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Archive for November 4th, 2011

Weekend Series on Crime History: Cleveland’s Irish Mobster Danny Greene

http://youtu.be/Q0cC5D9z7e8

http://youtu.be/AmfJ2jl0XLw

http://youtu.be/SPy57TbcK60

Grassley Fires Off Letter to Homeland Sec. Napolitano: Concerned About Reduced Searches for Illegals on Northern Border

By Danny Fenster

Sen. Grassley/official photo

ticklethewire.com

A letter from Senator Charles Grassley representing a group of 14 Senators is asking  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to reconsider a policy to end routine traffic checks of buses, trains and other vehicles for illegal aliens along the United State’s northern border.

“News of the lessened security will only entice potential terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal immigrants to attempt to enter the country through the northern border,” read the letter issued Friday.  “The American people must be reassured that our borders remain secure and routine searches will continue.”

Grassley learned of the new policy from media reports, another point of contention he had with DHS.

“The nature in which we learned of the orders sent to the north border field offices is quite troubling considering you appeared before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees over the past two weeks and neglected to inform of this change in policy.”

Grassley asked for copies of any memos or directives sent to the field.

The letter also pointed out specific instances of terrorists crossing or being stopped at the Canadian border, attempting to enter the United States to commit harm.

To read the letter click here.

Wall Street Journal Says of “J Edgar” Film: It’s a “Mixed Bag”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Expect in coming days the to see some reviews on the upcoming move “J Edgar”. Some folks got a sneak preview of the film this week that opens nationwide on Nov. 11, and Nov. 9 in selected cities.

Yes, in the movie, Hoover kisses his trusted sidekick Clyde Tolson and yes, Hoover even pops on a dress.

Here’s a review that appears on the “Speakeasy” webpage of the Wall Street Journal:

“The movie was a mixed bag, showcasing J. Edgar Hoover’s seminal role as the dude that brought the FBI to life. But on the flip side, a conundrum – a man completely dedicated to his career, let alone the betterment of his country, without a personal life, yet striving to connect with those closest to him. These include his mother (Judi Dench), his secretary (Naomi Watts) and his 2nd in command, not to mention his ‘closest’ friend (left to interpretation) Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer). The good thing about the film is that it leaves the relationship ambiguous. There is a genuine love and respect between the characters of J. Edgar and Clyde, but Eastwood tap-dances around just what that may be.”

“To recap (without spoilers): Okay. Leo does put on a dress. That doesn’t make him Ed Wood. He does kiss Hammer. Does that make him gay? Maybe. But realistically, does it matter? This is the guy who managed to expand our fingerprinting system and better equip us to divide the guilty from the innocent. Hammer (aka, the duo known as Winklevoss in “The Social Network”) said this of kissing Leo vs. Lily Collins in the upcoming Tarsem-directed “Snow White”: “The kiss with Leo was a lot messier because there was blood and glass involved.” Sounds a little “Twilight”-ish. Hammer shrugged and said , “NEVER.”

Issa-Grassley Want to Know Who Leaked Sensitive Info About ATF Whistleblower

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mud in the controversy over ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious continued to get a good stirring this week.

The latest: Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa have fired off a letter to Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. in an effort to determine who in the Justice Department may have leaked sensitive information to the media about an ATF whistleblower, the website Main Justice reported.

The Republican duo, who have spearheaded the probe into the faulty operation, want to know who had access to a document pertaining to whistleblower’s role in an undercover operation, Main Justice reported.

“This leaked document was also accompanied by a set of talking points designed to undermine agent Dodson’s credibiilty as a whistleblower,” the letter said, according to Main Justice.

 

Secret Service Looking Into “Black Money” Scam in New England

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Paper money has often been cited as one of the dirtiest materials we touch every day. But if someone offers to wash it for you, kindly decline.

Authorities in Providence, R.I. last week arrested two Liberian nationals in an expanding “black money” scheme that has already cost three New Englanders $170,000, reports the Associated Press. The Secret Service is now looking into the scam.

The con artists seek out victims at night clubs and other locations, looking for people that seem to be well-off. They tell victims that they have real currency died black to avoid detection by customs officials when forced from their countries, according to the AP, and cannot afford the chemical mix needed to wash the bills back to normal. They will demonstrate the cleaning process with a few bills as a trap, a process that one agent said is very convincing.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said Thomas M. Powers, U.S. Secret Service Resident Agent in Charge in Providence, according to AP.

Victims will withdraw money and follow the criminals to a hotel, where the money is to be washed in a solution of chlorine, ammonia and laundry detergent mixed in a bathtub. The mix gives off a smell so powerful that the victim is usually overcome to the point that they leave the criminals alone with the money. Then the victims and criminals leave the room for a meal, and the criminals hand over the room and safe keys to the victim. When the victims return to the safe they are left with stacks of black construction paper.

Powers told the AP the scam is taking place mostly in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and investigators believe their are 20 scammers involved, and additional victims that may be too embarrassed to come forward. They believe the scam to be spreading out across New England, and while authorities aren’t sure how the money is spent, there is no evidence of violence or connections to terrorism.

To read more click here.

Driver Tries to Run Over Border Patrol, Shot Dead

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A man in a Lincoln SUV refused to stop when Border Patrol agents attempted to pull him over, instead opting to try and run over an agent his vehicle. The agent shot the driver in the chest and killed him, reports Caller.com, of Corpus Christi, Tex.

The incident took place on a county road near the Texas town of Mathis, inland from the pan handle and just north of the border. San Patricio County Sheriff Leroy Moody told the Caller he believes the vehicle was carrying four or five undocumented immigrants.

It is unknown what the traffic stop was for. “We don’t have reports if it was a chase or what,” said Border Patrol agent Daniel Milian. “We just have very preliminary information and aside from that we’re waiting for them to piece everything together and continue on with the investigation, of course.”

Sheriff deputies were in pursuit of a car of undocumented immigrants at about 9am Thursday morning, Moody told reporters, and later found the vehicle unoccupied.

“I think its probably two separate incidents, but you can never know because there is quite a bit of traffic that moves that way,” Moody said. “All the roads are well-used by people smuggling illegals.”

To read more click here.

ATF Investigates Sacramento Deputies on Illegal Weapons Sales

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The ATF is investigation Deputies from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department surrounding illegal weapon sales at the Rio Consumes Correction Center, in Elk Grover, Calif., reports local ABC affiliate News10.

Several deputies are being investigated, but ATF Resident Agent in Charge Graham Barlow, who is leading the investigation, said no arrests have been made.

Scott Jones, the Sacramento County Sheriff, has known about the investigations, which have been ongoing for some time. His spokesman told ABC that the matter was ongoing and personal, and had no further comments. Barlow did not release details.

To read more click here.

Ex-Az U.S. Atty Drops Family of Slain Border Agent, Citing Govt. Attempts to Link Him to Gun Walking Cases

Paul K. Charlton/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The overspill from ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious is touching plenty folks.

The lastest: Former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton, who has been representing the family of Brian Terry, the border patrol agent in Arizona who was killed by gunfire last December. The family has been considering legal action against the government ever since it was learned that two guns from Fast and Furious were recovered at the murder scene.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that Charlton, who served as Arizona U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2007,  has decided to stop representing the parents “because of what he called an effort by the Justice Department to link him to disgraced gun-running investigations.”

Under Fast and Furious, ATF encouraged gun dealers in Arizona to sell to “straw purchasers” or middlemen, all with the hopes of tracing the guns to Mexico. ATF lost track of many of the weapons, some which surfaced at crime scenes.

“But in early October, allegations of allowing this so-called ‘gun walking’ crept closer to Charlton himself,” the Arizona Daily Star reported. “The Associated Press reported the existence of a previous ATF investigation in Arizona that had also allowed guns into Mexico. This Tucson-based investigation, Operation Wide Receiver, had begun in early 2006 while Charlton was U.S. attorney.”

To read more click here.