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Archive for September, 2016

FBI Arrests Accused Gangster Disciples Leader in Louisiana

Shauntay Lamar Craig

Shauntay Lamar Craig, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An alleged leader of the Gangster Disciples was captured by the FBI and other law enforcement Sunday and is expected to be extradited to Atlanta to be charged with federal racketeering charges.

Shauntay Lamar Craig, 38, was arrested in Marrero, Louisiana, The Times-Picayune reports.

Authorities said Craig was a “board member” within the Gangster Disciples, who “are believed to be responsible for numerous murders and robberies, and are alleged to have engaged in extortion plots and drug/narcotics trafficking throughout the United States.”

Craig was indicted in April by a federal grand jury, along with 49 other suspected gang members, under the Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations Act.

Craig was the only suspect to escape arrest at the time.

FBI: ‘No Indication’ of Terror Cell in New York, New Jersey Bombings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ahmad Kham Rahami, the 28-year-old arrested in connection with the weekend bombings in New York City and New Jersey, does not appear to belong to a terror cell, authorities said.

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

Law Enforcement officials said Rahami appeared to be working alone and was not part of a lager network, the Washington Post reports. 

Rahami was arrested Monday after a shootout with police.

Rahami was born in Afghanistan but is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

The 28-year-old was charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and two counts of second-degree counts for possessing a handgun.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said the bombs were “an act of terror,” said no one else was being sought at this time.

William Sweeney Jr., assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York division, said authorities have found “no indication that there is a [terror] cell operating in the area.”

DEA Travels to China to Crack Down on Fentanyl That’s Added to Heroin

Fentanyl tablets

Fentanyl tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fentanyl has been used as a powerful additive to heroin, and its use has been killing Americans.

Now the DEA is in China to help the government crack down on the manufacture of fentanyl, Chicago Sun Times reports.

While Mexico is the biggest heroin supplier, China is the leading supplier of fentanyl that is added to heroin to increase it strength, said Dennis Wichern, the special agent in charge of the DEA in Chicago and a five-state region.

“In the last three years we’ve seen an explosion of fentanyl,” Wichern said. “In Chicago, heroin- and fentanyl-related investigations have been priority No. 1.”

The DEA said the Chinese government is cooperating with U.S. drug agents.

“They recognize they have a problem with the synthetic drug explosion, as I call it,” Wichern said.

“The Chinese are all aboard. They’ve outlawed it. We’re working with them,” Wichern said. “We have agents on the ground every day in Beijing and Hong Kong working with the Chinese to stop this.”

Other Stories of Interest

Justice Department Investigates Police Shooting of Unarmed Black Man in Oklahoma

Unarmed Terence Crutcher was fatally shot by Tulsa Police.

Unarmed Terence Crutcher was fatally shot by Tulsa Police.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is investigating the police shooting of a black Oklahoma man who was unarmed and had his hands in the air after his SUV broke down.

The shooting occurred on the night of Sept. 16, when Tulsa police tased and then fatally shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, CNN reports. 

The Tulsa Police Department released dash cam and police helicopter video of the incident. Police Chief Chuck Jordan said the footage was “very disturbing and difficult to watch.”

Police were dispatched after a woman called 911 to report an abandoned vehicle blocking the road.

One police officer in the helicopter described Crutcher as a “bad dude,” although there was no evidence to suggest that was the case.

Moments later, an police officer shot Crutcher.

“I’m going to tell you right here now: There was no gun on the suspect or in the suspect’s vehicle,” Jordan said.

Cops Nab Suspect in N.J. and New York Bombings After Shootout

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is suspected of being involved in the bombing incidents over the weekend in New York and New Jersey, was arrested after being shot multiple times and wounded in a shootout with police in Linden, N.J. on Monday, ABC News and the New York Times report.

The confrontation happened about 10:30 a.m. after an owner of a bar in Linden reported that someone was sleeping in a hallway of his establishment, ABC News reports.

“One of our police officers went to investigate and to wake him up, and realized that he was [Rahami], the suspect that had been being sought in the bombings,” the mayor told WABC. “He realized it was the suspect and, within moments, the suspect fired on him. And thank God that he had his vest on. And I think that was very helpful for him. I think that saved his life.”

The New York Times reports that Capt. James Sarnicki of the Linden Police Department told reporters “the officer returned fire” and  Rahami fled, “indiscriminately firing his weapons at passing vehicles.”

Other officers joined the chase, and Rahami was shot multiple times. At least one other officer was injured during the confrontation.

 

 

Trump Appeared to Invoke Violence Against Clinton by Suggesting Her Secret Service Agents Disarm

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump once again appeared to invoke violence against Hillary Cinton when he suggested her Secret Service bodyguards disarm.

“Let’s see what happens,” Trump said, falsely suggesting Clinton wanted to ban the Second Amendment.

At a rally in Miami on Friday night, Trump called on Clinton’s Secret Service agents to “drop all weapons.”

“What do you think, yes?” he asked the crowd. “Take their guns away. She doesn’t want guns. Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, OK? It would be very dangerous.”

Clinton’s campaign responded that Trump’s comments show he is unfit to hold office.

“Whether this is done to provoke protesters at a rally or casually or even as a joke, it is an unacceptable quality in anyone seeking the job of commander in chief,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement.

“I think they should disarm immediately,” Trump told elected supporters.

Border Patrol Agent, Two Brothers Charged in Drug Cartel-Linked Murder Case

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who patrolled ranch land for smugglers of drugs and humans is accused of helping his brothers run a criminal family business responsible for a decapitated corpse found off the Texas coast during spring break.

Joel Luna, 31, has been charged with capital murder as part of a drug trafficking conspiracy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Luna’s attorney said his client never killed anyone, and it was his brothers, Fernando and Eduardo, who are to blame for the slayings.

“There’s an argument to be made against my client that’s guilt by association. People get swept up with those who are really guilty. It’s family,” said Joel’s attorney, Carlos A. Garcia. “Associating or going to a quinceañera is not a crime. He was just a family man, a working man. Think about how many Border Patrol members who live on the border have relatives here without visas.”

While Joel was for in San Juan but raised south of the border, his brothers were born in Mexico.

At the time of his hiring by Border Patrol, Luna appeared to be a great hire: He was an Army combat veteran and a high school ROTC standout.

The Los Angeles Times wrote:

In 2013, Joel notified Border Patrol officials that Eduardo had been temporarily abducted by cartel leaders in Reynosa who knew Joel was an agent and had threatened his family there, according to Cameron County Assistant Dist. Atty. Gustavo “Gus” Garza.

Eduardo, Fernando and their families crossed into the U.S. illegally to live at Joel’s house. Luna gave his sister-in-law $42,000 and instructed her to buy a house in San Juan for his younger brother, according to an arrest affidavit. Fernando moved in across the street, Garza said.

Fernando had been laid off and used severance pay to buy Veteran’s Tire Shop, about 20 miles north in Edinburg, according to an affidavit. He hired Eduardo and kept three other employees. Investigators would later argue that the run-down shop, like other businesses in south Texas, was a front for money laundering and drug trafficking.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Residents Endangered by Botched ATF Sting

atf badgeBy Editorial Board
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A fake tattoo parlor in St. Louis set up down the street from the Boys and Girls Club, and use of a confidential informer with a troubled criminal history, help explain how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives placed some of the city’s most vulnerable residents at risk — and seriously undermined its own integrity in the process.

St. Louis was part of the ATF’s Operation Hustle City, in which agents and police set up the Ink Pimp tattoo parlor at 2806 North Grand Boulevard in January 2013. Agents posed as outlaw bikers looking to buy guns to ship to California or Mexico, and serve as drug cash couriers.

All this occurred in the same area where hundreds of kids regularly attended classes and events on a campus that promised a safe environment. What were ATF agents and their bosses thinking? This appalling example of disregard deals another blow to citizen confidence in law enforcement at a time when federal agencies should be helping to restore public trust.

The Justice Department released a highly critical report last week of undercover ATF storefront operations aimed at getting illegal guns and drugs off the streets in St. Louis and four other cities. The report criticized the operations for inadequate oversight, accountability, training and planning, but did not recommend ending them.

The report said ATF should consolidate its expertise in running storefront operations and not proceed with such stings until agency directors agree they are properly designed and executed.

An agency that has existed in one form or another since 1886 shouldn’t need to be told to properly design and execute operations, especially ones that endanger the very lives of citizens they are supposed to protect. Having issued new directives to the ATF, the Justice Department will need to monitor for implementation.

Other Stories of Interest