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‘America’s Toughest Sheriff’ May Face Criminal Charges Over Handling of Latinos

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, via Wikipedia.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of America’s most controversial law enforcement officials, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, may face criminal contempt-of-court charges following allegations he defied federal orders to top racially profiling Latinos.

The years-long legal saga is expected to come to a head as the Justice Department decides whether Arpaio should be charged for intentionally defying federal orders, the Washington Post reports. 

Arpaio, dubbed as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” has long been an adversary of immigration activists for his tough, defiant stance on Latinos.

The Washington Post wrote:

The decision followed several other blows for the Arizona sheriff in the protracted case. In May, U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow ruled that Arpaio and his aides – Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan, Capt. Steve Bailey and his former attorney, Michele Iafrate – had intentionally ignored federal orders to stop racially profiling Latinos at traffic stops and in “saturation patrols” of predominantly Latino neighborhoods.

On Aug. 19, Snow referred the sheriff and three of his associates to be prosecuted for criminal contempt of court.

The decision was almost without precedent, so unusual that even the Justice Department initially seemed unsure of what, exactly, would happen next.

Other Stories of Interest


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Widow of Rancher Shot During Wildlife Refuge Protest Is Suing FBI, State Police

Scene at federal wildlife refuge six weeks ago.

Scene at federal wildlife refuge earlier this year.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Oregon State Police are the targets of a potential lawsuit over the shooting of a rancher during a standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge.

The widow of Robert “Lavoy” Finicum said she plans to sue the state police and two FBI agents over the shooting near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Finicum, 54, acted as the spokesman for the anti-government protesters who occupied the refuge to protest charges filed against local ranchers.

Brian Claypool, an attorney for the widow, Jeanette Finicum, said he was motivated to file the suit after new evidence emerged in the case, including what appears to be shell casings from the FBI, which had denied pulling the trigger.

Finicum’s family said the man was “executed in cold blood.”


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FBI: Missing Girl Likely Abducted, Raped, Shot, Fed to Alligators

Brittanee Drexel, who went missing seven years ago.

Brittanee Drexel, who went missing seven years ago.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Gruesome new details have emerged in the case of a missing teenage girl who disappeared from Myrtle Beach seven years ago.

The FBI now believes 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel, of Rochester, NY, was “abducted, gang-raped, shot to death and thrown into an alligator-infested swamp,” the New York Daily News writes.

The information comes from a prison inmate, who said he was present during the killing.

“Several witnesses have told us Miss Drexel’s body was placed in a pit, or gator pit, to have her body disposed of. Eaten by the gators,” FBI Agent Gerrick Munoz said.

At least two people have been implicated in the case so far.


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Portland Press Herald: Ban on Medical Marijuana Hurts Legitimate Patients

marijuana-istockBy Editorial Board
Portland Press Herald

A recent decision upholding the federal ban on medical cannabis was a letdown in Maine and the 24 other states where the drug can be prescribed to ease the symptoms of illness.

But the Aug. 11 announcement also offered reason for a more optimistic prognosis: The Drug Enforcement Administration is removing a major roadblock to medical studies of marijuana and advancing long-stalled efforts to research the plant’s value as a medication.

For 46 years, marijuana (along with heroin and LSD) has been a Schedule I drug, with no known medical benefits and “a high potential for abuse.” So when the DEA announced in April that it would soon decide whether to reclassify cannabis, there was widespread hope that the government was rethinking its long-held stance on the drug.

The production, distribution and consumption of marijuana all remain illegal under federal law – a fact that keeps medical cannabis patients and state-licensed suppliers in limbo.

Maine families have had to establish residency in Colorado in order to obtain the cannabis extract that helps their children’s epilepsy. Why? Because that particular strain, Charlotte’s Web, is grown in Colorado. And if parents can’t find something that works at home, they don’t have the option of crossing state lines to get it somewhere else.

Under federal law, that’s drug trafficking, even if they’re transporting strains like Charlotte’s Web that are low in THC, the chemical compound that’s the source of the high.

To read more click here. 


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FBI Agents in Training Visit MLK Memorial As Part of Cultural-Sensitivity Training

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents who undergo months-long training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., undergo target practice and training for surveillance and self-defense.

But one of the newest exercises involves FBI agents in training to take a trip to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

The trainees, dressed in plainclothes, were told to pick the most inspirational MLK quote etched into the stone slabs of the memorial and then discuss it, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The point of the exercise its to show the FBI’s questionable investigations into King, which included racially motivated wiretapping and harassment.

FBI trainees receive other forms of cultural-sensitivity training, including visiting the National Holocaust Museum.

“We wanted to provide a lesson of what happens when power is abused and the responsibility that comes with being in the FBI,” said Cynthia DeWitte, a curriculum manager at the FBI academy. “We wanted this to be more than a field trip.”


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Border Patrol Finds Whopping $3M in Cash Stuffed in Car Trunk

Border Patrol found $3 million in cash stuffed in a trunk, via Border Patrol.

Border Patrol found $3 million in cash stuffed in a trunk, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents are accustomed to finding cash or drugs packed away in vehicles.

But agents in San Diego were shocked when they opened the trunk of a car and found $3 million in cash, CNN reports.

“This is one of our larger cash seizures,” said Ralph DeSio, spokesman for the San Diego office of US Customs and Border Protection.

The bust is a major victory because it hurts the drug smugglers who rely on the cash.

The money was discovered in a Volkswagen Passat.

Other Stories of Interest


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Weekend Series on Crime History: Being a ‘Rat’ In the Mafia


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FBI: Minnesota Man Used Settlement from Bridge Collapse to Support ISIS

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Mohamed Roble was 10 years old, the school bus he was riding crashed after a Minneapolis bridge began to crumble into the Mississippi river.

Thirteen people died when the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed.

Roble began receiving $19,000 from his settlement from the crash when he was 18. The Washington Post reports that Roble is accused of using the money to join ISIS in Syria not long after.

Roble is the 11th man from the Twin Cities area to be charged with supporting ISIS, the Justice Department said.


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