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Tag: Chicago

Fugitive Chicago Cop Captured After 14 Years on the Run

Former Chicago cop Eddie C. Hicks was on the lam since 2003.

Former Chicago cop Eddie C. Hicks was on the lam since 2003.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Chicago police sergeant accused of using bogus search warrants to steal cash, drugs and guns was arrested 14 years after he went on the lam.

Eddie C. Hicks, who failed to show for his court hearing in June 2003, was arrested in Detroit and taken back to Chicago in federal custody, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. 

One of Hicks’ co-defendants, Lawrence Knitter, was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2005.

Federal authorities allege they busted Hicks and others on tape plotting to steal drugs from drug dealers. They are accused of posing as DEA Task Force officers while making traffic stops, and they forged search warrants to raid homes, apartments and hotel rooms.

Hicks, a 30-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, worked in the narcotics section between 1992 and 1997, when he is accused of stealing from drug dealers.

Chicago Special Education Teacher Charged with Supplying Guns, Ammo to Felon

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Chicago Public Schools special education teacher is accused of supplying a handgun magazine, laser sighting device and ammunition to a convicted felon working undercover for the FBI.

Brent Turpin, a 53-year-old teacher at Kershaw Elementary in violence-torn Englewood, was charged Wednesday with federal weapons offenses, including providing a firearm and ammunition to a known felon, the Chicago Tribune reports

The Tribune wrote:

The informant is a close friend of a juvenile with gang ties who is under Turpin’s guardianship, according to the charges.

The juvenile is in custody awaiting trial on reckless homicide charges. The complaint alleged the juvenile is also “believed to have been involved” in the burglary of the South Post Guns store in Streator, which led to federal charges against three men in May.

While the charges do not allege Turpin gave the undercover informant any guns, a federal prosecutor revealed at a detention hearing Wednesday that Turpin is believed to have dealt “firearms and ammunition to felons, youths and gang members” on multiple occasions.

The investigation also showed that a 15-year-old boy was shot and wounded in the basement of Turpin’s Far South Side home last Thanksgiving weekend, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ankur Srivastava said in court.

Chicago Gang Member on FBI’s ‘Ten Most Wanted List’ Captured in Mexico

Luis Macedo

Luis Macedo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Chicago gang member placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list in the 2009 death of a 15-year-old boy has been arrested in Mexico.

Luis Macedo, 29, was on the run after being charged with beating, shooting and setting on fire Alex Arellano, who was on his way to a birthday party.

When Macedo was added to the Most Wanted list in May 2016, authorities believed he had fled the Chicago area and was living in Mexico or the southeastern U.S., according to an FBI news release.

Macedo is accused of leading a group of Latin King gang members who began to beat Arellano with a baseball bat for refusing to show the symbol of the Latin Kings. After briefly fleeing, Arellano was beat again and shot in the head.

Four of the men involved in the killing were convicted, but Macedo had fled arrest. 

FBI Appoints 20-Year Veteran to Lead Chicago’s Division

Jeffrey Sallet

Jeffrey Sallet

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jeffrey S. Sallet, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, will serve as the new special agent in charge of Chicago’s division.

FBI Director Christopher Wray announced the appointed in a news release.

Sallet was most recently the special agent in charge of the New Orleans division. Prior to that, he served as chief of public corruption and civil rights section in the Criminal Investigative Division. His FBI career began in New York.

During his career, Sallet has investigated the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Boston Marathon bombing and the family boss of Bonanno La Coa Rostra.

Sallet is scheduled to take over the Chicago division in November.

Special Agent in Charge of Chicago’s FBI Office to Retire in September

Michael J. Anderson, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office.

Michael J. Anderson, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Michael J. Anderson, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office, announced Monday that he’s retiring at the end of September and will join the private sector.

After joining the FBI in Miami in July 1995, Anderson lead a successful career by combating public corruption and overseeing the investigations of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson, the Chicago Sun-Times reports

Anderson was in charge of the Chicago office since October 2015.

Anderson was among a number of special agents who were interviewed to serve as interim FBI director after President Trump fired James Comey.

Anderson will join the private sector in corporate security with Arizona Public Service in Phoenix.

“It was truly an honor and a privilege to lead the tirelessly dedicated and professional men and women of the Chicago Division, a flagship office of the FBI in both national security and criminal law enforcement,” Anderson said in a statement.

Stejskal: Discovery Channel TV Series on Unabomber Disrespects The Investigation’s Achievements

Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office. Stejskal was the case agent on the UNABOM  bombing that targeted Michigan Prof. James McConnell in 1985, and investigated Kaczynski’s time at Michigan as a grad student.

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

The Discovery Channel TV series, “Manhunt Unabomber,” disrespects achievements of  the “Unabom” investigation by creating a predominantly fictionalized story.

Theodore Kaczynski (FBI photo)

Theodore Kaczynski (FBI photo)

One of the shows I watched in my youth was “The Untouchables.” I was about ten when it premiered in 1959 on TV, and it was one the things that inspired me to want to be a G-man. The first episodes of “The Untouchables” were based on Eliot Ness’ book by the same name that he wrote with Oscar Fraley a sportswriter. (The book was published in 1957 less than a year after Ness’ death.) Those early episodes closely followed the book and were presented as a true story. It is very good story – a crusading lawman puts together a team, a group of incorruptible agents who take on Chicago’s biggest crime lord, the ruthless Al Capone, and topple his empire that was built on the manufacture and sale of beer and liquor during prohibition.

The problem is some of the key parts of the story aren’t true.

The Untouchables didn’t topple Capone. They did raid and destroy some of Capone’s distilleries and breweries. This diminished Capone’s bootleg income and inconvenienced him financially, but it was the IRS agents working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office that toppled Capone. The IRS agents and U.S. attorneys built a strong tax evasion case against Capone independent of Ness and the Untouchables. Capone was convicted of five counts of tax evasion and no violations of the Volstead Act (the illegal manufacture and/or sale of alcohol for consumption). Capone was sentenced to 11 years, most of which he served at Alcatraz off the coast of San Francisco.

Ness Never Met Capone

Unlike the TV series or the subsequent movie, which was even more fictionalized, Ness and Capone never met. There was no dramatic confrontation.

Ness and Fraley in writing the book embellished the truth regarding Ness’ role in the demise of the Capone empire, and the TV series that followed solidified that fiction. Those IRS agents and US attorneys who successfully prosecuted Capone are forgotten. (For the record, the Chicago U.S. attorney who prosecuted Capone was George E.Q. Johnson, and the lead IRS agent was Frank Wilson – lest we forget.)

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That brings me to a series currently running on the Discovery Channel about the “Unabom” investigation. The show makes the usual claim/disclaimer that it’s based on a true story. Unfortunately, it’s more fiction than truth. The series makes a large departure from the truth – it portrays a minor player on the Unabom Task Force (UTF), Jim Fitzgerald, an FBI profiler and forensic linguist,  as the investigator who broke the case and was involved in key aspects of the case. It then builds on that fiction by depicting a relationship between the Unabomber/Ted Kaczynski and Fitzgerald that never happened.

The Unabom (FBI shorthand for University and Airline Bomber) investigation began in 1978 with the first bomb and continued until the Unabomber was identified, arrested and prosecuted in 1998. (The last bombing was in 1995.) The investigation was the longest and most expensive in FBI history. Many people were involved in the investigation from different agencies. Some spent a substantial portion of their careers on the investigation. All kinds of investigative techniques were utilized, huge data bases were built and countless leads were followed only to what seemed to be dead ends.

In the later years, a Unabom Task Force was formed in San Francisco. The lead agency was the FBI, but there were representatives from the U.S. Postal Inspectors and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). San Francisco had been the mailing origin for some of the later bombs, and the San Francisco Chronicle was one of the newspapers that Unabomber had chosen to communicate through with law enforcement.

Finally, the big break came when the Unabomber claimed that he would discontinue his use of bombings to kill if his 35,000-word manifesto were printed in a major newspaper. (He did reserve the right to commit acts of sabotage without targeting people.) It was decided that the publication could lead to identifying the Unabomber, but a major newspaper had to be persuaded to publish it.

Greg Stejskal

Greg Stejskal

The Attorney General, Janet Reno, the then Director of the FBI, Louie Freeh, the San Francisco Special Agent in Charge, Jim Freeman, the Assistant SAC, Terry Turchie and Kathy Puckett, an FBI agent and a member of the UTF with a psychology background (PhD), met with and persuaded the very reluctant editors of the NY Times and the Washington Post to publish the manifesto. It was decided that the Post would publish the manifesto in its entirety, and the newspapers agreed to share the immense cost of the publication. (Jim Fitzgerald had no part in this process.)

Publication Triggers Suspicions

The publication led to David Kaczynski and his wife’s realization that David’s brother, Ted, was probably the Unabomber. (David’s wife had suspected that Ted was the Unabomber for a while.) They reached this conclusion by comparing some of Ted’s early writings with the manifesto.

Read more »

Chicago Tribune: Trump Must Abandon ‘Immigration Stunt’ Against Sanctuary Cities

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel took Chicago’s legitimate defense of the sanctuary city concept to court Monday, challenging the Trump administration’s effort to compel Chicago cops to cooperate with the feds on immigration investigations.

This fight has been building since President Donald Trump took office, issuing intemperate warnings of “bad hombres” and drawing excitable connections that do not exist between immigrant populations and crime problems in Chicago and elsewhere.

We’d like to think that the sooner the sanctuary city sideshow is cast aside by the courts, the sooner Congress might take up the substantive issue of immigration reform, which would bring millions of people out of the shadows. But we’re not in the business of handicapping the courts, or Congress. All we can do is hope logic prevails, and the Trump administration is forced to abandon this immigration stunt because it’s not a recipe for making Chicago safer.

The city’s lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, challenges the Justice Department‘s attempt to, in effect, deputize the Chicago Police Department as part-time U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants police to identify and hold onto anyone they come across who appears to be in the country without permission, until ICE can investigate. When we say Sessions “wants” Chicago’s help, actually he’d be requiring cooperation in exchange for financial assistance. Unless the city agrees, the Justice Department says it will withhold federal grant money that can be used for a broad array of local crime prevention programs.

That money comes from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, a longstanding federal initiative created by Congress to support law enforcement. Chicago has used annual Byrne money for things like new police vehicles and community policing outreach. This year the city plans to apply for $3.2 million, but the Trump administration has changed the rules. To get the money, the Justice Department will now require the city to share information on the immigration status of arrestees and hold those people for 48 hours to give immigration officials a chance to intervene. As part of the new arrangement, the feds would be given unlimited access to local police stations and other law enforcement facilities for interrogation.

To read more click here.

Chicago to File Suit Over Threat to Withhold Federal Funds to ‘Sanctuary’ Cities

Chicago cityscape, via Allen McGregor on Wikipedia.

Chicago cityscape, via Allen McGregor on Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The city of Chicago plans to sue the Justice Department today over threats to punish municipalities that don’t assist federal immigration officials.

The decision comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said so-called sanctuary cities will lose federal grants if they don’t turn over names of undocumented immigrants to the feds.

“Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate,” Chicago Mayor Ram Emanuel told the Chicago Tribune. “Chicago will not let our residents have their fundamental rights isolated and violated. And Chicago will never relinquish our status as a welcoming city.”

The city plans to file suit “first thing on Monday morning,” officials told the Tribune.