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Archive for January, 2012

FBI Arrests 4 New Haven, Conn. Cops in Racial Profiling Case

Trial Begins for Former Louisiana Mayor

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Jury selection began on Monday in the trial of  a former Louisiana mayor charged with a number of crimes, reports theadvertiser.com.

George L. Grace, the former Mayor of St. Gabriel, La.,  in the Baton Rouge metropolitan area, faces charges of racketeering, extortion, obstruction of justice, false statements, bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and use of a telephone in aid of racketeering. The charges were brought against the ex-mayor as part of the FBI’s “Operation Blighted Officials” sting, according to the advertiser. Five other officials in the area either pleaded guilty or were convicted over the last 18 months as a result of the operation.

FBI agents posed as corrupt executives from the private sector offering bribes in exchange for help gaining business for a fake firm called Cifer 5000, the advertiser reports.

To read more click here.

FBI: Violent MS-13 Gang Members in Custody, Facing Murder and Other Charges

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Consider the streets of Suffolk County, N.Y. that much safer: Five members of the violent street gang MS-13 were named in a indictment unsealed on Monday, the FBI announced later that day. The charges include murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, armed robberies, firearms offenses, and related conspiracy charges.

Jose Alvarenga, also known as “Fosforo,” and Hector Torres, also known as “Smiley,” face murder charges over the death of 15-year-old Christopher Hamilton in 2009, and Rigoberto Gomez in 2010, both in Brentwood, New York.

All of those charged are now in custody, the FBI says. Alvarenga and Torres were arraigned on Monday, while the other three will be arraigned later in the week.

Authorities alleged that on November 20, 2009, Alvarenga, the leader of the Brentwood Locos Salvatruchas (BLS) clique of  the MS-13, ordered gang members to attack suspected rival gang members at a house party in Brentwood, says the FBI.

He armed his men with a .22 caliber rifle and a semi-automatic handgun, then led them to the house. At least three rifle shots were fired into a crowd outside the home moments after they arrived. One of the shots fatally hit Christopher Hamilton in the temple.

The indictment also alleges that in August 2010, members of an MS-13 clique known as the Sailors suspected that another MS-13 member, Rigoberto Gomez, was working with local law enforcement, so they put a “green light” on Gomez, which allowed other members to kill Gomez on sight, says the FBI.

“They lured Gomez into the car, inviting him to smoke marijuana with them at the nearby Freeman Avenue Park,” says the FBI. “After exiting the car, Torres stepped behind Gomez and fired a bullet from a .357 caliber revolver into the back of Gomez’s head, and fired a second shot into Gomez’s head after the victim fell to the ground. Torres then handed the gun to the other MS-13 member, who fired a third shot into Gomez’s head.”

 

Hell’s Lovers Arrested, Appear in Court

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

If prison is hell, some Denver gang members may have found their soul mates.

Members of the motorcycle gang Hell’s Lovers were arrested this weekend and made their first court appearance on Monday afternoon, reports 9news.com.

There wasn’t enough room for all 19 defendants in the jury box, 9news reports, so defendants had to sit in the first row of the courtroom

The Feds raided a number of homes around Denver on Friday night and made at least 15 arrests, according to U.S. Attorney for Colorado John Walsh. Authorities alleged that between January 2005 and September 2011, 16 members of the gang got together to “use and distribute cocaine and marijuana.”

To read more click here.

FBI and ATF Investigating 3 Explosions in Oklahoma

Colo. Man Charged With Supporting Overseas Terrorist Group

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a Colorado man over the weekend at Chicago O’Hare Airport on charges of providing and attempting to provide support to a Pakistani-based terrorism group.

Jamshid Muhtorov, aka Abumumin Turkistony, aka Abu Mumin, 35, of Aurora, Colorado, who is a refugee of Uzbekistant.

Authorities charged that Muhtorov indicated that he planned to travel overseas and fight on behalf of the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a designated foreign terrorist organization, based in Pakistan.

Authorities said the IJU, “adheres to an anti-western ideology, opposes secular rule in Uzbekistan and seeks to replace the current regime with a government based on Islamic law. In addition to conducting suicide attacks in Uzbekistan, the IJU has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan.”

Authorities alleged that Muhtorov had sworn allegiance to the IJU, and that he was ready for any task, even with the risk of dying.

Federal authorities pointed out that the activities of Muhtorov “highlight the continued interest of extremists residing in the United States to join and support overseas terrorists.”

 OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

Ex-CIA Officer Accused of Leaks Involving Terror Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A former CIA officer, who helped track down and capture a big terror suspect, was charged Monday with repeatedly disclosing classified information to journalists, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee in classified activities, the Justice Department said.

The charges were filed in fed court in Alexandria, Va., against former CIA agent John Kiriakou.

Kiriakou, 47, of Arlington, Va., was a CIA intelligence officer between 1990 and 2004, serving at headquarters and in various classified overseas assignments.

The government alleged in a four-count criminal complaint that Kiriakou made illegal disclosures about two CIA employees and their involvement in classified operations to two journalists on multiple occasions between 2007 and 2009.

In one instance, Kiriakou allegedly disclosed the name and contact information of an employee, identified in the complaint as “Officer B,” whose participation in an operation to capture and question terrorism subject Abu Zubaydah in 2002 was then classified, authorities said.

Authorities alleged that Kiriakou leaked the information prior to a June 2008 front-page story in The New York Times disclosing Officer B’s alleged role in the Abu Zubaydah operation.

“Safeguarding classified information, including the identities of CIA officers involved in sensitive operations, is critical to keeping our intelligence officers safe and protecting our national security,” said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement.

Read the press release

Read the NY Times story

 

Supreme Court Rules Police Must Have Search Warrant Before Using GPS Device

By Robert Barnes
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that police must obtain a search warrant before using a GPS device to track criminal suspects. But the justices left for another day larger questions about how technology has altered a person’s expectation of privacy.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that the government needed a valid warrant before attaching a GPS device to the Jeep used by D.C. drug kingpin Antoine Jones, who was convicted in part because police tracked his movements on public roads for 28 days.

“We hold that the government’s installation of a GPS device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a ‘search’ ” under the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, Scalia wrote.

To read the full story click here.

Read opinion United States v. Jones.