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Puerto Rico Airport Was Hub in Major Drug Trafficking Bust

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Things got hot in Puerto Rico Thursday for two criminal organizations busted for massive-scale narcotics trafficking.

Thirty-six arrests were made in a major bust, culminating a collaboration between the DEA, the Puerto Rico PD, FBI, and San Juan Municipal Police.

It was all part of an effort to disable two criminal organizations which had based much of their drug trafficking out of Puerto Rico’s International Airport, reports Reuters.

Two indictments unsealed Wednesday charged 25 individuals with trafficking cocaine, and 20 more including American Airlines employees who exploited their security access to aid drug couriers, according to an FBI press release. The indictments allege that more than 61,000 pounds (28,000 kg) of cocaine have been smuggled out of PR on commercial flights to the U.S. mainland since 1999.

Laila Rico, a DEA Spokeswoman for the Caribbean Division, called the bust an important blow. She told Reuters, “The Puerto Rico airport is sought-after by drug dealers because it’s basically a mid-point between South American countries and the United States and offers an easy entry point,” Rico said.

To read more click here.

FBI Probing Theft of 6.4 Million Passwords of Linkedin

 
 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Welcome to the endless headaches of the 21st Century.

Reuters reports that the FBI is investigating the theft of 6.4 million members’ passwords from the social network LinkedIn. The company says it doesn’t know of any accounts being taken over. To read more click here.

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Justice Department Kicks Off Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Month

Atty. Gen. Holder/doj file photo

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

There was a time in Washington where such an event would have been unheard of. That’s all changed.

Attorney General Eric Holder kicked off  the Justice Department’s annual LGBT Pride Month Program on Wednesday, celebrating contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) employees as well as the civil rights gains made across the country.

Highlights of the event’s honors, according to a press release included:

  • Keynote speaker Chai Feldblum was the first openly lesbian Commisioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, whom Holder described as an “advocate, a law professor, a public servant, and a pioneer.”
  • The James R. Douglass Award was presented to Diana Flynn –Chief of the Civil Rights Division’s Appellate Section for raising awareness about and addressing issues facing LGBT employees in the Justice Department.
  • The Roemer Award recognized legal teams from the Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, and student plaintiffs for resolving harassment of middle and high school students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota.

Holder said to the crowd, “we have made meaningful, once-unimaginable progress in recent years. And we come together at an exciting moment…But there can also be little doubt that, when it comes to making good on the promise of equality for every American, the hard work is far from over.”

To read the Attorney General’s entire speech, click here.

 

Senator Wants Legislation for Prosecutors to Disclose Info to Defense

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens/campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Deputy Attorney Gen. James Cole testified Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the failings of prosecutors to turn over evidence in the Ted Stevens trial wasn’t systemic in the Justice Department, according to McClatchey Newspapers.

“The problem wasn’t what the rules were; the problem was that the prosecutors didn’t follow the rules,” Cole said. “We are confident, had the rules been followed, it would have been a fair and just trial.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) wasn’t buying that.

She argued before the panel that legislation is needed to create a uniform standard for prosecutors  to disclose all possibly exculpatory evidence to the defense, the newspaper reported

The Stevens case ended in disaster for the government. After getting a conviction, the Justice Department asked the judge to vacate the conviction because prosecutors failed to turn over some potentially helpful evidence to the defense.

To read more click here. 

FBI’s Chief of Birmingham Office Tapped to Become IG in South Carolina

Patrick Maley/FBI photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Patrick Maley, head of the Birmingham, Ala. FBI office, has picked to become South Carolina’s Inspector General to head up a new agency, according to the Post and Courier.

Gov. Nikki Haley made the announcement on Wednesday.

Haley, 53, a 30 year veteran of the FBI, must be confirmed by the Senate for a four-year term, the paper reported.

“His 30 years of experience with the FBI, focusing on fraud, waste, managing costs and program evaluations will be a tremendous asset to South Carolina,” she said. “Combine that with him being a CPA and dealing with white collar crimes throughout his career.”

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Column: What if Spice/K2 Were Only a Black Thing

By Darrell Dawsey
Deadline Detroit

With fears growing over the hazards of K2 and Spice — forms of incense that young people in recent years have been smoking like weed to get high –Metro Detroit has opened up a new front in the battle against illicit drugs: The War on Potpurri.

While I don’t mind seeing politicians, businessmen and media types banding together to fight an obvious health hazard, my impolite ass still has to ask: Just how much of this outrage over K2 would we see if most of those smoking it, getting sick from it and dying because of it were black teens and young adults in the city?

Sure, I can appreciate Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s recent anti-potpurri posturing, where he essentially told businesses selling K2 to hit 8 Mile Road as he announced a local ban on synthetic pot. Nothing wrong with taking up the battle as a region. But Bing needs to consistently show just as much backbone and defiance when addressing the more pressing hazards facing the children in the city he’s supposed to be in charge of.

To read the full story click here.