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Archive for December 9th, 2010

Fed Cop For Homeland Sec. Gets 18 Months for Making Illegal Traffic Stops

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal cop for Homeland Security was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in prison for making illegal traffic stops and illegally detaining people in Georgia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta announced.

Stephen G. House, 53, of Silver Creek, Ga.,  a law enforcement and security officer for the Federal Protective Service of the Department of Homeland Security, was accused of using his patrol car, which he was allowed to take home, and making traffic stops on public roads where he had no authority to do so.

During trial witnesses said they were stopped while driving on public roads, not federal property, and accused of violating  traffic laws, something they denied. He then tried to contact local law enforcement to respond and write the motorists a ticket or arrest them, authorities said.

On two occasions, House made false statements to local law enforcement officers, saying they were driving aggressively, authorities said.   As a result of his false statements, the drivers were arrested and their cars were impounded, authorities said.

On four other occasions, he detained the motorists for varying lengths of time, then let them go with a warning.

“This defendant abused his authority as a federal law enforcement officer by repeatedly using his official position to make illegal traffic stops and illegally detain motorists,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “He also submitted false reports about these stops to cover up his illegal acts. By doing so, he intentionally violated the Constitutional rights of these Georgia citizens.

Atty. Gen. Holder Asks Senate Leaders to Reject Ban on Gitmo Moves

doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. fired off a letter Thursday to Senate leaders urging them not to pass legislation blocking the administration from moving Guantanamo terrorist suspects to U.S. soil.

“This provision goes well beyond existing law and would unwisely restrict the ability of the Executive branch to prosecute alleged terrorists in Federal courts or military commissions in the United States as well as its ability to incarcerate those convicted in such tribunals,” Holder wrote to Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell.

The letter came at the heels of House vote approving legislation to bar transfers.

Passage would put the kabosh on the administration’s hopes of trying some terrorist suspects in U.S. federal court.

“It would therefore be unwise, and would set a dangerous precedent with serious implications for the impartial administration of justice, for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Executive branch to prosecute terrorists in these venues,” Holder wrote. “The exercise of prosecutorial discretion has always been and must remain an Executive branch function. ”

To read the full letter click here.

The History of the First Joint Terrorism Task Force that Began in NY

Joe Valiquette is a retired FBI supervisory special agent and J. Peter Donald is a public affairs specialist for the FBI in New York. This is the first of a three part series written for the FBI.

By Joe Valiquette and J. Peter Donald

Thirty years ago, in the heart of New York City, on the 28th floor of 26 Federal Plaza, the very first Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in the nation was established.

It was April of 1980; Supervisory Special Agent Barry Mawn would head up the newly designed task force with 10 agents from the FBI’s New York Field Office and 10 New York Police Department (NYPD) detectives.

They would pursue threats from the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, the Weather Underground, the Black Liberation Army, the Croatian Independence Movement, and many other domestic and international terrorist groups.

Along with pursuing these threats, some of the first investigations would be of major bank robberies perpetrated by domestic terrorist groups as well as bombings and other heinous crimes. The JTTF would be focused on continually gathering intelligence to proactively prevent attacks.

As FBI Director Robert Mueller recently said, “The New York JTTF was the first of its kind, and today, it remains among the very best of its kind. It has long been the ‘gold standard’ by which other JTTFs are modeled.”

Read more »

Suspected Baltimore Terrorist Caught in FBI Sting Was Aware of Sting in Portland

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The 21-year-old  Baltimore man busted  in an FBI sting on charges of trying to blow up a military recruitment center in Catonsville, Md., , was aware of the  FBI sting in Portland in November involving a suspected terrorist, but decided to move forward with his plan anyways, the Associated Press reported.

Antonio Martinez, who converted to Islam and goes by the name Muhammad Hussain, was arrested Wednesday. AP reported that Martinez told an FBI informant that he was aware of the Portland incident in which a Somali born teen was arrested after trying to detonate a car bomb in Portland at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony which turned out to be a phony one provided by the FBI.

AP reported that Martinez, after hearing about the Portland case in late November, called the informant and demanded to know who he was.

“I’m not falling for no b.s.,” he told the informant, according to AP. The informant told him to think about the thing overnight and call him, which he did. Martinez said he wanted to move forward.