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Archive for March 9th, 2011

10 Mexican Gang Members Indicted in Consulate Murders in Mexico

FBI's Shawn Henry and Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. (in background) announce indictments in Washington/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities on Wednesday announced charges against 10 Mexican members of the Barrio Azteca gang — which operates along the U.S.-Mexico border —  in connection with the March 2010 slayings of a U.S. Consulate employee In Juarez, Mexico, her husband and the husband of another consulate employee.

The members were indicted in Texas in the deaths of Lesley Enriquez Redelfs, 35, who worked for the U.S. Consulate in Juárez, Mexico, her husband, Arthur Redelfs, 34, a detention officer for the Sheriff’s Office in El Paso, and Jorge Alberto Ceniceros Salcido, 37, whose wife worked for the U.S. Consulate.

The 10 defendants were among  35 gang leaders,members and associates of the gang charged with a host of crimes including  racketeering, murder, drug offenses, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.  Included in the indictment was  Eduardo Ravelo, who was added to FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list in 2009. There is a $100,000 reward for his arrest.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Bauer said: “Today’s charges mark a pivotal moment in our ongoing investigation into the senseless murders of three innocent victims.

“Last March, Leslie Ann Enriquez Catton, Arthur Redelfs and Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros were mercilessly gunned down in Ciudad Juarez. They were – like so many other innocent victims of the Mexican drug wars – caught in the crosshairs of a violent criminal enterprise.”

FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry said at a press conference in Washington: “We may stand on opposite sides of the border, but we stand together on the same side of the law.”

Authorities said seven of the the 10 charged in the U.S. Consulate murders, along with two other defendants, are in custody in Mexico.

Authorities said the Barrio Azteca emerged in late 1980s as a prison gang. It has since grown into a major criminal enterprise comprised of about 3500 members, including 600 active members in West Texas and Juarez, Mexico.

The indictment alleges that the Barrio Azteca alligned itself with the Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes (VCF) drug trafficking organization in Mexico and conducts “enforcement operations” against VCF’s rivals. It also gets discounts on drugs from the VCF.

Authorities allege that the group is involved in murders in U.S. and Mexico.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Govt. Asks For Mental Competency Test for Az. Shooter

Ex-Gov Blago Asks Judge to Cancel Retrial and Sentence Him

Ex-Gov. Blago while in office/official photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

In an unexpected move, the highly entertaining and often unpredictable former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked a federal judge to cancel his retrial and sentence him on the sole conviction in his first trial: lying to an FBI agent.

Blagojevich insisted that he is still innocent but said he was making the request in the interest of justice and saving taxpayers money, according to a motion filed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago. He was convicted in the first trial on one of 24 counts, and the government is slated to retry him April 20.

He has been given court-appointed attorneys paid by the government. However, the attorneys have yet to be paid.

“The federal budget is being drastically cut,” Blagojevich attorney Lauren Kaeseberg wrote in the five-page motion. “Specifically, the funds for lawyers to defend indigent defendants have been suspended.

To read more click here.

Read Blago Motion

D.C. Bar Tries to Disbar Ex-Fed Prosecutor


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A former federal prosecutor is fighting a battle to keep his law license.

USA Today reports that the District’s Bar Counsel on Tuesday asked the D.C. Court of Appeals during a hearing to disbar former D.C. assistant U.S. Attorney G. Paul Howes for “illegal and unethical conduct” in some murder cases in the mid-1990s.

Howe allegedly used vouchers meant to reimburse witnesses’ cost for testifying in court to pay relatives and girlfriends of informants, USA Today reported.

Elizabeth Herman, the district’s deputy bar counsel, said the conduct was a “tremendous harm to the criminal justice system,” USA Today reported.

Howes’ attorney Paul Knight argued that the conduct was proper, USA Today reported.

“This is the way the United States attorney’s office puts together cases. … It’s a common practice. Homicides are solved all the time that way,” he said, according to USA Today.

To read more click here.

FBI Agent Says NY Terror Suspect Considered Himself Prisoner of War

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A man accused of plotting to bomb the N.Y. subway considered himself a prisoner of war after he was arrested in New York last year, an FBI agent testified in court, according to Newsday.

FBI agent Farbad Azad testified in federal court that he interviewed bombing suspect Adis Medunjanin at a Queens hospital, and the suspect asked to be part of a prisoner of war exchange with the Taliban for an American Service man, Newsday reported. The suspected was hospitalized after crashing on the Whitestone Expressway.

“The defendant viewed himself as a prisoner of war caught on the battlefield,” FBI agent Farbad Azad said, according to Newsday. “He asked if he could be exchanged for a U.S. serviceman, a prisoner captured by the Taliban.”

Medunjanin is charged with plotting to attack New York City subways with Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay. The two others have already pleaded guilty.

The Hackers’ Cyber War

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Chicago Drunk Driver Gets Probation: FBI Agent He Hit Has Undergone 5 Surgeries

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Under the category of very sad stories, a 21-year-old Chicago man was sentenced Tuesday to 24 months of probation after pleading guilty to being under the influence of alcohol when he hit an off-duty FBI agent’s car  head-on last last September in the Chicago suburb of River Grove, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The paper reported that FBI agent Elizabeth Petruc was driving to run in a Labor Day marathon.

She told the judge during an impact statement that she has had five surgeries and she probably won’t be able to return to work for at least a year, the Tribune reported.

“I’ve sacrificed a great deal to become an FBI agent and I love my job,” Petruc said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I’m just a shadow of myself physically and mentally.”

The paper reported that the drunk driver, Jose Rodriguez, who was not of age to drink at the time, apologized. His alcohol blood level was triple the legal limit.

“He realizes his apology is of little use to the victim. But he is truly sorry and the matter haunts him,” said defense attorney Roy Amatore, according to the Tribune.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Wounded Deputy U.S. Marshal Dies in St. Louis


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A deputy marshal who was critically injured Tuesday morning while trying to arrest a man in St. Louis, died from his wounds Tuesday night around 7 p.m., the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported.

The paper identified the slain deputy U.S. Marshal as John Perry, 48, who had been with the agency for almost 10 years.

A second deputy marshal, Theodore Abegg, 31, was shot in the ankle and was in fair condition, the Post-Dispatch reported. And a St. Louis cop suffered injuries when he was grazed by a bullet after the shot deflected from his vest. He was treated at a hospital and released.

The law enforcement team had gone to arrest Carlos Boles, who opened fire on them. He was wanted for assault on a police officer and drug charges.

He was killed by returning fire, the Post Dispatch reported.