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Archive for September, 2011

DEA Spokesman David Ausiello Named Assist. Director for Communication at Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DEA Public Affairs Specialist David Ausiello is making a switch.

Ausiello has been named Assistant Director for Communication and Law Enforcement Coordination at the Executive Office for the U.S. Attorneys.

“Staying in the DOJ family…but moving up, over, and out,” Ausiello said in an email to members of the media on Thursday.

Obama Faces Historic Threats, Ex-Secret Service Agent Says

 

Donald Tucker/ from his website

 
By PAUL BEDARD and LAUREN FOX
U.S. News & World Report

Racism and the nation’s white hot political environment that has sparked bitter division in Washington and a political assassination attempt in Arizona have raised concerns about President Obama’s safety on the campaign trail, according to a former top U.S. marshal and retired Secret Service agent.

“I think there is going to be a violent incident in 2012. I cannot put my finger on when or where. I am more inclined to worry about the president, but the volatility is there,” said Donald Tucker. “I don’t think there is ever enough security when you go from city to city, place to place, shaking hands and kissing babies. Secret Service can only do so much,” he added in an interview.

Tucker spent 25 years in the Secret Service. After retiring in 1990, then President George H. W. Bush named him a U.S. Marshal in Arizona. Last year he published Two-Edged Sword, his biography about being one of the first black federal agents.

To read more click here.

 

Justice Department Scorns Puerto Rico Police Dept. — the Nation’s Second Largest

 
 By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is coming down hard on the Puerto Rico Police Department — the nation’s second largest —  accusing it of  “profound” and “longstanding” civil rights violations and illegal practices, reports the New York Times.

The Puerto Rico Police Department is “using force, including deadly force, when no force or lesser force was called for,” says a 116-page Justice Department report to be made public on Thursday, according to the Times.

The report cited regular profiling and singling out of those of Dominican descent, and it noted a failure to “adequately police sex assault and domestic violence” cases, such as spousal abuse and abuse by fellow law enforcement officials, reports the Times.

Puerto Rico has seen increases in violent crimes, an occurance that has begun to spill into middle class neighborhoods recently, according to the Times, with 786 homicides this year–up by 117 from the same time last year.

To read more click here.

Read Statement on Report by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez

Atty. Gen. Holder Insists Upper Levels of Justice Dept. Didn’t Know About Fast and Furious

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr./doj file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. is sticking to his guns, insisting “the upper levels of the Justice Department” were unaware of the flawed and controversial ATF gun program “Operation Fast and Furious.”

“The notion that somehow or other this reaches into the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that, at this point, I don’t think is supported by the facts,” Holder said at a press conference Wednesday, according to Politico. “We’ll certainly see, I think, at the end of [the Inspector General’s investigation] exactly who was involved, exactly who made the decisions.”

The controversial Fast and Furious operation encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers or middlemen, all with the hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia.) have been trying determine who in the Justice Department knew about the operation and gave the okay.

ATF lost track of some weapons that ended up surfacing at crime scenes.

Fox News reported that a spokesman for Issa said Holder’s comments were baseless “whining.”

“My hope would be that Congress will conduct an investigation that is factually based and not mired with politics,” Holder said regarding Issa’s investigation, according to Politico.

 

FBI Gets Involved in IHOP Shooting in Nevada

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has jumped into the investigation into the 32-year-old gunman who opened fire with an AK 47 in an IHOP in Carson City, Nevada Tuesday morning, killing four people and  himself.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune reports that more than a dozen FBI agents on Wednesday morning combed through the Mi Pueblo Meat Market in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., where gunman Eduardo Sencion, 32, worked as a cashier.

The paper reported that FBI agents removed several paper and plastic bags of property, as well as what appeared to be two computer towers.

The store was closed during the search, the paper reported. In fact, a sign on the door said the market would not open today.

 

Man Who Plotted Bronx Synagogue Bombings in FBI Sting Gets 25 Years

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The last of four men –Laguerre Payen — was sentenced Thursday in Manhattan Federal Court to 25 years in prison for his role in an FBI sting that involved plotting to bomb Bronx synagogues and shoot down U.S. military planes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Specifically, authorities say he was involved in plots to bomb synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and use to use Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles to shoot down military planes at the New York Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y.

The case came as a result of the FBI putting up an informant in in 2008 assigned an informant to infiltrate a mosque in Newburgh, N.Y.

Lawyers for the defendants claimed the men were entrapped by the paid informant. In the end, the men planted fake bombs supplied by the FBI in 2009.

Payen was convicted along with his three co-defendants James Cromitie, David Williams, and Onta Williams in October 2010 after a two-month jury trial.

“Laguerre Payen was a willing participant in a plot to use bombs and missiles to target New York synagogues and U.S. military planes,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Although these weapons were fake, the defendant believed they were real, and today’s sentence underscores the gravity of these crimes.”

 

 

Feds Bust 91 in Nationwide $295 Mil Medicare Fraud Crackdown

FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry, left, is joined by Attorney General Eric Holder and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in announcing a nationwide Medicare fraud takedown operation./fbi photo

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Medicare fraud, which helps zap government funding for healthcare, was at front center on Wednesday when the Justice Department announced a nationwide crackdown that resulted in charges against 91 people who were involved in roughly $295 million in false billings. Authorities said in Miami alone, 45 people—including a doctor and a nurse—were charged for their roles in fraud involving $159 million in false Medicare bills in the areas of home health care, mental health services, occupational and physical therapy, durable medical equipment, and HIV infusion. In Los Angeles, six defendants—including one doctor—were charged for their roles in schemes to defraud Medicare of more than $10.7 million. And in Brooklyn, three defendants—including two doctors—were charged in a fraud scheme involving more than $3.4 million in false claims for medically unnecessary physical therapy, authorities said. “The defendants charged in this takedown are accused of stealing precious taxpayer resources and defrauding Medicare – jeopardizing the integrity of our health care system and our nation’s most critical health care program for personal gain,” said Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said in a statement. “Today’s arrests are a powerful warning to those who would try to defraud taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries,” added Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “These arrests illustrate close cooperation between the Medicare program that identified these fraudsters and the law enforcement officials who acted swiftly to cut them off. And our efforts to stop criminals don’t end here because the Affordable Care Act gives us new tools to prevent Medicare fraud before it is committed – better protecting seniors and the integrity of the Medicare program for generations to come.”

 OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Republicans Refuse to Confirm Leader for ATF

White House nominee Andrew Traver has not been confirmed as head of ATF/zerocancer.org photo

By David G. Savage
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans have been upset at the management at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which authorized a botched sting operation near the Mexican border that put guns in the hands of drug criminals.

But Republican leaders, responding to complaints from gun-rights lobbyists, have refused to confirm a director for the bureau since it was split from the Treasury Department eight years ago.

“They have had nothing but acting directors. Do you wonder why some things would go wrong there?” said John Killorin, a retired special agent from Atlanta and president of the ATF Assn. “This is a major law enforcement agency, and they need a confirmed director with the full responsibility and authority to run it.”

President Obama’s nominee, an ATF special agent from Chicago, has yet to have a Senate hearing.

To read more click here