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Former DEA and Secret Service Agents Expected to Be Arrested For Stealing Money While Working Undercover

By BENJAMIN WEISER and MATT APUZZO
New York Times

Two former federal agents are expected to be arrested on Monday on charges of stealing money while working undercover on an investigation into Silk Road, the once-thriving black market website for drug dealing, a document shows.

The former agents are Carl Mark Force IV, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Shaun Bridges, who worked for the Secret Service.

Mr. Force is being charged with wire fraud, theft of government property and money laundering, and Mr. Bridges is being charged with wire fraud and money laundering, according to an affidavit filed in the United States District Court in San Francisco.

To read more click here.


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Wounded Fed Judge Remains Example of Being Positive About Detroit

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit
DETROIT — U.S. District Judge Terrence Berg could be a spokesman for having a good attitude about Detroit despite being the victim of a shooting outside his home in city’s University District earlier this month during an attempted robbery.

“Overall, I have such a positive feeling about Detroit and where we live,” he told Steve Garagiola of WDIV.

Berg, 55, who was shot in the leg, and is moving about on crutches,plans to join a march on Friday at  6 p.m. the Gesu Catholic Church a 117180 Oak Dr, Detroit.

He said march will be about being positive about Detroit and speaking out against violence.

He was shot March 5 outside his home after he refused to let two robbers into his home where his wife and child were.

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FBI Solves Boston’s Most Notorious Unsolved Crime After 25 Years

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Boston’s most notorious unsolved crime may finally have a resolution after the FBI said the two robbers were positively identified as being responsible for one of the largest art heists in the nation, Breitbart.com reports. 
The bold robbery occurred in 1990 at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and has perplexed investigators and art lovers since.
The suspects, George Reissfelder, 48, and Lenny DiMuzio, died within a year of committing the burglary.

The pair posed as uniform Boston cops and looted the museum for 81 minutes.
Here is a listing of the works stolen, according to the FBI:

Vermeer, The Concert
Rembrandt, A Lady and Gentleman in Black
Rembrandt, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee
Rembrandt, Self-Portrait
Govaert Flinck, Landscape with Obelisk
Manet, Chez Tortoni
Degas, La Sortie de Pesage
Degas, Cortege aux Environs de Florence
Degas, Program for an artistic soiree (1)
DegasProgram for an artistic soiree (2)
Degas, Three Mounted Jockeys
Chinese Beaker or Ku
Bronze Eagle Finial

 


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FBI Wants to Ban Cell Phone Encryption; Congress Shows Cluelessness

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If the FBI had its way, security encryption would be outlawed on cell phones.

FBI Director James Comey is lobbying Congress to create a law that would require tech companies to “create a backdoor into any communications device that uses encryption,” Gizmodo reports.

Only trouble is, many Congressional members don’t know the first thing about encryption, Gizmodo wrote.

I don’t know anything about this stuff,” Rep. John Carter, chairman of the subcommittee on Homeland Security, said.

“There you have it—a man in charge of doling out billions of dollars of cybersecurity money openly admits that he knows nothing about cybersecurity. The scene would be hilarious if its implications weren’t so disturbing,” Gizmodo wrote.

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Parker: President Obama Talks on NPR about “The Wire” and Crime

Ross Parker

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.
 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

If you haven’t viewed the NPR video of President Obama’s conversation with David Simon, the creator of the HBO series “The Wire,” on the subjects of drugs, criminal justice policies and law enforcement, it is worth watching. 

The President lauded the series as one of the greatest pieces of art in the last two decades, a view expressed by many in law enforcement of all possible perspectives.  The show follows the lives of drug dealers, school kids, teachers, and police officers in the worst sections of drug infested Baltimore.

Much of the discussion, I thought, had a lot of merit. The nation’s declining rate of violent crime arrests and increasingly long sentences for all levels of drug convictions, causes and effects, posed some insightful discussion. Both men recognized the effectiveness on public safety resulting from a shift in city police resources from street level arrests to more complex investigations of more culpable traffickers. Neither pointed out, however, the contribution and support for this trend from federal law enforcement.

The President did recognize the challenges for law enforcement, the dangers police face, and the need to engage prosecutors and the public, along with law enforcement, in discussions about the “environmental factors,” like the role of schools, counselors, mental health resources, and job availability to change the life directions of convicted drug dealers.

Other topics, however, activated my “squirm” factor.

The President noted the Attorney General’s efforts to convert USAOs away from thinking about effective prosecutions based on the length of the sentences obtained toward achieving justice in cases. He is apparently accomplishing this goal “administratively,” but it needs new legislation to compel this objective of re-orienting federal prosecutors.

Jeez, here I thought that this was what the overwhelming percentage of USAs and AUSAs have long been accomplishing in adherence to, but also sometimes in spite of, the policy dictates and requirements of Washington along with the array of crime and sentence legislation passed by a demagogic Congress to burnish their image as crime fighters.

The other issue was the lack of any mention of the need to support the priorities and resources of federal law enforcement, which has aimed to accomplish many of the exact changes in policy direction highlighted by the discussion.

For my money until the money issue popped up in state and federal governments, the absence of any political and policy discussion of important criminal justice and law enforcement issues has been deafening. As has the absence of political will and leadership to promote ways to evolve and innovate in this area, in tandem with adequately supporting the every-day responsibilities to enforce the law.

This complaint is aimed not only, or perhaps even primarily, at the Executive Branch, but can be shared with the Congress, as well as state governments. Perhaps most of all, the issue has unfortunately simply slid off the public and political wave length in the last decade. Think about how often you heard candidates discuss crime and law enforcement in their campaign speeches.

I know this is preaching to the choir for many ticklethewire.com readers and quibbling and unproductive finger pointing for others. The fact is that there is much to applaud in the President raising these subjects for discussion on the public agenda even in this limited forum. His reasons for optimism for a wider discussion in the future are encouraging for us all.


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Weekend Series on Crime History: Sammy the Bull


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Scandal in Oregon? U.S. Attorney Placed on Leave Pending Investigation, Local Paper Reports

Amanda Marshall/ DOJ photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall may have troubles of her own to deal with.

The Willamette Weekly, Portland’s alternative newspaper, reports that the Justice Department placed Marshall on leave earlier this month pending an investigation of allegations that she stalked one of her male prosecutors.

The paper reports that the stalking allegedly involved text messages and emails, which would provide documentary evidence of her behavior. Neither Marshall nor the subordinate responded for comment to the paper, which wrote that it was unclear the nature of their relationship.

Marshall told The Oregonian newspaper that she stepping aside temporarily because “I’ve been having health issues for months. I can’t serve right now.”

Marshall was nominated for the position by President Obama in 2010 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2011.

To read more click here.


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Secret Service Has Strict, New Policy Limiting When Agents Can Drive After Drinking

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is implementing a new policy that bars agents and other employees from driving government cars within 10 hours of drinking alcohol, The Washington Post reports. 

The policy comes after the embarrassing discovery that two agents allegedly interrupted a bomb-threat investigation scene at the White House earlier this month.

The new rules also came a day before Secret Service Director Joseph P. Clancy testified before a House committee.

“Secret Service employees are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that reflects the highest standards of the United States Government and must maintain an appropriate state of awareness and mission preparedness,” says the Monday memo to staff.

Anyone who violates the policy will be “subject to the full range of available disciplinary and adverse actions up to and including removal from employment,” the memo read.

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