Kane:Guards Thwart Cartels

By Bumsted, Brad | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 12, 2015 | Go to article overview

Kane:Guards Thwart Cartels


Bumsted, Brad, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


HARRISBURG -- Attorney General Kathleen Kane travels with heavy security to protect her from Mexican drug cartels who might be angered by her office's disruption of drug trafficking, her spokesman said Tuesday.

Kane brought five agents to Norristown for her arraignment on criminal charges Saturday. She rode with three in a black Chevrolet Suburban; two advance agents drove a white Cadillac Escalade.

Her security detail "is making sure Kathleen Kane doesn't become a victim of organized cartels," said her spokesman, Chuck Ardo, even though Mexican drug lords haven't turned violent against any Pennsylvania attorney general.

Asked whether she believes drug cartels might target her, Ardo said: "All attorneys general get threats because they deal with very bad and dangerous people. This attorney general's administration is operating in an era when cartels have expanded their reach into Northeastern states, including Pennsylvania."

Federal authorities declined to comment on any such situations.

"I can't imagine it," said C.C. Parker, a retired agent with the office who was severely wounded in a gun battle with a drug dealer. "She herself doesn't investigate the drug cartels."

Kane has scheduled a Wednesday news conference to address the charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and official oppression filed against her by the Montgomery County district attorney. She has denied wrongdoing and has said she won't step down.

Critics said Kane showed poor judgment by utilizing so many agents on a security detail.

"Five highly trained agents should be deployed to fight crime, and not to serve as an escort service for a politician charged as a private citizen," said Eric Epstein, co-founder of Rock the Capital, a watchdog group.

"If Ms. Kane wants to underwrite a private security force for a perp walk, that's her business and a personal expense," Epstein said. "We need more boots on the ground and less drama in the AG's office."

It would be "oversimplifying it" to say Kane needs security because of the cartels, Ardo said. The bodyguards also were to ensure that she could make her way through a crowd of reporters and photographers "with dignity and without being jostled," he said. …

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