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Column: The Manhunt and Capture of Vincent Loonsfoot in North Woods of Michigan

Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office. 

Greg Stejskal

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

In the summer of 1988, Vincent Loonsfoot, an American Indian, drove to the Hannahville Potawatomi Reservation near Escanaba, Mich. There he ambushed and shot to death four members of his wife’s family and kidnapped his estranged wife. Loonsfoot then set off into the woods – beginning a highly publicized manhunt through the almost impenetrable forest of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Michigan is made up of two peninsulas, the upper and the lower. The Upper Peninsula extends east from Wisconsin and is bounded on the north by Lake Superior. The Lower Peninsula, the bigger of the two, looks like a mitten. So Michiganders tend to point to their hand when giving directions.

The Lower Peninsula is bounded by Lake Michigan to the west and Lake Huron to the east. The shortest distance between the two peninsulas, the Straits of Mackinac, is where the two lakes meet at the top of the Lower Peninsula. For years the only way to get from one peninsula to the other was by boat or plane. In 1957 the Mackinac Bridge was finished allowing for car and truck traffic between the two.

Although the two peninsulas are now connected, they remain dramatically different. In some ways the U.P. remains the pristine wilderness immortalized in Longfellow’s epic poem, “Hiawatha.” “By the shores of Gitche Gumee….” was Longfellow describing the Lake Superior coast of the U.P.

Vincent Loonsfoot and his wife, Peggy, were living near Baraga on the Keweenaw Bay Reservation. An Ojibwa Indian Tribal Court awarded Peggy sole custody of the Loonsfoot’s 2-year-old daughter, based on a finding that Loonsfoot had repeatedly, physically abused Peggy. Peggy was afraid of Loonsfoot, so without telling him, Peggy moved with their daughter to Escanaba on the south/ Lake Michigan side of the U.P.

Read more »

FBI/NYPD Sting Nabs Man Plotting to Blow up Federal Reserve in Manhattan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Bangladeshi national has been arrested for in an FBI-NYPD sting for plotting to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan, the New York Daily News reports.

Quazi Nafis, 21, was arrested Wednesday morning. He had parked a van filled with what he thought were explosives, but were actually not, and tried to detonate the material, the News reported.

He was arrested at the scene.

 

 

Lawmakers Upset Over Rift Between Reno ATF and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada

Sen. Grassley/official photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Three members of Congress are increasingly putting pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder to explain the U.S. Attorney’s  dysfunctional relationship with the Reno-based ATF office, Main Justice reports.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada has refused to prosecute ATF cases in the Reno office, leaving as many as a dozen cases untouched..

“The Justice Department has yet to respond to any of Congress’ questions about what happened in Reno for more than a year,” Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a a statement. “It’s an abdication of responsibility on the part of the Justice Department, and if these crimes weren’t prosecuted, whether because of actions of the U.S. Attorney or the ATF, the people of Nevada should know why.”

Two Nevada lawmakers joined the call for answers.

The cause of the strained relationship remains unclear, but agents have virtually abandoned the Reno, according Main Justice.

Authorities Detain Daughter of Mexico’s Most Wanted Drug Lord

Joaquin Guzman

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Known as Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has eluded U.S. authorities since he famously broke out of a Mexican jail in a laundry cart in 2001 and rebuilt the notorious Sinaloa cartel.

But authorities may find clues about his whereabouts after border patrol officers detained the kingpin’s daughter Friday trying to cross the border on foot from Tijuana, Mexico, with a counterfeit Visa and false name, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Citing court records, Reuters said Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman-Salazar was trying to enter the U.S. to give birth to her child in Los Angeles.

According to Mexico’s attorney general’s office, Guzman-Salazar, a Mexican citizen, is not wanted for any crimes.

Her father, Guzman, however, is believed to be worth $1 billion and is running the most potent drug cartel in Mexico.

Marijuana Supporters Argue in Federal Court That DEA Has Ignored Research on Drug

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Supporters of marijuana rights attacked the DEA’s tight regulation of pot in a potentially landmark case that could change the drug’s classification, Reuters reports.

Joseph Elford, lawyer for Americans for Safe Access, said the DEA has essentially ignored scientific research that suggests marijuana is safer than heroin and has medicinal value.

“This game of ‘gotcha’ will continue indefinitely unless this court intervenes,” Elford told a three-judge panel of the appeals court in Washington, D.C.

The DEA countered that research is not all conclusive and continued the line of rhetoric that marijuana is unsafe.

One of the judges appeared to agree with the DEA.

“Don’t we have to defer to the agency?” asked Judge Merrick Garland. “We’re not scientists. They are.”

Canadian Border Patrol Officer Injured in Shooting at Washington Crossing; Gunman Dead in Apparent Suicide

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The driver of a white van shot a Canadian Border Services Agency officer in the neck before apparently turning the gun on himself at Canadian crossing in Washington state Tuesday, reports KIROTV.

The man, whose name was not released, died at the scene of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, and the female agent was injured and airlifted from the scene to a hospital in Canada.

The van was driving into Canada from the U.S., KIROTV said.

Her identity and condition were not known this morning, but CTV News said she was breathing on the way to the hospital and appeared to be in serious condition.

What prompted the shooting remains unclear.

“This event is a sobering reminder of the dangerous conditions faced daily by the men and women of our law enforcement agencies as they work to protect the safety and security of Canadians,” Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said in a statement to CTV News.

Earlier in the day, Cpl. Bert Paquet said, “The first report at the scene revealed that a male, a lone male, had shot an officer in her booth. At the instant following the shooting of the officer, the lone male had been pronounced dead at the scene from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Fox News: IG Report Suggests Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan Lied to Congress About Hooker Scandal

Mark Sullivan/s.s. photo

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fox News is reporting that an Inspector General report suggests that Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan lied during his congressional testimony in the Colombia prostitution scandal.

Fox wrote on it’s website:

Investigators with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) have completed their investigative report, which will be referred to the Department of Justice along with a memorandum of activity that lists potential criminal actions. The report indicates Sullivan may have obstructed Congress by lying about the criminal associations of prostitutes involved in the scandal. The report also alleges Sullivan may have manipulated a report requested by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the sources said.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan issued a statement, according to Fox:

“Director Mark Sullivan and the Secret Service have conducted a fair and thorough investigation resulting from the Cartagena incident. The agency response to those with oversight responsibility has been timely and truthful. We will continue to respond to the DHS-OIG and Congressional inquiries in that manner,” Donovan said in a statement. “We will not respond specifically to anonymous allegations that have lingered since the beginning of this investigation that are either without merit, grossly inaccurate or blatantly false.”

To read the full story click here. 

 

Bill Lewis Tapped to Head up the FBI’s Los Angeles Office

 

Bill Lewis/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Bill L. Lewis, a former legal attache for the FBI in Baghdad, has been named assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division.

Lewis most recently served as deputy assistant director in the Human Resources Division at FBI Headquarters.

He began his career in 1988 in the Omaha division and three years later he went to Atlanta where he investigated domestic terrorism and drugs.

He was promoted to supervisory special agent in September 1997 and had the responsibilities of managing the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing investigation. At some point, he supervised the hunt for fugitive Eric Rudolph.

In November 1999, Lewis went to FBI headquarters as a supervisory special agent in the Violent Crimes/Fugitive Unit in the Criminal Investigative Division.

In August 2004, he was named assistant special agent in charge of the Mobile Division.

From April to October 2008, he was the Counterterrorism Division’s on-scene commander in Iraq, and from January 2009 to January 2010, he served as legal attaché for the FBI in Baghdad.

In February 2010, Mr. Lewis was promoted to special agent in charge of the Criminal Division in Los Angeles.