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April Brooks Named Head of Criminal Division in NY

April Brooks

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

April Brooks, whose career  included investigations into  children-related crimes  and the mysterious death of a Baltimore federal prosecutor Jonathan Luna in 2003, has been named special agent in charge of the Criminal Division in the FBI’s very busy New York Division.

Brooks, special assistant to the executive assistant director of the Human Resources Branch, began her career with the FBI in 1990 in Los Angeles.

In September 2000, she was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Crimes Against Children Unit at FBI Headquarters. In this role, she oversaw the Innocent Images National Initiative as well as child abductions and international parental kidnapping investigations, the FBI said.

In December 2002, she was reassigned to the newly established Cyber Division to continue oversight of the Innocent Images National Initiative.

In 2003, she was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Baltimore Division in September 2003. In January 2004, she was named the supervisor responsible fo the probe into the death of  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathon Luna of Baltimore. District of Maryland. He was in shallow water with several shallow stab wounds in rural Pennsylvania in December 2003. The case was never resolved, but the FBI theorized that the wounds were self-inflicted and he committed suicide.

In August 2007, Brooks was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Intelligence, Counterterrorism, and Special Operations Programs in the Baltimore Division. In January 2008, she was selected to oversee the Intelligence Branch, including the HUMINT, Foreign Language, and Applicant Programs, along with the division’s cross-programmatic capabilities.

In February 2010,  Brooks was promoted into the Senior Executive Service as an inspector in the Inspection Division. In 2012, she was named special assistant to the executive assistant director of the Human Resources Branch.

 

DEA Shakes Up Drug Trafficking in Central America

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is shaking up the drug war in Central America following two lethal DEA-related shootings of suspected Honduras drug smugglers, The Global Post reports.

The shooting deaths of trafficking suspects on June 23 and July 3 is part of a new DEA mission called “Operation Anvil” in which U.S. agents team up with Honduran anti-drug forces to combat narcotic trafficking.

As a result of the crackdown, drug traffickers are shifting smuggling routes, the Global Post reported.

Honduras has become the principle launching pad for loads of U.S.-bound cocaine.

Feds Reduce Size of Immigration Unit in Arizona

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has withdrawn some agents from Phoenix just as local police prepare to enforce Arizona’s new immigration law, The Associated Press reports.

The federal agents were responsible for identifying and deporting illegal immigrants.

To round up immigrants in other states, ICE began reassigning members of the Phoenix unit, saying smuggling activity is down in the area, the AP reported.

Some local police worry ICE won’t be able to respond as quickly to immigration problems.

Justice Department Building Case Against Financial Institutions

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating several financial institutions and their employees over the manipulation of interest rates, Reuters reports.

Traders at Barclays Plc are among the institutions under investigation related to how banks set the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, Reuters reported, citing sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Rates are important because they determine borrowing costs for trillions of dollars in credit cards, mortgages and student loans. The newspaper also reported that some U.S. local and state governments were hurt by rate manipulation.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

 

Former ICE Official Gets 20 Months in Prison

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A former federal immigration intelligence director was sentenced to 20 months in prison Friday after getting four subordinates to fraudulently claim more than $500,000 in false expense and pay claims, Reuters reports.

James M. Woosley, 48, the former acting director of the intelligence office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, pleaded guilty in May of stealing more than $188,000 by falsifying travel vouches, hours worked and attendance claims.

Three underlings also have pleaded guilty in the case and received jail terms of between three months and a year and a day. A fourth is awaiting jail sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said Woosley “took advantage of the trust he was given by the United States government to carry out a scheme that cost American taxpayers more than a half million dollars,” according to Reuters.

Three Men Accused of Stealing Weapons from FBI Agent’s Car in Mississippi

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Chances are when you break in to an FBI agent’s government issued car you’re not going to get away with it. Agents have a tendency to really want to find the missing equipment, particularly when it involves guns.

The Associated Press reported that three men have been charged with stealing or possessing guns and other equipment swiped from an agent’s car in front of his house in Hattiesburg, Miss.

AP reported that Cameron Undrae Eatmon, 19, is charged with breaking into the car n June 6, and stealing a submachine gun, an assault rifle, a shotgun and other equipment.

Authorities say Christopher Ryan Burkett, 18, took a cellphone photo of the weapons and tried to sell them via text message.

Then a suspected gang member Glenn Eddie Gholar allegedly bought an M16 assault rifle and a shotgun for $120 and an ounce of marijuana, AP reported.

 

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Column: Now More Than Ever I Believe Bo Schembechler Would Have Done Right Thing in Penn State Scandal

The author (right) Greg Stejksal and Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

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

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

Last November I wrote a column about how I thought legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler would have handled the Penn State scandal.

Since then Joe Paterno was fired and subsequently died from cancer. Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 46 of 48 counts of sexual child abuse involving 10 boys.

Now the results of an independent investigation, the Freeh report, have been released.

As I had speculated in my column, Joe Paterno knew of allegations of Sandusky’s sexual child abuse as early as 1998. He apparently forced Sandusky to “retire” from the PSU coaching staff (after the 1999 season), but gave him a unique severance package including $168,000 and the designation Assistant Professor Emeritus – thus, allowing Sandusky continued, unrestricted access to Penn State athletic facilities.

This makes Paterno’s actions and inaction in 2002 all the more indefensible. When confronted with an eyewitness account of Sandusky sexually abusing a child in a shower at the PSU football facility, Paterno passed the report to his superiors.

But rather than actively pursue it, Paterno counseled that the allegations not be reported to law enforcement or child welfare services.

Paterno was an active participant in the cover-up. Then he lied about it under oath.

I am more certain now that faced with the situation that occurred at Penn State, Bo Schembechler would have handled it differently from the beginning, and it would not have ended like this.

Here is the column as it appeared last November:

“Do the Right Thing –Always,” Bo Schembechler

I want to preface this by saying, I was an admirer of Joe Paterno and Penn State football, which in my adult life have been synonymous. I don’t know Joe Paterno, but I know that he has been head coach at Penn State for 46 years and has been extremely successful, winning 409 games and two national championships.

Paterno achieved this seemingly without compromising sound values. His players were encouraged to be student-athletes with equal emphasis on the student part.

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