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Unusual Rift Between ATF, Justice Department Draws FBI, DEA to Help with Firearm Cases

atf file photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and DEA have stepped in to help investigate weapons cases after federal prosecutors in Nevada stopped working with the ATF, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.

But the newspaper said neither agency is probing firearm sales or trafficking cases, leaving the state with little protection.

Gun data obtained by the Gazette-Journal shows that fewer illegal firearms were recovered last year.

In an unusual move, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Reno said it would not prosecute ATF cases until unidentified problems are resolved.

So ATF agents left the Reno office because they couldn’t get cases prosecuted, the Gazette-Journal reported.

Family of Missing FBI Agent Pleads for Help from World Leaders on NYC Billboards

 Steve Neavling 
ticklethewire.com

 Nothing yet has worked for the family of a former FBI agent missing since traveling to Iran five years ago.

So the family of 64-year-old Bob Levinson, with the help of the FBI, rented billboards in Times Square and subway entrances near the United Nations with an urgent plea to the visiting world leaders, the New York Daily News reports.

“Please encourage the Islamic Republic of Iran to work with the United States Government to bring Bob home,” one message reads.

The message appears to have gotten through to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who on Tuesday suggested the husband and father was still alive, according to the Daily News.

“This is the first time he’s said anything about Bob,” wife Christine Levinson said. “We are hoping he will follow up and get the job finished so we can get him home safely.”

FBI Reduces Backlog of Forensic DNA Tests

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Forensic DNA tests are notoriously backlogged.

But an increase in staffing and the use of automated technology have contributed to reduce the FBI lab’s backlog by 87% from 2010 to March of this year, the Associated Press reports.

The lab and timely tests are incredibly important because DNA evidence taken from crime scenes can make or break a case.

Most reductions came in the nuclear DNA Unit, which analyzes blood, fluids and semen, according to the AP. Also experiencing a reduction in caseloads was the mitochondrial DNA Unit, which examines bones, teeth and hair fragments.

Poor Ex-Detroit Mayor, He Had Too Much Cash: Friends Says he Passed on $90,000 to Him

 

Kwame Kilpatrick (far right) leaves courthouse/deadline detroit

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Poor Kwame Kilpatrick.

He’s got a cash problem.

No, not a shortage. Too much.

On Monday, the feds produced bank statements showing that he deposited about $531,000 in cash — beyond his paychecks — while he was mayor from 2002 to 2008. He also used $280,000 in cash to pay off credit card debt.

On Tuesday,  on the third day of trial in federal court in his public corruption probe, the prosecution delivered more damaging testimony about cash. The feds claim all his cash could only have come his way illegally, arguing that there was no other obvious explanation.

Mahlon Clift, a close friend from college who considered the ex-mayor a “brother”, testified today that he came to Detroit from Chicago in 2008 to support Kilpatrick, who was having problems as mayor and at home.

While staying at the Atheneum hotel in Greektown, Clift, a jeweler, said he got a call from contractor Bobby Ferguson, who was a friend and a close friend of Kilpatrick.

Ferguson came to the room and handed him a shopping bag with $90,000 and said for him to hold it for “Black.” Clift testified that he understood the cash was for Kilpatrick, who Ferguson sometimes called “Black.” He said there were in nine stacks of $10,000, each with $100 and $50 bills.

To read full story click here.

After Fighting Corruption for 25 Years, FBI Agent John Roberts Retires

photo courtesy of Philadelphia Enquirer

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 An FBI agent whose work helped jail dozens of Philadelphia and New Jersey politicians is retiring after 25 years with the bureau, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Agent John Roberts spent 20 years of his career in Philadelphia, where he became an expert on corruption and the politicians who turn to the dark side.

During his last five years, he ran the corruption squad.

His expertise took him as far away as Europe to lecture on corruption and pay-to-play politics, the Inquirer reported.

Roberts will take his skills to a senior manager position in the antifraud unit of the Deloitte accounting firm, according to the Inquirer.

FBI Probes Fatal Police Shooting of Double Amputee in Houston

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether a Houston police officer used excessive force by fatally shooting a double-amputee in a wheelchair at a home for the mentally ill, the Associated Press reports.

The AP said police were responding to a call about an irate one-armed, one-legged man who wouldn’t come down.

One of the officers said he shot the 45-year-old amputee in the head because he felt cornered by the wheelchair and feared his partner was in danger by what turned out to be a ballpoint pen, according to the AP.

“It is my desire to have everyone reserve judgment until all the facts and evidence in this investigation have been gathered,” Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland said.

Ex-FBI Agent Joseph Pistone, AKA Donnie Brasco, Warns Canadian Officials of Mafia Dangers

The Movie "Donnie Brasco"

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Agent Joseph Pistone, better known by his alias Donnie Brasco, told a commission in Canada that the mafia is a menacing “plague on our society,” the Montreal Gazette reports.

During the highly anticipating testimony, Pistone said the structures and traditions of the mafia are identical around the globe.

“That’s why the Mafia has survived so long, because they have stayed the same as far as their rules and regulations,” Pistone testified. “They keep their members in line by fear and intimidation. If you get caught breaking one of these rules, you’re gonna die.”

Pistone, who is wanted dead by the mafia, was shielded from cameras and protected by enhanced security, reported.

Pistone sought to erase the public’s romanticized image of the mafia, saying the mob is deadly and disruptive.

Wife of Missing Ex-FBI Agent Pleas with Iran for Help Finding Husband

Steve Neavling 
 ticklethewire.com

The wife of a former FBI agent missing for five years traveled to New York to urge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to help find her husband, NBC 4 New York reports.

Bob Levinson, 64, traveled to the Iranian island of Kish on March 8, 2007, and never returned.

His wife, Christine Levinson, said she feels helpless because she has no information or way of finding out new information.

The plea coincides with Ahmadinejad’s planned speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, NBC 4 New York reported.

“I am pleading with all the members of the UN to try and help me get Iran to investigate,” she said.