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What’s Wrong With This Picture? Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Failed to File Immigration Forms for Household Workers

Commissioner Alan Bersin

Commissioner Alan Bersin

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When Joe-Shmoe forgets to file something like this, well, it’s understandable. Maybe.

But when it’s the Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan D. Bersin? “Unacceptable”, says Sen. Max Bauchus, according to the Washington Post.

At  issue is paperwork known as I-9 forms verifying that household workers can legally work in the U.S.

The Post reports that the Senate Finance Committee found Bersin “employed 10 household employees since 1993 and failed to complete I-9 forms for all of them. The I-9 form is issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which shares immigration enforcement responsibilities with CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Read more »

Book Publisher Claims Convicted ex-NBA Ref Invoked Name of Gambino Crime Family in Tiff Over Money

bookcoverfrontBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Florida book publisher for convicted ex-NBA ref Tim Donaghy claims the ref has threatened to hurt somebody if he doesn’t get money for his book, and has even invoked the name of the Gambino crime family to show he’s serious, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

The tiff came to light this week when his book publisher VTi-Media of Florida severed ties with Donaghy “due to safety concerns”, the paper reported. In December, the firm published his popular book “Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA.”

“We’ve had to lock our office doors and get escorted to our cars,” Shawna Vercher, chief executive of VTi told the Daily News.

Vercher told the Daily News that Donaghy had been threatening company employees and book vendors and demanding money for the book.

“One thing he said in particular is that, ‘You know I have associates in the Gambino crime family and they are active in this part of the state,’ ” Vercher told the Daily news. “This stuff has gotten really ugly, really quickly.”

Donaghy, who served a little over a year in federal prison on wire-fraud and gambling charges for betting on NBA games, called the allegations nonsense and said he only wanted to know how many books had been sold and where the doe is, the Daily News reported.

“Absolutely not, there’s nothing to that at all,” he said of the allegations. “It came down to the fact that I asked for the accounting, which I’m allowed to do per my contract with them, and they didn’t provide me with the accounting . . . It just went downhill quick, and all I wanted to know was how much money was in the bank and to see the statements.”

Vercher told the paper that the money is in a holding account, and the company will tally profits by July — the deadline vendors have to  return unsold books.

She added: “We have to send [the profits] to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and not him directly.”

To read more click here.

Pakistani Linked to Militant Group Says he Helped NY Bomber, Washington Post Reports

pakistan-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Pakistani man linked to a militant group in his country has told authorities he acted as an accomplice to the failed New York car bomber Faisal Shahzad, the Washington Post is reporting.

The Post reported that the man, arrested by Pakistani authorities, has provided an “independent stream” of evidence implicating the Pakistani Taliban. American investigators have had direct access to him, the paper reported.

The news comes one day after authorities raided homes and businesses in three Northeast states, and arrested three people suspected of providing funding to Shahzad. Authorities have said it is unclear whether they knew what Shahzad was up to.

The Post also reported that Pakistani security officials in Islamabad have said they have yet to find concrete evidence to link Shahzad to militant activity in Pakistan, or for that matter, that he trained with the Taliban.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

About 500 N.Y. Feds, State and Local Cops Bust Up Bloods and Latin King Gangs in Small Town

About 500 FBI and other law enforcement officers gather get briefed before raids/fbi photo

About 500 FBI and other law enforcement officers gather to get briefed before raids/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

About 500 federal, state and local police on Thursday converged on the town of Newburgh, about 50 miles north of New York City, to round up gang members of the Bloods and the Latin Kings, who authorities say have been responsible for a good chunk of crime and drug trafficking in the city along the Hudson River.

Law enforcement agents and officers raided dozens of homes, and as of Thursday, 23 of 78 gang members named in federal indictments had been arrested. About 34 were already in custody, authorities said. Newburgh has a population of about 29,000.

FBI agent Jim Gagliano (left) briefs acting adic George Venizelos (right) /fbi photo

FBI agent Jim Gagliano (left) briefs acting adic George Venizelos (right) /fbi photo

“In a city as small as Newburgh and as violent—there have already been four homicides this year, all directly related to gang violence—these arrests will have a substantial effect on the crime rate in the city,” FBI special agent Jim Gagliano, who who headed a 16-month, FBI-led Safe Streets Task Force investigation said in a statement.

The FBI said the task force had made nearly 100 drug buys totaling more than five kilos of crack cocaine.

“The majority of these buys were done while we recorded video and audio,” Gagliano said. “Not only did we get the subject’s voice on tape, we also see the exchange.”

Column: Ex-Fed Prosecutor Says Justice System Needs Reform

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for 28 in that office. He is the author of the book “Carving Out the Rule of Law: The History of the United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Michigan 1815–2008″.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Are we the most violent, the most criminal country on the globe?

As someone who was a career federal prosecutor and reveres the criminal justice system, the question seems almost insulting. Do we not have one of the most finely nuanced systems when it comes to protecting human rights while protecting the public from criminals? Many would say Yes.

And yet we, who make up only 5% of the world’s population, have 25% of the world’s prison population, far outstripping countries like Iran, North Korea, and China. 7.3 million people in the U.S. are either in jail, on probation or in some form of supervised release.

One in every 31 can expect to enter the criminal justice system in this country, one in seven African American males.

During the last three decades, the response to the crime epidemic has been to tighten the screws ever tighter by increasing sentences and creating more laws mandating incarceration.

The result has been an increase in the nation’s prison population, which has climbed from about 500,000 in 1980 to almost 2.5 million.

Are we safer today than in 1978 when I prosecuted my first buy-bust cocaine case? Few would think so.

Read more »

Atty. Gen. Holder Addresses Thousands of Cops in Washington Who Gathered to Honor Fallen Brethren

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By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — On a pleasant spring night, thousands of police officers from every corner of the nation gathered here Thursday for the 22nd annual candle light vigil  to pay respect to their fallen brethren who died in the line of duty and to hear speakers including Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

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“This year in particular we are reminded of the gravity of this mission. As you know well, a few days after Thanksgiving last year, four police officers sat together at a coffee shop in Lakewood, Washington preparing for a work day they would not live to see,” said Holder, the keynote speaker, before the crowd at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

“Shortly before 8:30 that morning these officers were ambushed by a gunman and all four were killed in cold blood. It is believed they were targeted, shot at and murdered simply because of the uniforms that they wore and the public service that they provided . These victims of course were members of Lakewood’s 100 member police department, but they were also part of something larger, they were part of a community that stretches from Tallahassee to Anchorage from Sacramento to Augusta. They were part of a community that spans every level of our government, federal, state, local and tribal.”

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He went on to talk about officers who have lost their lives, saying: “While we can never repay the debt of gratitude we owe these courageous public servants we will never forget their stories. Our candles tonight may burn only briefly, but we will forever carry forward the spirits of those they represent in our work, in our hearts and in our ongoing commitment to justice.”

Janet Napolitano delivered a speech before Holder, concluding: “As we light candles, let us honors their memories and renew our commitment to all of our law enforcement officers who so proudly serve our nation, our communities and the American people.”

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FBI Executes Search Warrants in Northeast in Connection With Times Square Car Bomb; 3 Detained

fbi logo large

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The failed Times Square car bomb incident has led the FBI to the Northeast sector of the country where agents have executed search warrants,  CNN reported, saying  cash couriers seemed to be the target.  The raids took place in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

By afternoon the Justice Department had confirmed that three people had been arrested.

“Three individuals encountered during the searches were taken into federal custody for alleged immigration violations.” said Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd in a statement. “At this time we can provide no further details as the investigation is ongoing. These searches are the product of evidence that has been gathered in the investigation subsequent to the attempted Times Square bombing and do not relate to any known immediate threat to the public or active plot against the United States.”

An FBI spokeswoman told AP that there was “no known immediate threat to the public or any active plot against the United States.”

The AP reported that authorities had cordoned off a small house in Watertown, a Boston suburb.

Speculation Begins as to Who Will Take Over NY FBI Office

FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo

FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The speculation has begun as to who will get the top spot in the New York FBI office vacated by Joseph Demarest, who was officially named assistant director of the International  Operations Division at headquarters in Washington on Wednesday.

Some names that have surfaced so far include Andrew Arena, head of the FBI Detroit office, Janice Fedarcyk, head of the Philadelphia FBI and George Venizelos, a special agent in charge of the New York office, who has been named the interim head.

Arena, who formerly served as a special agent in charge in the New York office, has been with the bureau since 1988.

Fedarcyk took over the Philadelphia office in 2008 and has been with the bureau since 1987. And Venizelos became a special agent in charge in the New York office in 2006. He has been with the bureau since 1991.

Janice Fedarcyk/fbi photo

Janice Fedarcyk/fbi photo

Speculation as to whether Demarest would return to New York from Washington ended Wednesday when headquarters officially announced he was staying in Washington.

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

He was sent to Washington on a temporary assignment while an internal investigation looked into whether he had been truthful about an affair he had with one of his supervisors.

Demarest was considered a strong personality that could deal with New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, known as a person of strong will.

The FBI is likely to look for someone who can deal with Kelly as well.