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Ex-DEA Administrator Criticizes NYC Mayor’s Decision to Stop Arrests for Petty Pot Possession

Ex-DEA Administrator Peter Bensinger
For New York Daily News

The announcement by Mayor de Blasio that the NYPD would not be making arrests for small amounts of marijuana is in defiance of federal law and the laws of almost every country around the world.

Possession of small amounts of marijuana is still a violation of New York State law.

There is a misperception that our prisons and jails are full of offenders arrested for the possession or use of marijuana, when in fact, out of the 1,341,804 inmates in state prisons, less than one-third of 1% are there for the simple possession or use of marijuana.

Less than a handful of individuals in any big-city jail are there for the use or possession of marijuana.

New York City and the United States have to ask whether we enforce the laws we have or ask Congress or the state Legislature to make changes and penalties.

To read more click here.

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Memos: Churchill Urged U.S. to Drop Nuclear Bomb on Soviet Union in 1947

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Britain’s Winston Churchill urged the U.S. to drop a nuclear bomb on the Soviet Union in 1947, fearing the Kremlin would spread Communism and eventually have atomic weapons, according to FBI archives.

International Business Times reports that the revelation is in a new book, “When Lions Road: The Churchills and The Kennedys,” which is to be published next month.

The memo indicates that Churchilll met with Republican Sen. Styles Bridges in 1947 and urged him to talk to President Harry Truman about launching a nuclear attack.

The Soviet Union didn’t yet have nuclear capabilities and would have been unable to defend itself.

Churchill feared that the Kremlin would wipe out civilization when it created nuclear weapons.

Times-Tribune Editorial: FBI’s Impersonation of Media Erodes Confidence in Press

By The Times-Tribune
Editorial Board

Democracy works only with an independent press that is not controlled by the government. The nation’s Founding Fathers knew that. That’s why, right there in the First Amendment, it says that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, of the press.”

It doesn’t include a specific prohibition against government agencies impersonating reporters. Perhaps the founders believed that their successors would have the good sense not to jeopardize the independence of the press.

Recently, however, the FBI has decided to impersonate the press, thus diminishing the press’ separation from the government.

It created a false newspaper website in Washington state to plant software on a suspect’s computer. And one of its agents impersonated an Associated Press reporter in an effort to trick a suspect into verifying facts of an alleged crime.

“This latest revelation of how the FBI misappropriated the trusted name of the Associated Press doubles our concern and outrage, expressed earlier to Attorney General Eric Holder, about how the agency’s unacceptable tactics undermine AP and the vital distinction between the government and the press,” said Kathleen Carroll, AP executive editor.

Indeed, Mr. Holder should prohibit the impersonation of reporters to help maintain the media’s independence.

To read more click here.

Border Patrol Agent Arrested on Charges of Fatally Shooting Man in Southern California

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been arrested and suspended after being accused of fatally shooting a 27-year-old Moreno Valley man in the southern California town of East Hemet, the Press Enterprise reports.

Authorities arrested John Demery, 40, who is assigned to the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector Newton-Azrak Station in Murrieta.

Police arrested Demery after he allegedly confronted a man at a his residence and then shot him several times following an argument.

Bond was set for $1 million, and Demery was lodged in the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

Off-Duty Secret Service Shoots Alleged Thief Outside of Wal-Mart After Ignoring Commands

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Secret Service officer shot a man outside a Wal-Mart after he allegedly stole from the big-box store in Woodbridge, Va., the Associated Press reports.

Authorities said the 21-year-old man who was shot Thursday had broken jewelry cases using a hammer at a Wal-Mart.

The man who was shot, Mohamed Sankoh of Fayetteville, NC, survived.

Authorities said the Secret Service officer followed Sankoh to the parking lot and shot him after he ignored commands.

No more details were immediately clear.

Other Stories of Interest


Border Patrol Agents Forced to Share Rifles After Problems Found with M4 Carbines

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some U.S. Border Patrol agents are being forced to share their rifles while on patrol near Tucson because the agency is inspecting the quality of the M4 carbines, KVOA reports.

“There’s a lot of agents that are pretty upset over it,” said Art del Cueto, president of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector union. “We know it’s a dangerous job. We know what we signed on for but we want to have as much of the equipment as we need to perform the job.”

M4 carbines are used by Border Patrol agents and the U.S. military and have been common for the agency’s tactical unit, BORTAC.

Without their own weapons, some agents can’t personalize the settings on their rifles.

“The problem is they are now pool guns so what happens is instead of having their individual ones they have sighted in they’re having to use a pool weapon that you don’t know who used it before you,” del Cueto said.

Customs and Border Protection released a statement to the News 4 Tucson Investigators last week, stating: “CBP’s Offices of Border Patrol and Training and Development are jointly inspecting the serviceability of M4 carbines throughout Border Patrol Sectors nationwide. Some of (the) inspected M4 carbines were deemed unserviceable and removed from inventory to alleviate safety concerns. Inspections will continue to ensure the unserviceable M4 carbines are repaired or replaced for reintroduction into the field. No further information is available at this time.”

Joe Colombo Jr., Whose Controversial Arrest In 1970 Triggered Noisy Protests Against The FBI, Dead At 67

This article is published with permission of Gang Land News, which is a paid-subscription website.

Gang Land News photo

 
By Jerry Capeci
Gang Land News

Joseph Colombo Jr., whose arrest back on April 30, 1970 spurred his Mafia boss father to dramatically turn the tables on the FBI, picketing the agency’s East Side offices and staging huge civil rights rallies, died last week after a long battle with Neurological Lyme Disease. He was 67.

The charges against Colombo Jr. were always controversial: In a novel case, he was charged with conspiring to melt down $200,000 of silver U.S. coins and convert them into more valuable silver ingots. His dad, the Bensonhurst-based boss of one of the city’s five crime families, termed it harassment aimed at him.

And a jury agreed. Less than a year later, on February 26, 1971, after just four hours of deliberations, a panel of jurors in Brooklyn Federal Court acquitted the defendant, prompting tears of joy to flow down the cheeks of the elder Colombo — a daily spectator at his son’s eight day trial.

“My son was innocent,” the usually hot tempered Mafia boss said as he wiped the tears away, the New York Times reported. “I feel that we fought all the way.”

“The only good that came out of all this is the birth of the Italian American Civil Rights League,” the outspoken Mafia boss told The Daily News.

The hard-fought verdict came after a mistrial, and  months of noisy demonstrations outside FBI headquarters and a boisterous Italian American Civil Rights League rally of an estimated 50,000 people which included many elected officials at Columbus Circle. The rally, coupled with Colombo’s claims of discrimination by the FBI against Italian-Americans propelled Colombo to the cover of Time Magazine and a guest spot on the Dick Cavett show.

The huge and popular rallies initially succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations: The U.S. Department of Justice agreed to stop using the words “Mafia” and “La Cosa Nostra” in its organized crime cases.

An even bigger coup was achieved when Colombo Sr. prevailed upon producer Al Ruddy to also delete the word “Mafia” from The Godfather.

But the era of good feeling was short-lived. Four months later, at the second Civil Rights League rally, Colombo was shot by a lone gunman and mortally wounded, remaining in a coma until he finally succumbed to his wounds seven years later.

Like his three brothers, Colombo Jr. was never inducted into the crime family that still bears his father’s name. In 1985, though, he was indicted along with brothers Vincent and Anthony on racketeering charges of bookmaking and bribery. He pleaded guilty, was sentenced to five years,

and was never implicated in any wrongdoing following his release from prison in 1990.

“He was sick a long time, at least he’s not suffering any longer,” said his brother Christopher, sadly. “He was unique person, very charismatic — like my father.

Everybody loved him. He was a great father, a fantastic grand-father. He had a way of touching people, and everyone he touched loved him. He will be missed by the entire family, and everyone who knew him.”

In addition to his brother Chris, he is survived by Diane, his wife of 45 years, daughters Dina and Denise, and his son Joseph III; his brothers Anthony and Vincent; his sister Catherine; five grandchildren, John, Jenna, Joey, Laini, and Emily, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Following a one day viewing at the Brooks Funeral  Home in Newburgh, and a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Church in Newburgh, Colombo was laid to rest Tuesday at Calvary Cemetery in New Windsor.

Meanwhile, back in Joe Colombo’s old haunts in Brooklyn, Michael Persico, the son of the crime family’s current boss is now scheduled to be sentenced next year. Last week, Federal Judge Sandra Townes rejected his motion to take back his guilty plea. He faces a maximum of five years behind bars, but his plea agreement recommends a sentence between 37 and 46 months.

Eric Holder Applauds The Nomination of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Obama has nominated Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, 55, to replace Eric Holder as attorney general. She would be the first black woman to head up the department.

Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement Saturday:

 “Loretta Lynch is an extraordinarily talented attorney, a dedicated public servant, and a leader of considerable experience and consummate skill. I am certain that she will be an outstanding Attorney General, and I am delighted to join President Obama in congratulating her on this prestigious appointment.

“Throughout her career, and especially during her tenure as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York – during both the Clinton and Obama Administrations – Loretta has earned the trust and respect of Justice Department employees at every level, in Washington and throughout the country. She is held in high regard by criminal justice, law enforcement, and civil rights leaders of all stripes. And from her time as a career attorney, prosecuting high-profile public corruption cases, to her leadership of sensitive financial fraud and national security investigations, she has proven her unwavering fidelity to the law – and her steadfast dedication to protecting the American people.”