Thursday, March 12, 2020

Feds wiretap former DEA supervisor in leak probe

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat   TY GUS  AP
FILE - This June 13, 2016 file photo shows Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Florida. Federal investigators took the unusual step of wiretapping a retired supervisor in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Miami office for at least three months in 2019 as part of an inquiry into whether sensitive case information was leaked to attorneys for suspected drug traffickers in Colombia, current and former law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)
MIAMI (AP) — Federal investigators took the unusual step of wiretapping a retired supervisor in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Miami office as part of an inquiry into whether sensitive case information was leaked to attorneys for suspected drug traffickers in Colombia, current and former law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

The inquiry comes amid a string of DEA scandals and has sent a chill through South Florida’s close-knit, fiercely competitive narco-defense circles because of former supervisor Manny Recio’s strong ties to federal law enforcement and private-sector lawyers.


The FBI wiretapped Recio for at least three months last year while he worked in his post-retirement job as a private investigator for defense lawyers — an extraordinary step requiring approval from a federal judge and the highest levels of the Justice Department. Agents also seized and searched his cellphone.

Federal prosecutors in New York declined to comment, but three former and one current law enforcement official familiar with the investigation say it is focused on the flow of information between the DEA and Miami lawyers who represent alleged narcotraffickers and money launderers from Colombia. Among those lawyers is Luis Guerra, who contracted Recio as an investigator shortly after he retired from the DEA in 2018.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing case, said the probe is focused on Recio’s interaction with defense lawyers and agents he worked with at the DEA, including Special Agent John Costanzo, whose phone was similarly searched.

Phil Reizenstein, a Miami lawyer representing Recio, said he was told late last year by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan that the former DEA agent was not a target of a criminal investigation nor had a grand jury been summoned to investigate him.

“I have reviewed Manny’s work on cases and found it to be impeccable, and I have no concerns that he did anything that was close to being illegal,” Reizenstein said. “He devoted his career to the DEA. He has held himself to the highest standards and the same law-abiding ideals in his private work.”

Guerra and Costanzo declined to comment.

So-called Title III wiretaps require approval from a federal judge for each 30-day period they’re in use. The technique is considered highly intrusive and requires probable cause that a federal crime has been — or is about to be — committed.

 Probable Cause..Procedure for interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications

6 comments:

  1. After the vidoe of the metros sicario spilling the beans about the metros faction leaders treacherous ways. The last 2 days theres been a lot of noise in reynosa tamaulipas about a revolt amongst the metros faction leaders turning on their boss el primito. Allegedly the local metros commanders will elect a replacement after learning that el primito is killing them off one by one so he can bring the jaliscos in the plaza. Allegedly he has put hits on about 3 of the reynosa commanders. Also allegedly the governor or tamaulipas is taking jalisco money and wld work with the jaliscos if they kill the metros and take over. After hearing all this noise about the metros faction being in total chaos the cdn decided to send an armed group with 4 monstros or more heavily armored trucks into the cdg frontera chica turf and got torned up by the cdg. One of monstros was left with bodies inside burned. And rumors of cdn sicarios captured by cdg alive. Its on valor por tamaulipas valor tamaulipeco and reynosa codigo rojo. If this is true it will be a messed up wekend in reynosa and other metros faction controlled plazas or territories.

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  2. Good article!
    Just wanted to add that the government's ability (= what it has permitted itself to do) to spy/search/intercept on private citizens (in the US and abroad) is vastly much more than the laws and processes described in the article:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Court#Secret_law

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  3. For his sake hope he is clean.

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  4. @7:01 A.M.: You are absolutely correct! For example Read Shohana Zuboff on the topics of privacy and how the AI Surveillance technology is way out in front of criminals and their cohorts. It is now 1984 time and Big Brother is here, big time.
    Mexico-Watcher

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    Replies
    1. If one is not breaking the law then why be concerned! Privacy concerns & laws have been displayed throughout the world. The internet and Web services need to be watched along with its citizens. An unfortunate inconvenience for some. However, a national security threat if not properly protected.

      Signs of the times have changed.

      Delete

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