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Archive for May 7th, 2010

Weekend Series on Crime: History of the NY and Chicago Mob

FBI Agent Keith Byers Talks About Fighting Border Corruption

Highly Unusual: Pretrial Services Files Affidavit Correcting Fed Prosecutor

detroit1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a highly unusual move, the chief of Pretrial Services in Detroit filed an affidavit with the 6th Court of Appeals correcting claims by the federal prosecutor in the Hutaree Christian militia case, the Detroit Free Press reported.

At the center of the dispute is  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet, who is trying to block a judge from freeing the militia members pending trial.  Waterstreet in court papers has claimed that the electronic GPS monitoring was  “wholly inadequate to effectively supervise the defendants” who are accused of plotting to kill cops. He wants them to remain behind bars.

But chief  of Pretrial Services Alan Murray  wrote : “This affidavit is being submitted to correct the record, and any misunderstanding (Assistant U.S. Attorney) Mr. (Ronald) Waterstreet had about our conversation,” the  Detroit News reported.

“Contrary to Mr. Waterstreet’s belief, the court-ordered ‘home detention’ does not allow unmonitored release the entire day,” Murray said in the affidavit. “The Global Positioning Satellites System allows a defendant to be monitored, at all times.”

Read more »

Obama Expected to Name Solicitor Gen. Elena Kagan to Supreme Court, Politico Reports

Elena Kagan

Elena Kagan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama is expected to name Justice Department Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, reporter Mike Allen of Politico is reporting.

“The pick isn’t official, but top White House aides will be shocked if it’s otherwise,” Allen wrote.”Kagan’s relative youth (50) is a huge asset for the lifetime post. And President Obama considers her to be a persuasive, fearless advocate who would serve as an intellectual counterweight to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia, and could lure swing Justice Kennedy into some coalitions.”

UPDATE: A White House official tried to knock down the report, calling it “pure speculation” and saying no final decision has been made, according to The BLT: The Blog of LegalTimes.

Kagan, the former Harvard Law School dean, has been Solicitor General since March 2009.  She served in the Clinton White House, first as Associate Counsel to the President and then as Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Read NY Times Story on What She Might Be Up Against During Confirmation

Ex-Tulsa ATF Agent Pleads Guilty to Drug Dealing: Also Admits Making Up Drug Deal That Sent 2 to Prison

tulsaBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ex-ATF agent from Tulsa, Ok., pleaded guilty Thursday to drug trafficking. He also admitted conspiring to fabricate a drug buy in 2007 that wrongfully sent a father and daughter to federal prison.

Ex-ATF agent Brandon J. McFadden, 34, who left the agency last year, pleaded guilty to distributing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, authorities said. He had joined ATF in 2002 after working as a cop in Lubbock, Tex.

He also admitted that he and  Tulsa cop Jeff  Henderson  made up a non-existent drug buy in 2007 that sent Larry Barnes and his daughter to prison. The two were released from prison last summer as a result of an ongoing federal  public corruption investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

McFadden faces a prison sentence of not less than five years and not more than 40 and a fine of up to $2 million. Sentencing is set for July 28.

“Officer Henderson and I stole drugs and money, delivered drugs, falsified reports, gave false testimony and used informant Ryan Logsdon to sell drugs,” McFadden told U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank McCarthy in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, according to the Tulsa World newspaper.

Henderson has been suspended from the department, but has not been charged, the paper said.  He has denied wrongdoing.

Read Plea Bargain

Saudi Man Gets 4 Years and 3 Months for Selling Counterfeit Computer Parts to U.S. Marines

logo_ciscoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Saudi citizen residing in Texas was hit with a prison sentence of 4 years and 3 months in Houston on Thursday for selling counterfeit computer parts to the military in Iraq that “could have put our men and woman in uniform at risk”, said U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno.

Authorities said parts sold by the Saudi citizen Ehab Ali Ashoor, 49, were intended to be used by the U.S. Marine Corps for a computer network that transmitted troop movements, relayed intelligence and maintained the security at Al Taaddum, a Marine base just west of Fallujah in Iraq.

Read more »

Appeals Court to Decide Whether Mich. Militia Members Go Free

Hutaree members/southern poverty law center photo

Hutaree members/southern poverty law center photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Court of Appeals could rule as early as Friday whether to overturn or uphold a Detroit federal judge’s order to release nine members of the Hutaree Christian militia on bond pending trial. They are charged with plotting to kill cops to foment revolt against the government.

The Detroit News reported that the court on Thursday temporarily put on hold the release of the the militia members pending a ruling on the matter just as they were about to go free. The government wants the  militia members to remain locked up, saying they pose a danger to the community.

U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts, who ordered them released,  says she doesn’t buy that they’re a danger to the community, and has raised questions about the strength of the case.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Nine Years Later, a Book on the FBI and D.C. Police Probe into Slain Intern Chandra Levy

Back in 2001, when I was a reporter for the Washington Post, I started working on a story about a missing intern named Chandra Levy. For a while, I worked day and night, and even went to California for three weeks to work on the story. Then came Sept. 11, 2001, and the story vanished, only to resurface in May 2002 when her skeletal remains were found in Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington. Now 9 years later, former colleagues Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz, who have doggedly pursued the story, have written a book on the case called “Finding Chandra: A True Washington Mystery”. Here’s part of the story, an adaptation of the book. Allan Lengel

chandra book

By Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz
Washington Post Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — The three D.C. detectives traveled 3,000 miles with a carefully crafted plan.

At a sand-colored, maximum-security federal prison on the edge of the Mojave Desert, they prepared to interview the man they suspected of raping and murdering Washington intern Chandra Ann Levy. It was Sept. 9, 2008.

For seven years, Ingmar Guandique, a Salvadoran immigrant with a penchant for violence toward women, had eluded the police and FBI as a viable suspect in the city’s most famous unsolved murder. The original detectives failed to connect him to the crime that captured the attention of the nation during the summer of 2001 with its subplots of sex and scandal and the possibility that a member of Congress might have been involved.

Now it was up to the new detectives. They put their plan into play. They took a sample of Guandique’s DNA and, bluffing, told him they expected it would match DNA collected during the murder investigation.

“So what if I touched her?” Guandique said.

To read more click here.