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Archive for August 19th, 2011

Weekend Series on Crime History: FBI Spy Robert Hanssen

http://youtu.be/txvGjRxdByw

Feds Want a Second Shot at Prosecuting Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens/file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office wants a second shot at prosecuting ex-pitching star Roger Clemens for lying to Congress about using performance enhancing drugs, saying it inadvertently goofed last month in the first trial when it played a video to the jury on the second day.

A mistrial was declared as a result of the error. The government filed a motion Friday asking for a second trial, and requesting that the judge reject Clemens’ effort to dismiss the charges.

“On the second day of what was expected to be a 4-to-6 week trial, the government mistakenly played a video clip that included evidence this Court had ruled inadmissible, ” the government stated in the motion written by Assistant U.S. Attorney David B. Goodhand.   “At defendant’s request, this Court therefore declared a mistrial. Now, defendant seeks to gain an unwarranted windfall from this inadvertent error. Defendant seeks to bar a retrial, arguing the government did not make a mistake, but rather engaged in deliberate misconduct intended to provoke his mistrial request.

“The record refutes defendant’s claim. Although this crucial fact is nowhere discussed in defendant’s motion, the government vigorously opposed a mistrial. That opposition was natural, because the government had no reason to want a mistrial. The government’s case was – and is – strong.”

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton last month declared the mistrial after the prosecution introduced the video which contained evidence  Walton had barred.  After declaring the mistrial, he said he was going to have to make a determination whether to grant the government a second chance or dismiss the charges.

The brief concluded:

“The record thus shows only that the government made a mistake when it failed to review Exhibit 3b-2 for necessary redactions. And as regrettable as this mistake was, it does not warrant the extreme measures of a prohibition on any retrial and the dismissal of defendant’s indictment.”

Read Government Motion

FBI Agent Indicted in Suburban D.C. in Drunk Driving Death

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s a story that has no good ending.

An FBI agent as been has been indicted by a D.C. suburban county grand jury in connection with a fatal drunk driving crash that killed an 18-year-old on Feb. 7 in Brandywine, Md.,  the Washington Examiner reported.

Washington Examiner reporter Emily Babay reported that a Prince George’s County grand jury returned a nine-count indictment against agent Adrian Johnson, 37, who was dismissed after the incident.

The paper reported that the charges include motor vehicle manslaughter, homicide by motor vehicle, driving under the influence and reckless driving.

Authorities allege that Johnson was drunk and speeding in his personal vehicle, a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero,  when he drove into oncoming traffic and  crashed into 18-year-old Lawrence Garner Jr.’s Hyundai Sonata, according to the Examiner. A passenger in Garner’s car was critically injured, but survived.

Johnson had been with the agency for six years and was preparing for an assignment of protecting the FBI director or U.S. attorney general, the paper reported.

Secret Service Blocks Obama From Sneaking Off for a Beer With Reporters in Iowa

Pres. Obama at press conference/white house photo

Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service really does watch out for its protectees like a parent — particularly when it comes to the President.

David Nakamura of the Washington Post reports that President Obama wanted to sneak off and make a surprise visit Tuesday evening to the Duck City Bistro in Davenport, Ia., to tip a beer with the White House press corps.

But Nakamura reports that the Secret Service put the kabosh on that plan.

Obama said that he was stymied when Secret Service found out about the plan, Nakamura reported.

Disgraceful! 2 N.M. Men Admit Branding Developmentally Disabled Native American With Swastika: Men Used Heated Wire Hanger

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In one of the more repulsive cases of human behavior, two racist men pleaded guilty Thursday in New Mexico to defacing the body of a developmentally disabled Native American of Navajo descent. The defacing included branding the 22-year-old man with a swastika, using a heated wire hanger.

Paul Beebe and Jesse Sanford of Farmington, N.M., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, N.M., to federal hate crime charges related to a racially-motivated assault. A third made pleaded guilty in June.

Beebe, Hatch and Sanford were indicted in November. They became the first defendants to be charged under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (Shepard/Byrd Act), which was enacted in 2009.

“Deplorable, hate-filled incidents like this one have no place in a civilized society,”  Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas Perez said in a statement.

“ No one anywhere, but especially in a state like New Mexico that prides itself on its ethnic, racial and cultural diversity, should be victimized because of what he or she happens to be,” added  U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico Kenneth J. Gonzales in a statement. “The young victim in this case was assaulted, branded and scarred because he happens to be a Native American – that simply is inexcusable and criminal. ”

During the plea hearing, Beebe and Sanford admitted that Beebe took the victim to his apartment, which was adorned in racist paraphernalia, including a Nazi flag and a woven dream catcher with a swastika in it, the Justice Department said.

After the victim had fallen asleep, the defendants began defacing the victim’s body by drawing on him with blue, red and black markers, authorities said.

After the victim awoke,  Beebe branded the victim with a swastika, using a heated wire hanger. The victim had a towel stuffed in his mouth at the time, authorities said.

Authorities said the defendants coerced the man into agreeing to be branded and recorded that on a cell phone.

They also admitted  defacing  the victim’s body with white supremacist and anti-Native American symbols, including shaving a swastika in the back of the victim’s head and using markers to write the words “KKK” and “White Power” within the lines of the swastika.

The two also mocked the victim’s heritage by drawing an ejaculating penis and testicles on his back and telling him they were  “native pride feathers,” authorities said. They recorded the incident on a cello phone to show law enforcement they had “proof” the victim consented to the acts.

Hackers Break into FBI Contractor’s Computers

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mind boggling abilities of hackers continues to boggle the mind.

The latest: The hacker collective Anonymous has released a fresh batch of data taken from Vanguard Defense Industries — an FBI and Pentagon contractor that deals with drones, the publication International Business Times reports.

The publication reported that data release was revealed via a post on tor2web.org and later published on the group’s AnonymousIRC Twitter account.

The publication reported that the group said the emails it released belonged to Vanguard’s senior vice president, Richard T. Garcia, and contained information regarding “internal meeting notes and contracts, schematics, non-disclosure agreements, personal information about other VDI employees, and several dozen ‘counter-terrorism’ documents classified as ‘law enforcement sensitive’ and ‘for official use only.'”

A statement by the hackers, according to the International Business Times, said: “We are doing this not only to cause embarrassment and disruption to Vanguard Defense Industries, but to send a strong message to the hacker community. White hat sellouts, law enforcement collaborators, and military contractors beware: we’re coming for your mail spools, bash history files, and confidential documents.”

OTHERS STORIES OF INTEREST

Pa. Father and Son Indicted for Making Harassing Calls to Sarah Palin’s Family

Sarah Palin/ official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Put Sarah Palin into the equation, and you’re bound to get plenty attention. Just ask Christy, 47, and his 22-year-old son Shawn.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the FBI from the Allentown, Pa. office on Thursday arrested the two on charges of making hundreds of harassing calls to Palin’s family and associates.

They were indicted out of Alaska and are expected to be sent there to face the charges. It was unclear if Palin herself received the calls.

To read more click here.

FBI Agent Indicted in Suburban D.C. in Drunk Driving Death

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s a story that has no good ending.

An FBI agent as been has been indicted by a D.C. suburban county grand jury in connection with a fatal drunk driving crash that killed an 18-year-old on Feb. 7 in Brandywine, Md.,  the Washington Examiner reported.

Washington Examiner reporter Emily Babay reported that a Prince George’s County grand jury returned a nine-count indictment against agent Adrian Johnson, 37, who was dismissed after the incident.

The paper reported that the charges include motor vehicle manslaughter, homicide by motor vehicle, driving under the influence and reckless driving.

Authorities allege that Johnson was drunk and speeding in his personal vehicle, a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero,  when he drove into oncoming traffic and  crashed into 18-year-old Lawrence Garner Jr.’s Hyundai Sonata, according to the Examiner. A passenger in Garner’s car was critically injured, but survived.

Johnson had been with the agency for six years and was preparing for an assignment of protecting the FBI director or U.S. attorney general, the paper reported.