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Tag: New Jersey

Drug Smugglers Face Stiff Penalties for Trying to Smuggle Meth in Penis-Shaped Candles

Penis-shaped candles were stuffed with crystal meth.

Penis-shaped candles were stuffed with crystal meth.

A group of drug smugglers was arrested Wednesday and face stiff sentences after trying to hide crystal meth in penis-shaped candles.

Five suspects, including three Mexicans who were in the country illegally, were arrested after authorities found 1,300 pounds of candles stuffed with drugs in a New Jersey warehouse, the New York Daily News reports

“It’s kind of a cross between ‘Breaking Bad’ and a ‘Sex in the City’ case,” mused one law enforcement source.

They face up to five years in prison.

The sting was a joint operation by the DEA, Homeland Security and NYPD.

“DEA has seen drugs smuggled in numerous ways: concealed in puppies, lollipops, furniture and produce. But secreting a million dollars’ worth of methamphetamine in wax candles of various shapes is shocking,” said DEA Special Agent in charge James Hunt. “This seizure signifies that drug trafficking organizations are determined to create a stronghold of meth users in the Northeast.”

Secret Service to Test Drone to Protect Trump at His Golf Course

drone-1142182_960_720By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the Secret Service looks for new ways to protect President Trump while he is vacationing at his New Jersey golf club, the agency will test a security drone.

Reuters reports that the Secret Service plans to test a small tethered unmanned aircraft system this month while the president is visiting the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster. 

The testing comes as the president is expected to spend an extended period at the golf course this month.

While the Secret Service declined to discuss specifics of the drone, the agency said the idea was to determine the vehicle’s potential for protecting the president.

FBI Recovers Norman Rockwell Painting Stole 40+ Years Ago

The stolen Norman Rockwell painting.

The stolen Norman Rockwell painting.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 40 years after someone stole a Norman Rockwell painting from a family home in New Jersey, the artwork is back in the owners’ possession thanks to the FBI.

The painting of a chubby boy resting against a tree was a pized possession of the Grant family. Robert Grant paid just $50 or $100 for the painting, the New York Times reports. 

On Friday, one of Robert Grant’s sons, John, picked up the painting from an FBI agent at federal building in Philadelphia.

“It’s unbelievable,” Grant said. “The dream came true, and my dad would be so happy.”

On the 40th anniversary of the painting’s theft, the FBI issued a press release about the stolen painting, generating fresh attention.

It worked. An anonymous antique dealer turned over the painting. The dealer is not believed to be a suspect.

Other Stories of Interest

Syrian Refugees Alarmed by Recent Calls from FBI

fbi-hq-signBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Syrian refugees in New Jersey are alarmed by phone calls they are receiving from the FBI.

The immigrants have declined to meet with the FBI because of their fear of law enforcement, NJ Spotlight reports. 

But FBI officials said the refugees have nothing to worry about.

There is “nothing covert about what we’re doing in this operation,” said special agent in charge of the FBI’s office in Newark, Timothy Gallagher. “When they’re ready to sit down, we’d be happy to sit down. This is outreach. This is not surveillance.” 

Refugees are afraid of contact with federal law enforcement, immigrant advocates said.

“They come from a police dictatorship where speaking to government agencies can make people disappear, sometimes for years, so they’re definitely very afraid,” said Mohamed Khairullah, a Syrian-American and the mayor of Prospect Park, NJ.

In Syria, refuges often had bad encounters with law enforcement.

FBI Spoke with Bombing Suspect Rahami While He Was Recovering from Gunshot Wounds

Ahmad Khan Rahami

Ahmad Khan Rahami

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI spoke for days with the man charged with setting off bombs in New York and New Jersey.

The conversation occurred while he was recovering from gunshot wounds after he was arrested, the Associated Press reports. 

The revelation was made by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Lewin after Ahmad Khan Rahami pleaded not guilty to crimes involving the Sept. 17 attacks, which injured 30 people in Manhattan.

What Rahami said to the FBI was not disclosed.

Prosecutors plan to soon disclose more evidence, including videos of Rahami’s movements on the day of the bombings, records that indicate he purchased bomb-making materials, and fingerprints and DNA found on the explosive devices.

Report: Engineer of Commuter Train That Crashed in New Jersey Had Medical Condition

New Jersey Transit train, via Wikipedia

New Jersey Transit train, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The engineer of the commuter train that crashed into a New Jersey rail station, killing a woman, suffered from a form of sleep apnea, according to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Thomas Gallagher, 48, said he has no memory of the crash at the Hoboken station on Sept. 29 as the train was traveling twice the 10 mph speed limit, The New York Daily News reports.

Gallagher wasn’t diagnosed with sleep apnea until later the crash.

The crashed injured 108 on the train and platform.

“My client was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea just recently, during an examination by an expert that I arranged after the accident,” Gallagher’s attorney, Jack Arseneault, told WCBS-TV in a statement. “Those results were forwarded to the NTSB on Oct. 31.

NTSB: New Jersey Train That Crashed Sped Up at Last Second

New Jersey Transit train, via Wikipedia

New Jersey Transit train, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A New Jersey Transit commuter train that crashed into a Hoboken terminal last week sped up and was going twice the 10 mph speed limit, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday.

The findings come from a data recorder and video from the front of the train, the Associated Press reports.

Less than a second before the crash, the train’s engineer used the emergency brake, the NTSB said.

The train was traveling 8 mph until about 38 seconds before the crash, when the throttle increased and train sped up to a maximum of 21 mph.

The train has an alert system that sounds an alarm when the train exceeds 20 mph. It’s still unclear whether the system worked.

Investigators Retrieve Data Recorders from Train That Crashed in New Jersey

New Jersey Transit train, via Wikipedia

New Jersey Transit train, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The investigation into the New Jersey Transit train crash hit a new phase after investigators reached the train’s lead car to retrieve data recorders.

It was a big break after investigators discovered that the data recorder in the rear of the train had malfunctioned.

“Now is when we get very, very busy,” Jim Southworth, investigator in charge for the transit safety agency, said, the USA Today reports.  

Recovered from the front of the train were the data and video recorders that “appears to be in good shape,” Southworth said Tuesday.

It still wasn’t clear whether the devices were working at the time of the crash, which killed one woman and injured more than 100.

“We expect the recorders will be able to provide the investigators with speed information, throttle positions, braking system information, and about 100 other parameters, as well as a video image of the accident,” Southworth said.