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Archive for March 30th, 2009

FBI Going Online to Catch Bank Robbers

It’s good to see  the Internet being used to crack crimes.  We’ve seen it used too often to commit crimes.  

BY ADAM WALLWORTH
ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

FBI agents are going online to catch bank robbers.

In the past six months, four bank robberies have been solved with the assistance of www.bandittrackerarkansas.comWanted Ark. Bank Robber, said Steven Burroughs, supervisory special agent for the FBI in Little Rock.

“Just with those few numbers, that’s a valuable thing,” he said about the site launched in 2008.

The site features security camera photos and details of robberies throughout the state. A barrage of five highpriority suspects graces the top of the page and is updated as heists occur.

For Full Story

Hezbollah Using Mexican Drug Routes into U.S.

border-fence-photo5It’s not surprising that other groups would get in on a good thing. The Hezbollah revelation is an interesting twist in the nagging Mexican border problem.

By Sara A. Carter
The Washington Times
WASHINGTON — Hezbollah is using the same southern narcotics routes that Mexican drug kingpins do to smuggle drugs and people into the United States, reaping money to finance its operations and threatening U.S. national security, current and former U.S. law enforcement, defense and counterterrorism officials say.

The Iran-backed Lebanese group has long been involved in narcotics and human trafficking in South America’s tri-border region of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Increasingly, however, it is relying on Mexican narcotics syndicates that control access to transit routes into the U.S.

Hezbollah relies on “the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels,” said Michael Braun, who just retired as assistant administrator and chief of operations at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“They work together,” said Mr. Braun. “They rely on the same shadow facilitators.”

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Nevada Man With Fascination for Va. Tech Killings Faces Fed Charges For Sending Threatening Emails

nevada1This story comes under the category of “scary people with guns”. With 13 guns and three bullet-proof vests, who knows what this guy was capable of doing.

By Allison Klein
Washington Post Staff Writer

As the second anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre approaches, federal prosecutors are preparing a criminal case against a Nevada man who police say idolized shooter Seung Hui Cho, owned the same type of guns Cho used and sent threatening e-mails to two Tech students who had run-ins with Cho before the rampage.

In the e-mails, Johnmarlo Balasta Napa, 27, included a picture of Cho holding paper dolls with photos of the faces of the two students and the people he killed, according to court records. Napa is accused of sending the e-mails from the address seunghuichorevenge@yahoo.com hours before the first anniversary of the April 16, 2007, shooting.

When Napa was arrested last year, police found 13 guns and three bulletproof vests in his house in Henderson, Nev., police said.

Napa, who has been held without bail since April, is charged with two counts of sending e-mail threats. His trial is scheduled for April 28 in U.S. District Court in Roanoke. He could face up to 10 years in prison.

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FBI OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-FBI Agent Featured in Tv Episode on Steroids

Greg Stejskal

Greg Stejskal

ticklethewire.com columnist Greg Stejskal is featured in an episode on the Investigation Discovery network about steroids.

By Amalie Nash
Ann Arbor News
ANN ARBOR, Mi. — Retired Ann Arbor FBI Agent Greg Stejskal jokes that he was hoping Clint Eastwood would play him. Stejskal is indeed portrayed by an actor – not exactly Eastwood, though – in an upcoming episode of “Undercover: Double Life,” on the cable network Investigation Discovery.

The hour-long episode, airing Tuesday for the first time, focuses on Operation Equine, an investigation into steroid trafficking that began in Ann Arbor in 1989.

That investigation later generated controversy when Stejskal revealed in 2005 that he had warned Major League Baseball years earlier about steroid use among players after arresting the personal trainer of star player Jose Canseco.

The Investigation Discovery piece – which The News got a sneak peak of this week – focuses on Bill Randall, the undercover agent Stejskal chose to pose as a gym owner interested in getting steroids for some clients.

Randall and Stejskal are extensively interviewed, interspersed with a number of flashback scenes showing them – portrayed by actors – working together on the case. Randall was assigned to the Detroit FBI office and now lives in Oakland County.

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Can You Spell C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N? Mexico Must Deal With Corrupt System When Battling Drug Cartels

REYNOSA, Mexico — An army convoy on the hunt for traffickers rolled out of its base recently in this border town under the control of the Gulf Cartel — and an ominous voice crackled over a two-way radio frequency to announce just that.

The voice, belonging to a cartel spy, then broadcast the soldiers’ route through the city, turn by turn, using the same military language as the soldiers.

“They’re following us,” Col. Juan José Gómez, who was monitoring the transmission from the front seat of an olive-green pickup truck, said with a shrug.

The presence of the informers, some of them former soldiers, highlights a central paradox in Mexico’s ambitious and bloody assault on the drug cartels that have ravaged the country. The nation has launched a war, but it cannot fully rely on the very institutions — the police, customs, the courts, the prisons, even the relatively clean army — most needed to carry it out.

The cartels bring in billions of dollars more than the Mexican government spends to defeat them, and they spend their wealth to bolster their ranks with an untold number of politicians, judges, prison guards and police officers — so many police officers, in fact, that entire forces in cities across Mexico have been disbanded and rebuilt from scratch.

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