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Archive for October, 2011

Fed Law Enforcement Infiltrating Cartels in Mexico

By GINGER THOMPSON
New York Times

WASHINGTON — American law enforcement agencies have significantly built up networks of Mexican informants that have allowed them to secretly infiltrate some of that country’s most powerful and dangerous criminal organizations, according to security officials on both sides of the border.

As the United States has opened new law enforcement and intelligence outposts across Mexico in recent years, Washington’s networks of informants have grown there as well, current and former officials said. They have helped Mexican authorities capture or kill about two dozen high-ranking and midlevel drug traffickers, and sometimes have given American counternarcotics agents access to the top leaders of the cartels they are trying to dismantle.

Typically, the officials said, Mexico is kept in the dark about the United States’ contacts with its most secret informants — including Mexican law enforcement officers, elected officials and cartel operatives — partly because of concerns about corruption among the Mexican police, and partly because of laws prohibiting American security forces from operating on Mexican soil.

“The Mexicans sort of roll their eyes and say we know it’s happening, even though it’s not supposed to be happening,” said Eric L. Olson, an expert on Mexican security matters at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

To read the full story click here.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST 

 

 

 

Andrew Weissmann Named FBI’s General Counsel

Andrew Weissmann/photo columbia law

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Andrew Weissmann, a private lawyer who once served as the former director of the federal government’s Enron task force, and who also previously served as FBI Director Robert S. Mueller’s special counsel, will become the FBI’s new general counsel, according to the Am Law Daily reported.

The publication reports that Weissman has left his post as cochair of Jenner & Block’s white-collar defense and investigations practice, a New York-based firm he joined in 2006.

Weissmann replaces Valerie Caproni, who became the general counsel at Northrop Grumman Corporation earlier this month, Am Law Daily reported.

The publication reported that he will oversee a 300-lawyer law department.

 

 

8 NYPD Cops Busted in Gun Smuggling Ring

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

And now for one of those black eyes that all police departments hate.

Reuters reports that 8 New York cops were arrested Tuesday on fed charges for allegedly helping run a run a gun-smuggling ring in the city.  Four others were also charged in the case.

Reuters reported that the U.S. Attorney’s office confirmed the arrests and said the ring also smuggled other items such as cigarettes and slot machines.

Reuters reported that of the eight officers, five are active duty officers and three are retired.

 

Got Drugs? DEA Wants You to Turn Them In

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The ad stripped across the bottom of USA Today’s Money section on Monday read: “Got Drugs? Turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal Saturday, October 29th.”

The ad,  an apparent play on the popular ad campaign “Got Milk?”, also appears on the top of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s webpage, and is part of a campaign by the DEA to get folks to throw out their expired or unused drugs.

The DEA will have collection sites set up around the country from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” the DEA said in a press release.”More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

“Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.”

 

Affleck and Matt Damon to Make Movie About Mobster “Whitey” Bulger

Ben Affleck/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It was just a matter of time.

Four months after the FBI captured Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger  in California, word has surfaced that a movie will be made based on his life.

The website Deadline New York reports that actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon “are reuniting in their first real picture partnership since Good Will Hunting” to make the movie about Bulger.

Deadline New York reports that Warner Bros will make the film and Affleck will direct, co-star. Damon will play Bulger.

“Matt and I have been looking for something to do together for some time,” Affleck said, according to the website. “We’ve heard about Whitey Bulger since we were kids, and we are excited by the prospect of putting it on screen.”

The movie The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese, was supposedly inspired by the Bulger story.

Bulger was a fugitive for 16 years.

The website said the new movie will be based on Bulger’s life including his time as an FBI informant, which has long been a sensitive issue within the FBI.

 

Arson Suspect Pleads to Threatening to Kill ATF Task Force Member

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some thoughts are better kept to yourself.

That’s what Craig Allen Shepperd, 37, of Whitehall, Md., hopefully learned.

Shepperd pleaded guilty to threatening to murder an ATF task force member pleaded guilty last Friday in Baltimore federal court.

“ATF agents, along other federal, state, and local law enforcement officers put their lives on the line everyday to reduce violent crime, and keep peace in our communities,” Mark Chait, ATF special agent in charge of the Baltimore office, said in a statement. “ATF will not tolerate anyone who threatens the peace of our citizens, or those who have sworn to protect them.”

The incident happened when the task force member visited Sheppard in the Baltimore County Jail. Shepperd was a suspect in the arson of a horse barn that burned down in Monkton, Md. on Aug. 26, 2010, authorities said. He was in the jail on a state indictment for arson.

Authorities say Shepperd became very agitated and told the ATF task force member that he was a marksman and a very good hunter and he would shoot the task force member in the head.

Shepperd stated that when he got out of jail he would would meet the ATF task force officer at at a restaurant and neither of them would come out alive.

Authorities said they also had recordings of conversations in which Shepperd made statements to an individual and his father repeating those threats to murder the ATF officer.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

TN ACLU Sues ICE for Warrantless Raid: Agent Allegedly Said “The Warrant is Coming Out of My Balls”


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the heat of the moment, fed agents can say the darnest things.

The website Talking Points Memo reports that the Tennessee chapter of the ACLU is suing Immigration and Customs Enforcement over an alleged warrantless raid on an apartment complex in Nashville in which an agent allegedly shouted, “we don’t need a warrant, we’re ICE.”

Oh yes, he then allegedly added as he gestured to his crotch: “The warrant is coming out of my balls.”

TPM reported that the 37-page complaint was on behalf of fifteen plaintiffs. The raid was on the apartment complex that was suspected of housing illegal immigrants.

The raid in question took place on October 20, 2010 in Nashville. TPM reports that ICE agents kicked in the door of several apartments in a complex “without a warrant, held the tenants at gunpoint, shouted racial slurs and made several arrests.”

UPDATE: 6:28 p.m. Monday: In response to an inquiry from ticklethewire.com, ICE Monday issued a statement saying:

“While ICE does not comment on pending litigation, ICE agents and officers are held to the highest standards of conduct. They treat individuals encountered during law enforcement operations with respect and professionalism, according to standard law enforcement operating procedures. Any allegations of misconduct are investigated and if wrong-doing is found, appropriate action is taken.

“In this case from Oct. 2010, ICE’s Fugitive Operations Team was on-site assisting local law enforcement with field interviews of suspected street gang members and targeted ICE fugitives. ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes our efforts on individuals that pose the greatest threat to public safety.”

To read more click here.

 

FBI Director Mueller’s Nostalgic Moment

ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

CHICAGO — This same time last year, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was feeling a little nostalgic when he spoke in Orlando before the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference. It was like a final victory lap, the last speech as director  before the group.

But in a move that caught almost everyone by surprise, the White House earlier this year asked him to stay on two more years beyond his 10-year term. After some consultation, Mueller, now 67, obliged and Congress confirmed his stay.

On Monday, here in downtown Chicago, that twist in the road was not lost as he spoke before a crowd  at the IACP in a cavernous auditorium at the McCormick Place convention center.

“I will admit to feeling a bit nostalgic last year, believing it was my final meeting with you. I fully intended to finish my term last month,” he said before the crowd and some Washington-based notables, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. and Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones.

“I will say when the President asked whether I would be willing to continue as FBI Director for another two years, I sought advice from many people, because I believe a leader is often the last to know when it is time to go.

‘Three considerations persuaded me to extend my term. First, it would be hard, at any time, to leave the FBI family, and indeed, the larger law enforcement family. I am lucky to work with such talented and dedicated people.

“Second, as each of you knows, there is nothing more rewarding than public service.”

“Lastly, we in the FBI do have unfinished business. We must continue to improve our technology, expand our intelligence capabilities, and adapt to meet new challenges. I did not want to miss the opportunity to be part of that.”

Mueller went on to talk about the changes at the FBI since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, organized crime and the ever-looming threat of terrorism.

“Osama bin Laden, Anwar Awlaki, and other key leaders are no longer in the picture.  Nonetheless, al Qaeda remains the top terrorist threat.”