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US Military Man Charged With Trying to Bring Explosives on Plane

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A member of the US military has been charged after being detained at a Texas airport over the weekend for attempting to board a plane with explosives wrapped in military-grade wrapping, the Associated Press reports.

Trey Scott Atwater was stopped by security at the Midland International Airport around 9 a.m. on Saturday. He has been charged with trying to bring explosives onto an airplane, according to FBI spokesman Mike Martinez.

To read more click here.

Colorado Asks DEA to Reclassify Marijuana

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Barbara Grohl, head of the Colorado Department of Revenue, has written a letter asking the DEA to loosen federal controls on marijuana and recognize its “potential medicinal value,” the Denver Post reports.

The letter, written on Dec. 22, is the result of a law passed last year; that legislation required the state to ask the feds to reschedule the drug by the end of the year.

“As long as there is divergence in state and federal law, there is a lack of certainty necessary to provide safe access for patients with serious medical conditions,” Brohl wrote in the letter.

The DEA has rejected similar requests in the past. The governors of Rhode Island and Washington also asked the DEA to reclassify the drug this year.

Click here to read more.

Customs and Border Protection Gets New Leader

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A new leader has been named to the nation’s largest uniformed federal law enforcement agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection,  reports the website AllGov.com.

David V. Aguilar has been named the head of  the agency. The move came after after Senate Republicans refused to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s nomination, Alan Bersin.

Aguilar has worked on the border for 33 years, according to the news report. As of January 1, 2012, Aguilar now commands more than 20,000 border enforcement officials.

Aguilar joined the Border Patrol in June of 1978, in Laredo, Texas. He was a first line supervisor and then Assistant Patrol Agent in Charge and Patrol Agent in Charge in Laredo. From 1988 to 1996 Aguilar was a Patrol Agent in Charge for three Border Patrol Stations in Texas: Dallas, Rio Grande Valley and Brownsville. He continued moving upward in Texas and Arizona after that.

To read more click here.

Off-Duty ATF Agent Shot and Killed During Struggle With Long Island Robbery Suspect

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty ATF agent was shot and killed Saturday afternoon in Nassau County in Long Island, N.Y. while struggling with a robbery suspect outside a pharmacy where the agent was going to pick up his father’s cancer medication, according to authorities and the Associated Press.

Agent John Capano, a 23-year veteran of ATF, was off duty and in the Seaford, N.Y. shopping center’s parking lot at about 2 p.m. when the suspect entered the pharmacy and robbed it of OxyContin and cash, according to ATF.

Several patrons ran out of the store and pointed out the robbery suspect. ATF said agent Capano immediately confronted the suspect, began struggling with him and attempted to disarm him.

A retired Nassau County police officer and an off-duty New York City police officer who were in a deli next door were also alerted, ATF said.

Both came out of the deli and saw the men struggling and fired, killing the suspect, which AP identified as James McGoey. Agent Capano was also fatally wounded during the confrontation. It was unclear from the ATF press release and media reports as to who actually shot the agent.

Agent Capanois is survived by a wife and two children.

To honor the memory of  Capano, ATF buildings that fly the ATF flag have been authorized to lower the flag to half staff from January 1 to the  day of his interment, from sunrise to sunset.

 

 

Happy New Year!!!! from ticklethewire.com

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right. – Oprah Winfrey

“What you do for Jewish New Year is you go down to Times Square… It’s a lot quieter than the regular New Year. It’s just a few Jews walking around going, ‘sup?'” Jon Stewart

“The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year’s Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you’re married to.”  P.J. O’Rourke

Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go“. – Brooks Atkinson

Democratic Fundraiser Convicted in $21 Million Bank Fraud Scheme

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A fed jury in Brooklyn on Friday convicted Democratic fundraiser Courtney Dupree in a scheme to get $21 million in fraudulent loans.

Dupree, the CEO of the Long Island-based, GDC Acquisitions, a holding of company, was charged with grossly overstating the firm’s billings to fraudulently obtain a $21 million loan from Amalgamated Bank. The jury acquitted Thomas Foley, GDC’s former chief operating officer.

The case garnered some publicity for various reasons.

Ex-Green Bay Packer running back Dorsey Levens and Robert Holland, ex-CEO of Ben and Jerruy’s ice cream, testified as character witnesses for Dupree.

And defense attorney Roscoe C. Howard Jr, the former D.C.  U.S. Attorney, accused the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office of illegally obtaining documents in the case, then lying about it.

Howard raised the issues in a Dec. 21 letter filed in court and addressed to presiding U.S. District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto. He had asked the judge to suppress any illegally obtained materials.

The judge this past week rejected that request and the case went forward.

The government press release after the conviction stated:

“This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. ”

 

Puerto Rico FBI Agent Drowns in Attempted Rescue

By The Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — An FBI agent who tried to rescue a swimmer in distress has drowned at a beach in northeast Puerto Rico, authorities said Friday.

Daniel Knapp, a 43-year-old agent who was based in San Juan, drowned on Thursday at Hidden Beach in the coastal city of Fajardo, the FBI said in a statement.Friends of the swimmer had asked Knapp for help, and he was able to reach the swimmer but was later overcome by rough ocean conditions, the FBI said.

“He died a hero, saving another life,” said local FBI director Joseph S. Campbell.

To read more click here.

 

Feds Charge 14 Romanians With “Phishing” Internet Scam to Get Peoples’ Personal Info

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fourteen Romanian citizens apparently banked on the gullibility of mankind.

Federal authorities in Connecticut last week announced charges against the 14 for allegedly getting personal information from people on the Internet through a scheme known as “phishing.”

The indictment includes allegations that one or more of the defendants  in June 2005  sent a spam e-mail to people,  including a resident of Madison, Conn., which purported to be from Connecticut-based People’s Bank, authorities said in a press release.

“The e-mail stated that the recipient’s online banking access profile had been locked and instructed recipients to click on a link to a web page where they could enter information to ‘unlock,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote.

Authorities said the web page looked as if it was from People’s Bank. In reality, it was hosted on a compromised computer unrelated to People’s Bank.

Authorities alleged that the defendants shared thousands of e-mail messages that contained credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, CVV codes, PIN numbers, and other personal identification information such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

The defendants then allegedly used the information to access bank accounts and lines of credit to withdraw funds without authorization, often from ATMs in Romania.

In addition to People’s Bank, authorities said the group targeted financial institutions and companies including: Citibank, Capital One, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Comerica Bank, Regions Bank, LaSalle Bank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo & Co., eBay and PayPal.

Charged in the indictment are CIPRIAN DUMITRU TUDOR, MIHAI CRISTIAN DUMITRU, BOGDAN BOCEANU, BOGDAN-MIRCEA STOICA, OCTAVIAN FUDULU, IULIAN SCHIOPU, RAZVAN LEOPOLD SCHIBA, DRAGOS RAZVAN DAVIDESCU, ANDREI BOLOVAN, LAURENTIU CRISTIAN BUSCA, GABRIEL SAIN, DRAGOS NICOLAE DRAGHICI, STEFAN SORIN ILINCA and MIHAI ALEXANDRU DIDU, all residents of Romania.