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Archive for October, 2012

Former and Current Law Enforcement Officials Arrested in Theft Scheme

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested four people – three of them former and current cops – accused of scheming to steal cash from drug dealers, the bureau announced Wednesday, according to the Jackson Free Press.

In September 2011, the men allegedly entered a Jackson, Mississippi, hotel room of suspected drug dealers and stole $23,000 in cash, the FBI reported in a press release.

One of the men arrested, Zack Robinson, 45, is a deputy at the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office. Two others are a former Jackson Police officer (Kent Daniels, 44) and former deputy with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office (Watson Lee Jackson, Jr., 42).

A fourth person, George Hilliard, 43, was arrested.

All made initial court appearances Wednesday.

Mexican Cartels Flood U.S. with Cheap, Potent Meth from ‘Superlabs’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The good news: The crackdown on methamphetamine in the U.S. is working.

The bad news: Mexican drug cartels are fulfilling the demand by pumping out cheap, potent meth from so-called “superlabs,” the Associated Press reports.

“These are sophisticated, high-tech operations in Mexico that are operating with extreme precision,” said Jim Shroba, a DEA agent in St. Louis. “They’re moving it out the door as fast as they can manufacture it.”

Meth coming from Mexico now accounts for 80% of the drug being sold in the U.S., according to the DEA.

And it’s more enticing then ever – purer, faster, strong and longer-lasting.

Thousands of Recorded Phone Calls Helped FBI Investigate Sale of Suspicious Electronics to Russia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Federal agents investigating a Houston business that is accused of sending microelectronics that can be used for weapons and radar to Russia spied on damning phone calls, the Houston Chronicle reports.

One of the most revealing phone calls that helped the FBI was a phone call between an ARC Electronics manager and college newspaper reporter who inquired about the business’ ability to get around strict export laws.

“We’re lying,” the manager said, according to the Chronicle.

In another call, among thousands recorded by the FBI, a company manager told a Russian employee, “We will be f—–,” if someone found out about the exports, the Chronicle reported.

 

FBI Launches Probe of Man’s Death While in Police Custody in Milwaukee

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the death of a man who died while in police custody in Milwaukee after a newspaper report cast suspicions over the manner of death, the Associated Press reports.

A medical examiner changed the cause of Derek William’s July 6, 2011, death from natural to homicide after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel detailed the last moments of his life.

Williams, 22, died in the back of a squad car after struggling to breathe, the AP reported.

A video shows Williams losing consciousness after he complained he couldn’t breathe.

He was pronounced dead 45 minutes later, following failed efforts to resuscitate him, according to the AP.

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ATF Whistleblower Vince Cefalu Fired

Vince Cefalu

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Veteran ATF agent Vince Cefalu, a whistleblower who became a particularly  controversial figure after voicing concern about the failed Operation Fast and Furious, was “unceremoniously” handed his dismissal papers on Tuesday, according his spokesman.

An ATF official met him at the Denny’s parking lot in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada, near his home, where Cefalu turned in his credentials,  said his spokesman Patrick Crosby, a former spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, who now has his own public relations firm.

Crosby said Cefalu was fired for “lack of candor.”  He did not elaborate.

Cefalu has hired an Atlanta law firm to fight the dismissal.

Cefalu worked for more than two decades for ATF, often in an undercover capacity in major cases involving motorcycle gangs in California and the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia.

Wade Drew, a spokesman for ATF, said he could confirm that Cefalu worked for ATF for nearly 25 years and that he was no longer with the agency. But he said ATF does not comment on personnel or disciplinary matters.

In recent years, Cefalu  has been one of the more publicly vocal critics of ATF management. He claims to have gone through all the proper channels to voice his concerns about ATF management, but all to no avail.

“I have just been trying to do my job: make good cases, put away the bad guys, keep the our citizens and our agents safe,” he said in a statement after his termination. “ATF management has been bending the rules and breaking the rules. The agents want ATF to be the proud agency it once was, not a place where some managers jeopardize our citizens and our cases. The behavior of ATF management has been speaking for itself with all the transfers, reassignments, resignations. It has been a mess and an embarrassment. That’s not the ATF I have devoted my career and life to, and I do not regret trying to change it.”

Zahra S. Karinshak, an Atlanta-based attorney from Krevolin & Horst, who represents Cefalu, said in a statement:

“Vince has tremendous courage. Anyone who infiltrates the KKK and biker gangs to bring them to justice has an incredible sense of dedication. Vince has a team who will fight for him in court as aggressively as he fought violent crime on our streets.”

ATF had tried firing Cefalu last year. However, he appealed the termination. It  became final on Tuesday.

 

FBI: Tell the Truth Or You Could End up Behind Bars Like Martha Stewart

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

No one wants to end up like Martha Stewart – a raging success who landed behind bars.

Tapping into that fear, FBI agents bounced around the design diva’s name several times during a year-long probe into whether Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and staffer Kathleen Winn violated election laws, the East Valley Tribune reports.

The newspaper’s review of FBI transcripts revealed that agents used her name at least three times in hopes of getting witnesses to divulge more information.

Despite the FBI’s efforts, no charges were filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

FBI Taps New Special Agent in Charge of Criminal Division in Washington Field Office, Timothy Gallagher

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The FBI has tapped a new Special Agent in Charge of the bureau’s Washington Field Office, the FBI announced Tuesday.

Timothy Gallagher, who most recently served as chief of the Financial Crimes Section at FBI headquarters, will head criminal and cyber probes in D.C. and northern Virginia.

Gallagher’s career as a special agent began in 1996, when he investigated a wide-range of criminal activities at the Cleveland Division’s Canton Resident Agency.

He also was a member of the team that responded to the crash site of United Flight 93 in Somerset, PA, on Sept. 11, 2011.