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August 2012


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Archive for August, 2012

Justice Department: No Evidence for Charges Against Goldman Sachs

Steve Neavling 

Federal authorities closed two investigations into mortgage deals at Goldman Sachs, the Justice Department announced in a rare statement late Thursday, Reuters reports.

Although federal prosecutors are typically loathe to publicize the closing of a case, they issued a statement announcing that no illegal activity was found.

“The department and investigative agencies ultimately concluded that the burden of proof to bring a criminal case could not be met based on the law and facts as they exist at this time,” the Justice Department said in a statement late on Thursday.

The investigation was spurred by a Congressional committee that asked prosecutors to look into several mortgage deals after Goldman sold troubled mortgage securities to investors who eventually lost a fortune, Reuters reported.

Also on Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced it ended its investigation into a $1.3 billion subprime mortgage deal.


Column: Law Enforcement Needs to Take On Mental Illness If It Wants to Reduce the Chances of More Mass Shootings

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Looking at the mass shootings in the U.S. in recent years, from Tucson to Aurora, Colo. from  Columbine to Oak Creek, Wisc., two things become apparent: The gunmen all had easy access to guns and they all had severe psychological problems.

I won’t address the issue of the guns. Not in this column.

But I want to address the issue of mental illness.

Law enforcement has to recognize this as a crime problem.

Law enforcement needs to partner with social services and psychiatric agencies and address mental illness in this country that is being played out in such deadly ways these days.

When states cut budgets, social services and mental health facilities often take hits. That means more untreated mental illness or people going without their meds.   That potentially opens us up for the next Aurora or Sikh temple shooting. That should be unacceptable.  Law enforcement should let that be known.

As early as elementary school, we can often identify problem children. Teachers and counselors need to play a bigger role in identifying those kids.  Law enforcement needs to make sure funding and  treatment is there.

In junior high, I could already see that some of my classmates were destined for trouble. One ended up being fatally shot during an armed robbery right after high school graduation. Another had the distinction of being known as “the west side rapist.”

Not to suggest addressing mental illness is the end-all solution.  But it is  part of the solution.

Law enforcement needs to recognize that.  Responding to the massacres  isn’t good enough.  We can’t keep watching these massacres unfold and simply wonder why.


Slain ATF Agent John F. Capano Who Was Killed in Robbery Attempt to be Honored at Headquarters

Steve Neavling 

ATF  will honor one of its agents who was killed trying to stop a pharmacy robbery on New Year’s Eve in New York, Newsday reports.

The Aug. 23 ceremony at ATF’s national headquarters in Washington D.C. will celebrate the life of Senior Special Agent John F. Capano. His family will receive the agency’s Medal of Valor.

NYPD Officer Joseph Arbia, an off-duty officer who shot and killed the suspect, will receive the Jake Kuredjian Memorial Award for trying to keep an agent safe, according to the AP.

Capano, 51, was shot by another off-duty cop who mistook the agent for robber.

Ex-FBI Safe Cracking Specialist Who Misused Skills to Commit Crimes Dies at 71

Steve Neavling 

H. Edward Tickel Jr., a notorious ex-FBI specialist and safe-cracking expert who was convicted in a jewelry theft scheme and other crimes, died without any media attention in March, Newsmax reports.

Tickel was 71 and left behind a checkered past. He was accused of breaking into the FBI headquarters credit union, stealing government property, tax evasion and selling stolen jewelry, the New York Times reported.

Tickel was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Newsmax called him “the FBIs top break-in artist.”

FBI: Temple Gunman Killed Himself; Motive Still Unknown

Steve Neavling

The Sikh Temple gunman who killed six people in a rampage outside Milwaukee died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, the Associated Press reports.

Wade Michael Page was wounded by police when he turned the gun on himself, the FBI said Wednesday.

Investigators still don’t know what motivated Wade Michael Page to open fire with a 9 mm pistol shortly before Sunday services.

“We have not identified anyone else responsible for the shooting and we have not identified a motive,” Teresa Carlson, FBI special agent in charge in Milwaukee, told the AP and other news agencies.

Court: DEA Has Right to Access Energy Bills of Suspected Pot Growers

Steve Neavling 

Federal authorities have the right to look at the utility bills of suspected marijuana growers, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

The case involved Golden Valley Electric Association, which refused to disclose the records to the DEA.

The DEA issued a subpoena for information on a three suspected pot growers’ power consumption and payment records.

The power company said it has a right to protect its clients, saying the forced disclosure is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which forbids unlawful search and seizures.

The court ruled that energy customers don’t have an expectation of privacy, the AP reported.

FBI May Be Required to Collect Data Soon on Hate Crimes Against Sikhs

Steve Neavling

The FBI would be required to collect information on hate crimes committed against Sikh Americans under an initiative between the agency and the U.S. Justice Department, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The effort was spearheaded in April by U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), who lives in a sizeable Sikh district. More than 90 other members of Congress endorsed the letter.

“We met with folks from Justice to discuss the letter and the possibilities are moving forward on that,” Crowley told the Journal Sentinel.

The effort comes after a gunman killed six people at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin.


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