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Tag: Detroit

A Detroit DEA Agent Talks About A Case That Became the Subject of the Clint Eastwood film, ‘The Mule’

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — In 2011, Kent Kleinschmidt, an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, headed an enforcement group in the Detroit office that was investigating ties between a local drug organization and the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico led by the notorious Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

The case eventually lead to some serious seizures of cocaine and  money and the arrest in October 2011 of Leo Sharp, an 87-year-old “mule” caught transporting 104 kilos of cocaine from Arizona to Michigan for the cartel. Michigan State Police, at the direction of the DEA, pulled over Sharp on I-94 in Washtenaw County and arrested him. Kleinschmidt was nearby watching.

Sharp was sentenced in Detroit to three years in prison. He got out early because of a terminal illness and died Dec. 12,  2016 at 92.

Now Sharp is the subject of a Clint Eastwood film, “The Mule.” (See the trailer.)

Kleinschmidt, an assistant special agent in charge of the Detroit DEA, talked about the film on Thursday, a day before the national debut.

“White Boy Rick” — The Tale of a Teenage Boy Who Became an Informant In Detroit For the FBI

Richard Wershe Jr. as a teen and now.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — At age 14, in the 1980s, Richard Wershe Jr., aka “White Boy Rick,” became an informant for the Detroit FBI in the war on drugs.

In time, he was doing undercover buys for the FBI and Detroit Police. Eventually he started selling dope on his own. At 17 he was arrested. A short time later he was sentenced to life in prison without parole under a state law. That law was later changed and he became eligible for parole. After nearly 30 years, he was paroled last year from the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Unfortunately, he was then sent to Florida to serve a prison sentence for partaking in a stolen car ring while he was behind bars there in the witness protection program. He’s eligible for parole in December 2020. He is now 49.

Hollywood has now captured the story of his life in a film released Friday titled “White Boy Rick.”

Related links:

Lengel: Watching ‘White Boy Rick’ with Richard Wershe Jr.’s Family Is Surreal

Vince Wade: The Many Untruths in the ‘White Boy Rick’ Movie Opening Friday

Timothy Slater Named Head of FBI’s Detroit Division, Where He Began Career

Detroit riverfront. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Timothy Slater, special agent in charge of the Criminal/Cyber Division at the Washington D.C. Field Office, has been appointed to take over the FBI’s Detroit Division, where he began his career with the bureau in 1999.

In March, Slater will take over the position previously held by David Gelios, who retired from the position last month.

Slater served in the Detroit Division’s Violent Crimes Task Force and has since held leadership positions in the Criminal Investigative Division, as the senior supervisory resident agent over four resident agencies in the Oklahoma City Division, in the Critical Incident Response Group, and in the Knoxville Division. Before heading up the Criminal/Cyber Division, Slater served as the deputy assistant director of the Critical Incident Response Group at Quantico, Va., which provides expertise in crisis management, negotiations, behavioral analysis, countering explosives, aviation, and tactical operations.

David Gelios, Head of the Detroit FBI, Retiring to Take Job in Private Sector

David Gelios

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT —  David Gelios, the head of the Detroit FBI since late 2015, who oversaw a number of major investigations involving public corruption in Macomb County and Detroit, is retiring to take a job with the Roger Penske organization, Roop Raj of Fox 2 reports.

Gelios will reach the FBI’s mandatory retirement age of 57 in September. He will step down at the end of the month. A replacement has yet to be named.

“I’ll be a west region vice president of security situated out of San Diego, California,” Gelios tells Fox 2.

Gelios, an affable man who was not easily shaken, served as the chief inspector of the FBI’s Inspection Division before coming to Detroit. His duties included overseeing all FBI field office inspections, national program reviews and agent-involved shooting investigations.

He’s been with the FBI since 1995.

A native of Ohio and graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., he is a former high school teacher, college coach, and outreach officer for the University of California Office of the President.

Fetuses Immersed in Brain Tissue Found at Detroit Warehouse

FBI agents made grisly discoveries at a Detroit warehouse were body parts were improperly stored. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When the FBI raided a rundown warehouse in Detroit in December 2013, they made grisly discoveries at what turned out to be a black-market body parts business.

Agent found infected bodies dismembered with chainsaws, rotting, un-embalmed heads soaked in mouthwash and water, and human remains washed down the drain or thrown into the regular garbage.

New and disturbing photos obtained by Reuters show that federal investigators also found four preserved fetuses, which appear to be in their second trimester, immersed in a dark liquid that included human brain tissue. 

It’s unclear what Arthur Rathburn, owner of International Biological Inc., intended to do with the fetuses and how he obtained them. Selling fetuses for profit is a violation of federal law.

“This needs to be reviewed,” said U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who recently chaired a special U.S. House committee on the use of fetal tissue.

Rathburn is accused of defrauding medical researchers and educators by sending them infected body parts, without the families’ consent, from a rundown warehouse.

Rathburn has pleaded not guilty and is facing a trial in January in a criminal case that, until now, made no mention of fetuses.

FBI Investigates Pair for Alleged Sex Act on Delta Airlines Flight to Detroit

Detroit Metro Airport

Detroit Metro Airport

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a couple of strangers who were caught engaging in a sex act while in their seats on Delta Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Detroit.

WDIV-TV reports a 48-year-old woman was performing oral sex on a 28-year-old man, prompting complainants from passengers.

But charging the pair may be tough.

“It’s going to be very hard to find that this is criminal conduct under the federal code because it’s not a threat to the safety of the airline or other passengers,” said Peter Henning, now a Wayne State University law professor.

“It’s certainly distasteful, but it was not disruptive or interfering with the operation of the plane — and that’s typically what (airline incident) charges involve,” he said. “The embarrassment is probably the biggest punishment they can receive.”

The FBI took over the case from airport police after the plane landed. The pair was taken into custody.

ICE Detains Dozens of Chaldeans in Metro Detroit, Leading to Standoff with Protesters

ice-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ICE agents arrested dozens of Chaldeans in metro Detroit on Sunday, leading to a standoff with protesters.

Witnesses and immigration advocates said roughly 40 Chaldeans Christians, most of whom have a criminal record, were detained.

If they are sent back to Iraq, it “is like a death sentence,” Martin Manna, an Iraqi-American Christian advocate who is president of the Chaldean Community Foundation based in Sterling Heights, told the Detroit Free Press.  

On Sunday night, dozens of protesters briefly blocked the bus where the detainees were placed.

Metro Detroit is home to the second largest Chaldean population in the U.S.

ICE declined to comment on specifics of the arrests.

“ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations during which additional resources and personnel are dedicated to apprehending removable aliens,” spokesman Khaalid Walls said in a statement Sunday evening.

“The focus of these targeted enforcement operations is consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis.”

About 50 Undocumented Immigrants Detained in Detroit During Alleged Cockfighting

Courtesy of ICE

Courtesy of ICE

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Federal authorities busted an alleged cockfighting and gambling ring in southwest Detroit over the weekend, detaining about 50 undocumented immigrants.

ICE agents and law enforcement from local and state agencies executed a search warrant at 1 p.m. Saturday at an abandoned building where authorities said they found about 85 people and 100 chickens, Motor City Muckraker reports. 

ICE agents said the raid was the culmination of a months-long investigation.

About 85 people were in the building, and only one was charged criminally.

The largest concentration of Hispanic immigrants live in southwest Detroit.