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Archive for January, 2011

More Proposed Cuts at Justice Dept., Wall Street Journal Reports

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Belt tightening is already being felt at the Justice Department and there’s to come, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal’s Devlin Barrett reports that the U.S. Marshals Service, due to funding constraints,  has already shut down the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program, which successfully encouraged fugitives to turn themselves in.

And there’s more.

Citing internal documents from the Office of Management and Budget, the Journal wrote  that OMB’s proposals include:

“Increasing the amount of time deducted from prison terms for good behavior, which would immediately qualify some 4,000 federal convicts for release, and another 4,000 over the next 10 years.”

“Eliminating the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Gang Intelligence Center, for a savings of $8 million in the next budget year.”

“Sharing less of the proceeds from property confiscated from criminals with state and local authorities, and eliminating other funding to local police departments for some operations. The change would reduce spending by $120 million, according to the White House.”

The Journal also reported proposed cuts at ATF.

To read full Journal story click here.

Read Washington Post story on ATF cuts.

Man Nabbed in Mexico in Connection With Murder of Pregnant Wife — a Border Patrol Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A man has been arrested in Mexico in connection with the 2009 fatal stabbing in the San Diego area of his estranged wife,  U.S. Protection and Border Patrol officer Maribel Arteaga, who was pregnant at the time, KTLA TV reported.

Jesus “Alex” Arteaga Garcia, 29, was arrested Friday night by Mexican federal agents in Tijuana, Mexico, the station reported. Mexican authorities were acting on a tip from the U.S. Marshals Service, the station reported.

“He was living out in the open,” said Steve Jurman, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals service, according to the station. “He thought he was scott free just because he was across the border.”

The station reported that Jurman said Arteaga was hiding with his family in Tijuana.

“We received information that the family made statements to the effect of, ‘Maribel got what she deserved,'” Jurman said.

The estranged husband is accused of killing his wife, 28, who was two-months pregnant with her third child. Their two sons, 4 and 6, and a boyfriend, a Homeland Security employee, were in the apartment on Dec. 10, 2009 at the time of the murder, the station reported.

Maribel Arteaga had been hired earlier in the year by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the station reported.

FBI Involved in About 800 Violations in National Security Investigations


By Ken Dilanian
Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The FBI disclosed to a presidential board that it was involved in nearly 800 violations of laws, regulations or policies governing national security investigations from 2001 to 2008, but the government won’t provide details or say whether anyone was disciplined, according to a report by a privacy watchdog group.

The San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation sued under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain about 2,500 documents that the FBI submitted to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board.

The board was created in 1976 to monitor U.S. intelligence gathering. Intelligence agencies are required to submit reports to the board about suspected violations of civil-rights-related laws or presidential orders.

The nonprofit foundation said it obtained documents from a variety of intelligence agencies, but most of the records were so heavily censored that they couldn’t be properly evaluated.

To read full story click here.

Read report

“Geezer Bandit” Continues to Frustrate FBI and Locals in Calif.

"Geezer Bandit"/fbi

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

He’s back.

As serial bank robbers have done over the the many decades, the man dubbed the “Geezer Bandit” continues to frustrate the FBI and local authorities.

On Friday, the “Geezer Bandit” held up his 13th bank in southern California, this time on Friday at a Bank of America branch in the town of Goleta in Santa Barbara County, the La Times reported.

The bandit got his name because he appears to be about 70 or so. He started holding up banks in August of 2009. Most of the robberies have been in San Diego County, but he’s also done stick ups in Kern County and Riverside County.

Recently, authorities have raised the possibility that the man has been using a Hollywood-quality mask to appear older than he actually is.

Proposed Budget Cuts Could be “Amputation” For ATF

James Cavanaugh/atf photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Proposed deep budget cuts could undermine some key ATF programs like “Project Gun Runner”, a signature program under the Obama administration designed to crack down on the flow of weapons to Mexico and its cartels, the Washington Post reported.

The Post’s James Grimaldi and Sari Horwitz report that the proposed ATF cuts would amount to nearly $160 million out of a $1.25 billion budget request or a 12.8 percent reduction. They reported that administration officials said the proposed cuts were part of an early draft and could change.

Nonetheless, the cuts have renewed cries by some that ATF seldom seems to get the respect its due from administrations.

“ATF is the ugly stepchild of every administration,” former ATF official James Cavanaugh, who retired last year, told the Post.

“It would really handicap the ATF. It’s a small agency and it’s a lean machine. There are not a lot of agents and inspectors. There is not a lot of fat. With ATF, it would be an amputation.”

To read full story click here.

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Who is Under Fed Investigation Speaks Out

U.S. Park Police Detectives Cleared in D. C. Fatal Shooting in 2009

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –  U.S. Park Police detectives won’t face any criminal action in connection with the fatal shooting in D.C. in 2009.

The Justice Department announced Friday that it found “insufficient evidence” to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against U.S. Park Police detectives involved in the fatal shooting of Trey Joyner, 24, in an alley in Northeast Washington.

The Justice Department said representatives of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which help investigate the D.C. shooting, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI’s Washington Field Office met with the Joyner family and their representatives to inform them of the findings. The Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney’s Office was involved instead of the D.C. office because of a potential conflict of interest.

“The investigation reviewed all of the material and evidence generated by the Washington Field Office of the FBI, including witness statements, crime scene evidence, ballistics reports and medical reports,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

Trey Joyner’s mother, Brenda Joyner, responded to the findings, according to the Washington Post, by saying: “My concern is justice. We are still looking for justice.”

“We did not get the truth.”

Read more »

Chicago FBI Helping in Hunt for Missing Stanley Cup Puck

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI in Chicago has dealt with some pretty heady issues in the past few years, from international terrorism to the high-profile indictment of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Now comes the case of the missing puck.

The FBI’s forensics experts in Chicago have been helping to try and locate the puck that passed through the net of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6 to give the Chicago Blackhawks the Stanley Cup, the Chicago Tribune reported. The Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane shot the puck to win the 2010 Stanley Cup.

The Tribune reported that the puck went missing after it went into the net and the Blackhaws started celebrating. It hasn’t been seen since.

“All we’re doing is helping,” Chicago FBI spokesman Ross Rice said, according to the Trib. “The people who are doing this are doing it on their own time. They feel they are a part of history.”

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