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Archive for May 28th, 2009

D.C. U.S. Atty. Jeff Taylor Stepping Down

Jeff Taylor/doj photo

Jeff Taylor/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — D.C. U.S. Attorney Jeff  Taylor, who held one of the higher profile U.S. Attorney posts in the nation, is stepping down this Friday.

Taylor, 44, who held the post since 2006, oversaw some of the biggest FBI investigations including the deadly anthrax probe.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton had made it clear that she planned to recommend a replacement, and Taylor knew he had no chance of staying on under the Obama regime.

His interim replacement is likely to be named by Friday. Melissa Schwartz, a Justice Department spokesperson, said late Thursday afternoon that no one had been named yet.

In a prepared statement, Taylor said:”Serving the residents of the District of Columbia has been the most rewarding experience of my life.”

Taylor will lead the fraud investigation practice at the auditing firm Ernst & Young, according to a company press release.

Before taking the post, from 2002 to 2006, Taylor served as counselor to Attorney Generals John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales. Prior to that, he was an assistant U.S. Attorney in California and served as counsel to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

Initially, Taylor took the U.S. Attorney post on an interim basis and federal judges extended his tenure.

Some candidates for the permanent U.S. Attorney job include the office spokesman Channing Phillips, Ron Machen, Roy Austin Jr. , Anjali Chaturvedi and Shanlon Wu.

So far, President Obama has only nominated six U.S. Attorneys around the nation.

FBI Releases on Website New Files and Photos on Infamous Bank Robbers Bonnie and Clyde

Clyde Barrow/fbi photo

Clyde Barrow/fbi photo

WASHINGTON —  The legend of Bonnie and Clyde lives on 75 years after the infamous couple was gunned down in Louisiana in a law enforcement ambush.

The FBI said it is releasing about 1,000 pages  of new material including photos  from the investigative files of the Dallas FBI office that was recently uncovered while preparing  for an exhibit in Dallas.

Allan Lengel

To See Files And More Photos  Click Here

Baltimore U.S. Atty. Loses Top Staff to Main Justice

U.S. Atty. Rod Rosenstein/gov photo

U.S. Atty. Rod Rosenstein

A game of musical chairs has left the Baltimore U.S. Attorneys office with a void or “brain drain”. Such moves may help main Justice, but may not be so good for the Baltimore U.S. Attorney’s office. Then again, it’s not clear if Rosenstein will get to stick around himself as Pres. Obama begins replacing some Bush appointees.

By Henri Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Write
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Maryland’s U.S. attorney, Rod J. Rosenstein, has lost three of his top prosecutors to high-profile jobs at Justice Department headquarters in Washington.

Jason M. Weinstein, who was the chief of violent crimes for the federal prosecutor’s Baltimore office, started this week as a deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division at what’s often called Main Justice.

Mythili Raman, who was the U.S. attorney’s appellate chief, has been serving as acting chief of staff in the criminal division at Main Justice since summer and is expected to be kept in the job by the new criminal chief, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer.

James M. Trusty, who was deputy chief of the U.S. attorney’s Greenbelt office and who oversaw the Maryland federal prosecution of the MS-13 gang, became deputy chief of the national gang unit at Main Justice in March.

Breuer said in a statement that the new leaders from Maryland are a testament to the Justice Department’s ability to recognize talent and Rosenstein’s ability to develop it.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Five Defendants in Dallas Get Serious Prison Time For Support of Hamas

fox news photo

fox news photo

All around the country, Islamic groups have been trying to convince federal law enforcement that organizations like Hamas are Freedom Fighters, not terrorist organizations. They also say the money they donate goes for food and education, not terrorism. Regardless, the State Department has put Hamas on the terrorist list and the result in this case has been some serious prison time.

By JASON TRAHAN
The Dallas Morning News
DALLAS — The five defendants in the Holy Land Foundation case were defiant Wednesday while being sentenced for their roles in funneling money to overseas terrorists, expressing disbelief that American law could criminalize the feeding of needy Palestinian people.

Three maintained their steadfast innocence.

The judge in the largest terrorism financing case in U.S. history disagreed, handing down sentences to two that will likely mean they’ll spend the rest of their lives behind bars for financing the terrorist group Hamas. The others were given sentences ranging from 15 to 20 years.

“Your function in life was raising money to support Hamas,” U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis told one of them in words that were repeated in some fashion as each defendant learned his fate.

“You stated it was to help people, but the motive was to support Hamas,” the judge said. “You state that you are innocent, but the evidence shows the opposite.

For Full Story

New Orleans Fed Jury Sentences Bank Robber to Death for Killing Sheriff’s Deputy

When a law enforcement person is killed a jury’s indignation always seems to be greater. In this case the indignation translated into a death penalty.

new-orleans1

By Paul Rioux
New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — A jury sentenced John Wayne Johnson to death Wednesday for killing an Orleans Parish sheriff’s deputy during a botched Algiers bank robbery in 2004, just the second death penalty imposed in New Orleans federal court since capital punishment was restored for federal crimes in 1988.

The jury deliberated three hours before reaching its unanimous decision. That same jury had found Johnson guilty on May 19 of killing Lt. Sidney Zaffuto in a Jan. 8, 2004 gun battle inside the former Iberia Bank on Gen. DeGaulle Drive, where Zaffuto was working an off-duty detail.

In making their case for the death penalty, prosecutors had presented testimony from one of Johnson’s accomplices in the bank robbery that Johnson, 56, had committed a murder in 1974 in Jefferson Parish, which had gone unsolved. That accomplice, Herbert Smith, 63, said in a videotaped deposition, that Johnson had admitted to him that he killed Joe Gennaro, the owner of Ruiz’s Restaurant during a robbery on May 3, 1974.

For Full Story