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Archive for February 20th, 2015

Weekend Series on Crime: The Gambino Crime Family

FBI Agent Shot by Own Gun at Firearms Training in California

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent was shot in the leg by his own gun Thursday during a firearms training in California, U-T San Diego reports. 

Officials said they still aren’t certain if the gun malfunctioned or was accidentally discharged.

The unidentified agent was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The accident happened about 10 a.m. at the San Diego Regional Firearms Training Center.

White House Didn’t Invite FBI Director to Conference on Curbing Violent Extremists

Director James B. Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A three-day conference on quelling violent extremism this week did not include the nation’s most senior official tasked with preventing terrorist attacks – FBI Director James B. Comey.

The reason the White House didn’t invite him: The administration doesn’t want too much of the focus on law enforcement, The New York Times reports.

Oddly, the administration still invited Comey’s Russian counterpart, Aleksandr V. Bortnikov, the director of the Russian Federal Security Service, the post-Soviet K.G.B.

The meeting in Washington D.C. “has been criticized as ineffectual and irrelevant, and not focused on immediate and tangible solutions to stop terrorists,” The Times wrote.

An administration official defended the actions.

“While the F.B.I. works tirelessly to keep the country safe, this conference was not centered on federal law enforcement.”

So what was the focus?

Anti-terrorism efforts “are premised on the notion that local officials and communities can be an effective bulwark against violent extremism, and most of the participants — spanning community leaders, local, law enforcement, private sector innovators, and others — reflected this bottom-up approach.”

The FBI declined to comment.

 

FBI Agent Became Addicted to Heroin After Dependence on Pain Meds

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent accused of stealing heroin from evidence in cases to feed his addiction was first hooked on pain medication, The Washington Post reports.

Matthew Lowry, 33, of the Washington Field Office told investigators that he first took heroin in 2013 after stealing a small amount obtained during an undercover sting.

He said he became addicted to pain medication in 2012 for reasons that aren’t clear.

Lowry’s eventual dependence on heroin led him to steal heroin from suspects, authorities said in reports. The theft resulted in the dismissal of charges for 28 defendants because the evidence was deemed tainted.

Lowry has been suspended but not charged.

Former FBI Director Hoover Would Have Been Suspicious of Comey’s Speech on Race

FBI Director James Comey

By E.J. Dionne
Washington Post

Last week’s speech by FBI Director James Comey at Georgetown University was remarkable on its own terms, but revolutionary in the context of his agency’s history. You wonder if the late J. Edgar Hoover would have accused Comey of subversive intent.

“All of us in law enforcement must be honest enough to acknowledge that much of our history is not pretty,” Comey said. “At many points in American history, law enforcement enforced the status quo, a status quo that was often brutally unfair to disfavored groups.”

He explained why he keeps on his desk a copy of Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s approval of Hoover’s request to wiretap Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “The entire application is five sentences long, it is without fact or substance, and is predicated on the naked assertion that there is ‘Communist influence in the racial situation.’” He calls agents’ attention to the document, he said, “to ensure that we remember our mistakes and that we learn from them.”

And who would think an FBI director would cite Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist, a song from the Broadway hit Avenue Q? His point: “Many people in our white-majority culture have unconscious racial biases and react differently to a white face than a black face.”

Yet Comey was unabashedly pro-cop. He fondly recalled his grandfather, William J. Comey, who rose to head the Yonkers, New York, police department. “Law enforcement is not the root cause of problems in our hardest-hit neighborhoods,” the FBI director said. “Police officers — people of enormous courage and integrity, in the main — are in those neighborhoods, risking their lives, to protect folks from offenders who are the product of problems that will not be solved by body cameras.”

To read more click here.

All 9 Former DEA Administrators Join Forces to Oppose Legalization of Pot in Colorado

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

All nine of the DEA’s former administrators signed an amicus brief that was filed Thursday in support of a Supreme Court petition challenging Colorado’s recreational marijuana laws, Politico reports.

The directors are siding with Oklahoma and Nebraska’s Supreme Court petition that challenges legalization.

The law in Colorado “gravely menace[s]…[t]he health, comfort and prosperity of the people” of neighboring states,” the former administrators write in their brief.

“The federal government made the choice in 1970 that a uniform, comprehensive, and consistent national approach to controlled substances was necessary,” the brief continues. “Principles of federalism, properly understood, therefore support the plaintiff States’ suit against Colorado.”

President Obama’s administration has urged federal law enforcement to respect state marijuana laws.

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