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Archive for August, 2010

Terror Dry Run or Big Misunderstanding?

Off-Duty FBI Agent Shoots and Wounds Teenager After Robbery in Cleveland Heights

cleveland heights mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty FBI agent from Chicago on Monday night shot and wounded a teenager in Cleveland Heights who held up him and a friend, WKYC TV reported.

The station, attributing the information to the Cleveland FBI office, reported that the agent and a friend were returning from dinner around 11 p.m. when they were approached by two armed suspects near a park.

One of the suspects pointed a gun at the victims and said, “Don’t turn around or I will blow your head off,” the station reported, attributing the information to the Cleveland Heights Police.

The suspects stole the FBI agent’s wallet, badge and ID then fled, according to the station. The agent chased the suspects and fired two shots, striking the 15-year-old suspect. The other suspect, 19, was also arrested. The condition of the 15-year-old was not known.

Acting Genovese Capo Pleads to Plotting to Kill Hitman for Russian Mob

hitman-gun1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The acting capo of the Genovese organized crime family pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in New York to taking part in a conspiracy to commit murder of a hitman for the Russian mob, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Authorities say that Anthony Palumbo, a soldier and Acting Capo in the Genovese Organized Crime Family and operated crews in Brooklyn and New Jersey and oversaw various rackets including including gambling, loansharking and extortion.

Around 1990, when capo Daniel Pagano went to prison, Palumbo was placed in charge of overseeing the Genovese Crime Family’s interests in an illegal mob cartel, which extorted petroleum companies affiliated with the Russian mob.

The Russian mob ran a fraudulent motor fuel bootlegging scheme, in which the petroleum companies evaded the payment of federal and state motor fuel excise taxes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The Genovese and other Organized Crime Families extorted a share of the illegal proceeds, authorities charged.

In about late 1992 or early 1993, a member of the Russian mob asked Palumbo to murder a hitman who worked for him.

Palumbo and his co-conspirators agreed to murder the Russian hitman, but Genovese Crime Family’s higher ups refused to authorize the murder, and the Russian hitman never was killed, authorities said.

DEA to Conduct Program to Destroy Prescription Drugs

got_drugsBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Prescription drugs stored in medicine cabinets and in kitchens and bedrooms may not be as innocent as they appear.

With that in mind, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, along with government, community, public health and law enforcement partners, plan next month to launch a “Take-Back” initiative “that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft.”

The DEA said it will collect potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at sites nationwide on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs,” the DEA said in a press release.

“Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet,” the release said.

Michele M. Leonhart, Acting Administrator of DEA said in a statement: “This effort symbolizes DEA’s commitment to halting the disturbing rise in addiction caused by their misuse and abuse.”

FBI Challenges NY Times Story on Civil Rights Era Murder Investigations

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI’s chief spokesman fired off a letter editor to the New York Times challenging a story the paper published that was critical of the bureau’s efforts to solve cold case murders from the civil rights era.

“I am concerned that ‘Despite F.B.I. Fanfare, Time Runs Out on Cold Civil Rights Cases’ (front page, Aug. 24) shortchanges readers on the efforts by dedicated FBI agents and Department of Justice prosecutors in this unprecedented undertaking to determine the facts in more than 100 unsolved civil-rights-era homicides,” FBI chief spokesman Michael P. Kortan wrote in a letter that appeared in Sunday’s edition.

“Although all the details cannot be shared publicly, investigators are confident that they now know what happened in each of the 57 cases that have been closed.”

“Of those, six cases have been referred for state prosecution, and in 36 others, families have been told the results of the investigation. They deserve to know the truth, even when prosecution is not possible.”

“Investigating decades-old murder cases can be both difficult and frustrating, but this has not deterred the commitment of investigators and prosecutors. Work continues in the remaining cases to bring prosecutions when possible, and closure for families when it is not.”

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Lawyer Accuses Feds of Misconduct in Gambino Crime Family Case

mafia33By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A defense lawyer is accusing the feds of misconduct,  alleging in federal court in New York that authorities helped promote teen prostitution, a crime the Gambino Crime family is accused of, the New York Times reports.

The paper reports federal authorities have charged the crime family with sex trafficking with girls as young as 15. The prosecutors at one point called it ”a new low for the Gambino family.”

But defense attorney Gerald J. McMahon, who represents one of 14 defendants in the case, said in newly filed court papers that one person operating the sex ring, who was a convicted sex abuser “had a cooperation agreement as a federal witness,” the New York Times reports.

”A reasonable person might wonder,” Mr. McMahon wrote, according to the Times, ”whether the government — in its zeal to make a racketeering case against the Gambino family — allowed a 15-year-old girl to be shamefully and criminally exploited.” He’s asked that the case be dismissed for “outrageous government misconduct.”

Federal prosecutors, declined comment and had yet to respond to the filing, the Timews reported.

FBI spokesman James Margolin, an F.B.I. spokesman in New York, told the Times: ”This office would not — and did not — approve of any criminal activity involving a minor, much less the sexual exploitation of a minor.”

To read more click here.

Column: Reporter Bashes NY Times For Bashing FBI

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. Kessler has authored several books including “The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI”.

Ronald Kessler

Ronald Kessler

By Ronald Kessler
Newsmax.com

When it comes to the FBI, The New York Times has the same story line: The bureau is either incompetent, over-reactive, or spying on innocent Americans.

In most cases, the paper manages to convey those points by omitting key facts or downplaying them. For example, in revealing President Bush’s NSA intercept program, the paper used such trigger words as “eavesdropping” and “domestic spying” to suggest a massive program with sinister motives. Not until the 22nd paragraph did the story say that the intercept program targeted only calls with an overseas nexus.

But the Times reached a new low with a story this week by Shaila Dewan. Headlined “Despite FBI Fanfare, Time Runs Out on Cold Civil Rights Cases,” the story suggested that the FBI is not aggressively pursuing unsolved civil rights cases from years ago.

The story cited Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ declaration in February 2007 that the FBI had started the Cold Case Initiative to bring to justice the perpetrators of civil rights crimes. Since then, there have been no federal indictments, the paper said.

To read more click here.