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Tag: Justice Department

Justice Department Investigates BP for Allegedly Lying to Congress

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government has estimated that about 4.1 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico by BP in 2010 were never cleaned up.

Now the Justice Department is investigating whether BP execs lied to Congress about the total amount of oil leaked, reported the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

The accidental explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers and ruptured the Macondo well. It took months to successfully cap the well as engineers scrambled desperately to contain the powerful force of spewing oil.

To read more click here.

Justice Dept to Issa: Contempt “Unwarranted”

Atty. Gen. Holder on the Hill on Thursday/ttw file photo via C-Span

By TIM MAK
Politico

A top Justice Department official has fired back at Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, telling the Republican congressman that it would be “unwarranted and inappropriate” to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the Fast and Furious investigation.

“We believe that a contempt proceeding would be unwarranted given the information the Department has disclosed to the Committee to date; unprecedented given the law enforcement sensitivities at issue; and ill-advised given the damage it would cause to relations between the Executive and Legislative Branches,” Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole wrote in a 13-page letter to Issa. “We believe that the core questions posed by the Committee about Operation Fast and Furious have been answered.”

Cole expressed concern that Issa may begin contempt proceedings. (Some Republicans have suggested drawing the line at Memorial Day if the department does not fully comply with the subpoena.)

Read more

Yes It’s So Sheriff Joe: Justice Dept. Goes After Him for Alleged Discrimination Against Latinos

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Yes, it’s so Sheriff Joe.

The Justice Department on Thursday filed a civil lawsuit in fed court against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, alleging a pattern of unconstitutional conduct that included discriminating Latino motorists and inmates.

The lawsuit alleges that the department frequently stopped Latinos motorist who were detained and arrested on the basis of their ethnicity.

It also alleged discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited English skills; and accused the sheriff’s department of illegal retaliation against their perceived critics, subjecting them to baseless criminal actions, unfounded civil lawsuits, or meritless administrative actions.

“At its core, this is an abuse of power case involving Sheriff Arpaio and a sheriff’s office that disregarded the Constitution, ignored sound police practices, and did not hesitate to retaliate against perceived critics in a variety of unlawful ways,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “Constitutional policing and effective policing go hand in hand. The complaint outlines how Sheriff Arpaio’s actions were neither constitutional nor effective. No one in Maricopa County is above the law and the department will fight to ensure that the promise of the Constitution is realized by everyone in Maricopa County.”

 

Former Venezuelan Supreme Court Justice “Singing His Heart Out” to DEA on Corruption in Chavez Gov.

Eladio Aponte photo correodelorinoco.gob.ve

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

U.S. officials report a break-through in tackling drug trafficking from South America, according to the Associated Press.

A former Venezuelan Supreme Court justice Eladio Aponte may be seeking permanent refuge in the U.S. for himself and his family in exchange for evidence linking Venezuelan officials to drug trafficking and corruption, and linking Venezuela with Colombian rebel group FARC. His accusations could lead to “tougher U.S. action against purported drug trafficking networks” AP reports.

The former judge fled to the U.S. a month ago after being expelled from the court by the Venezuelan National Assembly for allegedly helping a drug trafficker. It remains to be seen if he’s seeking immunity for his participation in the drug trade, or simply wants protection for his family. If proven, Aponte’s accusations would discredit the anti-U.S. Chavez government and, most likely, illicit its wrath.

To read more click here.

 

Federal Indictments for Massive Online Drug Ring are First of a Kind

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

In a brave new high-tech world, the federal indictment of eight online drug traffickers is the first of its kind.

The BBC reports that the feds busted up a $1million-plus illegal drug operation online on a marketplace called “The Farmer’s Market” using the TOR network, which allows emails and websites to hide IP addresses and protect users from detection.

The operation served about 3,0000 customers in every U.S. state and  34 countries , selling LSD, ecstasy, marijuana and other illegal drugs. The Justice Department contends the ring provided order forms, customer service and accepted payments through PayPal, Western Union and other means.

“Operation Adam Bomb,” a 2 year investigation led by the DEA’s L.A. Field Division, resulted in arrests in the  the U.S., Colombia, and the Netherlands, according to a Justice Department press release. The L.A. DEA collaborated with the Hague office, international agencies and the U.S. Post Office.

“The drug trafficking organization targeted in Operation Adam Bomb was distributing dangerous and addictive drugs to every corner of the world, and trying to hide their activities through the use of advanced anonymizing on-line technology,” said Briane M. Grey, DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge.

To read more click here.

 

Justice Dept. Knew of Flawed Forensic Work; Innocent People May Have Been Convicted

By Spencer S. Hsu
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Justice Department officials have known for years that flawed forensic work might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people nationwide, but prosecutors failed to notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled.

Officials started reviewing the cases in the 1990s after reports that sloppy work by examiners at the FBI lab was producing unreliable forensic evidence in court trials. Instead of releasing those findings, they made them available only to the prosecutors in the affected cases, according to documents and interviews with dozens of officials.

In addition, the Justice Department reviewed only a limited number of cases and focused on the work of one scientist at the FBI lab, despite warnings that problems were far more widespread and could affect potentially thousands of cases in federal, state and local courts.

To read the full story click here.

Petitions Urge Justice Dept. to Look into Bosses Who Ask for Facebook Passwords

By Brendan Sasso
The Hill

WASHINGTON –In less than a week, nearly 55,000 people have signed a petition urging the Justice Department to investigate whether employers who ask for their workers’ Facebook passwords are breaking the law.

“Employers should not be allowed to demand private social networking passwords from job applicants. This privacy violation needs to be investigated — and needs to be stopped,” the petition reads.

The petition, started by the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee, echoes a letter Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Charles Schumer (N.Y.) sent to the Justice Department last month.

To read the full story click here.

 

 

Justice Dept. Breaks Off Talks With Controversial Sheriff Joe

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

America’s most controversial sheriff — Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio — is causing more heartburn for the Justice Department.

CNN reports that the Justice Department broke off talks with the sheriff, whose department has been accused of discrminating against Hispanics.

The Justice Department is preparing to sue the sheriff over the discrimination. The Justice Department wanted to install an independent monitor to oversee changes in the department.

Sheriff Joe said no way.

To read more click here.

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