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Archive for April 7th, 2011

Feds Bust Dirty Chicago Cops Who Were Part of Elite Unit That Stole Hundreds of Thousands From Dope Dealers


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds on Thursday came down on one current and three former Chicago cops — all members of a now disbanded elite-city wide unit —  implicating them in an out-of-control flurry of activity that involved false arrests, false charges and the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from drug dealers.

One of the former cops, Jerome A. Finnigan, the ring leader,  was already facing a federal murder-for-hire charge in connection with his alleged attempt to bump off a fellow cop who he feared would testify against him in state court, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The cops, who all plan to plead guilty, were part of the elite Special Operations Section that was disbanded in 2007, authorities said.

Specifically, Finnigan and then officer Keith A. Herrera were charged with “routinely and regularly” making unlawful arrests and searches, and when the opportunity arose, stealing lots of money. In one instance, on Sept. 18, 2004, authorities alleged that Finnigan and other officers made an unlawful traffic stop, took the person’s house key and seized $450,000 in cash. The money was divided among the officers.

On May 17, 2005, Finnigan, Herrera and other cops made another unlawful traffic stop and searched the motorist’s home and seized $30,000 in cash.  The officers then “inventoried only $463” and falsely accused the motorist of discarding narcotics when they approached. The officers split up $29,500, authorities said.

Several months later, Finnigan, Herrera and other cops made an unlawful traffic stop of that same person and cited him for an offense he didn’t commit “to intimidate” him so he wouldn’t  complain about the stolen money, authorities said. In all, the feds say Finnigan netted about $200,000 and Herrera got about $40,000 in 2004 and 2005.

In late 2006, state charges were brought against Finnigan and other members of the elite police unit for the unlawful arrests and seizures of cash. Then in 2007, Finnigan discussed with Herrera,  who was cooperating with authorities, paying someone to kill another cop who he believed would become a witness in the state criminal cases.  Finnigan was arrested on Sept. 26, 2007

Ex-cops Stephen DelBosque, 35, and current officer Eric J. Olsen, 37, were charged with misdemeanor civil rights violations. DelBosque allegedly testified falsely before a state grand jury in 2005 that a man dropped a bag of two bricks of cocaine when he was approached by officers, when in fact he had no drugs. The cops searched the man’s home and found 101 kilos of cocaine in his garage.

Olson also lied about a search of a man at a tavern, authorities said. Seven other officers have already pleaded guilty to state charges for their roles in the rogue activity.

Somali Pirate Will Remain Anchored For a Long Time: Gets 25 Years

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The modern day pirates continue to baffle the world in their ability to commandeer large ships and get away with it. Still, not all have gone free.

On Thursday, Jama Idle Ibrahim, a/k/a Jaamac Ciidle, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Washington to 25 years in prison for his role in the takeover of a merchant vessel, the M/V CEC Future, in the Gulf of Aden for 71 days from November 2008 to January 16, 2009.

Ibrahim, 39, of Somalia, pled guilty on September 8, 2010 to conspiracy to commit piracy under the law of nations and conspiracy to use a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Authorities said the act of piracy against against the vessel began on Nov. 7, 2008 when Ibrahim and other Somalis pirates, armed with AK 47s, a rocket-propelled grenade, and handguns, attacked and seized the vessel.

The pirates held the vessel, cargo, and 13 crew members for ransom and forced the crew to anchor in waters off the Somalia coast.

In time, additional pirates boarded the vessel. The pirates threatened the crew, stole money, food and supplies and gave up the ship after they got a $1.7 million ransom.

“Modern-day pirates are nothing like the swashbuckling heroes in Hollywood movies,” said D.C.  U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. “Today’s pirates are ruthless criminals who hold ships and their crews hostage with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. Twenty-five years in prison is a just punishment for this attack that threatened international commerce and human life.”

5 People Indicted in Fire Bombing of Arkansas’ Mixed Race Couple’s Home

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Hate never seems to go out of style.

A federal grand jury in Arkansas  indicted five state residents for their alleged role in the Molotov cocktail  fire bombing of a mixed-race couple’s trailer  near Hardy, Ark. in January, authorities announced Thursday. No one was injured.

Those indicted on civil rights and other charges included: Jason Barnwell, 37, of Evening Shade, Ark.; Gary Dodson, 32, of Waldron, Ark.; Jake Murphy, 19, also of Waldron; and Dustin Hammond, 20, of Hardy, Ark.  Wendy Treybig, 31, of Evening Shade, Ark., was indicted for obstruction of justice for her role in trying to cover up the incident.

Authorities said the couple was also barraged with racial slurs and threatened with future violence if failed to leave the state.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Va. ATF Agent Charged With Stealing Guns and Cigarettes From ATF


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — ATF agent Clifford Dean Posey finds himself in big big trouble.

A grand jury in Virginia  charged Posey with 20 counts that included allegations that he stole  guns and cigarettes from ATF and sold them, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday, the day indictment was unsealed.

Authorities alleged that beginning in 2007, Posey, 43, of Chesapeake, Va. started falsifying documents “relating to firearms under his custody and control in order to embezzle and convert them to his own use.” On one occasion, authorities alleged, he advertised to sell those guns.

The indictment also alleged that Posey falsely submitted receipt and release reports to the ATF regarding firearms claiming that several stolen firearms had been returned to the rightful owners or destroyed, when in fact he had them.

Additionally, beginning in July 2010, while the lead case agent in a probe of illegal cigarette trafficking, Posey sold cigarettes in ATF custody and kept the money, authorities alleged.

So Much for Security Clearance; Background Checks Were Falsified

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — So much for secure security clearances.

Catherine G. Webb, 47, who worked as Special Agent of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), pled guilty Wednesday in Washington federal court to falsifying work on background investigations for agencies trying to determine if people were fit for jobs that would give them access to classified information, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. said.

Authorities say Webb admitted that she falsified work on background investigations of federal employees and contractors between March 2009 and March 2010 in more than a dozen reports.

Webb lied when she indicated that she had interviewed a source or reviewed a record involving the subject of the background investigation when she in fact had not, authorities said.

The background checks were conducted for agencies trying to determine if these people were fit for jobs that would give them access to classified information “for positions impacting national security, or for receiving or retaining security clearances.”

Her deception has prompted OPM’s Federal Investigative Services to redo numerous background investigations, authorities said.

Authorities said Webb was among a number of people prosecuted by the D.C. U.S. Attorney in the last three years involving false representations by background investigators and record checkers working on federal background investigations. Seven background investigators and two record checkers previously were convicted of charges, authorities said.

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Atty. Gen. Holder Sends Memo to Justice Dept. Employees on Possible Shutdown; FBI’s Mueller Complains About Potential Budget Shortfall


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The prospect of a government shutdown over the budget is causing some unease at the Justice Department, which includes the FBI, DEA and ATF.

“Should it become necessary to implement our contingency plans, you will receive notice from your manager no later than Friday April 8th regarding the designation of your position and status,” Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. wrote in a memo to Justice employees, who number more than 100,000. The memo was obtained by CNN.

That being said,  CNN reports that the Justice Department has unofficially said all employees involved in public safety will be considered essential employees who will continue to work.

That means all FBI personnel will work, and all 116 federal prisons will continue to operate, CNN reported.

But CNN reports that the Justice Department “will be forced to stop or curtail activities including most civil litigation, community outreach to victims of crime and the processing of grants.”

CNN said Holder told employees Wednesday that “as soon as funding lapses federal departments and agencies will not be permitted to incur further financial obligations performing activities funded by annual appropriations except those related to the orderly suspension of operations or performance of excepted activities.”

FBI Dir. Mueller testifies on Hill/ file photo

Meanwhile, FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress Wednesday that the proposed short-term funding measure for the remainder of the year would create problems for the FBI in the area of intelligence, CNN reported.

“I can only say that under the proposed CR (continuing resolution) the FBI would be the only major partner in the intelligence community that is NOT fully funded. And while our intelligence community partners would be able to proceed with planned initiatives and programs, the Bureau (FBI) could not,” Mueller said, according to CNN.

CNN reported that Mueller also said: “We simply cannot afford to return to the pre-9/11 days where hiring and staffing at the FBI was a roller-coaster that left most field offices understaffed.” Mueller blamed pre-9/11 funding uncertainties for “degradation of the FBI’s physical and information technology infrastructure that contributed to shortcomings in our capabilities.”

Lawyer Accused of Insider Trading Tried Hiding Evidence from FBI Like his iPhone

By David S. Hilzenrath
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON –By mid-March, as the government tells it, Matthew H. Kluger knew the FBI was closing in.

As a lawyer for three of the nation’s premier corporate law firms, most recently in the Washington office of Wilson Sonsini, he had allegedly stolen secrets that yielded tens of millions of dollars of insider trading profits. Now he was trying to eliminate the evidence.

Out went his computer, and his iPhone.

“Those are gone. I mean history,” he allegedly told a friend and co-conspirator.

But he was still worried.

Matt Kluger/wsgr

“If they start looking at me and look at my bank records and all that other stuff . . . it could get ugly,” he said.

To read more click here.