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Archive for December 9th, 2011

Detroit Fed Prosecutors Morey and Leibson Hanging it Up

 

Blondell Morey/ttw photo

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — A Noah’s Ark of the Detroit legal and law enforcement community including federal prosecutors and fed agents and judges gathered Thursday night at the upscale Whitney restaurant on Woodward Avenue to mark the retirement of two assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Leibson, 63, and Blondell Morey, 64,  who had been working in the office since the late 1970s.

Some of the speakers at the event included U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, former U.S. Attorney Saul Green, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Buckley and defense attorney Steve Fishman.

“We came in together, and we’ve decided to leave together,” Morey, longtime former chief of the economic crimes (white-collar crimes) unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office told the Detroit Free Press in a Nov. 25 article.

Leibson spent the majority of his time in the office drug unit.

“In the 20 years I was chief of the criminal division, I’d get calls from defense lawyers and judges complaining about this and that, but I never once got a call about either one of them,”  Alan Gershel, who retired from the office in 2008 and became an associate professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, told the Free Press.

Mike Liebson chats it up/ttw photo

“The office is losing two very good people who know that being a good prosecutor is much more that getting an indictment and securing a conviction,” Gershel added. “They care about justice and getting a fair result.”

Read the Free Press feature on the two prosecutors by clicking here.

 

FBI Investigating Cleveland Anthrax Hoax

anthrax spores

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is continuing an investigation into an anthrax scare in Cleveland, reports WDEF.com.

On Wednesday afternoon a letter containing white powder was found addressed to the Bradley County Circuit Court’s Office, but a mobile testing unit determined the substance was just talcum powder, according to WDEF.

No one is sick and thing are “back to normal,” the county mayor said.

“The employees that were right around there when it was opened, and the ones that actually opened it, were put through a tough time, waiting, and not knowing. Thank goodness it turned out that it wasn’t real.  It was a hoax, which is a bad thing, but it’s better than if it had been real,” said Mayor Gary Davis.

Davis said investigators now know where the letter came from but are not releasing that information to the public yet.

To read more click here.

17 Arrested in Texas Syndicate Sting

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It was a busy day for authorities with the DEA and local law enforcement in San Antonio Thursday, where agents rounded up and brought to federal court 6 of 17 suspects facing murder, racketeering and drug charges, reports Kens5.com

The suspects were members of the Texas Syndicate. The indictment claims the suspects were involved in four murders, two attempted murders, conspiracy to commit murder, drug trafficking and other crimes as part of the Texas Syndicate gang since January of 2008, according to Kens5.com.

The defendants face life sentences for each racketeering charge and up to 10 years for conspiracy to commit murder. The arrests came at the end of an 18 month investigation between a DEA Task Force, US Marshals Service, the ATF, IRS and local law enforcement agencies.

To read more click here.

 

Feds, Secret Service Look into Bank Card Skimming Machines at Calif. Supermarkets

By Danny Fenster
tickelthewire.com

Some unlucky shoppers fell victim to a credit and debit card-skimming operation in Northern California at the unfortunately named Lucky supermarket in San Leandro recently.

The market is the 24th in Northern California to be victimized by such a scheme, according to ABC News. More than 500 customers called Lucky about fraudulent or attempted fraudulent activity, parent company Save Mart Supermarkets said on its website in a customer advisory note.

“Every customer should continue checking their accounts regularly as a precaution if they used a checkout terminal in October or November,” the customer advisory stated.

The Secret Service is examining the tampered card readers that were found at several store self-checkout machines. Local, state and federal agencies are involved in the investigation as well.

To read more click here.

DEA Money Laundering Began Under Reagan, Justice Says

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The DEA sting operation involving the laundering of money to drug cartels that has angered some Republican congressmen actually dates back to the Reagan administration, according to the Justice Department.

Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich sent a letter to Rep. Darrel Issa–the Republic congressman leading the charges against the Justice Department–which said Congress gave the DEA the authority to conduct such operations in 1984, reports a blog from the Houston Chronicle. During Reagan’s time in office DEA investigations laundered as much as $100 million, gaining access to top levels of drug cartel leadership, according to Weich.

Congress gave the Drug Enforcement Administration the authority to conduct such sting runs as far back as 1984, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich told Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in a letter, obtained by Texas on the Potomac. In investigations during the Ronald Reagan administration, some in which agents laundered over $100 million, they gained access to the top levels of drug-cartel leadership, Weich wrote.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

FBI Offers $5,000 Reward for Calif. Police Station Bombing

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Who would throw a Molotov cocktail at a police station?

That’s what the FBI wants to know.

The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for help finding the person who threw two Molotov cocktails at a police outpost near University of California Santa Barbara last month and left taunting graffiti messages, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A surveillance of the the the Nov. 15 bombing was released by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department,the LA Times reported. No one was injured.

See video

 

Family Releases Video of Live Missing Ex-FBI Agent

 

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The missing caper involving retired FBI agent Robert Levinson who vanished in Iran in 2007 , took another dramatic turn Friday.

The Associated Press reported that the family website posted a video of the family issuing a plea to his unknown kidnappers along with a hostage video of Levinson, 63, himself from his unknown captors.

“Please tell us your demands so we can work together to bring my father home safely,” says Levinson’s son David, seated beside his mother, Christine.

AP reported that the hostage video of Levinson, which the family received in November 2010, In the hostage video, which the family received in November 2010, Levinson pleaded with the U.S. government to meet the demands of the people holding him, whom he did not identify.

The 54-second hostage video of Levinson shows him looking haggard, AP reported. He has a history of diabetes and high blood pressure.

“I have been treated well,” Levinson says in the video. “But I need the help of the United States government to answer the requests of the group that has held me for three and a half years,” Levinson says. “And please help me get home.”

“I am not in very good health,” he says. “I am running very quickly out of diabetes medicine.”

Levinson, married and the father of seven, vanished in March 2007 after checking out of a hotel on Kish Island, a Persian Gulf resort off the southern coast of Iran.

To read more click here.