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Major DEA Sting Nets $7.8M, Guns, Drugs

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Tuesday in Arizona was a big one for the DEA’s Phoenix Field Office, where authorities seized 44 firearms, 650 pounds of marijuana and a $7.8 million in cash in a 15-month sting dubbed “Operation Crank Call.” The trafficking network is believed to be related to the infamous Sinaloa Cartel of Mexico.

According to a statement from the DEA, the bust broke apart an extensive trafficking network, with more than 200 arrests made. The DEA worked closely with the police department in Tempe, Ariz.

To read more click here.

Sharp Increases in Drug-Cash Seizures in Caribbean

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Tides of troubled water are lapping Caribbean shores it seems.

Federal agencies have seen a sharp increase in drug-money seizures in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands over the past year, the AP reports, “an apparent sign that more drug proceeds are flowing through the US island territory and the Caribbean as a whole.”

A division of ICE known as Homeland Security Investigations reported a 68 percent increase in cash seizures in Puerto Rico–nearly $2.4 million in total–for the 12 months ending Sept. 30.

The DEA saw seizures more than double as well, to $18 million. The numbers pale in comparison to what is seized along the US-Mexico border. Still, the Justice Department considers  Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands “major bulk cash movement center,” says AP.

Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s congressional representative, asked the House of Representatives for more aid recently, saying, according to AP:  “We are in a crisis in the Caribbean.” The island set a new homicide record this year as drug-related violence spiked. More than 1,100 have been killed.

Pedro Janer, the acting special agent in charge of the DEA’s Caribbean division, says the trends are the result of stricter enforcement along the US-Mexico border, AP reported. “Every time we put a major squeeze at the border they have to go someplace else,” Janer said. “Well, the second preferred route is the Caribbean. They are always going back and forth.”

To read more click here.

60 Minutes Report On the Very Crooked Lobbyist Jack Abramoff

http://youtu.be/ejkF447DkJw

Mass. Man Convicted on Terrorism Charges in Boston

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Massachusetts man is facing life in prison after being convicted on Tuesday in Boston federal court on terrorism charges.

After  10 hours of deliberation, the federal jury convicted Tarek Mehanna of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaeda, to commit murder in a foreign country and to charges of providing false statements to the government, according to a statement by the FBI.

Jurors heard testimony that the 29-year-old and others discussed committing  violent jihad against American interests and to die on the battlefield. Mehanna and two others went to the Middle East in February of 2004 for military-type training. He continued to support terrorist groups upon returning by translating for and posting to jihadi websites, according to the FBI.

He was interviewed by federal authorities in December 2006 about a trip to Yemen he made in 2004, in which he provided false information.

The conspiracy to kill in a foreign country conviction could bring a life sentence, and other carious charges could amount to 26 years additionally. All carry up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

From his travel to Yemen to receive training to kill American soldiers to his material support for terrorism at home, Mr. Mehanna’s efforts to use and support violence followed no pre-defined path and knew no bounds,” said Richard DesLauriers, the Special Agent In Charge of the Boston FBI in a statement.

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Blago Has Drinking Problem; Could Go to Fed Prison Rehab

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s certainly understandable that ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich would be under a lot of stress. His travails began in  2008 when he was arrested on a number of public corruption charges. Since then, it’s been all down hill.

He was removed from office, and he faced two high-profile, highly-stressful public corruption trials.  Then earlier this month, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Apparently, all the pressure has gotten to him.

Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Blago has become addicted to alcohol.

“Rod can’t sleep without drinking,” a source told Sneed. “So he drinks himself into a condition to do so, and it became an addiction. Considering what he has been through for the past few years, it became a problem. He’s not addicted to sleeping pills or anything like that.”

The Sun-Times reports that the sentencing judge has recommended that the chatty ex-governor go to a prison rehab program.

 

2 Ex-UAW Officials Get Prison Time for Extorting General Motors

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — So much for above the board negotiations.

Two ex-United Auto Workers officials were sentenced to prison Tuesday in federal court in Detroit for conspiring to extort General Motors during a strike in 1997 at the Pontiac Truck Plant.

Donny Douglas, 70, of Holly, Mich., a former UAW International Servicing Representative was sentenced to 18 months in prison and and Jay Campbell, 70, of Davisburg, Mich., a former UAW Local 594 Chairman, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison. They were convicted in 2006.

Authorities said the two were convicted of conspiring to commit extortion by threatening to extend the 1997 strike at the Pontiac Truck Plant by UAW Local 594 unless General Motors hired two unqualified, non-UAW members who were family members or friends of the defendants as skilled tradesmen.

Authorities said that GM, concerned about the continued financial loss of a strike, hired Campbell’s son and a former UAW Local 594 President’s son-in-law as journeymen even though neither man was a member of the UAW, worked for General Motors, or was qualified for the position.

Maryland Officials Trying to Lure FBI Headquarters to Suburbs

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA headquarters is housed in suburban Virginia. So is the Pentagon.

So would it be that outlandish to move the legendary, but outdated FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue, just down the street from the Capitol, to suburban Maryland?

Maryland officials apparently think it’s not unreasonable. In fact, they think it’s a great idea to move thousands of bureau jobs out their way.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland officials are working behind the scenes to try and make that happen in Prince George’s County, a suburban county just outside D.C.

“I’m very bullish on this being located in Maryland,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), according to the Sun. “Maryland is well-situated.

The FBI has outgrown the 37-year-old J. Edgar Hoover Building, that is crumbling and far too small to hold all the employees it needs to accommodate. The Sun reports that the workforce is scattered over 22 annex buildings in the Washington area.

epairs and upgrades.

A more pressing problem, agency officials have said, is that the FBI’s burgeoning workforce is scattered over 22 annex buildings throughout the Washington region.

The Sun reported that a new complex would not be completed until at least 2020.

 

Feds and Local Cops in D.C. Announce “Most Important Weapons Investigation” in Recent Past

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A year-long fed and local undercover sting in the nation’s capitol netted $7.2 million in cocaine, methamphetamines and other drugs as well as 161 weapons, with 70 people arrested,  Clarence Williams of the Washington Post reports.

In documents unveiled Monday, Christopher Washington–one of the arrested–offered handgrenades and a rocket launcher to an undercover officer.  Authorities called the sting  one of their most important weapons investigations in recent history.

“Had those drugs and guns made it to our streets, the consequences would be devastating,” D.C. police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said.

The Post reported that the FBI had wired a stylish Northeast Washington rowhouse where undercover officers dealt with the criminals.  The paper reported that the FBI, D.C. police, ATF and DEA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “uncovered connections to a Mexican drug cartel and out-of-area gun traders that led to federal investigations in a half-dozen states and a murder case in El Salvador.”

To read more click here.