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News Story

Reputed Hitman For Bonanno Crime Family Convicted

BROOKLYN – A reputed hit man for the Bonanno Crime Family was convicted Monday in the 2005 killing and dismembering of a man at a historic mansion on Staten Island, the Justice Department said.
Joseph Young was found in Brooklyn U.S. District Court of murdering Robert McKelvey, authorities said.

Mother’s Tip Lead Authorities To Obama Assassination Plot

The Haywood County Sheriff probably didn’t expect to be thrust into a national story about a presidential candidate. But here it is.

Suspect Daniel Cowart-lower left/southern poverty law center
Suspect Daniel Cowart-lower left/southern poverty law center

By Bartholomew Sullivan
Memphis Commercial Appeal

It all began with a mother’s call to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Department in Brownsville, Tenn., last Wednesday night.
The unidentified woman told authorities her daughter had just acted as the driver for a planned burglary across the county line in Crockett County that was abandoned when two neo-Nazi skinheads chickened out at the sight of dogs, Haywood County Sheriff Melvin Bond said this morning.
The getaway-driver daughter is the girlfriend of Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn. Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Ark., are in custody charged with possession of a sawed-off shotgun, conspiracy to rob a federal firearms licensee, and making threats against a major candidate for president.
“This particular young lady is in fear of her life now, bless her heart,” said Bond.
For Full Story

Read Affidavit

Mass. State Senator Busted In FBI Bribery Sting

As the FBI has learned by now, there always some politician somewhere waiting to cash in.

State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson/official photo

State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson/official photo

By Jessica Fargen and Mike Underwood
The Boston Herald
BOSTON — State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson was arrested this morning following an 18-month, “painstaking” undercover investigation, during which she was allegedly caught on tape stuffing a cash bribe into her bra and taking payoffs to push through a Roxbury nightclub liquor license, according to a complaint.
“Dianne Wilkerson accepted these cash payments in exchange for her official duties and responsibilities,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan during a morning news conference at the federal courthouse.
Wilkerson will be charged this afternoon in federal court with attempted extortion and theft of honest services as a state senator, stemming from a money-for-legislation sting operation, officials said.
A federal criminal complaint alleges that Wilkerson was busted for accepting eight brides, totaling $23,500, in exchange for her influence on Beacon Hill.
For Full Story

Read Complaint

Look At Exhibits

Cartel Infiltrates Mexico’s Top Law Enforcement Unit and May Have Bought U.S. Intelligence

It’s one of the worst fears of the Mexican and U.S. governments. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time and likely won’t be the last.

By Tracy Wilkinson
Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY — In a damning blow to its fight against drug traffickers, the Mexican government Monday acknowledged severe penetration of a top law enforcement agency by a vicious gang that may even have bought intelligence on U.S. operations from renegade employees.
At least 35 officials and agents from an elite unit within the federal attorney general’s office have been fired or arrested in an investigation that began July 31 following tips from an informer.
The officials, including a senior intelligence director, are believed to have been leaking sensitive information to the very traffickers they were investigating for as long as four years, prosecutors said.
In exchange, prosecutors said, the corrupt government officials received monthly payments of $150,000 to $450,000 each from the so-called Beltran Leyva cartel, a drug gang based in the Pacific state of Sinaloa that is engaged in a bloody fight with rivals for domination of the region’s lucrative trade.
For Full Story

Bikers Gave Undercover ATF Agents Polygraphs

atf photo

atf photo

And you thought your job was stressful!

By Thomas Watkins
Associated Press
WEST COVINA, Calif. – Weeks of drinking and carousing to win acceptance in a notorious motorcycle gang came down to a nerve-racking moment for three undercover federal agents: taking a polygraph examination in a room full of armed bikers.
Flunking could threaten what would become a three-year probe into the Mongols Motorcycle Club – not to mention the agents’ own safety.
Federal prosecutors say all three Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were prepared for the challenge and passed the tests, critical moments in the investigation that culminated last week in multistate raids and at least 64 arrests on charges including murder, drug trafficking and torture.
The Mongols had been infiltrated before, so gang leaders went to extraordinary lengths to test their “prospects,” including running background checks and having a private investigator administer the polygraph tests.
For Full Story

DEA Says Capture of Mexican Drug Lord “One Of The Most Signficant Arrests Ever”

Eduardo Arellano-Felix/dea photo
Eduardo Arellano-Felix/dea photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The weekend arrest in Mexico of drug kingpin Eduardo Arellano-Felix was  hailed Monday by the DEA as “one of the most significant arrests ever in the ongoing battle against global drug trafficking”.
Authorities said the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego first identified the kingpin’s hideout in the Otay Mesa area of Tijuana.
Then Mexican authorities arrived at the scene on Saturday, where they got into a gun battle with Arellano-Felix , the DEA said. After shots were exchanged, Arellano-Felix was captured.
His 12-year-old daughter was then evacuated from the scene.
The U.S. State Department had been offering a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Arellano-Felix, authorities said.
He took over the day-to-day operations of the cocaine-marijuana cartel after his brother was arrested in August 2006, authorities said.
“The arrest of Eduardo Arellano-Felix closes the book on this once powerful and brutally violent criminal band of brothers,” said acting DEA Adminitrator Michele M. Leonhart.

Texas Man Sentenced For Defrauding Export-Import Bank

SAN ANTONIO —  The owner of a San Antonio Trade Group was sentenced to 9 years and 9 months for scheming to defraud millions of dollars from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the U.S. Attorneys Office.

Andrew Maxwell Parker, 41, was also ordered to pay $10 million in restitution.

“Mr. Parker’s lavish lifestyle was financed through fraud and deceit with the American taxpayers picking up the bill,” said U.S. Atty. Johnny Sutton in a prepared statement. “The United States government  intends to nail these cheaters anywhere we find them.”

ATF Busts Men Who Allegedly Plotted To Kill Obama

After information surfaced, the question begged: How serious of a threat were these guys? Some say not much.

By Kenneth R. Bazinet and James Gordon Meek
New York Daily News
WASHINGTON – Two alleged skinheads were charged Monday in a far-fetched plot to launch a “killing spree” aimed at beheading black students and then shooting Barack Obama.
The racist teens demonstrated little supremacy in their nutty plan to “dress in white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt,” the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.
A federal official told the Daily News: “It was only aspirational.”
Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Ark., wanted to steal weapons from a gun store and shoot at the black Democratic presidential nominee from their car while driving toward Obama at high speed. They were to bankroll the plot by robbing a house, but got scared off by a dog, court papers said.
For Full Story

Read Criminal Complaint

Read Affidavit

Read ATF Press Release

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