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Federal Indictments for Massive Online Drug Ring are First of a Kind

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

In a brave new high-tech world, the federal indictment of eight online drug traffickers is the first of its kind.

The BBC reports that the feds busted up a $1million-plus illegal drug operation online on a marketplace called “The Farmer’s Market” using the TOR network, which allows emails and websites to hide IP addresses and protect users from detection.

The operation served about 3,0000 customers in every U.S. state and  34 countries , selling LSD, ecstasy, marijuana and other illegal drugs. The Justice Department contends the ring provided order forms, customer service and accepted payments through PayPal, Western Union and other means.

“Operation Adam Bomb,” a 2 year investigation led by the DEA’s L.A. Field Division, resulted in arrests in the  the U.S., Colombia, and the Netherlands, according to a Justice Department press release. The L.A. DEA collaborated with the Hague office, international agencies and the U.S. Post Office.

“The drug trafficking organization targeted in Operation Adam Bomb was distributing dangerous and addictive drugs to every corner of the world, and trying to hide their activities through the use of advanced anonymizing on-line technology,” said Briane M. Grey, DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge.

To read more click here.

 

Secret Service Yanks Security Clearances of Agents in Prostitute Scandal

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The prostitute-Secret Service controversy continues to unfold.

CNN reports that the Secret Service has yanked the security clearances of 11 members who are accused of bringing prostitutes to a hotel in Colombia. The incident happened late last week before President Obama was to arrive in that country for a summit.

CNN reports that all have been interviewed by investigators at least once.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) told CNN that one prostitute refused to leave the hotel room, claiming she was owed money.

 

Column: Detroit U.S. Atty McQuade: “We Cannot Allow Detroit to be Defined by Homicide and Violence”

U.S. Attorney McQuade

Barbara McQuade has been the U.S. Attorney in Detroit since January 2010.
 
By Barbara L. McQuade
Detroit Free Press Guest Writer

DETROIT — As the Free Press’ “Living with Murder” series has vividly illustrated, reducing homicide and violent crime in Detroit is essential to improving our quality of life. Even those who live outside the city should be concerned about crime in Detroit, because it affects the success of our region and our state. We cannot allow Detroit to be defined by homicide and violence.

While law enforcement agencies are working together to arrest and remove dangerous people from our community, long-term solutions to reducing violent crime require thoughtful prevention efforts.

A federal judge in Detroit recently told me that when he imposes a long prison sentence on a violent offender, he wishes he could “rewind the tape” to the point in the defendant’s life before he became involved in crime. Prevention efforts underway in Detroit seek to do just that.

To read more click here.

 

Justice Dept. Knew of Flawed Forensic Work; Innocent People May Have Been Convicted

By Spencer S. Hsu
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Justice Department officials have known for years that flawed forensic work might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people nationwide, but prosecutors failed to notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled.

Officials started reviewing the cases in the 1990s after reports that sloppy work by examiners at the FBI lab was producing unreliable forensic evidence in court trials. Instead of releasing those findings, they made them available only to the prosecutors in the affected cases, according to documents and interviews with dozens of officials.

In addition, the Justice Department reviewed only a limited number of cases and focused on the work of one scientist at the FBI lab, despite warnings that problems were far more widespread and could affect potentially thousands of cases in federal, state and local courts.

To read the full story click here.

FBI Health Instructor Talks About His Job

TSA Officer Pleads to Taking Bribes to Let Drugs Pass Through

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A TSA officer based at Palm Beach, Fla. International Airport pleaded guilty Monday to taking bribes to let drugs pass through airport security.

Christopher Allen, 46, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.,  pleaded guilty Monday before U.S. District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Have, Conn.   to taking payments from a drug trafficker to let large amounts of the prescription drug oxycodone pass through airport security. The drugs were destined for Connecticut for illegal sale.

“This defendant received cash payments to violate his oath of public office and look the other way as large quantities of oxycodone pills passed unlawfully through airport security,” said U.S. Attorney David B. Fein  in a statement. “For obvious reasons, we cannot tolerate corruption within the ranks of those who are entrusted with the responsibility for screening air travelers and their baggage. I commend the DEA Task Force for shutting down a pipeline of highly addictive prescription pills from Florida to Connecticut, and for bringing to justice this federal employee and others who participated in this illegal scheme.”

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Attorneys for Convicted Nazi War Criminal Seek Posthumous Restoration of U.S. Citizenship

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Even in death, his legal battle continues.

The JTA News Service reports that attorneys for deceased Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk are trying to restore his U.S. citizenship. They’ve asked a U.S. appeals court to restore his status posthumously.

Demjanjuk, a former Cleveland area autoworker, died in Germany in March at age 91. He was free at the time appealing his conviction for participating in the murder of 27,900 people at the Sobibor death camp in Poland.

To read the full story, click here.