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FBI

FBI Hunting For Man Suspected of Murdering 3 on Montana Reservation

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents worked through the night Tuesday near the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana,  searching for the gunman  suspected of killing an elderly woman, her granddaughter and her granddaughter’s boyfriend, reports Reuters.

Suspect Sheldon Bernard Chase, 22, is “considered armed and extremely dangerous,” the FBI said in a statement.

The shootings occurred about 60 miles southeast of Billings, the state’s largest city, and 20 miles north of Wyoming.

To read more click here.

Anti-Muslim Teachings Spread Beyond FBI

Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Charges of anti-Muslim teachings have spread beyond FBI training sessions, reports Wired.com.

The tech magazine’s national security blog Danger Room has obtained a power point presentation made by an intelligence analyst working for the U.S. Attorney in the Middle District of Pennsylvania warning of a “civilizational jihad” waged in the U.S. by “civilians, juries, lawyers, media, academia and charities” who threaten “our values,” according to Wired. The goal of that war, according to the blog, is the “Replacement of American Judeo-Christian and Western liberal social, political and religious foundations by Islam.”

To read more click here.

FBI Official Said Agency Did Not Try to Shape Outcome of J. Edgar Hoover Film

 

DiCaprio as a young J. Edgar Hoover/ mtv photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The chief spokesman for the FBI tells USA Today that he did not try to shape the outcome of the upcoming movie on J. Edgar Hoover, which is supposed to portray the legendary director as being gay. The film is set to be released next month.

Spokesman Mike Kortan, an assistant FBI director, told USA Today that he met separately with director Clint Eastwood and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Hoover, who both solicited information about Hoover’s sexuality.

Kortan told them there were “vague rumors and fabrications have cropped up from time to time, but there is no evidence in the historical record on this issue.”

“We provided information so that their story could be accurate,” Kortan said. “What they did with it, as with any production, has been entirely in their hands.”

Some agents, but more so, ex-agents of the Hoover era have voiced displeasure about the film that reportedly depicts Hoover as having a sexual relationship with his right hand man Clyde Tolson.

“There is no basis in fact for such a portrayal of Mr. Hoover,” William Branon, chairman of The J. Edgar Hoover Foundation, wrote to Eastwood this year, according to USA Today. “It would be a grave injustice and monumental distortion to proceed with such a depiction based on a completely unfounded and spurious assertion.”

 

The Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI fired off a similar missive, saying a “rumored kissing scene,” reported in early media accounts involving the actors portraying Hoover and Tolson, “caused us to reassess our tacit approval of your film.”

William Baker, a former agent and Hoover foundation vice president, told USA Today:

“We’re caught in a dilemma here. We don’t want to support something not based in fact, but we’re not against the new FBI and diverse workplace.”

Cartha “Deke” DeLoach, a former top aide to the FBI director, said he discussed the matter with DiCaprio, according to the paper.

“When the subject of homosexuality came up, I made it very clear that I never saw any evidence of it whatsoever. said DeLoach, 91, Hoover’s deputy director for more than five years. “I traveled with him, I ate in his home and he in mine. I knew Clyde Tolson to be Mr. Hoover’s companion and best friend. When you are somebody like Mr. Hoover, I guess you need somebody to talk to.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

 

Fundraiser for Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Pleads Guilty

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Another person close to former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has fallen.

Longtime fundraiser for the “hip hop mayor” Emma Bell  pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit to tax evasion, admitting that she received more than half a million dollars from various campaign fundraisers and never reported the money to the IRS, federal authorities said. Bell has agreed to cooperate with the feds for a lower sentence.

Bell described the last year of her life as hell, according to the Detroit Free Press. “After all of this time, I think it’s the right thing to do. It’s a lot of pressure on you,” she said of her guilt plea.

The statutory maximum sentence Bell is facing runs up to ten years in prison or a fine of $500,000, or both, but, because of her cooperation, prosecutors are recommending the sentence be lowered to 18 months, according to an FBI press release.

The guilty plea is more bad news for Kilpatrick, who faces a host of public corruption charges in federal court.

Last month, Derrick Miller, 41, a Kilpatrick confidante who worked as the city’s Chief Administrative Officer, pleaded guilty to corruption and tax charges and agreed to cooperate and testify for the feds against Kilpatrick.

 

EPA Investigator Pleads to Lying About Affair With FBI Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
A former special agent with the Environmental Protection Agency pleaded guilty Monday to lying in a civil case about having an affair with an FBI agent he was working with.

Keith Phillips, 61, of Kent, Texas, who worked in the EPA Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in Dallas, pleaded guilty in federal court in Louisiana to lying under oath and obstructing justice, the Justice Department said. The charges stemmed from his sworn testimony in a pending lawsuit in the Western District of Louisiana.

Authorities stated that Phillips and a female FBI agent from September 1996 to Dec. 14, 1999 investigated a criminal case that resulted in the indictment of Hubert Vidrine Jr. and several others.

The criminal charges against Vidrine were ultimately dismissed, and Vidrine turned around and filed a lawsuit against the federal government for malicious prosecution, authorities said.

Authorities said that during a deposition taken in Vidrine’s civil suit, agent Phillips “allegedly falsely testified that he did not have an affair with the FBI special agent, when, in fact, he did. The indictment alleges that it was material to the civil lawsuit to determine any potential motives of the criminal investigators in investigating and prosecuting the charges against Vidrine, and that Phillips committed perjury when he testified falsely about the affair and obstructed justice when he provided this false testimony.”

The indictment also alleges that he then contacted the FBI agent and tried to convince her not to confess to the affair.

2 Somali Pirates Get Life in Deaths of S/V Quest Hijacking

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two Somali pirates involved in the hijacking of the S/V Quest, which resulted in the death of four Americans, were sentenced Monday in Norfolk, Va. fed court to life in prison.

Muhidin Salad Omar, 30, and Mahdi Jama Mohamed, who is about 24, admitted in the plea agreements that they participated in the hijacking off the coast of Somalia in February , but said they did not shoot any of the victims, authorities said.

“Somali piracy is a scourge on the world stage, and it continues to grow more widespread and more violent,” said Virginia U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride in a statement. “Armed attacks on the high seas carry a very real threat of death to those taken hostage, a threat that was tragically made evident in this case. That threat remains for hundreds of hostages held hostage in Somalia, and a life sentence sends a strong message to anyone who chooses to engage in piracy against U.S. interests that they will face severe consequences.”

“Muhidin Salad Omar and Mahdi Jama Mohamed will spend the rest of their lives behind bars, far away from the high seas they terrorized,” added Janice K. Fedarcyk, head of the New York FBI.

 

Medical Marijuana Growers Selling to Black Market, Complicating Matters

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Difficulties seem to be sprouting up like weeds as local governments across the country experiment with new laws and regulations concerning medical marijuana; the drug is still illegal and listed as a controlled substance by the federal government.

A top federal law enforcement official in Oregan has declared that medical growers are selling their products onto the black market, outside of the limits of the state that regulates the industry, reports The Bulletin, of Bend, Ore.   The result has been a number of busts by the DEA.

U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton told The Associated Press on Friday that Oregon medical growers sold marijuana to buyers in Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Idaho and Missouri illegally.

“We hear from patients when I’m on radio call-in shows,” Holton said, according to the AP. “Inevitably, we get a call in saying, ‘I can’t find marijuana.’ If cardholders can’t find marijuana, we’ve got to figure out where it is going, and there is a ton of it growing in the state. The answer is we know where it is going.”

Advocates of the drug’s legalization place the blame more with the disconnect between the federal ban of the drug and the increasing acceptance of its use in various states.

“Until cannabis prohibition ends and we get some kind of regulation system in this country as a whole, we cannot stop the criminals, we can’t stop the black market,” said Lori Duckworth of Southern Oregon NORML.

She said advocates are eager to work with the feds to stop the illegal sales, which are a burden on the patients that need the drug.

“Patients are not criminals. But patients are being punished for the actions of a few bad seeds,” she said.

One indicator of the illegal sales were patient complaints that they were often unable to obtain marijuana from legal dispensaries and caregivers due to a lack of supply, said Holton, the US attorney.

“An informal list of medical marijuana seizures in the past year kept by prosecutors showed 50 pounds going to Texas, 43 pounds going to Florida, 75 pounds going to the East Coast, and 120 pounds going to Arkansas,” reports The Bulletin.

“I think what is new about this, or different about what we have seen so far — not this particular case — is the excess amount of marijuana that must go someplace — especially when we’ve got cardholders saying they can’t get marijuana,” Holton told The Bulletin.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

 

Big Management Shakeup Coming at ATF

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

With acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones in place, and the new fiscal year beginning, rumors are swirling about that ATF is soon expected to make a lot of changes in top management, which will result in a serious round of musical chairs.

One rumor circulating within ATF is that Thomas E. Brandon, who had just recently moved from Detroit to Phoenix to help clean up the mess in wake of the disastrous Operation Fast and Furious, will be headed to Washington to take on a senior leadership role.

Agents around the country have told tickethewire.com that Brandon has the respect of fellow agents.

The changes come as the scandal surrounding Operation Fast and Furious unravels. The poorly executed operation encouraged Arizona firearms dealers to sell to questionable straw purchasers, all with the hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels. ATF lost track of some weapons, and some surfaced at crimes scenes on both sides of the border.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)  and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia.)  have  been investigating the fall out from  Operation Fast and Furious and have been raising questions about ATF’s leadership.

In the midst of their probe,  ATF acting director Ken Melson stepped down to head over to a post at the Justice Department. In stepped Jones, who has kept his post as U.S. Attorney in Minnesota.

The White House had nominated Andrew Traver, head of the ATF’s Chicago office, to become the new director. But his confirmation process got stalled, and the NRA put up a strong fight against him.

At this point, it appears likely Traver’s nomination will simply die out of concern that he can’t get confirmed.

As for seating a permanent director at this point? It’s not likely that the Obama administration will spend its political capital trying to get any director confirmed before the election in November 2012.

Rumors have also been circulating that the Justice Department wants to fold ATF into the FBI, but a federal source said that won’t happen.

The Examiner.com reported last week that there were rumors of  ”a possible big shake up” at ATF,   but gave no specifics.