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Archive for July 1st, 2011

Weekend Series on Law Enforcement: An Interview With Ex-FBI Dir. Louis Freeh

Pot Growers, Sellers and Distributors May be Prosecuted in Medical Marijuana States

dea photo

By Joel Rosenblatt
Bloomberg

Large-scale growers, sellers and distributors of marijuana may be prosecuted in states that have passed laws permitting medical use of the drug, according to a Justice Department memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

The June 29 memo, from Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole to U.S. attorneys, says a 2009 memo issued by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden — referred to as the “Ogden Memo” — remains in effect.

The Ogden letter advised prosecutors that enforcement efforts against people using marijuana to treat cancer or other serious illnesses in accordance with state laws may not be “an efficient use of federal resources,” according to Cole’s memo. The Ogden memo was “never intended to shield” larger scale cultivation, Cole wrote.

To read more click here.

Senate Confirms U.S. Attys for N.C., Ala., Miss, Virgin Islands; Obama Nominates Miss. U.S. Attorney

Thomas Walker

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously confirmed  Thomas Walker for U.S. Attorney in Raleigh, N.C., according to WRAL.

Three other U.S. Attorneys were also confirmed, according to the website Main Justice: George Beck for the Middle District of Alabama; Felicia Adams for the Northern District of Mississippi; and Ronald Sharpe for the Virgin Islands.

Walker, who was in private practice, and was  previsously an assistant U.S. Attorney and an  assistant district attorney in Mecklenburg County, N.C., replaces  Bush-appointee George Holding who announced earlier this month that he will step down on July 8.

Holding stayed in office to oversee the criminal investigation into ex-Sen. John Edwards, who was recently indicted for alleged campaign fund irregularities.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday President Obama nominated Gregory Davis for the U.S. Attorney spot in Southern District of Mississippi.

He has been a member of the law firm Davis, Goss & Williams, PLLC since 1989. From 1987 to 1989, he was an associate attorney for the law firm Stamps & Stamps.

Mass. Gov. Weighs in on Whitey Bulger Case; Ex-Boston FBI Agent Said Some May Worry What the Mobster Has to Say

Gov. Duval/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The governor of Massachusetts is weighing in on the controversial James “Whitey” Bulger case.

Gov. Deval Patrick said Thursday in an interview on WTKK-FM that more damaging information about the FBI could surface now that Bulger has been captured and  is talking.

Bulger was an informant for the FBI before he went on the lam in the mid-90s and one of his FBI handlers, agent John Connolly, is in prison after being convicted of assisting Bulger in a Florida murder. Connolly was supposedly on the take and there were allegations that other agents were as well.

“This case has not reflected well on the FBI,” the governor said on his monthly appearance on WTKK-FM. “There are a whole lot of us wondering if there’s going to be more revelations if Whitey Bulger is going to talk.”

Patrick said he has spoken about the case with state troopers who served on the task force that hunted Bulger for years. “I feel like there’s this whole backstory I have to learn, but some of the stories are really chilling,” he said on WTKK-FM, according to the Boston Globe.

Meanwhile, the New York Times quoted a former Boston FBI agent as saying there are people who might be worried Bulger may talk.

“I think there are a whole bunch of people out there he could probably name” who are worried what he might say, said Robert Fitzpatrick, a former assistant special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office in the 1980s, the Times reported. Patrick had previously testified that he tried nsuccessfully to end Mr. Bulger’s run as an informant.

The Times reported that during Bulger’s 16 years on the lam,  several of his former crime partners testified that he had made payoffs to two dozen Boston police officers and half a dozen FBI agents,  giving them thousands of dollars and rings, a Meerschaum pipe and Lalique glass.

The Times reported that retired Massachusetts State Police Commander Tom Foley, who pursued“” said Tom Foley, a retired state police commander who pursued Mr. Bulger with Ahab-like intensity for years, only to see him elude capture thanks to help from his F.B.I. friends. “It’s  the people who set that up and allowed it to happen, and especially the people who had a responsibility to put a stop to it.”

The Times reported that Foley intensely went after Bulger with “Ahab-like interensity for years,  only to see him elude capture thanks to help from his F.B.I. friends.”

“It’s not always just the guy pulling the trigger who is guilty,” he said. “It’s also the people who set that up and allowed it to happen, and especially the people who had a responsibility to put a stop to it.”

Maryland Man Gets 3 Years in Prison for Impersonating an FBI Agent: Said He Earned $37,000 a Month as an Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Maryland man was hit with the maximum three-year prison sentence on Thursday for impersonating an FBI agent, who said he could get discounts on real estate deals because he was with the bureau. It was the second time he had been convicted of impersonating a federal officer.

U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. of Greenbelt, Md. sentenced John Angus Milton McBean, Jr., 41, of Oxon Hill, Md., after he pleaded guilty on Thursday.

Authorities discovered the problem after someone  contacted the FBI to say that  McBean was  posing as an FBI Special Agent and offered to assist the person in buying a home.

McBean told the person as an FBI agent  he had access to residential properties at significantly reduced prices, authorities said.

He offered access to such property for  an initial payment of $2,500. The person then gave him a partial payment of $775 as a down payment.

In May, the person interested in buying the home  introduced an undercover FBI task force officer to McBean, who posed as a friend  interested in the real estate discount.

McBean  drove the original buyer along with the undercover task force officer around Upper Marlboro, Md., in suburban D.C., to look for home. McBean solicited a “down payment” of approximately $2,700 from the undercover officer.

Authorities said that  McBean  said that he earned  $37,000 a month at the FBI, where he had worked since 1984. He also said that  he attended the University of Miami, majoring in psychology and hostage profiling and that he handled the transfer of dignitaries at “Andrews Air Force Base;” presently had an office in the White House, where he supervised U.S. Secret Service agents and owned several adult entertainment establishments and car dealerships.

Quite a resume.

He was arrested on arrested on May 31.

He was previously convicted of impersonating a federal officer and was sentenced in 2007 to 18 months in prison.

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