Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2021
S M T W T F S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: ATF

Column: Money Laundering is Not Gun Running

Anthony Macisco has over 30 years of extensive leadership and management experience for agencies in the Departments of the Treasury (USSS Executive Protective Service and US Customs-Investigations) and Homeland Security (Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Investigations), in investigations and intelligence fields, in both a covert and overt capacity. Tony is currently a partner in The Densus Group, an international consulting firm that specializes in public order management techniques for foreign and domestic government agencies.

Anthony Macisco/sec debrief photo

By Anthony Macisco
Security DeBrief

It was recently reported that Congress is launching an investigation into the Drug Enforcement Administration, following claims that the agency helped drug cartels launder money – an operation some in Congress say bears striking resemblance to the failed “Fast and Furious” anti-gunrunning probe.

While most of America is appalled at the “Fast and Furious” operation, myself included, money laundering investigations are a completely different, proven and accepted investigative technique when conducted properly.

Long-term covert money laundering investigations have been around since the early 1980s when the U.S. Customs Service Office of Investigations conducted one of the first successful investigations known as “Operation C-Chase.”

It was one of the most successful undercover operations in the history of U.S. law enforcement, and the evidence gathered during the investigation proved critical to the conviction of General Manuel Noriega.

To read more click here.

 

17 Arrested in Texas Syndicate Sting

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It was a busy day for authorities with the DEA and local law enforcement in San Antonio Thursday, where agents rounded up and brought to federal court 6 of 17 suspects facing murder, racketeering and drug charges, reports Kens5.com

The suspects were members of the Texas Syndicate. The indictment claims the suspects were involved in four murders, two attempted murders, conspiracy to commit murder, drug trafficking and other crimes as part of the Texas Syndicate gang since January of 2008, according to Kens5.com.

The defendants face life sentences for each racketeering charge and up to 10 years for conspiracy to commit murder. The arrests came at the end of an 18 month investigation between a DEA Task Force, US Marshals Service, the ATF, IRS and local law enforcement agencies.

To read more click here.

 

Column: Lawmaker Claims Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Protecting Staff in Fast and Furious

Rep. Issa/gov photo

By Rep. Darrell Issa
USA Today

As facts continue to emerge about a botched gun investigation of Mexican cartels, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has given the American people reason to doubt his ability to effectively lead the Department of Justice.

His reasoning and judgment will be tested once again Thursday as he testifies about the “Fast and Furious” operation before the House Judiciary Committee.

Nearly a year after a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed by a weapon linked to the botched operation, Holder’s Justice Department has spent far more time and resources trying to salvage the careers of senior officials who knew about the operation than in creating accountability for this tragedy and ensuring that nothing like this will happen again.

Conceived by the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives — a Justice Department agency — Fast and Furious began in November 2009 after calls by Justice officials to focus resources on Mexican drug cartel leaders rather than low-level straw buyers.

To read more click here.

Ex-ATF Agent Gets 21 Months

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A former Oklahoma ATF Agent was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Tuesday for helping Tulsa police falsify evidence against suspected drug dealers, reports KCBD.

Brandon McFadden was a Lubbock, Okla. police officer before becoming and ATF agents. He pleaeded guilty to the charges last year and had been living in the area while awaiting sentencing. He agreed to work with federal prosecutors for a lighter sentence; he was facing up to five years. Two police officers were also sentenced.

 

Rep. Issa Announces Investigation into DEA Letting Money Flow to Cartels

By Allan Lengel and Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)is attacking Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. once again, this time for a DEA operation that allowed money to flow to the Mexican drug cartels.

In a press release issued Monday, Issa announced that he was investigating the matter, which was highlighted in a front page story in the New York Times on Monday.

In a letter to Holder, he said he had been investigating this “reckless tactics” in Operation Fast and Furious, and he was none too happy to see it being done with money “walking” to the cartels. ATF’s Fast and Furious operation encouraged gun dealers to sell to “straw purchasers” or middlemen, all with the hopes of tracing the guns to the cartels.

“The existence of such a program again calls your leadership into question,” Issa wrote in the letter to Holder. “The managerial structure you have implemented lacks appropriate operational safeguards to prevent the implementation of such dangerous schemes. The consequences have been disastrous.”

DEA agents have laundered or smuggled–or, “let walk”–millions of dollars in drug proceeds in an effort to trace the money to the end recipients, reports the New York Times. The DEA sought to understand how cartels moved their money, where assets were kept and, ultimately, who the leaders were. Money was put into trafficker accounts or shell accounts set up by agents, according to the Times.

The DEA said the operations began in Mexico only within the past few years, but similar operations have been used internationally before. The controversial tactic lets cartels continue their activities while the investigation is ongoing, and raises serious some questions about the agency’s effectiveness, diplomacy and Mexican sovereignty and the distinction between surveilling and facilitating crime, the Times reported.

Former DEA officials reject any comparison between the laundering operation and the gun-walking program Fast and Furious, saying that money poses far less a threat to public safety and can lead more directly to the top ranks of cartels, the Times reports.

Rep Darrell Issa May Recommend that ATF be Folded Into the FBI

Rep. Issa/gov photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who has led the crusade against Attorney General Eric Holder during the Fast and Furious investigations, said he may recommend merging  ATF into the FBI, Bloomberg reports.

“ATF, perhaps, should be molded completely into the FBI and be done with it,” the California Republican told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor-sponsored breakfast in Washington. “There is no reason you can’t have a special unit under the FBI” that investigates federal firearms laws. Both the ATF and the FBI are under the Justice Department.

Over the years, rumors have circulated that the ATF or DEA might be folded into the FBI.  Lawmakers from time to time have pushed for such changes as well.

To read more click here.

11 Arrested in Northern Virginia Guns and Weapons Ring

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A three-year investigation focusing on drug and weapon rings came to an end with 11 arrests in Northern Virginia on Wednesday, reports the Washington Post. Some of those arrested had ties to street gangs.

The operation was primarily in Manassas and Fairfax County, and resulted in charges against more than 60 people.

ATF agents and local police outfits making up the Northern Virginia Violent Crimes Task Force made the arrests during raids on four houses, according to the Post.

Nine of the men were charged with conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 40 years prison.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Fed Up

 

Eric Holder Jr./ticklethewire.com file photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder has had enough.

Holder told a reporter from the Daily Caller , a conservative news website, to stop egging congressional Republicans on to call for his resignation, reports Talking Points Memo.

“You guys need to… you guys need to stop this,” TPM reports hearing Holder tell the reporter, who approached Holder after a White House event of an unrelated nature involving counterfeit goods. “There’s not an organic thing happening, you guys are behind this.”

The conservative news site has been calling Capitol Hill offices, asking Republicans if Holder should resign over ATF’s botched Fast and Furious operation, TPM reported. While there appears to be  no evidence to date that shows Holder knew about the plan, a steady rank of Republicans have grown from four to 50 calling for Holder’s resignation.

To read more click here.