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Archive for April, 2014

DOJ Finds ‘Strained’ Relationship Between FBI, Organized Crime Drug Task Force

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI agents were retaliated against for voicing concerns over operations at the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces Fusion Center, a DOJ inspector general concluded.

AllGov.com reports that OCDETF’s leadership also wasn’t cooperative.

The report described the relationship between the FBI agents in the task force and the center’s leaders as “strained.”

In some cases, according to the report, agents were retaliated against for expressing concerns about heavy workloads.

The center’s “management took actions that created difficulties for us in obtaining information from OFC [fusion center] employees and in ensuring that interview responses were candid and complete,” inspectors said.

DEA Worried About Fido Or Running Out of Reasons to Keep Marijuana Illegal?

DEA stock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Is the DEA running out of ideas to reverse the seismic shift in attitudes about marijuana?

DEA Chief Michele Leonhart told congressional members this week that pot can kill Fido, citing evidence that dogs have died after eating marijuana-infused food, the Huffington Post reports.

“There was just an article last week, and it was on pets. It was about the unanticipated or unexpected consequences of this, and how veterinarians now are seeing dogs come in, their pets come in, and being treated because they’ve been exposed to marijuana,” Leonhart said.

Leonart is referring to dogs that have eaten edibles and was referencing a USA Today story that said dogs could die while throwing up pot products, like butter. But Leonart didn’t mention that the article added that “marijuana itself isn’t particularly harmful to dogs,” and that dogs rarely eat marijuana by itself.

ATF Agents Accused of Impersonating Landlord to Turn On Electricity in Storefront Stings

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Undercover ATF agents renting a storefront had their energy shut off by the landlord because they exceeded their monthly allotment.

The agents responded by getting the landlord’s account information and calling the electricity company pretending to be him, an internal investigation revealed, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Account statements were improperly taken and information contained in one of those statements was improperly used to impersonate the landlord in a telephone conversation with the electric power provider,” according to the report, prepared by the ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations.

The ATF investigation is part of a larger probe involving blundered storefront stings.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Parker: Colombia Supreme Court Approves US Extradition of Accused Killers of DEA Special Agent Terry Watson

James Watson

 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The Colombia Supreme Court ruled on April 3rd in favor of the US extradition request of all seven defendants charged with the murder of DEA Special Agent James “Terry” Watson in June 2013. Special Agent Watson’s career was the subject of a column last year.

Agent Watson was killed in what appeared to be a robbery attempt after he left a Bogota restaurant where he had met with friends to watch an NBA Championship game on television.

He had had an extraordinary career with DEA in which he sought out the most challenging and dangerous assignments, including three deployments in Afghanistan, as well as in Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Panama.

The case indicates the close working relationship which has developed between Colombian and US law enforcement in recent years. Previous US extradition requests involving the murder of three other DEA agents in Colombia have been problematic.

The Colombian Supreme Court will now forward its ruling to the Colombian Ministry of Justice and then to Colombian President Juan Manual Santos Calderon for a final decision on the extradition.

Investigators Trying to Figure Out Why U.S. Soldier Opened Fire at Fort Hood, Killing 3

Ford Hood Darnall HospitalSteve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Investigators are trying to determine what prompted an Iraq war veteran to open fire at Fort Hood on Wednesday, killing three soldiers and injuring 16 others before killing himself, the Washington Post reports.

Many questions remain: Did an argument precede the shooting? Was he properly treated for depression and anxiety?

The shooter, identified as Spec. Ivan Lopez, 34, also returned to the U.S. with a self-reported traumatic brain injury.

“We have to find all those witnesses, the witnesses to every one of those shootings, and find out what his actions were, and what was said to the victims,” said a federal law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Lopez opened fire around 4 p.m. Wednesday but he was soon confronted by a female military police officer.

The officer demanded Lopez surrender but he pulled out a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and shot himself fatally in the head.

FBI Raids Rural Indiana Home Where Man Collected Thousands of Rare Artifacts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI raided the property of a 91-year-old man in rural central Indiana where he stored thousands of artifacts from Native Americans, China, Russia and other countries.

Fox News reports that the massive collection by Donald Miller spanned eight decades and also included items from Australia, Haiti, New Guinea and Peru.

“The cultural value of these artifacts is immeasurable,” Jones said while refusing to divulge details of any of the items taken from Miller’s property.

Miller said he obtained the items legally and traveled to each country to get them.

“I have been in 200 countries collecting artifacts,” he said.

It wasn’t clear whether he faces charges.

Video: Woman Says Border Patrol Threatened Her with Knife, Taser at Random Stop

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents threatened a woman with a Taser and knife after she questioned why she was stopped 40 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, she claims in a video distributed by the ACLU.

U.S. citizen Clarisa Christiansen said she refused to exit her car until Border Patrol explained why they wanted to search her vehicle. That’s when she said she was threatened with a Taser

“He opens up my door and he says, ‘Ma’am, do I need to tase you to get you out of your vehicle?'” Chistiansen recounts. “I was like, ‘No, you don’t need to do that. You’re acting ridiculous. Why did you even pull me over?'”

She says an agent then pulled out a knife and threatened to cut her seatbelt.

Congress Slams ATF Director Over Blundered Undercover Storefront Operations

US Attorney B. Todd Jones

Todd Jones

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF Director B. Todd Jones’ first appearance before Congress wasn’t a pleasant one.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that congressional members from both sides slammed Jones over the agency’s blunders in undercover storefront operations.

Some of the problems included using people with mental disabilities to promote undercover operations.

Jones defended the agency, saying it didn’t knowingly target people with mental disabilities.

“You don’t think that your agents, dealing with a man with an IQ in the 50s, knew he was mentally disabled?” asked U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), who used to teach children with disabilities, said people with low IQs are easy to recognize.

“Anyone with any life experience can ask simple questions,” he said. “I was surrounded by these kids. They are some of the best, nicest people who try their best and just want to please. I am appalled you would use these individuals like this and arrest them later.”

Responded Jones: “Hindsight is 20/20.”