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Archive for October, 2012

Weekend Series on Crime History: John Gotti Jr.

Worldwide Crackdown on Illegal Internet Sales of Prescription Drugs Results in the Seizure of Nearly 700 Sites

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Americans who have trouble getting prescriptions from doctors for narcotic medications often find no problem accessing the drugs from illicit online sites.

It will be more difficulty under a crackdown led by ICE and the Department of Justice, which have seized 686 websites accused of selling fake or illegal drug over the past week, ICE said in a press release.

The initiative, called Bitter Pill, was designed to disrupt crime networks peddling illegal online drugs.

Bitter Pill involves 100 countries and netted 79 arrests and the seizure of nearly 4 million doses of counterfeit medications.

DEA Takes 2 Million Pounds of Unused Prescription Drugs Out of Circulation in Two-Year Effort

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The DEA’s two year effort to encourage Americans to turn in expired prescription drugs netted 2 million pounds of unused, potentially hazardous medication, the AP reports.

The initiative, called Drug Take-Back Day, took place nationwide and prompted residents to empty their medicine cabinets of unwanted and expired drugs.

The drugs were dropped off at different disposal sites across the country.

The latest take-back gathered half a million pounds of medication, the AP reported.

FBI Paid $40,000 to Informant Who Helped Bring Down Members of a Neo-Nazi Group

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI paid $40,000 to an undercover informant who infiltrated a neo-Nazi group in Florida and secretly photographed white supremacists, some of whom were arrested last spring, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

The informant, Jason Hall, helped determine that the members of American Front were receiving paramilitary training to prepare for an inevitable race war, the Sentinel reported, citing records.

Hall began working as an informant to work off criminal charges and helped the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI’s task force.

The investigation into the neo-Nazi group led to the arrest of 14 people. One has pleaded guilty, while the others are awaiting trial, according to the Sentinel.

FBI Agents Finally Reach Libyan City Where Four Americans Were Killed in Attack on U.S. Consulate

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A team of FBI agents finally arrived in Benghazi, Libya, to investigate the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate and has narrowed the suspects to one or two people in an extremist group, the Associated Press reports.

The AP said agents swooped in before dawn Thursday and left after about 12 hours following weeks of waiting to access the scene of the attack that left Ambassador J. Christopher Sevens and three other Americans dead.

The agents were joined by several dozens U.S. special operations forces, the AP reported, citing an unnamed senior Defense Department official.

The FBI said the agents visited “the relevant locations” in the city, but would not say whether any evidence was found.

A U.S. counterterrorism official said the probe has focused on one or two suspects in the Libya-based extremist group Ansar al-Shariah.

Was Border Agent Victim of Friendly Fire?

Betrayal Of A Mayor: Confidante Says She Gave Detroit Mayor $200,000-Plus In Kickbacks

“A true friend stabs you in the front.” Oscar Wilde

Kwame Kilpatrick

 
By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit
DETROIT –– Betrayal.

There ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick sat in federal court Thursday morning, bow tie and suit, leaning at first to the left, looking dour, as if someone was about to punch him in the stomach.

In front of him, was Emma Bell, his former chief fundraiser, betraying him, testifying for the government that she gave Kilpatrick more than $200,000 in kickbacks from donations to various funds including the Kilpatrick for Mayor Fund.

She once looked at him as a son. Thursday morning, she could barely look at him. And at times she could barely talk, pausing when questioned by prosecutor Michael Bullotta.

“It’s not easy for me to be here, sir,” Bell said. She explained that she had a strong relationship with Kilpatrick and his family since the 1970s. They all attended the same church.

She testified that her first commission check for fundraising for Kilpatrick was for $100,000 in 2003. But she said Kilpatrick suggested he get a piece of her commission, so she eventually gave him a kickback for $40,000 or $50,000.

Her testimony is the most damaging to date. The government has alleged that she made about $900,000 in commissions from fundraising and gave Kilpatrick about $250,000 in kickbacks.  The trial is in its second week. Kilpatrick faces multiple charges of bribery, extortion and income tax evasion.

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Controversy Heats Up Over Border Patrol’s Shooting of a Mother of Five

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One thing is for sure: A mother of five was killed in her car by a U.S. Border Patrol agent near San Diego.

Why the agent opened fire last week on Valeria Tachiquin Alvarado, 32, remains the subject of an investigation and much debate in the heavily Latino suburb of Chula Vista, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Some witnesses say Alvarado must have been confused when an the agent in plainclothes approached her car, offering varying accounts of the incident.

But authorities say she was inside a drug den and left in her car when she hit the agent, who was dragged on her hood for 200 yards before he fired multiple rounds into her windshield, according to the LA Times.

The FBI and Chula Vista Police Department are investigating.