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Archive for August, 2012

Philadelphia Cop Accused of Tipping Off Drug Trafficker

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A 23-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department is accused of leaking information about a federal investigation into drug trafficking organizations, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

An unsealed indictment Wednesday accuses Rafael Cordero, 51, of the police department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, of tipping off his half-brother, David Garcia, about a search warrant and a surveillance camera on a telephone pole.

Cordero also is accused of hiding drug money and evidence against Garcia, according to the Daily News.

Cordero has been charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal agents.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told the Daily News that Cordero will be suspended for 30 days with the intent to terminate.

ICE Nabs 14 Foreign Nationals Accused of Gang Ties

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than a dozen foreign nationals in Milwaukee have been arrested for alleged ties to the Mexican Posse gang, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The suspects – 13 from Mexico, one from the Dominican Republic – are in the custody of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is cracking down on foreign-born gangs.

All have criminal histories, ranging from narcotics trafficking to theft.

“Violent street gangs account for a burgeoning amount of crime in our communities in the Midwest and across the country,” Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, told the Journal Sentinel.

FBI Says It Has Lost Some Records on Marilyn Monroe

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI says it has lost records from when agents monitored Marilyn Monroe, the Associated Press reports.

Hoping to learn more about the star on the 50th anniversary of her death this month, the Associated Press was trying to get the most complete record of her files including how the bureau investigated her months before she died.

But AP has not been able to get some of those files because the bureau says it can’t find them.

The FBI, fearing that Monroe might be lured into the Communist Party, took reports on the star’s movements, comments and relationships, including her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller, according to the AP.

The FBI says it no longer has the files it compiled on Monroe; the National Archives — the usual destination for such material — says it doesn’t have them either, according to AP.

The most recent version of the files, which AP reports, are heavily redacted, are contained on the FBI website, the Vault.

 

FBI Probe of News Leaks Chills Relations with Media

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Media coverage of national security issues has become more difficult because employees at federal agencies have been afraid to speak out since the FBI began its hunt for leakers of sensitive information, the New York Times reports.

In one of the most thorough criminal investigations of intelligence disclosures in years, agents are questioning employees about leaks at the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA and the National Security Agency.

Under President Obama’s administration, a record six leaks have been prosecuted.

“People are being cautious,” one intelligence official who, considering the circumstances, told the New York Times on condition of anonymity. “We’re not doing some of the routine things we usually do,” he added, referring to briefings on American security efforts and subjects in the news.

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FBI Agent Found Dead in Wooded Area of California

Stephen Ivens/police photo

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI Agent Steven Ivens went missing more than two months ago.

His family’s worst fears came true Monday when two hikers found the 35-year-old’s body in a wooded area in Burbank, Calif., the Associated Press reports.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office is to determine the cause of death and time of death.

Authorities said Ivens, who was being treated for depression, was distraught when he disappeared.

Ivens, who is survived by his wife and 2-year-old son, walked away from his home with his gun and keys May 10, spurring an unsuccessful air and ground search, the AP reported.

Long-Awaited FBI Computer System Active After Long Delays


Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About three years late and $26 million over budget, the FBI’s new computer system to share case information went live Tuesday, Bloomberg reports

Called the Sentinel, the electronic case files offer quick access to new investigations and intelligence.

The new technology became a priority following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to Bloomberg.

The FBI took so long setting up the system that the Justice Department’s inspector general warned the technology may be obsolete by the time it becomes active.

The total cost: $451 million.

Efforts to Legalize Marijuana Head to Federal Court

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Is marijuana an effective medicine or dangerous gateway drug?

The U.S. District Court of Appeals will answer that question this week after hearing from marijuana advocates who want pot reduced from its Schedule I category, which indicates the drug has no legitimate purpose, to Schedule II, which would give pot medical legitimacy, LA Weekly reports.

Advocates for Americans for Safe Access argue the Drug Enforcement Agency erred in denying a petition to have marijuana rescheduled.

The group will be armed with a recent study published in “The Open Neurology Journal,” which concluded that it is “not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”