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Archive for November 15th, 2010

Dennis Baker to Head FBI’s St. Louis Office

Dennis Baker/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Native Oklahoman Dennis L. Baker, special assistant to the FBI deputy director, has been picked to head the St. Louis office.

Baker started his FBI career as a special agent in June 1988 and was first stationed in Charlotte where he worked violent crime and drugs.

In 2002, he was promoted as a supervisory special agent in the Counterterrorism Division, International Terrorism Operations Section at FBI headquarters.

Two years later, he transferred to the Phoenix Division as a field supervisor where he supervised an international terrorism squad that included members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

In 2007, he returned to headquarters as a team leader in the Inspection Division. And the next year, he was promoted as assistant special agent in charge (ASAC) of the Sacramento Division.

Ted Stevens Prosecutors Won’t Face Criminal Prosecution, NPR Reports

Sen. Ted Stevens/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Senator Ted Stevens is dead and so is one of the prosecutors in the prosecution of  the Stevens case, who committed suicide.

On Monday, the latest twist in a perplexing case surfaced when NPR’s Carrie Johnson  reported that the prosecutors in the bungled 2008 prosecution of the Alaskan senator will not face criminal contempt charges. NPR cited “two sources familiar with the case.”

The case had been a major embarrassment to the Justice Department. After winning a conviction against Stevens just before his re-election bid, Attorney General Eric Holder agreed to have the conviction vacated based on allegations that the government failed to share evidence it should have turned over to the defense. Stevens lost his re-election bid.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who spent many a day scolding the prosecution during trial, had ordered a criminal contempt investigation into their conduct.

NPR reported that Washington attorney Henry F. Schuelke has been interviewing the lawyers and collecting evidence in the case, but is expected to recommend in a report that no government lawyers be referred for criminal prosecution.

NPR said Schuelke and the Justice Department declined to comment when reached Monday by NPR.

Stevens died in an August in an airplane. One of the prosecutors, Nicholas Marsh, 37, committed suicide in September.

Separately, NPR reported that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has conducted it’s own probe into the botched case, but won’t make misconduct findings against William Welch, who led the Justice Department’s Public Integrity unit at the time, or his deputy, Brenda Morris, who was on the prosecution team.

NPR reported that Welch and Morris are appealing a civil contempt finding by the judge.

Bad Few Days in Maryland Suburban County: County Exec and Wife Arrested; 3 Cops Indicted

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– As far as image goes, the past few days have not been good ones for Prince George’s County, a Maryland suburb of Washington.

On Friday, the FBI arrested the County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife, Leslie, a county council member, on charges of trying to destroy and hide bribe money from a developer.

And on Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that three Prince George’s County cops had been indicted — two allegedly for involvement in untaxed cigarettes and alcohol, and a third for alleged involvement in a drug and gun conspiracy.

“Police officers are given badges and guns to prevent crimes, but these police officers allegedly used them to commit crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “The indictment charges that they crossed a bright line from catching criminals to conspiring with criminals.”

Authorities indicated the cop bust and the Johnson investigation were linked, but did not elaborate.

FBI Offers $20,000 to Solve Mysterious Shootings at Military-Related Buildings in Va.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI upped the ante on Monday in the hunt for the person shooting shooting at military-related buildings in Northern Virginia and announced a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction in the case.

“We are following every lead that comes in and continue to call for the assistance of the public in helping us identify the person or persons responsible,” said John G. Perren, acting head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “We are confident that someone out there has additional information that will be helpful to this investigation.”

Since mid-October, the person has shot five times at buildings overnight or in the early morning hours. No one has been injured. Authorities believe the person may have a gripe against the Marine Corps.

The buildings include: the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the Pentagon, a U.S. Marine Corps recruiting facility and a U.S. Coast Guard recruiting facility. Ballistic tests have linked the bullets to the same gun.

Anyone with information should contact the FBI’s Washington Field Office at 202-278-2000 or e-mail WashingtonField@ic.fbi.gov.

Passengers Irked About Airport Patdowns; TSA Chief John Pistole Discusses Issue

Hacker Who Illegally Accessed Sarah Palin’s Email Gets Prison Time

Sarah Palin/ official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

David C. Kernell, the son of a Tennessee state lawmaker, was sentence Friday to one year and one day in prison for hacking into Sarah Palin’s email during the 2008 presidential campaign, the Justice Department said.

Kernell, 23, was convicted in April after a week-long trial on one count of misdemeanor unauthorized access to obtain information from a computer and one count of obstruction of justice.

Authorities had charged that Kernell, who was a University of Tennessee student, illegally accessed Palin’s email account by resetting the account password.

Authorities said he accessed the email by answering a series of security questions that allowed him to reset the password and gain access.

Federal authorities said Kernell read the contents of the account and made screenshots of the e-mail directory, e-mail content, and other personal information.

He then posted posted screenshots of the e-mails and other personal information to a public website.

During sentencing, he said, according to the Associated Press:

“I am not going to make any kind of excuses. I’d like to apologize to the Palin family.”

He is the son of state Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis.