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Archive for August, 2015

Feds Bust Largest On-Line Male Escort Service, Arresting 7 Current, Former Employees

handcuffsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities busted what they called the largest online male-escort service and arrested seven people allegedly linked to the website Rentboy.com, The New York Times reports. 

Authorities arrested the site’s chief executive, Jeffrey Hurant, 50, and six current or former employees.

The defendants appeared in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Tuesday on charges of promoting prostitution.

The criminal complaint alleges that escorts listed their profiles with a list of sexual services and fees.

The site made $10 million in sales since 2010, according to the complaint.

Man Who Hopped White Fence Killed by Sheriff’s Deputy in Pennsylvania Courthouse

white house big photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 34-year-old man who hopped a White House fence because he wanted to pass a message to President Obama was killed Tuesday by deputy sheriff after allegedly swinging a knife at a courthouse in Pennsylvania.

Philly.com reports that Curtis Smith was accused of trying to slash a deputy sheriff with a knife when another deputy sheriff shot Smith at the Criminal Justice Center in Chester County near Philadelphia.

Smith, who was charged with unlawful entry in the White House fence jumping incident, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

County District Attorney Tom Hogan said he attack was “random, not personal, and a cousin described the incident as “death by cop.”

“He definitely was distraught. Curtis had been crying out for help, but everyone had been ignoring him,” Walton told the Daily News. “The jumping the White House fence was an attempted suicide.”

Other Stories of Interest

Judge Orders Pennsylvania Attorney Gen. Kathleen Kane to Stand Trial

Kathleen G. Kane/Twitter

Kathleen G. Kane/Twitter

By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis
Philadelphia Inquirer Staff

A Montgomery County judge on Monday ordered Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to stand trial on criminal charges after a hearing in which one of Kane’s most trusted aides testified against her, and the judge repeatedly rejected her legal arguments.

Prosecutors say Kane, a Democrat who is the state’s top law enforcement officer, broke the law by orchestrating a leak to a newspaper reporter in a bid to embarrass a foe, and then lied about it under oath. Using Kane’s testimony before the grand jury that investigated the leak, prosecutors attempted to show that she repeatedly lied in an effort to cover up her actions.

They called David Peifer, a special agent in the Attorney General’s Office, who was a member of Kane’s inner circle. Peifer, the first witness to take the stand, described meeting with Kane in March 2014 and giving her information she is charged with leaking to the press.

To Read More Click Here

 

FBI Investigates 4 Cases of Alleged Inmate Abuse at Hands of Guards

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating allegations that guards physically abused inmates at a Jackson County jail.

The Kansas City Star reports that the probe is focused on four recent cases involving male inmates who received injuries ranging from stitches and bruises to a broken neck.

Four guards accused of playing a role in the injuries no longer work at the jail.

Race didn’t appear to play a role, the newspaper reported, because two of the victims were white and two were black.

Jackson County also is investigating.

FBI Believed Science Fiction Writer Ray Bradbury Was a Pinko Boogeyman

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI was convinced during the Cold War that some science fiction writers were bent on crippling America and creating communist sympathizers by frightening readers with futuristic stories.

MuckRock received FBI files that show the bureau was obsessed with science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury, who was accused of being a member of the Communist Party.

“The general aim of these science fiction writers is to frighten the people into a state of paralysis or psychological incompetence bordering on hysteria,” the FBI wrote.

Bradbury was pursued by informants during readings and other gatherings.

To read the full report, click here. 

Federal Prosecutors Fire Back at Sen. Menendez in Misconduct Case

Robert Menendez

Robert Menendez

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors are fighting back against claims by Sen. Robert Menendez that the allegations against him are based on lies by the FBI and misconduct by the government.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the New Jersey Democrat is accusing prosecutors of relying on misstatements by girlfriends, lawmakers and members of the Obama administration.

Prosecutors fired back in a pair of federal court filings in New Jersey.

Menendez, 61, has denied charges that he accepted nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from a Florida eye doctor. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors shifted the blame on the senator’s lawyers, saying the engaged in “naked rhetoric that conflicts with the facts and the law.”

Assault Charge Dropped Against Border Patrol Agent Accused of Hitting Mexican Boy

Aldo Artega

Aldo Artega

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent accused of assaulting a Mexican teenager at a Nogales station in January 2014 won’t be charged, the Tucson News reports. 

A misdemeanor charge was dismissed against Aldo Arteaga on Monday.

The case stems from surveillance video that showed the agent hitting a boy and taking his cell phone.

Since the teen was returned to Mexico just hours after the incident, prosecutors said they had no choice but to dismiss the case because the teen would not be able to attend any court hearings.

Other Stories of Interest

USA Today: Hillary Clinton E-Mail Controversy Is a Big Deal

Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropBy Editorial Board
USA Today 

In 2009, when soon-to-be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton first broached the idea of running her work email through a private server at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., the concept should have been dismissed as laughable.

But it wasn’t, and for reasons more likely having to do with control than convenience, Clinton went ahead with the plan. Now that top secret information, intelligence agency inspectors general, the FBI and federal judges are involved, the matter is far from amusing.

Clinton, though, seems to think she can dismiss the controversy by making light of it. Earlier this month in Iowa, the presidential candidate joked to a crowd of Democratic Party faithful about sending future communications over the app Snapchat, which famously makes text and photos disappear soon after they are viewed. At a testy press availability on Tuesday, Clinton went for the laugh line again after being asked whether her email server had been wiped clean. “Like with a cloth?” she replied, adding that nobody talks to her about the email controversy except reporters.

Maybe she doesn’t get asked about it at tightly controlled town meetings, but the episode raises serious questions about the Democratic front-runner’s decision-making and commitment to openness in government.  One of the many reasons that it was a bad idea to mix personal and business messages is well known to anyone with an email account: As hard as you might try, you can’t control what comes into your inbox. And if you’re the secretary of State, that’s inevitably going to include some sensitive information.

Last week, a Justice Department national security investigation kicked into higher gear after intelligence agency officials determined that top secret information had indeed passed through the private email account. The FBI has taken control of the server and thumb drives storing backup data. The number of potentially classified emails involved jumped from a handful to more than 300, according to a State Department count filed in federal court. A federal judge overseeing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit said, “We wouldn’t be here today if this employee” — Clinton — “had followed government policy.”

Clinton’s stance has evolved from saying that no classified material passed through her private account (March), to saying she didn’t send or receive anything that was classified at the time (last month), to saying she didn’t send any material that was explicitly marked or designated classified (last week).

The laws about handling classified material are complex, and way too much information is classified in the first place. It’s entirely possible that Clinton didn’t do anything illegal. Even so, presidential candidates should be held to a higher standard.