Jose Antonio Vargas, who has won the Pulitzer Prize, is most known for his detailed chronicling of his life as a Filipino illegally living in the U.S.
The New York Times reports that Vargas was detained for most of the day by the Border Patrol.
One of the most high-profile advocates of immigration rights, Vargas was detained at a Border Patrol checkpoint in the airport as he prepared to board a flight in Texas.
His detainment comes as immigration becomes even more politically fraught in the midst of a crisis involving a flood of Central Americans crossing the border to flee violence.
Border Patrol later released Vargas, saying he had no immigration or criminal record.
Aaron Romero, 38, claims his previous crack addiction came roaring back after the DEA began giving him the drug to help in an investigation known as “Operation Smack City.”
Romero said he suffered emotional and physical harm.
“The United States government and the defendants affirmatively and intentionally established a pattern of distribution of crack cocaine to (Romero) in order to utilize his addiction to crack cocaine to further the investigation and to ‘stack drug related charges’ against him,” the lawsuit said, naming five DEA agents.
According to the lawsuit, the federal prosecutors dismissed drug charges against Romero in January in exchange for his participation.
The lawsuit claims the crack violated DEA policies.
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DETROIT — Giacomo “Black Jack” Tocco, the reputed head of the Detroit Mafia for more than three decades, who kept a relatively low profile — more so than infamous mob brothers Vito and Anthony Giacalone — died Monday night at age 87, mob expert Scott Burnstein of the Oakland Press reported.
Tocco, who was long suspected of having ties to the 1975 disappearance of James Hoffa, died of natural causes according to Bagnasco & Calcaterra Funeral Home in Sterling Heights. The funeral will be Friday.
Raised in the upscale Windmill Pointe section of Grosse Pointe Park, Tocco earned a finance degree from the University of Detroit In 1949, according to an entry in Wikipedia.
He went on to own businesses around the state and built an impressive real estate portfolio, all while managing to maintain a fairly low profile, particularly when it came to media attention. The Giacalone brothers, who were capos, and underlings of Tocco, had far more recognizable names in Metro Detroit.
“Jack was very low-profile, highly intelligent and business savvy and really the opposite of what people would view as a typical gangster, the kind you see in movies and on television,” retired FBI agent Mike Carone told the Oakland Press. “I think that’s why he was able to stay under the radar for such a long time and avoid a lot of the pitfalls of being a mob boss, such as violence and long prison sentences. He was one of the last of a dying era.”
Tocco’s only felony conviction came in 1998 in a major racketeering case, which sent him off to federal prison for two years. Before that, his only previous conviction was for attending an illegal cock fight, according to a history of the Detroit mob on the FBI’s website.
Burnstein writes that Tocco owned the Hazel Park Raceway for more than four decades. Last summer, FBI agents searched former property he owned in northern Oakland County, looking for Hoffa’s body. The search set off a circus-like atmosphere — replete with an army of FBI agents, the media and curious neighbors. The feds came up empty.
The tip came from the former second in command of the Detroit mob, Anthony “Tony Z” Zerilli, a now elderly man who was Tocco’s first cousin. Zerilli, who was in prison at the time of Hoffa’s disappearance, told the feds that he was informed of what happen to Hoffa after he left prison. He fell out of favor with the mob.
Prior to his passing, Tocco was considered the most-tenured mob don in the United States, having taken power in 1979 at a ceremony the FBI photographed. He ruled unchallenged until his death, said Eric Straus, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan in the United States Department of Justice. Straus spent two decades investigating Tocco.
Retired FBI agent Greg Stejskal, in an interview with Deadline Detroit Tuesday night, recalled that June 11, 1979, was the very day that it was officially announced to made-members of the Detroit Mafia that Tocco was taking over as boss, replacing Tony Zerilli, who had lost his juice in the organization.
Stejskal said he was part of an FBI surveillance team that followed some mobsters, including Tocco and Vito Giacalone, to a barber shop on Gratiot in northern Macomb County.
The men exited the shop and got into a van. Stejskal and his fellow agents followed the van to a game farm north of Chelsea.
The agents saw it was a big gathering, and Stejskal recalls thinking:
“Whatever it is, it’s a big deal. The only people there were all made guys.”
He said he and another agent quietly went behind an archery target on the property that was owned at the time by reputed mobsters Antonio and Luigi Ruggirello.
“I had my camera with a 300 mm lense and I started taking pictures,” Stejskal said.
Eventually, from intelligence, the agents learned that the gathering officially marked the start of Tocco’s long reign as Detroit’s reputed Godfather.
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Friends of the alleged Boston Marathon bomber are accused of dumping a backpack belonging to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in an attempt to hide evidence against him, Reuters reports.
When the FBI approached the friends about the backpack, they “simultaneously” responded that it had been thrown into a dumpster, according to testimony against one of the friends, Azamat Tazhayakov, who has been charged with interfering with the investigation.
The friends told the FBI that the backpack was removed from Tsarnaev’s room three days after the attack.
They told me simultaneously that the backpack had been placed in the dumpster and that a refuse truck had removed the dumpster from the location the previous day,” FBI Special Agent John Walker said.
The backpack was later recovered in a landfill. Inside were fireworks with the gunpowder removed, a spiral notebook and a jar of Vaseline.
The FBI has ended its investigation of a courtroom shooting that killed suspected gang member Siale Maveni Angilau, the Desert News reports.
Federal authorities determined no excessive force was used when the deputy U.S. marshall shot Angilau four times after he grabbed a pen and charged after a witness who was testifying.
The feds found no evidence that Angilau was shot while on the ground, as claimed by some family members.
“There is no evidence to suggest Angilau was shot while on the ground,” according to the FBI.
Angilau was one of 16 Tongan Crip Gang members who were charged in federal court under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
Charges included racketeering, carjacking, robbery, assault on a federal officer and weapons violations.
Howard S. Marshall, who began working with the FBI in 1997, has been named special agent in charge of the Louisville Division.
The Associated Press reports that Marshall will succeed Perrye K. Turner, who is becoming the new leader of the agency’s Houston office.
Marshall served as inspector in the Inspector Division at FBI headquarters in Washington. He began his career with St. Louis and also was assigned to Dallas, Tennessee and Memphis.
FBI Diretor James Comey made the announcements.
FBI agents arresting a Florida teacher at his home Monday made a disturbing discovery – thousands of images of child porn on his computer, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
Matthew Graziotti, 42, a fifth grade teacher at a South Daytona private school and director of the school’s summer day camp, was charged with producing and distributing child porn.
Seized in the raid were 141 images and six videos depicting sexually abused and exploited children.
One folder on his computer was named “personally known” and included 31 subfolders with different boys’ names, according to the FBI. One image showed him sexually abusing a “prepubescent” boy.
“The FBI director told me that they, at this point, could not clarify where these boys are from, or who they are, or anything,” Mark Tress, superintendent at Warner Christian Academy, said. “We’re cooperating with them and providing them the assistance they need to determine whether or not any of our children were a part of that.”
“La Bestia” is a hit song in Central America.
Turns out, the song, which chronicles the dangers of Mexican freight trains, was reportedly written by Customs and Border Protection as propaganda to discourage immigration to the U.S., the Washington Times reports.
“Migrants from everywhere, entrenched along the rail ties/Far away from where they come, further away from where they go,” the lyrics go. “They call her the Beast from the South, this wretched train of death/With the devil in the boiler, whistles, roars, twists and turns.”
In 2004, Customs and Border Patrol also wrote a propaganda song for Mexican audiences called “No Mas Cruces.”
The federal government said listeners aren’t told who wrote the song.
“It’s more important to us that the message be delivered,” Laurel Smith, director of communications and outreach for CBP told The Daily Beast. “We want to make sure the audience is listening.”
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Before becoming a leading expert on cyber crime, J. Keith Mularski sold discount furniture.
Now he’s a supervisory special agent for the FBI, heading the Pittsburgh field office’s cyber squad, the Associated Press reports.
After graduating from college, Mularski spent about five years selling furniture before joining the FBI.
“I was in private industry beforehand. But I’ve kind of always liked computers,” Mularski said during a recent interview.
Mularski’s status has risen because of some recent cases, including one in which five Chinese Army intelligence officers were charged with stealing trade secrets from U.S. steel companies.
“Keith Mularski is not without technical ability, but his real talent lies in convincing experienced cybercriminals that he is one of them and not a law enforcement officer,” said Misha Glenny, a British journalist who specializes in cybercrime.
Two Florida police officers are without a job after a confidential FBI report showed they were members of a local branch of the KKK, the Daily Mail reports.
Fruitland Park Police dismissed Officer George Hunnewell, while Deputy Chief David Borst, 49, resigned. Borst also was the city’s fire chief.
While Fruitland Police Chief Terry Isaacs acknowledged it’s not against the law to be in the KKK, he said the allegations affect the officers’ credibility.
Isaacs launched an internal investigation Friday.
‘I’ve read the report, and it’s convincing,’ Isaacs said of the FBI report.
Gov. Rick Perry urged President Obama to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops to southern Texas in a show of force designed to dissuade more Central Americans from crossing the Mexican border the American-Statesman reports.
Perry said the solution should not be spending an additional $3.7 billion in taxes to address the crisis.
“Pick up the phone, be a leader, make a difference,” Perry said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Perry said the problem could have been avoided had Obama heeded the governor’s warnings about the influx in May 2012.
“I gave the President a head’s up on what was happening with these unaccompanied children, these alien children who were coming in on the tops of trains,” Perry told “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer. “And we laid out exactly what we felt was going to happen if we didn’t address that, and now we’re seeing that become reality with literally tens of thousands of these young children, making this long, arduous, very dangerous trip, being separated from their parents, and it could have been stopped years ago, had the administration listened, had the administration been focused on the border with Texas.”
President Obama’s unscheduled forays from the White House are causing some stress among the Secret Service, the Hill reports.
Obama has been slipping from the safety of his office and taking impromptu walks.
“I don’t get a chance to take walks very often,” he told a crowd in New York earlier this year. “Secret Service gets a little stressed. But every once in a while I’m able to sneak off.”
Obama joked about testing the agents’ nerves and recounted an unscheduled walk along the river.
“I got about probably a mile, mile and a half, and then some people started spotting me so that by the time — Secret Service got nervous, and then by the time we got back, there was a big rope line and there was all the fuss,” Obama said.
The Secret Service expressed some concerns.
“Any time the president leaves the White House complex, there are risks involved,” said Secret Service spokesman Ed Donvoan.
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A 47-year-old Utah man has been arrested on allegations he was plotting to kill police officers and bomb a police station to instigate an uprising against the government, the Associated Press reports.
The FBI said John Huggins, who was arrested Thursday, is expected to return to federal court Tuesday after he was charged with possessing an unregistered destructive device.
Huggins faces up to 10 years in prison.
The investigation began on a tip that Huggins had buried bombs around the city of Ogden, which turned out to be true. But investigators said Huggins threatened to blow up the Tremonton Police Department with the intention of assassinating two police officers before the bombing.
The AP wrote that Huggins said be believed the attack would trigger an uprising against the government.
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) on Thursday denounced Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s proposal to eliminate ATF and have it absorbed by another agency.
As violence against black people continued after signing the Civil Rights Act in July 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson turned to the FBI for help.
The New York Times reports that Johnson urged then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to open the first office dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Americans.
The FBI on Thursday celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opening.
Officials and civil rights leaders said a lot has changed in the bureau since then.
“We saw the F.B.I. only as an institution set to keep people of color down,” said Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of Medgar Evers, the Mississippi civil rights leader killed the summer before the office opened said. “One that was not a friend, but one that was a foe. And I stand before you today saying that I am proud to say I see the F.B.I. as playing the role they did, and finally in my mind, and my heart reaching the point where I can say, friend.”
The search for a future FBI headquarters should soon be narrowed down to a short list, the Washington Post reports.
Communities and politicians in Virginia and Maryland are watching closely as the FBI looks to build the largest new federal campus in more than 50 years.
Once the list is narrowed down to finalists, the developers will be invited to submit proposals to build the headquarters, the New York Times wrote.
The FBI is looking to build 2.1 million-square-foot campus that must be within 2.5 miles of the Beltway and two miles of a Metro station.
The federal government expects to choose the final location late next year.
Friends of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev knew he had materials to build a bomb, an FBI agent testified Thursday, WBUR reports.
The testimony of FBI agent Farbod Azad came during the obstruction trial of Azamat Tazhayakov, who is accused of interfering with the investigation along with two other friends.
The three friends went to Tsarnaev’s dorm room after the bombing and are accused of removing a backpack with fireworks and a laptop.
According to Azad, Tazhayakov told him that one of his friend’s found a bottle of Vaseline and mouthed the words, “He used this to make the bombs.”
Tazhayakov insists he’s innocent.
Border Patrol’s plan to alleviate the surge of Central American immigrants along the border of Mexico no longer involves flying children and families to San Diego, the USA Today reports.
The federal agency halted the experiment following a protest that blocked busloads of immigrants from reaching a processing facility in San Diego.
Border Patrol said the protest had nothing to do with the halt of plans and indicated the backlog of immigrants being held in Texas is decreasing.
The U.S. lacks sufficient family detention centers for immigrants, according to the USA Today.
It’s unclear how many flights to San Diego occurred before the transportation was stopped.
ICE and Border Patrol are set to run out of money if Congress doesn’t approve a $3.7 billion request for emergency funds from President Obama, the Arizona Republic reports.
ICE expects to run out of money by mid-August, while Border Patrol said it could be penniless by mid-September.
Both agencies blame the border crisis on the funding shortage.
The new budget year begins Oct. 1.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
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