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FBI

FBI Probing Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton and Christmas Party Contributions

Mayor Willie Herenton/city photo

Mayor Willie Herenton/city photo

Now everyone knows that Christmas is a time of generosity. But in this case it appears it is better to give than to receive. And it looks like the Memphis mayor may have illegally received. Next Christmas could be a little gloomier for the mayor.

By Marc Perrusquia
Memphis Commercial Appeal
MEMPHIS — More than $50,000 in contributions to Mayor Willie Herenton’s annual Christmas party actually wound up in the mayor’s pocket, an investigation by The Commercial Appeal has found.

The payments, from an array of prominent businessmen, were to fund the elaborate annual party, yet large surpluses — in one year more than $20,000 — were handed to Herenton for his personal use.

Mayor Willie Herenton was the guest of honor at an Appreciation Party in December 2005, hosted by Pete Aviotti, assistant to the mayor. The FBI is investigating whether the mayor’s receipt of party donations was proper.
For Full Story

FBI Suspects Truckers May Be Serial Killers Involving Prostitutes, Hitchhikers and Stranded Motorists

truckers

This theory could lead to authorities solving some cold cases that have stumped investigators for decades.


Scott Glover
Los Angeles Times

The FBI suspects that serial killers working as long-haul truckers are responsible for the slayings of hundreds of prostitutes, hitchhikers and stranded motorists whose bodies have been dumped near highways over the last three decades.

Federal authorities first made the connection about five years ago while helping police link a trucker to a string of unsolved killings along Interstate 40 in Oklahoma and several other states. After that, the FBI launched the Highway Serial Killings Initiative to track suspicious slayings and suspect truckers.

A computer database maintained by the FBI has grown to include information on more than 500 female crime victims, most of whom were killed and their bodies discarded at truck stops, motels and other locations along popular trucking routes crisscrossing the U.S.

The database also has information on scores of truckers who’ve been charged with killings or rapes committed near highways or who are suspects in such crimes, officials said. Authorities said they do not have statistics on whether driving trucks ranks high on the list of occupations of known serial killers.

But the pattern in roadside body dumps and other evidence has prompted many investigators to speculate that the mobility, lack of supervision and access to potential victims that come with the job make it a good cover for someone inclined to kill.

“You’ve got a mobile crime scene,” one investigator said. “You can pick a girl up on the East Coast, kill her two states away and then dump her three states after that.”

For Full Story

Three Baltimore Cops Charged in Beating of Shackled Juvenile: Police Baton and Pool Stick Allegedly Used

baltitmore-police-badge1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — A Baltimore cop and two retired ones were charged with federal civil rights violations and obstruction of justice in connection with the 2004 beating of a shackled juvenile with a police baton and a pool stick.

In a six-count indictment unsealed Friday, the Justice Department charged that officer Gregory Mussmacher assaulted the juvenile with a police-issued baton,  and retired officer officer Guy Gerstel used a pool stick.

The Justice Department alleged that Gerstel made a false statement to the FBI about the case,  and retired Sgt. Wayne Thompson wrote a false statement and persuaded other officers from filling out the required paper work on the incident.

“Most law enforcement officers perform their duties with honor and integrity,” Baltimore U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a prepared statement.

“Any police officers who abuse suspects, write false reports and obstruct justice must be held accountable so that citizens can have confidence in law enforcement agencies.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Arrests El Paso Judge on Charges of Taking Bribes in Money and Sex

Judge ?/news channel 9-el paso

Judge Manuel Barraza/news channel 9-el paso

This is really where the system breaks down. When a judge is accused of wrongdoing, things are really broken. 

By Ramon Bracamontes
El Paso Times
EL PASO, Tex. — EL PASO — The state suspended District Court Judge Manuel Barraza on Thursday afternoon, just hours after FBI agents arrested him on suspicion of taking money and sexual favors as bribes.

“This is embarrassing,” Barraza said of his arrest. “What concerns me the most right now is that I’ve embarrassed my family.”

A federal grand jury indicted Barraza, 53, on three charges of wire fraud and deprivation of honest services. He faces an additional charge of making a false statement to the FBI, whose agents arrested him at his house Thursday morning.

In an interview outside the federal courthouse, where he posted $10,000 bond, Barraza spoke of the U.S. Constitution in relation to his case.

“The great thing about this is that we have a right to presumed innocence,” he said.

For Full Story  

Ohio Men Who Pumped Bullets in Car Say They Didn’t Know FBI Agent Was Inside

It’s hardly much of an excuse when you say I pumped a car full of bullets but didn’t realize an FBI agent was inside.

cincinnati
By Dan Horn
Cincinnati Enquirer
CINCINNATI — The men accused of firing two dozen shots at a car in College Hill last week didn’t know the man sitting inside was an FBI agent.

Authorities say the men mistook the agent’s black Impala for a car driven by a thief who had stolen money from one of them. As soon as they spotted the Impala, authorities say, two of the men opened fire with a handgun and an automatic rifle, riddling the car with bullets but missing the agent.

They didn’t find out they shot at the wrong guy until police arrested them hours later.

The news got worse when they learned their target was a federal agent, a detail that could add years to their potential prison sentences.

“It’s a miracle the agent wasn’t hit,” said FBI spokesman Mike Brooks.

For Full Story

ATF Busts Father and Son in N.Y. in Untaxed Cigarette Scheme

marlboro2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sure, the beautiful bonding between father and son is admirable. But there are limits to how admirable it is when it involves the world of crime.

ATF agents on Wednesday busted Guang Ming Wang, 58, and his son Feishan Wang, 30, in Flushing, N.Y., following a nine-month undercover investigation in which the men allegedly bought $846,000 in untaxed cigarettes and sold agents 103,950 N.Y. State/City tax stamps for the cigarettes for $4,000. The stamps are put on packs of cigarette to make them look legit.

The arrest highlighted the growing problem with criminals and store owners buying and selling untaxed cigarettes in high-taxed cigarette states like N.Y.

In recent years terrorist organizations and organized crime have gotten into the high-profit black market.Store owners who buy the untaxed cigarettes make far greater profits than the honest merchants who pay much more for taxed smokes.

The ATF said the two men allegedly conspired to cheat the state of $1.8 million in tax revenue.

“In these hard economic times, selling untaxed cigarettes are putting our law abiding merchants at a hugh disadvantage,” said Ronald B. Turk, head of the ATF in New York said in a prepared statement. “The legal tax revenue collected on tobacco products goes towards improving our schools, our highways and our quality of living.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Investigating Assessor’s Letter in Illinois (Chicago Tribune)

War on Drugs Seems Lost (Miami Herald Columnist)

Mistrial for Ex-Philly Cop (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Alaskans Have Mixed Reaction to ex-Sen. Ted Stevens Case (AP)

Man Arrested in Fla. for Stealing FBI Car

Some how stealing an FBI car doesn’t seem like the wisest career path.

 

tampa1
By TBO.com
TAMPA – An unmarked FBI car has been found, and a Tampa man has been arrested and charged with the theft.

The 2006 silver Pontiac Grand Prix was stolen about 1:30 p.m. from the Century Buick Pontiac GMC dealership at 3308 W. Hillsborough Ave.

According to Tampa police, a mechanic was working on the car when he noticed a man loitering nearby. A short time later, when his attention was diverted, the man stole the car, police said.

Tampa police Cpl. Harold McCray was on patrol when he spotted the car being driven recklessly near North 26th Street and East Linebaugh Avenue at 11:17 p.m. Tuesday. It looked similar to the description he had heard of the stolen FBI vehicle, so he ran the Florida tag: X74IVY.

The Grand Prix turned onto the North 26th Street, and he followed it.

Soon after, the vehicle’s tag information came back as belonging to the FBI and having been stolen.

For Full Story

FBI in Michigan Busts President of Motorcycle Gang Named “Fat Dog” and 17 Other Members

michigan11Any organization headed by a guy named “Fat Dog” can’t be up to  any good.

BY TAMMY STABLES BATTAGLIA
DETROIT FREE PRESS

Federal agents arrested the head and 17 members of a nationwide motorcycle gang based in Clinton Township, seizing 55 pounds of marijuana, 1000 Vicodin pills, 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine, 15 slot machines, 42 firearms and $12,000 in cash in the process.

The agencies also seized the Devil’s Diciples “clubhouses” in Port Huron and at 43653 Gratiot in Clinton Township, according to a release issued this afternoon.

The group intentionally spells its name wrong.

FBI agents today arrested the gang’s leader, Jeff Garvin Smith, aka “Fat Dog,” for possessing two sets of body armor. It’s illegal for a convicted felon like Smith to possess body armor, according to the release.

For Full Story