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Archive for August 11th, 2009

Oklahoma U.S. Atty. John Richter Stepping Down

U.S. Atty. John Richter

U.S. Atty. John Richter/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Attorney John Richter of Oklahoma announced Tuesday that he’s stepping down Aug. 21, the Associated Press reported.

The Associated Press reported that Richter announced his resignation during an interview and said he plans to be a practitioner in residence and visiting professor at the University of Oklahoma Law School.

Richter served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma since 2005.

Fed Prosecutors Turn Over Trial Evidence in Case Where 2 Convicted Alaskan Lawmakers Were Released From Prison

It’s important for the Justice Department to clear this all up. A policy of transparency and honesty can only make the system stronger.

Ex-lawmaker Pete Kott
Ex-lawmaker Pete Kott

By The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Federal prosecutors said they have complied with a court order handing over trial evidence to two former Alaska lawmakers convicted on corruption charges.

Former Reps. Pete Kott and Vic Kohring have been released from federal prison while the court reviews whether prosecutorial misconduct played a role in their trials and convictions.

The convictions came into question because the same team of prosecutors handled the case against former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, whose conviction was thrown out because evidence was withheld.

For Full Story

FBI Agent James Robertson Named Special Agent in Charge of Buffalo Office

James Robertson/fbi photo
James Robertson/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — James H. Robertson, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, has been named special agent in charge of the FBI Buffalo Division, the agency announced Tuesday.

Robertson, who was chief of the International Terrorism Operations Section II, FBI Counterterrorism Division, replaces Laurie J. Bennett. She is now deputy assistant director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at FBI Headquarters.

Robertson became an agent in 1989 in the Chicago office, where he served on the joint FBI-Chicago Police Organized Crime Task Force, the FBI said. He was also a primary sniper for the SWAT team.

Nine years later, he was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Inspection Division at FBI Headquarters. In 2000, he was assigned as the supervisory senior agent in the Detroit division, overseeing offices in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph in the western part of the state.
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He then became an assistant special agent in charge in the Cincinnati Division’s National Security Branch, the FBI said.

From October 2005 to April 2006, he commanded FBI operations in Iraq. He was promoted to section chief at headquarters in 2007.

Read FBI Press Release

Documents Reveal Campaign to Oust New Mexico U.S. Atty. David Iglesias

David Iglesias
David Iglesias

It comes as no surprise that there was more politics involved than originally thought.

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The dismissal of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias in December 2006 followed extensive communication among lawyers and political aides in the White House who hashed over complaints about his work on public corruption cases against Democrats, according to newly released e-mails and transcripts of closed-door House testimony by former Bush counsel Harriet Miers and political chief Karl Rove.

A campaign to oust Iglesias intensified after state party officials and GOP members of the congressional delegation apparently concluded he was not pursuing the cases against Democrats in a way that would help then- Rep. Heather Wilson in a tight reelection race, according to interviews and Bush White House e-mails released Tuesday by congressional investigators. The documents place the genesis of Iglesias’s dismissal earlier than previously known.

The disclosures mark the end of a 2 1/2 year investigation by the House Judiciary Committee, which sued to gain access to Bush White House documents in a dispute that struck at the heart of a president’s executive power. House members have reserved the right to hold a public hearing at which Rove, Miers, and other aides could appear this fall.

For Full Story

Court Denies NY Times Access to Wiretap Document for Prostitution Ring Patronized by Eliot Spitzer

Let’s forget the legal arguments here. For entertainment sake, how can the court deprive the public the pleasure of seeing these sizzling documents?

Ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer

Ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer

By ANNIE YOUDERIAN
Courthouse News Service

The New York Times has not shown “good cause” to unseal wiretap applications in the investigation of a prostitution ring once patronized by former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, the 2nd Circuit ruled Friday.

A three-judge panel in Manhattan overturned U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff’s order granting the Times access to sealed wiretap applications and orders in the Emperors Club investigation
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The 2nd Circuit also held that the newspaper does not have a First Amendment right to view the requested documents.

For Full Story

Border Protection Agency Unveils Prototype for New Vessel For High-Speed Chases

It only makes sense to have a equipment that’s at least equal to what the bad guys have.

boat2

By ELLIOT SPAGAT
Associated Press Writer
SAN DIEGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday unveiled a prototype vessel for high-speed pursuits of smugglers ferrying people and drugs from Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.

The 43-foot boat is faster, more stable and carries about twice as much fuel as CBP’s current vessels, which were rolled out from 2001 to 2005.

The $875,000 prototype comes with infrared cameras and sensors that give detailed images as far as the horizon goes. Currently, agents often use goggles, which detect things only as far as the naked eye.

For Full Story

U.S. Soldier Among Three Charged in Texas With Killing Drug Cartel Member Who Was a Gov Informant

Here’s a new twist in the violent drug war. A U.S. soldier is involved in this killing. Then again, nothing should come as a shock at this point. Border patrol agents are on the take. Mexican police are getting wiped out.

us-army-logo

By Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times
EL PASO, Tex. – A U.S. Army soldier is one of three men facing murder charges in the killing of a Juárez cartel member who was a government informant.

The soldier was in a camouflage uniform as he and two other men were escorted by homicide detectives and uniformed officers out of El Paso Police Headquarters shortly before 1 a.m. today to be booked into the El Paso County Jail.

The handcuffed men walked out quietly. One of them shook his head no when asked if he had anything to say. Another tried to hide his face from a video camera.

For Full Story

MORE STORIES OF INTEREST

Texas Lawyers Want Case Dismissed Because of FBI Leaks

This should be an interesting case. The judge is taking this serious and has scheduled a hearing on the matter. But is it enough to dismiss criminal charges?

houston-map

By MARY FLOOD
Houston Chronicle
HOUSTON — Lawyers for two developers accused of bribing a city official are seeking to have their entire criminal case tossed out by alleging government agents leaked information to a television news reporter.

Andrew Schatte and Michael Surface were indicted in January 2008 on charges of conspiracy and fraud accusing them of trading gifts for city contracts.

But their lawyers want the case dismissed, alleging a FBI agent leaked information to KTRK Channel 13 reporter Wayne Dolcefino about a separate ongoing investigation involving the men and Harris County.

“The process becomes very questionable if the judge finds there was a leak,” said Chip Lewis, lawyer for Surface. Lewis suggested the leak was meant to create negative pretrial publicity to harm his client.

For Full Story