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Column: FBI Director Mueller, Steroids and Getting Stranded on 3rd Base

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

Greg Stejskal

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

I recently read the “Time” magazine profile of FBI Director Robert Mueller noting that his 10-year statutory term was coming to an end. It was mentioned that the Director is a big baseball fan especially of the Boston Red Sox. I have also read speculation about what may be in Dir. Mueller’s future, among other things, that he might be a possible replacement for Bud Selig as Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner. Apparently that may have to wait considering the White House has announced that it will ask Congress to extend Dir. Mueller’s tenure by 2 years.

I think there may be some irony in the mentioning of the director and the baseball commissioner job. Without spoiling the whole story, I just want to say maybe one day the director may want to offer me an apology.

It was mid-February, 2005, I was sitting in my office at the FBI Resident Agency in Ann Arbor, Mi., when I received a phone call from a couple of reporters from the “New York Daily News.”

They had been referred to me by Michael Leibson, an Assistant US Attorney in Detroit, who had prosecuted a steroid case with me about 10 years before. (It was actually many cases stemming from an undercover operation. Over 70 steroid dealers were convicted in the US and Canada.)

Read more »

Jesse Jackson Jr. Denies Scheme to Buy Senate Seat

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr./campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The retrial of Rod Blagojevich is putting more people than just the  chatty ex-governor on the defensive.

The Chicago Sun-Times on Monday reported that U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) adamantly denied that he had fundraisers offer Blago about $1 million in campaign contributions in exchange for getting the Senate seat vacated by President Obama. He made his statement after attending inauguration ceremonies for Mayor Emanuel and the new city council.

“I’ve committed and participated in no such scheme. It’s been a thorough investigation. And I think the investigation has revealed that,” Jackson said, according to the Sun-Times.

Jackson said he had no idea why an Indian businessmen Rajinder Bedi made the offer to the Blagojevich camp, and insisted he did not act on his direction.

Last week, fund-raiser and onetime state worker Rajinder Bedi testified in trial that fundraising and the senate seat were discussed at a breakfast on Oct. 28, 2008 with Jackson and another fund-raiser, Raghu Nayak, the Sun-Times reported.

That same day, Bedi met with the Blagojevich camp and offered $1 million in exchange for the senate appointment, the Sun-Times reported.

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Law Enforcement in Ky Case

file photo/istock

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court handed law enforcement an added tool on Monday.

The Court ruled 8-1 that it was okay when Lexington, Ky.  police busted into an apartment without a warrant after smelling marijuana and fearing the suspect was trying to destroy evidence, the Associated Press reported.

The ruling overturned a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling that had thrown out evidence gathered during the raid of Hollis King’s apartment, AP reported.

“Occupants who choose not to stand on their constitutional rights but instead elect to attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame,” Justice Sam Alito said in his opinion, according to AP.

Justice Ginsburg, the lone dissenting vote, said the ruling gives police an easy was to forgo warrants in drug cases, AP reported.

“Police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant,” she said.

Fox Cancels America’s Most Wanted — Show That Helped the FBI and Other Agencies For More than 2 Decades

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Fox show “America’s Most Wanted”, which aired for 23 years,  and helped capture some of the most dangerous fugitives wanted by the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and other law enforcement agencies, is being cancelled.

The Associated Press reported Monday that the show, hosted by  John Walsh, attracted about 5 million viewers, and claimed  it had  helped nab 1,151 fugitives worldwide.

But Kevin Reilly of Fox Entertainment Kevin said the show was too expensive and had not been making money for a while, AP reported.

Angeline Hartmann, a correspondent for the show, told ticklethewire.com on Monday:

“I can tell you that the news today came as a devastating blow to all of us at AMW.

Angeline Hartmann

“For every one of us, this is not a job but a passion that dictates our lives. We feel privileged to work so closely with law enforcement and we consider it an honor to help victims seeking closure and justice.”

“We helped capture more than 1150 fugitives and recovered dozens of missing children. The feedback we’ve been getting all day has been a resounding “Why?” and “How on earth…?”

“We don’t have the answers and I feel saddest for crime victims and their families.”

John Walsh told AP: “I was quite surprised. We performed hard for you and we had a good year. We caught more guys than we’ve ever caught.”

John Walsh

Walsh told AP he was going to talk to other outlets about airing the show.

Genovese Crime Family Mobster Extradited from Italy to NY

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mobsters have a reputation for enjoying free things: TVs, Rolex watches, meals, computers. You name it.

Still, it’s fair to assume, Emilio Fusco, a made man in the New York Genovese Crime Family, was none to happy when he got a free plane ride back to the U.S. from Italy — compliments of the federal government.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of Manhattan announced Monday that Fusco was extradited from Italy to face racketeering and other charges in connection with the Genovese family crimes. Authorities said Fusco arrived in New York Friday afternoon, and was arraigned in Manhattan federal court earlier Monday.

Fusco was charged with co-defendants Felix Tranghese, Ty Geas, Fotios Geas and Arthur Nigro in in a superseding indictment unsealed in July 2010.

Tranghese pled guilty in January 2011, and Nigro, Fotios, Fotios Geas and Ty Geas were were convicted in April of racketeering charges, multiple murder charges, and multiple extortion charges.

“Emilio Fusco will finally face the justice he deserves—something that he never afforded his alleged victims,” Bharara said.

Authorities said that in 2003,  Fusco, prior to being sentenced for an earlier racketeering conviction, got hold of a court document showing that Genovese family capo Adolfo Bruno had spoken with an FBI agent about Fusco’s status in the Genovese family.

After that, Arthur Nigro, who was the acting boss of the Genovese family, gave the order to murder Bruno. Fusco and others conspired to carry out the murder, and Bruno was killed on Nov. 23, 2003.

Less than three weeks before Bruno’s murder, authorities said Fusco, a fellow Genovese family soldier and two associates, murdered Gary Westerman to help their position in the family and to prevent Westerman from snitching to the feds about crimes committed by members and associates of the Genovese family, authorities said.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Column: Al Qaeda Bent on Revenge: Watch Out for Assassinations

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

James Cavanaugh/atf photo

By James Cavanaugh
For ticklethwire.com

Dingdong the witch is dead.

Yet the Al Qeada organization remains active and no doubt bent on revenge to show the world it is viable and deadly.

Law-enforcement leaders now have a special challenge: To learn the lessons of history that can help formulate a forward-looking strategy. Don’t count al Qaeda out. Like a wounded cobra, it still may be able to strike out and kill, with the wound only fueling its determination.

Yes, we all remember the attacks on 9/11, and the attacks on the trains of London, Madrid and Moscow. Yes, these were deadly and theatrical attacks we will never forget.

But Al Qaeda has another long-standing tactic of death rarely talked about in law-enforcement command circles: A long history of assassinating leaders. We must be conscious of this and respond if we want to stay ahead of the curve.

One of the seminal events of the modern terrorist era was the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the hands of the Muslim brotherhood.

Read more »

Column: If Congress Extends FBI Dir. Mueller’s Term, Let’s Not Do it Again For Anyone Else

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– I have mixed feelings about the White House proposal to have FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III stay two years more beyond his 10-year term, which expires in September. The opinions of newspaper editorial boards around the country reflect my ambivalence.

All recognize the need for continuity in such uncertain times. All praise Mueller for taking on the job at a time of rapid change. They also note that after Hoover’s death in 1972, Congress passed legislation to limit the term to 10-years, pointing to the politics and power Hoover amassed, and how he abused his position and stepped over the line and made many important people, including presidents, fear him.

Continuity. Sure it’s important. But change is constant, a part of life, a part of Washington.  And as the Washington Post rightfully asks:”But when are continuity and stability at the FBI not critical?”

Read more »

DEA Official James Akagi Named Police Chief in Tennessee

James Akagi/ oakridge gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James T. Akagi, an assistant special agent in charge of the Oklahoma City DEA office, and a 25-year veteran of the agency, has been named the new police chief for Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Oak Ridge city manager Mark Watson said Akagi, 49, began his career with the DEA in 1986, and was stationed at a number of international and domestic offices including Los Angeles, Dallas and Santo Domingo,  according to a press release. He was picked among 117 applicants.

He will head up a department of 61 sworn personnel and 17 civilians with a $6 million budget.

His salary will be $110,000, a drop from $151,269 at the DEA, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported