Oh, look: ties to the Chicago real-estate cabal:
A high-level drug trafficker admits he was involved in three killings after a Chicago Police officer scuttled a federal investigation into his illegal activities in the mid-1990s, according to a recent court filing.
Saul Rodriguez, who pleaded guilty last month to federal drug conspiracy charges, was an informant for Officer Glenn Lewellen for years.
But Rodriguez told authorities he and Lewellen were also longtime partners in crime. They allegedly worked together to rip off other drug dealers, splitting millions of dollars in loot.
Lewellen recruited Rodriguez as a police informant in early 1996. Rodriguez’s undercover name was “Bill Pager.” From 1996 to 2001, the Chicago Police Department paid him $807,000 for information that led to seizures of drugs and cash, prosecutors said.
All the while Rodriguez was making cases for the police, however, he was committing crimes. And Lewellen repeatedly stepped in to keep Rodriguez out of jail, prosecutors said.
According to the document, Lewellen in mid-1996 persuaded the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to stop investigating Rodriguez after 154 pounds of marijuana were seized from a secret compartment in his Buick. Lewellen told the DEA its investigation would harm ongoing Chicago Police Department cases, prosecutors said.
Lewellen, who joined the police force in 1986, retired in 2002 to become a homebuilder. But he still managed to obstruct a separate DEA investigation of Rodriguez, prosecutors said.
As Lewellen was allegedly protecting Rodriguez from the DEA, Rodriguez was involved in the murders of three men, prosecutors said. Rodriguez has confessed to orchestrating the slayings in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Rodriguez has also told authorities he arranged for a friend to “escape” from a prison in Mexico in 2003. He said he met with the prison warden while on vacation in Mexico and promised to pay him a $250,000 bribe in exchange for his friend’s freedom.
In addition to his career as a drug dealer, Rodriguez became involved in managing boxers and developing real-estate in Chicago and Nevada, records show.
Just like other mobbed up Chicagoans, including Val Jarrett, Penny Pritzker, Tony Rezko and the rest. But don’t worry, Patrick Fitzgerald is all over those corrupters of civic virtue like Cal Boender.
It’s just like a mini-Fast and Furious.
Speaking of which, Congressmen yesterday called for a Special Prosecutor to investigate Eric Holder after it became clear that he was briefed on Fast and Furious back in July 2010, if not earlier. Before Congress, Holder testified in May of this year that he’d only become aware of the “botched” operation within the past few weeks as a result of media coverage. Now the DOJ is wriggling, stating that Holder misunderstood the question/didn’t read the memos, yadda yadda. Sharyl Atkisson of CBS, who’s been way out in front of the MSM pack on this scandal, told Laura Ingraham on her radio program yesterday that she received a call from the DOJ from a woman who “yelled” at her, stating that other news outlets (even including the LA Times, who’ve covered this pretty well, and the Washington Post, who’ve dragged their feet) had been reasonable, and this was followed up by a screaming hissy fit by White House operative Eric Schultz.
As I never tire of reminding everyone, we know that at least one US Border Agent and 200 Mexicans have been killed with ATF-supplied weapons. What we don’t know yet is how many are dead with weapons walked from Columbus, IN to Chicago. And due to the White House’s partial Friday doc dump, we have discovered that a cross-border gunwalking operation seems to have been run out of Tucson, as well.
TPM and other left-leaning sites are tu quoque-ing over the Bush administration’s “Operation Wide Receiver,” and say that there’s no smoking gun over whether or not Holder knew what methods were being used by ATF, but there’s also a significant distinction: in the case of Operation Wide Receiver, there seems to have been interdiction and a large number of prosecutions, whereas here we have career ATF agents wondering what the hell was going on, since there apparently was little or no attempt at interdiction, and prosecution only after their cover was blown.
How desperate is this for DOJ and the White House? According to Katie Pavlich, a white paper considering the elimination of ATF has been circulating in the White House, DOJ and Congress. This is an administration that never saw a bureau it didn’t like, or that couldn’t at least be re-purposed to its liking. And you don’t have to be a particularly gifted oracle to know what the tea leaves say when whistleblowers are busted down and stonewallers promoted to DC desk jobs, where Holder can keep a better eye on them. Pavlich:
Last week, ATF offered 400 agents buy outs to avoid budget cuts and is expecting 250-275 agents to take the offer through Voluntary Early Retirement. These buyouts come at a convenient time for the Justice Department, which can eliminate ATF, then say it’s because of budget cuts, when really, it’s to cover their tracks.
It would be complete coincidence, too, that the Columbus, IN gunwalking operation was spawned in the wake of SCOTUS’s ruling that the City of Chicago cannot limit gun ownership to only cops and aldermen (all of whom are solid citizens), with the result that violent crime stats in Chicago (and DC) are way down.
In the first six months of this year, there were 14% fewer murders in Chicago compared to the first six months of last year– back when owning handguns was illegal. It was the largest drop in Chicago’s murder rate since the handgun ban went into effect in 1982. Meanwhile, the other four most populous cities saw a total drop at the same time of only 6 percent.
Similarly, in the year after the 2008 Heller decision, the murder rate fell 2.5 times faster in D.C. than in the rest of the country. It also fell more than three times as fast as in other cities that are close to D.C.’s size.
And murders in D.C. have continued to fall. If you compare the first six months of this year to the first six months of 2008, the same time immediately preceding the Supreme Court’s late June Heller decision, murders have now fallen by 34%.
Gun crimes fell more than non-gun crimes. Robberies with guns fell by 25%, while robberies without guns have fallen by 8%. Assaults with guns fell by 37%, while assaults without guns fell by 12%. Just as with right-to-carry laws, when law-abiding citizens have guns, some criminals stop carrying theirs.