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Archive for March 8th, 2010

FBI Impersonator Picks the Wrong Home (Gets ticklethewire.com Hot Dog Award)

hot dogBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the spirit of the Academy Awards comes the Hot Dog Award — and it goes to Santiago Contreras.

Authorities say he impersonated an FBI agent with a search warrant and tried to talk his way into a home in Middletown, N.Y., according to a police press release.

Problem was it was the home of the Middletown Police Chief Ramon Bethencourt, according to the Times Herald-Record.

Santiago Contreras/police photo

Santiago Contreras/police photo

The paper says Contreras  knocked on the door at 9:18 a.m., said he was with the FBI, flashed ID and a sheet of paper and said he had a search warrant to search the house.

The paper said the chief asked to see the ID again and Contreras left. He was arrested nearby with plastic gloves and a homemade plastic shank.

Authorities said he picked the house at random, the paper reported.

Coyote Hunter Accidentally Kills U.S. Forest Service Officer in Georgia

Ex-U.S. Army Ranger Gets 20 Years For Trying to Murder Fed Prosecutor in Seattle

seattle-map1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former U.S. Army Ranger Luke Sommer should have done the math before he committed the crime.

A federal judge in Seattle handed Sommer a 20-year sentence on Monday for offering an undercover FBI task force officer up to  $20,000 in a prison visitors’ area to kill the assistant U.S. Attorney in his bank robbery case. He was also fined $25,000.

Sommer’s offer to pay the agent came just months after he was sentenced to 24 years for bank robbery. Now he’ll serve 44 years. Authorities said the additional 20-year-sentence was not only for the attempted murder but for also using a knife in prison to attack a co-defendant in his bank robbery case.

Read more »

Ooops – Wrong al Qaeda Guy

Adam Gadahn/fbi photo

Adam Gadahn/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It seems after all that authorities did not capture California native Adam Gadahn, an al Qaeda spokesman listed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.

The initial reports in recent days was that Pakistani authorities had captured him. But instead American and Pakistani authorities identified the man who was captured in Karachi as Abu Yahya Mujahdeen al-Adam, the New York Times reported.

The paper reported that he was born in Pennsylvania and linked to Al Qaeda operations involved in fighting in Afghanistan.

Adam Gadahn, a California native, has become known as an al Qaeda spokesman who has called for military strikes against the U.S., the Times reported.

For Full Story

Feds Bust 2 NY Cops in $1 Million Perfume Heist

nypd badge

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You’d think that New York cops would know how to be better crooks. But nooo.

The feds on Friday charged two New York cops with helping pull off a  $1 million perfume heist at a New Jersey warehouse last month, the Associated Press reported.

The wire service reported that the cops didn’t do much to throw investigators off.  They used their own IDs to rent trucks, which were later linked to the crime.

Officers Richard LeBlanca and Brian Checo were among five suspects in the case, AP reported.

“If these allegations are true, it would be a shame that New York’s finest would be involved in conduct like this,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Gramiccioni said, according to AP.

To read more click here.

Sen. Lindsey Graham Wants to Cut Deal on Military Tribunal for 9/11 Trial

Sen. Lindsey Graham critical of move

Sen. Lindsey Graham

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The horse trading Washington is so famous for is in full swing.

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that if the White House agrees to try self-described 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal he would press fellow Republicans to vote to shut down Guantanamo Bay.

The the issue has been a matter of intense discussion at the White House and at the Justice Department, but so far no decision has been made.

Graham also said on the CBS show a new legal system needs to be created to try dangerous detainees.

“We need a legal system that gives due process to the detainee but also understands they didn’t rob a liquor store,” he said.

See ticklethewire.com columns by Ross Parker and Steven Levin.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Retired Philly ATF Agent William Drum Dead at Age 85

atf_sealBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

William J. Drum, a highly regarded “take-no-prisoners” Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives agent in Philadelphia for 20 years, died last week at age 85, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

Drum started with ATF in 1960 and retired in 1980, the paper reported. He also worked as an investigator in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and security officer for Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City.

He was a church deacon and lived in Blackwood, N.J., the paper reported.

“He had a stable of informants,” James Kelly, retired ATF agent who worked with Drum told the Daily News. “He was the personification of the U.S. Treasury agent. He was a hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners type of guy who never let up on a case. He worked 12-16 hours a day, seven days a week.”

To read more click here.

Column: Justice Dept. & Law Enforcement Should Decide on 9/11 Trial Venue — Not Politicians

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and in total  worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for 28 in that office.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker

The decision of where and in what forum—civilian court or military commission—to prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-defendants has sparked a political firestorm of debate.

“Conservative” politicians and pundits have managed to cast the debate in terms of rights of enemy combatants versus the legitimate security needs of the United States. In other words, which is more important, the lives of Americans or the rights of terrorists? When put that way, it is easy to tell which hand has the chocolate.

The administration has been dithering and straddling on the issue. Reports have it that the President’s advisers are recommending a shift to the predominant or even exclusive use of military commissions and that his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is discussing a deal with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

All of this partisan posturing obscures and politicizes a question which should be decided by law enforcement and Justice Department professionals according to the needs and circumstances of a particular case. Why should we eliminate as an option the criminal justice system which has so successfully resulted in hundreds of double digit prison terms for those convicted of terrorism-related violations?

Read more »