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Deadly crossing: Death toll rises among those desperate for the American Dream

By Hannah Rappleye and Lisa Riordan Seville
NBC News

In the freezer of a small funeral home nearly 13 miles from the Texas-Mexico border, 22 bodies are stacked on plywood shelves, one on top of the other.

The bodies wrapped in white sheets have names, families and official countries of origin — Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, sometimes China or Pakistan. The bodies in black shrouds are the remains of the nameless and unclaimed, waiting to be identified.

For the past few years, the family-owned Elizondo Mortuary and Cremation Service in Mission, Texas, has been taking in the remains of undocumented immigrants found dead in nearby counties after crossing the border from Mexico. This year, however, they had to build an extra freezer. It’s become difficult to keep up with the rising tide of dead coming to them from across the Rio Grande Valley.

To read more click here.

DEA Leads Biggest Meth Bust in New York History

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 New York has had its share of big drug busts.

But when it comes to methamphetamine, the state has never seen a bigger one than the 50 pounds seized from a boardinghouse in Westchester County, CBS New York reports.

The DEA called it the biggest meth bust in New York State history.

About $1 million worth of the dangerous drug was discovered as Mexican cartels try to carve a larger market for meth, CBS New York reports.

The bust netted two arrests, while agents search for the chemist.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Column: Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Finds Trial Almost Laughable: I Find it Depressing

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — The other day ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick tweeted: “If this case was in another State, not paid for by taxpayers, & my life was not on the line, this ish would be laughable.”

Well, yes, perhaps almost laughable for Kwame.

Depressing for the rest of us.

For the past two weeks, the government has delivered some damaging testimony in his public corruption trial. Ultimately it will be up to the jury to decide if Kwame walks or sulks behind bars for many years. If convicted, count on him going off to prison for at least 12 years. I don’t sense this judge has a lot sympathy for the defense.

As an observer, the longer I watch the trial, the more I can’t help but see Kwame as man who reigned supremely over this impoverished kingdom, whose concerns about living a lavish lifestyle overrode his concerns of his subjects.

I’m not laughing.

To read full column click here.

 

National Geographic Launches Show Monday Night: “To Catch a Smuggler”

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The National Geographic Channel launches its new series Monday night at 9 p.m. “To Catch a Smuggler.”

The show takes viewers behind the scenes at JFK International Airport with agents from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who are looking for drugs, weapon and contraband, according to a press statement.

More than 20,000 international passengers come through JFK daily.

 

Laser Attacks on Pilots Prompt FBI to Create Nationwide Crackdown

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

 To crackdown on the increasing number of people pointing at pilots, the FBI has created a national Anti-Laser Attack Task Force, Gizmodo.com reports.

Since 2005, so-called laser attacks, which can temporarily blind a pilot, are up 10 fold, the technology site reported.

In fact, the FBI expects 3,700 more attacks by year’s end.

Since 2008, the FBI’s Sacramento division has run a successful campaign to crack down on laser attacks, prompting the bureau to create a nationwide effort, according to Gizmodo.com.

If convicted, laser-wielders face up to five years in prison and up to $11,000 in fines.

Feds to Begin Testing Wider Use of Drones That Could Have Widespread Ramifications

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The Department of Homeland Security will test drones – small, unmanned flying spies – to see if they can be used for emergencies, law enforcement and border patrol, Wired.com reports.

The testing grounds will be Fort Sill in Oklahoma, where drones will officials will experiment with drones for five days, according to Wired.com.

The drones being researched are small and weigh less than 25 pounds.

The drones are controversial because of fears that they violate privacy rights or could crash into buildings, Wired.com reports.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Feds Aren’t Tracking Data on Frequency of Informants Breaking Law for Government

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF and the DEA don’t track how often informants are given authority to commit a crime, the USA Today reports.

While the Justice Department imposes stringent limits on when and how informants for various federal agencies are allowed to break the law on the government’s behalf, an open-records request reveals that neither the ATF nor the DEA stockpile information on such cases, according to USA Today.

The issue came to light in the midst of the bungled “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking operation that allowed 2,000 weapons to reach the hands of suspected cartels.

“The way we use confidential informants is a huge aspect of the daily operation and also the legitimacy of the criminal justice system,” said Alexandra Natapoff, a professor at Loyola Law School Los Angeles. “It’s insane that even the law enforcement agencies that actually carry out this policy may not always know how their operatives are doing it.”

Feds: How Did Friendly Fire End in the Death of a Border Patrol Agent?

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal investigators are trying to determine what went wrong when friendly fire resulted in the fatal shooting of the U.S. Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie, the USA Today reports.

A preliminary investigation suggests agents became disoriented while responding to a ground sensor near the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the USA Today.

“There are strong preliminary indications that the death of Ivie and the injury to a second agent was the result of an accidental shooting incident involving only the agents,” the FBI said in a statement.

Officials originally believed other suspects were involved and fled to Mexico, a scenario that authorities say looks unlikely.