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Archive for October 28th, 2008

Mass. State Senator Busted In FBI Bribery Sting

As the FBI has learned by now, there always some politician somewhere waiting to cash in.

State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson/official photo

State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson/official photo

By Jessica Fargen and Mike Underwood
The Boston Herald
BOSTON — State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson was arrested this morning following an 18-month, “painstaking” undercover investigation, during which she was allegedly caught on tape stuffing a cash bribe into her bra and taking payoffs to push through a Roxbury nightclub liquor license, according to a complaint.
“Dianne Wilkerson accepted these cash payments in exchange for her official duties and responsibilities,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan during a morning news conference at the federal courthouse.
Wilkerson will be charged this afternoon in federal court with attempted extortion and theft of honest services as a state senator, stemming from a money-for-legislation sting operation, officials said.
A federal criminal complaint alleges that Wilkerson was busted for accepting eight brides, totaling $23,500, in exchange for her influence on Beacon Hill.
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Cartel Infiltrates Mexico’s Top Law Enforcement Unit and May Have Bought U.S. Intelligence

It’s one of the worst fears of the Mexican and U.S. governments. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time and likely won’t be the last.

By Tracy Wilkinson
Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY — In a damning blow to its fight against drug traffickers, the Mexican government Monday acknowledged severe penetration of a top law enforcement agency by a vicious gang that may even have bought intelligence on U.S. operations from renegade employees.
At least 35 officials and agents from an elite unit within the federal attorney general’s office have been fired or arrested in an investigation that began July 31 following tips from an informer.
The officials, including a senior intelligence director, are believed to have been leaking sensitive information to the very traffickers they were investigating for as long as four years, prosecutors said.
In exchange, prosecutors said, the corrupt government officials received monthly payments of $150,000 to $450,000 each from the so-called Beltran Leyva cartel, a drug gang based in the Pacific state of Sinaloa that is engaged in a bloody fight with rivals for domination of the region’s lucrative trade.
For Full Story

Bikers Gave Undercover ATF Agents Polygraphs

atf photo

atf photo

And you thought your job was stressful!

By Thomas Watkins
Associated Press
WEST COVINA, Calif. – Weeks of drinking and carousing to win acceptance in a notorious motorcycle gang came down to a nerve-racking moment for three undercover federal agents: taking a polygraph examination in a room full of armed bikers.
Flunking could threaten what would become a three-year probe into the Mongols Motorcycle Club – not to mention the agents’ own safety.
Federal prosecutors say all three Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were prepared for the challenge and passed the tests, critical moments in the investigation that culminated last week in multistate raids and at least 64 arrests on charges including murder, drug trafficking and torture.
The Mongols had been infiltrated before, so gang leaders went to extraordinary lengths to test their “prospects,” including running background checks and having a private investigator administer the polygraph tests.
For Full Story

DEA Says Capture of Mexican Drug Lord “One Of The Most Signficant Arrests Ever”

Eduardo Arellano-Felix/dea photo
Eduardo Arellano-Felix/dea photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The weekend arrest in Mexico of drug kingpin Eduardo Arellano-Felix was  hailed Monday by the DEA as “one of the most significant arrests ever in the ongoing battle against global drug trafficking”.
Authorities said the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego first identified the kingpin’s hideout in the Otay Mesa area of Tijuana.
Then Mexican authorities arrived at the scene on Saturday, where they got into a gun battle with Arellano-Felix , the DEA said. After shots were exchanged, Arellano-Felix was captured.
His 12-year-old daughter was then evacuated from the scene.
The U.S. State Department had been offering a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Arellano-Felix, authorities said.
He took over the day-to-day operations of the cocaine-marijuana cartel after his brother was arrested in August 2006, authorities said.
“The arrest of Eduardo Arellano-Felix closes the book on this once powerful and brutally violent criminal band of brothers,” said acting DEA Adminitrator Michele M. Leonhart.