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Archive for July 1st, 2009

255 Years and Counting

mpdbadgeBy Rachel Leven
ticklethewire.com

Apparently a life sentence is not enough anymore. Bernie Madoff’s 150-year sentence earlier this week seemed unthinkable- that is until Arthur Sease IV’s came along.

The former Memphis Police Department officer was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Memphis to life in prison plus 255 years for robbing drug dealers and reselling their cocaine and marijuana between November 2003 and April 2006, according to authorities. He was found guilty in February 2009.

The trend of exorbitant sentences of late has caught the interest of more than just judges.

“The issue is not in the number of years, it’s in the message,” said Lawrence Kobilinsky, a professor and chairman of Criminology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “You’ve got the public trust…I think being a police officer is different.”

Sease’s 44 counts of civil rights, narcotics, robbery and firearms offenses led to one of the most extreme sentences for civil rights and other violations that did not involve any deaths.

“We will aggressively pursue and convict those officers and agents who violate the law and the public’s trust,” said U.S. Attorney Lawrence J. Laurenzi in a prepared statement. “We have entrusted law enforcement officers with our safety and protection and we demand that they perform their duties honestly and truthfully.”

Prosecutors said that even though Sease was fired in 2005, he directed others to continue with the robberies and drug deals through 2006, according to the Associated Press.

Five other individuals — three of them former Memphis police officers — have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced in this case, though none received sentences anywhere near as harsh as Sease’s.

Trial of Heavily Armed Tax-Evading N.H. Couple Begins

Remember these two? They may be in jail right now for their previous tax evasion convictions, but the government wants them there for much longer.new-hampshire

By The Associated Press
CONCORD, N.H. – A retired exterminator and his dentist wife held hands and talked in court Tuesday as a prosecutor called them dangerous anti-government radicals and their lawyers said it was reasonable for them to fear for their lives.

Ed and Elaine Brown face minimum 30-year prison sentences if convicted of federal weapons and conspiracy charges stemming from a nine-month standoff with law enforcement at their Plainfield home in 2007.

Prosecutors say the mountaintop concrete castle was protected by an arsenal of homemade bombs, booby traps and semiautomatic assault-type rifles intended to kill anyone trying to arrest them.

For Full Story

Attorney General Holder Appoints New Chief Immigration Judge

By Rachel Leven
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON— Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has tapped Arlington, Va., Immigration Judge Brian M. O’Leary to become the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR) Chief Immigration Judge.justicelogo

As the new chief Immigration judge, O’Leary will guide the immigration program’s direction and define priorities for judges in immigration courts nationwide.

Judge O’Leary served as an immigration judge from May 2007 to June 2009. He also served as a temporary member of the Board of Immigration Appeals from May 2006 to May 2007 and as a deputy chief immigration judge in the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge from March 2003 to May 2006.

His previous jobs have included postitions at the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) Headquarters Office of the General Counsel and U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Miami and Alexandria, Va.

ATF Agents in Texas Hunt For Guns One House at a Time to Cut off Mexican Cartels

atf photo

atf photo

Guns from America are flowing into Mexico and the ATF is trying to stop it– or at least slow down the flow. It’s an uphill battle.

By DANE SCHILLER
Houston Chronicle
HOUSTON — In front of a run-down shack in north Houston, federal agents step from a government sedan into 102-degree heat and face a critical question: How can the woman living here buy four high-end handguns in one day?

The house is worth $35,000. A screen dangles by a wall-unit air conditioner. Porch swing slats are smashed, the smattering of grass is flattened by cars and burned yellow by sun.

“I’ll do the talking on this one,” agent Tim Sloan, of South Carolina, told partner Brian Tumiel, of New York.

Success on the front lines of a government blitz on gunrunners supplying Mexican drug cartels with Houston weaponry hinges on logging heavy miles and knocking on countless doors. Dozens of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – sent here from around the country – are needed to follow what ATF acting director Kenneth Melson described as a “massive number of investigative leads.”

All told, Mexican officials in 2008 asked federal agents to trace the origins of more than 7,500 firearms recovered at crime scenes in Mexico. Most of them were traced back to Texas, California and Arizona.

For Full Story

Read Remarks by ATF  Acting Dir. Kenneth Melson About Southwest Border Violent Crime

Transportation Security Adm. Workers to Patrol Chicago Commuter Trains

chicago-commuter-trainYes, the same folks who tell you to take off your shoes, put your laptop in a separate bin, make sure you don’t have any coins in your pocket, are coming aboard the Chicago Metra trains.

Mark Brown
The Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — Remember how a Secret Service agent boarded a Metra train this past winter while wearing his gun, which freaked out a ticket agent, who alerted police, who called in a SWAT team, which freaked out the rest of the passengers as the heavily armed officers swooped down on the unsuspecting Secret Service guy?

Well, consider this a public service announcement in the interest of making sure our suburban rail commuters don’t get another scare like that.

Metra is alerting its riders that they will soon see federal Transportation Security Administration personnel patrolling their commuter trains.

The so-called VIPR teams — that’s short for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response and pronounced “viper” for those of you keen on law enforcement acronyms — will consist of federal air marshals, transportation security officers, TSA-certified canine teams, surface transportation security inspectors and local law enforcement.

For Full Story

Former and Current U.S. Attorney Deny Investigation of Ohio County Commissioner is Politically Motivated

New England Mobster Who Tried Bribing Undercover FBI Agent to Get 6 Years

boston

In mob circles, he was known as the “The Cheese Man”. In mob circles and in law enforcement circles, he was known as a big cheese; he was the underboss of the New England mob.

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe
BOSTON — Reputed New England Mafia underboss Carmen “The Cheese Man” DiNunzio has cut a plea deal with state and federal authorities that will send him to prison for six years for bribery, extortion, and illegal gambling, according to his lawyer.

The 51-year-old DiNunzio is expected to plead guilty this afternoon in US District Court in Boston to charges that he tried to bribe an undercover FBI agent posing as a corrupt highway inspector in fall 2006 in a bid to secure a $6 million contract to provide loam, a soil mix, to the Big Dig.

As part of a sweeping plea deal, he is scheduled to appear in Essex Superior Court in Salem next Wednesday and plead guilty to state charges of extorting bookmakers and running an illegal gambling business in 2001.

For Full Story

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