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Archive for February 10th, 2014

Mexican Man Gets 30 Years in Murder of Border Agent Brian Terry

Brian Terry

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some justice was delivered in a sorry chapter in law enforcement involving the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on Dec. 14, 2010.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes of Mexico was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Tucson to 30 years in prison for the killing of Terry, whose death was linked to ATF’s botched and embarrassing gun-smuggling investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious, according to KGUN8 TV in Arizona. Two guns from the operation were found at the scene of the killing.

The  station reported that  Manuel Osorio-Arellanes — who pleaded guilty in the killing — along with four other Mexican men crossed into the  U.S. to rob marijuana smugglers  and got into a gun fight with Terry and three other agents.

The Associated Press reported that Osorio-Arellanes was wounded in the shootout at the scene and arrested. The wire service reported that the remaining crew escaped to Mexico. Two of the four are in custody in Mexico and two others are still on the run.

 

Marijuana Lobbying Group Expects 2014 to be a ‘Huge’ Year

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com
One of the most successful of the marijuana legalization lobbying organizations, the Marijuana Policy Project(MPP) announced its 2014 strategic plan and expects a “huge” year in passing state medical marijuana and legalization laws, as well as action in Congress to block drug enforcement activity.

Twenty years ago marijuana was illegal in all forms and in all states. This year MPP expects New York to join the other 20 states authorizing medical marijuana, as well as West Virginia in the next year or two. They also plan to have Illinois and Vermont expand the coverage of their existing programs.

The 2014 plan also aims to decriminalize possession with new laws in Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland and the District of Columbia. This would reduce enforcement to a ticketable offense.

MPP’s ultimate objective is to make marijuana use, distribution, and cultivation legal in all states. Pro-marijuana lobbyists will be active in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Nevada, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Montana. Proposed legislation will attempt to follow the model successfully enacted in Colorado.

In Congress MPP intends to have a bill introduced to make marijuana a matter of states’ rights. Other bills are expected to attempt to block DOJ from interfering with the medical marijuana programs in the states.

 

AG Holder Says Justice Department to Extend Benefits, Other Rights to Same-Sex Couples

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Married gay and lesbian couples should have the same rights in legal matters as other married couples, Attorney General Eric Holder announced this weekend.

The USA Today reports that Holder announced the new policy this weekend.

“In every courthouse, in every proceeding and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law,” Holder said to the Human Rights Campaign, a group advocating on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights.

The Justice Department plans to issue a memo today, instructing them that same-sex marriages carry the same full and equal recognition under the law.

Holder compared the struggle of gay rights to the civil rights in the 1960s. “Just like during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the stakes involved in this generation’s struggle for LGBT equality could not be higher,” Holder said. “Then, as now, nothing less than our country’s commitment to the notion of equal protection under the law was on the line.”

Homeland Security Chair: There’s a “High Degree of Probability” of Explosion During Sochi Olympics

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What is the likelihood of an explosive attack at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia?

According to the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security on Sunday, there’s a “high degree of probability” of an explosion or bomb attack, CBS DC reports.

“There’s a high degree of probability that something will detonate, something will go off,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told Chris Wallace on Fox News. “But I do think it’s probably, most likely going to happen outside of the Ring of Steel at the Olympic Village.”

“You’re saying, as the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, you think there is a high probability there will be some explosion outside the Ring of Steel?” Wallace responded.

“I hope I’m wrong in this assessment, but you’re talking about an area of the world where suicide bombers go off all the time,” McCaul responded.

“The fact is, right now, the eyes of the world are upon these Olympics. The Chechen extremists know this. They want to make a global statement. They want to make a jihad statement. And what better time to do this than right now?”

Restaurant at Sochi Olympics Bans FBI, CIA Agents in Anger Over Cold War

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Not everyone is welcoming of U.S. law enforcement authorities.

At the Sochi Olympics, a restaurant billboard indicated, “We do not serve FBI and CIA agents,” Ground Report writes.

Associated Press photographer Jae C. Hong spotted the wooden billboard outside an eatery in Sochi.

Another sign read, “We remember the Cold War.”

The CIA’s primary mission was the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Ground Report wrote.

TSA Disputes Embarrassing, Unethical Conduct Described by Former TSA Agent in Chicago

file photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA has strongly criticized a screener’s account of unethical practices, including poking fun at body-scan images, at the agency, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Former TSA Agent Jason Edward Harrington wrote in Politico that TSA agents at Chicago O’Hare International Airport had low morale, targeted certain people for pat-downs and made fun of images created by full-body scanners.

But the TSA quickly disputed those accounts, saying some of the practices were inaccurate or outdated.

“TSA does not tolerate any form of unethical or unlawful behavior by its employees and takes swift disciplinary action if discovered,” TSA Assistant Administrator LuAnn Canipe said.

TSA officials said there are no plans to investigate the claims by Harrington.

Death of Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Shines Light on Influx of Heroin

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The untimely death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has cast an ugly light on the rising use of heroin in the U.S.

The Cleveland Conservative Examiner reports that the DEA has been alarmed at the influx of heroin into New York City.

A hallmark of the new heroin was unique, sophisticated packaging, which suggested the drug operation was targeted toward middle- to upper-class users.

 

 

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