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Archive for June 10th, 2010

Crackdown on Mexican Cartels in U.S. Nets 2,200-Plus Arrests in 22 Months

Cities with "takedown activities" June 9 and 10, 2010/doj

Cities with "takedown activities" June 9 and 10, 2010/doj

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More than 2,200 people have been arrested in the past 22 months — 429 of them Wednesday — in a crackdown on Mexican drug trafficking organizations in the U.S. dubbed “Project Deliverance”, the Justice Department announced.

Among those arrested was Carlos Ramon Castro-Rocha, the suspected leader of the Castro-Rocha drug trafficking organization, authorities said.

The crackdown by federal agents and police targeted networks that distributed cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana in the U.S.,  and returned with cash and weapons, authorities said.

Read more »

Women Fed Agents Making Inroads Heading Up Field Offices; Some Say More Needs to be Done

woman_inrods

Far left block: FBI top row: l-r Amy Hess-Memphis, Valerie Parlave-Little Rock, Janice K. Fedarcyk-Philadelphia, Elizabeth Fries-Louisville; FBI Middle Row: l-r Amy Pickett-N.Y., Stephanie Douglas-San Francisco, Laura M. Laughlin-Seattle; FBI Bottom Row: l-r Charlene B. Thornton-Honolulu, Daphne Hearn-L.A., Carol K.O. Lee-Albuquerque, Kimberly K. Mertz-New Haven; Far Right Block: ATF Top Row: l-r Virginia O’Brien-Tampa, Theresa Stoop-Baltimore; DEA Bottom Row: l-r Elizabeth W. Kempshall-Phoenix, Ava A. Cooper-Davis-Washington D.C.

By Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –  In 1966, soul singer James Brown belted out his hit “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”  Well, 46 years later,  in the world of federal law enforcement,  men still far out number women,  but  woman have made some notable inroads.

At tickelthewire.com, we decided to examine  the progress by taking a snapshot of a key area of management — Special Agents in Charge (SAC)  of a field offices at three key Justice Department law enforcement agencies — the FBI, DEA and ATF.

A review of each field office shows that  women fared best at the FBI where they held 9 of 56 SAC  posts as heads of the field offices.  At the DEA,   2 of 21 offices were headed up by woman, and at  ATF 2 of 25. Additionally at the FBI, two women hold SAC positions –  one in  Los Angeles and one in New York –  but they do not head up those offices. Those offices are so big that they are headed up by an Assistant Director in charge, who supervises multiple SACs.

Some think the federal agencies need to try harder.

“I think federal agencies need to do more outreach and target women, this job is a really good match,” says Margaret Moore, who became the first female SAC for ATF in 1993, who retired from agency and is now executive director of WIFLE (Women in Federal Law Enforcement), which works to achieve gender equity in federal law enforcement.

” Women are good communicators; they’re good at analyzing and multi-tasking. It’s about connecting the dots and not kicking down the doors,” said Moore.

UPDATE: June 25: Denise Fedarcyk, the SAC for the Philly FBI, has been named to head up the New York office. Her title will change from SAC to assistant director in charge.  She is the first female to head up that office.

Read more »

DEA Agent Nabs Robber at D.C. Subway Station

metro
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — DEA agent Phil Kearney has hunted Afghan heroin traffickers over the years, but last week was a little different, according to Washington Post Columnist John Kelly.

Kelly writes that Kearney, who is now stationed in Ottawa, but was in Washington on business last week, was at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station in Washington ” backpack on his back, suitcase in his hand, suit jacket on and tie around his neck.”

Suddenly, he spotted a robber steal a cellphone from the hands of a commuter on the platform, Kelly wrote. The robber then hopped onto

Read more »

Ultimate Betrayal: Son Testifies Against Mobster Dad and Wore FBI Wire

mafia33By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It may be one of the ultimate betrayals in mob history, and certainly there have been no shortage of them. There was of course the very famous one: Gambino Underboss Sammy the Bull” Gravano turning on the top boss John Gotti.

But this one, according to the New York Daily News, may top them all: John Franzese Jr, 50, wore an FBI wire  and testified against his 93-year-old mobster dad John “Sonny” Franzese, an underboss in the Colombo crime family. The racketeering and extortion trial is currently underway in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

“The long decline of the mob has been marked by underlings ratting out bosses and even bosses ratting out everybody, but never before had a son taken the witness stand against his dad,” wrote N.Y. Daily News columnist Michael Daly.

“The betrayal was all the more remarkable because the son had no compelling reason for being up there with his left hand in his pocket and his right hand raised to take the oath,” Daily wrote.

“The younger Franzese was not working off a prison term or eluding prosecution. He did not even harbor manifest anger toward the 93-year-old father he pointed out at the defense table.”

Read More About The Son, the Wife and Father (New York Daily News)

Crooked Lobbyist Jack Abramoff Released to Halfway House

“Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.” Ray Charles, 1961.

Jack Ambramoff/ msnbc

Jack Ambramoff/ msnbc

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Crooked lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who epitomized all that was wrong with official Washington, is close to seeing daylight.

The Associated Press reported that Abramoff, 51, was released Tuesday from a minimum-security federal prison in Cumberland, Md, and sent to a halfway house in that state to finish off his sentence for fraud, corruption and conspiracy. He went off to prison in 2006.

He is set to be free on Dec. 4, AP reported.

Abramoff cooperated in a multi-year Justice Department investigation into public corruption that resulted in convictions of ex-Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), ex-deputy interior Secretary J. Steven Griles and several Capitol Hill aides, AP reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Pres. Obama Nominates U.S. Atty. for Fla and 6 U.S. Marshals

marshalsBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Wednesday nominated assistant U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill for U.S. Attorney in the Middle District of Florida and six people for U.S. Marshal posts around the country.

The Marshal nominations, according to a White House press release include:

  • Mark Lloyd Ericks for the Western District of Washington.
  • Joseph Patrick Faughnan Sr.for the District of Connecticut.
  • Harold Michael Oglesby for the Western District of Arkansas.
  • Donald Martin O’Keefe for the Northern District of California.
  • Kenneth James Runde for the Northern District of Iowa.
  • Charles Thomas Weeks II for the Western District of Oklahoma.

UPDATE: 4:10 p.m. Thurs. —  The Senate Judiciary earlier today gave the nod to four U.S. Attorney noninees: Thomas E. Delahanty for the District of Maine; Wendy J. Olson for Idaho; Donald J. Cazayoux for the Middle District of Louisiana and James A. Lewis for the Central District of Illinois.

FBI Defends Itself in Murder Linked to Joran van der Sloot

Joran van der Sloot

Joran van der Sloot

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI on Wednesday defended itself against accusations that it screwed up in the case involving Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the death of a woman in Peru. He has also long been a suspect in the death of Natalee Holloway, the Alabama high school teen who disappeared in Aruba five years ago after being last seen with van der Sloot.

The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alabama said in a statement that agents and prosecutors “were working as hard as possible to bring the case to fruition when they learned of the murder.”  Some criticized the FBI, saying it could have arrested van der Sloot before he went to Peru and allegedly murdered a 21-year-old woman.

On June 3, a few days after the murder, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged van der Sloot with wire fraud.  Several weeks before, Van der Sloot had contacted someone close to the Holloway family and asked for $250,000 in exchange for disclosing circumstances surrounding the death of  Natalee Holloway, the FBI said.

Press reports said the FBI set up a sting and an intermediary met on May 10 with van der Sloot in an Aruba hotel and gave him $10,000, according to AOL News. An additional $15,000 was wired to van der Sloot. Some critics say he should have been arrested right there on the spot after taking the money.

Instead, Van der Sloot reportedly used the money to go to Peru and play in a poker tournament, where he met Stephany Flores, 21, a business student.

Read more »

FBI Brings Terrorist Investigative Techniques to Wall Street

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Convicted swindler Bernie Madoff was no terrorist in the traditional sense, but he did terrorize many clients by robbing them of their finances and psychological security.

Hoping to spot financial scandals before they get too far — or too Madoff-like — the FBI in New York is increasingly employing the same tools and tactics it uses in terrorist investigations to unearth the evil doings of white-collar thieves and inside traders, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“We’re trying to apply the principles of the national security side so we can prevent something from becoming a $50 billion fraud by catching it early on,” James Trainor, a special agent in charge of the FBI’s Intelligence Division in New York, told the Journal.

The FBI in New York hopes to apply the tactics it uses in terrorist investigations to nab financial criminals, like Bernie Madoff.

The FBI said some of those tools include expanding its network of human sources — a key ingredient in fighting terrorism — who are willing to tip off or guide authorities in probes, the Journal reported. The FBI is also planning to use more intelligence reports and so-called trip-wire programs, things people should be on the lookout for when something seems a little fishy in the financial world.

To read full story click here.