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Tag: Chicago

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.

ICE Offering ‘Citizens Academy’ To Teach Public What the Agency Does

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

ICE plans to offer a “Citizens Academy” to give the public a better understanding of how the agency operates.

The pilot program is set to begin this fall in Chicago this fall and will be run by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, Yahoo News first reported. If it’s successful, ICE will offer the academy nationwide.

In the six-week program, “participants will gain insight into the many facets and responsibilities of ICE/ERO operations” through, among other things, “scenario-based training and exercises conducted in a safe and positive environment, including, but not limited to, defensive tactics, firearms familiarization, and targeted arrests.”

The idea is to build trust in the community by showing the public the ins and outs of ICE’s operations.

“ICE is not training the public to do the work of trained federal law enforcement officers,” Nicole Alberico, a spokeswoman for ICE’s Chicago field office, says. “In fact, we hope by showing members of the community ICE’s process — the why and how an immigration arrest is made — will alleviate fear and misunderstanding of exactly what ICE does.”

Former FBI Agent Charged with Storing Sensitive Documents at His Home

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent is accused of storing sensitive government documents at his home in Chicago.

Yen Cham Yung, who retired from the bureau in 2016, was arrested in Colorado and charged with stealing sensitive government documents, The Associated Press reports.

Some of the documents included information about gang surveillance and undercover informants, as well as emails between FBI supervisors who were leading investigations into organized crime.

The 57-year-old is accused of keeping memos of understanding between the CIA and FBI, in violation of national security protocols. He is not accused of trying to sell or disseminate the information.

The alleged transgressions came to light after his wife said in an a protection order against him that she had discovered the documents in August at their Colorado Springs home.

An FBI search of the home uncovered dozens of digital storage devises.

Yang’s career with the FBI began in 1996 and includes stints in field officers in Chicago, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and Indonesia.

CBP Seizes Fake Coronavirus Testing Kits at Chicago Airport

Fake coronavirus testing kits seized by CBP. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

CBP officers intercepted a package of fake coronavirus testing kits at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, the agency announced Thursday.

The packages, which came from the U.K, were found at the airport’s mail facility and included prohibited medical drug kits, concluding ones for COVID-19.

“On March 17, 2020, CBP officers intercepted shipments containing ‘Test Kits’ for various viruses and diseases to include COVID-19,” the agency said in a news release. “Not all the COVID-19 test kits were in each parcel, and there was generally just one COVID-19 test kit within groups of other alleged test kits for meningitis, IVF, MRSA, onion, apple, salmonella and others.”

Authorities turned over the packages to the FDA.

“The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) prohibits the introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce, or the causing thereof, of any food, drug, device, tobacco product, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded,” the news release stated.

Reputed Gang Member Sentenced to Nearly 17 Years for Shooting ATF Agent in Face

Ernesto Godinez

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A reputed gang member who shot an ATF agent in the face in Chicago last year was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison Wednesday.

A federal jury found Ernesto Godinez guilty in June in the shooting of Kevin Crump, who was nearly killed when a bullet tore through his neck and exited between his eyes on May 4, 2018.

Godinez, 29, was sentenced to 16 years and 8 months in prison, CBS News reports.

Calling the attack “brazen, callous, and cowardly,” federal prosectors said Crump is lucky to be alive.

“The depravity of the defendant’s crime is remarkable. A sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment is the only fair answer here, both to punish this reprehensible crime and to protect the community he endangered time and time again,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing recommendation.

Police said Crump was placing a tracker on Godinez’s car when the reputed gang member ambushed the agent and opened fire. Prosecutors said Godinez, who was arrested three days later, believed he was shooting a rival gang member.

Surveillance cameras captured Godinez before and after the shooting.

Godinez’s attorney acknowledges his client was in the area the morning of the shooting, but insists Godinez was not involved in the shooting. The 12-member jury didn’t buy that.

Comey: How a Trump Presidency Shows the Constitutional System is Working

FBI Director James Comey, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey sees a silver lining in a Trump presidency.

“I think our country is being stress-tested now. And I actually believe our current president has illuminated things for us that we were taking for granted,” Comey told University of Chicago law students Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune first reported.

“I think he is accomplishing, without intending to, a shrinking of the presidency, which I think is … closer to the design of the founders, and the energizing of the Congress and the courts that hasn’t happened in a couple of decades,” Comey said.

The former FBI director said over the weekend that he supports the impeachment inquiry, saying, “If the news accounts are accurate, the president engaged in a shocking abuse of power.”

While Comey didn’t mention the impeachment at the University of Chicago, he said truth is the “touchstone” of American values.

“I see good things happening as a result of what he’s doing,” Comes said. “I see people say we have a constitutional crisis. No. I don’t think so. I see the design working. It’s a nerve-wracking stress, but I see it working.”

FBI Raids Home, Offices of Illinois State Senator Sandoval

State Sen. Martin Sandoval.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI agents raided the home and offices of Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Agents in suits were spotted removing evidence from the state capitol building, Sandoval’s political office in Cicero and his home in Chicago.

The FBI is investigating whether Sandoval received kickbacks for using his political office to steer business to at least one company, The Chicago Tribune reports.

It’s just the latest FBI investigation involving public officials in Chicago and Illinois.

In November, the FBI raided the City Hall office of Ald. Edward M. Burke, who since has been indicted on racketeering charges.