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Archive for March 15th, 2010

Calif. FBI Agent Charged With Illegal Access to Bureau Computer

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who investigated white collar crime in Orange County, Calif., pleaded not guilty Monday to using the FBI computer to obtain information he was not authorized to access, the Associated Press reported.

Peter H. Norell Jr., who resigned after criminal charges were filed on March 9, appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge  in Santa Ana, the AP reported.

A criminal information gave very little information about the allegations, but said the crime took place between Aug. 23, 2005 and Sept. 5, 2005. In most circumstances, the filing of a criminal information indicates that a plea agreement is in the making.

Norrell’s attorney Thomas McConville declined to comment on the case, according to AP.

Read Criminal Information

Man Who Secretly Videotaped ESPN’s Erin Andrews Gets 30 Months

Erin Andrews/ espn photo

Erin Andrews/ espn photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Where Michael David Barrett is headed, he may not want to know what’s on the other side of a peep hole. He’s off to prison.

The Chicago-area man was sentenced Monday afternoon in Los Angeles federal court to 2 1/2 years in prison for taking nude videos of ESPN television personality Erin Andrews through hotel peep holes and posting them on the Internet after a celebrity website TMZ.com rejected his offer to buy them.

U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real also ordered Barrett, 49, of Westmont, Ill., to pay $7,366 in restitution to Andrews.

Read more »

FBI Says U.S. Consulate Victims in Mexico Border Town “Targeted”

mexico-border-signBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — Three people with ties to the U.S. consulate murdered in the violent Mexican town of Ciudad Juarez on Saturday were not victims of a drive-by shooting as first reported, the FBI said today.

“They were certainly targeted,” said special agent Andrea Simmons, an FBI spokeswoman for the El Paso office, which borders the Mexican town told AOL News. “They weren’t randomly picked. But at this point there’s no indication that the victims were targeted due to their employment with the consulate.”

Simmons’ remarks came hours after the Chihuahua State Attorney General announced that the Aztecas street gang and the drug organization La Linea may have had a hand in the shootings, according to the El Paso Times.

La Linea is part of the ever-powerful Juarez Drug Cartel. The Aztecas gang is also aligned with that cartel and has been known to act as deadly enforcers and peddle street drugs, authorities said.

For Full story click here.

DEA Agent Joe DuBois Breaks Silence About Standoff With Mexican Drug Dealers in 1999

The story stems from a 1999 incident down in Mexico. If anything has changed in the past 11 years it’s that things haven’t gotten much worse.

Mexico border map

By Dan Schiller
Houston Chronicle

They were outnumbered and outgunned behind enemy lines, but the two U.S. federal agents cornered in a Mexican border city decided to die on their own terms.

No surrender.

The choice facing Drug Enforcement Administration agent Joe DuBois and FBI agent Daniel Fuentes was simple: Hold their ground to be riddled with machine-gun fire, or be captured by drug-cartel henchmen who would diabolically interrogate them using pliers, blowtorches or worse.

“I knew what they’d do to me,” recalled DuBois. “I’d seen many pictures of the bodies they leave behind.

“Dan and I decided, if we are going to die, we are going to die here.”

In an exclusive interview with the Houston Chronicle, DuBois publicly discussed for the first time the now-infamous 1999 standoff that put one of the most powerful cartel leaders in history on America’s most-wanted list.

To read full story click here.

Guns Used in Pentagon and Las Vegas Court Shootings Came From Memphis Police and Court System

gun rugerBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Simply put: This is something you don’t want to hear: The Associated Press reports that the guns used in the recent Pentagon shooting on March 4 and the Las Vegas U.S. District Courthouse  on Jan. 4 came from the Memphis police and court system.

The AP reported that both guns had originally been seized in criminal cases in the Memphis area and ended being sold by law enforcement to gun dealers before winding up in the hands of the shooters, who were legally forbidden from possessing them. One had a felony conviction and the other suffered from psychiatric problems.

The AP quoted John Timoney, who led the Philadelphia and Miami police departments and served as New York’s No. 2 police official, as saying he doesn’t believe police departments should put guns back on the market.

“I just think it’s unseemly for police departments to be selling guns that later turn up,” he told AP.

To Read complete story click here.

Loyalty to Mom in New Orleans School Board Corruption Doesn’t Pay

new-orleans-map-istock
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Loyalty to mom doesn’t always pay off.

Stacy Simms, 49, the daughter of  the former  crooked ex-Orleans Parish School Board President Ellenese Brooks-Simms in New Orleans, was sentenced late last week two years probation for opening a bank account for mom to put her bribe money in, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Her mom got 18 months in prison.

The bank account was opened so her mother Ellenese Brooks-Simms, could deposit bribe money from Mose Jefferson, the brother of convicted ex-Congressman William Jefferson, authorities said. The mother received about $140,000 in kickbacks for a school contract for a algebra software program.

Authorities said Brooks-Simms conspired “with Mose Jefferson to approve the purchase of an educational software program for the Orleans Parish School System.”

Mose Jefferson received over $913,000 of Orleans Parish School Board money as sales commissions for selling the software program to the school system. He has already been sentenced to 10 years in the case.

Calif. Man Under Investigation for Threatening Lives of DEA Agents and Families Arrested

CALIFornia mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A northern California man who was under investigation for allegedly threatening the lives of DEA agents and their families via the Internet, was arrested late last week after park rangers saw him wave a gun at a national monument near the Oregon border, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that rangers arrested Micha Godfrey, 37, after he waved a gun at the Lava Beds National Monument. He was wearing a bullet proof vest. He was charged with a felon in a possession of a firearm and ammunition.

He was being held in the Sacramento County jail pending a March 26 prelimary hearing.

AP reported that the DEA issued a statement saying the man had made threats against DEA agents and their families in emails to a pro-medical marijuana website.

Authorities searched his home on Friday and found four firearms, a second bulletproof vest and marijuana plants, AP reported. Godfrey has convictions for burglary and obstructing or resisting an executive officer.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Detroit Free Press Editorial Calls For Elimination of Disparity in Crack Cocaine Sentences

file photo/dea

file photo/dea

The Detroit Free Press
Editorial Page

DETROIT — Members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously this week to narrow the unconscionable sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine. The notorious 100-1 ratio has no basis in science, while hitting poor people and African Americans especially hard. Along with other mandatory drug sentencing policies enacted in the mid-1980s, it helped triple the nation’s prison population.

Unfortunately, the watered-down Senate bill only narrows the disparities to roughly 20-1. Legislators need to strengthen this bill before sending it to the president. If disparities are baseless and socially egregious, why not just eliminate them?

Crack, usually purchased in rock form and smoked, is more frequently used by black and poor people. Powder cocaine is more often used by whites. Most states, including Michigan, rightly treat crack and powder cocaine the same. They are essentially the same drug in different forms; federal law should treat them accordingly. Under a policy Congress enacted in 1986, a drug offender caught with only 5 grams of crack cocaine gets a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. It takes 500 grams of powder cocaine to get the same stretch.

To read more click here.