Resource Center

Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



Search results for "US Department of Justice" ...

  • Indian Drug Company Investigation

    The first part of our story profiled a whistleblower who exposed massive fraud at Ranbaxy, a multi-billion dollar Indian generic drug company that sold adulterated drugs to millions of Americans for years. The company sold these drugs to millions of Americans while lieing to the FDA claiming the drugs worked and could fight such life threatening illnesses like cancer, AIDS, diabetes and infections. The second part of our story revealed that despite the company’s claims, the company has ongoing serious manufacturing problems. In fact, just two weeks after CBS left a Ranbaxy plant in India, the FDA banned all finished drugs coming into the US from Ranbaxy. However, our story also revealed that while the FDA banned all finished drugs, the company is still continues to make the key ingredients for drugs sold to Americans today– including such popular drugs as Astra Zeneca’s Nexium. At the center of our story was the whistleblower, Dinesh Thakur, who had never done a television interview. The risks that Thakur took in exposing his company led to a massive federal false claims lawsuit that aided the federal criminal investigation and rewarded Thakur with $49 million. According to one federal agent who worked on the case for seven years, without Thakur “there would have been no investigation and no criminal conviction.” We were alarmed to find in our reporting that so many of the key players in the federal investigation had made personal decisions based on what they learned to never take a Ranbaxy drug. Three Justice Department attorneys, six former Ranbaxy employees, one former FDA criminal investigator and two Congressional investigators (Democrat and a Republican) all told CBS News that they would never take a Ranbaxy drug, nor would they allow a family member to do so. Each shared with us personal anecdotes of finding Ranbaxy drugs in family members’ medicine cabinets or receiving a prescription at a drug store only to tell the pharmacist that they must have a different brand. For this reason we felt strongly that it was important to notify our audience of the risks with this company. We also informed our audience that foreign drug makers are not subject to the same strong oversight that drug makers in the US face every day. For example, drug makers in the US face unannounced inspections. Despite efforts to beef up foreign FDA inspections, foreign companies are still notified in advance of upcoming inspections. In the US there is one FDA inspector for every 9 phamaceutical facilities. In India there is one FDA inspector for every 105 facilities. CBS News also tracked down half a dozen other former Ranbaxy employees who told CBS what they witnessed at the company both in the United States and in India. Two top employees went on camera to share their experiences.

    Tags: None

    By Patricia Shevlin

    CBS News

    2013

  • Human Trafficking in Virginia

    We found a case of human trafficking that led to charges and changes after we exposed communication issues across local and national agencies and a lack of training and resources. In the first story, we talked to Roanoke County Police Officers who stopped a man driving a mini-van of 16 people, stacked on top of each other.

    Tags: human trafficking; Roanoke County Police Officers; U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement; Virginia; lawmakers; federal agencies; The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services;

    By Jenna Zibton; Jeff Perzan

    WSLS-TV (Roanoke, Va.)

    2013

  • The Untouchables

    In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Americans demanded to know why no Wall Street banks or senior executives had faced criminal charges. Critics questioned whether, in the midst of a painful recovery, Wall Street was simply “too big to jail.” With the five-year statute of limitations approaching, FRONTLINE producer Martin Smith sought answers to these questions in the film The Untouchables: an investigation into whether the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) failed to act on evidence that Wall Street knowingly originated, packaged and sold toxic home loans that poisoned the global economy.

    Tags: Wall Street; Recession

    By Sophie Gayter

    Frontline

    2013

  • Hollywood Sting

    When the FBI raided the offices of California State Sen. Ronald Calderon in June 2012, the state’s news media had little idea of what was really going on. Some reporters immediately speculated that the raid was related to links Calderon had with a Southern California water district. But they were wrong. Indeed, no one knew the extraordinary story behind that FBI raid until Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit obtained, through confidential sources, a 124-page sealed affidavit that laid out the government’s case against the embattled senator. In its series, titled “Hollywood Sting,’’ Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit exposed the sordid tale of Sen. Calderon’s alleged bribery and corruption and brought viewers and readers inside the unfolding narrative of an elaborate FBI sting. The network devoted more than an hour of on-air coverage to the story and published its findings on Oct. 30, 2013. The story prompted a “leak’’ investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into how Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit obtained the secret affidavit. DOJ announced the inquiry the day after we broke the story. Just last week, a special agent for DOJ’s Office of Inspector General contacted James Wedick, a former senior FBI supervisor who was interviewed for the story. The investigator sought to question Wedick about Al Jazeera correspondent Josh Bernstein’s contacts in the bureau. The investigator also contacted a lawyer representing Al Jazeera.

    Tags: Ronald Calderon; Hollywood

    By Josh Bernstein

    Al Jazeera America

    2013

  • THE DRONE WAR

    In February Michael Isikoff broke the story that a confidential white paper from the Justice Department had detailed the legality of drone strikes on American citizens. Isikoff laid out a three-part test that would make targeted killings of Americans lawful. President Obama spoke directly to the contents of the Isikoff report weeks later in a major speech to the National Defense University, defending the drone program, but promising to be more transparent. In June, NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel took an in-depth look into the US drone program in Pakistan. Using a set of classified documents obtained by NBC that detailed more than one hundred drone strikes in the country between 2010 and 2011, Engel was able to show NBC’s viewers that the US doesn’t often know who they are killing, how many people they are killing, and whether or not civilians are a large unintended part of their targeting. In Part II of Engel’s report, he exclusively interviewed senior airman Brandon Bryant, a drone operator, speaking out for the first time about his work over the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bryant brought Engel minute-by-minute through some of the strikes he controlled from 7500 miles away in New Mexico.

    Tags: drone strikes;

    By Richard Engel; Michael Isikoff; Richard Esposito; Robert Dembo; Matthew Cole; Kevin Monahan; Carl Sears; Yael Federbush; Steve Thode; Rob Kaplan; Andy Franklin; Pat Burkey; Don Nash

    NBC News

    2013

  • Deadly Patrols

    In spring 2012, a cellphone video surfaced of a man being savagely tasered and beaten to death by a group of Border Patrol agents in San Ysidro, California, in 2010. As the video made the rounds -- through YouTube, media broadcasts and finally to members of congress -- outrage mounted. Justice for Anastasio, people demanded. A few months later, a grand jury was convened, and 14 lawmakers including two U.S. representatives from San Diego sent a letter to the Department of Justice. As Rojas’ story gained traction, we questioned: Who else is out there with a similar story? We found 14 other boys and men who have died as a result of violent altercations with Border Patrol agents. Some incidents were also caught on video. Many were not. That was the start of Deadly Patrols.

    Tags: Border control;

    By Evelyn Larrubia; Melissa Del Bosque; Joanne Faryon; Roxana Popescu; Brad Racino; Lorie Hearn

    Investigative Newsource

    2012

  • New Haven Police Brutality Investigation

    Members of New Haven’s Latino community approached NBC Connecticut with complaints about Officer Dennis O’Connell with the New Haven Police Department. Several people told us that they were being targeted by the officer, and when they encountered him, they were subjected to brutality which included beatings, verbal abuse, and in one case that we found what appeared to be repeated and potentially unnecessary use of a taser. We spoke with several of the alleged victims as a starting point for our story. From there, we embarked on a series of FOI requests that resulted in hundreds of pages of documents ranging from police reports of the alleged incidents to court settlements between the city of New Haven and alleged victims of Officer O’Connell. We spoke to an expert in criminal justice who, after reading through the police reports and reviewing Officer O’Connell’s file, determined there was a definitive and disturbing pattern. He also determined that based on the lack of disciplinary measures and retraining of the officer, NHPD was ignoring a significant problem within their ranks.

    Tags: Police;

    By Jeff Stoecker

    NBC (Connecticut)

    2012

  • Need to Know: Crossing the Line at the Border Parts 1 & 2

    Few, if any, pieces published or broadcast in 2012 had as much impact as “Crossing the Line at the Border,” a joint project of the weekly PBS newsmagazine, “Need to Know,” and the Nation Institute that was in the best tradition of American investigative journalism. Within days of its broadcast, 16 members of Congress demanded that the U.S. Justice Department investigate the killing of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a 42-year-old Mexican whose death at the hands of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents was detailed in our report. A few months later, a U.S. attorney in convened a federal grand jury. It is currently considering criminal charges in the case. And months after that, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the incident had prompted it to launch a full-scale review of its use of force. Hernandez Rojas had a fatal heart attack shortly after being subdued by agents, beaten, and shot with a Taser gun at the San Ysidro border crossing on May 28th, 2010. His death was largely ignored until the "Need to Know” team, in partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, unearthed never-before-seen eyewitness video of the incident.

    Tags: U.S. Justice Department; border; killing; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Taser

    By John Larson; Brian Epstein; John Carlos Frey; Judith Starr Wolff; Alexandra Nikolchev; Esther Kaplan; Irene Francis; Brenda Breslauer; Scott Davis; Stephen Segaller; Neal Shapiro

    WNET-TV (New York)

    2012

  • Locked up

    A USA TODAY investigation found that the U.S. Justice Department was using its legal authority to decide who gets locked up for how long in ways that reward the guilty and punish the innocent. Our examination found that government lawyers were trying to keep dozens of men who they conceded were “legally innocent” imprisoned anyway. We found that the Justice Department had kept accused sexual predators locked up for years past the end of their prison sentences on the basis of faulty psychological assessments. And exposed a brazen pay-to-snitch enterprise that illustrated how the government rewards its informants — often hardened criminals — with shorter prison sentences.

    Tags: U.S. Justice Department; lawyers; sexual predators; criminals; prison sentences

    By Brad Heath

    USA Today

    2012

  • RGJ: ATF/US Attorney Rift

    A months-long Reno Gazette-Journal investigation found that after Reno’s chief U.S. Attorney told local ATF agents that her office would not prosecute their cases until certain unnamed “issues” were resolved, most of the agents transferred to new jobs outside Nevada, leaving Reno vulnerable to gun violence. The investigation found that the federal prosecutors dismissed or refused more than a dozen cases involving violent criminals. The RGJ probe also revealed that dozens of people who bought guns and later failed background checks were allowed to keep the guns because the rift emptied the Reno ATF office of the very agents who are tasked with retrieving those guns. The RGJ series led to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and an independent review of the dropped cases. It also sparked Congressional action.

    Tags: Department of Justice; guns; gun violence

    By Martha Bellisle; Reno Gazette

    Reno Gazette-Journal

    2012