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DEA Agent Killed in Afghanistan Helicopter Crash Honored at His Old High School

Chad L. Michael/dea photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Last week, after the students had left a rural Pennsylvania school about 70 miles west of Scranton, DEA administrators and colleagues gathered there to remember a fallen agent, an alma mater of Hughesville High School, according to the Sun Gazette.

Chad Michael, 30, assigned to the DEA Miami Division,  was one of three DEA agents killed in a helicopter crash in October 2009 in Afghanistan along with seven service men. The other DEA two agents were Michael Weston and Forrest N. Leamon. The men were targeting opium production in western Afghanistan.

Michael served in the DEA’s Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team, or FAST. In addition to Michael’s parents-mother Debra Hartz and stepfather Dr. Leo Hartz-also attending were the DEA’s Richard Crock and Richard Michael, the local school board president of whose district Michael graduated from high school.

The celebration came during the DEA’s “Red Ribbon Week” which calls upon organizations, parents, and educators to reinforce the dangers of drug abuse with children.

The school district created the Chad Michael Memorial Scholarship after his passing in service, which has gone to a graduate now attending the University of Pittsburgh and studying criminal justice. The scholarship, ranging from $500 to $1,000, is reserved for students intending to study criminal justice, as Michael had. Prior to Micheal’s DEA service he was a deputy Sheriff in Tampa Bay, Fla.

To read more click here.

 

OK Bill O’Reilly, You Can Stop Mentioning the $16 Muffin

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Folks like talk show host Bill O’Reilly talked incessantly about the government spending $16  a muffin at a conference even after press reports began to surface that the Justice Department report on the issue  probably wasn’t true. The Hilton hotel had disputed it all along, saying the price included multiple breakfast items.

Well, now it’s really official. Last week the Justice Department’s inspector general issued a revised version of an earlier report on conference expenditures that had made front page headlines in September, reports Government Executive.

“After further review of the newly provided documentation and information,” acting Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar said in a statement, “we determined that our initial conclusions concerning the itemized costs of refreshments at the . . . conference were incorrect.”

 

The original report had made mention of $16.80 muffins at an August 2009 Justice Department event at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Calling the report a “wake-up call” on wasteful spending on conferences, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had called for the firing of some department employees at the time.

“We hope that our correction of the record for this one conference among the 10 conferences we reviewed does not detract from the more significant conclusion in our report: government conference expenditures must be managed carefully, and the department can do more to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and accounted for properly,” the new report said.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Does FBI Gang Report Go Too Far When it Comes to Followers of Insane Clown Posse?

A Juggalo/facebookBy Allan Lengel

Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Did the FBI go over board a little in its recent 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment report?

Reporter Spencer Ackerman of WIRED seems to think so.

Ackerman writes that the FBI considers the teen fans of the “shticky rap group Insane Clown Posse to represent a threat on par with the Crips, Bloods, and Aryan Brotherhood.”

Apparently the fans of the Insane Clown Posse’s people — called Juggalos — paint their faces and have been known to cause mayhem at concerts. The rap group Insane Clown Posse is comprised of a duo from Detroit.

WIRED writes that the feds describe the group as loosely-organized hybrid gang” that are “forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity.”

WIRED writes that the FBI report says the Juggalo gang activity includes thefts, hand-to-hand drug sales and felony assaults.

“The FBI has recently had difficulty distinguishing ordinary American Muslims from terrorists; now it appears it has a similar problem distinguishing teenage fads from criminal conspiracies,” Ackerman writes.

Time magazine wrote a little piece on the matter and labeled it “Bizarre.”

 

The FBI Legal Attache’s Role in Afghanistan

Retired ATF Executive Comments on Occupy Wall Street and the Police

James Cavanaugh was an ATF agent and supervisor for 33 years before retiring in 2010.
 

James Cavanaugh/atf photo

 
By James Cavanaugh
For ticklethewire.com

America is now witnessing a democratic movement that is taking to the streets the likes of which we have not seen since 1968. As this phenomenon develops we should all realize how overwhelmingly peaceful these gatherings have been.

Think about spontaneous gatherings across the nation where citizens choose to gather based on their constitutional rights to peacefully assemble and to air their grievances. We talk much in America about constitutional rights. We wave pocket constitutions and we all profess to revere the Constitution.

Nevertheless, that requires that we recognize the Constitution when it is in action. It is not always pretty and it is not always totally organized, it does not always speak with one voice, it is not always the model of organization or civility, but therein lies the essence of its absolute brilliance. So thousands gather across many cities forming ad hoc mini democratic societies in which they try to clean up the area, cook food, provide places for soapbox speeches, carry signs and verbalize their frustrations.

Naturally this is a disruption to the status quo of the area. Most of these venues are public gathering places or public parks. Places that should be the most natural gathering places for citizens to air their grievances.

So the gathering is logical, and it’s constitutionally protected. In America we can have these gatherings without tanks or troops, and we should have them without fear of death or injury. No one who is criticized by the protesters will be sacrosanct: Not bankers nor politicians, not the media nor the mayors, not corporations nor fat cat hedge fund leaders, and certainly not the police.

Read more »

Weekend Series on Crime History: Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy

What the Heck is Going on in Amish Country? FBI Investigating

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

From an outsider’s viewpoint, the Amish are known for their food products and beards and cultural simplicity.

Now comes the FBI.

Station WKYC reports that the FBI is investigating crimes in eastern Ohio involving Amish-on-Amish incidents, including beard cutting. WKYC reported that the FBI is looking into whether hate crimes are involved with Amish members of a breakaway sect, who have disagreed with the way some Amish carry out their beliefs.

“We’re looking at any potential federal violations, specifically any civil rights violations, because we take civil rights violations as a very serious matter,” FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson told WKYC.

“We met with local law enforcement about a week ago and made the decision to enter the case,” she said, according to the station. A number of Northeast and Eastern Ohio sheriffs were involved in that meeting.

CNN reports five men have been arrested and charged with kidnapping and burglary stemming from an October incident. Authorities allege that the group  pulled an Amish man out of his home by the beard and cut off portions of it.

CNN reports that Jefferson County Sheriff Fred J. Abdalla said that was among a handful of incidents in several counties carried out by as many as 30 men and woman.

CNN reported that the perpetrators are suspected of being followers of a breakaway Amish group led by Sam Mullet.  Three of the five men arrested are sons of Mullet.

CNN reported that “local law enforcement officials and members of the Amish community believe Mullet has created a cult and is single-handedly behind the beard cutting incidents and other crimes in recent years.”

 

New Yorker Pleads Guilty to Stealing Historical Documents With Signatures from Lincoln, Washington, Roosevelt

istock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Jason James Savedoff had an obsession with historical documents and folks like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. But it  all seemed to center around money, not history.

The 24-year-old New Yorker pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Baltimore to stealing historical documents from museums in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut and selling them for a profit.

Authorities said the documents stolen contained the signatures of some notables like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt, John Adams, Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparter.

Authorities said Savedoff admitted that he and his co-conspirator prepared lists containing the names of historical figures and other noteworthy individuals, and made notations referencing the value of signatures and documents authored or signed by them.

Authorities said Savedoff, under the direction of his co-conspirator, conducted research — including on the internet — to identify collections containing valuable documents that were worthy of stealing.

Savedoff and his conspirator visited a number of museums posing as researchers and were able to steal the documents.

Some documents were concealed in sports coats and other outerwear that had hidden pockets.