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Some Congressional Members Calling for Probe of Botched ATF Sting Operation in Milwaukee

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Federal officials are calling for an investigation into ATF after a flawed sting operation in Milwaukee, the Associated Press reports.

The ATF raided a storefront operation in search of felons committing drug and gun offenses but never made a major arrest.

During the raid of Fearless Distributing, which sold designer clothing, drug paraphernalia, athletic shoes and jewelry, the ATF left behind a military-style machine gun and appears to be responsible for $35,000 in stolen merchandise from the store, the AP wrote.

The ATF shut down the store but left behind a document listing names, vehicles and phone numbers of undercover agents, the AP wrote.

That’s just the beginning of blunders the ATF made, according to the AP.

Sen. Menendez Wielded Influence to Help Businessman Accused of Providing Him with Young Prostitutes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Before FBI agents raided the office a South Florida eye doctor accused of paying for young prostitutes for Sen. Bob Menendez, the Democratic senator from New Jersey helped used his influence to advocate for a $1 billion business for the doctor, the Miami Herald reports.

The Herald wrote that Menendez was urging the Obama administration in July to help Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Palm Beach County eye doctor, intervene in a contract dispute with the Dominican Republic.

According to the Herald, Melgen was hoping to enforce a contract his business won to X-ray Dominican Republic port cargo.

“You have another company that has American investors that … has a contract actually given to it by the — ratified by the Dominican Congress — to do X-ray of all of the cargo that goes through the ports,” Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, said at the July 31 hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. “And they don’t want to live by that contract either.”

Menedez’s office said the senator did nothing inappropriate.

Jury: Somali-Born Bombing Suspect Guilty of Terrorism After Portland Bombing Attempt

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Somali-American who claimed the FBI manipulated him to detonate what he thought was a bomb at a Christmas tree ceremony in Portland in 2010 was found guilty Thursday of terrorism-related charges, the Associated Press reports.

The Mohamed Mohamud, 21, who did not testify, will be sentenced May 14.

Prosecutors were able to convince jurors that Mohamud intended to kill a lot of people in the name of radical Islam and that he was not entrapped by FBI agents who offered to help him create a bomb, the AP reported.

“Mr. Mohamud made a series of choices over a period of several years – choices that were leading him down a path that would have ended in violence,” said Greg Fowler, who leads the FBI office in Portland. “His actions showed little regard for the rights and responsibilities that come with being an American or respect for the lives that he was prepared to take.”

Mohamud’s attorney, Steve Sady, said he plans to appeal after sentencing on May 14.

“We are disappointed with the verdict,” Mohamud’s attorney, Steve Sady, said. “We obviously though he was entrapped.”

FBI Hostage Negotiator Urges Kidnapper to Surrender, Hand Over Boy in Alabama

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As a hostage standoff reaches a fourth day in Alabama, authorities are hoping the kidnapper grows tired and surrenders as a FBI hostage negotiator talks with the suspect through plastic ventilation pipes, CNN reports

On Tuesday afternoon the suspect boarded a bus stop, killed the bus driver and grabbed two children. One of them escaped.

The gunman is holed up in an underground bunker.

An FBI hostage negotiator has been communicating with the suspect through an underground bunker four feet beneath the ground, CNN report.

“They’re taking time and trying to wear him out,” said Police Chief James Arrington of Pinckard, who is familiar with details of the case.

The motive of the kidnapping is unclear.

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Prosecution in Ex-Detroit Mayor Case Rests: Defense Starts Its Offense With a Whimper

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — After 4 1/2 months and about 80 witnesses, the prosecution in the federal trial of the ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick rested Thursday morning, opening the door for the defense to begin calling witnesses in what’s expected to take less than two weeks.

But things didn’t go so great for the defense on its first day on the offense.

Jim Thomas, Kilpatrick’s attorney, called to the stand forensic accountant Gary Leeman, an expert in non-profits, who appeared to be more of a help to the prosecution than the defense.

During cross examination, Leeman laughed when prosecutor Mike Bullotta asked if yoga lessons for Kilpatrick would have been a legit expense from the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, a non-profit fund created to help the community.

“I would highly doubt that that would be proper,” he said laughing a bit. “Not even close.”

It was obviously something Thomas would have preferred not to hear from his own witness.

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