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Archive for March 18th, 2013

FBI Says It Has Identified Thieves in Famous Gardner Museum Art Heist in 1990

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI announced Monday that it has identified the people involved in the theft of $500 million worth of masterworks from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990.

“Today, we are pleased to announce that the FBI has made significant investigative progress in the search for the stolen art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum,” Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, said in a statement. “We’ve determined in the years after the theft that the art was transported to the Connecticut and Philadelphia regions. But we haven’t identified where the art is right now, and that’s why we are asking the public for help.”

“With these considerable developments in the investigation over the last couple of years,” said Special Agent Geoff Kelly, who heads the FBI investigation, “it’s likely over time someone has seen the art hanging on a wall, placed above a mantel, or stored in an attic. We want that person to call the FBI.”

The FBI did not disclose the names.

On March 18, 1990, two men, dressed as police officers, entered the museum and overpowered overpowered security guards, tied them up, and went on to 13 objects valued at approximately $500 million. In addition to Degas sketches and Rembrandt works, they took a Vermeer painting that was one of only 36 in existence, the FBI said.

Read the FBI press release.

 

 

 

At Least 10 Lawsuits Claim Abuse, Discrimination at Hands of Border Patrol

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The family of a 4-year-old who was detained and deported to Guatemala for months despite being a U.S. citizens is among 10 to file suit against CBP, AlterNet reports.

The lawsuits range from unlawful treatment to discrimination.

Another lawsuit was filed by a 53-year-old woman who says she suffered a stroke after being forced to sit in her urine-soaked jeans without food or water.

In another case, four immigrants said they were detained and held in freezing holding cells that left their lips and fingertips blue, AlterNet reported.

Border Patrol Reports Increase in Illegal Crossings Following Confluence of Problems

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol is bracing for more illegal crossings following a confluence of problems related to the budget sequestration and Obama administration policies, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

“It’s the perfect storm,” Stuart Harris, vice president of Local 1929 of the National Border Patrol Council in El Paso, Texas, told the Free Beacon.

The perfect storm – planned furloughs, the release of illegal immigrants and a renewed push for amnesty – could have a devastating impact along the border, experts said.

“It’s a giant catch and release program,” Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies, told the Washington Free Beacon. “Why go through the expense of applying for a visa, when you can get turned down?”

Border Patrol outposts are reporting an increase in illegal immigrants crossing the border.

FBI: ICE Agent Justified in Fatal Shooting of Colleague Who Turned Gun on Boss

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has determined that an ICE agent did nothing wrong when he gunned down a fellow agent who had fired shots at a supervisor in February 2012, the L.A. Times reports.

Ezequiel Garcia fired six shots at Kevin Kozak, the Los Angeles field office’s second in command, during a meeting about Garcia’s job performance.

His colleague, who was not named, intervened by shooting and killing Garcia, the Times wrote.

Kozak was severely injured.

“The surviving agents were not culpable, and no criminal charges are being pursued,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told the Times.

FBI Investigated Whether Wall Street Journal Reporters Bribed Chinese Officials for Information

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI’s investigation into News Corporation last year included an inquiry into claims that the Wall Street Journal’s China bureau bribed local officials for information, the New York Times reports.

It’s unclear what – if anything – the FBI found during the investigation, which originally began over a phone-hacking scandal in 2011.

The Wall Street Journal conducted its own probe over claims that employees in the China bureau were giving officials gifts in exchange for information, the Times wrote, citing the newspaper’s spokeswoman, Paula Keve.

“After a thorough review of our operations in China conducted by outside lawyers and auditors, we have not found any evidence of impropriety at Dow Jones,” Keve told the Times. “Nor has anyone taken issue with our findings.”

The FBI declined to comment or say whether agents were still investigating the bribery claims.

Former DEA Officials Stand to Profit from Their Opposition to Marijuana Decriminalization

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Two former top DEA officials who have been loudly urging the federal government to nullify marijuana decriminalization in Washington and Colorado stand to profit from making pot illegal, the U.S. News & World Report revealed.

The retired officials, Robert L. DuPont, former White House drug czar under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and Peter Bensinger, who was administrator of the DEA in the 1970s, run Bensinger, DuPont & Associates, which specializes in drug testing in the workplace, U.S. News wrote.

“These individuals still have financial and professional interests in ancillary businesses and endeavors that benefit from keeping marijuana illegal,” he says. “So there’s a lot of bluster to imply the sky is falling, while to the rest of the public this is no big deal.” Armentano cites a number of recent public opinion studies on pot, including a 2011 study from Gallup that found at least half of America today supports legalizing marijuana.

The men were among 10 former DEA officials to recently address the Senate Judiciary Committee over their opposition to the pot laws.

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