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Archive for January 17th, 2014

Weekend Series of Crime: The Witness Protection Program

President Obama to Announce Safeguards to Prevent Abuse of Domestic NSA Data

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A secret court must grant permission for the NSA to tap into its vast database of telephone data under a new requirement expected to be announced by President Obama today, the New York Times reports.

The move comes after Obama’s administration came under intense criticism for how easily the NSA could access a trove of domestic phone information.

“The president will say that he is ordering a transition that will end the Section 215 telephone metadata program as it currently exists and move to a program that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata,” said the official, who insisted on anonymity to preview a part of the 11 a.m. speech in advance.

“The president believes that the 215 program addresses important capabilities that allow us to counter terrorism but that we can and should be able to preserve those capabilities while addressing the privacy and civil liberties concerns that are raised by the government holding this metadata,” the official added.

Obama also is expected to announce to an audience of the Justice Department that the administration will provide more safeguards for foreigners, such as heads of state, the Times wrote.

FBI Agent Feared Trenton City Hall Was on Verge of Becoming Controlled by Criminal Element

 

Mayor Tony Mack

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Something had to be done in Trenton.

That much was clear less than three months into Mayor Tony Mack’s administration when a government informant told the FBI that he feared the mob had taken over city hall, the Trenton Times reports.

FBI Supervisor Special Agent Mike Doyle was listening into a conversation between the informant and city hall insider Joseph “JoJo” Giorgianni. 

The surveillance prompted deep concerns that the Mack administration could potentially extort millions from city taxpayers, the Trenton Times wrote.

“Based on the allegations that Mr. Giorgianni made during those … initial meetings, I was fearful that an organized criminal element had taken over City Hall,” Doyle said. “And if so, I believe the cost to the taxpayers would be in the multi-million dollars as part of a criminal arrangement that had been inherent in the city.”

“That is the reason we had such a robust investigation,” said Doyle, who is a 17-year veteran of the FBI and was the lead agent on the case.

Justice Department: Head of Philadelphia Gun Buyback Effort Accused of Excessive Raises, Expenses

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The head of Philadelphia’s gun buyback program is under intense scrutiny over excessive raises and expenses, Reuters reports, citing a U.S. Department inspector general report.

Raymond Jones, executive director of Philadelphia’s Safety Net, did not receive authority for the expenses by the group’s board of directors, which included his sister.

The audit found that Jones received $82,000 in unauthorized raises over four years. Jones’ salad in 2010 was $146,378, compared to his authorized salary of $90,000.

“We believe the executive director’s compensation was unallowable and unreasonable,” the audit report said.

Border Patrol Agent Suffers Head Trauma After Rock Strikes Him in California Near Mexico Border

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A U.S. Border Patrol agent suffered head trauma after he was struck by a large rock hurled from over the international border fence in the Tecate area in California, CBS8 reports.

The agent, whose identity wasn’t revealed, was patrolling the area on an all-terrain vehicle with other agents when the 6-inch rock struck him in the head at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The agent was rushed to the hospital for trauma to the head and arm, CBS8 wrote.

Border Patrol agents are still looking for the suspect.

Ex-Secret Service Agent Accused of Stealing Counterfeit Money, Trying to Pass It Off at Gas Station

Secret Service photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Secret Service agent faces up to 35 years in prison after being charged with stealing counterfeit money and trying to pass it off, the First Coast News reports.

Anthony Eugene Preissig, 47, is accused of stealing counterfeit money from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.

Preissig retired in 2012 as a special agent.  Ticklethewire.com incorrectly had his title as special agent in charge.

“Whenever a law enforcement officer engages in illegal activity, it erodes the public trust. Such actions by few can tarnish the badges of the many who serve to protect America each day. Corruption remains a top priority of the DHS OIG and we remain committed to holding those who violate the public’s trust accountable for their illegal actions,” said David Nieland, Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Office, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General.

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