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Tag: ICE

Feds Misbehaving in 2012

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Everyday, people in federal law enforcement head to work, grab a coffee, maybe a donut or a bagel, comb through their emails, read a newspaper or website and go about fighting crime, protecting the public from violent drug dealers, public corruption, gun-related crimes,  healthcare fraud and terrorism.

But on occasion, something reminds us that the iconic law enforcement agencies are made up of humans. A few cross the line.  In most instances, it  involves sex, alcohol or money.

This year, perhaps one of the more publicized events involved  Secret Service agents in South America, who brought prostitutes back to the hotel.  That turned into a big big mess. Any time the media can get the Secret Service, the president and hookers in the same story, there’s bound to be trouble.

In what has become part of an annual tradition, ticklethewire.com presents “Feds Misbehaving in 2012.”

 

Too Exposed: There’s something about a motorist exposing himself. It’s particularly noteworthy when that person is an FBI agent. In Buffalo, in December, FBI agent John Yervelli Jr. was charged with public lewdness for allegedly exposing himself to a truck driver as he tooled down the New York State Thruway one Friday night, apparently exposing his tool. Authorities alleged that he had his pants down and made lewd gestures.

 

 

Mind Bender: The idea of downloading child porn has been a crime the feds  and  society takes very seriously. The FBI, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and some local and state agencies put a lot of resources into cracking down on this problem that has exploded with the advent of the Internet. But it’s a mind bender when someone like Anthony Mangione, 50, whose agency so aggressively goes after child porn, gets busted for child porn. Mangione, who headed ICE in Southern Florida, was recently sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison for transportation and possession of child porn. Just as an aside,  you have to wonder how a guy in that position could get caught knowing what he knows about how the feds track down these offenders.

He’s not alone.  In Indiana, FBI Donald Sachtleben, a 25-year bureau veteran who worked on such high-profile cases as the Unabomber and the Oklahoma Bombing, was busted on child porn charges as part of a nationwide undercover investigation of illegal child porn images traded over the Internet. His case is pending.

Keep Your Hands Out of the FBI Cookie Jar: Stealing from the your employer is a bad idea. It’s a particularly a bad idea when the employer is the FBI. Bankrupt FBI agent Timothy Kotz, 45, got busted for embezzling $43,190 he was supposed to give confidential informants. He had $11,000 in gambling losses in the past year. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison followed by 6  months of house arrest. He was  also ordered to repay the money.

 

Way Too Tragic: This is one of the sadder stories, partly because there was no malice intended here. But the result was tragic in many ways. FBI agent Adrian Johnson was convicted in October in Prince George’s County in suburban D.C. of vehicular manslaughter and six related charges in connection with the drunk driving crash in Brandywine, Md., in 2011 that killed an 18-year-old man and seriously injured his friend. A tragic ending for a promising career. He’ll be off to prison for a while.

 

Hector Reynaldo CuellarForget Biden, Who’s Protecting the Children? Secret Service officer Hector Reynaldo Cuellar of Virginia who who guarded Vice President Joe Biden’s residence in Northwest D.C. was busted for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl he was taking care of.

Fox News reported that Cuellar is charged with  assaulting a “family member several times between August and October.”

Next Time Just Rent a Movie:  Secret Service agents got a little wild in April during a presidential detail in Cartagena, Colombia. Some brought hookers to their hotel rooms. Some claim they didn’t know they were prostitutes, that is until they asked for money. Some of the agents were married. It turned into a major scandal.  By May,  eight agents had left their jobs as a result of the scandal. Some subsequently decided to fight the allegations,  claiming some of that behavior was quietly condoned.

The incident resulted in the Secret Service imposing new rules on the road. Apparently, someone had forgot the first go around to specify in the rules not to bring hookers back to the hotel room.  Recommendation to agents:  Next time just stay in the room and order up a film, a brew and a cheeseburger.

 

Online Shenanigans:  In New Orleans, a couple veteran prosecutors thought they’d be clever by taking pot shots at judges and targets of investigations by posting anonymous comments on the New Orleans Times-Picayune website. Well, guess what. The whole thing blew up. They got caught.

The  two veteran prosecutors — Sal Perricone and  Jan Mann– resigned and this month so did the U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, who was chastised by a federal judge for not adequately dealing with the scandal. The judge, Kurt Engelhardt, called the scandal “skulduggery by the government” and indicated the online postings could result in criminal charges. Note to others: Leave the online b.s. to the junior high kids. They’re better at it — and they usually don’t get caught.

Crossing the Line and Crossing the Border: Two border Patrol agents, who are brothers, were convicted in August in  San Diego of sneaking hundreds of illegal immigrants into the U.S. for money.  Raul and Fidel Villarreal were accused of smuggling in Mexicans and Brazilians.

 

Helping a Little Too Much:  It’s good to help friends and associates.  But FBI agent Robert G. Lustyik Jr., 50, of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.  may have helped a little too much. A grand jury in Salt Lake City indicted him on charges that he used his position to try and derail a federal probe into a business partner with whom he was pursuing lucrative security and energy contracts.

Of course, the feds allege that he had some incentive to help out (so much for any Boy Scout defense). His business partner allegedly offered  Lustyk a $200,000 cash payment and  interest in some lucrative contracts. Lustyk had been assigned to an counterintelligence unit for the FBI out of White Plains, N.Y.

 

 

NJ Residents Reach Settlement with ICE over Warrantless Home Raids

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Eight New Jersey residents will share $295,000 as part of a settlement in a lawsuit that alleges their homes were raided without warrants, the Associated Press reports

U.S. citizen Ana Galindo said officers pointed a gun at her 9-year-old son during the pre-dawn raids.

The residents filed a lawsuit in 2008 against more than 30 ICE officers involved, the AP reported.

The Center for Constitutional Rights provided legal help.

Experts: Reductions to Border Patrol Budget Could Weaken Border from Drug Smugglers


Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Officials worry that cuts to the Border Patrol budget will weaken protection from drug smugglers and human traffickers, the Kansas City Star reports.

The cuts will go into effect unless President Obama and Congress can reach a compromise soon to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, the Star wrote.

Some experts said the cuts would have little impact on an agency that has grown wildly over the past two decades.

“The notion that a small cut in the budget of ICE or CBP will result in a flood of unauthorized immigration is ludicrous, said Alex Nowrasteh, the immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian research center in Washington.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano disagrees and said the money is needed for strong border protection.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Ex-Fla. Chief of ICE Anthony Mangione Gets 70 Months in Prison for Child Porn

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The former head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Southern Florida was sentenced Friday to 5 years and 10 months in federal prison on a child pornography charge.

The Sun-Sentinel newspaper reported that Anthony Mangione, 52, pleaded guilty in July to e-mailing child pornography to a former school bus driver in Delaware.

The paper reported that the feds alleged that he had up to 150 images of child pornography, some depicting the “extreme abuse of children.”

He was put on administrative leave in April 2011.

 

 

Former ICE Leader Set to Be Sentenced on Child Porn Charge Today

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former special agent in charge of ICE’s South Florida office is set to be sentenced today on a child pornography charge, WPTV reports.

Anthony Mangione, who was a leading crusader against child pornography, faces a mandatory sentence of at least five years in prison, according to WPTV.

Authorities recently said they also discovered that Mangione used his ICE expertise to wipe clean 150 pieces of child porn from his personal computer.

Mangione’s attorney said his client suffers from a mental disorder that makes him sexually attracted to children, WPTV reported.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Column: Thousands of ICE, Border Patrol Agents May Lose Jobs Because of Congressional Gridlock

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Congressional gridlock could mean massive layoffs for Border Patrol and ICE agents and officers on Jan. 2, even as illegal crossings continue to increase, the Washington Times reports in a decidedly anti-Obama column.

At risk are the jobs of 3,400 Border Patrol agents, 932 ICE agents and 802 ICE deportation and removal officers, Janice Kephart, director of national security policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote for the Washington Times.

Kephart blames the Obama administration on focusing on how to accommodate illegal immigrants instead of securing the border – a policy that could force the elimination of thousands of jobs.

She urges the administration to end the Congressional deadlock and save the jobs.

“Why is there no leadership on breaking the gridlock and saving immigration enforcement jobs?” Kephart wrote. “Immigration enforcement is the anti-agenda of this administration. Quite conveniently for the president, no cuts would occur to the fee-based immigration adjudicators tasked with processing deferred action applicants. In fact, adjudicator numbers are slated to increase. It’s clear where this administration’s priorities are.”

Report: Homeland Security Employees Are Disproportionately Affected by Low Morale

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security is plagued with low morale, much more so than other federal agencies, according to a Department of Homeland Security report.

The report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office urges the DHS to determine the reason for low morale and solve the problem.

“GAO found that despite having broad performance metrics in place to track and assess DHS employee morale on an agencywide level, DHS does not have specific metrics within the action plans that are consistently clear and measurable,” the GAO report concluded.

The report examined four agencies within DHS: ICE, TSA, Border Protection and the Coast Guard.

Job satisfaction, according to the report, is being affected by perceptions of low pay and unfairness of performance evaluations.

ICE Employees Switch from BlackBerrys to iPhones for Better Technology

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After eight years of using BlackBerrys, the more than 17,000 employees at Immigration and Customs Enforcement are making the switch to the iPhone, the New York Times reports.

The $2.1 million contract with Apple suggests that law enforcement no longer considers BlackBerrys to be more secure, New York Times reported.

In fact, Apple has surpassed BlackBerrys in cutting-edge technology, federal government officials said in making the switch.

ICE said it had “evolving mobile law enforcement business requirements that require the use of more capable and dynamic mobile technology.”