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Archive for December 30th, 2015

DEA’s John ‘Jack’ Riley Named ticklethewire.com’s Fed of The Year For 2015

John "Jack" Riley

John “Jack” Riley

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

John “Jack” Riley,  the DEA’s acting deputy administrator, has been named ticklethewire.com’s Fed of the Year for 2015.

Riley, a native of Chicago with more than 25 years of drug law enforcement experience, was appointed the acting second-in-command of the DEA in April as the top administrator, Michele Leonhart, was stepping down.

Riley has stepped into a top leadership role — no easy task — and deserves  credit for working on getting the agency back on track, while providing guidance to the new interim director, an outsider from the FBI, Chuck Rosenberg.  Along the way, he’s made some tough decisions, which hasn’t pleased everyone inside the DEA.

The grandson of a Chicago cop, he headed up the Chicago and El Paso field offices, and has spent years investigating the Mexican cartels and the trafficking of heroin and cocaine across the southern border.

The man is old school. He’s got it out for Mexican drug lord  Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, chief of the murderous Sinaloa Cartel, who escaped from a Mexican prison earlier this year. Riley was once the target of an assassination plot by El Chapo’s operatives.

“Just so you know, I was going to retire — until this dick escaped,” Riley told Yahoo! News in September, adding:  “I’m in it for the long haul.”

Previous recipients of the ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year award include: Former Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (2008):   Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI (2009), Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City (2010);  Thomas Brandon, deputy Director of ATF (2011); John G. Perren, who was assistant director of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Directorate (2012); David Bowdich, special agent in charge of counterterrorism in Los Angeles (2013);  and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn at the time (2014).

CNN Opinion: Cure for So-Called ‘Affluenza’ Is Nothing Short of Prison

Ethan Couch.

Ethan Couch.

CNN

American lawyers have never been accused of lacking creativity in seeking to justify the nefarious deeds of their clients. Texas defense attorney Scott Brown, however, appears to have raised the bar to a new level by asserting the newly minted defense of “affluenza” to obtain leniency in a tragic vehicular homicide case arising out of the reckless driving of his very drunk and very rich 16-year-old client, Ethan Couch.

Affluenza may be a contender for a collection of odd and unlikely defenses that can trace their lineage back to the infamous (and some even say apocryphal) “Twinkie defense.” The notorious junk food defense was asserted in psychiatric testimony as part of a broad claim of diminished capacity caused by depression with at least some success in the 1979 trial of Supervisor Dan White for the assassination of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Although White was charged with murder, the jury found him guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

he current claim in Fort Worth, Texas, is that the condition of affluenza, a combination of the words “affluence” and “influenza” should immunize Ethan Couch from full responsibility for his actions in killing four people and critically injuring two others.

The Oxford Dictionary defines the condition as “a psychological malaise supposedly affecting young people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation.” Defense attorney Brown apparently succeeded in convincing soon-to-be retired juvenile Judge Jean Boyd that this spoiled rich kid syndrome diminished Ethan Couch’s capacity to distinguish right from wrong.

n the face of prosecution demands for 20 years in the slammer, the judge responded with a sentence of 10 years of probation and rehabilitation. Couch’s rich daddy proposes to fund a trip to a $450,000 a year California rehab facility that offers treatment to those with way too much cash and free time on their manicured hands. I wish I was kidding about this, but I am not.

Defense psychologist Dr. G. Dick Miller testified that poor Ethan Couch was never properly disciplined by his wealthy parents, eventually driving at age 13, abusing alcohol, and coming to believe that money could buy him out of pretty much any situation where he hurt someone. Affluenza, the shrink suggests, diminished Ethan’s capacity to obey the law and tragic consequences followed.

Miller’s offensive analysis fails to explain why this strange condition is not mentioned in the diagnostic bible of the psychiatric profession, the DSM-5 and its predecessor volumes. Rich kid syndrome, or the more succinct label affluenza, seems to be made of the same empty calories that made the Twinkie defense so offensive to the public at the time it was served up in a 1970s San Francisco courtroom.

To read more click here. 

FBI Investigates Why Small Plane Crashed into Building in Anchorage


fbi-logBy Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating how a small plane ended up crashing through the third floor of a building in downtown Anchorage on Tuesday morning, BuzzFeed reports. 

The pilot, Lt. Doug Demarest, who was killed, was not authorized to fly the plane in Anchorage, the FBI said.

“What we’re trying to do is put those parts of the pieces together to see exactly how that happened and how the plane ended up where it is,” National Transportation Safety Board’s chief of aviation safety, Clint Johnson,told reporters. “We don’t know at this point.”

But federal authorities said they do not believe terrorism was a motive.

The Cessna 172S belonged to the Civil Air Patrol, which Demarest joined in 2010.

Three Honduran Women Sue Federal Government After Being Raped by Border Patrol Agent

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Three Hondurans are suing the federal government for $3 million after they were sexually assaulted last year by an on-duty Border Patrol agent who has since killed himself, San Antonio Express-News reports.

The attack occurred when an adult woman and two girls illegally crossed the border in March 2014 and were encountered in Hidalgo County in Texas by U.S. Border Patrol Agent Esteban Manzanares, according to the lawsuit.

New details have emerged from the suit, which alleges the agent dragged, beat, choked and sexually assaulted one of the plaintiffs and her 15-year-old daughter.

The lawsuit also accused Manzanares of tying up another of the victims before sexually assaulting her and photographing her in the nude.

Four Secret Service Agents Injured in Head-On Crash That Killed a Driver

secret-service-3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A head-on collision killed one man and injured four Secret Service agents Tuesday night in New Hampshire, CNN reports. 

Authorities said a car driven by Bruce Danforth, 45, crossed the double-yellow lines and crashed into the Secret Service officers’ vehicle.

Danforth died, and two of his passengers were injured.

The four agents were taken to a hospital.

“At this time, our personnel have sustained what is described as serious, but non life threatening injuries. Please join us as we keep all the victims of this accident and their families in our thoughts and prayers,” Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy said Wednesday said in a statement.

The agents were on-duty when the accident happened.

Mexican Drug Cartel Founder Found Dead, Tortured And Riddled with Bullets

Carlos Rosales Mendoza

Carlos Rosales Mendoza

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Mexican drug cartel founder who was on the DEA’s Most Wanted List was found tortured and dead along with three other men dumped along the side of the road, The Daily Mail reports.

Carlos Rosales Mendoza, who founded La Familia Michoacana, was found riddled with bullets.

Mendoza was a key member of the La Familia cartel.

According to authorities, Mendoza was trying to start a new cartel when he died.

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