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Archive for April 1st, 2013

A Little Update on Sammy “The Bull” Gravano


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s been a while since we’ve heard of  Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, the former underboss of the Gambino Crime Family, who testified in New York against his boss, the late John Gotti.

So we went on  the Arizona State Corrections website and found a picture of Gravano and a little information which shows him getting released in 2019 for his conviction for selling ecstasy.  He pleaded guilty in 2001 and was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Gravano, 68, no longer has that nice head of hair he once displayed.  He’s bald.

There have been reports that he was diagnosed with Graves’ disease,a thyroid disorder. It can cause fatigue, weight loss with increased appetite, and hair loss.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Woman Is Among Top Contenders to Replace FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Among President Obama’s top choices for replacing FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III is a woman, Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post  reports.

Citing current and former administration officials, the Post wrote that Lisa Monaco, a former senior Justice Department official who became Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, is among the top contenders.

Mueller, 68, plans to step down Sept. 4 following 12 years on the job.

Obama plans to find a successor soon to make time for the confirmation process before Congress.

“Mueller will leave very big shoes to fill,” said one Justice Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. “Two years ago, he was portrayed as the indispensable man. Now, the FBI is going to have to do without the indispensable man in a matter of a few months.”

Horwitz writes:

Among the names that have surfaced as contenders are Monaco, who oversaw the National Security Division at Justice before moving to the White House; Merrick B. Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; James B. Comey, deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration; Neil MacBride, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, former U.S. attorney in Chicago.

 

First of 2 Parts: China Exports Deadly New Designer Drugs for American Teens

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Cyber information is not the only thing the Chinese are stealing from the United States. A new generation of synthetic designer drugs is robbing the physical and mental health of thousands of American teenagers. In the last two years enterprising rogue Chinese chemists have introduced hundreds of these new chemical combinations into the American market.

Although the motive is crassly profit-oriented rather than something even more sinister, the effect is sadly the same. Emergency room admissions and law enforcement reports reveal a looming public health crisis unlike that caused by any preceding class of drugs.

And there is often little either group can do about it as they struggle to react to the problem.

A dizzying variety of medical and psychological problems are listed in recent reports.

A Hawaii man tried to throw his girlfriend off the 11th floor balcony of their apartment building.

A Kentucky woman threw her two-year old son from her car onto the highway because she believed him to be a demon.

A Mississippi man stabbed himself repeatedly in the abdomen with a hunting knife to remove wires he thought were inside his body.

The list of bizarre and tragic stories of behavior caused by the psychoactive drugs goes on and on and on.

Just when the public and law enforcement were beginning to grab a hold on the problems caused by cathinones (“bath salts”) and cannabinoids (“spice,” incorrectly referred to as synthetic marijuana), Chinese laboratories have unleashed modified chemical compounds beyond the practical and legal reach of all but the most sophisticated law enforcement authorities. The public, parents, and teachers, are almost completely unaware of the new drug problem that is unfolding. Medical professionals who treat these kids in hospitals are just becoming aware of the problem.

Drug analogues and chemical compounds altered to avoid enforcement are not a new phenomenon. Since heroin was made illegal in the 1920s, amoral profiteers have developed related and uncontrolled substances whose effects mimic, or even exceed, those of the illegal substance.

Efforts to modify illegal drugs are unwittingly assisted by legitimate, academic researchers studying psychoactive drugs for medical purposes who then publish the results of their research. A current example is a Purdue University professor studying the effect such compounds have on brain receptors in animals. His scientific publications are immediately co-opted by renegade chemists who use the knowledge to create new “legal” drugs to sell to their customers.

About a decade ago rogue chemists from China and elsewhere started using similar research to develop drugs such as bath salts and spice. The market developed in a generally westerly direction into Russia, then Europe, and finally to the United States.

These drugs were cheap. They were beyond law enforcement, and easily accessible through the internet. Middlemen wholesalers sold them in gas stations, convenience and liquor stores, and smoke shops. They were advertised as plant food, incense, and other purposes for which they had no actual utility. In fact, the substances have no legitimate medical or industrial application. For example, “bath salts” is just a street name and has nothing in common with those colorful little granules you put in your bathtub to make it bubbly. The sellers side-stepped even a misdemeanor FDA violation by printing “not for human consumption” on the brightly colored packaging–sometimes adding a cartoon character to appeal to youthful customers.

Read more »

Column: Retired FBI Agent Calls Gun Control Column “Standard Response of Almost Every Single Liberal”

Bob Fanning was an FBI agent for 25 years before he retired. He is  a resident of Auroa, Colo. His column is in response to a column by ticklethewire.com editor Allan Lengel enitled: “If Dead Kids Doesn’t Do it What Will?

By Bob Fanning
For ticklethewire.com
I must say that I am seriously disappointed that someone with your apparent contacts and involvement with law enforcement cannot come up with something better than the standard response of almost every single liberal politician – “We gotta do something.”
 
Yes, all of these mass shootings are indeed horrible and they do in fact deserve a response by our political leaders, however the typical liberal knee-jerk response for more gun controls is really pathetic. Do you not understand what the term “criminal” means. A criminal is by definition a person who does not obey the law. Passing more anti-gun laws does nothing more than make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain a means of self-protection.

I wish you would read the position paper of the County Sheriffs of Colorado on this issue. It does two things. Firstly, it presents clear and logical arguments as to why the proposed gun laws dreamt up by our politicians and worthless and largely unenforceable. Secondly, it clearly defines the real problem, which is the failed mental health system in these United States.

Examine all the incidents listed in your article and you obviously note that guns are a common denominator. Have you also discovered another common denominator? Seriously mentally disturbed perpetrators, perhaps?

Sorry, but I find your call for more gun laws extremely superficial and trite. I am awaiting your article on the need to something meaningful in this country to identify, diagnose and treat the mentally disturbed people who have committed these atrocities, not the tool that was used.

 

Justice Department to Review Case of Cops Who Framed Mentally Challenged Teen

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Anthony Caravella, who is mentally challenged, served 26 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit in Florida, and the two Miramar cops who framed him may never see time behind bars, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

The case drew the attention of the Justice Department after a civil lawsuit ended last week in a $7 million payout to the victim, who was a teenager when sent to prison.

“We are aware of the [Caravella] matter and are assessing it,” Dena Iverson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., wrote in an email to the Sun-Sentinel Friday.

DNA testing eliminated Caravella as a suspect in the rape and murder he was convicted of committing, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Others are concerned that more innocent people are locked up because of shoddy evidence and lies.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Cameras Put Additional Eyes on Smugglers in Rio Grande Valley, Lead to Arrests

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Cameras are helping Border Patrol make arrests in areas where agents can’t always monitor, the Brownsville Herald reports.

The technology in the lower Rio Grande Valley also helps agents keep an eye on the suspects while authorities move in. Border Patrol spokesman Henry Mendiola said told the Herald.

Last week, agents seized more than 800 pounds of marijuana after a camera spotted nine people carrying bundles.

Without the cameras, agents may have gotten away, Border Patrol said.

“In the past, when a sensor was tripped we’d have to physically go out there and see if something happened,” Border Patrol spokesman Henry Mendiola said. said. “But with this technology, we can continuously monitor a situation until agents are able to respond. … It allows us to do our job more efficiently and effectively.”

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