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Archive for February 4th, 2013

David J. Johnson Heads A Bit More to the West to Lead FBI’s San Francisco Division


David Johnson

By Allan Lengel
tickelthewire.com

David J. Johnson, who headed the FBI’s Salt Lake City division, is shifting gears a bit to the west and taking over the San Francisco office.

Johnson began his career with the FBI in 1991, and was first posted a Violent Crime Squad in the San Jose Resident Agency.

In 1994, he was assigned to the High Technology Squad, and worked on a case that became the first to be prosecuted under the economic espionage classification.

In 1997, Johnson was assigned to a Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization Squad. Two years later, he became a supervisory special agent of the Asian Organized Crime Squad in the San Jose Resident Agency. He led two multi-agency task forces that targeted human trafficking and police corruption and racketeering cases, the FBI said.

As the chief of the Crimes against Children Unit, he developed the Innocence Lost National Initiative, which identifies and rescues minors involved in prostitution and investigates the pimps involved in these crimes.

He was promoted to the assistant special agent in charge of the San Francisco Division, and in 2008 he led the task force created by the attorney general to conduct a criminal investigation into the destruction of interrogation videotapes by the CIA.

In 2009, he became chief of the Violent Crimes Section in the Criminal Investigative Division, responsible for managing programs that involve federal violations such as bank robberies, kidnappings, extortions, crimes against children, Indian country matters, fugitives, major theft, transportation crimes, and special jurisdiction matters.

In 2011, he was reassigned to be the chief of the newly created Latin America/Southwest Border Threat Section.

Johnson has a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Loren Cannon has replaced Johnson as the acting head of the Utah FBI.

Johnny Depp Will Play “Whitey” Bulger in Film

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Gangster “Whitey” Bulger will only become more legendary with this.

The Wrap, a website that reports on Hollywood, reports that Johnny Depp will star as the Boston mobster accused of 19 murders in the film “Black Mass.”

The film will be directed by “Rain Man” director Barry Levinson, the Wrap reported.

The Jack Nicholson character in “The Departed” was based on Bulger, who is awaiting trial in Boston.

To read more click here.

 

Justice Department Intervenes in Dispute over Sports Betting in New Jersey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Saying the 20-year federal ban on sports betting is unconstitutional, New Jersey is challenging the law in hopes of legalizing sports betting at casinos and racing tracks, NJ.com reports.

But the U.S. Department of Justice struck down the argument Friday, saying New Jersey can’t challenge the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, NJ.com reported.

The DOJ intervened on behalf of a lawsuit filed by the National Collegiate Athletics Association and professional leagues – the NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL.

“(The federal law) is a constitutional exercise of congressional authority,” the lawsuit reads, “and it should be upheld.”

New Jersey officials claim the law is unconstitutional because, for one, four states are allowed to bet on sports but the others, including New Jersey, are not.

Bungled ATF Operation Raises More Questions Than Answers

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 
Editorial

Nestled on a residential street in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood, a new business popped up last year.

They called it Fearless Distributing.

But it wasn’t real, and it had nothing to do with distribution. It was a setup by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a sting operation designed to lure criminals who wanted to peddle drugs and guns.

And it was seriously botched.

In a damning report last week, the Journal Sentinel’s John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge revealed an operation so bungled it would have been comedic if it hadn’t been so serious.

To read more click here.

ATF Must Rely on Antiquated Measures to Trace Shootings

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Tracking down shootings is nothing like it is on TV.

In fact, the ATF is barred from keeping track of guns under a federal law, the Associated Press reports.

It’s illegal to even search for a gun unless it’s used in a crime.

“It’s not CSI, and it’s not a sophisticated computer system,” Charles J. Houser, who runs the ATF’s National Tracing Center in Martinsburg, W. Va., said of tracing guns.

Searches begin when police turn over information on the gun.

Then ATF officials pinpoint the gun dealer with more information on the buyer.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Iceland Removed Two FBI Agents During Worldwide WikiLeaks Investigation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Iceland expelled two FBI agents who were trying to interview an unidentified WikiLeaks associate in August 2011, the country’s interior minister revealed Friday, Info Security Magazine reports.

Interior Minister Ögmundur Jónasson said FBI agents showed up unannounced to Iceland, long a supporter of free speech.

“Jónasson demanded that the FBI agents pack their bags, get back on board, and leave the country,” WikiLeaks spokesperson in Iceland, Kristinn Hrafnsson said. “The matter was then brought before the cabinet and a formal protest was issued to US authorities.”

Jonasson defended his decision.

“I, for one, was not aware that they were coming to Iceland,” he said. “When I learned about it, I demanded that Icelandic police cease all cooperation and made it clear that people interviewed or interrogated in Iceland should be interrogated by Icelandic police.”

Muhammed Ali’s Boxing Trainer Met Secretely with FBI about Nation of Islam

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Muhammed Ali’s trainer and promoter met with FBI agents in 1964 to share information about the boxer’s ties to Nation of Islam, according to confidential documents obtained by The Smoking Gun.

Two weeks before Ali beat Sonny Liston in the famous fight, trainer Angelo Dundee and his brother Chris, who promoted the fight, provided the identities of members of the Nation of Islam, The Smoking Gun reported.

Three weeks later, Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammed Ali and joined the Nation of Islam.

The FBI was worried about the Nation of Islam, calling it a “semi-religious Negro organization which preaches extreme hatred of the white man.”