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FBI Special Agent in New Jersey Becomes Popular Face Behind Corruption Cases

 

Mayor Tony Mack

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI Special Agent Michael Doyle is becoming somewhat of a celebrity in New Jersey.

The 17-year-veteran of tackling white collar crime and political corruption cases may best be known for bringing down the once-powerful Newark Mayor Sharpe James, who served 18 months in prison on corruption charges.

The Trentonian is reporting that Doyle also led the two-year investigation that prompted similar charges against Trenton Mayor Tony F. Mack.

Doyle is expected to take the stand for the third day today in the Mack case to explain how he nabbed the mayor.

 

Justice Department Investigates Whether Laws Broken During New Jersey Bridge Scandal

Christopher Christie

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal investigators are trying to determine whether any laws were broken during the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge between New York and New Jersey, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The Port Authority Office of Inspector General has referred the matter to us, and our office is reviewing the matter to determine whether a federal law was implicated,” Rebekah Carmichael, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney in New Jersey, said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s close aides are accused of engineering the traffic lane by closing lanes leading to the bridge, the Journal wrote.

Whether a crime was committed is another question.

“There’s federal funds in this thing, but does that mean there’s a federal crime? It’s hard to tell right now if there’s anything like that,” Stephen Ryan, a former federal prosecutor, said. “The real risk in a thing like this is a coverup or a lie to investigators.”

httpv://youtu.be/LLANg3im0jY

Robots to Help Border Patrol Capture Illegal Activity in Tunnel Systems Between Mexico, U.S.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Tunnel systems that run between the U.S. and Mexico border are used to transport drugs, people, weapons and other illegal material.

Now, Border Patrol agents are using robot technology to detect tunnels, the Associated Press reports.

Agents in Tucson, Ariz., plan to demonstrate the “tunnel robots” Tuesday.

According to CBP, tunnels are becoming increasingly popular for criminal organizations.

More than 75 tunnels have been found between the border since 2008, the AP wrote.

Local Police Department Nab Border Patrol Agent on Accusations of Child Molestation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A local police department in Texas credited tag readers for the arrest of a U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of child molestation, the Loganville Patch reports.

The alert from the license plate reader indicated the owner of the car had an outstanding warrant.  Under the system, a camera reads license plates of parked and moving cars — hundreds per minute — and checks them against vehicle databases.

“[The officer] initiated a traffic stop [and] was able to confirm out of Del Rio, Texas, that the person driving the vehicle was wanted for indecent acts with a child,” Assistant Police Chief Dick Lowry said.

The identify of the officer is unclear.

Investigator Assigned to DEA Runs for Sheriff in Alabama County, Says He’s Worried about Heroin

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 35-year-old  investigator assigned to the DEA office in Birmingham, Ala. announced he’s running for sheriff in the Alabama county of Cullman, where he also served as head of the Cullman Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Cullman Times reports.

Matt Gentry is running as a Republican to replace incumbent Mike Rainey in the June 3 primary.

“As sheriff, my office will be one that is held accountable —focusing from the top down,” Gentry said. “I will manage a more proactive and professional law enforcement agency, focusing on the needs of the citizens.”

Gentry said his law enforcement experience will help curtail the use of drugs and said he fears that heroin may soon replace meth as the drug of choice in Cullman County.

Since Jan. 2011, he’s worked for the Cullman County District Attorney’s Office as an investigator assigned to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Birmingham field office where he covers Cullman County, the paper reported. He’s temporarily resigned the position this month while he campaigns.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


History: Perpetuating A Myth — The 1934 Crime Bills & FBI Weaponry

 
By Larry Wack
Retired FBI Agent

Within the culture of law enforcement, the many myths and legends do not always take on the human form of dusty lawmen with the sun at their backs, blue suits or brazen detectives.

The FBI is no exception. Not being able to escape one myth with regard to early firearms, credit for it can be attributed to a variety of factors. Included are mistaken interpretations, some distortions and oversight of the evidence.

Since the “Roaring Twenties,”there have been numerous accounts about the crime wave of that era and the U. S. Government’s efforts to fight back against the increased violence. Continuing with the mounted “war on crime”

in the early 1930s, the general media has touched upon the May/June crime bills of 1934. Within those bills, Congress made a variety of crimes such as bank robbery, kidnappings (and more) violations of federal law. The law also expanded and made uniform the FBI’s authority in the areas of arrests and use of firearms. Leaving aside changes in arrest authority for purposes here, the enacted law (18 USC 3052) of 1934 said about firearms “…Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation may carry weapons…”

Historically, between the Bureau’s founding and 1934, Congress did not legislate the Bureau’s powers of arrest and use of weapons. The 1 root of any firearms use prior to 1934 would lie in the 2nd Amendment. Prior to enactment of 18 USC 3052, agents most certainly had the same power to make arrests and to carry firearms as any private citizen. Having to obtain permits and licenses for their firearms in accordance with state and local laws was not uncommon, especially in the area of local laws pertaining to “concealment.” The 1934 legislation provided “relief” from these obstacles as the war on crime escalated and agents became more involved in interstate travels along with increased shooting incidents.

Read more »

Retired FBI Official Says Ray Kelly’s Criticism of FBI “Is Seriously Misplaced”

Michael Mason is a retired Executive Assistant Director of the FBI. His column is in response to former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s criticism of the FBI in a New York Times article. Kelly suggested the FBI should have shared information regarding its suspicions about one of the Boston Marathon bombers before the bombing ever took place.

Mike Mason/fbi photo

 
By Michael Mason
For ticklethewire.com

I am a big fan of Ray Kelly. I believe he is an innovative, thoughtful police executive. But I think his criticism of the FBI is seriously misplaced.

Precisely what would the FBI have shared with Boston, that in a steady-state environment would have led to them in engaging in any different actions toward the suspects? There are suspicions about hundreds of suspects that exists every day of the week.

Does anyone really think the FBI could have told Boston authorities, “Hey, we think these two guys are targeting the Boston Marathon for a bombing incident?” That is patently absurd.

It’s really time to stop the “blame game” in the aftermath of terrible events such as the Boston Marathon bombings. It is way too easy to say “We should have known anything you had about those suspects” after they have engaged in a heinous act against innocent civilians.

So, are we suggesting that the FBI should share all the information it has on every subject of interest who might potentially engage in a criminal act in the territory of any police agency?  I can assure you that is not the sharing environment we want.

The media needs to press officials when they complain of not receiving information from the FBI in a timely manner by asking two simple questions: 1) What is the precise information you are suggesting the FBI did not share with you in a timely fashion? and 2) In a steady-state environment, i.e. before the bad act has occurred, precisely what would you have done with the information you claim was not share with you in a more timely fashion.

Ray Kelly

Over the course of my career the offices I ran had an interest in hundreds of suspects. However, to share that information would have been utterly meaningless unless there was something to be accomplished by doing so.

I had outstanding relationships with the entire law enforcement community because I assured them I would share any actionable information as soon as I received it. However, the interest we had in the vast majority such “suspects” eventually waned without any additional actions being taken by my office.

I hope the time for using the FBI as an information hoarding piñata every time something bad happens in this country soon goes the way of the dinosaurs.

FBI’s Legal Attache in Nairobi Talks about the Attack at the Shopping Mall

Part 2 of an interview with Dennis Brady, the FBI’s legal attaché in Nairobi, Kenya. This is interview is  from the FBI website.

Q: On September 21, 2013, al Shabaab gunmen attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi. Over a period of several days, they killed more than 70 people. What was the FBI’s response?

Brady: The attack started on a Saturday. I was called to the embassy, and we immediately began securing resources to assist the Kenyans. Our people were on the scene from the first day. The FBI’s role was—and continues to be—to facilitate, enable, and assist the Kenyan investigation and prosecution regarding a crime that occurred largely against Kenyan citizens on their soil.

World mapFBI Legal Attaché OfficesThe FBI has offices around the globe. These offices—called legal attachés, or legats—are located in U.S. Embassies.  More

Q: After the attack ended, what was the crime scene like?

Brady: Very complicated. Westgate was a large mall, four stories, with underground parking and an attached parking structure. In the process of fighting the attackers, there were explosions and a fire. The area where the attackers were had home furnishings that caught fire. The fire spread and continued to burn, causing that part of the structure to collapse into a pit that smoldered for weeks.

Q: Was it dangerous for investigators working to collect evidence?

Brady: It’s amazing we got our Evidence Response Team [ERT] people down into that pit. It was a very difficult place to work. While ERT was doing its work, every now and then a propane tank would explode or vehicles on the edge of the collapse would fall in and catch fire. But there was a lot of attention paid to the soundness of the structure and where we could reasonably collect evidence. Safety of the investigators was paramount. We had an FBI structural engineer and hazardous materials experts on scene in addition to our other assets. At the height of the initial investigation, the Bureau had more than 80 people on the ground there.

Q: Where does the investigation stand now?

Brady: The Kenyans have charged four individuals in connection with the terror attack, and the case is moving through the court process. The four are directly connected to the individuals who physically carried out the attack. Nobody is under the impression that we have fully identified the entire network in this attack, however. That’s why the investigation continues.

Q: There have been conflicting reports about what happened to the gunmen. Can you comment?

Brady: We believe, as do the Kenyan authorities, that the four gunmen inside the mall were killed. Our ERT made significant finds, and there is no evidence that any of the attackers escaped from the area where they made their last stand. Three sets of remains were found. Also, the Kenyans were on the scene that first day and set up a very secure crime scene perimeter, making an escape unlikely. Additionally, had the attackers escaped, it would have been publicly celebrated and exploited for propaganda purposes by al Shabaab. That hasn’t happened.

Q: All in all, are you pleased with how the legat responded to the crisis?

Brady: Very much so. Our people stood shoulder to shoulder with the Kenyans through some very difficult days. It’s also worth noting that it wasn’t just Americans helping the Kenyans. It was an international effort. But yes, I am proud of how the legat responded and how we were able to assist our host country when they most needed us.

Read Part I