effect.

ATF spokesman Drew Wade told The Associated Press on Friday that his agency will vigorously defend the regulation.

Another lawsuit has been filed by National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents the firearms industry, AP reported.