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Tag: Detroit

Former Detroit FBI Chief to Help State Investigation of Flint Water Crisis

Andy Arena

Andy Arena

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former head of the Detroit FBI is helping assist a Michigan attorney general investigation into the handling of the Flint water crisis that led to thousands of residents being poisoned by lead, The Detroit Free Press reports. 

Attorney General Bill Schuette, who originally refused to get involved in the water crisis, said he’s tapping Andrew Arena, a former FBI Director in Detroit, to help investigate.

“We will do our job thoroughly and let the chips fall where they may,” Schuette said in a news release.

“This investigation is about beginning the road back to rebuild, regain and restore trust in government.”

The Republican, who appears to be planning to run for governor in 2018, said the investigation will determine whether city or state officials violated laws for their handling of the crisis.

Arena, a former prosecutor in Michigan, worked on high-profile corruption cases while he was the head of the FBI’s Detroit office.

“I am honored to return to public service on a case so important to the public trust,” Arena said in the news release. “We will enter the investigation with open eyes and follow the facts, whatever the outcome, and Flint families and Michigan families will receive a full and independent report of our investigation.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is also investigating to determine if any laws were broken.

Officer on FBI Human Trafficking Task Force Shot and Wounded; Suspect Fatally Shot in Suburban Detroit

images

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — An officer on an FBI human trafficking task force was shot and wounded Friday night in the parking lot of the Detroit Marriott Southfield Hotel on Northwestern Highway in Southfield, a suburb just outside Detroit. A suspect targeted by the task officer was shot and killed, according to FBI spokesperson Jill Washburn.

The Michigan State Police told WDIV that the task force officer was shot in the vest. The incident happened around 7:45 p.m.

The officer is expected to recover, Washburn said. She declined to say if the person hit was an agent or a police officer on the task force.

The subject, or one of the subjects, was shot and killed.

Washburn said it was unclear if the officer who was shot returned fire of if the suspect was killed by another member of the task force.

Homeland Security Chief to Visit Michigan to Discuss Resettlement of Syrian Refugees

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

To prepare for the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson plans to travel to Detroit and nearby Dearborn to discuss the issue on Wednesday, the Detroit Free Press reports. 

Michigan has received more Syrian refugees than any state but California and Texas since 2013.

Details of the visit weren’t clear Monday, but the White House said Johnson is visiting “to host a roundtable (discussion) with resettled Iraqi and Syrian refugees, as well as a discussion with interfaith student groups about” Homeland Security’s efforts to “counter violent extremism.”

A Chat With U.S. District Court Judge Terrence G. Berg About Being Shot During Attempted Robbery at His Detroit Home


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Terrence G. Berg is a mild-mannered, thoughtful guy who knows plenty about crime.

Before being appointed by President Barack Obama as a federal judge in 2012, he was a federal prosecutor and acting U.S. attorney in Detroit.

In March, he got a first-hand account of what it’s like to be a crime victim. While on his front porch in the University District in northwest Detroit, two men approached and told him they wanted to gain entry to his home. His wife and son were inside.

Berg resisted. One of the men pulled out a gun and shot him in the knee. Both then fled. The case went unsolved until this month when the shooter was charged.

Berg is walking again after undergoing surgeries, though his knee tightens up on him if he sits too long. He works out to stay fit. But the avid jogger isn’t sure he’ll ever jog again.

Berg sat down the other day with Allan Lengel to talk about the ordeal and its impac

FBI Arrests Man Suspected of Robbing an Armored Truck in Detroit

cash2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — The FBI has arrested a man suspected of stealing more than $500,000 from an armored truck in Detroit’s Greektown, the Detroit Free Press reports. 

The FBI arrested the man Thursday afternoon at a home in Detroit, but declined to release more information.

The man is accused of dressing as a security guard and stealing several bags of cash from an armored truck on Nov. 28.

No one was injured in the theft.

New Border Patrol Leader of Laredo Section Officially Takes Helm

laredo-mapBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Laredo Section of the Border Patrol officially has a new leader.

The Laredo Morning News reports that Chief Patrol Agent Mario Martinez was sworn in during a special ceremony.

Martinez, a 26-year veteran of the agency, will oversee a 171-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border and 1,800 agents and support staff.

“I am honored to lead the men and women of the Laredo Sector Border Patrol. I look forward to working with our law enforcement partners to integrate operations that are beneficial to the community in which we serve,” Martinez said.

Martinez most recently worked at the Detroit Sector, where he was the chief patrol agent.

Other Stories of Interest

Detroit U.S. Attorney’s Office Takes Time Out to Celebrate Its 200th Anniversary

l-r from the top: Ross Parker; Judge Gerald Rosen; The crowd; U.S. Attorney McQuade

l-r From the top: Ross Parker; Judge Gerald Rosen; The crowd; U.S. Attorney McQuade

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT —  Federal court, more often than not, is a pretty serious place.

But on Wednesday, judges, prosecutors, attorneys, courthouse staff and members of the media gathered on the first floor of the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown Detroit to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The crowd included some former U.S. Attorneys: Saul Green and Jeff Collins and Judges Terrence Berg and Stephen Murphy. Some of the federal judges included chief Judge Gerald Rosen, Judge Paul Borman and Judge Bernard Friedman.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade delivered some remarks, calling the U.S. Attorney’s Office the best law firm in the state. Ross Parker, a former chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and a columnist for ticklethewire.com, gave a talk about the history of the office.

Parker is the author of the book “Carving Out the Rule of Law: The History of the United States Attorney’s Office e in Eastern Michigan 1815–2008.″

The “Dirty Politics” Behind the Imprisonment of Richard “White Boy Rick” Wershe Jr.

This Michigan Department of Corrections record shows his earliest  and latest release dates as never at the bottom right.

. Vince Wade is a former investigative reporter for WXYZ and Fox 2. He now lives in California and runs Informant America, described as ” a blog about the shadowy world of law enforcement informants with particular focus on . . . Richard Wershe, Jr.” This investigative story is republished with permission. It is part of an ongoing series on Wershe.

By Vince Wade

The story of Richard “White Boy Rick” Wershe, Jr. is an epic tale, sprawling and complex. It is a challenge to keep the story straight because there are so many players, so many events. It is a challenge to tell you about it.

It is much more than a story about a white teenage dope dealer in the black underworld. It is every bit as much a tale about police criminality, political corruption and what appears to be a decades-long vendetta, a dark and chilling conspiracy within the criminal justice system against a teenager who dared to help the FBI put politically-connected dope dealers and corrupt cops in jail.

It appears to be an organized violation of one man’s civil rights over his entire adult life. There are dozens of important events and hundreds of characters in this story.

Two key episodes were Wershe’s 1988 drug trial and his 2003 parole hearing. This lengthy blog post touches on both. Those bothered by how long it takes to read this should remember Rick Wershe has lived with all of this every day, 24/7, in an 8 X 12 prison cell for the past 27 years.

Featured_screen_shot_2015-09-11_at_10.39.42_pm_18471Ricahrd Wershe Jr. in court Sept. 4

A fierce, fast-moving battle of legal briefs is now being fought in the Michigan Court of Appeals over the re-sentencing of Richard J. Wershe, Jr. who is serving a life prison term for dealing drugs. Hitman murderers, serial rapists and habitual child molesters have been let out of prison by the Michigan Parole Board during the nearly three decades Rick Wershe has been kept behind bars. Others convicted of selling far more dope than Wershe ever saw in his life have been in and out  of Michigan prisons during his time behind bars.

Many Detroit news organizations have been wrong in their reporting dating back to when Wershe was convicted. Last Friday, for instance, two Detroit TV stations reported a Court of Appeals-ordered postponement of Wershe’s re-sentencing was a setback for Wershe. That is wrong. All parties agreed to the delay and Wershe’s defense team breathed a sigh of relief that the fast-moving court battle had slowed to give them time to hone their legal briefs.

The entire basis for demanding that Wershe remain in prison is the claim that his drug crimes were so vast, so deadly, that he poses a menace to society. If that claim can be shown to be false, there is no evidentiary basis, no factual basis for keeping Wershe in prison one more day.

Mike Duggan’s Letter

There are thousands of pages of documents related to Richard J. Wershe Jr., also known as White Boy Rick, in the files of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. The most damning by far is a letter from former Wayne County, Michigan prosecutor Mike Duggan to the Michigan Parole Board. Duggan is now the Mayor of the City of Detroit. In that letter Duggan urges the Parole Board to keep Wershe in prison until he dies. The Feb. 17, 2003 letter is dated several weeks ahead of Wershe’s one and only parole hearing since he was sentenced to mandatory life in 1988 for possession of eight kilos of cocaine.

The law was later changed to life with the possibility of parole.

Featured_whiteboyrick_8100Richard Wershe as a teen and now.

The three-page letter purportedly written by Duggan contains serious allegations in stunningly harsh language about the crimes and misdeeds of Richard J. Wershe, Jr. The use of the word “purportedly” will be clear later in this article.

In Michigan politics and in its courts, the name Mike Duggan has marquee value. He made a name for himself as the number two man to Ed McNamara, the late Wayne County Executive. McNamara was an old-school machine politics boss and he taught Duggan how to use the levers of power.

Read more »

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