Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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

Search results for "conspiracy" ...

  • The Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

    CNN was across the mysterious disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi with its Istanbul team the day the Saudi journalist vanished. As the mystery deepened and Saudi Arabia continued to insist that Khashoggi had left the consulate, CNN worked the story from Istanbul, Ankara, Riyadh, London and Washington. Crucially, CNN broke a number of stories in the developing mystery which shed light on what really happened and Saudi Arabia’s role.
  • Rocky Mountain PBS: Cultivating Crime

    “Cultivating Crime” took a deep dive into the underground world of illegal marijuana in Colorado. Coloradans thought legalizing marijuana would destroy the black market, but our investigation found it did the opposite. We revealed how law enforcement says Colorado is now a magnet for organized crime with international ties. Our investigation found that criminal prosecutions linked to the cultivation, conspiracy, and possession with intent to distribute of large amounts of marijuana increased dramatically after Colorado voters legalized the drug. Law enforcement officials said Colorado’s laws allowing home cultivation of marijuana opened the door for criminal organizations to move in from other parts of the world to grow large amounts of plants, under the cover of legalization, for sale in other states at much higher prices.
  • ADG: Milking Medicaid

    A Missouri-based nonprofit became Arkansas' largest provider of Medicaid-funded mental health services by milking a flawed system that has drawn the attention of federal prosecutors — and resulted in the convictions of several former lawmakers for public bribery and conspiracy.
  • Facebook Posts Lead to Gang Conspiracy Charges

    Voice of San Diego managing editor Sara Libby revealed how San Diego's district attorney tried to send a local resident named Aaron Harvey to prison for the rest of his life for a shooting that prosecutors and everyone else admitted he didn't commit. Instead, the district attorney said his Facebook posts showed he should be held responsible for the crime through a novel interpretation of the state's gang conspiracy laws. After Libby's reporting, the case against Harvey was thrown out and the DA vowed never to use similar charges again.
  • The Narco-Terror Trap

    This project traces the Drug Enforcement Administration’s use of a little-known statute of the Patriot Act to create a role for itself in the war on terror, based largely on unsubstantiated assertions that terrorists were using the drug trade to finance attacks against the United States. The statute, adopted with broad bi-partisan support, allows the D.E.A. to pursue so-called narco-terrorists anywhere in the world, even when none of their alleged crimes occurred on American soil. Between 2002 and 2008, the agency’s budget for foreign operations increased by some 75 percent, which supported expansions into Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, and West Africa. But an examination of the D.E.A.’s narco-terrorism cases reveals that most unraveled as they proceeded through court. The cases relied heavily on sting operations, and the only evidence of any links between terrorists and traffickers was concocted by the D.E.A., which used highly-paid informants to lure targets into staged narco-terrorism conspiracies. The first piece tells the story of three small-time smugglers from Mali who were arrested in West Africa, transported to New York and accused as narco-terrorists with links to Al-Qaeda. It explains how the D.E.A.’s narco-terrorism campaign began in the arrest-first-ask-questions-later period that followed 9/11. And it details the negligible contributions that the effort, whose total cost remains unknown, has made to keeping the country safe from either terrorists or drug traffickers. Nearly three years after the Malian’s arrest, a judge found that the men were not linked to Al-Qaeda, and that they had been motivated to participate in the D.E.A.’s fake conspiracy by an informant’s offer to pay them millions of dollars. The second piece uses an interactive comic – ProPublica’s first – to bring a sharper focus to the patterns in the DEA’s cases. It uses five different narco-terrorism operations in five different parts of the world. The interactivity of the comic allows readers to see how the agency’s stings use essentially the same script in order to make disparate targets fit the designated crime. https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/narco
  • Fatal shooting exposes nepotism in the California Senate

    The California Capitol was rocked last year by criminal charges against three state senators accused in unrelated cases of bribery, perjury and conspiracy to traffic weapons. These were high-profile cases that garnered widespread media attention and public hand-wringing by politicians. What wasn't being covered by anyone else was the stories you will read here, about an ethical crisis simmering in the administrative side of the state Senate -- problems that had been largely ignored by the politicians elected to run the house. This entry includes 11 news stories I wrote over six months, a mix of enterprise investigations and breaking news. Rosenhall coverage led to significant changes in the administration of the California Senate.
  • Revenge Beatdown

    These stories document perjury, assault, false arrest and cover-up by a reckless cadre of SWAT officers. The first news story on the conspiracy and revenge beating ran in January, 2014. In February, Alabama Media Group reported in detail on the unsolved execution linked to the beating. This was followed by several incremental stories throughout the year. The reporting culminated in a seven-part series in December, telling the story of the revenge beatdown and the conspiracy from the point of view of two honest police officers who attempted to investigate their own.
  • WTAE: Where is Pittsburgh's Mayor?

    After Pittsburgh's mayor came under scrutiny during a federal criminal grand jury probe into his administration, WTAE-TV investigative reporter Bofta Yimam requested Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's work calendar for a one-year period. The federal investigation led to the mayor's hand-picked police chief to plead guilty to conspiracy and fraud. Through the official calendar, we hoped to learn more about the mayor’s comings and goings during the period federal investigators are examining. The city, however, denied our request. Our series of ongoing reports showed the difficulty in accessing a public official's calendar in Pennsylvania and highlighted the need for transparency. Through the state's Right to Know law, we filed an appeal and won a decision with the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records. Instead of turning over the records, however, the city Law Department filed a lawsuit against Yimam in the Court of Common Pleas. Now, taxpayers will pay for a court case to keep a calendar private, for a mayor who is under federal investigation and who chose not to run for re-election.
  • Death Takes A Policy

    In a look at how the insurance industry has transformed from its traditional bread and butter of selling life insurance to selling complex financial products, ProPublica's Jake Bernstein and This American Life's Alex Blumberg explore how one man used variable annuities to make a fortune at the expense of other people dying. The story is told through the lens of Joseph Caramadre - a Rhode Island lawyer who is adept at exploiting fine print. Caramadre would offer $2,000 to $10,000 dollars to people who were close to death in exchange for their personal information so that he could buy an annuity on their life and then pocket any profit when that person died. Some involved with Caramadre's plot viewed him as a modern-day Robin Hood, offering sorely-needed financial support during their last days, while others cast him as a criminal taking advantage of people in a vulnerable state. While the ethics of his scheme are debatable, insurance companies and the government don't think there's much to dispute as criminal charges were brought against Caramadre for engaging in identity theft, conspiracy, and two different kinds of fraud for preying on the sick and deceiving the terminally ill to make millions for himself and his clients.
  • Congressional Campaign Marred by Scandal

    When federal authorities charged the finance director for Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan's congressional campaign with trying to hide campaign contributions, the Courant sought to uncover details of the probe and provide its readers stories that explained the significance of the arrest, peeling back the layers of a conspiracy that reached the highest levels of state government.