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Tag: Drugs

Veteran DEA Agent Indicted on Scheme to Steal Money, Property

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A veteran DEA agent accused of stealing money and property during drug investigations has been indicted.

The agent, Chad Allen Scott, who worked in New Orleans, is also accused of perjury and accepting illegal payments of $10,000 and more for advocating for a reduced sentenced for a criminal defendant, the U.S. News reports

Also charged was Hammond Police Officer Rodney Gemar also has been charged with conspiracy.

The Justice Department investigated.

DEA Agents Wearing Protective Gear to Avoid Fentanyl Exposure

About 30,000 pills laced with fentanyl were discovered by the DEA. Photo via DEA.

About 30,000 pills laced with fentanyl were discovered by the DEA. Photo via DEA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ever-growing opioid crisis that claims thousands of lives a year also is becoming increasingly dangerous for law enforcement agencies, including the DEA.

More police and DEA agents are becoming hospitalized because of exposure to fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid that is many times stronger than heroin.

NBC New York reports that law enforcement is relying more protective gear than ever to avoid exposure.

“Whereas heroin can kill you in milligrams, fentanyl can kill you in micrograms,” said Gary Tuggle, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s agent-in-charge for Philadelphia.

The DEA has responded by increasing safety protocols that require agents to wear bulletproof vests, a breathing apparatus and fully enclosed suits.

“What you’re seeing here is the Level A suit, which is the highest level,” DEA Special Agent Pat Trainor said.

Other Stories of Interest

Drug Arrests Increase in 2016 Despite Rhetoric on Rehabilitation

Drugs and MoneyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The war on drugs picked up steam last year. 

Drug arrests increased by 5.6% in the U.S. in 2016, even as local and federal governments began to call for less incarceration in favor of rehabilitation, according to new FBI data.

The number of arrests jumped from 1.488 million in 2015 to 1.573 million – or one arrest every 20 seconds.

The increase in arrests come despite many states legalizing medicinal or recreational marijuana.

The data does not break down the arrests by drug type.

Pennsylvania Cop Convicted of Stealing Money from FBI Sting Operation

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Pennsylvania cop who stole money from a drug dealer and an FBI sting operation was convicted of theft and other charges Thursday.

After less than three hours of deliberation, the jury came back with a guilty verdict on charges of theft, record tampering and lying to federal investigators, PennLive reports.  

Fairview Township Police Officer Tyson Baker, 43, faces up prison time when he’s sentenced at a later date.

Baker was arrested after prosecutors said he stole $2,000 from a drug dealer in November 2015 and $3,000 from an FBI sting operation a month later.

Justice Department Stymies DEA’s Proposal to Grow More Marijuana for Research

marijuanainthemittenphotoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s plans to allow more research of marijuana has been stymied by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has insisted pot is almost as dangerous as heroin.

The Justice Department has not allowed the DEA to move forward with proposals to grow more marijuana for research, the Washington Post reports. 

“They’re sitting on it,” said one law enforcement official familiar with the matter. “They just will not act on these things.”

Consequently, one senior DEA official said, “the Justice Department has effectively shut down this program to increase research registrations.’’

The standoff pits the DEA and Justice Department against each other on the value of researching marijuana to determine if it has medicinal benefits. Although more than two dozen states have approved the use of medicinal marijuana, the federal government still considers pot a schedule 1 drug.

ATF Sting Nets Dozens of Arrests, 90 Guns, 48 Stolen Cars, 6+ Pounds of Drugs

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A two-year ATF sting intended to crack down on illegal guns and drugs in the San Francisco area lead to the arrests of more than 75 people.

ATF authorities said it was the largest bust of its kind in the agency’s history, Mercury News reports

Earlier this week, more than 1,000 law enforcement officers swarmed areas of San Francisco and San Mateo counties as part of Operation Cold Day. Authorities retrieved 90 guns, 48 stolen vehicles and more than six pounds of dugs, including cocaine and heroin.

“One firearm in the hands of a gang member or a prohibited person is one firearm too many. It only takes one round from one gun to end a life,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder said during a news conference at the San Francisco Police Department. “We targeted those who created a pipeline to stream firearms into the community and then placed them into the hands of violent criminals.”

The investigation is still ongoing.

AG Sessions’ Extreme Position on Marijuana Worries States That Legalized It

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said earlier this year that marijuana “is only slightly less awful” than heroin, has prompted concerns among states that have legalized marijuana use.

Despite a federal law banning marijuana use, eight states have approved marijuana for recreational use. Nearly 30 states have legalized medical marijuana.

In letters released last week, Sessions warned four governors that he had “serious concerns” about legalizing marijuana, the Los Angeles Times reports

The letters were vague enough that states aren’t sure whether Sessions plans to crack down on legalization. Sessions said he wanted to talk with governors about his concerns.

“The letters did appear to be a bit off base, and in several instances referred to the way things were but are no longer. But more importantly, the letters did not tell the states they lack the authority to sell marijuana,” Mason Tvert, a co-director of Colorado’s 2012 legal marijuana initiative, said.

Teen Killed by Liquid Meth After Border Agents Tell Him to Drink It


By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Cruz Velazquez Acevedo was just 16 years old when he began screaming in pain and convulsing after drinking liquid methamphetamine shortly after crossing the U.S. Mexico border to San Diego.

Teen drinks liquid meth after Border Patrol agents told him to prove he didn't have drugs in the bottle.

Teen drinks liquid meth after Border Patrol agents told him to prove he didn’t have drugs in the bottle.

According to a lawsuit filed about three-and-a-half years after his death, Border Patrol agents told Acevedo to drink the amber-colored liquid to prove it wasn’t laced with drugs, the Washington Post reports

A surveillance video shows Acevedo taking four sips from a drink he insisted was apple juice.

“My heart! My heart!” he screamed before dying two hours later, according to court records.

The U.S. has agreed to pay Acevedo’s family $1 million win the wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the agency and two border officers.

His family’s attorney, Eugene Iredale, acknowledged Acevedo broke the law, but he said, “It wasn’t a death penalty case.”

“To cause him to die in a horrible way that he did is something that is execrable.”