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Tag: Sting

ATF Under Fire for Controversial Stings Primarily Targeting African Americans

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF stings have come under fire because they’re predominately targeting African Americans and prompting allegations of racial profiling and entrapment.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the ATF has “convinced hundreds of would-be robbers across the country that they were stealing large quantities of narcotics, only to find out the drugs were a figment of the government’s imagination.” 

Because of mandatory federal sentencing laws, suspects caught up in the controversial stings are spending decades or even life behind bars, even though the drugs never existed.

The Tribune wrote:

Now the legal battle is coming to a head in an unprecedented hearing at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago before a panel of nine district judges overseeing a dozen separate cases involving more than 40 defendants.

The hearing, which has been four years in the making, will take place over two days in the courthouse’s large ceremonial courtroom. As many as 30 defendants, their relatives and individual attorneys are expected to attend, and an overflow courtroom has been set up to handle the anticipated crowd.

“In my 46 years of practicing law, I’ve never seen anything like this before,” attorney Richard Kling, who represents one of the defendants, told the Chicago Tribune this week.

The testimony will focus on dueling experts who reached starkly different conclusions about the racial breakdown of targets in the stash house cases.

A nationally renowned expert hired by the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School — which is spearheading the effort to have the cases dismissed — concluded that disparity between minority and white defendants in the stings was so large that there was “a zero percent likelihood” it happened by chance.

Other Stories of Interest

4-Day FBI Sweep Rescues 84 Minors, 120 Adults in Sex Trafficking Ring

cyberattack-hackers-fbiBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A four-day nationwide sweep aimed combating sex trafficking to the rescue of 84 minors and the arrest of 120 people, according to the FBI.

The 11th annual Operation Cross Country involved 55 FBI field offices, 78 state and local task forces and several international partners.

“The youngest victim recovered during this year’s operation was 3 months old, and the average age of victims recovered during the operation was 15 years old,” the bureau said of the operation, which ran from Oct. 12-15.

The operation is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which began in 2003 and has led to identifying more than 6,500 child identifications and locations, the FBI said in a press release.

ICE Agents Arrest 150+ Undocumented Immigrants in 12-Day Sting

ice-agentsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents arrested 153 undocumented immigrants and others throughout Texas during a 12-day operation that ended Friday.

The arrests were made in Austin, Waco, San Antonio, Laredo and Harlingen. Of those detained, 138 were men, and 15 were women, ICE said in a news release. 

Of those arrested, 137 had criminal histories that ranged from aggravated sexual assault of a child to drug possession.

The undocumented immigrants came from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Canada and El Salvador.

Here are five summaries of those arrested:

  • A 27- year-old woman from Mexico was arrested in Laredo March 20. She has a prior conviction for injury to a child with bodily injury. She was processed and removed to Mexico.
  • A 30-year-old man from Mexico was arrested in Austin March 21. He has a prior conviction for delivery of a controlled substance (cocaine). The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting him for illegally re-entering the United States after being deported.
  • A 48-year-old man from Mexico was arrested in Harlingen, Texas, March 24. He was convicted of intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting him for illegally re-entering the United States after being deported.
  • A 20-year-old man from Guatemala was arrested in San Antonio March 23. He was convicted of injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury. He remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.
  • A 46-year-old man from Mexico was arrested in San Antonio March 31. He was convicted of the following crimes: aggravated sexual assault of a child (first degree felony), 2 DUIs and assault. He is in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.

Other Stories of Interest

Pennsylvania Police Officer Accused of Stealing Money from Drug Trafficker During FBI Sting

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It appeared to be a routine stop, but it was anything but.

When a Fairview Township, Pa., police officer pulled over a car, the occupant was supposed to be a drug dealer traveling with a lot of money, YDR.com reports. 

Turns out, the driver was actually an undercover FBI agent whose car was outfitted with video surveillance. And the officer who pulled him over was working as a confidential informant for the FBI.

The investigation centered around another Fairview Township officer, 17-year veteran Tyson Baker.

The sting worked exactly as planned.

After Baker arrived as back up, he towed the car to a secluded garage and is accused of stealing $3,000 from a backpack.

On Friday, he was arrested and charged with violating the Hobbs Act, which bars authorities from interfering with interstate commerce.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Helps Rescue 149 Sexually Exploited Children in Nationwide Sting That Nabbed 150 Pimps

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI helped rescue 149 sexually exploited children as part of a weeklong sting across the country.

Operation Cross Country also nabbed 150 pimps and others involved in the sex trade.

“Human trafficking is a monstrous and devastating crime that steals lives and degrades our nation,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. “As a result of the FBI’s outstanding coordination and exemplary efforts alongside state and local partners during Operation Cross Country, more children will sleep safely tonight, and more wrongdoers will face the judgment of our criminal justice system.”

More than 500 law enforcement officials were involved in the sting, which involved 135 cities.

The stings took place in casinos, hotels, truck stops and other areas.

Burglars Masquerading As DEA Agents Caught In the Act at Lexington Apartments

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Four burglars masquerading as DEA agents were busted in the act.

WKYT.com reports that Lexington Police interrupted these burglars at an apartment complex where they had barged in early this morning, claiming to be part of a DEA sting.

“Some officers responded. They ended up interrupting a burglary. As they did that the people who were committing the burglary, took a shotgun and fled,” Lieutenant Andrew Daugherty said.

Two of the suspects were captured, while two others jumped out a back window and fled.

A hunt continued this morning for the two suspects.

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Raids ‘Birthing Centers’ in Southern California for Wealthy Chinese Women

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents raided so-called “maternity hotels” in southern California where wealthy pregnant Chinese nationals are accused of giving birth so their children can garner U.S. citizenship, the The Los Angeles Times reports.

Apartment complexes, aka “birthing centers,” where the women were housed were scattered throughout Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

Three businesses were targeted

While it’s not against the law to give birth at the centers, the FBI is treating the women as material witnesses. The operators of the centers are suspected of visa fraud and conspiracy for helping clients falsifying travel documents.

Jury: ATF Entrapped Low IQ Defendant by Encouraging Him to Break Law

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man with a second-grade reading level and a low IQ was acquitted in an ATF sting operation because he was entrapped, a jury decided.

The jury acquitted Alexis Davis on two counts agreeing that the ATF entrapped the man by “pressing” him to break the law.

Had the ATF not encouraged Davis to break the law, he likely wouldn’t have, his attorney argued.

“He never would have possessed the guns if they hadn’t come up with that store,” attorney Sharon Samek said.

To the jury, it was a clear case of entrapment.

“To me, this was not about fighting crime,” said juror Michael Lehman of St. Petersburg Beach. “There is a lot of crime going on in the world, you don’t need to manipulate the circumstances in order to encourage people to do bad things that they might or might not otherwise do.”