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Archive for November 30th, 2008

Rep. Jefferson Heads into Election With FBI Case Hanging Over His Head and No Trial Date in Sight

Rep. William Jefferson/official photo

Rep. William Jefferson/official photo

For the second time in a row, Rep. William Jefferson heads into the general election with public corruption allegations hanging over his head. Luckily for him, there’s no trial date in sight and he seems to have a loyal voter base. There’s a good possibility he could emerge victorious again.  Before long, we’ll know for sure.

By Bruce Alpert
The New Orleans Times-Picayune
WASHINGTON– More than 39 months after FBI agents raided his home and found $90,000 stuffed in his freezer, Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, still is without a firm date for a corruption trial that could derail his political career even if voters give him a 10th term in Congress Dec. 6.
His trial, which had been slated to begin last February and then was rescheduled for Dec. 2, four days before his general election, is now likely to be put off until early 2009, at the earliest. The delays were brought about by the slow pace of the legal system and the thorny legal issues generated by a case with so many judicial firsts and legal precedents that it likely will be studied by legal scholars for decades.
Jefferson, who easily beat former TV anchor Helena Moreno to win the Democratic primary on Nov. 4, rates as a heavy favorite over his four challengers, including Republican political neophyte Anh “Joseph” Cao, in the Dec. 6 general election.
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Trial Begins Monday in Bank Robbery That Resulted in Death of an FBI Agent

Robbing banks can be deadly business. An FBI agent was killed during one of those robberies last year in New Jersey — unfortunately by a fellow agent. The trial begins Monday.

By David Porter
Associated Press
NEWARK, N.J. – Three men authorities say formed a bank robbery ring in central New Jersey _ including one who allegedly told investigators he became “addicted” to robbing banks _ are scheduled to go on trial Monday for a string of robberies that culminated in the shooting death of an FBI agent last year.
Wilfredo Berrios, Efrain Lynn and Francisco Herrera-Genao, all in their 20s and from New Brunswick, face a litany of armed robbery and weapons counts that could carry maximum combined sentences of more than 100 years. A fourth suspect, Michael Cruz, pleaded guilty in January and is expected to testify for the government.
None of the men is charged with causing the death of FBI agent Barry Lee Bush, who was shot and killed by another agent who mistook him for a suspect during the confusion outside the PNC Bank in Readington, Hunterdon County, on April 5, 2007.
However, U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson can take Bush’s death into account at sentencing if the men are convicted.
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Read Indictment