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Archive for March, 2019

A Boston Secret Service Agent’s Road to Recovery After Paralysis

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Secret service agent Garrett Fitzgerald was paralyzed below the neck more than three years ago when a driver, high on heroin, crashed into his work vehicle.

Now, he’s going through intense physical therapy with hopes of one day returning to work. Thanks to some help from his friends, he’ll be part of the Boston Marathon.

Boston 25 News reports on the road to recovery.

Mob Experts Talk About the Gambino Boss Murder and More

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The hit on Gambino crime boss Frank Cali shook the mob the world. There was also some interesting news in the mob world out of Philly.

Mob experts George Anastasia and Dave Schratwieser discuss two big stories in their latest episode of Mob Talk Sitdown. Enjoy.

Security Guard Accused of Stealing ATF Guns is on the Lam

Christopher Lee Yates

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A security guard charged with stealing firearms and gun parts from an ATF storage facility in West Virginia is on the lam.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Trumble issued a bench warrant after Christopher Lee Yates of Martinsburg failed to appear at a preliminary hearing on Wednesday morning in federal court, The Trace reports.

Yates had been free on bond since March 6. He’s turned over his passport and, according to the conditions of his release, he was under curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. every day, and was not allowed to leave the area, The Trace reports.

 

 

Irony of It All: Ex-DEA Official Now Paid to Advise one of the Largest Opiod Manufacturers in U.S.

Demetra Ashley (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The irony of it all is not lost.

A former senior DEA who testified before Congress on the government’s efforts to stop the opioid epidemic is now paid to advise one of the largest opioid manufacturers in the country, Purdue Pharma, NBC News reports.

Demetra Ashley, the former acting assistant administrator of the DEA, left the agency last spring to start a consulting firm, Dashley Consulting, LLC.

In 2017,  she told a Senate committee about the need for a “robust regulatory program” to stop diversion of opioids and other controlled prescription drugs.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, is one of the opioid companies being sued by more than 1600 cities and counties for “grossly” misrepresenting “the risks of long-term use of those drugs for persons with chronic pain,” according to court documents, NBC reports.

Her Linkedin page says:

Demetra Ashley is a hands-on leader and advisor drawing on 30 years of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) experience to assist pharmacies, physicians, manufacturers, distributors, and other organizations working with controlled substances to navigate complexities and achieve full regulatory compliance.

A member of the Senior Executive Service, Demetra joined the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 30+ years ago, and she built a career as a diversion investigator with the Washington D.C. and Chicago field offices. In her role as Acting Assistant Administrator of the Diversion Control Division, she coordinated and oversaw 1,700 employees in identifying, investigating, and stopping the diversion of legally produced controlled substances.

To minimize the diversion of prescription drugs, she influenced regulations, created programs, revamped training initiatives, redesigned procedures, and collaborated widely with government and law enforcement agencies, private organizations, and nongovernmental organizations. She also represented the Diversion Control Division to the media, public, and 1.7M registrants nationwide, and delivered briefings to Congress, White House Staff, and Attorney Generals on prescription opioid issues.

 

Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh Warns of Dangers of Importing Prescription Drugs From Canada

Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh warns of the dangers of importing cheaper prescription drugs from Canada.

“It’s a crisis. Medicines that are fabricated overseas, under unregulated, unsupervised conditions are flooding into the United States,” Freeh tells KXAN TV. “A lot are available on the internet. The ones that are coming into the country are overwhelming our Customs and Border Patrol. The FDA commissioner recently said he would need 4,500 brand new officers just to start identifying the importation of these counterfeit medicines.”

“Again, many people thinking ‘I can pay less for a drug because it’s coming from Canada’, but if you go one layer underneath that you find the drugs are not being made in Canada. They could be made in somebody’s garage in Asia that is also fabricating fentanyl.”

Freeh granted the interview before he planned to talk to Florida lawmakers on the controversial subject.

Warrants Shows How Far FBI Went To Get Into Michael Cohen’s Cell Phone

Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A search warrant for Michael Cohen’s properties included some pretty interesting orders to get into his cell phone.

CNN reports:

 In one warrant application for Cohen, an FBI agent requested authorization “to press the fingers (including thumbs) of Cohen to the Touch ID sensors of the Subject Devices, or hold the Subject Devices in front of Cohen’s face, for the purpose of attempting to unlock the Subject Devices via Touch ID or Face ID.”

One warrant requested not simply access to three of Cohen’s Gmail accounts, as well as other email accounts, but also some of the wide array of information Google keeps for its users by default, including search history, web cookies associated with an account, device information, and a host of other metadata categories.

Warrant Shows FBI Was Looking Into Michael Cohen Long Before 2018 Raid

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Trump.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A search warrant released Tuesday shows that the FBI had been looking into attorney Michael Cohen since July 2017, long before agents raided his Manhattan home and office in April 2018, NBC News reports.  

The FBI raid netted more than 4 million electronic and paper files.

U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III ordered the warrant released with redactions after media organizations including The Associated Press requested it be made public.

Staten Island Man Charged in Murder of Gambino Crime Boss Frank Cali

Anthony Comello

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Anthony Comello, 24, of Staten Island man, has been arrested in the execution-style killing of Gambino crime family boss Frank Cali last week outside of his Staten Island home, the New York Daily News reports.

Comello was arrested down the Jersey Shore.

One motive may have been that Comello was angry that Cali was preventing him from seeing his niece.

But NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said he hadn’t ruled out that Comello was working with others.

“Let me reiterate this (investigation) is far from over,” said Shea. “Was he acting alone? Was he acting for other people? Were others involved? What was the motive? I do not have all the answers for you.”

Police days earlier had said they were not ruling out the possibility that just-out-of-prison Gene Gotti, brother of the late John Gotti, was involved.