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Archive for March 23rd, 2009

Jenna Bush’s Secret Service Guys Get Tickets in Baltimore

Often times law enforcement cars get a pass when it comes to parking tickets or moving violations. But the Secret Service agents who protect Jena Bush found themselves in an embarrassing situation. Apparently, the city had had enough.

Jenna Bush/uga.edu

Jenna Bush/uga.edu

By Kelly Groft and Delia Goncalves
abc2news
BALTIMORE — Jenna Bush has called one stylish South Baltimore street, just outside Federal Hill, home for about a year. It seems in the course of that year, her Secret Service has been ignoring parking tickets. Friday, it finally caught up to them.

Adrienne Barnes from the Baltimore City Department of Transportation said, “We can confirm that two undescribed vehicles were ticketed one vehicle was towed.”

There was no sympathy from her neighbors.

“I think it’s great,” said James Gorman, “They should deal with everything we deal with day in and day out.” Maria Gonzalez added, “It’s nice to know no matter what the license plate says no matter what kind of car they’re going to take care of it.”

Department of Transportation officials said an agent paid to get the car released and will pay all fines incurred. The City typically tows after 3 outstanding parking tickets. “All 3 tickets have to be more than 30 days old,” explained Barnes.

For Full Story

Former FBI SAC John Bell Named Inspector Gen. of Detroit Schools

If ever there was a school system in dire straights, it’s Detroit. The good news is that emergency manager Robedetroitrt Bobb, the former deputy mayor of D.C. is there to help. He’s top notch. And now they’ve brought in another person of integrity, John E. Bell Jr., as inspector general. Bell is the former special agent in charge of the Detroit office and is no stranger to the shenanigans of the city that have helped put it behind the eight ball.

Tom Greenwood
Detroit News
DETROIT — Detroit Public Schools’ new financial management team will get some high-powered help from a former FBI special agent.

The team, announced today by new emergency manager Robert Bobb, includes Inspector General John E. Bell Jr., who served from 2002-2005 as special agent in charge of the Federal Air Marshal Service’s Detroit field office after 32 years with the FBI. Bell also served as special agent in charge of FBI investigative operations in Michigan.

Bell will be charged with rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in the district, Bobb said.

For Full Story

Owen Harris to Head FBI Charlotte Division

fbi1By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com
WASHINGTON — Owen Harris, who served as a section chief of the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence at headquarters, has been named special agent in charge of the Charlotte division, the agency announced Monday.

Harris, an agent since 1990, replaces Nathan T. Gray, who was recently named special agent in charge of the Phoneix division.

Harris’ first stint was in Gary, Ind. He later went on to become a supervisory agent in the Hate Crimes Unit within the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters, the FBI said.

At that post, he served as the national program manager for civil rights investigations involving racial and religious discrimination, according to the bureau. He also represented the FBI on the U.S. Attorney General’s Hate Crimes Working Group and served on the President’s National Church Arson Task Force, which investigated arsons nationwide.

He took on several posts after that including violent crimes supervisor in the Houston Division, assistant section chief in the Counterterrorism Division,  and assistant special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh office. He returned to headquarters in 2007.

He is married and has three children.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Short of Agent Applicants With Language Skills Like Farsi

farsi2

By Allan Lengel
Ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The FBI, in the midst of a major campaign blitz to fill more 3,000 jobs, said it is having trouble attracting enough prospective agents who speak Chinese, Farsi, Russian, Somali and Swahili.

To boot, the agency said it has had a dearth of agent applicants with backgrounds in computer science, information technology, accounting and certified fraud examination.

Denise Ballew, an FBI spokeswoman, said the agency is running television ads to drum up interest in these jobs. She said the target cities for the remainder of the year are likely to include Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Washington and Atlanta.

Not to say there has been a shortage of applicants for other jobs.

To date, the agency said it has had more than 270,000 applicants for about 2,100 professional staff jobs and about 850 special agent positions. Since fiscal 2009 began on Oct. 1, 2008, the agency has hired 435 agents to fill the 850 openings and 600 professional staff posts out of about 2,100 openings, she said.

She said the FBI anticipates screening a pool of about 5,000 applicants to try and fill many of the remaining jobs by the end of fiscal 2009.

Ballew said the initial hiring blitz, first announced in December, was intended to address  the “then current and projected positions due to attrition and retirement.”

She said the agency expects to continue recruiting for agents beyond fiscal 2009.

Video of Drug Money Swirling Around the San Diego Freeway (see related story below)

DEA Wants Freeway Loot Back

flying-moneyBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Money sure is tight these days. So it made it all the better to see it flying all over the San Diego freeway the other day.

But not so fast.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration wants the loot back, and is going to great lengths to get it.

The Associated press is reporting that DEA agents plan to review a video of a freeway chase in San Diego to identify motorists who grabbed the cash that was being thrown of out a vehicle in fistfuls by two men during a police chase on Thursday.

Some have given back the money, others have not, the wire service reported.

The chase was apparently captured on television and surveillance cameras.

The Associated press reported that DEA spokeswoman Eileen Zeidler said that after the suspects were arrested police and DEA agents recovered more than $17,000.

Zeidler told the AP that the money is considered evidence.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Mexican Drug Cartels Moving in On Lucrative Illegal Immigrant Smuggling

mexico2

Not a surprise that the Mexican drug cartels would find other lucrative enterprises. This time it’s smuggling of illegal aliens. That’s an area that can only become more violent as the cartels take over. Here’s another reason for the U.S. to step it up and address the Mexican drug cartel and border problems.

By Josh Meyer
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON— Mexican drug cartels and their vast network of associates have branched out from their traditional business of narcotics trafficking and are now playing a central role in the multibillion-dollar-a-year business of illegal immigrant smuggling, U.S. law enforcement officials and other experts say.

The business of smuggling humans across the Mexican border has always been brisk, with many thousands coming across every year.

But smugglers affiliated with the drug cartels have taken the enterprise to a new level — and made it more violent — by commandeering much of the operation from independent coyotes, according to these officials and recent congressional testimonies.

U.S. efforts to stop the cartels have been stymied by a shortage of funds and the failure of federal law enforcement agencies to collaborate effectively with one another, their local and state counterparts and the Mexican government, officials say.

U.S. authorities have long focused their efforts on the cartels’ trafficking of cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamines, which has left a trail of violence and corruption.

Many of those officials now say that the toll from smuggling illegal immigrants is often far worse.

For Full Story

RELATED STORY

Mexican Drug War Spilling Over Border at Alarming Rate (N.Y. Times)