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Tag: david b. fein

Three TSA Officers and 2 Cops Accused of Taking Bribes in Oxycodone Drug Ring

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Three TSA officers along with a Connecticut county cop and Florida state trooper were indicted in Connecticut Monday on charges of taking bribes to let powerful narcotics travel freely across the country, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The five were among 18 indicted in the drug conspiracy that involved the mass distribution of  oxycodone, authorities describe as a strong,  highly-addictive prescription narcotic.

“The facts of this case are troubling for two principal reasons,” U.S. Attorney David B. Fein said in a statement. “First, we allege that this organization was responsible for the transportation of tens of thousands of oxycodone pills, which, when abused, are dangerous narcotics that destroy individuals, families, and communities. Second, we allege that three officers of the Transportation Security Administration and two law enforcement officers accepted bribes in exchange for permitting the illegal drugs and the cash proceeds of the illegal drug trafficking to travel safely, undeterred by airport security or law enforcement.”

The bust was part of “Operation Blue Coast,” an investigation of the local DEA initiative in Bridgeport, Conn.: the Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

The investigation began in April of this year. The DEA task force received information that someone with a large amount of oxycodone was going from Palm Beach, Fla., to Stamford, Conn., to sell thousands of the pills.

That individual was arrested on April 8 in possession of approximately 6,000 oxycodone pills in Stamford.

The suspected drug trafficker  told agents that over the course of about a year he had regularly purchased the drug from suppliers in Florida, flown or driven it to Connecticut several times a week, carrying up to 8,000 pills per trip, and then sold it to Connecticut traffickers. Airline records confirmed he had traveled from Florida to New York at least 65 times between November of last year and April of this year.  From New York he paid drivers to take him to and from drug deals in Connecticut.

But here’s where law enforcement officials come in: according to the press release,

“The arrested individual also explained that, to ensure the success of the operation, he provided cash and gift cards to Christopher Allen and John Best, TSA officers who screened passengers and luggage at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Brigitte Jones, a TSA officer who screened passengers and luggage at Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, N.Y. …

He also said he made several payments, totaling more than $20,000, to Michael Brady, a Westchester County Police officer, in order to ensure that he could carry large quantities of cash, the proceeds of his drug trafficking, through airport security at HPN.  The individual further explained that he provided cash to Justin Kolves, a Florida State Trooper, and gave checks to Jessica Douglas, Kolves’ fiancée, in exchange for Kolves’ assurance that individuals who transported narcotics or currency on behalf of the individual would not be detained by law enforcement while driving through Central Florida.”

“The Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners have no tolerance for corruption in these ranks,” said U.S. Attorney Fein.

Conn. Fed Jury Votes to Put Drug Dealer to Death for Triple Murder


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For the first time since the federal death penalty was reinstated in 1988, a federal jury in Connecticut has voted to impose the death penalty.

A federal jury in New Haven, Conn. voted Wednesday to unanimously condemn drug dealer Azibo Aquart, 30, of Bridgeport, Conn. to death for murdering three Bridgeport residents on Aug. 24, 2005, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

He had been convicted of conspiring to commit murder in aid of racketeering and committing the racketeering murders of Johnson, Reid and Williams. He was also convicted of committing three counts of drug-related murder and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).

Though the jury voted to put him death, an execution isn’t likely to happen any time soon.

Since the reinstatement of the federal death penalty in 1988, 68 federal defendants have been sentenced to death and three  have actually been executed, according to Death Penalty Information Center.

Wednesday’s decision prompted a comment from U.S. Attorney David B. Fein, who said: “We thank the jury for their diligent and attentive service over both the guilt and sentencing phases of this case.”

In May, after a month long trial, the jury convicted Aquart of murdering Tina Johnson, 43, James Reid, 40, and Basil Williams, 54.

Authorities said evidence during the trial showed that Aquart also known as “Azibo Smith,” “Azibo Siwatu Jahi Smith,” “D,” “Dreddy,” and “Jumbo,” was the founder and leader of a drug trafficking group that primarily sold crack cocaine out of an apartment building located in Bridgeport.

Authorities said Aquart and associates used violence to maintain control over the group’s drug distribution activities at the Charles Street Apartments.

In the summer of 2005, Aquart and his associates got into a drug dispute with Tina Johnson, a resident of 215 Charles Street, who sometimes sold smaller quantities of crack cocaine without Aquart’s approval, authorities said.

On the morning of Aug. 24, 2005, Aquart and others entered Johnson’s apartment, bound Johnson, her boyfriend James Reid and friend Basil Williams with duct tape, and brutally beat the victims to death with baseball bats.

Aquart and others then drilled the front door of the apartment shut from the inside.