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Archive for November 12th, 2010

Weekend Series on History of Crime: The Death of Deep Throat

FBI Brings in Plumber After Busting Prominent D.C. Area County Executive and Wife

Jack Johnson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI on Friday brought in a plumber to try and keep some evidence from going down the toilet.

According to the Washington Post and an FBI affidavit,  the  FBI summoned the  plumber after agents arrested Prince George’s  County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie Friday on charges of trying to destroy bribe money from a developer.

Both Johnson and his wife were heard on a wiretapped phone talking about flushing a check from a developer down the toilet as FBI agents waited outside the house, according to an FBI affidavit. Johnsons’ wife is a  County Council member in Prince George’s County, a suburb of Washington.

The plumber, Steve Wilson of Gene’s Plumbing in Harwood, Md.  told the Post: “I’m checking the toilet to make sure there is nothing in them.”  He said so far he hadn’t found anything.

Agents arrest Jack Johnson/nbcwashington.com

The arrest came as a shock even though Johnson’s questionable relationship with developers had surfaced publicly in the past.  Johnson, who was the state’s attorney for Prince George’s County before becoming the county executive, had been a well respected political figure in the Washington area.

An FBI affidavit by agent Wendy Munoz of the Baltimore field Division stated that Johnson took a $100,000 check from a developer in exchange for helping get government housing funds for a development.  And on November 5, the FBI recorded Johnson taking $5,000 in cash from the developer, according to the affidavit. A week later, the same developer gave Johnson $15,000 in cash.

Read more »

FBI’s Janet Kamerman Gets a Bump Up at Headquarters

Janet Kamerman/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Janet L. Kamerman gets a bump up at FBI headquarters from associate executive assistant director of the Human Resources Branch to executive assistant director of the Human Resources Branch.

“Janet brings a tremendous amount of expertise in human resources and leadership to this position,” FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said in a statement issued Friday. “She will continue to move the Bureau’s programs forward in the areas of human resources, training, and security to achieve our mission.”

Kamerman entered the FBI as a special agent with the FBI in July 1989 and was first assigned to the Houston Division where she worked a variety of crimes including organized crime, drug and international terrorism.

Read more »

FBI Asked to Prepare Profile in Oklahoma Murders of 2 Girls


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has been asked to prepare a profile of the killer or killers of two girls who were found shot to death in 2008 near a dirt road outside of  Weleetka in eastern Oklahoma,  The Oklahoman reported.

The paper reported that the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which made the request, forwarded files to to the FBI behavioral analysis unit involving June 8, 2008, deaths of Taylor Paschal-Placker, 13, and Skyla Jade Whitaker, 11.

“We just hope something comes from this,” Vicky Placker, Taylor’s grandmother, told the paper.

To read more click here.

The Feds Case Against Woman Who Trafficked 14-Year-Old Girl For Sex in St. Louis

Houston Prostitute Runs Car into FBI Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A prostitute trying to escape arrest ran her car into a Houston FBI agent, striking the agent in the left thigh, causing bruises and back pain, according to an FBI affidavit filed in U.S. District Court this week.

The incident took place on Nov. 7 in southwest Houston. The agent was part of the Houston Innocence Lost Task Force that was participating in a nationwide crackdown on pimps and teen prostitutes, according to an affidavit by FBI agent Sherri Rice.

At about 1:10 a.m., task force officer David Nieto met up with a prostitute Shaquita M. Taylor-Felder and followed her to the Budget Garden Suites.  After a “prostitution case” was made in the parking lot, the officer signaled FBI agents to move in for the arrest, the affidavit said.

One agent, Patrick Fransen parked his car behind the prostitute’s car, the affidavit said.  Then agent Chad Nunez and officer Nieto approached the car on foot. Agent Sherri Rice approached the area but stayed in the car.

Agent Fransen, who was wearing a jacket with the words “Police” on the front walked up to the driver’s side of the prostitute’s car and knocked on the window. The prostitute rolled the window down about three inches and Fransen identified himself and said she was under arrest, the affidavit said.

The woman then rolled up the window, put her car in reverse and rammed into Fransen’s car. She then went forward and backward, and repeatedly rammed the car, the affidavit said.

Fansen and officer Nieto tried unsuccessfully to break the window on the driver’s side. At some point, the prostitute’s car struck Fransen in the left thigh, causing injuries.

The prostitute, Taylor-Felder was eventually able to drive off at a high rate of speed. Agent Rice followed her. The prostitute was able to lose the agent.

About 4 hours later, the Taylor-Felder’s car was located and towed.

The following day, task force members went to the place Taylor-Felder bought the car. She happened to be on the phone with the salesman. She told the salesman that she parked the car at her house and it was now missing, the affidavit said.  She said she had filled out a police report.

Authorities then gathered enough info to get an arrest warrant on charges of assaulting and resisting a law enforcement agent. Court records show no court date has been set.

Read FBI affidavit

Ex-LA U.S. Atty. Writes Check After Getting Busted for Ripping Off Taxpayers: He’s 1 of 5 U.S. Attys Cited in IG Report

Thomas O'Brien/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Former Los Angeles U.S. Atty. Thomas P. O’Brien says he wrote a check this week reimbursing the government in instances where he stayed in hotel rooms that cost more than the government-approved rate, the Los Angeles Times reported.

O’Brien was one of five U.S. Attorneys cited in a Justice Department Inspector General report released Monday who went beyond the government approved rate on different occasions. The report, which covered the years 2007 to 2009, did not identify the U.S. Attorney’s by name.

But two others names identified in media reports included former New Jersey U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who is now governor of New Jersey,  and former Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan.

Mary Beth Buchanan

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which identified Buchanan, reported that the violators weren’t required to reimburse taxpayers because rules at the time allowed U.S. Attorney’s to approve their own travel.

The report found that some of O’Brien’s claims for reimbursement were “inappropriate and egregious violations” of the travel policies, the Times reported. It said the total overage amounted to $903.

The Times reported that O’Brien, now in private practice, denied any misconduct, but takes “full responsibility” for any oversights.

The Times reported that O’Brien said all his travel was approved by Washington and that he was not asked to repay for the overages,, he did so on Tuesday, one day after the report was released.

The Pittsburg Post-Gazette wrote that Buchanan had overages of $4,221.

The Post-Gazette reported that in June Buchanan said she had always followed department rules if she had gone over the government rate.

Gov. Chris Christie/state photo

Chris Christie

“I can assure you the process was followed each and every time,” she said, according to the paper.

As for Christie, the report, which identified him only as “U.S. Attorney C”, said :  “These 14 vouchers exceeded the government rate by $19 to $242 per night, for a total of $2,176 (excluding taxes for domestic travel). U.S. Attorney C’s lodging costs exceeded the government rate by more than $100 per night on 9 of the 14 vouchers.”

He has publicly declined to comment on the report.

The report said Christie — considered a rising star in the Republican party – stayed at the Nine Zero Hotel in Boston for $449 per night and the $475-per-night Four Seasons Hotel in Washington at a cost of more than double the government rate for those cities.

The website Main Justice was the first to identify Christie as a violator.

Read report.

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