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Pitts. U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan Can’t Avoid Controversy

Bush Holdover U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

Bush Holdover U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan of Pittsburgh, a Bush appointee who is expected to be replaced by an Obama appointee, can’t seem to avoid controversy. And this time, it may not be her fault.

In the latest incident, the Associated Press reports that the Pittsburgh federal defenders office is alleging that the Allegheny County Jail recorded telephone calls between defense attorneys and their clients and turned over some conversations to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Jail policy allows for the recording of all outgoing calls except to inmates’ lawyers.

The Associated Press quoted Federal Public Defender Lisa Freeland as being “incensed” and the office has scheduled a meeting with the county’s solicitor’s office.

The news agency said the jail claimed revamping of the phone system may have resulted in the jail inadvertently recording conversations. AP reported that Buchanan said her office never requested any of those conversations, and it didn’t listen to any that it may have gotten.

Buchanan triggered an internal Justice Department probe earlier this year when she publicly stated that a county medical examiner was guilty of crimes even after charges were dropped.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Crime History:The Fall of “Pretty Boy” Floyd

Pretty Boy Floyd/fbi photo

Pretty Boy Floyd/fbi photo

From the FBI Website
Two cars traveled down a country road towards the Conkle farm, two miles south of a small town named Clarkson on the eastern edge of Ohio. It was 4:10 on the afternoon of October 22, 1934, and history was about to unfold.

In one car were four Bureau agents, led by Chicago Special Agent in Charge Melvin Purvis. In the other were four local law enforcement officers, headed by East Liverpool Chief of Police Hugh McDermott.

The group was searching for Charles Arthur Floyd-known far and wide as “Pretty Boy,” a nickname he hated and refused to answer to, preferring “Choc”-and they quickly realized they’d found him. Wearing a navy blue suit, Floyd jumped from a car he was riding in and bolted across a rolling field, pistol in hand.

Within minutes, Floyd would breathe his last.

Read more »

More Than 1,0000 FBI Agents and LAPD Cops Go After Dozens of Violent South LA Gang Members

south-la-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More than 1,000 FBI and LA police officers executed dozens of arrest and search warrants Thursday in a move to take down a violent South LA gang known as “Rollin’ 40s Neighborhood Crips”, authorities said.

Some gang members were hauled in in pajamas, according to the LA Times.

In all, 74 members were charged with crimes in state or federal court. More specifically, the feds indicted 29 gang members for crimes that included drug trafficking, conspiracy and firarms violation. Forty five suspected members face state charges.

Authorities said the gang operates primarily in a three-square mile area of South LA and has been known to be involved in crimes including murder, narcotics and robberies.

The FBI and police began operations around 5 a.m., and by 9:15 a.m., 46 people were arrested, the LA Times reported.

Read the Press Release

Multi-Agency Crackdown on Mexican Cartels Leads to About 1,200 Arrests

These are good signs that the U.S. is pushing back against the cartels. But this certainly doesn’t mean the problem’s solved. There’s a lot more folks that need to be rounded up.

Drugs Seized in Operation/dea photo

Drugs Seized in Operation/dea photo

By Josh Meyer
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — In a series of recent raids throughout the United States, federal authorities have arrested nearly 1,200 people who they say are connected to one of Mexico’s most aggressively expanding and deadly drug trafficking cartels, known as La Familia Michoacana, law enforcement officials told The Times’ Washington bureau.

At least 300 of the arrests occurred today and Wednesday in California, Texas, Georgia and numerous other U.S. locations where the crime syndicate has set up bases to engage in drug trafficking, extortion and other crimes, authorities said.

The crackdown, dubbed “Project Coronado,” was described by one knowledgeable source as the largest single strike in the United States against the Mexican cartels, based on a multi-agency investigation that lasted nearly 3 1/2 years. The source said authorities seized huge amounts of drug, money and evidence that can be used to go after more senior members of La Familia.

For Full Story

Baltimore Fed Lawsuit and Fed Bust Point to Some Grave Concerns About State Prison Guards’ Ties to Gangs

A federal lawsuit and a bust by the feds are shining some light on the links between prison guards and gangs in Maryland. It’s very unsettling.  Baltimore City Paper investigative reporter Van Smith takes an in depth look at the situation.

jail

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper
BALTIMORE — In 2008, 31-year-old prison inmate Tashma McFadden filed suit against 23-year-old correctional officer Antonia Allison.

On Oct. 9, that suit survived Allison’s attempt to have it dismissed. McFadden, who is seeking $800,000 in damages, claims Allison is a member of the Bloods gang and arranged for his stabbing and beating while in pre-trial detention in 2006 at the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC).

Court documents in the case reveal that since at least 2006, prison authorities have been aware that correctional officers in Baltimore’s prison facilities were suspected of being gang members or having gang ties.

The issue first emerged publicly in April, when 24 alleged members of the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) prison gang, including three correctional officers, were indicted in federal court (“Black-Booked,” Feature, Aug. 5 ). U.S. District Court Judge William Quarles is presiding over both the BGF criminal case and McFadden’s civil case.

For Full Story

Minn. Female Assist. Police Chief Could Become First Openly Gay U.S. Marshal

Sharon Lubinski has been looked upon as a pioneer in law enforcement, a field filled with people that have not always been receptive to alternative life styles.

marshals

By PATRICK CONDON
Associated Press Writer
MINNEAPOLIS — As a little-known Minneapolis police sergeant, Sharon Lubinski made headlines when she declared she was a lesbian on the front pages of the city’s largest newspaper – a bold move that other gay officers say inspired them to come out, too.

More than a decade later, Lubinski could become the first openly gay U.S. marshal after President Barack Obama nominated the 57-year-old assistant police chief to one of the country’s top law enforcement jobs last week.

Though some gay rights activists have criticized the nomination as nothing more than a symbolic gesture from a president they say has lagged behind on key gay issues, others note the move is a step in the right direction toward ending a culture of discrimination.

For Full Story

International Crime Boss Added to FBI Top Ten Most Wanted List

semion-mogilvich

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Semion Mogilevich, an international crime boss and Ukrainian businessman suspected of contract murder, weapons and drug trafficking, high-end corporate fraud and extortion, joins Osama bin Laden on the elite FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List.

The FBI said Mogilevich is suspected of being involved in a multi-million dollar scheme to “defraud investors in the stock of YBM Magnex International, a company he controlled-which had its world headquarters just outside Philadelphia-that was supposed to manufacture magnets but instead bilked investors out of $150 million.”

“The FBI doesn’t have the jurisdiction to charge him with other crimes taking place solely in other countries,” FBI Special Agent Peter Kowenhoven said in a statement, “but open-source reporting shows him to be involved in weapons trafficking, contract murders, extortion, drug trafficking, and prostitution on an international scale.”

“Victims don’t mean anything to him,” he said. “And what makes him so dangerous is that he operates without borders. Here’s a guy who managed to defraud investors out of $150 million without ever stepping foot in the Philadelphia area.”

Mogilevich is one of three new people who were added this week to the Top Ten Most Wanted List to fill vacancies, the result of some captured fugitives.

Boston FBI Calls Terror Suspect Inept But Serious Plotter Whose Plans Included Attacks on Malls