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Archive for January, 2012

Public Corruption Probes Up in Colorado, FBI Says

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It may not be Chicago, but the Denver FBI is now investigating more than a dozen cases of public corruption in Colorado, Wyoming and Indian country, reports the Denver Post.

That number is up from three years ago, when the bureau launched a special hotline for tips on public corruption At the time, the FBI had suggested that public corruption was going unreported.

“We are very busy right now,” said Supervising Special Agent Brian Schmitt, according to the Denver. “I don’t know if it is a result of the down economy or if there are more avenues to report.”

To read more click here.

 

Series of Church Vandalism May Be Hate Crimes

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is taking part in the investigation in what might be a series of hate crimes, reports WBIR.

The investigation revolves around the vandalism of three churches and a former church in West Knox County The FBI has joined in the investigation of vandalism at three churches and a vacant former church in West Knox County, Tennessee.

Two months’ worth of broken windows in the churches are considered violations of “civil rights” since the crimes occurred on “religious real property,” Special agent Richard Lambert told WBIR.

“That’s because Congress put it in the books that makes it a federal crime to damage any religious real property because of its religious character,” Lambert said.

To read more click here.

FBI: Fed Reserve Employee Stole Computer Code

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A New York computer programmer was arrested and charged with stealing proprietary software code this week, reports the website TechWorld.com. But the software he allegedly stole didn’t belong to just anyone; it belonged to the federal reserve.

Bo Zhang is charged with stealing software code, known as the Government-Wide Accounting and Reporting Program (GWA) from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The software handles a wide variety of government financial transactions, reports TechWorld.

“Bo Zhang was a contract employee assigned to the Federal Reserve Board of New York (FRBNY) to work on further developing a specific portion of the GWA’s source code which the United States has spent approximately £6.1 million ($9.5 million) to develop,” the FBI said in a statement. “In the summer of 2011, Zhang allegedly stole the GWA Code.”

To read more click here.

Website Founder Pleads Not Guilty

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Several days after the feds shutdown the popular file-sharing website Megaupload.com  in an anti-piracy operation, the site’s founder claimed he was not guilty,  reports Reuters.

Kim Dotcom pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in New Zealand to piracy and money laundering. Prosecutor Anne Toohey told a court at Dotcom’s bail hearing that the suspect was a flight risk “at the extreme end of the scale” because he had access to money, fake ID papers and had a history of fleeing federal charges, according to Reuters. Authorities want to extradite him to the U.S.

The judge, David McNaughton, said Dotcom’s bail application was too complicated to rule on immediately, saying he would issue a written decision by Wednesday.

“Given the breadth of issues covered in this bail application and the seriousness of the issues, I am going to reserve my decision,” the judge said, according to Reuters.

To read more click here.

Appeals Court Rules Against DEA Agent Who Shot Himself

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DEA Agent Lee Paige was pegged as being somewhat of a loser when a video began circulating of him shooting himself while demonstrating how to use a gun in 2004 in front  Florida school-aged  children.

Now Gosh Darn it, the guy just can’t win.

The Associated Press reports that Paige lost his appeal last week in a federal lawsuit over the release of the video that made him the butt of many many jokes.

Paige sued his employer, the DEA, after the video was released and went viral.

AP reported that a U.S. District judge ruled in favor of DEA in 2010, and that Paige failed to prove who released the video that was made in a public place.

On Tuesday, a three-judge appeals court panel upheld that ruling, AP reported.

AP reports that the video shows Paige shooting himself in the leg just after telling the school kids and their parents: “I’m the only one in this room professional enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock 40.”

To read the full story click here.

Bad Move: Chicago Drug Dealers Try Robbing ATF Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Under the category of “bad luck for criminals” comes this story from Chicago.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a bandit put a gun to the head of an undercover ATF agent last Thursday and tried to rob him while the agent was trying to make a heroin purchase.

The paper reports that Robert Jefferson and Michael Parrish were charged in the incident.

According to the paper, the agent showed up at 11:38 a.m. in the Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago for a pre-arranged purchase of 25 grams of heroin from Jefferson.

Authorities said Jefferson told the agent he was only able to get 5 grams of heroin and was waiting for the rest to show up, the Sun-Times reported, citing a federal court affidavit.

Authorities said, according to the Sun-Times, as the two waited in the car, Jefferson sent a text message to Parrish saying, “im in here wit him.”

At 12:43 p.m., Parrish showed up and pointed a .38-caliber revolver at the agent’s head.

Parrish then said, according to the paper: “You move, I’m going to pop the s— out of you. Come on with the money.”

The agent then tossed $2,500 out of the car window and then fired a shot at Parish, but missed, the paper reported.

The paper reported that Parrish grabbed the money and ran but surveillance agents chased him down and made the collar.

 

Appeals Court Upholds Multi-Million $$ Judgments Against Feds in Whitey Bulger Murders

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Payday may be getting closer for families who had relatives who fell victim to Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.

The Associated Press reports that a federal appeals court has upheld multi-million dollar judgments against the government in the deaths of three people supposedly murdered by Bulger, who sits behind bars now after being the on lam for 16 years.

AP reported that the court on Friday “upheld awards of $1.3 million, $350,000 and $1.1 million for the families of Debra Davis, Deborah Hussey and Louis Litif, respectively.”

AP reported that the higher court echoed the sentiments of the trial judge, who found the FBI was reckless in using Bulger and fellow mobster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi as snitches while protecting them from prosecution. Bulger is accused of 19 murders.

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Weekend Series on Crime History: FBI Agent Lin Devecchio and the Mob