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Archive for September 10th, 2015

A New Show on Netflix Worth Watching: ‘Narco,’ The Story About Pablo Escobar

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Having finished watching a series of TV shows including “Breaking Bad” and “Sons of Anarchy,” I was looking for a new show.  I stumbled across “Narco,” a Netflix-made series on drug lord Pablo Escobar and the DEA in Colombia.

Wagner Moura plays Pablo Escobar

Wagner Moura plays Pablo Escobar

It’s a show worth watching. It intersperses real news video clips to give it some authenticity. Escobar died in 1993 at age 44.

Deadline Hollywood describes it this way:

Written by Chris Brancato and directed by Jose Padilha, Narcos is the true-life story of the growth and spread of cocaine drug cartels across the globe and attendant efforts of law enforcement to meet them head on in brutal, bloody conflict. It centers on notorious Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) and Javier Peña (Pedro Pascal), a DEA agent sent to Colombia on a U.S mission to capture and ultimately kill him.

Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro writes:

“If you’re at a party and snort a gram of cocaine, look at how many people died (for it), how many lives were destroyed. ” That’s what Narcos executive producer Jose Padilha wants audiences to be conscious of when they watch his 10-hour Netflix series Narcos, which follows the 1980 drug war between the U.S. and Colombia’s kingpin Pablo Escobar.

“The drug policy that we have in the U.S. hasn’t worked in the last 30 years,” said Padilha, “The Nancy Reagan ‘Just Say No’ approach doesn’t work.”

“So many people have died and there were so many dead bodies,” said Padilha about the aftermath of the ’80s drug wars.

Prosecutors Try to Preserve Testimony in Case Against Agent Accused of Lying about ‘Whitey’ Bulger Case

"Whitey" Bulger

“Whitey” Bulger

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The witnesses in the case against a retired FBI agent are so old and ill that prosecutors are taking the unusual step of trying to preserve the testimony in depositions in the event that something happens to the people now in their 80s.

The case involves Robert Fitzpatrick, a retired FBI agent accused of lying under oath during the James “Whitey” Bulger trial in 2013, the Boston Globe reports. 

“There’s a compelling need to depose these witnesses, sooner rather than later,” Assistant US Attorney Zachary Hafer argued at a hearing in federal court in Boston on Wednesday.

Prosecutors charged Fitzpatrick, who was second in command of the FBI’s Boston office in the 1980s, with lying under oath for allegedly fabricating testimony about his involvement with Bulger and his role in cleaning up corruption from the office.

Fears of Stronger Gun Laws Apparently Fueled Record Purchases of Firearms

handgun-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Gun sales surged in August following a series of high-profile shootings that spread fear of stronger firearm laws, the National Review reports. 

The 1.7 million background checks conducted by the FBI in August were more than any other August since the checks began in 1998.

Monthly highs also were recorded in June and July, with 1.5 million and 1.6 million, respectively.

Background checks are required of gun buyers at federally-licensed dealers, but they don’t represent all firearm purchases, which means the number is likely higher.

Justice Department to Prioritize Prosecution of Wall Street Criminals

wall-streetBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has pledged to prioritize prosecution of Wall Street criminals.

The Boston Globe reports that the DOJ established new rules in an effort to hold individual employees and their companies accountable.

The rules were issued in a memo to federal prosecutors in an attempt to also pressure corporations to cooperate when their executives are accused of wrongdoing.

“Corporations can only commit crimes through flesh-and-blood people,” Sally Q. Yates, the deputy attorney general and the author of the memo, said in an interview Wednesday. “It’s only fair that the people who are responsible for committing those crimes be held accountable. The public needs to have confidence that there is one system of justice and it applies equally regardless of whether that crime occurs on a street corner or in a boardroom.”

Less Than Half of U.S.-Mexico Border Is Under ‘Operational Control,

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Think the Mexico-U.S. border is safer. Think again.

So says Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, who told Congress Wednesday that only 40% of the border is under “operational control,” The Washington Times reports. 

Judd also said that 20% of illegal immigrants who were captured had criminals records.

“This is the challenge we are facing at the border today,” he said. “There are those who will point to lower apprehension rates and tell you the border is secure. Border Patrol agents, however, throughout this nation will tell you the border is not secure, and the southwest border certainly is not safe.”

The assertions contradict claims by President Obama’s administration that conditions at the border are improving.

Less Than Half of U.S.-Mexico Border Is Under ‘Operational Control,’ Agents Say

border fence photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Think the Mexico-U.S. border is safer. Think again.

So says Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, who told Congress Wednesday that only 40% of the border is under “operational control,” The Washington Times reports. 

Judd also said that 20% of illegal immigrants who were captured had criminals records.

“This is the challenge we are facing at the border today,” he said. “There are those who will point to lower apprehension rates and tell you the border is secure. Border Patrol agents, however, throughout this nation will tell you the border is not secure, and the southwest border certainly is not safe.”

The assertions contradict claims by President Obama’s administration that conditions at the border are improving.

Less Than Half of U.S.-Mexico Border Is Under ‘Operational Control,’ Agents Say

Homeland Security Takes Crackdown on Drug Smuggling to the Sky

dea-cocaineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security is taking its fight against drug smuggling to the sky.

The Associated Press reports that CBP agents are using aging P-3 surveillance planes with high-tech radar to search for drug smugglers.

The surveillance comes at a time when agents are finding an increasing amount of cocaine smuggling across the Caribbean to the U.S.

In fact, the DEA estimates that cocaine smuggling has increased from 60 tons of the drug to about 100 tons in the past several years.

One reason: Smugglers are finding the Caribbean to be one of the easiest ways to bring the drugs to the U.S.

Other Stories of Interest