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Archive for June 22nd, 2011

DEA Task Force Cop Admits Tipping Motorcyle Gang Member About FBI Wiretap

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — A DEA task force cop pleaded guilty Tuesday in Detroit federal court to leaking information about an FBI wiretap to the president of a local chapter of a motorcycle gang.

Randall Hutchinson, a former Hamtramck, Mi., police officer, on the DEA task force, admitted leaking the info to the former Downriver Chapter President of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club during an FBI probe into that organization in 2005 and 2006, U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“Disclosing a wiretap investigation not only violates the law, it also betrays an officer’s duty to the mission of seeking justice,” U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said in a statement. “We have no tolerance for that sort of betrayal.“

During the fall of 2005, while working as DEA task force officer, Hutchinson learned that the FBI was conducting a wiretap investigation that involved a large scale marijuana dealer who was a member of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Authorities said a short time later Hutchinson saw Phil McDonald, the Downriver Chapter President of the Highwaymen, in a gym they both worked out at.

Authorities alleged that Hutchinson told McDonald about the FBI’s investigation into the marijuana dealer within the Highwaymen and told McDonald that he had to be careful.

On June 19, 2006, Hutchinson and McDonald met again in the gym and Hutchinson stated that he had “been thinking” and that McDonald needed to see if his “phone was hot,” authorities said.

Hutchinson then concocted a plan to figure out if the FBI was tapping the phone, authorities said.

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Before Everything Imploded, Rep. Issa Was Briefed on Fast and Furious and Raised No Objections, Washington Post Reports

Rep. Issa/gov photo

By Jerry Markon and Sari Horwitz
Washington Post Staff Writers

WASHINGTON –– A chief Republican critic of a controversial U.S. anti-gun-trafficking operation was briefed on ATF’s “Fast and Furious” program last year and did not express any opposition, sources familiar with the classified briefing said Tuesday.

Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), who has repeatedly called for top Justice Department officials to be held accountable for the now-defunct operation, was given highly specific information about it at an April 2010 briefing, the sources said. Members of his staff also attended the session, which Issa and two other Republican congressmen had requested.

Fast and Furious targeted Mexican gun traffickers but was linked to the killing of a U.S. law enforcement officer. Republicans in Congress have criticized the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives over its handling of the operation, with Issa calling it “felony-stupid bad judgment” during a hearing last week in which he grilled a Justice Department official.

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NY Auction House Auctioning Fed’s Mob Files from 50s and 60s

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some fed mobster file lost in a New York cab nearly 20 years ago– with an estimated pre-sale worth of $10,000 to $15,000 — are going up for auction at Bonhams New York, the Associated Press reports.

The U.S. government file in a three-ring binder — stamped “Mafia” and “United States Treasury Department Bureau of Narcotics” — includes mug shots, mug shots, criminal associates and favorite hangouts of over 800 Mafia members during the 1950s and early 1960s, AP reported.

AP reported that mobsters Carlo “Don Carlo” Gambino, Meyer Lansky and Salvatore “Lucky Luciano” Lucania each had their own entries.

The file was compiled sometime between 1957 and 1962, AP reported.

AP reported that 50 copies of the file were likely printed, and the one on auction is the only one still in existence.

Jon Stewart Goes After ATF’s Troubled “Operation Fast and Furious”

Secret Service Investigating Counterfeit Money in Ala.

Ohio State Student Pleads Guilty to Sending Fake Bomb Threat to FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Note to Ohio State University student Jonathan Birkmeyer: Try just not showing up for the test next time. Or make up some crazy excuse. But don’t send the FBI a fake bomb threat.

Birkmeyer pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to sending a fake bomb threat to FBI headquarters that resulted in the evacuation of four Ohio State University building being evacuated in November, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

The paper reported that he apparently sent the bogus message to get out of taking a test.

On Nov. 16, the former Marine emailed the FBI, saying: “I have a paper that I found that has a detailed map of nine bombs placed in four different buildings on the Ohio State University campus.”

The paper reported that FBI traced the threat by tracking down the IP address to a stolen iPod touch in Birkmeyer’s possession.

Latest FBI Campaign to Find Mobster “Whitey” Bulger Brings in Tips Beyond “Our Expectations”

Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The latest FBI campaign to try and nab Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger is paying off — at least if you measure it by the bulk of tips.

The Boston Globe reports the FBI has gotten a number of tips that have “exceeded our expectations”, the result of  a new ad campaign aimed at finding Bulger’s girlfriend, who is believed to be with him. Still, nothing yet in terms of capturing the ever-elusive gangster.

The new campaign includes billboards and 30-second daytime television spots in 14 cities, and focuses on Bulger’s companion Catherine Greig, 60.  The FBI hopes people will recognize Greig, and that will lead to Bulger’s arrest. She is also wanted for harboring a fugitive.

“We’ve been effective and efficient in reaching the geographic areas that we intended to,’’ FBI Special Agent Gregory Comcowich of Boston told the Globe. “The number of tips has exceeded our expectations.’’

Ex-Seattle U.S. Atty. John McKay Backs Push to Legalize Pot

John McKay

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Granted, the irony is rich. But ex-Seattle U.S. Attorney John McKay, a President Bush appointee, says he has his reasons for joining a coalition that’s pushing an initiative to legalize marijuana in the state of Washington.

McKay, 55, contends that criminalizing marijuana creates a black market that benefits  international cartels and crime rings, according to an article in the Seattle Times.

“That’s what drives my concern: The black market fuels the cartels, and that’s what allows them to buy the guns they use to kill people,” McKay said, according to the Times.  “A lot of Americans smoke pot, and they’re willing to pay for it. I think prohibition is a dumb policy, and there are a lot of line federal prosecutors who share the view that the policy is suspect.”

The group is being led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. The group decided to push for the initiative after Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most of a medical-marijuana bill that had passed the state Legislature, the paper reported.

The paper reported that the group will have until  the end of this year to gather more than 240,000 signatures to get the initiative before the Legislature, which could approve it or let it go before the voters.

McKay was one of eight U.S. Attorney’s fired by the Bush administration in 2006 in what became a highly controversial matter.  Critics accused the administration of playing politics. The administration claimed the firings were based on performance.

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