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March 2013


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Archive for March, 2013

Secret Service Plans to End Public Tours of White House to Save Money

 Steve Neavling

Secret Service plans to save $2 million by ending public tours of the White House beginning March 9, CNN reports.

It’s a small fraction of the cuts that need to be made to absorb $84 million in reduction as part of the sequestration, CNN reported.

The Secret Service pays 37 uniformed officers $50 an hour to stand guard along the route.

The agency is still debating how to most effectively cut $84 million from its $1.6 billion budget.

“The Secret Service, like other agencies of government is affected by the sequester,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during his Thursday press briefing. “And the Secret Service presented options that ranged from canceling tours to potential furloughs and cuts in overtime. And in order to allow the Secret Service to best fulfill its core mission, the White House made the decision that we would unfortunately have to temporarily suspend these tours.”


FBI’s Investigation into Insane Clown Posse Began After Two Salt Lake City Arrests

Steve Neavling 

The FBI’s decision to label fans of the Insane Clown Posse as a nationwide gang threat was made after just two arrests, reports.

Fans of the Detroit-based rapping duo were part of a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” that’s “forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity,” the FBI concluded in 2011.

New records show the investigation was launched following two arrests of two fans – called Juggalos – in Salt Lake City.

After a seven-month investigation into the group, the FBI warned that fans are part of a dangerous sub-culture, reported.

ATF Admits Mistakes Were Made During Botched Raid at Milwaukee Store

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Steve Neavling

The head of the ATF’s St, Paul Field Division acknowledged mistakes were made during a botched undercover sting operation of gun and drug dealers at a store in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The Journal Sentinel recently exposed serious problems during a 10-month ATF sting. Among them: the theft of nearly $40,000 in merchandise; an agent’s machine gun was stolen; wrong suspects were charged; and sensitive information about undercover help was lost.

Scott Sweetow, special agent in charge of the ATF’s St. Paul Field Division, which oversees the Milwaukee office, said some mistakes were made but he also defended the sting.

“Absolutely there were some administrative mistakes made, some procedural mistakes made, and we are very aggressively looking at all of those issues from top to bottom,” Sweetow said, noting that more than 30 people have been arrested as a result of the sting.

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James Yacone, head of Denver FBI, Leaving to Head Up Elite Bureau Unit in Virginia

Steve Neavling

After nearly two years as special agent in charge of the Denver FBI office, James F. Yacone is on his way out to head up an elite FBI unit called   Critical Incident Response Group in Virginia, the Denver Post reports.

James F. Yacone plans to exit March 15, and he’ll replace Robert Blecksmith, who retired, as assistant director at the group, according to the Post. 

Yacone is a graduate of West Point, a decorated combat veteran and a criminal investigator.

Yacone has worked for the FBI since 1995.

Former U.S. Attorney: FBI ‘Stonewalled’ Him over ‘Whitey’ Bulger Case in 1990s


Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling 

When then-U.S. Attorney Wayne A. Budd was investigating mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, he said the FBI “stonewalled” him in the 1990s when he asked whether Bulger was an informant, reports.

The assertion came during a confirmation hearing for Attorney Robert Ullmann, who is seeking appointment on a seat on the Massachusetts Supreme Court. 

“I think if you talk to anybody, I was one of the people who was trying to do the right thing,” Ullmann told MassLive. “It is a shocking story. You can say that we all should have realized the depth of the protection and the depth of the wrongdoing sooner than we did.”

Budd said the FBI wouldn’t tell him whether Bulger was an informant.

“We sat with the FBI. I said, ‘Listen, I need to know whether or not this guy is one of your people,’” Budd said. “I was told there was not a need for my office to know. Hence, I was never given that information.”

Nearly Three Dozen Proposals Come in for New FBI Headquarters

Steve Neavling 

FBI’s search for a new headquarters has drawn nearly three dozen offers from private and local groups, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The FBI wants to abandon its 38-year-old headquarters because it has outgrown the crumbling building and wants to find a new one that can accommodate 2.1 million square feet of offices space. 

The 35 proposals so far represent a “significant interest from the private sector to assist in developing a new, consolidated facility.,” GSA said in a statement to the Baltimore Sun.

It would cost the FBI $80.5 million to fix the current one, the Sun reported.

New ATF Head in Minneapolis Pledges to Target “Worst of the Worst” Violent Offenders

 Steve Neavling 

The new head of the Upper Midwest office of the ATF said his priority will be getting violent offenders off the street, the Associated Press reports.

Scott Sweetow

Scott Sweetow, who was named special agent in charge of the ATF’s St. Paul Field Division in January, said his office has to be realistic about guns.

“Firearms have been around for hundreds of years. Crime being committed with firearms is going to continue no matter what,” Sweetow told the AP in an extensive interview. “No single law … is going to do away with it. … We have a job to do, and regardless of what legislation is passed, ultimately we are going to have to find a way to make things work.”

Sweetow’s division covers Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota