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Column: Time for ATF to Reorganize, Focus on Curtailing Gun Violence

 

Todd Jones

By Daily Journal

The gun lobby and its supporters, who have continuously demanded more enforcement against illegal firearms trafficking rather than new restrictions, have given an inch toward backing up their demands by permitting the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to have a permanent director for the first time in seven years.

The Senate approved B. Todd Jones to lead the agency. It is now up to the ATF to pull itself together under the long-denied central command and come up with an overall policy for cutting down criminal gun violence.

That won’t be easy, considering roadblocks such as the lack of universal background checks for firearms purchasers of all stripes and in every venue and Congress’ failure to limit the sale of high-powered military weapons or the number of bullets in a clip. But it is a start.

To read more click here.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

DEA Mad About the Release of Drug Trafficker Linked to Murder of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena

Enrique Camarena

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s something that will surely increase the tension between D.C. and Mexico.

The Mexicans have released Rafael Caro-Quintero, an infamous drug trafficker, who was serving 40 years in connection with the torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985.

CBS News reported he was released after serving 28 years. The court threw out his 40 year sentence, concluding he was improperly tried in a federal court for a crime that should have been treated as a state offense.

The DEA found the release disturbing, prompting the agency to release a statement:

The Drug Enforcement Administration is deeply troubled to learn of the decision by a Mexican court to release infamous drug trafficker Rafael Caro-Quintero from a Mexican prison. Caro-Quintero had been serving a 40 year prison sentence in connection with the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in February 1985. Caro-Quintero was the mastermind and organizer of this atrocious act.

We are reminded every day of the ultimate sacrifice paid by Special Agent Camarena and DEA will vigorously continue its efforts to ensure Caro-Quintero faces charges in the United States for the crimes he committed.

Weekend Series on Crime: The Mexican Drug War

httpv://youtu.be/HhbP61Iflv8

Justice Department Seeks to Overhaul Prison Sentences for Nonviolent Offenders

 

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Nonviolent criminal offenders may serve less time in jail under a Justice Department proposal aimed at overhauling strict anti-drug laws and mandatory minimum prison sentences, CNN reports.

The goal is to give judges more discretion and to offer alternatives to prison, such as drug court.

Even tough-on-crime conservatives are climbing aboard, saying the prison-industrial complex is inflexible and expensive, CNN reported.

Attorney General Eric Holder is planning to address the issue Monday at a speech in San Francisco.

 

Top Prosecutor Says He’s Investigating FBI Shooting of Chechen immigrant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Orlando’s top prosecutor pledged to review the fatal shooing of a Chechen immigrant in his condo during an FBI interrogation, The Associated Press reports.

The news comes the same week Ibragim Todashev’s father arrived in Florida with the intention of suing the bureau for his son’s death.

State Attorney Jeff Ashton said he’s received a preliminary report of the shooting from the Justice Department, which investigated the death in May.

Todashev was killed while being questioned about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

‘Whitey’ Bulger Trial Enters Fourth Day After Judge Urges Jurors to Reach Verdict on All Counts

 

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jurors in the trial of James “Whitey” Bulger entered the fourth day of deliberations today after a judge urged them Thursday to try to reach a verdict on each of the racketeering counts, the Boston Globe reports.

“You have a duty to attempt to reach agreement on each of the racketeering acts . . . if you can do so conscientiously,” Judge Casper told jurors.

That’s a tall task for jurors considering a 32-count indictment that includes murder, the Globe reported.

One of Bulger’s attorneys, J.W. Carney, Jr., said he’s happy to see thoughtful deliberations.

“All Americans can be proud of this jury,” he said. “They have taken their constitutional role with great seriousness and are clearly looking closely at the evidence, evaluating the credibility of witnesses, and applying the instructions given to them by Judge Casper.”

 

Ex-Border Patrol Officers Accused U.S. Politicians of Protecting Mexican Drug Cartels

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Border Patrol officers accused some U.S. politicians of protecting Mexican drug cartels with lenient immigration laws and sanctuary cities, Newsmax.com reports.

“We must never lose sight of the fact that the United States is the market place for the bulk of transnational criminal businesses engaged in human trafficking and the smuggling, distribution and sale of illegal drugs,” the former officers wrote. “Organized crime on this scale we are speaking about cannot exist without political protection.”

The letter was signed by William Glenn, a retired southwest region Chief Intelligence Agent; Claude Guyant, who held various leadership positions throughout the agency; and Gene Wood, who once ran the agency’s San Diego station.

Writing on behalf of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, the letter writers indicated that “vicious transactional crime syndicates” exist in more than 2,000 American cities.

“These transnational criminals present a real and present danger to all Americans, and they live among us,” according to the letter.

FBI Reopens 1964 Kidnapping of Infant from Chicago Hospital

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was almost 50 years ago when a woman dressed as a nurse snatched a newborn baby from a Chicago hospital.

Now the FBI is reopening the case, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The boy, named Paul Joseph Fronczak, was taken from Michael Ross Hospital in 1964. Fourteen months later, a boy who resembled Paul Joseph Fronczak was given to the parents.

But DNA tests from earlier this year determined the infant wasn’t Paul Joseph.

On Wednesday, the FBI confirmed it was reopening the case, and it has found the original evidence.

“It was deemed appropriate to take a fresh look at the evidence that we have and possibly re-interview (witnesses) that are still around,” Joan Hyde, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Chicago, told the Chicago Tribune.