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Archive for August, 2013

Weekend Series on Crime History: Documentary on Mobster Joe

Let Us Know What You Think About FBI Director Robert S. Mueller’s Tenure as FBI DIrector

Robert Mueller III/ photo ticklethewire.com

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
With FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III about to step down, I thought it would be worth publishing comments about his tenure from readers of ticklethewire.com.

Fair to say, no FBI director has oversaw more changes in recent decades than Mueller, who was forced to reorganize the bureau after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

I’d like you to send your thoughts to me at Allan.Lengel@gmail.com so I can publish them. Preferably,  it would be best to include your name.

But I will publish anonymous comments — positive or negative — so long as they’re thoughtful and done in good taste.

The deadline to  submit comments will be Sunday, Sept. 1.

I’d like to hear from you.

 

Convicted Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger Complains about Trial in Letter to Old Pal

Whitey Bulger

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Notorious mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger complained in recently obtained letters that his trial was a sham and “revenge for corrupting two FBI agents,” The New York Daily News reports.

A week after he was found guilty of murder and racketeering, Bulger wrote a letter to his friend on Aug. 20 that details Bulger’s feelings on the trial and his time in jail.

“The trial was a neck and tie party and a stacked deck from day one,” Bulger wrote.

At least, he wrote, he has “lots of time to read and think” inside the Plymouth Correctional Facility.

“I am off the scene and not much I can do for anyone out there,” he wrote in longhand, according to the Daily News.

Man Charged with Trying to Bomb Chicago Bar Accused of Trying to Kill Undercover FBI Agent

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A teenager accused of trying to bomb a downtown Chicago bar also tried to get an undercover FBI agent killed, the Associated Press reports.

From his jail cell, Adel Daoud is accused of plotting to have someone kill an FBI agent who played a role in a sting that led to this arrest in 2012, the AP wrote.

The 19-year-old now faces a charge of solicitation of murder.

Authorities say Daoud was targeting the FBI agent who posed as a terrorist in New York.

Daoud’s attorney dismissed the claims as outrageous.

“The government was pursuing the allegations of a notoriously unreliable street gang jailhouse informant,” attorney Thomas Durkin said.

“These fantastic new charges only further support our previous public position that the trial evidence will show that Adel Daoud is an immature, impressionable and manipulable teenager — not the international terrorist the government seems hell-bent on trying to paint.”

Justice Department Ends Long Battle with States Over Marijuana Use

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has announced an end to challenging state laws that permit residents to use marijuana for recreation and medical use, the USA Today reports.

The directive was sent to federal prosecutors nationwide.

But there are conditions. The Justice Department, for example, will still go after anyone who sells pot to minors or use the sales as a cover for trafficking operations, the USA Today wrote.

Medical marijuana is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Colorado and Washington state also allow for recreational use by adults.

Leaked Memos: DEA Sought to Assassinate Drug Kingpin in Mexico; President Obama Opposed on ‘Moral Grounds’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New memos leaked by WikiLeaks shows the DEA asked the White House for permission to kill notorious kingpin and fugitive Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Latin Times reports.

The messages come from Fred Burton, vice president of intelligence and an expert on Mexican drug cartels.

“If the DEA can specifically locate the Sinaloa boss El Chapo, he will be assassinated,” Burton wrote, according to the documents.

Nevertheless, Guzman, kingpin of the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel, remains a fugitive.

For his part, President Obama said he wouldn’t approve an assassination.

“Obama won’t approve a finding for covert action inside MX based on ‘moral grounds,'” Burton wrote.

Joint Task Force Nabs 7 Detroit Building Inspectors in Alleged Bribery Scandal

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After high-profile corruption cases against Detroit officials, including ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a joint task force that includes the FBI announced charges Thursday against seven building inspectors accused of accepting bribes for phony inspections, the Detroit News reports.

The charges stem from an FBI probe dating as far back as 2007.

According to authorities, the scheme involved seven inspectors who accepted bribes to forge building inspections and even covered up potentially dangerous code violations.

“When you violate the public’s trust, it’s a big deal,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said. “When you endanger lives and families, it’s a big deal. You can’t close your eyes to it.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

It Took a While, But B. Todd Jones Is the New Permanent Director of ATF

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fair to say, it wasn’t easy getting there.

But after all the political wrangling, B. Todd Jones was sworn in as the new director ATF at a ceremony Thursday at the White House.

With his confirmation, Jones, who was the acting director, becomes the agency’s first permanent director in seven years.

“I congratulate Todd on being sworn in as the first-ever Senate-confirmed Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “I can think of no one better qualified to lead this critical agency, and to reinforce our shared commitment to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in federal law enforcement. For decades, Todd’s career has been shaped by a remarkable dedication to public service, and a steadfast determination to do that which is just and right. I am confident that he will be a superb ATF Director, and look forward to continuing to work with him to protect the American people from violent crime.”

Jones also remarked:

“Today is a historic day for ATF. The agency is now in line with its sister components and has been given the respect it deserves as a federal law enforcement agency with a permanent director. I will lead with the same enthusiasm and dedication that I see daily from the team tasked with protecting our communities from the most violent criminals.”