Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

March 2011
S M T W T F S
« Feb   Apr »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for March 3rd, 2011

Ex-CIA Official Gets 5 Years-Plus in Prison for Sexual Assault in Algeria on Embassy Property

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-CIA official Andrew Warren, who pleaded guilty last year to drugging and sexually assaulting an Algerian woman in 2008 on embassy property in Algiers, and using cocaine while possessing a firearm in Virginia, was sentenced Thursday to five years and five months in prison.

Warren’s sentencing in U.S. District Court in Washington capped an embarrassing international scandal for the CIA.

Last June, Warren, now 43, admitted that on Feb. 17, 2008, he had sexually assaulted the woman on the U.S. Embassy property in Algiers, the capital of Algeria.

The government alleged in court documents that Warren had made a drink for the woman, who “consumed part of the drink and suddenly became very ill.” She passed into “semi-consciousness,” at which point he took off the woman’s clothes and “engaged in a sexual act with her,” according to court documents.

After the incident, Warren told authorities he’d had sex with the woman but said that it was consensual, the government alleged.

The CIA recalled Warren — who was first stationed in Algiers in 2007 — to the United States in October 2008. He was fired in 2009.

A second woman had also made similar allegations about Warren, but his  plea last year only applied to the February 2008 incident, according to court records.

U.S. District Ellen S. Huvelle on Thursday ordered that Warren be placed on 10 years of supervised release after his prison term and register as a sex offender.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Has Proof Ex-FBI Agent Who Went Missing in Iran in 2007 is Still Alive, AP Reports

Robert Levinson

UPDATE: Sec. of State Hillary Clinton issued this statement on Thursday:”As we approach the fourth anniversary of Bob Levinson’s disappearance, we have received recent indications that Bob is being held somewhere in southwest Asia. As the Government of Iran has previously offered its assistance in this matter, we respectfully request the Iranian government to undertake humanitarian efforts to safely return and reunite Bob with his family. We would appreciate the Iranian government’s efforts in this matter.”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — U.S. officials have proof that missing ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished while visiting an island off  Iran in March 2007, is still alive, the Associated Press reported.

A U.S. official told ticklethewire.com that Levinson is not in Iran, but declined to divulge more details.

AP reported that the proof has “intensified secret negotiations to bring him home.” AP did not disclose more details and the FBI did not immediately return a call for comment.

Iran repeatedly said it had no information on his whereabouts even though U.S. officials suspected he had been abducted by the Iranian government.

Last month, Iran’s elite military force, the Revolutionary Guards, denied a report generated by WikiLeaks documents that suggested it was holding, or had held, Levinson.

“We deny the arrest of the FBI agent and if the Guards had arrested an enemy, it would announce itself,” the head of the Guards, commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, told reporters, according to ILNA news agency.

A WikiLeaks cable suggested that missing ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing in 2007 while working as a private investigator in the Persian Gulf, was being held — at least at one point — in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s prison, according to a report in the The Telegraph in London.

One prevailing thought all along was that the 63 year old, who wasn’t in the best of health — high blood pressure and diabetes — might have died.

Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman said: “It remains an ongoing investigation and our goal remains to bring him home safely.”

NY FBI Cuts Agents Probing Mafia Weeks After Big Bust


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mob reporter Jerry Capeci of the website Gang Land News writes in a story posted Thursday:

“Did the Justice Department just orchestrate a bait-and-switch scam on a gullible, eager-to-believe citizenry? Six weeks after the feds loudly proclaimed that they are still pursuing mobsters with a vengeance, the FBI has quietly cut the number of New York squads that investigate the notorious Five Families.”

Capeci, a former N.Y. Daily News reporter, reports that there used to be an FBI squad for each of New York’s five crime families. Now it’s down to three.

“It’s not just re-organizing either,” Capeci writes. “The total number of mob-busting agents is also cut by some 25 per cent, Gang Land has learned.

Gang Land reports that the cuts mean the N.Y. FBi only has about 45 agents investigating roughly 700 mobsters and another 7,000 associates.

The report comes just weeks after the Justice Department, with much fanfare, announced the biggest mobster round up in FBI history after it indicted 127 people in the Northeast.

To read more click here. (Gang Land is a Pay-Website)

ICE Still Investigating Who Leaked Immigration Info About President’s Aunt Before 2008 Election

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– Who leaked the info on President Obama’s aunt’s immigration status days before the 2008 election campaign?

Well, according to the website Talking Points Memo, the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility still wants to know.

The Office of Professional Responsibility still has an “ongoing law enforcement investigation”, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) officer Catrina M. Pavlik-Keenan wrote in response to a FOIA request from the website.

AP reported three days before the 2008 election that Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango was in the country illegally. TPM reported that it was told in August by the Department of Homeland Security that the investigation was wrapping up.

Appeals Court Uphold Murder Conviction of Ex-Bost FBI Agent John Connolly

John Connolly

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Rogue Boston FBI agent John Connolly, who was faulted for getting too close to his mob informants, will remain behind bars.

The Miami Herald reports that the Florida Third District of Appeal on Wednesday upheld his 2008 conviction in the murder of Miami Jai-Alai executive John Callahan in 1982. He  was found in a trunk at the Miami International Airport.

Connolly, 70, was convicted by a Miami-Dade jury of second-degree murder for leaking sensitive information about Callahan to Boston mobsters and FBI informants James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, the Herald reported. After getting the information, authorities allege that the two then put a hit out on Callahan. Flemmi is behind bars and Bulger remains a fugitive. Connolly was sentenced to  40 years.

“They are going to put me in prison for the rest of my life for a crime I had nothing to do with,” Connolly told the Associated Press in phone interview from prison. “How is this justice? How is this possible? They got what they want.”

“We’re very delighted with the decision,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Wednesday night, according to the Miami Herald. “He was an FBI agent. He had all the power. He had guns. He had information. And he betrayed all that and people died.”

President Nominates 3 U.S. Attorneys and 3 U.S. Marshals

Thomas Walker

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Wednesday nominated three  U.S. Attorneys and three U.S. Marshals.

The nominees for U.S. Attorney include Charlotte lawyer Thomas Gray Walker for North Carolina’s Eastern District, assistant U.S. Attorney Felicia Adams for the Northern District of Mississippi and S. Amanda Marshall.

So far, according to the Justice Department, 76 U.S. Attorneys have been nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate. Five of the current U.S. Attorneys were nominated by President Bush.

Walker had previously been nominated in 2009, but senators wanted the current U.S. Attorney George Holding, a Bush appointee, to finish up some key investigations including one into campaign contributions involving former Sen. John Edwards.

Felicia Adams is an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Mississippi and worked as a prosecutor from 1989 to 2000 in the Northern District.  Amanda Marshall, like Walker, had previously been nominated by the president, but the Senate failed to act on the nomination the first time before it recessed in December. She is a child advocacy lawyer for the Oregon Department of Justice, according to the news website  Main Justice.

For U.S. Marshal, the president nominated: Ponca City Police Chief Clayton D. Johnson for the Northern District of Oklahoma; Alfred Cooper Lomax for the Western District of Missouri and Charles F. Salina for the Western District of New York.

Salina has been with the Marshals Service since 1988. Alfred Cooper Lomax spent nearly 30 years with the Kansas City Police Department before becoming Chief of Airport Safety and Security at the Kansas City International Airport.

Calif. Student Sues FBI for Putting GPS Tracking Device on Car

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 20-year-old Egyptian-American college student in California filed a lawsuit against the FBI on Wednesday, saying the agency violated his civil rights when it secretly placed a GPS tracking device on his car, the Associated Press reported.

Yasir Afifi, a student at Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif., who insists the FBI has no reason to show interest in him, discovered the tracking device last October after a mechanic doing an oil change pointed it out, AP reported. The suit was filed by Council on American-Islamic Relations, claims the FBI violated his civil rights by putting the device on his car without a warrant.

AP reported that Afifi travels frequently to the Middle East and helps support his two brothers. His late father, awell-known Islamic-American community leader, died last year in Egypt.

FBI spokesman Michael Kortan declined to talk specifics, but told the AP: “The FBI conducts investigations under well-established Department of Justice and FBI guidelines that determine what investigative steps or techniques are appropriate. Those guidelines also ensure the protection of civil and constitutional rights.”

Mexico’s Calderon Expected to Discuss U.S. Agents Carrying Guns in His Country

President Calderon/file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The issue of allowing U.S. federal agents stationed in Mexico to carry guns is expected to surface when Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon comes to the White House Thursday, the Washington Post reports.

The anticipated conversation over guns comes in the wake of a shooting last month in which an ICE agent was murdered and another wounded as they traveled in northern Mexico. Both were assigned to the ICE attache office in Mexico City. Agents currently are banned from carrying guns.

In an interview last week in Mexico, Calderon sharply criticized the U.S. for failing to do enough to reduce America’s appetite for illegal drugs and to address the burgeoning problem of U.S. weapons coming into the country.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST