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Archive for March 24th, 2009

Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano Talks About the Mexican Border

FBI Breaks Up One of the Largest Car Theft Rings in U.S. History

Some recoverd stolen car/fbi photo

Some recoverd stolen cars/fbi photo

The Big 3 auto companies may have problems selling cars, but apparently this stolen car ring did not.

By CNN
TAMPA — There’s probably no way to describe the feeling. Joe Pirrone’s pride and joy, his F350 Super Duty turbo diesel truck, turned out to be a stolen “clone.”

Joe Pirrone’s pride and joy, his F350 Super Duty turbo diesel truck, turned out to be a stolen “clone.”

One moment, Guiseppe “Joe” Pirrone was on a long weekend at the beach.

The next moment, he found out the pickup that he bought a year ago is stolen, and he is still on the hook for the $27,000 loan.

Stories like Pirrone’s are scattered across the country, and Tuesday the FBI announced that it has broken up one of the largest auto theft cases in the U.S.

Capping “Operation Dual Identity,” arrest warrants for 17 people were executed in Tampa and Miami, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; and in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico. The suspects were accused of “cloning” vehicles, which is making stolen cars look like legal ones.

The FBI says that the ring was operating in the U.S. for more than 20 years. More than 1,000 vehicles were stolen in Florida, with more than $25 million in losses to consumers and banks.
For Full Story

Obama Administration Announces Modest Steps to Deal With U.S.-Mexico Border Trouble

Tex. Gov. Rick Perry/official photo

Tex. Gov. Rick Perry/official photo

As expected, the Obama administration is taking steps to beef up security along the Mexican border. But the announcement falls short for Tex. Gov. Rick Perry, which should count for something since his state has had to deal with a whole lot of trouble.

By TODD J. GILLMAN
The Dallas Morning News
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration announced modest steps this morning to beef up border security and help Mexico fight its drug cartels.

But Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the president isn’t ready to grant Texas’ request for a troop surge to ward off spillover violence.

“There’s already a very, very heavy federal presence. We add to it, we target, we dedicate,” Napolitano said at the White House, adding that she will meet with Gov. Rick Perry in Texas on Thursday to press for details on his call for 1,000 soldiers or border agents.

The drug war has killed more than 7,000 Mexicans in the last 15 months, and Perry and other border officials have expressed concern that the violence is getting worse and could threaten more Americans.

Perry expressed disappointment, saying the state and its taxpayers have had to “fill in the gaps” because the federal presence isn’t enough.

For Full Story

ICE Moves to Deport Accused WWII Nazi

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

This case has gone down a road with endless twists and turns. Here’s the latest twist.

By M.R. KROPKO
Associated Press Writer
CLEVELAND — The U.S. government said Tuesday it is asking German officials for travel documents needed to deport accused World War II Nazi guard John Demjanjuk, who is charged in Europe with 29,000 counts of accessory to murder.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement provided an e-mail to The Associated Press showing that it has contacted the German government in its effort to deport Demjanjuk, once accused but ultimately cleared of being a notorious guard at the Treblinka concentration camp in occupied Poland.

The 88-year-old suburban Cleveland man was charged in Germany in March with crimes while working as a guard at Sobibor, a Nazi death camp in Poland.

His son, John Demjanjuk Jr., said Tuesday that his father remains at home and is not in federal custody.

For Full Story

Ex-ICE Official Chris Battle Says Pelosi Scapegoats ICE Agents as “Un-American”

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief
WASHINGTON — Perhaps you remember Congressman Luis Gutierrez. Last year he referred to immigration agents as Nazis. Well, to be specific, he referred to their use of “Gestapo” tactics.

Gestapo is a favored phrase among some in Congress when referring to homeland security agents. Congressman Sam Farr likes to use it too.

“Terrorist” is another favorite among some politicians. Perhaps they savor the irony – calling the men and women charged with protecting America from another terrorist attack … “terrorists.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi likes that one.

So does the President. Last year, on the campaign trail, then-candidate Barack Obama found himself in a brief flap for suggesting that ICE agents were “terrorizing” communities for enforcing immigration law. This prompted the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) to request an apology.

Now, like Sonny and Cher on tour, Nancy Pelosi and Luis Gutierrez have taken their act on the road as part of Gutierrez’s 17-city cross-country campaign. It’s like a bad summer concert line-up, all big hair and pyrotechnics. Call it Pelosipalooza.

This time, speaking in San Francisco, Pelosi declared that the enforcement operations taken by ICE agents are “un-American.”

Read more »

Homeland Inspector Gen. Report Says Phony Lawmen Can Sneak Guns on Planes

airport-photo

Every time they release a report like this you scratch your head and wonder why we haven’t done more since Sept. 11, 2001 to fix the flaws in our airport security.

By Chris Joyner
Jackson Clarion-Ledger

A loophole in airport security could allow a phony lawman to bring guns aboard a plane with little more than a fake letter and a badge bought off the Internet, a newly declassified federal report concludes.

The report from Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner is sharply critical of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s procedures for keeping unauthorized guns off planes.

Skinner’s probe is the result of a series of Clarion-Ledger articles investigating security breaches at Jackson-Evers International Airport, including several instances in which Jackson Mayor Frank Melton was allowed to take his personal guns aboard flights to and from Jackson and other airports.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat who represents Mississippi’s 2nd District, asked Skinner to conduct the investigation into Melton’s armed flights and reports that TSA workers in Jackson had been tipped off to secret inspections designed to test airport security.

For Full Story

Feds Bust Postal Worker For Stealing $300,000-plus in Stamps and Selling Them on eBay

ebay1This comes under the category of “No wonder the Postal Service is losing money”. It makes you wonder how pervasive this problem is.

By Larry Carson
Baltimore Sun
BALTIMORE — A U.S. Postal Service worker at the Elkridge post office is facing theft charges, accused of stealing more than $314,000 worth of stamps and, with a friend’s help, selling them on eBay.

Postal inspectors said in a federal criminal complaint that law enforcement officials began seeing stamps for sale on eBay at discounted prices in October 2008, and bought some, identifying a 23-year old Joppa man as the seller.

Through him, investigators were led to a postal clerk at the Elkridge Post Office. Later a video surveillance camera showed the man taking blocks of new stamps from a locked enclosure at the Elkridge office at 2:10 one January morning, and on other occasions.

Meanwhile, an audit of the Elkridge Post office turned up large numbers of missing stamps.

Postal inspectors said Marvin L. Foster, 54, of the 5300 block Kelmscot Road in Rosedale, a window clerk at the office, was seen on the video several times taking packages of stamps worth thousands of dollars at a time. Postal inspectors later bought several specially marked packages that they said Kyle Mathias, of the 2400 block Taylorbrook Lane had placed on eBay. Investigators said Mathias had sold $676,264 worth of merchandise, including stamps, since 2000.

For Full Story

Read Criminal Complaint

Long Island Police Consulted FBI Unit Before Arson Arrest

The FBI behavioral unit at Quantico has had its hand in many cases over the  years. Sometimes it has been right on and other times — not even close.  It may be a science, but it’s impossible to be right all the time.

fbi-logo2

BY JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
Newsday

Before they ever made an arrest, Nassau police used the help of a small, highly trained FBI behavioral unit to work up a psychological profile of an arsonist they say started a fire that killed four in Lawrence last month.

Later, they arrested Caleb Lacey, the volunteer firefighter who investigators now say set the blaze to gain glory as a hero.

Police departments nationwide and around the world have used the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Va. It has helped in other arson investigations as well as serial rape and extortion cases, among others, FBI officials said.

James McNamara, a supervisory special agent in the unit, said 60 percent of cases come from local and state police. Eight agents handle all adult crimes in the United States and abroad, he said. Because the Lawrence probe is ongoing, he would not provide specifics on how his unit helped Nassau police.

For Full Story

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