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FBI

Meth User Shoots at Police Helicopter, Gets 46 Months

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Originally indicted by a federal grand jury for firing at an in-flight police helicopter, Michael P. McMichael, of Oklahoma City, was slapped with 46 months in prison for being a habitual methamphetamine user unlawfully in possession of a firearm, the FBI announced on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old shot at the police helicopter in Oklahoma City on June 25 or 26, says the FBI, damaging the aircraft. He was indicted for the incident on January 18, 2011 and pled guilty on April 11, 2011 to the charges he was sentenced for.

Prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Randy Sengel, the case was the result of a cooperative investigation by the Oklahoma City police and the FBI.

Large Cocaine Package Found at UN Building

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

You never know where the next big shipment of cocaine may end up.

DEA agents and New York City police are investigating a shipment of a reported $2 million worth of cocaine intercepted last week at the United Nations headquarters, in New York, reports FOX.

Around 35 pounds of cocaine, stuffed inside hollowed out books and in two mailbags stamped with bogus UN logos, was intercepted by security personnel at the UN headquarter’s mail processing center, according to FOX. The UN insists that none of its staff is involved in the incident.

The shipment originated in Mexico and came through a DHL center in Cincinnati.

To read more click here.

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Man Who Shot at N. Va. Military Installations Pleads Guilty

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 23-year-old man who caused a stir by shooting at military installations in Northern Virginia in late 2010, pleaded guilty Thursday in Alexandria, Va. fed court to damaging more than $100,000 in property and firearms violations.

Yonathan Melaku, 23, of Alexandria, Va., was involved in five separate shootings at military installations in northern Virginia between October and November 2010 and attempting to damage veterans’ memorials at Arlington National Cemetery. No one was injured in the shootings.

Sentencing is set for April 27.

“Yonathan Melaku pled guilty to carrying out a calculated, destructive campaign to instill terror throughout our community,” said U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride in a statement. “The video he filmed during one drive-by shooting is a chilling portrayal of his intent and the escalating danger he posed. Thanks to the FBI and their law enforcement partners, we were able to apprehend Mr. Melaku, develop the evidence that linked him to the shootings and secure this conviction today.”

According to the statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Melaku admitted that he carried out a series of five shootings from Oct. 17, 2010, through Nov. 2, 2010, at the National Museum of the Marine Corps (twice), the Pentagon, a Marine Corps recruiting sub-station in Chantilly, Va., and a U.S. Coast Guard recruiting office in Woodbridge, Va.

Each shooting took place late at night or early in the morning and involved multiple 9mm rounds fired at each building. The cost for repairs at the facilities exceeded $100,000.

Authorities said that Melaku admitted that during the second shooting at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, he set up a video camera within the interior of his vehicle to record the shooting incident.

Authorities said the video shows Melaku repeatedly firing a handgun out the passenger-side window, and he narrates the incident on the video and states, among other things: “That’s my target. That’s the military building. It’s going to be attacked” and at the conclusion of multiple shots exclaiming “Allahu Akbar” repeatedly.

First Charges of Shepard/Byrd Act Convicted, Receive Prison Time for Assaulting a Developmentally Disabled Navajo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Two member of the Bloods street gang were sentenced in a US District Court in Santa Fe, N.M., for a hate crime against a developmentally disabled Navajo,  the FBI said in a statement on Wednesday.

Paul Beebe and Jesse Sanford of Farmington, N.M were convicted and sentenced on federal hate crime charges related to the racially motivated assault of a 22-year-old developmentally disabled Navajo, according to the FBI and the Justice Department. Beebe received eight-and-a-half years in prison and three years’ supervised release, while Sanford got five years and three years’ supervised release.

Beebe, and Sanford were indicted by a federal grand jury, along with a third defendant who pleaded guilty and is still awaiting sentencing, in November 2010 on one count of conspiracy and one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (Shepard/Byrd Act), says the FBI. The three were the first defendants charged under the Shepard/Byrd law. Both pleaded guilty.

In August of 2011 the two admitted that Beebe has taken the victim to his apartment, covered in racist paraphernalia, and defaced the victim by drawing on him with markers a number of racist symbols once he had fallen asleep. When the victim awoke, gagged with a towel, Beebe branded him with a heated wire hanger, impressing a swastika into his skin. They recorded the event with cell phone cameras.

 

FBI Looking for Ways to Better Monitor Social Media

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It is no secret that social networks provide riches of info available to the public.

And the FBI is looking for ways to cash in on that and  better monitor info on social networks like Facebook and Twitter,  reports the New Scientist.

A document released on January 19  shows the bureau was looking for companies that might want to build a social network monitoring system for the FBI,  according to the New Scientist.

“The bureau’s wish list calls for the system to be able to automatically search ‘publicly available’ material from Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for keywords relating to terrorism, surveillance operations, online crime and other FBI missions,” the publication reported. “Agents would be alerted if the searches produce evidence of “breaking events, incidents, and emerging threats”.

That document suggests the FBI wishes to use social media sites to look into specific groups of individuals, allowing agents to “locate bad actors…and analyze their movements, vulnerabilities, limitations, and possible adverse actions,” allowing the FBI to create “pattern-of-life matrices,” or logs of suspects’  daily routines, says the New Scientist.

To read more click here.

New Home For Phoenix FBI Opens

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Phoenix FBI has a new home.

A 210,202-square-foot building on N. Seventh Street officially opened Wednesday, the Phoenix Business Journal reported. It was built by Ryan Cos., a Minneapolis-based company.

The paper reported that the building consolidates four previous Phoenix FBI locations.

“With more than double the previous space, the Phoenix employees will benefit from a large stand-alone FBI field office, with many improvements to include tighter security and upgraded technology,” said James Turgal Jr., FBI Special Agent-In-Charge, Phoenix Division, according to the paper.

 

Guilty Verdicts Returned for Mexican Cartel Affiliates

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Things did not go the way Gerardo Castillo-Chavez and Armado Garcia had hoped in Laredo, Texas, on Wednesday.

Both men saw guilty verdicts returned on all charges against them, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced. Castillo-Chavez, a 25-year-old from Tamaulipas, Mexico, was convicted of “conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, interstate travel in aid of racketeering (ITAR) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime or a crime of violence,” according to the Justice Department.

The guilty verdicts were returned unanimously after a four-day trial and six-hours of deliberation.

A Feb. 17, 2010 indictment charged Castillo-Chavez and 33 other individuals with 47 counts of conspiracy to kidnap and murder U.S. citizens in a foreign country, drug conspiracy, kidnapping conspiracy, firearms conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, use of juveniles to commit a violent crime, accessory after the fact and solicitation as well as substantive money laundering, drug trafficking and ITAR charges, according to the Justice Department. To date, 14 of those charged have been convicted.

Several witnesses in the trial tied Castillo-Chavez to the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, and implicated Castillo-Chavez, also known as “Cachetes,” in a double murder on April 2, 2006, as well as other attempted murders a violent attacks in Mexico.

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Concern Over San Fran Police Cooperating With FBI

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The relationship between the FBI and the San Francisco Police Department is coming under some scrutiny by civil rights advocates and local legislators, reports the San Francisco Examiner.

Supervisor Jane Kim introduced an ordinance Tuesday to prohibit police that work with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force from collecting information about locals without a “reasonable suspicion of criminal activity,” according to the Examiner. The law, Kim said, is necessary in preventing racial profiling and protect citizens’ rights.

Greg Suhr, the city’s police chief, said the law was unnecessary, adding that the concerns had been addressed already by department orders implemented last year.

To read more click here.