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Archive for February 3rd, 2015

Judge: FBI Agents Should Not Have Posed As Internet Technicians in Gambling Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI crossed the line when agents cut off the Internet connection at a Las Vegas luxury villa and then posed as repairmen in order to access information from the computers of people suspected of running illegal betting operations, a federal magistrate said, Bloomberg reports.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen said in a non-binding recommendation to a district judge that Wei Seng Phua and his son Darren were subjected to a search based on false and misleading evidence that the FBI used to obtain a warrant.

“The investigators’ suspicions that Phua was engaged in illegal sports betting at Caesars Palace may be borne out by the evidence recovered in the execution of the warrant,” Leen said. “However, a search warrant is never validated by what its execution recovers.”

While requesting a warrant, agents never disclosed that they obtained the evidence by posing as repairmen.

Phua and others were arrested in charges of operating an illegal gambling hub involving World Cup games.

Ex-Miami Cop Charged with Extortion for Alleged Role in Illegal Gambling Ring

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Miami Police officer accused of protecting an illegal gambling operation in exchange for cash was charged Monday with two counts of extortion, the FBI announced.

Jerry Sutherland, 28, also is accused of “facilitating the theft of proceeds from a gambling operations.”

The investigation was handled by the FBI Miami Area Corruption Task Force and the Miami Police Department’s Internal Affairs Section.

Miami Police Chief Jerry Sutherland released the following statement:

I am disappointed and disheartened that Officer Jerry Sutherland has been arrested today by the FBI.  Officer Sutherland was attempting to obstruct, delay and affect commerce, as well as, to facilitate purported illegal activity, that is, a gambling operation, in exchange for receipt of cash payments.   The Miami Police Department’s Internal Affairs Section has assisted the FBI from the beginning of this investigation. Let me make it clear that we take these allegations very seriously. 

I will not tolerate any conduct that discredits this organization. Any time a law enforcement officer is accused of tarnishing the badge, it is an embarrassment to all the honest, hard-working members of this profession who work, day in and day out, to protect and serve with integrity.  

The allegations surrounding Mr. Sutherland are in no way a reflection of the hard working men and women of the Miami Police Department.

Defense: FBI Induced Man to Plot Suicide Bombing at Wichita Airport

Terry Lee Loewen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Terry Lee Loewen is accused of plotting a suicide bombing at a Wichita airport, but his attorneys said the idea originated from an FBI agent who radicalized their client and then induced him to follow through with an attack, the Associated Press reports.

Loewen was arrested during a sting operation in which prosecutors said he he tried to drive a van filled with inert explosives onto the tarmac at Mid-Continent Airport.

Bur his attorneys said Loewen knew nothing about explosives and never intended to hurt anyone until an undercover agent became involved.

Loewen, who pleaded not guilty to attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to use an explosive device to damage property and attempting to give material support to al-Qaida, was entrapped and should be set free, his attorneys argued.

Prosecutors said they plan to soon respond to the defense’s filing.

 

Justice Department Won’t Pursue Charges Against Murdoch-Owned Media Companies

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Justice Department investigation into Rupert Murdoch-owned media companies won’t result in charges following allegations of voicemail hacking and payments to public officials in the U.K., the USA Today reports.

News Corp. and 21st Century Fox were under investigation after hacking the voicemail accounts of sources, celebrities and politicians. They also were accused of bribing public officials.

It’s unclear why the Justice Department dropped the case without charges.

“We are grateful that this matter has been concluded and acknowledge the fairness and professionalism of the Department of Justice throughout this investigation,” according to a statement released Monday by Gerson Zweifach, general counsel of News Corp and group general counsel and chief compliance officer of 21st Century Fox.

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