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: Drugs

Updated: South Carolina Man Who Shot DEA Agent Sentenced to 8 Years

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Update: Monday, 2:54 p.m. —   Orangeburg County resident Joel Robinson, who shot and wounded a DEA agent during a surprise pre-dawn drug raid outside his home last fall, was sentenced in Columbia, S.C. Monday to eight years in prison, The State newspaper reported.

The paper reports that there was a courtroom full of law enforcement officer during the sentencing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A South Carolina man is expected to be sentenced to prison today after shooting and wounding a DEA agent during a drug raid at the suspect’s house.

The State reports that Joel Robinson will likely receive 8 years in prison as part of a plea agreement.

The 33-year-old had faced up to 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss most of the charges against Robinson if he pleaded guilty to shooting DEA Agent Barry Wilson.

No drugs were found.

Wilson said he thought the raid was a break-in.

Other Stories of Interest

SLT Editorial: DEA Should Not Bypass Judges Or Search Warrants

dea-badgeBy Editorial Board
The Salt Lake Tribune

If the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says it can’t do its job without bypassing a judge’s signature, it raises reasonable suspicions about law enforcement operating without proper oversight.

If the DEA adds that such a bypass is needed to stop Utahns from overdosing at high rates, it exposes just how shameless the war on drugs has become.

In a move that raises the specter of indiscriminate NSA phone monitoring, the federal government’s drug cops are pushing back against a Utah law that took effect this year that requires a judge to sign a search warrant for access to the state’s data base of prescriptions. Before that law, law enforcement could simply use “administrative subpoenas” that required no signoff from a judge.

It is precisely because of the abuse of such subpoenas that Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, sponsored the Utah law. The prescription data base was created in 1995 to track the blossoming problem of prescription drug abuse, particularly pain medications, and police could access it without a formal warrant from a judge.

In a notorious case, Cottonwood Heights police searched through every prescription issued to 480 Unified Fire Authority employees after pills were found missing from ambulances. If that egregious violation of privacy wasn’t enough, prosecutors eventually filed faulty charges against one assistant fire chief based on the search. He was cleared, and he’s now suing Cottonwood Heights.

DEA’s spokeswoman says the state’s new requirement “will significantly hamper our mission,” but she didn’t elaborate on how. All the Utah law asks is that the DEA get a judge to sign a warrant before the data base can be searched. That is something that could take as little as a couple of hours in a process that most of law enforcement uses daily. It also adds a measure of legitimacy to any investigation, meaning that the eventual charges have a better chance of sticking.

To read more click here. 

Prison Where 2 Killer Inmates Escaped Is Under Investigation for Alleged Drug Smuggling Ring

Clinton Correctional Facility

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating an alleged drug smuggling ring that operated at the upstate New York prison where two killers escaped, the New York Post reports. 

“The FBI is investigating the prison for drug trafficking. Agents are re-interviewing inmates and prison workers who have already been interviewed by state investigators,” a source familiar with the investigation said.

“This is a vote of no confidence by the feds in the state investigation. And it’s likely the state investigators did not ask pertinent questions regarding the drug trafficking that the FBI is currently asking. The information on the possible drug trafficking came up in the initial interviews conducted by state investigators with inmates and staff,” the source said.

The investigation is exploring other reported crimes at the Clinton Correctional Facility.

Convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped but both were later captured. Matt was shot and killed Friday, and Sweet was wounded and captured Sunday.

FBI Agent Speaks Out About Stealing Heroin to Ease Pain, Addiction

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Matthew Lowry seemed to have everything going for him.

He worked for an elite drug task force after graduating with honors from the FBI Academy. His wife was pregnant with their first child.

Trouble is, Lowry had become addicted to pain medication to ease his chronic and painful inflammations of the intestines and needed a way to get through the day. The pain medication wasn’t enough and it was getting too expensive.

That’s when Lowry said he first stole evidence – a bag of heroin.

“Within 15 minutes, I was fine,” Lowry told the Washington Post. “It gave me energy. It made me feel euphoric, like I had confidence. You feel like you can take on anything.”

Lowry, now 33, kept up the secret life for about a year until he was arrested. The discovery that he was stealing evidence forced prosecutors to dismiss cases against 28 defendants.

On July 9, Lowry faces prison time on 64 criminal charges, including obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence and possession of drugs, according to the Post report.

“Where am I going to be a couple months from now?” Lowry said, holding his son, who is now 16 months old. “How is my wife going to raise my son? How is she going to take care of the house? I spend as much time as I can with my wife, with my son, with my parents, because I don’t know when it’s going to stop, and I’m not going to be able to see them for an extended amount of time.”

 

Albuquerque Journal: DEA’s Cash Seizure Needs Outside Investigation

By Editorial Board
Albuquerque Journal

A friendly “meet and greet” with a DEA agent in Albuquerque could result in what looks a lot like highway robbery – if the agent doesn’t like what you have to say or how you say it. If you refuse to consent to a search of your luggage, well, there’s consequences for that, too. Your luggage could be confiscated pending agents getting a search warrant from a judge.

And if you’re African-American – perhaps the only African-American male on an Amtrak car – with some cash on you, tag you’re it.

That’s roughly what happened to 22-year-old Joseph Rivers riding the train to Los Angeles in April, in his words, to pursue his dream of making a music video. DEA agents picked him out among passengers in a car to have a chat. Then they decided the $16,000 he was carrying – money he says he saved up to make the video – was somehow linked to drug trafficking.

Whatever probable cause or “hunch” they had, it wasn’t enough to arrest or to charge Rivers with a crime. But it was enough to confiscate his cash.

Rivers’ story, as told in a May 6 Journal UpFront column by Joline Gutierrez Krueger, went viral and got the attention of members of the U.S. House Judicial Committee, including Democratic New Mexico Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Committee members want to know a lot more about why the money was seized and whether the agents were racial profiling when they targeted Rivers.

This is far from the first time this has happened in Albuquerque and elsewhere, and it’s time such questions are being asked.

Former Boston Cop Admits to Lying to FBI During Drug Investigation

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A veteran Boston police officer who lied to the FBI is resigning as part of a plea agreement that would prevent him from going to jail, the Boston Herald reports.

David Michael Fitzgerald, 49, admitted making false statements to the FBI on April 27 while agents investigated a street-level drug dealer. They discovered that Fitzgerald made cash loans to the drug dealer.

“Fitzgerald falsely stated to the FBI special agents were investigating that (1) the purposed of his earlier meeting that day with the Associate was simply social in nature and (2) he had never loaned money to the Associate,” court documents state. Fitzgerald has known the drug dealer and bookmaker since 2006, the filings state.

Fitzgerald’s attorney said his client is a good man who made a bad mistake.

“He was a very well respected police officer,” the attorney, Kenneth Anderson, said. “He’s a great guy who had a lapse of judgment and made a mistake.”

Other Stories of Interest


Border Patrol Agents: Government Making It Impossible to Nab Drug Dealers

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents said the federal government is making it impossible to make drug busts, a move that has contributed to a “morale crisis,” the Los Angeles Times reports. 

“We lack the political will to enforce the law and allow our agency to be effective,” said National Border Patrol Council spokesman Shawn Moran in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

Shane Gallagher, an agent in the San Diego sector, said the agency has been very successful at nabbing border crossers with drugs.

“Now the port of entry has to explain who was in the primary lane, what actions were taken, if the vehicle was inspected, so you can see there’s a whole host of implications,” he said.

Gallagher said fewer agents are responsible for drug busts.

“There was a lot of pressure for us to get out of the [drug] interdiction game,” Gallagher said.

 

FBI Task Force Cracks Down on 2 Gangs in Milwaukee

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI teamed up with police to crack down on gang activity in Milwaukee, resulting in eight search warrants and more than a dozen arrests beginning just after dawn Tuesday.

The MPD-FBI Gang Task Force recovered 10 guns, drugs and tens of thousands of dollars in alleged drug money, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. 

By Tuesday night, authorities were still searching for four men.

The focus of the task force was ATK, or Atkinson Ave., and HPT, or Hustlers, Pimps and Thugs.

“The hope is to significantly impact these two violent street gangs, to disrupt their operations, so we can restore some order to the neighborhoods where they operate,” said Capt. Thomas Stigler of the Milwaukee Police Department.