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Archive for March 22nd, 2009

How the Feds Built a Case Against a Powerful Pensylvania State Senator

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

The FBI and U.S. Attorneys Office started piecing together a case against powerful ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo receipt by receipt. There were skeptics who thought they couldn’t make a case. The group of lawyers and investigators proved them wrong. Here’s how.

By Emilie Lounsberry and Craig R. McCoy
Inquirer Staff Writers
PHILADELPHIA — It was early in the investigation, but already the FBI was getting on Vince Fumo’s nerves.

In a typically blunt e-mail, he wrote to a top aide in 2004 that a delicate part of his anatomy had just been “busted by my 2 friendly female FBI agents.”

Then he cursed them.

His aide replied: “I do not like those people. Long live the realm of Fumo-world! :-)”

Now former State Sen. Fumo stands convicted of scores of counts of corruption in a $4 million fraud, his aide has lost his job, and Fumo-world is a smoking ruin.

Relentlessly civil, but also downright relentless, FBI Agents Vicki Humphreys and Kathleen T. McAfee scrutinized Home Depot receipts and analyzed American Express card bills, tallied up toll slips and tracked down yacht captains, all to build a case that everyone told them they could never construct.

They were joined by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John J. Pease and Robert A. Zauzmer

For Full Story

Related Story

Obama to Send Federal Agents, Equipment and Other Resources to Mexico Border

This is a good first step in the battle against the growing menace of the violent Mexican drug cartels. But in all likelihood, this is just a start. More will bborder-fence-photo3e needed.

By Spencer S. Hsu and Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — President Obama is finalizing plans to move federal agents, equipment and other resources to the border with Mexico to support Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s campaign against violent drug cartels, according to U.S. security officials.

In Obama’s first major domestic security initiative, administration officials are expected to announce as early as this week a crackdown on the supply of weapons and cash moving from the United States into Mexico that helps sustain that country’s narco-traffickers, officials said.

The announcement sets the stage for Mexico City visits by three Cabinet members, beginning Wednesday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and followed next week by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

For Full Story