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Federal Authorities Crack Down At LAX Airport

   Immigrant smuggling has prompted federal authorities to take a second look at security at LAX airport in Los Angeles.

By Dan Weikel
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — Airport officials and federal authorities said Thursday that they have tightened security at Los Angeles International Airport because of the recent arrest of an elevator mechanic suspected of smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States.
Officials for LAX and U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the measures included security adjustments at the federal inspection area inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
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Arrests Made In Connection With Slain DEA Agent

Agent Byrne/DEA photo

Agent Byrne/DEA photo

A Houston DEA agent in New Orleans was robbed and murdered while attending a conference on organized crime drug enforcement. Two people are now behind bars in connection with his death last Saturday.

By Peggy O’Hare
Houston Chronicle
Authorities have arrested two people linked to credit cards stolen from a Woodlands federal agent who died after he was severely beaten during an apparent robbery in New Orleans last week.
Thomas Joseph Byrne, 40, of The Woodlands (Tex.), who worked as a supervisory special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Houston office, died Saturday in a New Orleans hospital from injuries he suffered in an assault and robbery Aug. 28, officials said.
For Full Story
Read obituary/Washington Post

Detroit Mayor’s Woes May Not Be Over

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has stepped down as mayor and will go off to jail for four months. But reports suggest the FBI still may have some interest in his activities and his legal problems may not be over.

By Paul Egan
Detroit News
DETROIT – The plea deal announced Thursday to settle perjury and other felony charges against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick does not automatically resolve all of the mayor’s legal woes.
A federal investigation of alleged Detroit City Hall corruption in which Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard N. Kilpatrick, and certain close associates of the mayor are under scrutiny remains a wild card and a likely worry for the mayor, despite the plea deal with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy that includes Kilpatrick’s resignation.
For Full Story
Related  stories: 
Kilpatrick Pleads Guilty and Resigns (Detroit Free Press)
How The Plea Deal Was Worked Out

Lobbyist Bad Boy Gets Four Years in Prison

WASHINGTONJack Abramoff, the onetime flamboyant lobbyist who amassed a fortune by showering gifts on Congressional and executive branch officials while bilking Indian tribes of millions of dollars, was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.
Judge Ellen S. Huvelle of Federal District Court here ordered that Mr. Abramoff serve the time for corruption and tax offenses uncovered by an influence-peddling investigation that touched Republican leaders in Congress and midlevel officials in the Bush administration, among others. Judge Huvelle said Mr. Abramoff had engaged in “a consistent course of corrupt conduct.”
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Feds Shed Light on Bizzare Bank Heist

Brian Wells/FBI photo

Brian Wells/FBI photo

A pizza delivery guy who said he was forced into robbing a bank wasn’t delivering the truth, feds say.

By Sean D. Hamill
New York Times
ERIE, Pa. – In one of the most bizarre crimes in recent memory, a pizza deliveryman walked into a bank near here five years ago and gave a teller a note saying a bomb strapped to his neck and torso would detonate if he was not given money.
The man, Brian D. Wells, walked out with $8,702, got in his car and was stopped almost immediately by state police troopers. Minutes later, the bomb exploded, killing Mr. Wells.
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FBI Ups The Ante $1 million For Mobster

The Boston FBI continues to hunt mobster James “Whitey” Bulger. Will adding to the reward help?

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
 
     The reward for the capture of Boston’s most notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger has doubled.  The FBI is now offering $2 million.
     Along with the reward, the FBI said Wednesday that it’s distributing two new  age-enhanced photos of the elusive Bulger to its 56 field divisions and 60 legal attaches around the country.
      “The Bulger Fugitive Task Force continues to conduct a comprehensive worldwide fugitive investigation to apprehend James “Whitey” Bulger,” said U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan in Boston in a prepared statement. “The $2 million reward is yet another way to increase awareness and visibility of Bulger’s photo and to encourage anyone who might have information to come forward.”
       According to the FBI, Bulger has been involved in a life of crime since leaving the U.S. Air Force in 1952.
      Bulger was a crime boss in South Boston and ran a criminal organization for 30 year that was involved in gambling, loan sharking and drugs. In 2000, he was charged with playing a role in 19 murders during the 1970s and 1980s in connection with organized crime leadership, the FBI said.

IG Referred Gonzales For Possible Prosecution

     Taking homework home can be dangerous business. Just ask former Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales.

Alberto Gonzales/CNN
Alberto Gonzales/CNN
By Eric Lichtblau
New York Times
WASHINGTON — Former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales mishandled highly classified information relating to the National Security Agency’s wiretapping program and the administration’s prisoner interrogation program, an internal report concluded Tuesday.
The Justice Department inspector general, who investigated Mr. Gonzales’s handling of the documents, said he kept classified material at his home and in an office safe in violation of security procedures. The inspector general referred the matter to the national security division of the Justice Department for possible criminal action, but officials there declined to prosecute Mr. Gonzales.
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U.S. Spending Billions, But Coca Crop Grows

The U.S. continues to spend billions of dollars to fight the war on drugs overseas. Unfortunately, across the Andean region, the size of the coca crop keeps increasing.

By Juan Forero and Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Foreign Service
COROICO, Bolivia — Benito Cocarico admits that some of the coca leaves he grows to sell as tea and a traditional pick-me-up are channeled off into the broad stream of the global cocaine trade. But as he trudges on the muddy trails of his farm, located in a region where the raw material for the drug grows on narrow terraces, he explains how central the crop is to his family’s well-being.
“The prices of oranges, mandarins, coffee and other products are too low, and they do not give you enough to survive,” said Cocarico, 50, adding that he plans to double the size of his coca crop. “So we are obligated to plant coca.”
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