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Archive for February 7th, 2012

ICE HSI Agent Pleads Guilty to 21 Counts

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent has pleaded guilty to leaking information to relatives involved in drug trafficking, authorities said.

Jovana Deas, 33, of Rio Rico, Ariz., pleaded guilty to all 21 counts against her, the FBI said in a statement on Monday. Deas was an agent with the HSI Nogales office.

Deas admitted to using her credentials to illegally obtain and disseminate government documents classified as Official Use Only, said the FBI. Some of the documents were later found on the laptop of her former brother-in-law–who is associated with drug trafficking groups in Mexico–by Brazilian law enforcement. Deas further admitted to illegally accessing, stealing, and transferring sensitive U.S. government documents, and to obstructing HSI investigations. She pled guilty to seven felony violations–punishable by up to five years each–and 14 misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year each.

Deas’s sister, Dana Maria Samaniego Montes, was also charged with violations of federal law. Montes is a former Mexican law enforcement official with alleged ties to drug trafficking organizations, but is a fugitive believed to be at large in Mexico.

Deas’s sentencing is set for April 11.

Chicago Cabbie Pleads Guilty to al Qaeda Support

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Chicago cab driver pled guilty on Monday to giving money to a long-time acquaintance after learning that acquaintance was working for al Qaeda, the FBI said in a statement.

Raja Lahrasib Khan, Pakistani-born but naturalized as a US citizen in 1988, was arrested in March of 2010. On Monday he pled guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.  He remains in federal custody until sentencing, which has been set for May 30, 2011.

Khan, 58, of Chicago’s north side, never posed any imminent domestic danger, law enforcement officials said at the time of his arrest. He remains in federal custody while awaiting sentencing, which U.S. District Judge James Zagel scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 30. The plea deal calls for a sentence of between five and eight years, along with Khan’s future cooperation with the FBI.

Khan admitted to meeting with Ilyas Kashmiri, a leader of the Kashmir independence movement, twice within the last decade. On the second meeting, in 2008, Khan, having reason to believe Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda, gave Kashmiri between $200 and $250 worth of Pakistani rupees in his fight against India.

Khan then sent about $930 worth of rupees from Chicago to a person in Pakistan on on Nov. 23, 2009, via Western Union, according to the FBI. He told the recipient to give Kashmiri about $300 of it. “Although Khan intended the funds to be used by Kashmiri to support attacks against India, he was also aware that Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda,” the FBI said in a statement.

Undercover agents contacted Khan seeking to send money to Kashmiri, “but only if Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda.” Khan agreed to send the $1,000 agents offered to Kashmiri, giving it to his son who was traveling to the UK, where he would later retrieve it. His son was searched and arrested at a UK airport upon arrival, where seven of the ten bills were found on him. Khan, hearing about his son, tried to plea with one of the undercover agents to let him out of the scheme, offering $800 back.

 

Agents File Suit Against DEA for Discrimination

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Some DEA agents in the Caribbean are not too happy with the way things are.

Ten Puerto Rican agents filed suit against the agency claiming they receive less pay and riskier assignments than agents sent to the island from the mainland, the Huffington Post reports.

Attorney Bamily Lopez Ortiz said on Monday that the agents were reluctant to file charges but felt deprived of bonuses and incentives given to agents hired on the mainland. The ten agents were all hired in Puerto Rico.

Because Puerto Rico is considered a high-intensity drug trafficking area, agents hired in the US to work in Puerto Rico are eligible for bonuses equal to a quarter of their base pay, meaning some Puerto Rican agents may be owed more than $100,000 in lost pay and damages, Lopez said.

To rea more click here.

Brooklyn Cop Pleads Guilty in FBI Sting

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Brooklyn cop caught up in an FBI sting pleaded guilty Monday in a smuggling case involving guns, cigarettes and slot machines, the Associated Press reported.

Officer William Masso was among five NYPD cops charged in the smuggling case. Others included three retired NYPD officers and a New Jersey correction officer, AP reported.

AP reported that authorities used an undercover agent who dished out more than $100,000 for the cops to moonlight as gun runners while under FBI surveillance.

 

FBI Cuts Back on Use of GPS Systems After Supreme Court Ruling

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Supreme Court has ruled and the FBI is responding.

USA Today reports that the FBI has started cutting back on the use of GPS surveillance in wake of a Jan. 23 Supreme Court ruling which said law enforcement needs court authorization to attach a GPS to a vehicle.

The paper reported that the FBI implemented the change the day after the court ruling which said that mounting the device secretly on a car amounted to a search protected by the Fourth Amendment.

To read more click here. 

 

FBI Paying Closer Attention to “Sovereign Citizen” Extremists

Southern Poverty Law Center photo

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The FBI has been paying closer attention to ‘sovereign citizen’ extremists around the country out of concerns that they will react violently when they interact with government officials.

Sovereign citizens are people who reject their U.S. citizenship and don’t recognize government authority, like laws and taxes. In 2009, the FBI started paying closer attention to the movement, which previously had been grouped with the militia movements in the bureau’s domestic counterterrorism operations. Many people who claim to be followers of this movement are involved in white collar crimes like tax evasion schemes and making fraudulent documents, the FBI said.

“We started to notice a heightened potential for violence,” said Stuart McArthur, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division.

To read the entire story click here.

LA Feds End Probe into Lance Armstrong; No Charges Filed

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After a two-year doping investigation that triggered plenty speculation and gossip, fed prosecutors in Los Angeles decided to end  their probe into Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong without filing charges, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The media relentlessly reported on the probe and the folks who appeared before the grand jury.

But on Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced it was over.

The LA Times reported that U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte Jr. praised the work of investigators, but fell short of explaining why the probe ended in a whimper.

To read more click here.

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