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Archive for March 25th, 2010

President Obama Nominates U.S. Attys for Calif., Ill. and Tenn.

Melinda Haag/law firm photo

Melinda Haag/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — More than a year into his presidency, President Obama continues to slowly inch toward finishing his U.S. Attorney appointments.

On Thursday, President Obama nominated Melinda L. Haag, a former federal prosecutor,  for U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Calif.; Jerry E. Martin, a private attorney, for the Middle District of Tennessee and assistant U.S. Attorney James Lewis for the Central District of Illinois.

Haag has been a partner at Orrick, Herrington &Sutcliffe since 2003. Martin has been a partner at Barrett Johnston &Parsley since 2007 and Lewis has worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Illinois since 1983.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Republican Congressman Eric Cantor Says Shots Fired Into Office

Mexican Gang May Target U.S. Border Agents

Border fence along Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo
Border fence along Ciudad Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The battle with the Mexican cartels only seems to be heating up.

USA Today reports that a Mexican gang with ties in the U.S. —  which is suspected of having a hand in murders of three people tied to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez —  may retaliate and go after U.S. officers.

The gang, Barrio Azteca,  is known as an enforcement arm of the powerful Juarez Cartel, and was the subject of a number of raids last week by U.S. federal, state and local officers and agents in Texas and New Mexico who were looking for clues in the consulate murders.

The newspaper reported that a bulletin from the El Paso Intelligence Center urged law enforcement officials along border to wear bullet proof vests and alert family members of the threat.

The paper attributed the information to Kevin O’Keefe, intelligence division chief for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The intelligence center is made up of federal, state and local agencies.

The paper said El Paso FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons did not know the exact source of the threat.

“It’s certainly good to remind agents that this could be something to watch for,” Simmons said, according to USA Today.

To read more click here.

NY-NJ FBI Launch New Website for Bank Robbers

(Left to right) FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Michael Harpster, Newark Division; ASAC Belle Chen, New York Division; ETS Chief Operating Officer Steve Childress; and ETS North Central Regional Managing Director Rick Battelle Photo Credit: Matthew Coleman, FBI
Press conference announcing site: (Left to right) FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Michael Harpster, Newark Division; ASAC Belle Chen, New York Division; ETS Chief Operating Officer Steve Childress; and ETS North Central Regional Managing Director Rick Battelle Photo Credit: Matthew Coleman, FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Law enforcement continues to take advantage of the Internet to try and solve crimes.

The latest is a new FBI website, BanditTracker NorthEast, that features photos and descriptions of bank robbers in 13 counties in New York and 18 counties in New Jersey.

“This website has proven to be a very effective tool for other FBI offices in identifying and catching bank robbers, and we expect it to be a great asset for New York,” head of the N.Y. FBI Joseph Demarest Jr. said in a statement issued Wednesday. “The site will provide 24-hour access for the public, bank employees and the news media. And it will provide confidential information to law enforcement around the clock.”

The FBI has launched similar sites in Arkansas, Chicago, Georgia, Indiana, Texas and St. Louis.

FBI Agents Find Secret Recordings in Chicago Mobster’s Suburban Home

Frank Calabrese Sr.

Frank Calabrese Sr.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI apparently wasn’t the only one recording mob conversations.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that FBI agents this week raided the suburban home of imprisoned legendary Chicago mob hitman Frank Calabrese Sr. and found 10 to 15 secret recordings he had made between himself and other gangsters.

The paper reported that agents unearthed the tapes from a secret compartment behind a family portrait in the Calabrese family basement in Oak Brook, an upscale Chicago suburb. Calabrese, who is serving a life sentence for mob activities, has been in prison since the late 1990s on various offenses.

The paper reported that agents also found more than $1 million in cash and jewelry “including stacks of $1,000 bills not printed since the 1940s, and seven loaded handguns that were free of prints and wrapped in towels or clothes, according to court documents released Wednesday.”

The paper reported that one tape appears to be of Ronald Jarrett, a burglar and mob killer and Calabrese Sr.’s closest friend. Jarrett was shot to death in 1999 in what remains an unsolved murder.

The Sun-Times reported that  Calabrese Sr.’s attorney, Joseph “The Shark” Lopez, downplayed the significance of the tapes.

“For all we know, it’s Frank Sinatra singing,” Lopez said, according to the paper.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Probe Into Destroyed CIA Tapes Winding Down (Washington Post)
Rep. Markey Asks for Police Patrols for Colo. Home (AP)
Expert Says Scouts Put Boys at Risk of Sexual Abuse (AP)
CIA Brought Birthday Cake for Suicide Bomber Who Killed 7 in Afghanistan (AP)
FBI Making Virtual Reality Prison Out of Bagram Prison (Politico)

Who Would Be Dumb Enough to Fall For Nigerian Advance Fee Scheme? Ask Ugochukwu Enwerem

dumbBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You really have to ask yourself: Who would be stupid enough to fall for the Nigerian advance-fraud schemes that collect fees from victims with the promise that they’ll get millions of dollars?

Or maybe you could just ask Nigerian National Ugochukwu Enwerem who was convicted Tuesday in a North Carolina federal court of being part of a scheme authorities say fleeced victims in the U.S. and other nations of more than  $9.5 million from 2002 to 2007, according to the Justice Department.

After six days of trial and four hours of deliberation, Enwerem was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and 14 counts of wire fraud, the Justice Department said. He was also ordered to forfeit more than $9.5 million.

Read more »

Mayor of Juarez on Mexico’s Border Hates The Drug Cartels; They Want Him Dead

FBI & Capitol Police Probe Threats Against at Least 10 Dem Lawmakers Tied to Health Care Vote

Rep. Bart Supak/govt photo

Rep. Bart Supak/govt photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI and U.S. Capitol Police have had their hands full since the passage of the controversial health care bill.

The Detroit News Washington bureau reports that the agencies are looking into threats against at least 10 Democratic lawmakers. Included among the targets is Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mi), the anti-abortion lawmaker.

The paper reports that “bricks have been hurled through Democrats’ windows, a propane line was cut at the home of a congressman’s brother, and threatening voice mails and faxes have been sent to some Democratic lawmakers.”

Stupak has gotten threatening phone calls and a drawing of a noose, via fax, with a noose on a platform and the words “Bart (SS) Stupak”, the paper reported.

One man left a message calling him a “baby killer” and said he hoped he died of cancer, the paper reported.

To read more click here.