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Archive for April 8th, 2010

Grandma Led 3-Generation Drug Ring

OxyContin/dea photo

OxyContin/dea photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Nancy Bell is not your typical grandma. Just ask the feds and the sheriff’s department in Lee County, Va.

Authorities say the 64-year-old Tennessee grandmother, who suffers from heart ailments, and her daughter Iris Gibson, 45, and granddaughter Misty Parker, 23, illegally trafficked in OxyContin. The powerful narcotic painkiller sometimes is referred to as “hillbilly heroin.”

Earlier this week, Bell pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Va., to multiple counts of distributing OxyContin and maintaining a place for distribution of controlled substances. Her daughter and granddaughter had already pleaded guilty.

All are awaiting sentencing on June 8 before U.S. District Judge James P. Jones. All potentially face serious prison time.

To read more click here.

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3rd New Orleans Cop Pleads Guilty in Post-Katrina Shooting Case

new orleans police badge
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The ugliness of the post-Katrina police shootings in New Orleans that left two unarmed citizens dead and four wounded in 2005 on the infamous Danziger Bridge continued to unravel in U.S. District Court.

New Orleans cop Michael Hunter,33, became the third cop –and the first to actually witness the shootings — to plead guilty. Two other cops have pleaded guilty to covering it up during an investigation.

He plead guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to obstruct justice and misprision of a felony, or failing to report a crime, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Hunter in his guilty plea said that a New Orleans police sergeant fired an assault rifle at wounded civilians at close range even after other officers stopped firing and there was no indication the officers were in danger.

The paper reported that Hunter also admitted that another officer fired a shotgun at a fleeing man’s back even though the man, who was mentally disabled, posed no danger. He died.

Hunter, according to the Times Picayune, acknowledged as part of the guilty plea partaking in a cover up with colleagues.

“I don’t think you can listen to that account without being sickened by the raw brutality of the shooting and the craven lawlessness of the cover-up,” said U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance after the facts in the guilty plea were read aloud in court by Bobbi Bernstein, deputy chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the Picayune reported.

To read more click here.

Read Factual Basis

Chicago U.S. Atty Office Wants Ex-Gov. Blago’s State Atty to Testify

Chicago
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago wants a federal judge to compel the testimony of an attorney who served as Rod Blagojevich’s general counsel while he was governor of Illinois.

At issue is the attorney-client privilege involving the attorney William J. Quinlan. Blagojevich and his brother Robert face trial on public corruption charges.

In a court filing Wednesday, the government argued that Blagojevich had waived any client-attorney privilege when he allowed government employees involved in the case to listen to secretly recorded conversations involving Quinlan and Blagojevich in the fall of 2008. The government also wants Quinlan to disclose any relevant documents.

Up until that point, tapes that might have been subject to attorney-client claims had been held at arms length from prosecutors and reviewed by a “filter team” from the U.S. Attorney’s Office that had not been involved in the case, according to the court filing.

The government also argued that case law showed that a tax-paid state attorney should not be able to claim attorney-client privilege in a criminal case.

Read Govt. Motion

Former Secret Service Agent Alfred Wong Who Supervised Installation of Taping System in Nixon White House Dies at Age 91

Secret-Service-Badge
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Alfred Wong, a former Secret Service official who reportedly oversaw the installation of the taping system at the Nixon White House, and whose job at one point was to prevent the White House from being bugged, died last week of mesothelioma, a form of cancer, the Washington Post reported. He was 91.

Wong, of Potomac, Md., spent 24 years in the Secret Service before retiring in 1975 as deputy assistant director in charge of White House security, the Post reported.

Wong told USA Today in 1994, because his job was to prevent bugs from being installed in the White House, he was reluctant to install the tape recording system ordered by Nixon, the Post reported.

“My first response was that we shouldn’t do it, but then it was that we have to do it,” Wong told USA Today. “They wanted it done surreptitiously.”

Of course, the rest is history. The tapes ended up harming Nixon.

After leaving Secret Service, Wong was Marshal of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1976 to 1994, where he served as general, paymaster and chief security officer, the Post reported.

Qatar Diplomat Scares the You Know What Out of Everyone Aboard DC-to-Denver Flight: No Joke

united
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — First lesson: if you’re going try your hand at humor on a plane — better it be funny, than scary.

The Associated Press reported that something went wrong on United Flight 663 from Washington-to-Denver Wednesday night when a diplomat from Qatar, who has lived in the U.S. for years, tried to sneak a smoke in the bathroom.

The AP reported that an official said the man “made a joke about it” after being confronted, which only alarmed people more on the Boeing 757 with 157 passengers and six crew members.  AP did not specify what the joke may have been, but there were some reports implying it could have related to lighting a shoe.

Authorities said no explosives were found and it appeared the man was not trying to harm anyone, AP reported.

Nonetheless, an air marshal, who apparently didn’t get the humor, restrained the man. No joke. ABC identified him as Mohammed al Modadi.

And there was another not-so funny moment. AP reported that fighter jets were scrambled, but the plane landed safely in Denver. Law enforcement was interviewing the man.

Maybe as a real joke, the State Department can expell the man from the U.S.

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