Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2022
S M T W T F S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



News Story

Weekend Series on Crime: A Chinese Spy Spills Secret

DEA Makes Major Bust As Part of 8-Week Crackdown on Fentanyl-Laced Pills

Pills laced with fentanyl. Photo: DEA

By Steve Neavling

The DEA arrested 810 people and seized more than 1.8 million counterfeit pills containing fentanyl as part of an eight-week crackdown on fake, dangerous prescription drugs. 

“During the past eight weeks, DEA has targeted the criminal drug networks flooding the U.S. with deadly, fentanyl-laced fake pills,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement. “DEA remains steadfast in its commitment reduce drug-related violence and overdose deaths by dismantling the violent, criminal drug distribution networks across the United States. The fentanyl-laced fake pills seized by DEA could potentially kill more than 700,000 Americans. I urge the American public today to talk to their loved ones about the threats and dangers of fake pills and the simple fact that one pill can kill.”

On Tuesday, the DEA issued a rare warning about mass-produced, fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills that have been linked to fatalities. 

According to the alert, more than 9.5 million counterfeit pills have been seized so far this year, which is more than the last two years combined. 

Lab testing found that the pills contain at least two milligrams of fentanyl, which is considered a lethal dose. 

Criminal drug networks from Mexico are manufacturing the pills, which look like real prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydocodone, alprazolam, and amphetamines such as Adderall, and are distributing the drugs through U.S. networks.

“Opioids were responsible for nearly three quarters of the more than 93,000 fatal drug overdoses in the United States in 2020,” Deputy Attorney General Monaco said. “The pervasiveness of these illicit drugs, and the fatal overdoses that too often result, is a problem that cuts across America from small towns to big cities and everything in between. One pill can kill. The department will continue to use all of the resources at its disposal to save lives, complementing strong enforcement efforts with public awareness and outreach campaigns, as well.”

Alleged Murderer Who Had Been on FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List Has Died of COVID-19

By Steve Neavling

An accused Las Vegas murderer and gang member who was previously on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list has died from a COVID-19 infection. 

Jesus Munguia, 44, was arrested in February 2018 for the brutal murder of his wife, Sherryl Sacueza, whose body was found in the driveway of her home in July 2008.

Munguia was on the run for nine years when he was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list in November 2017. 

Munguia was tracked down and arrested in Mexico. 

After numerous delays, Munguia’s trial was scheduled for Nov. 15, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Before his arrest, Special Agent Andrew Attridge called Sacueza’s murder a “vicious killing” and warned that Munguia was dangerous. 

“We know he is a violent individual, and he also appears to be smart in terms of evading capture,” Attridge said at the time. 

Kansas City Man Who Assaulted ATF Agent Was Sentenced to 15 in Prison

By Steve Neavling

A Kansas City man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for assaulting an ATF agent during an undercover operation in February. 

Nicholas Newman pleaded guilty in May 2021 to one count of forcible assault on a federal officer using a dangerous weapon and one count of using, carrying, possessing and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a violence crime. 

In February, Newman met two undercover ATF agents to sell them a gun in a parking lot in Kansas City. Newman handed the gun to one of the agent’s in the driver’s seat, which she placed on the floorboard. After the agent gave Newman the cash, he tried to grab the gun, and a “violent snuggled ensued,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

“Newman physically assaulted her inflicting severe bodily harm,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. “The second agent, who had been in the rear passenger seat, came around and attempted to subdue Newman from behind. A short time later, ATF surveillance units arrived and instructed Newman to let go of the weapon which he did. He was subsequently taken into custody.”

“Every day our ATF agents work to make our communities safer by trying to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals,” Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard said. “In doing so, they often put themselves in harm’s way. Thanks to the bravery and quick action of these agents no lives were lost in an incident which could have resulted in tragedy.”

FBI Agent’s Stolen SUV Was Found, But Handgun Is Missing

First, the good news: An FBI agent’s stolen SUV was found in Pittsburgh. 

Now the bad news: The agent’s handgun is missing. 

The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for help recovering the stolen Glock 19M 9mm, which was inside the agent’s unmarked black Ford Explorer when the government-issued vehicle was stolen Tuesday afternoon.

The SUV was parked in Schenley Park when it was stolen. 

“The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force, in partnership with Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, are devoting significant resources to locate the weapon, a Glock 19M 9mm, and remove it from the possession of the untrained individual(s) who may have it,” the bureau said in a news release. “All area law enforcement agencies were quickly notified of the theft and are assisting the FBI as warranted.”

Anyone with information on the gun’s whereabouts is asked to call the FBI’s Pittsburgh office at (412) 432-4000.

Chipman, Biden’s Failed ATF Nominee, Says White House Abandoned Him

Former ATF Agent David Chipman, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

President Biden’s pick to lead the ATF, David Chipman, said the White House abandoned him as his nomination floundered in the Senate. 

In his first interview since Biden withdrew the nomination, Chipman told The New York Times that he had no contact with the White House, leaving him feeling like he was on “an island.”

Chipman, 55, said the Biden administration’s sole focus was on convincing Sen. Joe Manchin III, a centrist Democrat from West Virginia, to support his nomination. In the end, Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, refused to become the final vote needed for confirmation. 

“Either this was impossible to win, or the strategy failed,” Chipman said. “This was a failure.”

Chipman, a gun owner and former ATF agent, came under fire for his support of firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons. He’s also a former adviser at the Giffords, a gun control group. 

The National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation put up an aggressive fight to stop Chipman’s nomination and spent more than $4 million in radio and TV ads in the home states of moderate Democrats and King.

Chipman’s nomination advanced from the Senate Judiciary Committee after a 10-10 vote in June. But since then, Democrats had not scheduled a confirmation vote because they weren’t sure if Chipman had enough support. 

Chipman said he was surprised the White House didn’t speak with him during the process. 

“In the back of my mind, I always thought that there would be a Plan B, but so far there hasn’t been,” Chipman said. 

In early September, Chipman finally heard from the White House. Presidential adviser Steve Ricchetti called Chipman to express regret that the nomination didn’t have enough support. 

DEA Issues First Public Safety Alert in Six Years As Counterfeit Pills Flood the Market

By Steve Neavling

The DEA on Tuesday issued a rare warning about mass-produced counterfeit pills containing lethal doses of fentanyl that have been linked to fatalities. 

The public safety alert was the agency’s first in six years. 

According to the alert, more than 9.5 million counterfeit pills have been seized so far this year, which is more than the last two years combined. 

Lab testing found that the pills contain at least two milligrams of fentanyl, which is considered a lethal dose. 

Criminal drug networks are manufacturing the pills, which look like real prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydocodone, alprazolam, and amphetamines such as Adderall. 

“Across our five state Division, we’ve seen a staggering influx in counterfeit pills,” DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King said in a news release. “This is not an East Coast or West Coast problem, but one that the entire nation is facing. We’re seeing these pills in our own Midwestern communities. By raising awareness to this alarming trend, we’re hopeful that we can save families the heartache of losing a loved one. Every life is precious and we want to prevent as many people as possible from making a choice that has permanent repercussions.”

Most of the counterfeit pills are produced in Mexico and brought to the U.S. 

More than 93,000 people died of a drug overdose in the U.S. last year, and the “primary driver of this alarming increase” is fentanyl, the DEA said. 

John Hinkley Jr., Who Shot Reagan, Wins Unconditional Release

John Hinckley Jr

By Steve Neavling

John Hinckley Jr., who wounded President Reagan and three others in an assassination attempt in 1981, was granted “unconditional release” Monday. 

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman agreed to lift the remaining restrictions on Hinckley, who is now 66 and has been living outside a mental health facility, as long as he remains mentally stable and continues to follow the conditions of his previous release, The Associated Press reports.

The unconditional release would begin in June 2022. 

“If he hadn’t tried to kill the president, he would have been unconditionally released a long, long, long time ago,” Friedman said. “But everybody is comfortable now after all of the studies, all of the analysis and all of the interviews, and all of the experience with Mr. Hinckley.”

Hinckley was 25 when he shot Regean outside a Washington hotel. Also wounded here White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington Metropolitan Police officer Thomas Delahanty. Brady was paralyzed and died in 2014.