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Archive for January 6th, 2010

Stern Gets Very Stern: Suspends NBA Star Gilbert Arenas Indefinitely as U.S. Atty. Continues Probe

David Stern being very stern/nba photo
David Stern being very stern/nba photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — NBA star Gilbert Arenas of the  Washington Wizards, the subject of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the D.C. police, was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday by the league’s Commissioner David Stern.

“Although it is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse, his ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game,” Stern said in a statement. “Accordingly, I am suspending Mr. Arenas indefinitely, without pay, effective immediately pending the completion of the investigation by the NBA.”

The ongoing criminal investigation has centered around Arenas storing four of his guns at the Verizon Center in the Chinatown section of Northwest Washington. He has said he wanted to get them out of his house and away from his children.

“The possession of firearms by an NBA player in an NBA arena is a matter of the utmost concern to us,” Stern said. “I initially thought it prudent to refrain from taking immediate action because of the pendency of a criminal investigation involving the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department, and the consideration of this matter by a grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia. For the same reason, I directed the Wizards to refrain from taking any action.

“Wizards personnel continue to be interviewed by law enforcement authorities, some are scheduled for appearance before the grand jury and the investigation is proceeding with the intensity that one would expect for such a serious incident,” he said.

Missouri State Lawmaker Chucks Career for $2,100 Bribe

Talibdin El-Amin/state photo

Talibdin El-Amin/state photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

St. Louis’ top FBI agent Roland J. Corvington put it most succinctly after Wednesday’s federal sentencing of Missouri state lawmaker Talibdin El-Amin.

“Mr. El-Amin threw away his political career for $2100.”

The state House representative from the 57th Missouri District was sentenced in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to 18 months in prison for taking $2,100 in bribes.

According to court documents, and statements made in court, authorities said El-Amin, 38, solicited a cash bribe from a local businessman in exchange for promises to intervene with St. Louis city officials about the businessman’s gas station.

“We hope this serves as a clear message that public servants are elected to serve the people, not themselves,” the FBI’s Corvington said in a prepared statement. .”

Suspected Underwear Bomber Indicted in Detroit on 6 Counts

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The suspected Nigerian bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was indicted Wednesday in Detroit on six counts relating to his alleged attempt to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.

“The charges that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab faces could imprison him for life,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “This investigation is fast-paced, global and ongoing, and it has already yielded valuable intelligence that we will follow wherever it leads. Anyone we find responsible for this alleged attack will be brought to justice using every tool—military or judicial—available to our government.”

The Justice Department, in a press release, laid out the criminal counts in the indictment as follows:

*Count one of the indictment charges Abdulmutallab with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, which carries a penalty of up to life in prison.

*Count two of the indictment charges him with attempted murder within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Read more »

Houston U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson Resigning to Join Private Firm

Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson

By Allan Lengel

ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Houston U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson announced his resignation Wednesday, effective Feb. 13.

Johnson will join a private law firm in the Houston area, according to a press release issued by his office.

Johnson has served as U.S. Attorney since November 2008. He replaced U.S. attorney Don DeGabrielle.

Ill. Sheriff Busted by the Feds For Selling Pot Now Faces Murder-for-Hire Charge

gallitan county sheriff mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Down in southern Illinois, Sheriff Raymond Martin enjoyed the respect of the people of Gallatin County — that is until the feds busted him last May on charges of selling marijuana while in uniform.

Now things have only gotten worse. Martin, who has been sheriff since 1990, was charged with plotting to kill someone while behind bars, the Associated Press is reporting. His wife and 20-year-old son were also charged.

“Is it greed? Ignorance? I don’t know,” County Chairman Randy Drone told the Associated Press Tuesday before Martin’s first court appearance with his wife and 20-year-old son.

“Arrogance – maybe that’s it. Thinking he’s so above the law he could actually get away with this.

“But getting rearrested while still in jail? That’s something.”

Drone has urged the sheriff to resign.

For Full Story

U.S. Atty Office Presents Grand Jury Evidence in NBA Star Gilbert Arenas’ Gun Case

handgun-photo
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It’s seldom a good thing when an NBA basketball star continuously grabs more headlines off the court than on.

The Washington Wizard’s star Gilbert Arenas has fallen into that category.

The Washington Post reports that the U.S. Attorneys Office here on Tuesday began presenting evidence to a D.C. Superior Court grand jury on Arenas’ gun case.

Arenas had stored four guns in his locker at the Verizon Center downtown. The Post reported that carrying a handgun without a license is a felony punishable up to five years in prison.

To read the full story click here.

University Study Plays Down Radicalization of the American Muslim

terrorismBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Not everyone is sounding the sirens about the radicalization of American Muslims.

A new study released by Duke University and the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill says the threat has been overstated, the Associated Press reported.

The study identified 139 American Muslims accused of terrorist plots or violence since Sept. 11, 2001, and said while the number is significant, it’s still a far cry from terror cases in other countries and too soon to tell if it’s a trend.

“The study credits self-policing in American Muslim communities for limiting radicalization,” the AP reported.

To read more click here.

Mobster in Tony Soprano Terrority Pleads Guilty

sopranos 2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Just in case you needed a reminder, Yes, the New Jersey mob isn’t just committing crimes on the Sopranos.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Andrew Merola, 42, the reputed leader of a North Jersey faction of the Gambino crime family, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Newark to heading up an organization involved in gambling, loan-sharking, scams, and labor racketeering.

The paper reports that Merola, 42, is a close friend and “alleged criminal associate of South Jersey mob leader Nicky Scarfo Jr.”

The paper reported that the case, which involved  multiple targets, resulted in 39,000 wiretapped conversations.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

No Rape Charges Against ex-OK Gov Mansion Workers (AP)