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: Newark

Blood Gang Leader Admits to Murdering Teen in Case of Mistaken Identity

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A leader of a Bloods street gang in New Jersey has admitted to the murder of an innocent teenager in a case of mistaken identity, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

Torien Brooks, the 30-year-old leader of the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims subgroups or chapters of the Bloods, also admitted Tuesday in federal court in Newark to kidnapping a rival gang member and conspiring to sell narcotics, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a press release.

According to court documents, the murder took place on July 19, 2004 in Jersey City and involved Brooks and  co-defendant Emmanuel Jones, 27, of Jersey City, who went by the names “Killer,” “Killer E” and “Emo.” The documents say the two shot and killed who they thought to be responsible for an earlier shooting of a fellow gang member, but who was in fact an innocent teenager identified only as “M.T.” Three bystanders were hit by stray shots in the incident.

The kidnapping confession involves a rival gang member identified as “M.M.” According to ATF, Brooks said that he and fellow members Lary Mayo, 29, John Benning, 28, and Haleek State, 26 conspired to kidnap M.M. after a M.M. had changed gang sub-groups without permission.

The four kidnapped M.M. on April 11, 2005, pistol whipped him and took him to Patterson Falls, N.J., with the intent to kill him. M.M. was able to make a break and run to safety, according to court documents.

The narcotics confession involves a period in April 2007 and continuing for about a year in which Brooks and others conspired to smuggle heroin into Northern State Prison in Newark, where he was incarcerated. As part of the conspiracy, he and others in the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims gangs conspired to sell heroine on the streets of Paterson and have profits sent to his prison commissary account.

Brooks’ sentencing is set for Dec. 14. The racketeering count to which Brooks pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and $250,000. Jones, Mayo and Benning await sentencing for similar charges.

 

N.J. Gov. Christie Loads Up Administration With Former Fed Prosecutors

Christopher Christie/campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Assistant U.S. Attorneys seem to have found a new home with New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie.

The Asbury Press reports that Christie, who was the U.S. Attorney in Newark from from 2002 though 2008, has appointed more than two dozen former federal prosecutors to his administration or State Superior Court. Nearly 20 worked directly for him.

Montclair State University political scientist Brigid Harrison told the Asbury Press that the move gives the image that the Christie administration is for clean government.

“The most obvious advantage is that there is a public perception that prosecutors are squeaky clean. And in a state with a reputation for corruption like New Jersey has, that offers voters and Gov. Christie a certain degree of credibility and legitimacy that comes automatically,” Harrison told the paper.

To read more click here.

Feds Bust 2 Hackers for Stealing Emails from AT&T’s iPad Data Base; Some Famous Names Included

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

With the most modern of technology comes the most modern of crimes.

Two men — one from Arkansas and another from California — were arrested Tuesday and charged in Newark, N.J.  with hacking into the AT&T’s servers and stealing emails and personal info of about 120,000 Apple iPad users including such notables as Diane Sawyer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Harvey Weinstein and Rahm Emanuel.

The thievery happened between June 5 and June 9, authorities said.

Andrew Auernheimer, 25, of Fayetteville, Ark., and Daniel Spitler, 26, of San Francisco were arrested by the FBI and charged with an alleged conspiracy to hack AT&T’s servers and for possession of personal subscriber information obtained from the servers.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that immediately after the Immediately following the theft, the hackers provided the stolen e-mail addresses and ICC-IDs (Circuit Card Identifiers) to the website Gawker, which published the stolen information in redacted form.

The article said the breach “exposed the most exclusive email list on the planet,”and indicated that iPad users were vulnerable to spam marketing and malicious hacking, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Mayor Bloomberg

U.S. Attorney Fishman stated: “Hacking is not a competitive sport, and security breaches are not a game,” said Newark U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

“Companies that are hacked can suffer significant losses, and their customers made vulnerable to other crimes, privacy violations, and unwanted contact.” Computer intrusions and the spread of malicious code are a threat to national security, corporate security, and personal security.”

Justice’s OPR Clears FBI Agent and Ex-Acting U.S. Attorney of Wrongdoing in N.J. Press Conference

Dun Weysan/fbi photo

Weysan Dun/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has cleared New Jersey’s ex-acting U.S. Attorney and the former head of the Newark FBI of wrongdoing related to statements they made in 2009 at a press conference regarding a major public corruption indictment of more than 40 people, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

The Justice Department concluded that ex-acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra and  Weysan Dun, who headed the FBI’s New Jersey office at the time, but now heads up the Omaha Division, acted properly, the Star-Ledger reported.

The Justice Department had been looking into allegations that the men stepped over the line when they made comments about the probe. Some accused them of making inflammatory comments to help boost ex-U.S. Attorney Chris Christe’s chances in his run for New Jersey governor, the Star-Ledger reported.  Christie won.

“The politicians willingly put themselves up for sale. For these defendants, corruption was a way of life. They existed in an ethics-free zone,” Mara said at the press conference, according to the paper.

The FBI’s Dun, remarked: “This case is not about politics. It is certainly not about religion. It is about arrogance and it is about a shocking betrayal of the public trust.”

The paper reported that a letter issued last week from the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility said:

“Based upon the results of our investigation, we concluded that you did not violate any professional obligation and thus did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment in this matter,” wrote Mary Patrice Brown, acting counsel for the office.

The paper reported that Justice Department guidelines say a prosecutor “shall refrain from making extrajudicial comments that pose a serious and imminent threat of heightening public condemnation of the accused.”

To read more click here.

Will Spike TV Spike Reality Show “DEA”?

deashow2By Matt Castello
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — NBC weatherman Al Roker predicts the weather, but his production company, which produces  the reality TV show “DEA”,  has been reluctant to predict whether there will be a third season for the program featured on Spike TV.

By most accounts, the forecast for a third season looks doubtful.

The show, which helped boost the profile of the agency and interest from prospective recruits, last aired on March 31,  2009, more than a year ago.  Both seasons featured agents in gritty, high-crime cities; the first year in Detroit, the second in Newark.

Debra Fazio, a spokeswoman for Spike TV, told ticklethewire.com “no decision has been made yet about a 3rd season.” And Tom Chiodo, a spokesman for Al Roker Entertainment Inc., the producer of the show, echoed similar sentiments, saying he was uncertain as well.

The show, which  followed DEA agents and task force members around as they busted down doors, made arrests and gathered info from informants, played to mixed reviews inside and outside the agency. On the upside, it gave the DEA, which is too often overshadowed by the FBI,  a higher profile and helped boost recruiting.

Read more »

Feds Bust Rookie ICE Agent in Newark Drug Sting

A rookie mistake? Hardly.

newark-map1

By The Newark Star-Ledger Staff
NEWARK –– A federal immigration agent suspected of robbing drug dealers was arrested yesterday during a pre-dawn sting at a Newark warehouse where he allegedly tried to steal what he believed was a shipment of cocaine, authorities said.

Valentino Johnson, a 25-year-old rookie agent, was surrounded by federal agents and a State Police SWAT team after he and two others grabbed the 110 pounds of fake narcotics from the sleeping compartment of a truck, authorities said.

For Full Story

Transportation Security Admin. Agent Arrested at Newark Airport

Airport crowd

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Well,  it’s always a little awkward when someone from the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees our airports, gets arrested.

But that’s what happened Friday morning at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The Associated Press reports that airport authorities arrested TSA  agent  Wanda Weems of Newark after she boarded a Continental Airlines flight bound for Houston without going through the pre-flight screening.

The wire service reported that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman John Kelly indicated the woman was wanted on traffic-related warrants. (A typical airport check would not have discovered that.)

As a result of Weems’s antics, the Associated Press reports that the flight was delayed for more than an hour. Passengers were taken off the plane and screened again.

Authorities did not disclose why Weems avoided the security.

How a Swaggering Ex-Federal Prosecutor Paul Bergrin, Son of a Cop, Allegedly Went Bad

Paul Bergrin/photo News12 New Jersey

Paul Bergrin/photo News12 New Jersey

This is a fascinating story that has all the markings of great movie. But federal authorities don’t see it as entertaining, nor amusing.

By Joe Ryan
Newark Star-Ledger
NEWARK — Last August, authorities say, Paul Bergrin traveled from Newark to Chicago hoping to meet a hit man.

Bergrin, who investigators describe as a go-to lawyer for Newark street gangs, was working on the case of an alleged Monmouth County cocaine kingpin. Authorities say the attorney wanted someone in Chicago to silence a potential witness.

That would-be triggerman, however, wound up working on a different case. He was an informant for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. And his case was against Bergrin.

After years of investigating, the DEA and the FBI arrested the 53-year-old lawyer May 20 on charges of running a wide-ranging criminal operation that included racketeering, mortgage fraud and employing nefarious and sometimes murderous tactics to shield his clients from prosecution.

For Full Story

Read Paul Bergrin Indictment