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Archive for June 21st, 2012

Philadelphia Cop Faces Jail Time for Drug Trafficking

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Philadelphia police officer is accused of selling heroin to a confidential informant working for the FBI, Philly.com reports.

Jonathan Garcia, 23, was charged Wednesday with four counts of distributing heroin and two counts of carrying a firearm during drug trafficking.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said he plans to suspend Garcia for 30 days before dismissing him permanently, according to Philly.com

“He’s never been accused of any crime before this. There’s no allegation of any violence,” said his defense attorney, Scott DiClaudio. “He’s not a threat to the community or a flight risk. We’re going to seek his release on bail or house arrest.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Attorney Seeks New Charges in Shooting of Police Officer 

FBI Investigates Alleged Misconduct at Kansas Jail

FBI Takes Over Bank Robbery Probe in Wyoming

Broader Authority Given to FBI to Coordinate Domestic Intelligence

Federal Hunt Is on for Two Men Suspected in Serial Bank Robberies

ATF Takes Over Suburban Church Fire Investigation

ICE Arrests 44 in Immigration Sting Targeting Violators 

Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger Wants Delay in Trial

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The lawyer for suspected mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger is asking for a big delay in the case for his client, saying the suspect believes his legal conversations are being recorded, the Boston Herald reports.

“Bulger has a view, based on his personal experience that all levels of law enforcement are corrupt and will disregard the law if it suits them,” his defense lawyer J.W. Carney wrote in a filing Wednesday asking a federal judge to delay the trial by a year to November 2013. “The defendant no longer has any faith that the attorney-client privilege will be honored in telephone or mail communications, and the discussions with counsel now take place only at the jail.”

Bulger also says the U.S. Attorney’s office obtained a private letter to his lawyer.

Carney also said the investigation was disorganized.

AG Holder Dismisses Contempt Charges as Unwarranted

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder said he did nothing wrong Thursday after a congressional committee charged him with contempt of Congress for withholding records related to a failed gun-running probe known as Operation Fast and Furious.

“The action that the committee took yesterday was unwarranted, unnecessary and unprecedented,” he said in a statement.

The Obama Administration withheld some of the information, invoking executive privilege.

The case intensified already tense partisanship between President Obama and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Here’s Holder’s full statement:

“In recent months, the Justice Department has made unprecedented accommodations to respond to information requests by Chairman Issa about misguided law enforcement tactics that began in the previous administration and allowed illegal guns to be taken into Mexico. Department professionals have spent countless hours compiling and providing thousands of documents — nearly 8,000 — to Chairman Issa and his committee. My staff has had numerous meetings with congressional staff to try and accommodate these requests and yesterday, I met with Chairman Issa to offer additional internal Department documents and information that would satisfy what he identified as the Committee’s single outstanding question.

“Unfortunately, Chairman Issa has rejected all of these efforts to reach a reasonable accommodation. Instead, he has chosen to use his authority to take an extraordinary, unprecedented and entirely unnecessary action, intended to provoke an avoidable conflict between Congress and the Executive Branch. This divisive action does not help us fix the problems that led to this operation or previous ones and it does nothing to make any of our law enforcement agents safer. It’s an election-year tactic intended to distract attention — and, as a result — has deflected critical resources from fulfilling what remains my top priority at the Department of Justice: Protecting the American people.

“Simply put, any claims that the Justice Department has been unresponsive to requests for information are untrue. From the beginning, Chairman Issa and certain members of the Committee have made unsubstantiated allegations first, then scrambled for facts to try to justify them later. That might make for good political theater, but it does little to uncover the truth or address the problems associated with this operation and prior ones dating back to the previous Administration.

“I have spent most of my career in law enforcement and worked closely with brave agents who put their lives on the line every day. I know the sacrifices they make, so as soon as allegations of gunwalking came to my attention – and well before Chairman Issa expressed any interest in this issue — I ordered the practice stopped. I made necessary personnel changes in the Department’s leadership and instituted policy changes to ensure better oversight of significant investigations. And, I directed the Department’s Inspector General to open a comprehensive investigation. That investigation is ongoing, and the American people and Congress can count on it to produce a tough, independent review of the facts.

“When Chairman Issa later began his own investigation, I made it clear that the Department would cooperate with all appropriate oversight requests, while still adhering to our legal obligations to protect information involving ongoing law enforcement investigations, legally-protected grand jury material and other sensitive information whose disclosure would endanger the American people or our agents investigating open cases.

“The American people deserve better. That is why, I will remain focused on, and committed to, the Justice Department’s mission to protect the rights, safety, and best interests of my fellow citizens and to stand by my brave colleagues in law enforcement.”

U.S. and Israel Developed Virus called “Flame” to Slow Iran’s Nuclear Program

By Allan Lengel
tickletheiwre.com

More info is leaking out about the virus aimed at Iran’s nuclear program.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the U.S. and Israel jointly developed the Flame computer virus that collected intelligence to help slowdown the nuclear program.

To read more click here.

 

FBI Pobes Illegal Fundraising by Tea Party Candidate in NY

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s ongoing investigation into illegal fundraising for Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm’s 2010 campaign has led agents to question of at least four people who worked with the Tea Party favorite, the New York Daily News reports.

The four who were questioned in the past two weeks were campaign operatives or volunteers, according to the Daily News.

The probe began after members of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto’s congregations said they were strong-armed for donations.

Grimm denies any wrongdoing.

FBI Arrests Former Fundraiser for Blagojevich, Jesse Jackson Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former campaign fundraiser for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was arrested Wednesday on charges he paid bribes and kickbacks related to his outpatient surgery centers, the Associated Press reports.

Raghuveer Nayak pleaded not guilty and was released on $10 million bond.

The FBI accuses him of bribing physicians for patient referrals and filing false federal income tax returns, according to the AP.

“Over the course of the scheme, Nayak paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to different physicians in exchange for the referrals that the physicians had made or would make to Nayak’s facilities,” according to the indictment. “As Nayak intended, the physicians materially deceived their patients by not disclosing to the patients that their physicians were being paid to make referrals to Nayak’s facilities.”

U.S Attorney in D.C. Sets High Standards for Investigations

By Del Quentin WIlber and Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post 

 When federal authorities began to investigate allegations of corruption involving prominent D.C. politicians and their campaigns last year, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. took a keen interest in the probes.

Machen, the District’s top prosecutor, prodded his staff to work through weekends, demanded regular progress reports, set rigid deadlines and helped shape investigative tactics.

Although former and current prosecutors have described early friction in law enforcement circles over whether the probes would yield federal prosecutions, they said the effort paid off with recemt high-profile guilty pleas and resignations.

“I’m not sure that without Ron’s leadership that the office would have gotten where it is on these cases,” said Thomas Hibarger, who resigned last month as Machen’s chief prosecutor in federal court to join a digital risk management company. Ron really pushed us hard, rode us hard. . . . Ron is a force of nature.”

To read more click here.