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Archive for August 31st, 2015

FBI Task Force Tracks Down Prison Escapees Decades Later

north carolinaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Margaret B. Smith walked out of a state prison halfway house in February 1977 and never looked back.

But 38 years later, in May 2015, Smith heard a knock on the door. It was FBI Task Officer Tonya S. Sconyers.

“I knew what they wanted,” Smith told the Fay Observer. ” “I didn’t try to fight or resist them. I just knew.”

Smith, now 68, was convicted of writing $200 in bad checks in 1974.

Her arrest was part of a joint task force by the FBI and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety to capture 147 escapees.

Since Sept. 1, the task force has helped return 13 people to prison.

“We’re pretty proud of what we did in the last year,” Sconyers said. “We’re not going to stop until we get them all.”

Federal Judge Criticizes DEA Agents for Questionable Tactics Dealing with Pipe Shops

DEALetterHatBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A judge admonished questionable tactics by the DEA to shut down a dozen pipe shops in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court, the owners of Ziggyz pipe shops said the DEA threatened his landlords in an attempt to force the stores to close, the Tulsa World reports. 

The judge did not like that tactic.

“The government may not attack what it views as illegal activity by simply putting someone out of business, through ‘leaning’ on their landlords or customers or other backdoor means,” U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton wrote in an order dated Aug. 18.

Under the judge’s order, federal agents are prohibited from contacting Ziggyz landlords or seeking forfeiture proceedings.

Cocaine Production in Bolivia Drops for 4th Year in Row After DEA Was Kicked Out

boliviaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For the fourth year in a row, cocaine production declined in Bolivia after the DEA was forced to leave the country, Mint Press News reports. 

Last year, cocaine production dropped 11% over the prior year, according to the United Nations.

The DEA was forced out of Bolivia seven years ago, and instead of seeking punitive measures, the Bolivian government found alternative crops for farmers.

“Bolivia has adopted a policy based on dialogue, where coca cultivation is allowed in traditional areas alongside alternative development [in others],” Antonino de Leo, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s representative in Bolivia, told VICE News.

“It’s not only about making money off a crop. In the old fashioned alternative development approach, we substitute one illicit crop for a licit crop. It’s about a more comprehensive approach that includes access to essential services like schools, hospitals, and roads in areas that traditionally have been hard to reach,” Leo added.

TSA Screener Accused of Sexually Assaulting Passenger After Flight

tsa_logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A TSA screen is accused of imprisoning and sexually abusing a college student in a bathroom following a flight to LaGuardia Airport in New York, CNN reports. 

The screener, Maxi Oquendo is accused of illegally imprisoning and screening the 21-year-old woman in an area where passengers aren’t supposed to be screened, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

“Hey, ma’am, I need to scan your body and your luggage,” the screener allegedly told the passenger, according to the statement.

The TSA employee is then accused of forcing the woman into a bathroom before he allegedly “had her lift up her shirt and unzip her pants and touched her breasts and other areas of her body over and under her clothing.”

Other Stories of Interest