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Archive for February, 2012

Serious Hypocrisy: Anti-Drug Texas Politician Arrested by the DEA

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

What’s wrong with this picture?

El Paso, Texas, County Commissioner Guillermo Gandara Jr., who publicly had taken a hardline against drugs, was arrested by the DEA on drug trafficking charges, UPI reported.

The arrest, part of a multi-agency investigation, took place late Wednesday, DEA spokeswoman Diana Apodaca confirmed to the El Paso Times.

“DEA, [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], [the Internal Revenue Service], with the assistance of the FBI along with our local partners are conducting an ongoing operation, and we cannot release further details at this time,” she said, according to UPI.

UPI reported that Gandara is a candidate for state representative and made a statement:

“Legalizing drugs is the coward practice of combating cartels, it is an insult to our men and women in law enforcement, and the laziest form of parenting our children and youth about the effects of drugs,” he said.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Convicted Terrorist Hysen Sherifi Faces New Charges He Plotted to Kill Witnesses Who Testified Against Him

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A North Carolina man sentenced last month to 45 years in prison for his role in a homegrown terrorist plot, faces new charges that he tried to hire a hit man to behead three witnesses that testified against him, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Raleigh, N.C. resident Hysen Sherifi was charged Tuesday with nine counts.

Under the latest charges, he plotted with his younger brother and female friend to pay $5,000 to an FBI informant to carry out the beheadings, according to the indictment. The informant gave Sherifi fake photographs to try and prove the hits were confirmed, according to the Associated Press.

The younger brother and female friend were arrested last month.

To read more click here.

Feds Join Investigation of Vegas Mosque Fire

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities have joined in on an investigation into a fire at the construction site of a cemetery and funeral home intended to serve the Islamic community in Las Vegas, reports the Las Vegas Sun. But the leader of the Islamic Society of Nevada does not believe the fire was the result of a hate crime.

“I don’t think it was a hate crime,” said Khalid Khan, president of the society. “It’s my opinion.”

The fire occurred at 1 am on Wednesday, bringing a two-alarm response from the county fire department, according to the Sun.

The investigation team–consisting of the local fire department, the city police, the FBI and the ATF–has not yet determined a cause for the fire.

To read more click here.

Meth Lab Seizures Up; Experts Point to “Shake-and-Bake”

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

According to an AP survey of the nation’s leading states in meth production, lab seizures by law enforcement agencies rose nationally, the AP reports.

In 2011 Missouri was the leading producer, with 2,096 seizures. Missouri was followed by Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky and then Oklahoma.

Across the nation the rise in meth lab seizures rose by about 8.3 percent from 2010 to 2011. The addictiveness of the drug and an increasingly popular and very quick method of producing it both contributed to the rise, experts say, according to AP. That method, know as “shake-and-bake,” quickly produces the drug using a soda bottle which, experts say, has created smaller labs but much more of them.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

One of Detroit’s Best Known Mobsters Who was Questioned in Hoffa Case Dies at Age 88

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Vito “Billy Jack” Giacalone, one of best known Detroit mobsters, whose criminal career spanned many decades, and who was questioned in the Jimmy Hoffa disappearance in 1975, died Sunday at age 88.

The Detroit News reported that the family held a funeral mass on Tuesday at St. Thecla Catholic Church in Clinton Township, a suburb north of Detroit.

Authorities suspected that Giacaoline and his brother Anthony knew what happened to Hoffa. But they never expected the guy snitch.

“He might have known what happened and may have taken that to the grave with him, but I never expected to get anything out of him,” Keith Corbett, former chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Organized Crime Strike Force in Detroit told the News “He wasn’t going to talk.”

 My Encounter With Vito Giacalone

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
I remember mobster Vito “Billy Jack” Giacalone’s icy stare in federal court.It was the 1990s. I was a reporter at the Detroit News and Giacaoline had just been sentenced for some IRS charge. As he was walking to the elevator, I went up to him and said: “Mr Giacaoline, would you care to comment?” He gave me an icy stare.I got the message.A short time later, before he went off to prison, I worked on a profile piece on him for the paper. I called his attorney to see if he would comment.

His attorney said he’s sure he didn’t want to. I said, I know, but the paper wants me to ask.

His attorney said he’s on the golf course, I’ll call him. The attorney called me back and said: “He doesn’t want to comment.”

I responded: “What did he say?” His attorney said: “He’s not happy you’re doing the story.”

I figured he wouldn’t be thrilled.

Fundraising Efforts Continue for Family of Wounded DEA Agent Joe Piersante

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Efforts to help the family of Joe Piersante, a DEA agent wounded in Afghanistan last year while on a mission, is continuing.

Besides raising money through t-shirt sales,  people are being encouraged to contribute directly to the family by sending a check  to JFCU at the following address and endorsement for their contribution:

Justice Federal Credit Union, 5175 Parkstone Drive, Suite 200, Chantilly, VA 20151

Check should be made payable to: Joe Piersante Warrior Fund. Endorse Check “For Deposit” Account Number: 11000002132840.

The DEA said that Piersante was operating in Helmand Province Afghanistan on a counter-narcotics mission along with a combined task force of Afghan National Units along with Australian Special Operations Forces when he encountered Taliban insurgents.

Piersante was struck in the head with a 7.62 mm round, which penetrated his ballistic helmet, passed through both frontal lobes of his brain and caused severe trauma to both optical nerves.

The DEA says he has progressed and is home, but will need to undergo months of intensive rehabilitation.

Here’s how to get the t-shirt to help the family : Pre-Order Sale. Contact Randy Updegraff @ JPWarriorFund@comcast.net or a POC in your area to consolidate orders. Request payment in advance; checks made out to Randy Updegraff in order to better able to facilitate production of the shirts and gauge demand. Denote quantity and size in orders: (2XL, XL, L, M.) Remit Payment to DEA Philadelphia, 600 Arch Street, Suite 10224, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Attn: Randy Updegraff (Group 2).

People are urged to include a mailing address and e-mail address with each order. Orders will be placed on March 1.

 

Ex-FBI Official Don Clark Says Mexico’s Drug Violence Our Problem Too

British Intelligence Assisted FBI in Tracking Charlie Chaplin

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

MI5, the British intelligence agency, cooperated with J Edgar Hoover’s FBI in tracking the actor Charlie Chaplin in the 1950s for alleged communist sympathies, reports the Guardian.

Describing Chaplin as “Hollywood’s parlour Bolsheviks,” the FBI asked MI5 for cooperation in having him banned from the US. MI5 put together “extensive personal files” on the actor, files which are now being released publicly, according to the Guardian.

“Chaplin has given funds to communist front organisations … He has been involved in paternity and abortion cases,” a Washington-based MI5 liaison warned in October of 1952.

“There is a great deal of good in communism. We can use the good and segregate the bad,” Chaplin had told an American Soviet group in Los Angeles in, according to the files.

Eventually, MI5 found no evidence of Chaplin being a threat.

“We have no trace in our records of this man, nor are we satisfied that there are any reliable grounds for regarding him as a security risk,” Sir Percy Sillitoe, then head of MI5, told the chief police commissioner in South Africa, where Chaplin was planning a visit,according to the paper.

To read more click here.