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Archive for April 10th, 2013

Part 2: What We Can Do to Confront the Threat of New Designer Drugs from China

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. This is the second in a two-part series.  To read the first part, click here.
 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Part one of this report discussed the menace of a new generation of synthetic designer drugs from China causing a public health crisis in Europe. In America, in the last two years, enterprising rogue Chinese chemists have introduced hundreds of these new chemical combinations into the market.

This plague in America  is steadily growing worse.  Law enforcement and medical experts believe that the tens of thousands of reported cases in hospitals in the last year are just the tip of the iceberg. These numbers have essentially doubled just in the last year. The rate of reporting by the agencies like DAWN, which records emergency room admissions, and NFLIS, which keeps track of law enforcement laboratory tests on drugs, is a bleak harbinger of things to come.

Unless aggressive action is taken, we can expect the same panic the British are experiencing from this onslaught. On a more optimistic note, there are positive steps that can be taken and virtually all individuals and groups can have a role in this defense. This part will outline a strategy which can meet this oncoming crisis.

Parents —– Since the victims are largely teenagers living at home, the first line of defense has to be the parents. At a minimum all parents of teens and pre-teens should have a frank and two-sided conversation to educate their children on the life-threatening effects of these drugs, which are deceptively packaged and marketed as a “legal high.”

Teens think they are immortal and the prospect of some exciting new forbidden experience can be irresistible. Information and misinformation about the synthetics are spread by friends and acquaintances, and the availability is cheap and accessible. Many of these new consumers are naïve about drugs in general, as well as their dangers.

A teenage boy in North Dakota is currently facing murder charges because he gave a single tablet of a synthetic drug to a friend. The friend died shortly after ingesting it at a party. The consequences of such single acts are beyond the comprehension of most teens.

Read more »

ATF Official: Detroit’s Violent Criminals Are a “Throwback”

Daryl McCrary

 
By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Daryl McCrary is no stranger to the world of violence.

Having spent 21 years with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) he’s worked in places like Los Angeles and Baltimore. He’s gone undercover, he’s bought guns on the street and investigated gangs and violent crime.

As acting head of ATF in Detroit since October, McCrary says Detroit is as violent as any city in America, and more violent than many.

He says while he’s seen criminals in other cities modify their activity to try and avoid detection — and ultimately prison — Detroit criminals haven’t really bent much. He calls them “prideful” when it comes to street survival.

“Drive-by shootings. Home invasions. Aggravated assaults. I see a lot of things that I consider to be a throwback” to the old days.

No better example of the dangers in the city was the shootout last week between members of an ATF task force and a murder suspect they were trying to arrest near Linwood and Hooker on the city’s west side. The task force boxed in the suspect’s car. When officers approached, the suspect opened fire. One Detroit police officer on the task force was shot twice in the leg. Another Detroit cop on the task force suffered what was first thought to be gunshot wounds to the head.

But Deadline Detroit reported Sunday night that the officer may have actually been hit in the head by metal fragments, perhaps from a car, that came from a bullet striking the vehicle. The officer remains hospitalized. The suspect, Matthew Joseph, 23, was killed in the shootout.

To read more including a Q & A click here.

NYT Editorial: ICE Agents Ran Amok in Suburban New York Raids

New York Times
Editorial

In a series of raids in suburban New York in 2006 and 2007, agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement burst into private homes in the dead of night, without warrants, looking for undocumented immigrants, often in the wrong houses. They pounded on doors, terrorized innocent residents, ineptly drew guns on police officers who were supposed to be their partners, and found hardly any of the gang members they were hunting. It was a stunning display of aggression and incompetence.

It took six years, but the lawsuit filed after the raids finally ended last week, with a settlement approved by a federal district judge in New York. Under the agreement, ICE agents will now have to honor some elementary norms of the Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches. Its agents will be forbidden to invade private homes without “a reasonable, articulable suspicion of danger.” When they have no warrant and need consent to enter a private home, they will have to ask permission in a language the resident understands, “whenever feasible.” They must also get permission to enter yards and other private areas adjoining homes. The federal government will pay $1 million in damages and fees, including $36,000 to each of 22 plaintiffs.

To read more click here.

Senate Minority Leaders Calls for FBI Investigation After Secret Audiotape Emerged About Ashley Judd


Ashley Judd

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Saying his political opponents secretly recorded an internal campaign meeting, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wants the FBI to investigate, the New York Times reports.

The Republican from Kentucky discovered the recording when Mother Jones magazine released a 12-minute audiotape from a Feb. 2 campaign staff meeting.

“We’ve always said the left will stop at nothing to attack Sen. McConnell, but Nixonian tactics to bug campaign headquarters is above and beyond,” campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a statement.

The recording revealed that McConnell and his campaign team poked fun at actress Ashley Judd, who is considering running against McConnell.

FBI Takes Over Hunt for Family That Has Been Missing for Three Years

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which has been unable to solve the mystery of family missing from Fallbrook for three years, is handing the case over to the FBI, the LA Times reports

Sheriff’s officials say they have exhausted “hundreds of tips” about what happened to Joseph and Summer McStay and their young boys Gianni and Joseph Jr.

Authorities believe the family crossed the border into Mexico, where their car was found.

“Due to the fact that the family is believed to be out of the country, and because minor children are involved, the primary investigative responsibility for the case is being transferred to the FBI,” Lt. Glenn Giannantonio, of the Sheriff’s Department homicide detail, said in a statement to the LA Times.

Border Patrol Agent Pleads Guilty To Helping Smuggle Undocumented Immigrant into U.S.

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping smuggle an undocumented Mexican immigrant into the U.S. in exchange for a bribe, the El Paso Times reports.

In a Las Cruces federal court, Gabriel Burke, 42, admitted he was persuaded to violate his official duty between December 2011 and February 2012.

Prosecutors allege Burke, who has been free on bond, accepted $1,100 to help the immigrant pass into the U.S., the El Paso Times reported.

When sentenced, Burke faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

 

Bin Laden Aide Denied Request to Question FBI, Witnesses at Resentencing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Osama bin Laden’s former secretary won’t be able to question FBI agents and witnesses during his resentencing, Bloomberg reports.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Tuesday denied the request of Wadih el-Hage, who is serving a life sentence for participating in a plot to kill Americans.

“My past experience with my lawyers is that they delay my requests to the last minute, then use that as an excuse not to do it, therefore I am writing this letter,” he told the judge.

The judge said el-Hage can’t handle case alone as long as he has an attorney.

“Given the aggressive representation of this defendant by his able counsel, this court declines to permit hybrid representation,” Kaplan wrote.

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