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Archive for September, 2015

Justice Department to Prioritize Prosecution of Wall Street Criminals

wall-streetBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has pledged to prioritize prosecution of Wall Street criminals.

The Boston Globe reports that the DOJ established new rules in an effort to hold individual employees and their companies accountable.

The rules were issued in a memo to federal prosecutors in an attempt to also pressure corporations to cooperate when their executives are accused of wrongdoing.

“Corporations can only commit crimes through flesh-and-blood people,” Sally Q. Yates, the deputy attorney general and the author of the memo, said in an interview Wednesday. “It’s only fair that the people who are responsible for committing those crimes be held accountable. The public needs to have confidence that there is one system of justice and it applies equally regardless of whether that crime occurs on a street corner or in a boardroom.”

Less Than Half of U.S.-Mexico Border Is Under ‘Operational Control,

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Think the Mexico-U.S. border is safer. Think again.

So says Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, who told Congress Wednesday that only 40% of the border is under “operational control,” The Washington Times reports. 

Judd also said that 20% of illegal immigrants who were captured had criminals records.

“This is the challenge we are facing at the border today,” he said. “There are those who will point to lower apprehension rates and tell you the border is secure. Border Patrol agents, however, throughout this nation will tell you the border is not secure, and the southwest border certainly is not safe.”

The assertions contradict claims by President Obama’s administration that conditions at the border are improving.

Less Than Half of U.S.-Mexico Border Is Under ‘Operational Control,’ Agents Say

border fence photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Think the Mexico-U.S. border is safer. Think again.

So says Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, who told Congress Wednesday that only 40% of the border is under “operational control,” The Washington Times reports. 

Judd also said that 20% of illegal immigrants who were captured had criminals records.

“This is the challenge we are facing at the border today,” he said. “There are those who will point to lower apprehension rates and tell you the border is secure. Border Patrol agents, however, throughout this nation will tell you the border is not secure, and the southwest border certainly is not safe.”

The assertions contradict claims by President Obama’s administration that conditions at the border are improving.

Less Than Half of U.S.-Mexico Border Is Under ‘Operational Control,’ Agents Say

Homeland Security Takes Crackdown on Drug Smuggling to the Sky

dea-cocaineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security is taking its fight against drug smuggling to the sky.

The Associated Press reports that CBP agents are using aging P-3 surveillance planes with high-tech radar to search for drug smugglers.

The surveillance comes at a time when agents are finding an increasing amount of cocaine smuggling across the Caribbean to the U.S.

In fact, the DEA estimates that cocaine smuggling has increased from 60 tons of the drug to about 100 tons in the past several years.

One reason: Smugglers are finding the Caribbean to be one of the easiest ways to bring the drugs to the U.S.

Other Stories of Interest

Government Lawyer: Don’t Discipline Border Patrol for Erasing Videotapes

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The lawyer for federal government acknowledged that Border Patrol erased videotapes that captured allegedly deplorable conditions at several Arizona detention centers but urged a judge not to discipline the agency, the Arizona Capitol Times reports. 

Assistant Attorney General Sarah Fabian said the agency was under no obligation to save the recordings is taking “Herculean efforts to comply at great expense to the agency, both financially and in man hours.”

She added that the recordings are “being preserved to the fullest extent possible in light of technical challenges.

The videotapes are at the center of a lawsuit by immigration rights group who claim Border Patrol was confining people to inhumane conditions.

Defense Attorneys: Jury Should Know How Guns Ended Up at Scene of Murder of ATF Agent Brian Terry

Brian Terry

Brian Terry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry underscored the recklessness of ATF’s gun-walking scandal.

Now defense attorneys for two men accused of killing Terry want a jury to hear how the weapons ended at the crime scene, KVOA.com reports. 

The guns were tracked by the ATF, knowing that the AK-47 purchases were illegal. The idea, which has been widely criticized, was to find out where the guns were going.

“In a homicide prosecution the source of the weapon(s) used to perpetrate the alleged crime is and always should be relevant. In an assault prosecution the source of the weapon(s) is and always should be relevant,” the defense attorneys wrote.

The federal government doesn’t want a jury to hear about the scandal.

Ex-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani Minced No Words During Post-9/11 Hearing on Terrorism Threats

Rudolph Giuliani

Rudolph Giuliani

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was a key witness Tuesday at a Congressional hearing on the terrorism threats that remain after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Giuliani didn’t mince words, NY1.com reports. 

“Whatever euphemisms we want to engage in, they are at war with us,” Giuliani said. “By they, I mean Islamic extremist terrorists.”

The hearing was a meeting of the House Homeland Security Committee at the 9/11 Museum at the foot of the World Trade Center site.

Giuliani called for more aggressive actions, especially with threats from ISIS.

Giuliani also expressed concerns about Iran and its nuclear capabilities.

“We are putting the nuclear button in the hands of madmen,” Giuliani said.

Other Stories of Interest

What Took D.C. So Long to Respond to the Problem of Synthetic Drugs?

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.39.04 AM

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Washington, like a lot of other major cities, has had to deal with the plague of synthetic drugs for years. But the city  has been slow to respond, writes Jeffrey Anderson in the D.C. City Paper. 

Anderson writes about authorities charging Nebiyu Jamal Fanta, who worked at the  Benning Market & Dollar Plus in a tough section of D.C.

Anderson writes:

Until this summer, Fanta’s was one of only five cases on file in D.C. Superior Court, even as MPD Chief Cathy Lanier and Mayor Muriel Bowser cite synthetic drugs as a contributing factor to a recent spike in D.C. homicides and tout some 70 synthetic drug-related arrests this year. Overdoses among homeless persons have further elevated the issue to what is being described as a public health crisis and a threat to public safety. D.C. officials said they initially suspected synthetic drugs were a factor in the stabbing death of 24-year-old American University graduate Kevin Sutherland aboard a Metro Red Line train on July 4, then began to question the suspect’s mental state. Lanier has cited the drugs as a factor in three other unidentified homicides, and in July, the Pretrial Services Agency says 20 percent of recent violent crime suspects had tested positive for synthetic drugs.

Now, after years of dithering, and in the midst of a summer crime wave, D.C. officials have leapt into action with a series of legislative, regulatory, and investigative efforts—both civil and criminal—aimed at preventing the drugs from overwhelming a city. But in spite of the newfound urgency, the question remains: What took them so long?

To read the full story click here.