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Archive for April, 2012

5 Gambino Gangsters Plead Guilty to Laundry List of Dirty Deeds

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Racketeering, narcotics trafficking, assault, extortion, murder? Just another day-in-the-life of a Gambino mobster.

Five Gambino wise guys pled guilty this week to a range of nefarious charges, announced Preet Bharara, NY U.S Attorney in Manhattan.

Working as “soldiers” and “associates” of the Gambino crime family, Vincenzo Frogiero, Todd Labarca, John Brancaccio, Christopher Reynolds, and Sean Dunn earned millions for the Gambinos by trafficking hundreds of kilos of cocaine and marijuana, and thousands of ecstasy and vicodin pills through operations based in Queens over the past 30 years.

Labarca also pled guilty to conspiracy to murder fellow gangster Martin Bosshart in a 2002 turf war, after Bosshart made a power grab in the Gambino’s marijuana import operation. Bosshart was found shot point blank in the back of the head for his ambitions.

The 5 will face similar fates in their July sentencing as a couple dozen other Gambino members and associates snared by the FBI recently as part of a nationwide takedown of organized crime.

According to Bharara, “The laundry list of illegal conduct to which LaBarca and these four other defendants pled serves as a reminder of the scourge that is organized crime and that our efforts to root it out will continue unabated.”

To read more click here.

 

Feds Urge Locals to Stay Alert

Could the Secret Service Scandal be Bigger?


Sen. Grassley/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Just when it looked as if the Secret Service might be able to wrap up its prostitution mess sooner than later.

CBS is reporting that authorities were looking into the possibility that Secret Service agents may have paid for hookers and strippers in El Salvador while being part of an advance team for the President in March 2011.

“This latest allegation only reaffirms the need for independent investigations by the Inspector General,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.) said in a statement issued Thursday.

“Regardless of whether the incidents were previously referred to internal investigators, they need to be examined. There are rumors flying about various incidents over several years about the conduct of Secret Service personnel, as well as other law enforcement and military personnel in locations around the world. The only way to put to rest the rumors of a much wider problem is for the allegations to receive transparent and independent reviews.”

DEA Busts T.S.A. Screeners at LAX for Letting Drugs Through Security

tsa photo

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

This time it was drugs slipping through security for a few thousand in bribes.  Next time? Who knows?

One federal prosecutor noted that next time it could be dangerous materials.

The L.A. Times reports that the DEA has busted four former and current TSA agents at LAX. They allegedly accepted cash to let drug couriers board planes with suitcases full of cocaine and methamphetamines.

Authorities filed trafficking and bribery charges against the 4 TSA screeners, in a case that represents a “significant breakdown of the screening system,” U.S. Atty Andre Birotte Jr. said in a  press release, adding that the accused screeners “placed greed above the nation’s security needs.”

The bust carries larger security implications.

“In this case it was narcotics; we want to make sure the next time it’s not other dangerous materials,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Herzog told the L.A. Times. Herzog added that the drugs did not make it out of the airport.

To read more click here.

New ATF Special Agent In Charge of LA Field Division

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Steven J. Bogdalek is the new head of ATF in Los Angeles, which includes Southern California, the agency announced.

Bogdalek began his career with ATF in Detroit in 1987, according to the PR Newswire.

From 2002 until this latest appointment, he served as Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the St. Paul Field Division, overseeing five criminal enforcement groups and one intelligence group in a three-state area. These were instrumental in the investigation, arrest and conviction of numerous violent street gangs.

To read more click here.

 

Postmodern Mashup: CouponBuzz Capitalizes on Secret Service Scandal

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Was the Secret Service scandal really about finding love in all the wrong places? Or agents simply failing to take advantage of online dating services?

Well, Online marketing site CouponBuzz pokes fun at the recent Secret Service-Colombian prostitution debacle by holding it up as an example of today’s singles struggling to connect.

The site markets online dating services like Match.com as the solution to problems like those facing lonely agents working on the road away from home. CouponBuzz advises, ‘tsking’ like a yenta, “Using an online dating service like Match.com could have helped the unfortunate Secret Service agents caught in the sex scandal find ways to end their loneliness, and not their careers.”

Read more here.

President Carter Comments on Secret Service Scandal

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Ex-Interim U.S. Atty in Detroit Gets Nomination for Fed Judgeship

Terrance Berg/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Former interim U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg, who lost out in his bid to become the permanent U.S. Attorney in Detroit under the Obama administration, has gotten a nice consolation prize.

On Wednesday, President Obama nominated Berg, 52, for a federal judgeship, the Detroit News reported.

The nomination was first reported by the Detroit News.

“The president has made an outstanding choice in nominating Terry Berg to the federal district court bench. He is hard-working, courteous, unflappable and smart — all important qualities for a judge,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade told the News. McQuade ended up getting the job as U.S. Attorney instead of Berg.