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Archive for January, 2013

DEA Agent Is Accused of Sending a Prostitute to Visit Secret Service Agent in Colombia?

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A DEA agent is accused of sending a prostitute to a Secret Service agent in Colombia while the pair were in the country working, the Huffington Post reports, citing a Justice Department report.

The reports says a Secret Service supervisory agent received a massage and sex while preparing for President Obama’s visit.

The investigation is part of a wider investigation into the use of prostitutes by Secret Service employees who were in Columbia, the Huffington Post wrote.

An inspector general for the Homeland Security Department said that at least 13 Secret Service employees had “personal encounters with female Colombian nationals,” Huffington Post reported.

FBI Probes Shooting of Agent at Police Training Center in Oklahoma

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is investigating a shooting of one of its own at a police training center in Oklahoma Thursday, News 9 Oklahoma reports.

Agents are tight-lipped about what happened, but sources told News 9 that the agent did not shoot himself.

The agent was being treated Thursday evening for a gunshot wound to the leg and was in stable condition, News 9 reported.

The shooting is “certainly very rare, very unusual [and] very unfortunate,” special agent Rick Rains told News 9. “The agent was rendered aid at the time by our own EMTs who were on scene [as] part of the training exercise.”

The FBI described the probe as a routine investigation.

DEA Agent in New Orleans Retiring Following Newspaper Report on Potential Conflict of Interest

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jimmy S. Fox,  the special agent in charge of the DEA’S office in New Orleans,  is retiring after a newspaper report exposed a potential conflict of interest, the Times-Picayune reports.

The newspaper wrote that Fox was bidding to oversee a consent decree between the Justice Department and the city of New Orleans.

Fox was part of a joint venture to bid on the oversight, which is a potential conflict of “revolving door” laws that govern side employment of federal authorities.

Fox also can’t lobby the DEA as part of the oversight process, the Times-Picayune reported.

Jeff Schlanger, president and CEO of KeyPoint, which is pursuing the bid, said Fox may not do the job.

“He’s deciding right now whether he wants to pursue the opportunity,” Schlanger told the Times-Picayune. “As of today, he’s still on the team. But he’s indicated he’s thinking of withdrawing.” Schlanger said Fox may pursue “another opportunity.”

Critics: FBI Violates Federal Law with Cell Phone Tracking Technology

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

New records show the FBI is using a controversial cell phone tracking technology that dupes phones into using a fake network, Slate reports. The idea is to track the movements of suspects in real time, Slate reported. But communication is not intercepted.

The technology, called “Stingray,” is controversial because it collects data from the phones of innocent bystanders and can interrupt phone service.

Critics charge that the practice violates federal communications law, Slate wrote.

“There are clearly concerns, even within the agency, that the use of Stingray technology might be inconsistent with current regulations,” says attorney Alan Butler, of the Electric Privacy Information Center. “I don’t know how the DOJ justifies the use of Stingrays given the limitations of the Communications Act prohibition.”

The Headache Named Bobby Ferguson: A Pain to Everyone Except Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

Bobby Ferguson pictured above. Art by Lauren Davies for Deadline Detroit.

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — He was Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s good buddy, his confidante, his favorite city contractor.

But Bobby Ferguson managed to turn off many in Kilpatrick’s inner circle.

Contractors and city officials — including Victor Mercado, the head of the water department — complained about Ferguson.

Even Kilpatrick’s sister, Ayanna, found Ferguson a big headache who wouldn’t go away.

“Here we go with the Bobby bull again,” Ayanna texted mayoral insider Derrick Miller, complaining that her brother kept feeding Ferguson city business — at the expense of her the clients she represented.

As the Kwame Kilpatrick trial moved into the New Year, prosecutors this week homed in on Ferguson, a co-defendant, who the feds have portrayed as a bully who illegally conspired with Kilpatrick to rig city construction contracts and extort contractors for a piece of their action.

In turn, the feds allege that Ferguson gave Kilpatrick kickbacks from the demolition and excavation work. Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard, a business consultant, is the other co-defendant in the trial that began in September and is likely to go at least into February.

To read more click here.

FBI’s Washington Field Office Investigates Manipulation of Interest Rates

D.C. Field Office/gov photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI’s Washington field office is best known for investigating terrorism and public corruption.

Now, the office is leading an investigation of the manipulation of interest rates, Bloomberg reports.

The work has paid off so far, with two international resolutions, including a $1.5 billion settlement with UBS AG in December and the arrests of two of the bank’s former traders.

“We’ve got an enormous amount of resources devoted to this,” Timothy Gallagher, the head of the Washington criminal division who is overseeing the probe, told Bloomberg.

Investigations of corporations and security fraud often was the job of the bureau’s New York office, Bloomberg wrote.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Detroit’s Ex-Hip Hop Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Can’t Stay Out of Trouble — Not Even While He’s on Trial in Fed Court

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

 
By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit
DETROIT — In downtown Detroit, normally Monday through Friday, ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has his hands full as a defendant in one of the biggest public corruption trials in federal court in recent times. The case started in September and will certainly go into February, if not beyond.

But some how the ex-mayor, who was once dubbed the hip-hop mayor because of his youth, is having a hard time staying out of trouble while he’s on trial.

Fox 2’s M.L. Elrick obtained and published surveillance video from a Walmart store in Chesterfield Township, outside of Detroit, showing Kilpatrick cashing a $2,000 wire transfer in December  from Pastor Corey Brooks of the New Beginnings Church in Chicago.

Fox 2 reported that Kilpatrick pocketed at least $800 of the money and wired about $1,100 to Texas, where his family lives. Problem is,  he’s on parole for  obstruction of justice in a state conviction that stemmed from sex texts and lying in court.  He still owes $800,000 to the city of Detroit and must, according to his parole conditions,  regularly report income or gifts to the state.

So on Thursday, after spending the morning in court, Kilpatrick went to his mother’s house (she former Congress member Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick)  where the parole officers from the the Michigan Department of Corrections fit him with a tether for violating his parole. Fox2 reports that he cab only  travel between his mother’s house and court, see his lawyers or go to approved speaking engagements for an undefined amount of time.

“Part of his parole conditions are that he has to report to us any income that he receives, any gifts that he receives during the month,”  Russ Marlan from the Michigan Department of Corrections told Fox2. “The problem is he reported zero dollars in income, zero dollars in gifts for the month of December.”

For a guy who became the youngest elected mayor in Detroit (he was 31) and for a guy who has a law degree and was a former state representative, Kilpatrick could act a little smarter.

 

Washington Post: Data Shows Drop in High-Capacity Magazines During Federal Gun Ban

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By David S. Fallis,
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — During the 10-year federal ban on assault weapons, the percentage of firearms equipped with high-capacity magazines seized by police agencies in Virginia dropped, only to rise sharply once the restrictions were lifted in 2004, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

The White House is leading a push to reinstate a national ban on large capacity magazines and assault weapons after a gunman armed with an AR-15 and 30-round magazines killed 20 children and seven adults in Connecticut. Vice President Biden is holding advisory meetings this week to hammer out a course of action that will address the issue of the larger magazines, which under the lapsed federal ban were those that held 11 or more rounds of ammunition.

In Virginia, the Post found that the rate at which police recovered firearms with high-capacity magazines — mostly handguns and to a smaller extent rifles — began to drop around 1998, four years into the ban. It hit a low of 9 percent of the total number of guns recovered the year the ban expired, 2004. To read the full story click here.