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Tag: ICE

Israeli Mobsters Extradited to US Plead Guilty

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Sometimes being a ‘friend of Israel’ means sharing criminals.

Three Israeli mobsters were extradited to the U.S. in January 2011 in the first extradition of its kind under Israel’s racketeering law, which parallels RICO, the U.S. law targeting organized crime. Two of the three pled guilty to a host of drug and murder charges in U.S. District court, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced in a press release Monday.

Charges against Itzhak Abergil, Israel Ozifa and friends filled a 77-page grand jury indictment in California in 2008. The investigation by the DEA and ICE, in cooperation with the FBI, IRS and LA Police, uncovered crimes including the importing of the club drug ecstasy from Belgium to California and  ordering the murder of Sami Atias execution-style for interfering with a 2003 drug deal.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

3 ICE Agents Shot and Wounded in San Francisco Area

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Incidents like this remind us of the dangers of being in law enforcement.

Three Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were shot and wounded Thursday morning around 4 a.m. while executing a search warrant in Petaluma, outside of San Francisco, reported KABC.

The agents suffered non-life threatening wounds, the station reported.

The agents were executing a federal warrant related to a 2010 gang related triple homicide, the station reported.

The suspect was arrested, the station reported.

 

Ex-High Ranking ICE Official Pleads to Ripping Off Government

James Woosley/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A former high ranking official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement pleaded guilty Tuesday in D.C. to defrauding the government out of more than $180,000 in a scheme that involved other employees and fraudulent travel vouchers, time and attendance slips and kickbacks.

James Woosley, the former Acting Director of Intelligence for ICE,  pleaded guilty and admitted being part of the scheme that included him getting kickbacks, authorities said. Four others have pleaded guilty to being part of the scheme. In all, the losses totaled about $600,000 to the government, authorities said.

“Today James Woosley became the fifth – and highest-ranking – individual to plead guilty as part of a series of fraud schemes among rogue employees and contractors at ICE,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen in a statement. “He abused his sensitive position of trust to fleece the government by submitting phony paperwork for and taking kickbacks from subordinates who were also on the take. This ongoing investigation demonstrates our dedication to protecting the taxpayer from corrupt government employees and contractors.”

L.A. Toy Company Indicted for Laundering Drug Money

ice video photo

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

 It’s all fun and games til your toy purchases may be supporting international drug cartels.

An 18-month investigation of L.A.company, Woody’s Toys Inc., by Homeland Security’s ICE and the DEA’s Southern California Drug Task Force yielded video of employees receiving bricks of cash in fast food chain parking lots, among other incriminating evidence.

Homeland Security’s press release states the co-owners and three employees of Woody’s Toys have been indicted  on charges of  orchestrating an elaborate financial scheme to launder millions of dollars for drug trafficking organizations in Mexico and Colombia.

Two Mexico-based toy dealers are charged as well.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, legitimate teddy bear buyers don’t close the sale with stacks of cash in restaurant parking lots,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles in a statement. “The reality is, unscrupulous companies that conspire to help the cartels cover their financial tracks are contributing in no small way to the devastation wrought by the international drug trade.”

To read more click here.

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Serious Hypocrisy: Anti-Drug Texas Politician Arrested by the DEA

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

What’s wrong with this picture?

El Paso, Texas, County Commissioner Guillermo Gandara Jr., who publicly had taken a hardline against drugs, was arrested by the DEA on drug trafficking charges, UPI reported.

The arrest, part of a multi-agency investigation, took place late Wednesday, DEA spokeswoman Diana Apodaca confirmed to the El Paso Times.

“DEA, [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], [the Internal Revenue Service], with the assistance of the FBI along with our local partners are conducting an ongoing operation, and we cannot release further details at this time,” she said, according to UPI.

UPI reported that Gandara is a candidate for state representative and made a statement:

“Legalizing drugs is the coward practice of combating cartels, it is an insult to our men and women in law enforcement, and the laziest form of parenting our children and youth about the effects of drugs,” he said.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Payday: $29.5 in Forfeited Money Distributed to Law Enforcement Across Texas

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It’s payday, thanks to a Mexican drug cartel.

The bulk of $29.5 million in money seized by federal authorities from a Mexican cartel boss has been handed out in “asset sharing” funds by ICE, DEA, FBI and other federal agencies to law enforcement agencies across the state of Texas to combat drug cartels, reports the Washington Times.

Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, the former boss of the Gulf drug cartel, forfeited the money as a result of  a February 2010 court order, according to the Times. Guillen was sentenced to 25 years in November of 2010 for threatening to assault two US agents a deputy sheriff from Cameron County, Tex.

“With equitable asset-sharing like this, federal and local law enforcement can really turn the tables on the bad guys,” said James Dinkins, ICE executive director and head of the agency’s Homeland Security Investigations Division. “We simply take their illegal profits and invest them in local law enforcement efforts.”

To read more click here.

 

Updated: One ICE Agent Dead and One Wounded in Fight Among Agents at Long Beach, Calif. Fed Building

Update: 12 p.m. Friday:  The Los Angeles Times reported that all three ICE agents were supervisors, but the gunman was lower ranking.  KTLA TV reported that the gunman opened fire during his disciplinary hearing.
 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

One ICE agent was killed and another wounded in a bizarre shootout among agents at a federal building Thursday night in Long Beach, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reported.

The paper reported that an agent at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement shot and wounded a supervisor and a third agent stepped in and shot the gunman to death. The Times on Thursday night initially reported that two agents died and one was wounded.

The incident happened at the Glenn M. Anderson Federal Building shortly before 6 p.m. The reason for the dispute was unclear.

 

$160,000 Armored Car Failed to Protect Slain ICE Agent Jaime Zapata

ICE Agent Jaime Zapata killed in Mexico/ice photo

 By Nick Miroff and William Booth
Washington Post.

MEXICO CITY — When U.S. special agent Jaime Zapata was shot dead one year ago on a notorious stretch of highway in central Mexico, he was driving a $160,000 armored Chevy Suburban, built to exacting government standards, designed to defeat high-velocity gunfire, fragmentation grenades and land mines.

But the vehicle had a basic, fatal flaw.

Forced off the road in a well-coordinated ambush, surrounded by drug cartel gunmen brandishing AK-47s, Zapata and his partner, Victor Avila, rolled to a stop. Zapata put the vehicle in park.

The door locks popped open.

To read full story click here.