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Archive for June 14th, 2013

Columnist: Public Locked Out of Trial in ATF agent Jay Dobyns’ Suit

Jay Dobyns/his website

By Tim Steller
Arizona Daily Star

I walked into a “sealed” courtroom in downtown Tucson Thursday afternoon and saw something interesting: six Justice Department staffers at one table, two plaintiffs’ advocates at the other.

The case would perhaps be the trial of the year in Tucson if the courtroom weren’t closed to the public. I got in for a couple of minutes because the judge hadn’t arrived yet for the afternoon session.

Inside, Jay Dobyns, his attorney and a paralegal are pressing his case that his employer, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, breached his contract. Dobyns is well-known in Tucson – a local son who played wide receiver for the University of Arizona in the 1980s before becoming an ATF agent and, in the early 2000s, infiltrating the Hells Angels.

The way Dobyns claims the ATF breached his contract is what makes the case so interesting: He says that for years after the Hells Angels operation ended in 2003, the agency failed to protect him and his family from violent threats, then failed to adequately investigate an arson fire at his house on Tucson’s east side in August 2008.

His own agency initially accused him of setting the fire, Dobyns says. The case eventually was transferred to the FBI: It remains theirs – and unresolved – today.

“There’s no reason for us to be here,” Dobyns told me Thursday at lunchtime. “My case is overwhelming.”

To read full column click here. 

Weekend Series on Crime: The Dangers of Methamphetamines

NSA to Reveal Number of Terrorism Plots Foiled by Massive Surveillance Program

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hoping to quell criticism of the National Security Agency’s widespread telephone data surveillance programs, federal officials plan to announce Monday the number of terror plot foiled by monitoring, Reuters reports.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced the agency’s plans after NSA Chief General Keith Alexander said dozens of terrorism plots were thwarted.

“There’s more than you think,” Feinstein told reporters of the foiled plots.

Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall expressed skepticism.

“We have not yet seen any evidence showing that the NSA’s dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records has produced any uniquely valuable intelligence,” the two said in a statement, according to Reuters.

FBI Seeks to Arrest Defense Contractor Who Revealed Sweeping Surveillance

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is intensifying the hunt.

Director Robert Mueller said the agency is stepping up efforts to arrest the defense contractor responsible for leaking information about the federal government’s sweeping surveillance programs, Reuters reports.

Mueller, who confirmed an investigation is underway, said the leak damaged U.S. national security.

“We are taking all necessary steps to hold the person responsible for these disclosures,” Mueller told the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. “These disclosures have caused significant harm to our nation and to our safety,” he said.

Edward Snowden, a defense contractor, has acknowledged being the source of the NSA leaks.

 

State Police: FBI Agents Repeatedly Sabotaged Investigation of Mob Boss ‘Whitey’ Bulger

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Federal law enforcement officials intentionally misled state and local authorities who were investigating mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, a former senior Massachusetts state police officer testified during the second day of Bulger’s criminal trial, The Hartford Courant reports.

Retired State Police Col. Thomas Foley said some FBI agents sabotaged the investigation by tipping off Bulger about surveillance and other investigative measures.

“Were you surprised that members of the Boston FBI were trying to circumvent and undercut your investigations?” Bulger lawyer Hank Brennan asked during cross-examination.

“Yes,” Foley replied. “I was naïve on some things, yes. I’m not sure at one point we started questioning what was going on.”

Since the 1980s, Foley said he knew that Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang was one of the most dangerous groups in the country, Reuters wrote.

Fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry Honored by Specialty Coin

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal group is selling collector’s coins of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry, who was killed in a shootout while on duty, to raise money for a foundation created to honor Terry.

Called the “Challenge Coin,” the Border Narcotics Intelligence is selling the coins online for $15.

Terry’s death grabbed national headlines because it revealed the federal government’s botched “Fast and Furious” drug smuggling investigation.  

 

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