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FBI

City Councilman Pleads Guilty in Campaign Finance Conspiracy

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A council member in a southern California town may be off the council soon, after pleading guilty on Monday to felony conspiracy charges.

The charges stem from City of Commerce Councilman Robert Fierro’s attempt to interfere with an investigation into his campaign’s finances, reports the LA Times.

Fierro reimbursed certain campaign contributors with cash in his 2005 bid in an effort to hide the source of the funds, according to a statement from Fierro’s treasurer, who also pleaded guilty. Learning that the FBI was investigating the funding, Fierro urged contributors to lie to a grand jury, the treasurer’s statement also said.

Fierro, also a preschool teacher, said on Tuesday he will resign from the council.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

Hackers Obtain, Publish Personal Info of Police Officers

istock photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating hackers affiliated with the group Anonymous that obtained the personal information of some West Virginia police officers and posted the information online, in what the hackers called a warning against police brutality, reports ABC.

The group of hackers, referred to as the CabinCr3w by the West Virginia Chiefs of Police Association’s President William Roper, obtained the personal information of more than 150 police officers, according to ABC. The police association has a new website, but the hackers were able to access databases kept on an old association site which still had the information stored.

In an online message, the CabinCr3w wrote:

“We are here to remind you that we the taxpayers pay your exorbitant salaries, and those salaries of your officers. Your job is to protect and serve, not brutalize the very people that pay your wages. Muzzle your dogs of war, or we will expose more of your sensative (sic) information.”

To read more click here.

 

 

FBI Investigating 2 New Orleans Cops in Insurance Scam

Muslim Group Wants Justice to Investigate Portland FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Muslim civil rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),  is none too happy with the Portland FBI.

The Associated Press reports that the group wants the Justice Department to investigate the behavior of the Portland FBI, which has barred two Libyan-Americans from returning to the U.S.

AP reports that the two men — Jamal Tarhuni, 55, of Tigard, Or., and Mustafa Elogbi, 60, of Portland — both traveled at different times to Libya after Moammar Gadhafi was removed from power.

AP reported that Tarhuni delivered humanitarian supplies with the group Medical Teams International and Elogbi visited family.

To read more click here.

 

Mexico Drugs: How One DEA Killing Began A Brutal War

By Will Grant 
BBC News, Guadalajara 

Twenty seven years ago, the kidnap, torture and murder of a US Drug Enforcement Administration agent by Mexican drug traffickers sparked one of the biggest manhunts the US government has ever launched in North America. It also offered an ominous warning of things to come.

The picturesque Mexican city of Guadalajara is bustling with life. By day, its busy plazas are filled with street vendors and shoeshine boys. At night, the mariachis line up to play for the tourists.

The country’s drug violence feels very far from here and, most of the time, it is. But that was not always the case.

“In 1985, Guadalajara was the base of operations for most of the major narcotics traffickers in North America,” says James Kuykendall, then-head of the Guadalajara office of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

ICE HSI Agent Pleads Guilty to 21 Counts

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent has pleaded guilty to leaking information to relatives involved in drug trafficking, authorities said.

Jovana Deas, 33, of Rio Rico, Ariz., pleaded guilty to all 21 counts against her, the FBI said in a statement on Monday. Deas was an agent with the HSI Nogales office.

Deas admitted to using her credentials to illegally obtain and disseminate government documents classified as Official Use Only, said the FBI. Some of the documents were later found on the laptop of her former brother-in-law–who is associated with drug trafficking groups in Mexico–by Brazilian law enforcement. Deas further admitted to illegally accessing, stealing, and transferring sensitive U.S. government documents, and to obstructing HSI investigations. She pled guilty to seven felony violations–punishable by up to five years each–and 14 misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year each.

Deas’s sister, Dana Maria Samaniego Montes, was also charged with violations of federal law. Montes is a former Mexican law enforcement official with alleged ties to drug trafficking organizations, but is a fugitive believed to be at large in Mexico.

Deas’s sentencing is set for April 11.

Chicago Cabbie Pleads Guilty to al Qaeda Support

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Chicago cab driver pled guilty on Monday to giving money to a long-time acquaintance after learning that acquaintance was working for al Qaeda, the FBI said in a statement.

Raja Lahrasib Khan, Pakistani-born but naturalized as a US citizen in 1988, was arrested in March of 2010. On Monday he pled guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.  He remains in federal custody until sentencing, which has been set for May 30, 2011.

Khan, 58, of Chicago’s north side, never posed any imminent domestic danger, law enforcement officials said at the time of his arrest. He remains in federal custody while awaiting sentencing, which U.S. District Judge James Zagel scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 30. The plea deal calls for a sentence of between five and eight years, along with Khan’s future cooperation with the FBI.

Khan admitted to meeting with Ilyas Kashmiri, a leader of the Kashmir independence movement, twice within the last decade. On the second meeting, in 2008, Khan, having reason to believe Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda, gave Kashmiri between $200 and $250 worth of Pakistani rupees in his fight against India.

Khan then sent about $930 worth of rupees from Chicago to a person in Pakistan on on Nov. 23, 2009, via Western Union, according to the FBI. He told the recipient to give Kashmiri about $300 of it. “Although Khan intended the funds to be used by Kashmiri to support attacks against India, he was also aware that Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda,” the FBI said in a statement.

Undercover agents contacted Khan seeking to send money to Kashmiri, “but only if Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda.” Khan agreed to send the $1,000 agents offered to Kashmiri, giving it to his son who was traveling to the UK, where he would later retrieve it. His son was searched and arrested at a UK airport upon arrival, where seven of the ten bills were found on him. Khan, hearing about his son, tried to plea with one of the undercover agents to let him out of the scheme, offering $800 back.

 

Brooklyn Cop Pleads Guilty in FBI Sting

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Brooklyn cop caught up in an FBI sting pleaded guilty Monday in a smuggling case involving guns, cigarettes and slot machines, the Associated Press reported.

Officer William Masso was among five NYPD cops charged in the smuggling case. Others included three retired NYPD officers and a New Jersey correction officer, AP reported.

AP reported that authorities used an undercover agent who dished out more than $100,000 for the cops to moonlight as gun runners while under FBI surveillance.