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Archive for February 15th, 2012

Ex-Atty. Gen. Meese Declines to Comment on Operation Fast and Furious

Ed Meese/yale.edu photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The poor Daily Caller.

The conservative news website, which is bent on bashing Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr., couldn’t get the former Attorney Gen. Ed Meese to do the same, despite attempts. The website tried to get Meese to trash Holder or others in the Justice Department in connection with the flawed ATF operation known as Fast and Furious that let guns walk into Mexico with the hopes of tracing them to the cartels.

“Well I have not commented on it because unless you’re actually there in the Department of Justice knowing everything that went on, it’s very hard to comment on it,” Meese told TheDC. “We all know that it was, that it came to ruin, if you will, that it didn’t work out as it had been anticipated certainly and that there were a lot of problems with it, very serious problems, tragic problems in one case. But, more than that, I don’t know other than what I read in the newspapers so I can’t really comment in detail on it.”

Apparently, the fact that a Republican attorney general wouldn’t trash Holder or others in the Justice Department without knowing all the facts must have come as a surprise to the Daily Caller.

OTHER STORIES OF INTERST:

Off Color Texts Hurt Justice Department’s Largest Sting Targeting Foreign Bribery

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — In text message after text message, FBI agents and their key informant joked about sex, booty calls, prostitutes, cigars, the Village People, the informant’s wives and an agent’s girlfriend. They even pondered who might play their roles in a movie based on their sting.

When arrests were announced by the Justice Department, the agents and informant basked in positive press. “It’s like an atomic mushroom cloud,” the informant gloated in a text to his FBI handler.

Since reaching court, however, there hasn’t been much to brag about in the Justice Department’s largest investigation of individuals accused of bribing foreign officials.

To read the full story click here.

$160,000 Armored Car Failed to Protect Slain ICE Agent Jaime Zapata

ICE Agent Jaime Zapata killed in Mexico/ice photo

 By Nick Miroff and William Booth
Washington Post.

MEXICO CITY — When U.S. special agent Jaime Zapata was shot dead one year ago on a notorious stretch of highway in central Mexico, he was driving a $160,000 armored Chevy Suburban, built to exacting government standards, designed to defeat high-velocity gunfire, fragmentation grenades and land mines.

But the vehicle had a basic, fatal flaw.

Forced off the road in a well-coordinated ambush, surrounded by drug cartel gunmen brandishing AK-47s, Zapata and his partner, Victor Avila, rolled to a stop. Zapata put the vehicle in park.

The door locks popped open.

To read full story click here.

 

Popularity of Synthetic Pot on the Rise

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

New trends indicate an increase in the use of dangerous synthetic drugs not currently covered under federal drug laws, reports Business Wire. The new drugs come from the cannabinoid family, closely related to marijuana.

“Simply making the new drugs illegal is not likely to make them go away,” said Dr. Barry Logan, Director of NMS Labs Designer Drug Initiative. “There is now an established market for these products alongside traditional recreational drugs.”

“The latest trend we are seeing is the appearance of completely new drugs. These new drugs are different in design from the current synthetic drugs and alter the brain’s chemistry by amplifying the effects of normal brain chemicals, producing the same marijuana-like effects,” said Logan.

To read more click here.

Physician Handed Four Life Sentences for Fatal Prescriptions

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Chicago Physician was handed a steep sentence on Tuesday for his role in the deaths of four individuals, the FBI said.

Paul H. Volkman was sentenced to four consecutive terms of life imprisonment, the FBI said.  He was convicted of “illegally prescribing and dispensing pain pills outside the scope of a legitimate medical practice,” the FBI said, resulting in the death of four people between 2003 and 2005.

The 64-year-old was convicted in May of 2011 of 18 crimes, receiving a life sentence on each count as well as being ordered to forfeit $1.2 million. Among the 70 witnesses presented at trial were pharmacists that refused to fill Volkman’s prescriptions, law enforcement officials who investigated the deaths and  Volkman’s employees.

“Volkman was the physician at the center of a criminal scheme to distribute millions of controlled substances to hundreds of individuals in exchange for cash—a scheme that brought addiction, diversion, and death to southeastern Ohio and beyond,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tim Oakley and Adam Wright wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court. “During the course of this conspiracy, Volkman was the top physician purchaser of oxycodone in the country.”

The Black Guerrilla Family Gang Aimed to Show a Way Out of the Criminal Lifestyle—Until its Criminal Activities Brought it Down

Illustration Alex Fine/ Baltimore City Paper

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper

BALTIMORE — “It’s hard to promote black nationalism when you have a black man in the White House,” Thomas Bailey said on Jan. 6, 2009, weeks before Barack Obama was sworn in as the first African-American President of the United States. Bailey, a Maryland inmate serving life for murder, couldn’t have known at the time how prophetic his words were, or that they would end up memorialized in court documents.

As Obama was movings into the White House, court documents show that federal investigators with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Maryland—a unit dubbed the Special Investigations Group (DEA-SIG)—were kicking into gear a sprawling probe of the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF), the black-nationalist prison gang for which Bailey ran “the day-to-day operations” at North Branch Correctional Institution (NBCI), a maximum-security prison near Cumberland.

When Bailey uttered those prescient words, he was talking over a prison phone at NBCI with Eric Marcell Brown (“Eric Marcell Brown,” Mobtown beat, May 7, 2009), who was on a cell phone at the Maryland Transition Center (MTC), a correctional facility in Baltimore, where Brown was close to finishing a lengthy prison stint for a 1992 drug-dealing conviction. Brown, DEA-SIG investigators wrote in court documents, was “in command of day-to-day operations” in Maryland for the BGF, a national prison gang founded in California in the 1960s by inmate/radical George Jackson, a Black Panther Party member who espoused the black-nationalist view that African-Americans needed to build separate economic and social structures for themselves.

To read the full story click here.

Romney Gets Secret Service Detail

Romney at CPAC 2011. Courtesy Gage Skidmore.

Romney at CPAC 2011. Courtesy Gage Skidmore.

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

After months of campaigning, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will now have the protection of the Secret Service, reports ABC News.

While there are no specific threats to the candidate, the increased  crowds at Romney’s speaking events warrant the added security, according to ABC.

Former Republican hopeful Herman Cain, who has since dropped out of the race, had the Secret Service protection. Now, Romney will be the only candidate with the Secret Service watching out for him.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST: