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Archive for October, 2013

FBI Busts Alleged Mastermind Behind Underground Marketplace for Drugs Online

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Investigators have struggled for two years to stop an online, underground marketplace from selling more than $1 billion in cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and other illicit drugs in exchange for a virtual currency called Bitcoin, The Verge reports.

But now it appears the FBI has snagged the mastermind, Ross Ulbricht, who is being charged with narcotics trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking.

The site, called Silk Road, was only accessible through a special network.

According to The Verge, law enforcement bought more than 100 packages of drugs and had them sampled.

“Samples of these purchases have been laboratory-tested, and have typically shown high purity levels of the drug the item was advertised to be on Silk Road, FBI Agent Christopher Tarbell told The Verge.

ATF Sniper Recalls News Coverage of Deadly Waco Raid in Texas Two Decades LAter

photo from Wikipedia.org

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

One of the first snipers on the scene at the deadly Waco clash in Texas was Wendel Frost, an ATF agent at the time.

Now that he’s retired, Frost, who now lives in Cleveland, can speak openly about the controversial raid in 1993.

Frost said he was frustrated with new coverage that suggested law enforcement went after the Branch Davidian group of its beliefs, the Cleveland Daily Banner wrote.

The truth was, Frost said, the group’s leader, David Koresh, was abusing children and women.

“The thing that actually made us do the high-risk entry was the children,” he told the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club.

Homeland Security Surveillance at Football Game Draws Ire from Phoenix Councilman

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio was enjoying the atmosphere outside of an Arizona State University football game when he saw a disturbing image – a truck mounted with a camera.

ABC 15 News reports that the vehicle was part of a multi-jurisdictional operation with the Phoenix Police Department’s Homeland Security Team.

On his Facebook page, DiCiccio posted, “Everyone wants to be safe, but having a video of people doing normal things is out of line.”

Mayor Greg Stanton disagrees.

“Sadly this is the reality in which we deal with. No one thought there would be a tragedy at the Boston Marathon, tragically there was,” Stanton told ABC 15 News.

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Suspends Classes, Education

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An enormous law enforcement center in southeast Georgia has suspended classes and sent a vast majority of its employees home because of the government shutdown, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, which is so large that it has its own ZIP code, is mostly quiet.

The building in Glynco, GA., has 18 firearms ranges and holds armed drills.

Of the more than 1,000 employees who work there, about 45 were not furloughed.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Tries to Manage During Government Shutdown, Hopes for the Best

FBI Director: James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is worried about the impact the government shutdown will have on investigating crime.

Already hammered by budget cuts and sequestration, the FBI is operating without employees deemed “non-essential,” the Washington Times reports.

A month ago, the FBI Agents Association said in a report that it’s concerned about budget cuts that already froze new training and the hirings of new agents.

“Trying to save money by undermining the FBI’s ability to protect the public is likely to be far more costly to our country in the long run,” the group said.

FBI Director James Comey said he’s shocked by the impact on budget cuts.

“I was very surprised to learn how severe the required cut is and the potential impact on this organization,” he said. “Frankly, as a taxpayer and as an American I was surprised, and it didn’t make any sense to me that the FBI director would be asked not just to cut 3,000 positions but, given what’s on our plate, to send folks home for a couple weeks without pay.”

Queens Man Claims FBI Placed Him on No Fly List for Not Acting As Informant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Queens man said the FBI put him on the no-fly list in retaliation for not acting as an informant, the New York Daily News reports.

Muhammad Tanvir is accusing FBI agents of barring him from air travel because he refused to act as an informant to get intelligence on Muslim neighbors.

To get off the list, Tanvir was told, he must snoop, according to a lawsuit he filed against the FBI.

The bureau declined to comment.

 

Justice Department Official Who Resigned in Protest in ’80s Dies at 83

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Arnold I. Burns was a top Justice Department official in the 1980s when he and others resigned in protest of Attorney General Edwin Meese III’s handling of Iran contra and a number of other issues.

Burns died of cardiac arrest and complications from Parkinson’s disease, the New York Times reports. He was 83.

Burns rose rapidly through the ranks of the Justice Department under President Reagan.

But he and others resigned after allegations also surfaced that Meese was under investigation for project spending that benefited a friend and families, The Times wrote.

Under Meese, Burns said, the Justice Department had become “a world of Alice in Wonderland – a world of illusion and allusion: a world in which up was down and down was up, in was out, out was in, happy was sad and sad was happy.”

Man Who Stabbed Border Patrol Dog in Neck Sentenced to Six Months in Prison

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Guatemalan man who stabbed a Border Patrol dog in the neck was sentenced to six months in prison Tuesday, The Monitor reports.

Luis Gilberto Cruz Solis also will be deported.

Solis was with a group of about 30 people who illegally crossed the border in May, according to the Monitor.

As everyone dispersed, Solis was fleeing when he stabbed Dinie, a 2-year-old German shepherd, in the neck.

The wound was about 2 inches deep. Luckily, Dinie survived and returned to work soon after.