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Archive for December 2nd, 2010

Feds Probing Cases of Fed Judge Who Had Relation with Stripper and Drugs

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Now comes more fallout from the federal judge in Atlanta who pleaded guilty last month to buying drugs for a felon — a stripper — he was having an affair with after meeting her at the Goldrush Showbar.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillen Yates announced in Atlanta Thursday that her office is investigating whether any of the cases U.S. District Judge Jack Camp handled were influenced by the use of drugs or racial bias.

“From May of 2010 forward, there is evidence that Camp’s judicial decision making process may have been impacted by bias and/or impairment and it has been established that he was involved in criminal conduct during this period,” Yates said in a statement. “Therefore, we will not object to a defendant’s request for a resentencing in any case in which the defendant was sentenced during this time.”

Yates said a woman — she referred to only as “Witness 1” — alleged that Camp, 67, used drugs, expressed racial bias about court cases and used a racial epithet in private. Her office declined to confirm that Witness 1 was the stripper Camp had an affair with, though court documents show that the stripper cooperated with investigators, which resulted in Camp’s arrest in October, and his eventual downfall.

On Nov. 19, Camp, who was on senior status, pleaded guilty to aiding a felon in possessing illegal drugs, possessing illegal drugs and giving his government issued lap top to the stripper he was having an affair with. He has resigned as a federal judge, which is lifetime presidential appointment. Sentencing is set for March 4.

To read more click here.

Milwaukee FBI Agent Credited With Bringing Down King of Spam

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent from Milwaukee is credited with taking down the “king of spam”, the Associated Press is reporting. Authorities say he allegedly generated 10 billion unwanted emails a day.

The suspected spam king, Oleg Nikolaenko, 23, of Russia, was arrested last month during a visit to Las Vegas, AP reported. The FBI and the Federal Trade Commission had been tracking him since 2007.

AP reported that Nikolaenko is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee on Friday.

His attorney, Christopher Van Wagner, says he’s prepared to put up “a rigorous defense,” AP reported.

A 13-page affidavit was filed by FBI agent Brett E. Banner, assigned to the Cyber Crimes Squad in Milwaukee (read below).

Read FBI Affidavit

Ex-New Orleans Cop Gets 8 Years For Role in Danziger Bridge Shootings of Civilians

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former New Orleans cop Michael Hunter was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday for covering up and participating in the shootings on the infamous Danziger Bridge of unarmed citizens days after Katrina hit. Two civilians died and four were wounded.

In one of the more disgraceful chapters in the police department’s history, authorities said Hunter, 33, drove to the Danziger Bridge on Sept. 4, 2005, in a large Budget rental truck packed with officers responding to a radio call that said cops on the nearby I-10 bridge had come under fire.

The Justice Department said Hunter, who pleaded guilty in April, admitted that officers on the east side of the Danziger Bridge fired at civilians even though the civilians did not appear to have any weapons.

Hunter said one officer leaned over a concrete barrier, held out an assault rifle and, in a sweeping motion, fired repeatedly at the civilians, who were at that point lying wounded and apparently unarmed on the ground, according to the Justice Department press release.

Hunter also admitted firing his weapon repeatedly at civilians who were running away over the bridge. He admitted that he did not see the civilians carrying weapons and none appeared to pose a threat.

Hunter told authorities he was present when an officer shot and killed one of the citizens, Ronald Madison.

After the incident, Hunter admitted that he and other officers provided false statements about the incident.

Hunter, in a quivering voice, apologized to relatives in the courtroom, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Vance also offered condolences to the relatives of the victims and lambasted Hunter, the paper reported.

“It is hard to imagine a more profound breach of public trust than what happened here,” Vance told Hunter. She described the cover-up and coercion in the case as “appalling perversion” and shocking “savagery.”

Column: Feds Drop Tainted Star Witness In Politicized NJ Witch-Hunt

Andrew Kreig is Executive Director of the Justice Integrity Project. Kreig has two decades experience as an attorney and non-profit executive in Washington, DC and is an author and longtime investigative reporter.

Andrew Kreig

By Andrew Kreig

The Justice Department is dropping its disreputable star witness in the latest trial of the 46-defendant “Bid Rig III” corruption case that helped propel former New Jersey U.S. Attorney Chris Christie to his state’s governorship last year. Christie’s image as a crime-fighting, cost-conscious reformer worthy of 2012 Presidential consideration has taken big hits during the last month.

More generally, the case illustrates a bipartisan pattern by which DOJ officials waste vast sums to help their cronies and themselves, with scant meaningful oversight by leaders of either party or career officials who lend their names to whitewashed internal investigations.

The first image-blow to the DOJ was the Oct. 27 acquittal of a former Ridgefield mayor after the defense exposed mind-boggling ways that Christie’s team funded bank fraudster and brothel owner Solomon Dwek to inveigle local political candidates, rabbis and others into corruption schemes.

Then the DOJ’s Inspector General Glenn Fine exposed Christie, right, on Nov. 9 as the nation’s leading abuser among federal prosecutors of wasting taxpayer money on government-funded trips that exceed spending limits.

Christopher Christie/campaign photo

Bid Rig III federal prosecutors last week removed Dwek for unexplained reasons from the witness list for the trial of former state assemblyman Harvey Smith, 61.

Authorities this week will try to prove in Newark’s federal courthouse that Dwek bribed Smith with $15,000 during the defendant’s unsuccessful 2009 campaign to become mayor of Jersey City.

To read more click here.

Nine Busted in Largest PCP Seizure in DEA History

PCP/dea file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Nine people have been busted in what authorities in Houston say is DEA’s largest seizure of the narcotic PCP in its history.

Authorities said it had seized 57 gallons of the drug which goes by street names including angel dust and rocket fuel. A grand jury indicted the nine people last month, and the indictment was unsealed Wednesday.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the seizure of such a large quantity “could signal the emergence of a huge new market for the drug, which was popular in some areas in the 1970s but keeps a far lower profile than cocaine, marijuana or other illegal substances, authorities said.”

“That represents a lot of money and a lot of users,” Stan Furce, director of Houston’s High Intensity Drug Traffic Area, a coalition of federal and local law-enforcement agencies that stretches to the coastal counties, told the paper.

“They almost don’t feel any pain,” Furce said of PCP users. “They become super agitated, rebellious and super strong. I would not want to go one-on-one against a PCP user … wild-eyed, scary-looking dudes.”

Democratic Senator Threatens to Put Confirmation of DEA’s Michele Leonhart on Hold

Sen. Herb Kohl/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– The long winding road to confirmation as head of the DEA ain’t over yet for Michele Leonhart, who won the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. She has been acting head of the agency since 2007 and must still win approval of the full Senate.

Evan Perez of the Wall Street Journal reports that Democratic Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)is threatening to block her confirmation “amid a dispute over restrictions on how nursing homes dispense prescription drugs to patients.”

The Journal reports that the DEA has intensified its crackdown of nursing homes that dispense powerful prescription drugs by nurses and staff without doctor authorization.

The Journal reports that industry groups say nursing homes don’t have enough doctors present to prescribe drugs at every turn.

Sen. Kohl  said Wednesday he’ll put a hold on the nomination “until we have made more progress towards our goal of ensuring that nursing home residents get timely access to the prescription drug care they need,” the Journal reported.

“Every day nursing home patients continue to suffer from agonizing pain and we need an interim solution as soon as possible,” Kohl said, according to the Journal.

The DEA deferred to the White House for comment, the Journal reported, adding that the White House said it is looking into the matter.

President Nominates Christopher Thyer for U.S. Attorney in Ark.

Christopher Thyer

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Wednesday nominated Christopher R. Thyer, a former state lawmaker, for the U.S. Attorney post in the Eastern District of Arkansas.

According to a White House press release, Thyer has been a partner at Stanley & Thyer in Jonesboro, Ark., since 2007.

Before that, he was a partner at Halsey & Thyer, PLC from 2005 to 2007, and at Mooney Law Firm from 1997 to 2005.

From 1995 to 1997, he was a sole practitioner. He also served in the Arkansas House of Representatives as a State Representative for the 74th District from 2003 to 2009.

He attended the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1995.

Authorities Break Ground for New FBI Office in Portland

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal and local officials broke ground Wednesday for a new $60 million, four-story FBI field office in Portland, Ore., The Oregonian newspaper reported. It is third FBI field in the  nation under construction.

The new office is part of an effort by the FBI to update offices and make them more secure, the Oregonian reported. It said after Sept. 11, when the agency started adding more agents, the FBI found that 35 of its 56 field offices had insufficient security or no room to expand.

The Portland office is being built in the northeast sector of the city, near the Portland International Airport.

The Portland field office will consist of three buildings: a four-story office complex, a maintenance and repair annex and a 203- space parking structure, the Oregonian reported.

Office are also being built in Minneapolis and Cincinnati, the Oregonian reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Lee Harvey Oswald’s Coffin Goes on Auction (AP)
Delaware Jury Awards $30 Mil to Priest Abuse Victim (AOL News)
Snowman With Noose Appalls Idaho Neighbors (AP)
Court Rejects Appeal in Calif. Fatal Dog Mauling Case (AP)
Elizabeth Smart Storms From Courtroom During Psychiatrist’s Testimony (AP)
Phone Prankster Gets 5 Years in Prison (The Smoking Gun)
Justice Department Drops Probe of Sen. John Ensign (AP)
Pretrial Hearing Set in Blagojevich Case (AP)