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Archive for September, 2014

DOJ Supports Special Needs Student Who Was Used As ‘Rape Bait’

Sparkman Middle School, Google Maps

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is supporting the family of a girl who was raped after a teacher told her to act as bait to catch a suspected sexual predator at Sparkman Middle School in Toney, Ala.

The Daily Mail reports that the school had failed to discipline the suspected predator because he had not been caught in the act. So a teacher told a 14-year-old special needs student to meet the boy in a bathroom where he had allegedly had sexual encounters with other girls.

The ill-conceived plan took a horrifying turn when the suspect met her in a different bathroom, so no one came to help.

To support the family’s lawsuit against the Madison County School Board, the Department of Justice filed an amicus brief.

The filing alleges that the incident violated Title IX.

“School administrators knew the student’s extensive history of sexual and violent misconduct and were alerted to the substantial risk he posed,” the brief read.

 

Judge Rules In Favor of Ex-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns and Slaps ATF

Jay Dobyns

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge gave what former ATF agent Jay Dobyns seemed to want most: Vindication.

The Arizona Republic writes that U.S. Federal Claims Judge Francis M. Allegra of D.C. ruled in a lawsuit filed by Dobyns that ATF failed to properly respond to death threats against him after he infiltrated the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, then reneged on previous agreements to address his complaints. In 2008, his house was set afire. 

The ruling, unsealed Tuesday, awarded Dobyns of Tucson $173,000 for emotional stress caused by ATF, the paper reported. 

The paper also reported that the judge denied the government’s counterclaims for royalties from Dobyns’ book, No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels, and the films rights to the book, which are held by 20th Century Fox.

The $173,000 award fell far short of what he had sought. But he said he was pleased, nonetheless, with the ruling.

Dobyns wrote on his blog:

“I will not seize upon this opportunity to gloat or celebrate. From my view there is nothing to rejoice in. This is a sad day for my beloved ATF, the Department of Justice and all who believe in and support America’s law enforcement officers.”

“The title of the lawsuit alone — Dobyns v. USA — is humiliating for me. I never stood against the USA; only the corruption and abuse that infect parts of ATF and DOJ in leadership. I blew the whistle on that corruption. For that I was severely punished and left undefended.”

Dobyns also wrote in his blog:

Today, Judge Allegra describes ATF as an agency with, “organizational weaknesses, the inability of agency officials to supervise and control, and of demonstrated misfeasance – all rooted in the sorry failure of some ATF officials”. Further he wrote, “the story of how Agent Dobyns was treated is neither entertaining nor an easy read.”

Judge Allegra wrote in his opinion that Marino Vidoli, Steve Pugmire and Bill Newell, “ignored information about threats to Agent Dobyns and his family”, that, “the removal of the fictitious identification put Agent Dobyns and his family at risk”, that there was “no valid reason” for ATF’s failure to support us. The court wrote that the conduct of Vidoli was “unprecedented as the only instance in which Vidoli ever withdrew backstopping issued to an ATF employee.”

In 2007, Dobyns won a $373,000 award against ATF after it was concluded  that the agencies failed to take proper action to keep him safe.

ATF issued a statement that was posted on The Phoenix New Times:

“We have received and are reviewing with the Department of Justice the Court’s decision in Dobyns v. United States. We cannot, however, further comment on this case because portions of the litigation are still pending, including matters that may be appealed by the parties.”

Ex-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns on His Court VIctory: ‘I Hope It Helps the Many Other Abused Employees Who Never Had a Voice’

Jay Dobyns/his website

The following was written after ex-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns’ won his lawsuit against ATF. A federal judge awarded him $173,000 and lambasted ATF. Dobyns, who had gone undercover with the Hells Angels, claimed that the department didn’t do enough to protect his life after getting death threats and having his house catch on fire. The following is from his blog. 

By Jay Dobyns

Today the Honorable Francis M. Allegra of the United States Court of Federal Claims made public his judicial opinion/ruling/findings in the case of Jay Anthony Dobyns v. United States.

I have been vindicated.

First, I must thank God who provided me with strength and faith during these events.

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

– Joshua 1:9

I thank those who have supported me; family, friends, peers and strangers but mostly my wife and kids – they have been the true victims here and been forced to suffer to needlessly.

My legal counsel lead by James Reed proved to be extraordinary and brilliant. Jim and his team took on a fight that no else dared. With Jeff Elder and Carson Emmons together they played out a courtroom version of David and Goliath challenging the most well-resourced and powerful law firm in the history of the planet, the United States Department of Justice. Armed with the equivalent of a stone and a slingshot, they won.

Attorney Mark Gidley and the law firm of White and Case in Washington, D.C., invited us into their home and showed us the hospitality and a base of operations that only a firm of that stature could provide.

I thank Judge Allegra for upholding his duty, responsibility and ethics in reaching a fair opinion. He is the type of judge who brings honor and respect to the bench. I was fortunate to argue before such a fine man.

I thank the select few of my ATF peers who displayed the courage to publicly stand by me when doing so put their own careers and reputations at risk. Friends I thought I had vanished while friends I never knew I had arrived. There is nothing comparable to “pressure” in a time of need to find out who truly believes in you.

Two ATF Agents in particular showed themselves to have integrity that rose above the fray. Thomas Atteberry took great professional risk when he pressed for a fair investigation of the crimes against me and was placed under duress for doing so. Christopher Trainor conducted an internal investigation that serves as an example of a diligent quest for the truth. For every lawman who truly seeks unbiased fairness in their work, he set a very high standard to strive for.

Doing the right thing is not always easy but, it is always right.

Those at the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund proved to be extraordinary in their support. Without them I could not have survived this battle or been able to continue it. They showed faith in me when very few others did and their assistance kept me in the fight when I was on the verge of a knockout.

I thank certain members of the media for their accurate coverage of these events. Without their reporting ATF and DOJ would have gotten away with all of this. The leadership of those agencies take an attitude of “battening down the hatches and allowing the storm to blow over” until they are placed under the microscope of the public’s eye.  Forced transparency. The power of the press and the pen is enormous.

As with anything worth accomplishing in life, none of us can ever do it alone.

It is also most appropriate here to honor the sacrifice of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry whose passing shed light on the conduct of ATF and allowed the events I suffered to find credibility and attention. Prior to Brian’s death the facts and evidence contained in this opinion had been swept under ATF’s dirty rug. It is shameful that the loss of Brian’s life is what it took for the truths of my situation to be exposed.

For Brian, much of the information surrounding his murder is still covered up.

This opinion is not just a victory for me. I hope it helps the many other abused employees who never had a voice or were never able to make it this far. Brian has been instrumental in that and continues to serve his nation even in death.

Read more »

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Detroit Mafia

httpv://youtu.be/3BuvTJ6IQhw

httpv://youtu.be/IL12_kYRbQw

FBI Arrests homicide fugitive in Delaware After 13 Years on Run

Ignacio Constantino

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Victor Castillo lived a quiet life as a maintenance man for an apartment building in Wilmington.

Turns out, Castillo’s real name is Ignacio Constantino, and he was wanted for first-degree murder in Tennessee for 13 years, the USA Today reports.

The FBI, along with local police and the U.S. Marshals Service, arrested Constantino on Thursday without incident.

“Our community is very happy that he has been taken into custody and we look forward to him facing the first-degree murder charges,” said Morristown police Maj. Michelle Jones, a spokesman with the department.

Local police said cooperation among law enforcement agencies was key.

“This arrest is a demonstration of the effectiveness of law enforcement working together throughout our country,” Police Chief Roger Overholt said in a statement. “It is important to our community that Constantino faces the charges brought against him in this violent crime.”

Suspected Cop Shooter Eric Frein Is Added to FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s newest addition to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list is Eric Matthew Frein, who is the lone suspect in the delay ambush of two Pennsylvania state troopers, the Huffington Post reports.

The FBI said it’s not messing around.

“When law enforcement officers are violently targeted, we take it seriously — and personally,” Edward J. Hanko, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, said Thursday in a press release.

The ambush of Alex Douglass and Byron Dickson happened at 10:50 p.m. during a shift change. Dickson was killed, and Douglass remains hospitalized.

The 31-year-old suspect was charged Tuesday with homicide of a law enforcement officer.

Authorities warned that Frein is a weapons enthusiast and survivalist.

“All of law-enforcement is committed to apprehending Frein, and we are dedicated to making sure that the danger to the public ends with his arrest,” Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said Thursday.

Retired FBI Agent Charles McGinty, Who Went After Public Corruption, Died at Age of 67

Charles McGinty

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Charles McGinty, a retired FBI agent with an impressive resume, died Thursday of unknown causes, NOLA.com reports.

He was 67.

McGinty was supervisor of a public corruption squad in the FBI’s New Orleans office when he retired in 2004.

After retiring, McGinty became a security director for Fidelity Homstead Savings Bank, where he was teaching a class when he collapsed.

McGinty, whose older brother also was an FBI agent, became one of the last agents hired by J. Edgar Hoover.

McGinty investigated public corruption and white-collar crime, and at the time of his retirement, he was finishing up a case that sent two Jefferson Parish judges to prison.

Court of Appeals Grills Justice Department Over Handling of Barry Bonds’ Steroids Case

Barry Bonds/facebook

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s attempt to maintain a criminal conviction against retired baseball slugger Barry Bonds is a swing and miss, several U.S. appeals court judges ruled.

Reuters reports that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had serious doubts that Bonds’ testimony about steroids amounted to a crime.

“I find your reading of the statute absolutely alarming,” Judge William Fletcher told the government.

Bonds testified in 2003 under a grant of immunity that he did not use performance-enhancing drugs.

The judges expressed serious doubts that Bonds committed a crime.

In April 2011, the slugger was convicted of one obstruction charge, while the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on three perjury charges.