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Archive for November 8th, 2013

Heartening News from Mexico Supreme Court on Killer of DEA Agent


Enrique Camarena

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com
 
The Supreme Court of Mexico this week reversed the ruling of a Mexican intermediate appellate court which had resulted in the surprise release from jail three months ago of one of the murderers of iconic hero DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena.
 
The decision should dampen speculation about the imminent release of other high level traffickers by Mexican courts. It also should help reduce the tension that has developed as a result of the policies of the new President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto to limit access of U. S. law enforcement to intelligence and investigative activities of their Mexican counterparts.

With no advance warning and under highly questionable circumstances, the lower court had overturned the conviction of drug kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero on the jurisdictional grounds that he had been incorrectly prosecuted in federal rather than state court.

The decision was kept secret for two days from the media and the U. S, government. Quintero was released from Jalisco jail on August 9th before any steps could be taken to review the ruling. His release blindsided the U. S. government, and the Justice Department immediately protested to the Mexican government and filed an extradition request for two federal indictments out of Los Angeles.

“Kiki” Camarena continues to be remembered as a courageous and effective federal agent whose efforts under constant threat were successful in dealing a serious blow to the cartel’s operation in Guadalajara.

His 1985 kidnapping, torture and murder mobilized federal agents as few such atrocities on foreign soil have. U.S. agents crossed the border to hunt down his killers. Customs agents deliberately slowed cross-border traffic to put pressure on Mexican authorities. The killers were hunted down by both Mexican and U.S. law enforcement and were convicted and sentenced in cases on both sides of the border, Quintero still had 12 more years to serve on his forty-year sentence as one of the most culpable of the murderers.

There are indications that Quintero, considered the godfather of the Mexican cartels in the 1970s and 80s, had continued his criminal activity from prison, operating a substantial money laundering operation for one of the cartels. The fact that he was released under such questionable circumstances has raised suspicions that the cartels continue to control parts of the Mexican criminal justice system.

The problem, of course, with this good news is that Quintero is in the wind. It took a maximum joint effort by American and Mexican law enforcement to arrest him 28 years ago from his hiding place in Costa Rica. Although the Mexican Attorney General has promised to apprehend Quintero, the Justice Department is taking no chances. A $5 million dollar reward has been announced and federal agents are undoubtedly actively involved in the manhunt.

When he is re-arrested, his extradition at least on the U. S. drug charges pending in the Central District of California will most likely be aggressively pursued even if he is returned to Mexican jails to serve the remainder of his sentence.

 

Parker: Heartening News from Mexico Supreme Court on Killer of DEA Agent

Ross Parker

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
 
The Supreme Court of Mexico this week reversed the ruling of a Mexican intermediate appellate court which had resulted in the surprise release from jail three months ago of one of the murderers of iconic hero DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena.
 
The decision should dampen speculation about the imminent release of other high level traffickers by Mexican courts. It also should help reduce the tension that has developed as a result of the policies of the new President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto to limit access of U. S. law enforcement to intelligence and investigative activities of their Mexican counterparts.

With no advance warning and under highly questionable circumstances, the lower court had overturned the conviction of drug kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero on the jurisdictional grounds that he had been incorrectly prosecuted in federal rather than state court.

The decision was kept secret for two days from the media and the U. S, government. Quintero was released from Jalisco jail on August 9th before any steps could be taken to review the ruling. His release blindsided the U. S. government, and the Justice Department immediately protested to the Mexican government and filed an extradition request for two federal indictments out of Los Angeles.

“Kiki” Camarena continues to be remembered as a courageous and effective federal agent whose efforts under constant threat were successful in dealing a serious blow to the cartel’s operation in Guadalajara.

His 1985 kidnapping, torture and murder mobilized federal agents as few such atrocities on foreign soil have. U.S. agents crossed the border to hunt down his killers. Customs agents deliberately slowed cross-border traffic to put pressure on Mexican authorities. The killers were hunted down by both Mexican and U.S. law enforcement and were convicted and sentenced in cases on both sides of the border, Quintero still had 12 more years to serve on his forty-year sentence as one of the most culpable of the murderers.

There are indications that Quintero, considered the godfather of the Mexican cartels in the 1970s and 80s, had continued his criminal activity from prison, operating a substantial money laundering operation for one of the cartels. The fact that he was released under such questionable circumstances has raised suspicions that the cartels continue to control parts of the Mexican criminal justice system.

The problem, of course, with this good news is that Quintero is in the wind. It took a maximum joint effort by American and Mexican law enforcement to arrest him 28 years ago from his hiding place in Costa Rica. Although the Mexican Attorney General has promised to apprehend Quintero, the Justice Department is taking no chances. A $5 million dollar reward has been announced and federal agents are undoubtedly actively involved in the manhunt.

When he is re-arrested, his extradition at least on the U. S. drug charges pending in the Central District of California will most likely be aggressively pursued even if he is returned to Mexican jails to serve the remainder of his sentence.

 

‘Whitey’ Bulger Has ‘No Redeeming Qualities,’ Prosecutors Say Before Sentencing

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger has “no redeeming qualities” and should die in prison, prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bulger is awaiting sentencing next week after being convicted of racketeering and murder charges.

“Bulger is one of the most violent and despicable criminals in Boston history,” prosecutors wrote. “Having now been convicted of 31 felonies … Bulger richly deserves to spend the rest of his life in jail.”

Prosecutors also are seeking restitution for the families of 19 murder victims, the LA Times wrote.

 

JFK’s Assassination Transformed Secret Service into Heavy-Weight Agency

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When JFK was assassinated, the Secret Service was in store for major changes.

The Warren Commission, which was formed to investigate the Nov. 22 shooting, found what it called “certain shortcomings and lapses from high standards which the Commission believes should prevail in the field of Presidential protection.”

The ill-prepared Secret Service, which neglected to check buildings along the motorcade route, transformed the small agency into a $1.6 billion service that has counter-sniper units and assault teams, NPR reports.

“Not criticizing what happened in 1963, but I think it’s fair to say that protections changed quite a bit, and how we do things on a day-to-day basis,” says Special Agent Brian Leary, who serves as a spokesman for the agency.

Thief Swipes 2 High-Powered Rifles from FBI SWAT Vehicle

Colt M16-A1

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

You never know what you’ll find when breaking into a car.

For one thief, it was two high-powered rifles.

The Boston Globe reports that a Colt M16-A1 Rifle and an HS Precision Pro-Series 2000 Sniper Rifle were stolen from an FBI SWAT vehicle parked in a residential area, where the agent wasn’t working, the Boston Globe reports.

The bureau didn’t disclose the identity of the agent.

The theft may be connected to others in the area, the FBI said in a statement.

“During that same time, items were stolen from other vehicles parked at nearby homes in Andover.”

FBI Fears Gangs Are Targeting North Carolina Police in Retaliation for Shooting

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A gang in Wilmington, N.C., appears to be retaliating against police for fatally shooting one of its members in October, the Star News reports.

Police shot Brandon Devone Smith on Oct. 13 after he allegedly fired at a sheriff’s detective. A state investigation concluded the fatal shooting was justified.

“Low-ranking gang members have committed to engage in shooting in the City of Wilmington for the next 52 days in retaliation for Smith’s death,” an FBI memo reads.

The FBI and local police have witnessed a spike in violence among gang members who are showing a “blatant disregard for authority and for life,” according to the Star News.

Thrown Rock Downs Border Patrol Helicopter in Lower Rio Grande Valley

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A rock launched from the ground struck a Border Patrol helicopter, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing in a vacant lot, the Associated Press reports.

Whoever threw the rock could not be found, CBP said in a statement.

The two-member crew of the American Eurocopter AS350 were not injured when they landed safely in the border town of Roma.

The crew was helping Border Patrol agents in Roma when the incident happened, the AP reported.

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