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Does the Chicago-Mumbai, India Case Point Out Flaws in U.S. Intelligence Gathering?

india map2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Has the case of David Headley, the 49-year-old Chicago man accused of helping plot the 2008 Mumbai, India attacks, pointed out the holes in the United State’s intelligence gathering?

The New York Times reports that Headley “moved effortlessly between the United States, Pakistan and India for nearly seven years, training at a militant camp in Pakistan on five occasions, according to a plea agreement released by the Justice Department last week.”

Headley admitted to scouting targets and pleaded guilty.

“These and other new details of Mr. Headley’s activities, contained in the plea agreement, raise troubling questions about how an American citizen could travel for so long undetected from his home base in Chicago to well-established terrorist training camps in Pakistan,” the Times wrote.

For Full story click here.

Calif. FBI Agent Thomas Padden Who Arrested Patty Hearst Dies at Age 84

Patty_Hearst_FBI_poster

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thomas J. Padden, the FBI agent who arrested fugitive Patricia Hearst in 1975, has died at age 84 in San Rafael, Calif. after a prolonged illness, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Padden specialized in bank robbery and fraud and was known as the agent, along with San Francisco cop Tim Casey, who arrested the fugitive heiress Hearst and Wendy Yoshimura  of the Symbionese Liberation Army in a hideout in San Francisco’s mission district, the Chronicle reported.

“Tom was a larger-than-life lawman who was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word,” San Francisco Police Inspector David Ambrose told the Chronicle.

“He was a legend. … He met every perception of what an FBI agent should be,” Rick Smith, who worked with Mr. Padden at the FBI for many years told the Chronicle.

A World War II veteran, he joined the FBI in 1950 and reluctantly retired in 1980 after reaching mandatory retirement age, which is 57, the Chronicle reported.

Not ready to just sit around, he became an investigator for a bank and then went to work for the district attorney’s office for 20 years before retiring at age 80, the paper reported.

President Obama Nominates U.S. Attys for Calif., Ill. and Tenn.

Melinda Haag/law firm photo

Melinda Haag/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — More than a year into his presidency, President Obama continues to slowly inch toward finishing his U.S. Attorney appointments.

On Thursday, President Obama nominated Melinda L. Haag, a former federal prosecutor,  for U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Calif.; Jerry E. Martin, a private attorney, for the Middle District of Tennessee and assistant U.S. Attorney James Lewis for the Central District of Illinois.

Haag has been a partner at Orrick, Herrington &Sutcliffe since 2003. Martin has been a partner at Barrett Johnston &Parsley since 2007 and Lewis has worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Illinois since 1983.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Republican Congressman Eric Cantor Says Shots Fired Into Office

Mexican Gang May Target U.S. Border Agents

Border fence along Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo
Border fence along Ciudad Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The battle with the Mexican cartels only seems to be heating up.

USA Today reports that a Mexican gang with ties in the U.S. —  which is suspected of having a hand in murders of three people tied to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez —  may retaliate and go after U.S. officers.

The gang, Barrio Azteca,  is known as an enforcement arm of the powerful Juarez Cartel, and was the subject of a number of raids last week by U.S. federal, state and local officers and agents in Texas and New Mexico who were looking for clues in the consulate murders.

The newspaper reported that a bulletin from the El Paso Intelligence Center urged law enforcement officials along border to wear bullet proof vests and alert family members of the threat.

The paper attributed the information to Kevin O’Keefe, intelligence division chief for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The intelligence center is made up of federal, state and local agencies.

The paper said El Paso FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons did not know the exact source of the threat.

“It’s certainly good to remind agents that this could be something to watch for,” Simmons said, according to USA Today.

To read more click here.

NY-NJ FBI Launch New Website for Bank Robbers

(Left to right) FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Michael Harpster, Newark Division; ASAC Belle Chen, New York Division; ETS Chief Operating Officer Steve Childress; and ETS North Central Regional Managing Director Rick Battelle Photo Credit: Matthew Coleman, FBI
Press conference announcing site: (Left to right) FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Michael Harpster, Newark Division; ASAC Belle Chen, New York Division; ETS Chief Operating Officer Steve Childress; and ETS North Central Regional Managing Director Rick Battelle Photo Credit: Matthew Coleman, FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Law enforcement continues to take advantage of the Internet to try and solve crimes.

The latest is a new FBI website, BanditTracker NorthEast, that features photos and descriptions of bank robbers in 13 counties in New York and 18 counties in New Jersey.

“This website has proven to be a very effective tool for other FBI offices in identifying and catching bank robbers, and we expect it to be a great asset for New York,” head of the N.Y. FBI Joseph Demarest Jr. said in a statement issued Wednesday. “The site will provide 24-hour access for the public, bank employees and the news media. And it will provide confidential information to law enforcement around the clock.”

The FBI has launched similar sites in Arkansas, Chicago, Georgia, Indiana, Texas and St. Louis.

FBI Agents Find Secret Recordings in Chicago Mobster’s Suburban Home

Frank Calabrese Sr.

Frank Calabrese Sr.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI apparently wasn’t the only one recording mob conversations.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that FBI agents this week raided the suburban home of imprisoned legendary Chicago mob hitman Frank Calabrese Sr. and found 10 to 15 secret recordings he had made between himself and other gangsters.

The paper reported that agents unearthed the tapes from a secret compartment behind a family portrait in the Calabrese family basement in Oak Brook, an upscale Chicago suburb. Calabrese, who is serving a life sentence for mob activities, has been in prison since the late 1990s on various offenses.

The paper reported that agents also found more than $1 million in cash and jewelry “including stacks of $1,000 bills not printed since the 1940s, and seven loaded handguns that were free of prints and wrapped in towels or clothes, according to court documents released Wednesday.”

The paper reported that one tape appears to be of Ronald Jarrett, a burglar and mob killer and Calabrese Sr.’s closest friend. Jarrett was shot to death in 1999 in what remains an unsolved murder.

The Sun-Times reported that  Calabrese Sr.’s attorney, Joseph “The Shark” Lopez, downplayed the significance of the tapes.

“For all we know, it’s Frank Sinatra singing,” Lopez said, according to the paper.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Probe Into Destroyed CIA Tapes Winding Down (Washington Post)
Rep. Markey Asks for Police Patrols for Colo. Home (AP)
Expert Says Scouts Put Boys at Risk of Sexual Abuse (AP)
CIA Brought Birthday Cake for Suicide Bomber Who Killed 7 in Afghanistan (AP)
FBI Making Virtual Reality Prison Out of Bagram Prison (Politico)

Who Would Be Dumb Enough to Fall For Nigerian Advance Fee Scheme? Ask Ugochukwu Enwerem

dumbBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You really have to ask yourself: Who would be stupid enough to fall for the Nigerian advance-fraud schemes that collect fees from victims with the promise that they’ll get millions of dollars?

Or maybe you could just ask Nigerian National Ugochukwu Enwerem who was convicted Tuesday in a North Carolina federal court of being part of a scheme authorities say fleeced victims in the U.S. and other nations of more than  $9.5 million from 2002 to 2007, according to the Justice Department.

After six days of trial and four hours of deliberation, Enwerem was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and 14 counts of wire fraud, the Justice Department said. He was also ordered to forfeit more than $9.5 million.

Read more »