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Tag: Lanny Breuer

Rep. Darrell Issa Blasts Outgoing Justice Official Lanny Breuer

Lanny Breuer

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

No surprise here.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif), head of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, isn’t sad  to see the resignation of Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who heads the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

“Lanny Breuer’s resignation is long overdue,” Issa said in a press release issued late last week. “Breuer was at the heart of several critical failures in Operation Fast and Furious: he knew about reckless tactics, failed to take seriously allegations that they were continuing, and only owned up to his failures once they were publicly exposed.

“The Inspector General’s report admonished Breuer for failing to inform the Deputy Attorney General or the Attorney General when he learned, in April 2010, that the reckless tactic of gunwalking was used in a prior operation,” Issa said. Furthermore, several of Breuer’s top deputies authorized sensitive wiretap applications under Breuer’s authority that, according to the OIG report, contained stark, incontrovertible evidence of the exact same gunwalking tactic. Had Breuer taken any action whatsoever, Fast and Furious would have ended eight months sooner than it did. This resignation paves the way for needed new leadership in the Criminal Division.”

 

Justice Department’s Head of Criminal Division Lanny Breuer to Resign Soon

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Justice Department’s expert on public corruption and financial fraud is leaving the federal government, the Washington Post reports.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, head of the criminal division,  is calling it quits,  the Post reports.

Breuer has been praised for aggressively pursuing white-collar crime and beefing up the division’s involvement in money-laundering case.

The Post wrote that Breuer’s “days in office are winding down.”

Breuer used to be a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, becoming versed in white-collar crimes.

It’s unclear why he’s stepping down.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

One of Largest Heroin Traffickers in the World Convicted on Drug and Narco-Terrorism Charges

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An Afghan national with ties to the Taliban who authorities described as “one of the largest heroin traffickers in the world” was convicted Tuesday in fed court in D.C. on drug and narco-terrrorism charges, the Justice Department said.

Haji Bagcho, who hailed from Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, was investigated by the DEA. Authorities said he manufactured heroin in clandestine laboratories along Afghanistan’s border region with Pakistan and sold the product to more than 20 countries, including the U.S.

He then sent the proceeds to support high-level members of the Taliban to further their insurgency in Afghanistan, the Justice Dept. said.

“Haji Bagcho was a prolific and dangerous heroin manufacturer, trafficking in over 123,000 kilograms of the drug in 2006 alone,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer in a statement.

“Moreover, he used proceeds from his crimes to fund Taliban insurgents and fuel their ongoing ‘jihad’ against the United States and others. The effects of Bagcho’s criminal activity were felt all over the world, and today’s guilty verdict ensures that he will serve a lengthy prison term.”

High Ranking Justice Dept. Official Suggested Letting Guns Walk, Emails Show

Lanny Breuer

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Newly released Justice Department emails sent to Capitol Hill for a congressional inquiry into a gun-smuggling operation indicate that the head of the department’s criminal division suggested letting some illicit “straw” weapons buyers in the U.S. transport their guns across the border into Mexico where they could be arrested.

According to the emails turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Friday night, the Justice official, Lanny Breuer, made the suggestion to Mexican officials because it “may send a strong message to arms traffickers.”

Mexico has stringent gun control laws with long prison terms as opposed to the U.S., where small-time “straw” buyers working for major arms traffickers seldom face jail time.

To read more click here.

 

Mexican Extradited to U.S. on Charges of Killing ICE Agent Jaime Zapata and Wounding Another Agent

ICE Agent Jaime Zapata killed in Mexico/ice photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A man charged in the Feb. 15 murder in Mexico of ICE agent Jaime Zapata and the attempted murder of ICE agent Victor Avila has been extradited from Mexico to the U.S. to face trial.

The Justice Department announced the charges and the extradition on Wednesday of Julian Zapata Espinoza, aka “Piolin.”

On April 19, a D.C. federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment.

“Julian Zapata Espinoza (“Piolin”) allegedly participated in the murder of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and the attempted murder of ICE Special Agent Victor Avila,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer in a statement.

“The extradition of Julian Zapata Espinoza to face charges in the U.S. is a significant development in the ongoing investigation into the murder of Special Agent Jaime Zapata and attack on Special Agent Victor Avila,” said Kevin Perkins, Assistant Director for the FBI Criminal Investigative Division in a statement.

The Justice Department said the indictment was unsealed on Wednesday when Zapata Espinoza made his initial appearance before U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth in D.C. He was ordered detained without bail.

 OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

Justice Dept. Official Apologizes For Not Notifying Boss About “Gun Walking” Cases

Lanny Breuer

By Carrie Johnson
NPR

WASHINGTON — A top political appointee in the Obama Justice Department says he made a “mistake” when he didn’t flag questionable tactics used by federal agents in a gun-trafficking case for his superiors last year.

Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division, told NPR he found out in April 2010 that agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had let more than 400 guns connected to suspicious buyers cross the Southwest border during the Bush years, but he didn’t tell senior leadership at the Justice Department.

“Knowing what I know now, I wish that I had alerted the deputy or the attorney general at the time,” he said.

To read more click here.

 

Read NY Times story 

ICE Busts 72 in Crackdown on Child Porn and Child Exploitation

Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities on Wednesday announced charges against 72 people in connection with an international network dedicated to the sexual abuse of children and the creation and dissemination of child pornography.

Authorities said it was the largest prosecution of its kind in the U.S.  involving a pedephillia bulletin board.

The investigation, lead by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and  dubbed “Operation Delego”, was launched in December 2009 and targeted the 72 defendants and more than 500 other people around the world who participated in “Dreamboard”– a private, members-only, online bulletin board that promote pedophilia and encourage the sexual abuse of very young children, authorities said.

To date, 52 of the 72 charged defendants have been arrested in the U.S. and abroad, authorities said.

Authorities said members traded graphic images and videos of adults molesting children 12 years-old and under, often violently, and “collectively created a massive private library of images of child sexual abuse.

“The members of this criminal network shared a demented dream to create the preeminent online community for the promotion of child sexual exploitation but for the children they victimized, this was nothing short of a nightmare,” said Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. in a statement. “This operation marks another important step forward in our work to protect children across – and beyond – this country. Our nation’s fight to protect the rights, interests, and safety of children goes on, and it will continue to be a top priority of this Justice Department.”

“This operation is an example of the good work that DHS, through its principal investigative arm, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), does every year in cooperation with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to protect children,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

“As alleged in court documents, Dreamboard was a self-described global ‘community’ of pedophiles dedicated to the relentless victimization and exploitation of children 12 and under,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Using sophisticated methods to evade detection by law enforcement, Dreamboard members allegedly used the power and anonymity of the Internet to motivate each other to commit their horrific acts of sexual abuse of minors and trading in child pornography. “

Agents Lost Track of More than 1,000 Guns in Fast and Furious; ATF Agents in Mexico Were Furious About Operation

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The latest report on ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious shows that ATF officials in Mexico City were becoming increasingly alarmed and incensed when learning of the number of guns linked to the operation that were being found  at violent crime scenes in Mexico.

The report, released by Rep. Darrell Issa(R-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia), also stated that federal agents running the operation out of Arizona could not account for more than 1,000 guns bought by suspects in  the operation that encouraged gun dealers in Arizona to sell to middlemen or straw purchasers, with the hopes of tracing the guns to the Mexican cartels.

The report is being released just at the Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is set to conduct hearings on the matter on Tuesday at 10 a.m. The testimony is expected to be explosive.

“The consequences of arming Mexican drug cartels seem obvious,” Issa said in a statement. “But even guns turning up at crime scenes in Mexico wasn’t enough for Justice Department officials to arrest straw purchasers and shut down their trafficking operations. Tragically, it wasn’t until Fast and Furious guns were found at the murder scene of a Border Patrol Agent that Justice officials finally ended this reckless and arrogant effort.”

Grassley added: “ It’s incomprehensible that officials at the Justice Department, the ATF and the U.S. attorney’s office would keep their counterparts at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City in the dark about Operation Fast and Furious. Keeping key details secret while straw purchasers continued buying weapons for gun traffickers jeopardized our relationship with our southern ally and put lives at risk.”

A press release issued by Issa and Grassley also stated:

There was little to no information sharing from the Phoenix Field Division, ATF Headquarters and the Justice Department to their colleagues in Mexico City. Every time Mexico City officials asked about the mysterious investigation, their U.S. based ATF counterparts in Phoenix and Washington, D.C. continued to say they were “working on it” and “everything was under control.”

Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the Justice Department, was clearly aware of Operation Fast and Furious and touted the case during a visit to Mexico.

ATF officials in Mexico City were incredulous that their agency would knowingly allow guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, and they were incensed when they finally began to learn the full scope of Operation Fast and Furious and the investigative techniques used.

To read report click here.