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Column: Grassley and Issa — Time to Show Your Cojones and Go After the NRA

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Hats off to Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa for their keen interest in the failed ATF Operation Fast and Furious.

They have a right to be concerned about the program that let guns walk into Mexico. It’s great that they care that the feds let guns get into the hands of the criminals and cartel members.

Now, it’s time for them to really show that they have some backbone, some cojones, some balls.

Time to stand up to the National Rifle Association, which has done more than any failed ATF operation to help put guns into the hands of criminals and Mexican drug cartels. The cartels use the border states as supermarkets for weapons, thanks for lax laws that allow people to walk into gun stores and walk out with dozens of guns at a time.

Yes, Grassley and Issa. Time to channel some of that outrage, some that first-rate moral indignation and rip into the NRA.

Time to push back and enact tougher gun legislation so more guns don’t walk into Mexico.

That’s right, guns still walk into Mexico. It didn’t suddenly end when you two started throwing a hissy fit about Fast and Furious.

Don’t stop with Fast and Furious, guys.

Time to go after the NRA and show us how much you really care about guns getting into the hands of criminals and the drug cartels.

 

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Hunt for bin Laden

New Leader Takes Over ATF Houston Field Division

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Melvin D. King Jr.’s long law-enforcement career is taking him to Houston, where he will be the new special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Field Division, according to ATF.

King began his career with the federal agency in 1988, when he was assigned to the Washington Field Division in Richmond. He helped found “Project Exile,” a strategy to reduce firearms in cities.

Since then, King has worked in New Jersey, South Carolina and North Carolina, according to the agency.

“I am happy to be here in South Texas and under my leadership we will continue the ATF mission to reduce violent crime and stop firearms trafficking to criminals both domestically and internationally,” King said a press release. “I plan to continue to work closely with other law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. Another one of my priorities will be to partner with the firearms and explosives dealers in South Texas as we conduct our mission to regulate the industry.”

San Jose Man Accused of Impersonating DEA Agent

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Jonathan V. Hoang wanted to be a federal law enforcement agency since he was a child.

He even unsuccessfully applied to the agency in 1986.

Now the 47-year-old San Jose man is accused of impersonating a federal drug agent by forging credentials, adding lights and sires to his truck and using his disguise to bypass credit checks, intimidate rivals, haggle over rent and dole out vigilante justice, the Mercury New reports.

Jonathan V. Hoang faces four counts, including pretending to be an officers of the United States, after he was arrested and indicted last week.

Hoang went as far as carrying a handgun and wearing a fake badge, according to the Mercury News.

Trenton Residents Demand Protection from Corruption as FBI Investigates Mayor

Mayor Tony Mack

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the FBI investigates Trenton City Hall and Mayor Tony Mack, residents are calling for the creation of an ethics board to protect against corruption, the Trentonian reports.

At a city council meeting Thursday, officials didn’t discuss details of the FBI investigation, saying they were unaware of specifics.

Residents called on the council to create an ethics board to keep elected officials in check.

“The ethics board should be a no-brainer,” “local businessman Tracey Syphax said, according to the Trentonian. “That’s definitely something we need.”

All in the Family? Justice Department Employees Accused of Nepotism

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is mulling over what to do with eight employees who tried to get their children or other relatives hired by the agency, the Washington Post reports, citing a study released Thursday by the department’s inspector general.

Officials accused of the nepotism violations are career employees, not politicians, and include the director and two assistant directors of human resources; the director and deputy director of facilities and administrative services; and a senior adviser to a deputy assistant attorney general in the division.

“The department takes seriously the findings in this report, and we are moving immediately to address the report’s findings,” Gina Talamona, a Justice Department spokeswoman, told the Post.

Talamona pledged quick action and said nepotism would not be tolerated.

OTHER STORIES OF INTERESTS

Baltimore’s FBI Chief Richard McFeely Reflects on Brief Tenure

Richard McFeely/fbi photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

During his brief tenure in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore feed office, Richard A. McFeely refocused investigations on corruption and gangs, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Now McFreely is becoming assistant director of criminal and cyber operations at FBI headquarters.

During his thee years in Baltimore, McFreely oversaw high-profile cases, including the investigations of Baltimore police, violent drug trafficker Steven Blackwell, founder of the prison gang Dead Man Inc. and a man who tried to blow up an Army recruiting station, according to the Sun.

McFreely said he wasn’t changing the priorities of the FBI, but believed there was a disproportionate focus on terrorism.

FBI to Investigate Anaheim, Calif. Shootings

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The FBI hopes to calm violence that has erupted after a pair of fatal officer-involved shootings over the weekend in Anaheim, Calif., LATimes reports.

During the unrest this week, protesters have tossed rocks at police, ignited fires and damaged public property.

Two dozen people have been arrested so far.

The FBI will determine whether police used excessive force in two separate shootings.