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Archive for November 24th, 2009

Cyber-Bully Mom Off the Hook in MySpace Suicide Case

myspace-images3By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It looks like cyber-bully mom Lori Drew has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

The Los Angeles U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed notice in court that it does not plan to pursue an appeal in her case. She was charged with computer fraud and Abuse Act after she created a fake MySpace account to harass a teenage girl who committed suicide, WIRED’s Threat Level website reported.

Drew was convicted in L.A. last November, but a federal judge acquitted her in July.

“We have a notice with the 9th Circuit that we are withdrawing our notice of appeal in the case,” a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles wrote in an e-mail to Threat Level.

The case raised all kinds of Constitutional questions. In the end, the law governing the Internet remains murky.

Prosecutors charged Drew under a federal hacking law, but U.S. District Judge George Wu ruled that the government’s interpretation was, in the end, unconstitutional and would have opened up the gates for more questionable prosecutions.

Background on the MySpace Case

Undercover ICE Agent’s Life Spared in Colombia When Traffickers Learn of his Identity

colombiaBY GERARDO REYES
Miami Herald

MIAMI — Luis Angel Ortiz was being driven to a party in Medellín when the car came to a halt and a man in the back seat put a gun to his head.

Time to pay up, Ortiz was told.

The threat came from the chief of a Medellín drug trafficking gang.

So began a 48-hour drama in Colombia that kept Ortiz — a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who had infiltrated the gang — teetering on the edge of death.

But Ortiz escaped execution when his captors discovered that he was an American antidrug agent.

According to Ortiz’s account to the FBI, his kidnappers panicked, apologized — and even surrendered a firearm while they asked him not to expose them, according to an FBI report obtained by El Nuevo Herald.

For Full Story

Chicago Area Businessman Pleads to Assaulting FBI Agent

illinioisBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A suburban Chicago business man, who was charged with assaulting an FBI agent, has decided to stop gambling on his fate.

John Esposito, a Franklin Park businessman, agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor after a jury failed to reach a verdict on Monday on felony charges, the Chicago Tribune reported.

His attorney James Streicker told the Tribune that the jury was split in half and his client decided to go for a sure thing rather than take a chance with a new trial.

Esposito got into a a scuffle with agent Brian Etchell, who had come to his business to investigate suspected fraud. The two ended up rolling on the ground during a confrontation.

Assist. U.S. Attorney Says More Charges to be Filed in Chandra Levy Case

chandra-levyBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — An Assistant U.S. Attorney told a judge on Monday that he planned to file more charges against the suspect in the murder of intern Chandra Levy, the Washington Post reported.

But the assistant U.S. Attorney Fernando Campoamor did not specify in D.C. Superior Court what the new charges would be against suspect Ingmar Guandique. A new arraignment on a superseding indictment was scheduled for Dec. 15, the Post reported.

As a result of the new charges, the January trial has been rescheduled for Oct. 4.

The Post said while the new charges were not disclosed, prosecutors have said Guandique had threatened to kill a potential witnesses, and that they had found at least one other person who may have been attacked by Guandique.

Guandique has been serving a 10-year sentence for attacking two female joggers in Washington’s Rock Creek Park not far from where Levy’s body was discovered in 2002, a year after she was reported missing.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Baltimore FBI Office Named After Slain FBI Agent Sam Hicks

Sam Hicks/fbi photo

Sam Hicks/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI’s Baltimore office is now officially named after FBI Agent Sam Hicks, who was killed last year while serving an arrest warrant in the Pittsburgh area.

The name change came during a ceremony held on Monday, which was attended by his wife and three-year-old son, according to media reports.

Hicks, 33, was a Baltimore police officer from 2002 up until 2007 when he joined the FBI and was assigned to the Pittsburgh office.

Christina Korbe is awaiting trial on the shooting of Hicks, who had come to her home to arrest her husband on a drug charge. She has claimed that she thought Hicks was an intruder.

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FBI Busts NY Man in Theft of Andy Warhol Piece

fbi photo

fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
For Sphere.com (A New AOL News Site)

In the pop art world, the provocative Andy Warhol made a big splash. On Monday, one of his classic works proved his 15 minutes are far from over.

Federal authorities announced Monday they had charged James S. Biear, 49, of Ossining, N.Y., with stealing a Warhol work — a silkscreen on a wooden crate mimicking a Heinz 57 case of ketchup — and selling it to an unwitting New York art collector for about $220,000.

Biear turned himself in to authorities Monday and faces one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud, authorities said. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison, although sentencing guidelines would recommend a much shorter term.

For Full Story

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