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Archive for December 27th, 2016

Secret Service Uses Military Aircraft to Conduct Surveillance for Trump in Manhattan

Trump Tower in New York City, via Wikipedia.

Trump Tower in New York City, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump has put the Secret Service in a difficult position by insisting he often will be working at Trump Tower instead of the White House.

To prepare for the worst, three military aircraft were conducting surveillance and plotting escape routes in midtown Manhattan last week, the International Business Times reports. 

The drill lasted about 40 minutes and involved HC-130 search and rescue plane and two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters. 

Residents and some city officials expressed frustration with the drill because there was no notification of the drill.

Pharmaceutical Companies Hire DEA Agents Tasked with Cracking Down on Opioids

pillsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The pharmaceutical industry, which distributes highly addictive opioids that have lead to the heroin epidemic and nearly 180,000 overdoses in the past decade, has hired dozens of top-level DEA officials, the Boston Globe reveals. 

The DEA began an aggressive campaign to curb opioid use, and in 2005, agents began cracking down on companies that distribute the painkillers.

In the past decade, the pharmaceutical companies and their law firms have hired at least 42 DEA officials, most of whom were responsible for regulating the industry.

‘‘The number of employees recruited from that division points to a deliberate strategy by the pharmaceutical industry to hire people who are the biggest headaches for them,’’ said John Carnevale, a former director of planning for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy who now runs a consulting firm. ‘‘These people understand how DEA operates, the culture around diversion and DEA’s goals, and they can advise their clients how to stay within the guidelines.’’

A pharmaceutical spokesman said the industry has been hiring experts in prescription drug.

‘‘Our industry is highly specialized, and the function of drug-diversion experts even more so,’’ said John M. Gray, chief executive of the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, which represents drug distributors. ‘‘As such, for these individuals who want to continue to grow in their areas of expertise, it is logical for them to pursue government and industry roles that are closely aligned with their professional experience.’’

The Boston Globe wrote, “The number of hires from one key division shows how an industry can potentially blunt a government agency’s aggressive attempts at enforcement.”

Paul Abbate, Head of FBI’s Washington Field Office, Going to Headquarters

Paul Abbate

Paul Abbate

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Paul Abbate, assistant director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, is moving several blocks over to headquarters.

Abbate, who was assigned to the Washington field office in September 2015, will assume the new post of executive assistant Director for the Criminal Cyber Response and Service Branch at headquarters after  the presidential inauguration in January.

Abbate jointed the FBI in March 1996 and was assigned to the New York City Field Office, where he worked in the Criminal Division and served as a member of the SWAT team.

In December 2003, Abbate transferred to the Counterterrorism Division as a supervisory special agent in the Iraq Unit, overseeing FBI counterterrorism operations and personnel deployments in Iraq. In October 2005, Abbate deployed to Iraq, serving as senior FBI liaison officer to the U.S. Department of Defense and leading a group of FBI personnel conducting counterterrorism operations in theater, according to the FBI.

From February 2006 to December 2009, he served as a supervisory special agent within the Newark Division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and in February 2008, he headed to Afghanistan to serve as FBI deputy on-scene commander.

In December 2009, Abbate returned to the Counterterrorism Division as assistant section chief.

In July 2010, Abbate he served as assistant special agent in charge for counterterrorism matters in Los Angeles, and the following year, he returned to the Counterterrorism Division, where he served as section chief.  In 2012,  he was named special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office’s Counterterrorism Division. During that time, he also served as the FBI on-scene commander in Libya.

From October 2013 to September 2015, Abbate headed up the FBI Detroit Division.

Leader of Albany’s FBI Office to Head Up FBI Washington Field Office

Andrew Vale

Andrew Vale

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Andrew Vale, special agent in charge of the Albany office, is leaving his post at the end of the month to become assistant director in charge of the bureau’s Washington D.C. field office.

Vale may best be known as the leader of the investigation into the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the Times Union reports. 

“It is with tremendously mixed emotions,” Vale said about his departure in an interview at his office. “This area has become home for me and my family.”

The FBI has only three assistant directors in the country – one at each field office in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

“Really I just wanted to make a difference,” Vale, a 25-year-veteran of the FBI said. “I kind of viewed the FBI as being elite and wanted to work for an organization that was all about making a difference in the communities that we served.”

Native American Activist Convicted of Murdering 2 FBI Agents Is Celebrated with Statue

Leonard Peltier FBI wanted poster.

Leonard Peltier FBI wanted poster.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Native America activist Leonard Peltier was convicted of murdering two FBI agents in 1977.

But that hasn’t stopped a controversial statue of Peltier from being installed on the campus of American University, FOX5 reports.

Many Native American activists believe Peltier was wrongly convicted and sentenced to two life terms. The Leonard Peltier Statue Project is raising awareness about the case.

But FBI officials aren’t happy about propping up Peltier as if he were a hero.

“When I see this, I’m outraged because I know to the extent that anybody could possibly know that this man received a fair trial, is guilty in the crime he was charged with, and is serving a sentence that is proportionate to the crime he committed,” said Steve Pomerantz, former assistant director for the FBI. “He’s still alive. Those two agents are dead. He is a grandfather. They will never be grandfathers. He committed this crime and he killed those agents in cold blood.”

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