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Archive for March 11th, 2009

Sen. Reid Recommends President Re-Appoint Fired U.S. Atty. Daniel Bogden in Nevada

Daniel Bogden/utlaw.edu photo

Daniel Bogden/ utlaw photo

Now when you talk about the Justice Department, here’s a little justice.  Daniel Bogden was one of the 9 U.S. Attorneys fired during the Bush regime. Now Sen. Reid wants to right a wrong and have him return. It’s a nice gesture to help patch up an ugly chapter in the Justice Department.

By Lisa Mascaro
Las Vegas Sun
WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has recommended that the White House reappoint the former U.S. Attorney in Nevada who had been among nine prosecutors fired by the Bush administration in an unusual purge more than two years ago.

Daniel Bogden had been a career prosecutor with the Department of Justice before being ousted in the unprecedented firings in 2006. He is being vetted now for his old job, Reid’s office said.

Reid, in an interview this afternoon, said he put Bogden’s name forward after consulting with federal judges and those familiar with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Nevada.

“I didn’t just do this on a whim,” Reid said in his office with Nevada press. “I just think it’s so unfair what happened to him.”

Bogden and the other attorneys were dismissed in 2006 leading to widespread investigations of politicization within the Justice department. President George W. Bush’s Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, stepped down in 2007.

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Dead Detroit FBI Agent’s Work Leads to Bust

Unfortunately FBI Agent Paul Sorce won’t be around to see this case through, but his work helped bring about the charges. The funeral for the father of four is set for Saturday.

BY ZLATI MEYER
Deroit Free Press
DETROIT — Four Detroit men have been charged as part of a $1.4-million cocaine bust in western Pennsylvania, a case the Detroit FBI agent who died after a car wreck Monday had been working on.

The Michigan men, along with four from Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland and Allegheny counties, helped distribute an estimated 20 kilograms of cocaine last year, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett said Tuesday. Three of the Detroiters are said to be members of a gang called the A-Team.

FBI Agent Paul Sorce, 44, killed in Harper Woods while on duty, was the Michigan point man for the investigation, Corbett’s spokeswoman Lauren Bozart said. It was unclear if the married father of four was working on the case when his Chevrolet Trailblazer rolled over about noon Monday.

Julio Olivo, 23; Andre Thomas, 23; Charles Edwards, 30; and David Bailey, 23, are charged with possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal conspiracy. Olivo, allegedly the A-team’s second-in-command, is also charged with criminal use of a communication facility.

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Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske to Be Named Drug Czar

New Drug Czar

New Drug Czar

Seattle Police chief Gil Kerlikowske appears to be a good choice for this job. One thing he’ll have to deal with immediately is the violent, out-of-control drug war in Mexico that is spilling over into the U.S. That should be one of his top priorities.

By Chris Cilliza
Washington Post
WASHINGTON — President Obama will name Gil Kerlikowske as the nation’s drug czar today, ending a long search that slowed as details of drug arrests involving Kerlikowske’s stepson came to light earlier this year.

The Obama administration will remove the job’s Cabinet designation — reversing an elevation of the office made during the presidency of George W. Bush — although one senior administration official insisted Kerlikowske would have “full access and a direct line to the president and the vice president.”

The source also noted that Vice President Biden was instrumental in the creation of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and would continue to be an outspoken advocate on the issue. (Further details on the nomination in a Post story by The Fix.)

Kerlikowske, who is currently the chief of police in Seattle, Washington, has long been speculated to be the frontrunner to serve as the drug czar. But, revelations concerning the arrests of his stepson, Jeffrey, on drug-related charges complicated the process and led some to draw unfavorable comparisons to the film “Traffic” in which the daughter of the man entrusted with overseeing the nation’s drug policy spirals into dependency.

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The New Face of the FBI: The Intelligence Analysts

DEA Informant Admits Taping Defense Attorney Chats

This trial in the sunny state of Florida isn’t looking so sunny.  In fact, it’s getting darn right messy. A DEA informant admitted  tape recording the defense attorney. The U.S. Attorney admits it failed to follow policy, but is opposed to a mistrial or dismissal of the case. The defense says the recordings may have helped the prosecution figure out its trial strategy. A federal judge has yet to rule on the matter. It should be an interesting decision. Stay tuned.

BY JAY WEAVER
The Miami Herald
MIAMI — The federal trial of a Miami Beach doctor accused of illegally prescribing painkillers morphed Tuesday into a courtroom clash between his lawyer and prosecutors.

The attorney for Dr. Ali Shaygan accused two government witnesses of tape-recording him and his private investigator — at the direction of the prosecution — and then keeping it all secret during their testimony last month.

‘These people there said, `Tape-record the defense,’ ” defense attorney David O. Markus declared, pointing to prosecutors Sean Cronin and Andrea Hoffman.

The government witness, Trinity Clendening, agreed, admitting he recorded Markus on his home phone two times in December.
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Terrorist Watch List Hits 1 Million: Entries Up 32% Since ’07

The list keeps growing despite the FBI’s latest efforts to clean it up and remove people who shouldn’t be on there. Sadly, there are still probably plenty folks who shouldn’t be on there including children. It’s part of the constant balance between keeping us safe and going too far.

By Peter Eisler
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – The government’s terrorist watch list has hit 1 million entries, up 32% since 2007.

Federal data show the rise comes despite the removal of 33,000 entries last year by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center in an effort to purge the list of outdated information and remove people cleared in investigations.

It’s unclear how many individuals those 33,000 records represent – the center often uses multiple entries, or “identities,” for a person to reflect variances in name spellings or other identifying information. The remaining million entries represent about 400,000 individuals, according to the center.

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They’re Back: N.Y. FBI is Digging Again for Victims of Mob Hits

Mobster William Cutolo/cbs photo

Mobster William Cutolo/cbs photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Yes, they’re back.

The FBI began digging once again on Tuesday in East Farmingdale, N.Y., at a site where they hope to find the bodies of two men who were victims of mob hits, Newsday reported.

The Long Island paper reported that agents were using a backhoe and front loader to “cut a wide trench alongside a 150-yard-long stretch of railroad tracks in an industrial section of East Farmingdale.”

“We expect to find victims” of the mob, Newsday quoted Dennis Bolles, head of organized crime squads for the FBI in New York.

The digging is expected to resume Wednesday.

Last October, FBI agents digging in East Farmingdale found the body of mobster William “Wild Bill” Cutolo.

This latest round of digging came shortly after two leaders of the Colombo organized crime family were convicted in the slaying of Cutolo.