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Tag: money

DEA Has Seized More Than $203M in Cash at Airports, But Rarely Makes Arrests

money-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA has seized more than $203 million in cash at 15 major airports as part of an effort to stop narcotics traffickers between 2005 and mid-2015.

But the USA Today found that the DEA rarely uses information to make arrests or build criminal cases.

In most cases, the DEA seized the money and gave the suspected drug couriers a receipt for cash without filing charges. At times, more than $50,000 has been confiscated.

Trouble is, it’s difficult for travelers to get their money back. Much of the cash is sent to local police departments to assist in the drug crackdown.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Informant Paid $40,000+ to Help in Terrorism Conspiracy Case

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An informant who provided key information implicating friends in a terrorism conspiracy case was paid more than $40,000 by the FBI, the Star-Tribune reports, citing court documents. 

Defense attorneys said the payments undermine the credibility of the informant, code-named “Rover.”

“Most importantly of all, the informant has been paid in the most valuable currency of all — his freedom,” wrote attorney Andrew Birrell. “Despite lying under oath multiple times and having participated in the same conduct charged in the indictment, the informant has remained free.”

The defense attorneys want permission to interview the informant to determine whether he was induced by money to say the defendants broke the law.

The informant said the defendants planned a domestic attack.

Hollywood Props Get So Realistic That Secret Service Complains

Prop money

Prop money

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hollywood props are becoming so realistic-looking that the Secret Service has become alarmed.

Bloomberg reports in a video newscast, which you can see by clicking here, that one of the largest prop makers in Hollywood, Independent Studios, has received complaints from the Secret Service because the props, like cash, guns and knives, look so realistic.
The company rents out more than 100 million props and manufactures unique products made to customer’s specifications.

HD cameras are a big reason the props have become so realistic.

Other Stories of Interest

Albuquerque Journal: DEA’s Cash Seizure Needs Outside Investigation

By Editorial Board
Albuquerque Journal

A friendly “meet and greet” with a DEA agent in Albuquerque could result in what looks a lot like highway robbery – if the agent doesn’t like what you have to say or how you say it. If you refuse to consent to a search of your luggage, well, there’s consequences for that, too. Your luggage could be confiscated pending agents getting a search warrant from a judge.

And if you’re African-American – perhaps the only African-American male on an Amtrak car – with some cash on you, tag you’re it.

That’s roughly what happened to 22-year-old Joseph Rivers riding the train to Los Angeles in April, in his words, to pursue his dream of making a music video. DEA agents picked him out among passengers in a car to have a chat. Then they decided the $16,000 he was carrying – money he says he saved up to make the video – was somehow linked to drug trafficking.

Whatever probable cause or “hunch” they had, it wasn’t enough to arrest or to charge Rivers with a crime. But it was enough to confiscate his cash.

Rivers’ story, as told in a May 6 Journal UpFront column by Joline Gutierrez Krueger, went viral and got the attention of members of the U.S. House Judicial Committee, including Democratic New Mexico Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Committee members want to know a lot more about why the money was seized and whether the agents were racial profiling when they targeted Rivers.

This is far from the first time this has happened in Albuquerque and elsewhere, and it’s time such questions are being asked.

Adviser: President Obama Would Block 2015 Homeland Security Spending if Amnesty Order Cut

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

President Obama said he won’t hesitate to block 2015 funding for Homeland Security if Republicans try to tinker with his executive amnesty along the border, The Huffington Post reports.

Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the president would “absolutely not” sign a 2015 spending bill if there are limits on the amnesty spending.

Pfeiffer said the president would veto the spending cuts.

Whether Republicans plan to curb the amnesty spending is another question after top GOP congressional leaders went silent in early December.

”I think the Republicans know they have little to no leverage,” he said. “Are they going to shut down the Department of Homeland Security to undo our executive action? I don’t think they are going to do that.”

“There is an array of little things they can do. … I mean it is possible that insanity will prevail upon the House Republican caucus as it did last October during the [2013] shutdown,” he said.

Other Stories of Interest

 

 


Weekend Series on Crime: Boxing and the Mafia

Mexican Drug Lord Who Killed DEA Agent Accused of Stashing Billions of Dollars in Secret Overseas Accounts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, who ordered the kidnapping, torture and killing of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in 1985, has stashed billion of dollars in secret overseas accounts, an ex-DEA agent claims.

“Caro Quintero had billions of dollars stashed in secret bank accounts in Luxembourg and in Switzerland,” former DEA agent Hector Berrellez told Forbes in a telephone interview. “The one in Luxembourg had $4 billion and the other one had even more.”

While investigating Quintero, Barrellez said he saw the electronic statements and does not believe the government confiscated the money.

The DEA declined to comment.

Quintero was released early from prison after serving 28 years in jail.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson of Money-in-the-Freezer Fame Wants Supreme Court To Hear His Case

exRep. Jefferson at sentencing in 2009 /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune

WASHINGTON — in what is likely the last chance to overturn his 13-year prison sentence for public corruption, former Rep. William Jefferson is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to schedule arguments on whether the trial judge gave an overly expansive definition of a congressman’s duties.

The question is central, attorneys for Jefferson said in a filing Wednesday, because the congressman was convicted almost entirely on bribery and bribery-related charges that require the government to show the defendant performed an “official act” in return for something of value.

To read the full story click here.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST