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Tag: ICE

An Interesting Omission in Press Release About Head of Fla. ICE Being Busted for Child Porn

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The press release issued Wednesday out of the Justice Department seemed a little peculiar if only because of a glaring omission.

“Florida Man Indicted for Transportation, Receipt, and Possession of Child Pornography” the headline of the press release read.

It went on to mention the name of the person, Anthony Mangione, 50, of Parkland, Fla., but made no mention anywhere in the 7-paragraph press release that he happened to be the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Florida,  a very prominent position in law enforcement.

Contrast that press release headline to the one that appeared in the Miami Herald website on Wednesday:

“Top immigration official pleads not guilty to child-porn charges in federal court.”

The Justice Department may not have seen the point in including the job title. But it might be germane considering that ICE has been involved in some of the biggest child porn busts in the nation. In fact, in August ICE was involved in a major child porn takedown involving charges against 72 people worldwide.

Laura Sweeney, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, responded by saying: “We include information in the release that is reflected in the public record. The indictment doesn’t mention his position or employer, therefore neither does the release.”

What the release did say was that Mangione was arrested Tuesday after an indictment was unsealed on charges that alleged that between March 2010 and September 2010, Mangione “transported and received visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment also alleges that Mangione possessed electronically stored messages that contained additional images of child pornography during the same time period.”

The Miami Herald reported that he showed no emotion during his initial court appearance in West Palm Beach.

He had headed the Florida regional ICE office since 2007.  The Herald, citing sources, said he had not received any child porn in connection with an ICE investigation.

 

ICE Busts 72 in Crackdown on Child Porn and Child Exploitation

Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities on Wednesday announced charges against 72 people in connection with an international network dedicated to the sexual abuse of children and the creation and dissemination of child pornography.

Authorities said it was the largest prosecution of its kind in the U.S.  involving a pedephillia bulletin board.

The investigation, lead by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and  dubbed “Operation Delego”, was launched in December 2009 and targeted the 72 defendants and more than 500 other people around the world who participated in “Dreamboard”– a private, members-only, online bulletin board that promote pedophilia and encourage the sexual abuse of very young children, authorities said.

To date, 52 of the 72 charged defendants have been arrested in the U.S. and abroad, authorities said.

Authorities said members traded graphic images and videos of adults molesting children 12 years-old and under, often violently, and “collectively created a massive private library of images of child sexual abuse.

“The members of this criminal network shared a demented dream to create the preeminent online community for the promotion of child sexual exploitation but for the children they victimized, this was nothing short of a nightmare,” said Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. in a statement. “This operation marks another important step forward in our work to protect children across – and beyond – this country. Our nation’s fight to protect the rights, interests, and safety of children goes on, and it will continue to be a top priority of this Justice Department.”

“This operation is an example of the good work that DHS, through its principal investigative arm, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), does every year in cooperation with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to protect children,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

“As alleged in court documents, Dreamboard was a self-described global ‘community’ of pedophiles dedicated to the relentless victimization and exploitation of children 12 and under,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Using sophisticated methods to evade detection by law enforcement, Dreamboard members allegedly used the power and anonymity of the Internet to motivate each other to commit their horrific acts of sexual abuse of minors and trading in child pornography. “

Column: Agents Continue to Have “No Confidence” in ICE Chief John Morton

Janice Kephart is the Director of National Security Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.

Janice Kephart

Janice Kephart
Security DeBrief

On June 23, 2011, a press release was issued by the union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees stating that ICE “Union leaders around the nation issued a unanimous no confidence vote in ICE Director John Morton on behalf of ICE officers, agents and employees nationwide citing gross mismanagement within the Agency as well as efforts within ICE to create backdoor amnesty through agency policy. ICE Union leaders say that since the no confidence vote was released problems within the Agency have increased [emphasis added].” The full Union release is in my colleague Jon Feere’s blog.

Last year, I began a series entitled “ICE’s Mission Melt” that provided evidence of exactly why ICE agents are complaining at an unprecedented high volume about ICE leadership undermining not only their ability to do their job, but their job security if they try to do their job.

In June 2010, I made public an unreleased memo providing detail of ICE Union employees being kept from enforcing immigration law. The memo even spoke of unsafe policies that, “prevented [ICE officers] from searching detainees housed in ICE facilities allowing weapons, drugs and other contraband into detention centers putting detainees, ICE officers and contract guards at risk.”

This time PR Newswire carried the ICE Union’s strong statements. The basis for the second no confidence vote in a year by the union was another memo by ICE director John Morton, this time on prosecutorial discretion.

To read full column click here.

ICE Agent Busted on Charges of Leaking Sensitive Info to Drug Traffickers South of the Border

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fed authorities in Arizona have busted a special agent with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on charges that she illegally accessed, stole and transferred sensitive U.S. government documents to family members and associates with strong ties to drug trafficking organizations south of the border, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Jovana Samaniego Deas, 33, of Rio Rico, Ariz. was charged with computer fraud, theft of government records and making false statements/entries, authorities said. She made her initial court appearance Tuesday in Tucson federal court.

The indictment, which capped a two year investigation, was filed in Tucson federal court.

Authorities said Deas is accused of abusing her position as an HSI special agent to illegally obtain and disseminate government documents classified as “Official Use Only.”

“When it comes to our national security, blood is not thicker than water,” U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said in a statement. “This defendant used and abused her position as a special agent to illegally help family members south of the border with ties to drug trafficking organizations. That is a violation of the public’s trust and a breach of our security that, thanks to this very thorough joint investigation, will have serious consequences.”

Deas became a U.S. government employee in June 2003 as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at a Nogales, Ariz., port of entry. In 2008, she became a special agent at the HSI Nogales office.

The two-year investigation of Deas was conducted by FBI and ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) agents at the FBI’s Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force (SACTF).

SACTF agents were assisted y agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, HSI, the U.S. State Department’s Consular Integrity Division and the Brazilian Federal Police.

Wounded ICE Agent Still not Back to Work; Wants to Testify Before Congress

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — ICE agent Victor Avila Jr. who was shot in February in an ambush in Mexico along with agent Jaime Zapata is moving about, but has yet to return to work, said the agency spokesman Brian P. Hale. Zapata did not survive the shooting.

Hale said Avila is in daily contact with ICE and recovering in the U.S.

Avila was spotted last week in Washington at Police Week, an annual gathering of law enforcement. Events during Police Week include a candlelight vigil for slain law enforcement officers.  Avila and  Zapata were ambushed on a road about four hours north of Mexico.

Avila wants to testify about his case, according to a Congressional committee.

In late March, Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management, which was conducting a hearing on U.S. Homeland Security and Mexican drug cartels, said:

“I’ve been in contact with the Department of Justice after meeting with Agent Avila, who expressed his willingness to testify here today.

“However, the Department of Justice objected to that request as he is a material witness in an ongoing criminal investigation and for his personal safety. Better judgment, in my view, was to not call him as a witness, but I do believe that his story needs to be told.”

Feds Investigating ICE Agent For Allegedly Taking More than $100,000 in Bribes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds are investigating an  Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Miami for allegedly taking more than $100,000 in bribes from a confidential government informant, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The bribes were allegedly paid to ICE agent Juan Martinez for “temporary parole” immigration status for Colombians and others. The status allowed them to stay in the U.S. even though they did not qualify for such status, the paper reported.

Martinez has been suspended without pay and his attorney declined comment, the paper reported.

The paper reported that ICE confidential informant, Jose Miguel Aguirre-Pinzon, was charged in mid-April with allegedly paying about $109,000 in bribes “to a public official, with the intent to influence any official act.” The official was not named.

The U.S. grants short-term parole benefits to endangered family members of drug traffickers and government witnesses who assist the Justice Department, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

FBI Investigating Head of ICE in Fla. For Child Porn

Entering Fingerprints in ICE Database Could Have Prevented Rape of 8-Year-Old Girl

ice photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It may have been a minor oversight the time — but the misstep could have prevented the rape of an 8-year-old girl.

Tom Jackman of the Washington Post reports that immigration authorities failed to enter in a national data base the fingerprints of Salvador Portillo-Saravia before they deported him to  El Salvador in 2003.  So seven years later, because his fingerprints were not in a data base, Portillo-Saravia, who had sneaked back into the U.S., was released from the Loudoun County Jail in Virginia. A month later, Jackman reports, Fairfax County police say he raped an 8-year-old girl.

In a letter to  Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) , Elliot Williams, Immigration and Customs Enforcement  assistant director for congressional relations, wrote that “the agency policy to enroll the fingerprints in IDENT was not followed, thereby reducing ICE’s ability to thwart this terrible and tragic event.” according to the Post. The paper wrote that ” ICE officials could not say why the prints weren’t entered in 2003.”

The paper reported Portillo-Saravia was captured last month in Houston and is now facing the rape charges.

To read more click here.