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Barry Bonds’ Trainer Refuses to Testify in Fed Court: Ordered Back to Prison


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Barry Bonds slugfest began Tuesday with some drama  as the baseball slugger’s trial got underway in federal court in San Francisco.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered Bond’s boyhood friend and longtime weight trainer Greg Anderson back to prison Tuesday for the duration of the trial after he refused to testify, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Bonds is accused of lying to a federal grand jury when he said he didn’t take steroids.

“If you change your mind and want to testify, just let everyone know ASAP,” the judge said, according to the paper.

Anderson is no stranger to prison. He’s already served more than a year for contempt for refusing to cooperate with fed prosecutors, who want him to deliver some damaging evidence. And the San Francisco Chronicle reported that he also severed several months in prison for steroid dealing.

In opening statements Tuesday, the prosecution portrayed Bonds as a experienced steroid user who lied about his use, the paper reported. Bond’s attorney countered by saying that Bond told the truth and was falsely accused by former bitter friends and associates.

FBI Still Uses Old Fashioned Cryptanalysts to Break Codes

A deciphered letter calling for a "hit"/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You’d think the art of manually cracking codes written in traditional forms of communication like letters would have faded along ago with J. Edgar Hoover.

Not so.

The FBI has posted a feature on its website which shows that its Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Record Unit (CRRU) — part of the bureau’s Laboratory Division — is alive and well.

“That’s because criminals who use cryptography—codes, ciphers, and concealed messages—are more numerous than one might expect,” the FBI says. “Terrorists, gang members, inmates, drug dealers, violent lone offenders, and organized crime groups involved in gambling and prostitution use letters, numbers, symbols, and even invisible ink to encode messages in an attempt to hide illegal activity.”

The FBI used this example:

“The letter from a gang member in prison to a friend on the outside seemed normal enough. “Saludos loved one,” it began, and went on to describe the perils of drug use and the inmate’s upcoming visit from his children.”

“But closer inspection by examiners in our Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU) revealed that this seemingly ordinary letter was encoded with a much more sinister message: every fifth word contained the letter’s true intent, which was to green-light the murder of a fellow gang member.”

The FBI said breaking such “pen and paper” codes remains a necessary weapon in the Bureau’s investigative arsenal.

“We solve crimes,”Dan Olson, chief of the unit,  said. But we actually prevent more crimes than we solve.”

He said, according to the FBI site, that  breaking codes is an “old-fashioned battle of the minds” between code makers and code breakers. He said the unit is the only unit he knows of which deals exclusively with manual, and not digital, code breaking, according to the FBI side.

Bomb at Fed Building in Detroit Where FBI is Housed Sat For Weeks

Mexican Drug Traffickers Take Advantage of American-Funded Highway in El Salvador

By Tracy Wilkinson
Los Angeles Times

DULCE de MARIA, El Salvador –The Mexican drug gangs rapidly infiltrating Central America call El Salvador “El Caminito,” the little pathway.

Once a bystander in the region’s narco-business, this tiny country now finds itself enmeshed in an expanding drug trade, a shift brought on in part by the presence of a new, U.S.-funded highway that provides an overland route for shipping cocaine north.

For years, traffickers used speedboats and small submarine-type vessels to move drugs from Colombia to northern Guatemala or Mexico, using water routes to circumvent much of Central America. But with government sea patrols improving and new cartels creating competition in parts of Guatemala, some Mexican gangs have switched to moving their shipments overland through Central America, using the new roadway through El Salvador.

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ATF Agent Discusses Gun Walking Program

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-aHGEIGH-U

Border Patrol Agent Kills 19 Year Old in Arizona

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Details are very sketchy, but one thing was clear: A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a 19-year-old man east of the Douglas port of entry Monday afternoon in Arizona, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

FBI spokesman Manuel Johnson told the paper that the incident began when Douglas police went after a suspected drug dealer in a car.

The driver, Carlos La Madrid of Douglas, drove toward the border, and at some point, rocks were thrown, the paper reported.

At some point, the agent shot La Madrid three times.

2 Suspects Caught With Drugs in Tunnel at Arizona-Mexico Border


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There are endless reminders of the cat-and-mouse game that goes on along the Southwest border of the U.S.

The latest: Border Patrol agents and the Nogales Police Department arrested two people last week trying to smuggle more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana through a drainage tunnel at the Mexico-Arizona border, KVOA TV reported.

Authorities conducted a sweep of the tunnel after hearing voices in the drainage tunnel and caught the suspects as they tried heading back to Mexico, the station reported.

ICE Official Gets One of the Toughest Sentences in Public Corruption Case: Nearly 18 Years

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A senior attorney with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was sentenced Monday in Los Angeles to nearly 18 years in prison, one of the harshest sentences ever handed down in the U.S. in a public corruption case.

Authorities said Constantine Peter Kallas, 40 of Alta Loma, Calif. was sentenced to 212 months for taking nearly one-half million dollars in bribes from immigrants who were seeking documentation to remain in the U.S.

On top of the prison term, Kallas was ordered to pay $296,865 in restitution after fraudulently receiving worker’s compensation benefits.

“Mr. Kallas has received one of the longest sentences ever seen in a public corruption case,”  U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. said in a statement. “Mr. Kallas took in hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes – money he obtained by exploiting his knowledge of the immigration system. The lengthy sentence reflects the seriousness of the crimes, which were a wholesale violation of the public trust.”

Last April, a federal convicted Kallas of three dozen felony counts – conspiracy, six counts of bribery, two counts of obstruction of justice, seven counts of fraud and misuse of entry documents, three counts of aggravated identity theft, nine counts of making false statements to the Department of Labor, four counts of making false statements to obtain federal employee compensation, and four counts of tax evasion.

“This case presents an epic display of a public official’s greed,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court.

“As a corrupt prosecutor, [Kallas] calculatingly terrorized the idea of justice and the concept of public service,” the memorandum continued. “[Kallas] carried out his crime scheme through elaborate forms of manipulation, lies, and obstructive conduct.”

Authorities said Kallen has been in federal prison since August 2008, about two months after he was busted in an FBI sting and videotaped at the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Highland, Calif. “where he and his wife accepted a bribe from an immigrant”, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

He accepted a series of bribes, some as high as $20,000, authorities said.

Authorities said court documents show that besides Kallas’ salary, the couple had deposited $950,000 in their bank accounts since 2000.

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