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Archive for October 2nd, 2008

Prosecution Angers Judge In Stevens Trial

Sen. Stevens/official photo
Sen. Stevens/official photo

The trial of Sen. Ted Stevens  almost imploded today for the prosecution. Suffice to say, things could be going better. As a general rule, it’s never good to get the judge angry. The prosecution needs to work on that.

By Erika Bolstad and Richard Mauer
Anchorage Daily News
WASHINGTON – Prosecutors have seriously bungled evidence and witnesses, but Sen. Ted Stevens’ corruption trial will proceed as planned, a federal judge ruled this afternoon.
The case against the Alaska Republican had threatened to collapse earlier in the day when his attorney demanded a mistrial or dismissal of charges over the government’s failure to turn over evidence favorable to the senator.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan was angered at prosecutors for their handling of evidence that might help Stevens’ case but was “not persuaded” the violations were serious enough to declare a mistrial. The trial will resume Monday.
Judge Sullivan asked whether the defense attorneys wanted a few extra days before continuing with the trial and suggested they could make a new opening statement to jurors.
“Thank you for asking, but we believe there should be a dismissal,” said Stevens’ chief lawyer, Brendan Sullivan. “If not a dismissal, then a mistrial.”
For Full Story
New Defense Motion For Mistrial (Oct. 2)
FBI And IRS Documents (Oct. 2)
Government Motion Opposing Mistrial (Oct. 2)
FBI Report (Oct. 2)

Feds Digging In N.Y. For Mobsters

The FBI is digging for bodies linked to the mob wars in the 1990s. In 2006,  agents in Michigan dug up rural land outside of Detroit looking for James Hoffa, but came up empty handed.

BY Robert E. Kessler and Sophia Chang
Newsday
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -Federal agents were digging at two sites and investigating a third site in East Farmingdale that sources said could be burial grounds containing the bodies of at least three victims of the bloody wars in the 1990s for control of the Colombo organized crime family.
At one site, a cluster of FBI agents stood near the railroad tracks behind an Executive Boulevard parking lot as a small backhoe dug into the dirt, before a police officer told reporters to get off private property.
Less than a mile away a large bulldozer began digging away in a vacant lot at the corner of Carolyn Boulevard and Boening Plaza.
For Full Story
Also Read:
Bonanno Crime Family Leader Anthony Spero Dies In Prison (Newsday)

S.C. County Councilman Busted For Computer Crime

Down in South Carolina, a popular County Councilman finds himself facing criminal charges for accessing a government computer and planting a monitoring device.

Tony Trout/county photo

Tony Trout/county photo

By David Dykes and Tim Smith
Greenville News Staff Writers
GREENVILLE, S.C. — The FBI on Wednesday arrested Greenville County Councilman Tony Trout on charges that he accessed without authorization a computer belonging to County Administrator Joe Kernell, according to U.S. Attorney Walt Wilkins and court records.
Trout said he was arrested by a swarm of FBI agents during a meeting with his attorney at a local fast-food restaurant. He called the FBI “imbeciles.”
He was released on $25,000 bond after a hearing before U.S. Magistrate William M. Catoe at the federal courthouse in Greenville.

For Full Story

Read FBI Affidavit

FBI Blocks Agents From Airing Criticisms About CIA

Two FBI agents won’t be appearing on a tv documentary to vent criticisms about the CIA. The FBI won’t let them.

By Jeff Stein
Spy Talk

The FBI has blocked two of its veteran counterterrorism agents from going public with accusations that the CIA deliberately withheld crucial intelligence before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
FBI Special Agents Mark Rossini and Douglas Miller have asked for permission to appear in an upcoming public television documentary, scheduled to air in January, on pre-9/11 rivalries between the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.
The program is a spin-off from The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, by acclaimed investigative reporter James Bamford, due out in a matter of days.
For Full Story