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Drug Task Forces Targeting Mexican Cartels to Shrink

Maybe there’s more to this, but from outward appearances it seems rather bothersome that the Justice Department is scaling back in an area so important. We need to crack down more, not less on the violent Mexican cartels that have spread their tentacles in the U.S.

mexico-border-sign

By Joe Palazzolo
Main Justice

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is eliminating 30 attorney positions from anti-drug trafficking task forces, scaling back a key program as the U.S. tries to combat Mexican cartels and stem the flow of weapons and illegal drugs across the border.

U.S. Attorneys’ offices will realize the loses through attrition, and all nine Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force regions will be affected, Justice officials said. The OCDETF cuts were announced in a memo sent to U.S. Attorneys offices last month.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on the memo, citing personnel matters and the ongoing budget process.

For Full Story

Pot Seizures Up Fourfold at U.S.-Canada Border

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

With all the drug-related violence and craziness along the Mexican-U.S. border, we seldom hear much about canada border the Canada-U.S. border.

The Toronto Star reports that the “hardening of the Canada-U.S. border” has resulted in a fourfold increase in marijuana seizures.

U.S. authorities seized 17,915 kilos of Canadian-grown marijuana during the year ending Sept. 30, compared to 4,325 kilos the previous year, according to figures to be released Friday by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the paper reported.

The paper said U.S. border officials attributed increased seizures to better cross-border police cooperation and new technology including unmanned aerial drones.

Khalid Sheik Mohammad to be Tried in Fed Court in NY Insteaed of Military CourtAsked

Khalid Sheik Mohammad
Khalid Sheik Mohammad

Some may not agree with this, but frankly it seems like the right thing to do. Americans generally want to have confidence that justice is being carried out fairly and it seems that a trial in the federal court will be more transparent.

By Peter Finn and Carrie A. Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Khalid Sheik Mohammed — the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — and four co-defendants will be tried in federal court in New York instead of a military commission, a federal official said early Friday.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, accused of orchestrating the bombing of the USS Cole when it was docked off the coast of Yemen in 2000, will be tried at a military commission, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decisions have not yet been formally announced by the Department of Justice.

The long-awaited decisions on prosecution, part of President Obama’s quest to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, do not affect the vast majority of the 215 prisoners held at the prison.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Gov. Spitzer Who Was Brought Down by FBI Probe Speaks at Harvard Ethics Forum

India News Outlets Report Mueller and Agents to Visit India Next Week

Robert Mueller III/fbi photo

Robert Mueller III/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — News outlets in India  are reporting that FBI director Robert Mueller III and a group of FBI agents plan to visit that country  next week to pursue a terrorism investigation.

The website Indiaserver.com reported that the agents will follow up on an investigation into suspected terrorist David Coleman Headley who was recently charged in Chicago with plotting attacks in India and on a Denmark newspaper that published  controversial cartoons mocking Islam.

“Mueller, who will be heading a team of investigators days ahead of the first anniversary of the Nov 26 Mumbai terror strike, will probe Headley’s network in India and also establish his links with the Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba,” the website reported.

The FBI on Thursday said that as a matter of practice it did not discuss or publicize the director’s overseas travel plans in advance.

Ft. Hood Gunman Charged With 13 counts of Premeditated Murder

The case should be easy to prove. But what will be more difficult is  to figure out what authorities could have done differently to avoid this craziness.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan/dod photo

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan/dod photo

BY Rich Schapiro
N.Y. DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

The blood-thirsty Army major accused of carrying out the Fort Hood massacre was charged Thursday with 13 counts of premeditated murder, officials said.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan will be eligible for the death penalty, if convicted.

The 39-year-old army psychiatrist will face justice in a military court, and prosecutors are expected to begin setting in motion the military equivalent of a grand jury.

Under the military system, Hasan’s fellow Army officers will decide whether he is guilty of mass murder, and, if so, on his punishment. He would be put to death by lethal injection.

For Full Story

Kansas Man Charged With Shooting at FBI Violent Crime Task Force

olathe-map-ksBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 26-year-old man was charged earlier this week with possession of a firearm after felony convictions after  he tried to avoid arrest by shooting at members of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force in the Kansas City, Ks., area.

According to an FBI affidavit, task force members tried to arrest Nicholas Henry, a convicted felon, on Nov. 1 in the town of Olathe, Ks. He was wanted on an outstanding warrants, and the red Dodge pickup he was driving had been reported stolen.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said when the task force members approached Henry, “he ran to the stolen truck, removed a handgun and a bulletproof vest and began firing at them. They returned fire. He was arrested and treated for gunshot wounds.” No law enforcement people were injured.

Henry’s previous convictions included burglary of a vehicle, forgery, attempted aggravated escape from custody, aggravated assault and felony theft, authorties said.

Read Press Release

Sales Price of Madoff’s Homes Dropping

Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Let’s just hope Bernie Madoff’s ego isn’t bruised knowing that people aren’t immediately snapping up his swanky properties in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla.

Reuters news service reports that the government has had to lower the asking price, the result of a a soft market.

“Madoff’s 4,000-square-foot duplex Manhattan penthouse, ‘perched atop a distinguished white-glove prewar cooperative’ according to the broker Sotheby’s International Realty, is now being offered for $8.9 million, 10 percent below its initial $9.9 million asking price,” Reuters reported.

The price of the 8,750-square-foot Palm Beach home was slashed 7 percent to $7.9 million, the news agency reported. The proceeds will go to help pay back some of the folks Madoff ripped off.