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Archive for May 10th, 2012

Ex-Acting Colombo Mob Boss Thomas Gioeli Convicted in Case Involving Murder and Witness Tampering

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s the end of the line for Thomas Gioeli, the ex-acting boss of the Colombo crime family.

A federal jury in Brooklyn convicted Gioeli and family solidier Dino Caracino on Wednesday of racketeering conspiracy in a case that involved allegations of murder, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

In other words, these guys were no Boy Scouts.

Evidence at trial showed that their crimes went from 1991 to 2008.

Some of the criminal acts the jury convicted Gioeli of included conspiracy that resulted in the June 12, 1991 murder of Frank Marasa, who was shot multiple times outside his home in Brooklyn in retaliation for his perceived involvement in the killing of a Colombo family associate.

Additionally, the jury found that Gioeli participated in a conspiracy that resulted in the March 25, 1992 murder of John Minerva, who was killed as part of the bloody Colombo family war, which pitted two factions of the Colombo family—the Persico faction and the Orena faction—against each other in a violent struggle for control of the family, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release.

 

Yes It’s So Sheriff Joe: Justice Dept. Goes After Him for Alleged Discrimination Against Latinos

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Yes, it’s so Sheriff Joe.

The Justice Department on Thursday filed a civil lawsuit in fed court against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, alleging a pattern of unconstitutional conduct that included discriminating Latino motorists and inmates.

The lawsuit alleges that the department frequently stopped Latinos motorist who were detained and arrested on the basis of their ethnicity.

It also alleged discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited English skills; and accused the sheriff’s department of illegal retaliation against their perceived critics, subjecting them to baseless criminal actions, unfounded civil lawsuits, or meritless administrative actions.

“At its core, this is an abuse of power case involving Sheriff Arpaio and a sheriff’s office that disregarded the Constitution, ignored sound police practices, and did not hesitate to retaliate against perceived critics in a variety of unlawful ways,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “Constitutional policing and effective policing go hand in hand. The complaint outlines how Sheriff Arpaio’s actions were neither constitutional nor effective. No one in Maricopa County is above the law and the department will fight to ensure that the promise of the Constitution is realized by everyone in Maricopa County.”

 

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Lead Agent in Ted Stevens Case Under Ethical Review

The late Sen. Ted Stevens

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mess from the bungled prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Stevens isn’t  over yet.

The website Main Justice reports that the Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the lead FBI agent in the case, Mary Beth Kepner.

New of the probe surfaced when FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III testified this week before the House Judiciary Committee.

To read the full story click here.

Breaking News: 1 Day After Going on FBI’s Top 10 Wanted List, Adam Mayes is Found Dead

By Allan Lengel
ticklthewire.com

That was quick.

One day after the FBI placed him on its Ten Most Wanted List, accused kidnapper and murderer Adam Mayes was found dead Thursday in Union County Miss., CNN reported. He reportedly shot and killed himself.

Mayes was accused of kidnapping a Tennessee mother and her three daughters. The mother and oldest daughter were found dead last Friday.

But the good news Thursday was that the other two daughters were found alive, CNN reported.

Mayes had filled the last spot in the Top 10 list that was vacated after the FBI captured Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger last year in California. The death will once again leave a vacancy.

To read more click here.

 

Obit: Former Attny Gen Nicholas Katzenbach Championed Civil Rights, Key Aide in Kennedy and Johnson Admins

wikipedia

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Nicholas DeBelleville Katzenbach, who worked  as a lawyer for the Justice Department during the Kennedy administration and became Attorney General under the Johnson regime, only to bump heads with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover,  died Tuesday at age 90.

Serving a crucial role in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, it was Katzenbach who stood up to Governor George Wallace’s segregation efforts, his “stand in the schoolhouse door,” by personally assisting two African-American students, James Hood and Vivian Malone, through the doors of the University of Alabama. Malone would later become the first black graduate of U of Alabama, as well as Attny General Eric Holder’s sister-in-law.

The 1960s were “an exciting time,” Katzenbach had told the AP. “There were lots of young people who got themselves involved in civil rights, and later in protesting the Vietnam War, feeling involved in the government and what’s going on in their own future. To my mind that’s what makes this a great country.”

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. issued a statement Wednesday, saying:

“Today, we mourn the loss of Nicholas Katzenbach, one of our Nation’s great champions of civil rights and equal justice. Throughout a life that spanned 90 years, he served our country in many ways – as an attorney, activist, Presidential Advisor, U.S. Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, and U.S. Army Officer.

“During WWII, Second Lieutenant Katzenbach battled oppression overseas – and survived more than a year in a German prison camp – before returning home to fight for the cause of equal opportunity.

“Throughout one of the most challenging and consequential eras in American history, his extraordinary talents – and dedicated leadership of the Department of Justice – helped to guide our Nation forward from the dark days of segregation and to secure the successful passage of the landmark Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts.”

To read more click here.

TSA Storing $148 Million in Unused Scanners

FBI Agent Ralph Boelter Who Helped Investigate Valerie Plame Case to Head LA Office

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Ralph S. Boelter, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division at headquarters, who also helped investigate the leak case involving CIA agent Valerie Plame, has landed one of the more coveted spots in the field.

Bolter will take over the Los Angeles division as assistant director in charge.

Boelter began his career in 1991 and was first assigned to the Boston division where he investigated white-collar crime, violent crime, and criminal enterprise cases.

In December 1997, he was promoted to the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters, where he oversaw many of the Bureau’s violent crime and fugitive investigations.

In 2000, it was off to Los Angeles to supervise the Violent Crime and Criminal Enterprise squad in the Long Beach Resident Agency.

He later served as acting assistant special agent in charge of the Violent Crime and Criminal Enterprise Branch in November 2001 and was officially named to the position in January 2003.

In April 2005, he was assigned to help direct the sensitive investigation of the unauthorized disclosure of CIA Agent Valerie Plame.

He returned to FBI Headquarters in September 2005 where he was named an inspector.

In 2006, he was named head of the Minneapolis office.

In April 2011, Boelter was appointed deputy assistant director of the newly formed Strategic Operations Branch in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters.

In September 2011, he assumed the responsibilities of acting assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division, and a few months later, was formally appointed to the position.