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Archive for January, 2012

Obama Admin. Announces New Regs for Gun Operations in Wake of Fast and Furious

atf file photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

New changes in federal law enforcement have emerged from the highly contentious Fast & Furious operation, reports Reuters.

On Friday, the Obama administration announced reforms intended to improve undercover gun trafficking investigations in the wake of a failed operation which let hundreds of guns into the hands of violent criminals along the US-Mexico border.

The new reforms demand more oversight of undercover operations, according to Reuters, focusing on investigations concerning more than 50 firearms and ending the use of payed gun dealers as confidential informants.

To read more click here.

Drug Bust in Upstate New York Charges Nine in Crack Network

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Nine people were in indicted on Friday in a suspected narcotics ring near Rochester, N.Y., ABC reports.

Between 2008 and 2012, authorities from local police precincts and the ATF say, the indicted used rental properties to distribute 280 grams of crack and five kilograms of cocaine. They also face weapons charges, according to ABC. At least one suspect is also linked to an additional shooting.

Cedric Lewis, Matthew Latson, Printice Latson, Robert Baxter, Earnst Baker, Keith Ruther, Lamar Nelson, and Leandro Jones are in custody, says ABC, but Eric Bradley is still not in custody.

To read more click here.

Justice Dept. Unit to Probe Mortgage-Backed Securities

By Kevin Johnson
USA Today

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government dispatched 55 prosecutors, FBI agents and analysts Friday to a new financial crimes enforcement unit focusing on home mortgage abuses that fueled the 2008 economic collapse.

For the first time since the crisis, federal investigators will be joined by state law enforcement officials as part of a working group that, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, would launch the “broadest, deepest investigation into what blew up the economy.”

The unit, first referenced earlier this week by President Obama in the State of the Union, is expected to plunge deeper into the causes of “massive market failures” that continue to harm homeowners, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.

To read more click here.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INETERST:

School Lunch Director Convicted in Bribery Probe

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Lunch just won’t be the same.

The director of a public school lunch program in the American Samoa was convicted on Thursday in Washington of obstructing a federal grand jury and law enforcement investigations into a bribery plot, reports the Pacific News Center. Paul Solofa was convicted after a four-day trial, after which a federal jury found him guilty on a count of witness tampering and a count of obstruction of justice.

Early in 2008, feds began an investigation into tips that cash bribes and kickbacks were being paid by vendors of school bus parts and services to officials with the American Samoa Government, according to evidence shown at trial.

The evidence showed that Solofa met with a vendor on April 3, 2009. When the vendor told Solofa the FBI wanted to interview him, Solofa, in a recorded meeting, said to the vendor “they cannot do anything with cash. Nothing. They cannot do anything with cash. They cannot track down you on cash. Because even if you say you gave me cash I’ll tell them ‘no.’ They cannot take your word on cash. Because that’s hearsay.”

To read more click here.

Weekend Series on Crime: The Rise and Fall of Detroit’s Hip Hop Mayor Who is Under Fed Indictment

http://youtu.be/QL7ujMysX9U

Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty in FBI Sting that Targeted Military Recruiting Center

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 22-year-old Baltimore man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Baltimore to plotting to blow up an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Md., the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore said.

Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, a U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against federal property. He had been arrested on Dec. 8, 2010, after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be explosives at the armed forces recruiting station.

“We are catching dangerous suspects before they strike, and we are investigating them in a way that maximizes the liberty and security of law-abiding citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein in a statement. “That is what the American people expect of the Justice Department, and that is what we aim to deliver.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said, according to his plea agreement, on Oct. 22, 2010, Martinez broached the subject of  attacking military targets with an FBI confidential source (CS). During the recorded conversations that followed between Martinez, the confidential sources and later, an FBI undercover agent, “Martinez identified his target—an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville—and spoke about his anger toward America, his belief that Muslims were being unjustly targeted and killed by the American military and his desire to commit jihad to send a message that American soldiers would be killed unless the country stopped its ‘war’ against Islam.”

The feds  said Martinez attempted to recruit a number of people to join in the plot, and one of them tried to dissuade him from committing jihad.

At one point, the FBI confidential source introduced his “Afghani brother”, who ended up being an undercover FBI agent who posed as someone interested in the plot.

Louisville ATF Agent Injured in Car Crash; Other Driver May Have Been Drinking

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

While on duty and driving in an official bureau car, an ATF agent in Louisville was sent to the hospital Thursday afternoon after a Cadillac hit a telephone pole, spun and struck the agent’s car. The injuries are not expected to be life-threatening, a spokesman for the Louisville Metro Police told the Courier-Journal.

Alcohol may have been involved with the driver of the Cadillac, which was moving at a high speed, but citations were not issued as authorities wait for the results of a toxicology report on the driver, who was also hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Though on duty, the accident did not occur during a law enforcement operation, Spokesman for the ATF Louisville division George Huffman told the paper.

To read more click here.

Meth User Shoots at Police Helicopter, Gets 46 Months

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Originally indicted by a federal grand jury for firing at an in-flight police helicopter, Michael P. McMichael, of Oklahoma City, was slapped with 46 months in prison for being a habitual methamphetamine user unlawfully in possession of a firearm, the FBI announced on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old shot at the police helicopter in Oklahoma City on June 25 or 26, says the FBI, damaging the aircraft. He was indicted for the incident on January 18, 2011 and pled guilty on April 11, 2011 to the charges he was sentenced for.

Prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Randy Sengel, the case was the result of a cooperative investigation by the Oklahoma City police and the FBI.