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Archive for April 3rd, 2009

History: The J. Edgar Hoover Files: Part 6 in a Series

N.Y. Times Editorial Congratulates A.G. Eric Holder For Dismissing Sen. Stevens Case

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

For eight years the Bush Justice Department cynically put politics and ideology above the law. So it is gratifying to see how Attorney General Eric Holder is handling the case against Ted Stevens, the former Alaska senator who was convicted last year on seven felony counts of ethics violations.

Mr. Holder announced this week that he would ask a judge to drop all charges against Mr. Stevens, a Republican, because of prosecutorial misconduct. Mr. Holder should ensure that the Justice Department gets to the bottom of what went wrong and subject other cases that have raised red flags to similar scrutiny.

Mr. Stevens was convicted of making false statements on Senate disclosure forms to hide an estimated $250,000 in home renovations and gifts, many from Bill Allen, an old friend with close ties to his state’s oil industry. The Justice Department says that prosecutors failed to turn over to the defense notes from an interview with Mr. Allen, a prime witness in the case, which conflicted with parts of his trial testimony.

Prosecutors are legally required to turn over evidence in their possession that would help a defendant prove his innocence. This revelation is only the latest in a series of instances in which Mr. Stevens’s prosecutors appear to have acted wrongly.

To Read the Rest

Read Allan Lengel’s Commentary on the Ted Stevens Case (ticklethewire.com)

Three Baltimore Cops Charged in Beating of Shackled Juvenile: Police Baton and Pool Stick Allegedly Used

baltitmore-police-badge1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — A Baltimore cop and two retired ones were charged with federal civil rights violations and obstruction of justice in connection with the 2004 beating of a shackled juvenile with a police baton and a pool stick.

In a six-count indictment unsealed Friday, the Justice Department charged that officer Gregory Mussmacher assaulted the juvenile with a police-issued baton,  and retired officer officer Guy Gerstel used a pool stick.

The Justice Department alleged that Gerstel made a false statement to the FBI about the case,  and retired Sgt. Wayne Thompson wrote a false statement and persuaded other officers from filling out the required paper work on the incident.

“Most law enforcement officers perform their duties with honor and integrity,” Baltimore U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a prepared statement.

“Any police officers who abuse suspects, write false reports and obstruct justice must be held accountable so that citizens can have confidence in law enforcement agencies.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Mexico Takes Down No. 2 Leader of Drug Cartel

mexicoEvery big arrest like this is a big victory. But as we know,over the years, there has always been plenty cut-throat, smaller time dealers waiting in the wings, ready to fill the void.

By Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times
EL PASO, Tex — The arrest of Vicente Carrillo Leyva, considered the No. 2 leader of the Juárez drug cartel, is a breakthrough in the Mexican government’s crackdown on drug lords, officials said Thursday.

The 32-year-old suspect, nicknamed the “Engineer,” is the son of Amado Carrillo Fuentes and a nephew of Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, who assumed control of the cartel after Amado reportedly died in 1997.

Carrillo Leyva’s capture came a week after Mexican officials placed him on their list of Mexico’s most-wanted drug dealers and offered a $2.1 million reward for him.

“He is prominent in the Juárez cartel that’s involved in all this violence in Mexico,” said El Pasoan Phil Jordan, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration official, who had investigated the Carrillo Fuentes organization.

For Full Story

TV Reporter Tracks Down Indicted Ex-Gov Rod Blagojevich in Florida

Suspected Nazi Death Camp Guard John Demjanjuk to be Deported to Germany By Monday

This has been an amazing and amazingly long battle.

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

By John Caniglia
Cleveland Plain Dealer
SEVEN HILLS, Ohio – The U.S. government’s 32-year fight to deport John Demjanjuk appears nearly over, even as his family claims he is too feeble to travel.

Demjanjuk is expected to arrive in Germany on Monday to face charges that he helped kill 29,000 people at a Nazi death camp in 1943, his attorney in Munich, Guenther Maull, said in a phone interview Thursday. A doctor and a nurse will accompany him on the flight.

Ulrich Sante, a spokesman at the German Embassy in Washington, said U.S. authorities informed his office that Demjanjuk will be placed on a plane Sunday.

U.S. immigration officials refused to comment.
Demjanjuk, who turns 89 on Friday, is expected to meet with prosecutors about the charges when he arrives, Maull said. He will be held in a hospital or a jail until he goes to trial, a period that could take six months. The trial could take just as long, depending on Demjanjuk’s health, Maull said.

For Full Story

Retired Secret Service Agent John Keirans Dies at Age 57

John Peter Keirans, a retired U.S. Secret Service agent, died March 31, 2009, according to the New York Times. He was 57.

Keirans was in the Secret Service for 20 years.

FBI Arrests El Paso Judge on Charges of Taking Bribes in Money and Sex

Judge ?/news channel 9-el paso

Judge Manuel Barraza/news channel 9-el paso

This is really where the system breaks down. When a judge is accused of wrongdoing, things are really broken. 

By Ramon Bracamontes
El Paso Times
EL PASO, Tex. — EL PASO — The state suspended District Court Judge Manuel Barraza on Thursday afternoon, just hours after FBI agents arrested him on suspicion of taking money and sexual favors as bribes.

“This is embarrassing,” Barraza said of his arrest. “What concerns me the most right now is that I’ve embarrassed my family.”

A federal grand jury indicted Barraza, 53, on three charges of wire fraud and deprivation of honest services. He faces an additional charge of making a false statement to the FBI, whose agents arrested him at his house Thursday morning.

In an interview outside the federal courthouse, where he posted $10,000 bond, Barraza spoke of the U.S. Constitution in relation to his case.

“The great thing about this is that we have a right to presumed innocence,” he said.

For Full Story