sting operations

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University of Northern NJ Is Fake—and a Gov't Trap

Homeland Security busts 21 in visa fraud sting

(Newser) - The University of Northern New Jersey looked like any other school: It had a website, a Facebook page, and a crest. Unlike other colleges, however, it was staffed entirely by Homeland Security agents. The Department of Justice announced this week it had indicted 21 people for visa fraud in a... More »

Police Catch Own Deputy in Prostitution Sting

Emmanuel Augustine suspended immediately

(Newser) - Well this must have been awkward: The Harris County, Texas, Constable's Office sent a deputy out undercover as a prostitute yesterday morning, and sure enough she was soon propositioned—by a deputy from the same precinct. Emmanuel Augustine, 29, was off duty at the time, but ABC 13 reports... More »

ATF Agents Lured Mentally Disabled as Bait

Sting operations generated crime to arrest criminals: report

(Newser) - Is the ATF out of control? In its sting operations, the agency has used mentally disabled teenagers as bait, opened drug- and gun-buying operations near schools and churches, and opened fake pawn shops that apparently spurred thefts and burglaries—including gun thefts from police cars. A lengthy Milwaukee Journal Sentinel... More »

ATF Lost $127M in Cigs in Unapproved Stings

Due to 'serious lack of oversight,' says Justice Department report

(Newser) - Apparently firearms aren't all that go missing over at the ATF: a Justice Department report says feds lost track of some 2.1 million packs of cigarettes, worth $127 million, from at least 20 undercover and unapproved stings between 2005 and 2011, the Washington Post reports. The $162 million... More »

ATF's Favorite New Tool: Iffy Drug Stings

'USA Today' finds that questionable strategy has locked up more than 1K in decade

(Newser) - The good news from a crime-fighting perspective is that the ATF has locked up more than 1,000 criminals—often with sentences spanning more than a decade—who were caught trying to rob drug houses over the past decade. The questionable news? Those drug houses didn't actually exist. All... More »

FBI Snags 24 Suspected Credit Card Hackers

Feds lured them onto fake website in sting

(Newser) - Federal agents have been watching websites where hackers illegally distribute credit card data—and their work has paid off. Today, they arrested 11 people in the US and 13 overseas, reports Reuters . Under the two-year sting, agents set up a fake online forum of their own where people could trade... More »

Con Artist Launched Google Sting for Feds

Set up fake websites illegally selling medications; firm allegedly helped

(Newser) - Last year, a federal sting against Google resulted in a record settlement—and at the heart of the operation was a convicted con man. Working with federal agents—and still wearing leg irons—David Whitaker set up a fake online pharmacy claiming to sell illegal drugs, and Google helped him... More »

FBI Considered Sting Against ... Newt?

Washington Post story is a 'hit job,' writes conservative blogger

(Newser) - Most unusual political story of the day: The Washington Post , following up on a story at the DC Bureau blog , reports that the FBI considered a sting operation against Newt Gingrich while he was House speaker but ultimately decided against it because the evidence was too flimsy. It's a... More »

Bungled ATF Sting Lost Track of More Than 1K Firearms

House hearing on Operation Fast and Furious held today

(Newser) - Operation Fast and Furious, the bungled ATF gun-trafficking probe , was even more bungled than originally thought: Federal agents lost track of more than 1,000 firearms purchased by suspected gun smugglers during the Arizona investigation. The information comes from a new congressional report ahead of a House hearing today examining... More »

Was Agent Killed With Cartel Guns Supplied by US?

Feds refusing to provide answers on bungled weapons sting

(Newser) - The family of a US immigration agent who was shot dead by Mexican drug cartel gangsters is demanding to know if the guns that killed him came from the bungled federal "Fast and Furious" sting operation that put hundreds of weapons into the hands of smugglers, reports the Los ... More »

US Busts 7 Would-Be Drug Runners for Taliban

Men also tried to sell weapons, face extradition to US

(Newser) - The US is slapping seven men with charges of trying to peddle weapons and drugs to the Taliban, Reuters reports. In a global sting, agents posing as Taliban operatives arrested five men in Liberia and and two in Romania after the men went through on what they believed were legitimate... More »

Oregon Terror Suspect Sought 'Jihad' for Years

Mohamed Osman Mohamud: 'Since I was 15 I thought about all this'

(Newser) - FBI agents used another sting operation to foil a terror plot in Portland yesterday, as they did in Virginia recently. Steve Duin of the Oregonian is "incredibly thankful" to the FBI that all ended well, but adds this caveat: "It's still unclear how close Mohamed Osman Mohamud would... More »

FBI: We Didn't Screw Up Van der Sloot Case

He had 'sting money' when he killed Peru victim

(Newser) - FBI officials yesterday denied they bungled a case against Joran Van der Sloot after paying him up to $25,000, which he apparently used to travel to Peru where he murdered a young woman. Investigators set up an extortion sting for Van der Sloot last month after he reportedly demanded... More »

Feds Charge Calif. Whale Sushi Joint

The Hump accused of selling endangered species product

(Newser) - Federal prosecutors filed charges today against the owner of a California restaurant and its sushi chef that marine mammal activists say served illegal whale meat. Typhoon Restaurant Inc., which owns The Hump restaurant in Santa Monica, and Kiyoshiro Yamamoto were charged with illegally selling an endangered species product, a misdemeanor. More »

Cops Bust Pot Grower With Fake Ransom Note

Florida police didn't think it would work, but then again...

(Newser) - Florida police burned an alleged marijuana grower twice, or perhaps thrice, when they confiscated his crop, left a ransom note, and then arrested him when he answered it. A citizen tipped cops to the six large plants growing on a vacant lot. They grabbed them, and hoping for a bit... More »

Patriots Mascot Busted With Hooker*

*Well, one of the guys inside the costume, anyway

(Newser) - A prostitution sting in Rhode Island netted an unusual John, or, rather, an unusual Pat—as in one of the men who plays Pat Patriot, the huge-foam-headed mascot of the New England Patriots. Robert Sormanti, 47, was among 14 charged; there was no indication he was wearing his costume when... More »

Letterman Reveals Extortion Attempt Over Office Sex

After grand jury testimony, late-night host says con man wanted $2M

(Newser) - In a highly unusual moment during the taping of last night’s Late Show, David Letterman confessed to his studio audience that he had had sexual flings with female staffers on the show, and that they had become the basis for a $2 million extortion attempt by a CBS news... More »

Feds Head Off Bombing Plots in Dallas, Illinois

Cases unrelated to each other; no link to Denver, NY terror arrests

(Newser) - A Jordanian citizen arrested in an elaborate FBI sting is to be arraigned today on charges of attempting to blow up a Dallas skyscraper. The court appearance comes a day after an Illinois man was charged with plotting to detonate a bomb near a Springfield courthouse, only to learn that... More »

ACORN Video Sting a Lesson in New Journalism

(Newser) - Andrew Breitbart may have an ideological ax to grind, but so what? The undercover ACORN videos he's posted illustrate a significant strength of 21st-century American journalism, writes Jack Shafer: "It will accept contributions from everybody from amateurs to entertainers (I'm looking at you, Jon Stewart) to gadflies to billionaires... More »

ACORN Sues Creators of Sting Video

Recordings made without two-party consent, group says

(Newser) - ACORN is suing the makers of a hidden-camera video that showed employees of its Baltimore office giving tax advice to a man and woman posing as a pimp and prostitute. The liberal group contends that the audio portion of the video was obtained illegally because Maryland requires two-party consent to... More »

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