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Tag: Albuquerque

Operation Legend Nets 3,500+ Arrests in Nine Cities Since It Launched in July

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

More than 3,500 people have been arrested across nine cities as part of “Operation Legend,” an anti-crime initiative launched by the Justice Department in July, Attorney General William Barr announced Tuesday.

Since the operation began on July 8, federal authorities and their local partners have arrested about 200 murder suspects and seized roughly 1,000 firearms, 19 kilos of heroin, 11 kilos of fentanyl, 94 kilos of methamphetamine, 14 kilos of cocaine, and $6.5 million in drug money, Barr said at a news conference in Milwaukee.

Of those arrested, about 815 have been charged with federal offenses, 440 with firearms offenses, and 300 with drug-related crimes.

The operation involves more than 1,000 agents from the ATF, DEA, and FBI, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, in nine cities: Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis, Kansas City and Indianapolis. The operation is named in honor of LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was fatally shot while he was sleeping in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.

To see a breakdown by city, click here.

‘Operation Legend’ Leads to Nearly 1,500 Arrests in 8 U.S. Cities, Barr Announces

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Nearly 1,500 people have been arrested across eight cities as part of “Operation Legend,” an anti-crime initiative recently launched by the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr announced Wednesday.

Since the operation began on July 8, about 217 of those arrests involved federal crimes, most of them drug- and gun-related. ATF agents also seized nearly 400 firearms, Barr said.

“In just a few short weeks, federal investigators working side-by-side with state and local law enforcement have begun to make significant progress towards reducing violence related to illegal firearms, drug trafficking and other crime in our neighborhoods,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a news release. “In Cleveland, Operation Legend’s law enforcement operations have already resulted in 32 defendants charged federally with various drug trafficking and firearms violations. These early results show the potential that Operation Legend has to make our cities and communities a safer place for everyone to live.”

The operation involves more than 1,000 agents from the ATF, DEA, and FBI, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, in eight cities: Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis and Indianapolis. The operation is named in honor of LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was fatally shot while he was sleeping in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.

Click here for a breakdown of arrests by city.

FBI Mulls Criminal Probe over Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research

Anti-Planned Parenthood rally. File photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is considering criminal investigations over the use of aborted fetus tissue in medical research at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and the Southwestern Women’s Options abortion clinic in Albuquerque.

The FBI is looking into a request by the Republican-led House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives to investigate Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, including the Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

“We can confirm that the Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI Headquarters has received this information, including the two referrals made to the New Mexico Attorney General regarding practices of the UNM HSC and SWO, and sent the materials to the relevant FBI field offices for review and any action deemed appropriate,” Steven E. Boyd, assistant attorney general for legislative affairs in Washington, wrote in a letter on Friday to Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M.

Pearce, who raised concerns about the use of fetal tissue research, said he was encouraged by the letter.

“I applaud today’s action by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take up the criminal referrals in New Mexico regarding violations made by the University of New Mexico and the Southwestern Women’s Options,” Pearce wrote on his Facebook page. “Even more, DOJ will be investigating all fifteen criminal referrals that were sent out but not acted upon at the conclusion of the Select Panel’s investigation.”

Health Sciences Center spokeswoman Alex Sanchez said the organization is aware of the letter.

“The UNM Health Sciences Center has not been contacted by the FBI and only today became aware of the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs’ letter to Rep. Pearce,” Sanchez said. “As is our practice, if we are contacted, we will cooperate fully.”

Other Stories of Interest

DOJ Threatens to Withhold Crime-Fighting Help to 4 Cities over Immigration Policies

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is stepping up pressure on four cities to cooperate with immigration enforcement, threatening to stop providing federal help to crack down on crime.

To continue receiving crime-fighting assistance, San Bernardino, Stockton, Baltimore and Albuquerque must help federal agents with inmates who are undocumented immigrants.

But the Los Angeles Times says the threat “appeared poorly thought out” because neither of the four cities operate a jail, and two have no sanctuary policies. 

The Justice Department didn’t respond to the Times’ questions about the selection of the four cities.

FBI Arrests Suspect in Attack on 3 Starbucks Stores in Albuquerque

Suspect in vandalism of a Starbucks store in Albuquerque.

Suspect in vandalism of a Starbucks store in Albuquerque.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a suspect accused of vandalizing three Starbucks stores and leaving behind suspicious devices, including one that detonated, early Friday in Albuquerque.

The suspect, who has not yet been identified, was arrested Saturday.

The ATF also is investigating.

The stores appear to have been struck with bullet holes, and glass doors were shattered.

“We heard gunshots go off. At least four rounds of gunshots go off, and then we heard a large explosion,” a witness who lives near the Starbucks in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill told KOAT-TV. “It was like a big flash — like, orange and white — just smoke everywhere.”

The explosive device that detonated caused minimal damage to a Starbucks in southeast Albuquerque.

Lawsuit Claims DEA Informant Improperly Monitored Albuquerque Man Who Snapped

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man accused of fatally shooting an Albuquerque man last year was an active DEA informant despite his criminal background, according to a lawsuit filed against the agency, the Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit claims the DEA did not properly supervise Jason Estrada, who was killed when he confronted a man accused of sexually assaulting a child.

The man, 31-year-old Edward Quintana, is charged with killing Estrada and criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Troublesome Picture Emerges of Police Brutality Within Albuquerque Police Department

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Criticizing the Albuquerque Police Department for a well-documented history of police brutality and unjustified deadly force, the U.S. Justice Department painted a disturbing picture of the department.

CNN reports that the report details police officers killing an unarmed drug store robber, a 19-year-old who was “motionless on his back” and a 25-year-old veteran who was threatening to commit suicide.

Click here for the full report.

City officials didn’t immediately respond to the findings.

The report could result in long-term oversight of the department.

DEA Albuquerque Office Gets New Leadership Role As Assistant Special Agent in Charge

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Sean R. Waite, a longtime DEA agent, has been appointed as a new agent in charge of the agency’s Albuquerque, NM, office, the Republic reports.

Waite replaces Keith Brown, who left to become the agent in charge of the DEA’s New Orleans field office last year.

The office is part of the El Paso Field Division, which has been busy with synthetic drug trafficking.