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Archive for June 19th, 2012

Rutgers Student Won’t Be Deported in Anti-Gay Bullying Case

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Immigration officials won’t try to deport a former Rutgers student whose actions cast a national spotlight on the issue of anti-gay bullying, the Record reports.

The native of India, Dharun Ravi, who is considered a legal permanent resident, could have been deported after his May 15 conviction on charges that he encouraged Twitter followers to watch his unwitting roommate have sex with another man via live-streamed images, according to the Record.

The roommate later killed himself.

Federal government lawyers said Ravi’s actions aren’t sufficient to place him in removal proceedings, the Record reported.

Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Feds Seek Return of Rare Dinosaur from Mongolia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government is on the hunt for a Tyrannosaurus Bataar.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara filed suit Monday to force the return of the dinosaur’s skeleton that feds say was stolen from Mongolia and then sold for more than $1 million in the U.S. on false claims that the fossil originated from Great Britain.

The lawsuit alleges the skeleton was discovered in the Gobi Desert between 1995 and 2005 and has enormous historic and cultural significance.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Heritage Auctions completed the auction and the Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton for over $1 million, but the final sale is contingent upon the outcome of any court proceedings instituted on behalf of the Mongolian Government.

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated:

On March 27, 2010, the Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton was imported into the United States from Great Britain. The customs importation documents contained several misstatements. First, the country of origin of the Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton was erroneously listed as Great Britain but, according to several paleontologists, Tyrannosaurus bataars have only been recovered in Mongolia. In addition, the Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton was substantially undervalued on the importation documents. The customs importation forms listed its value as $15,000, in contrast to the $950,000 – $1,500,000 price listed in a 2012 auction catalog, and the actual auction sale price of $1,052,500. Finally, the Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton was incorrectly described on the customs importation documents as two large rough fossil reptile heads, six boxes of broken fossil bones, three rough fossil reptiles, one fossil lizard, three rough fossil reptiles, and one fossil reptile skull.

Texas-based Heritage Auctions, Inc., offered for sale the Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton at an auction conducted in New York City. Prior to the sale, the Government of Mongolia sought, and was granted, by a Texas State Civil District Judge, a Temporary Restraining Order prohibiting the auctioning, sale, release or transfer of the Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton.

Notwithstanding the state court order, Heritage Auctions completed the auction and the Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton sold for over $1 million. The sale, however, is contingent upon the outcome of any court proceedings instituted on behalf of the Mongolian Government.

Mining Company Reduces Accident Rate As Part of Fed Deal

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The massive coal mining company that reached an agreement six months ago to avoid federal charges over the 2010 mine explosion in West Virginia that killed 29 workers has significantly reduced accident and injury rates, the Associated Press reports.

Alpha Natural Resources also is breaking ground on an $18 million training center designed to teach miners how to handle dangerous conditions as part of the pact with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin told the Associated Press that accidents are down by a third and the injury rate dropped by a quarter.

An explosion in the southern West Virginia mine in April 2010 killed 29 workers.

Feds to Crack Down on Gun Violence in Seattle

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal officials are pledging to prosecute more gun-carrying criminals in hopes of cracking down on escalating violence in Seattle, the Seattle Times reports.

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said the most eggregious offenders would be charged under federal gun statutes that carry stiffer penalties than state laws.

The idea is to look up more armed felons and career criminals

“We are here today to send a clear message: If you bring a gun to a crime, you will do more time. And most likely, it will be federal time,” Durkan said during a news conference, according to the Seattle Times.

Column: Roger Clemens Shutouts Feds 6-0: Feds Should Have Dropped Case

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Hopefully the case of baseball star Roger Clemens  provides a lesson for the Justice Department.

Yes, it’s wrong to lie to Congress, which is what he was charged with.

Nevertheless, when you have a questionable case — and in this instance a very questionable one — walk away.

The prosecution screwed up in the first trial when it accidentally introduced evidenced that had been barred by the judge. The judge declared a mistrial. He then considered tossing out the case all together.

Clemens was charged with lying to Congress about steroid use.

The judge eventually let the prosecution proceed with a second trial. He could have saved the government some grief by tossing the case.

But noooo.

On Monday, a federal jury in D.C. acquitted Clemens on all six counts.

For a pitcher, that’s known as a shutout.

Not even close: 6-0.

Big loss for the government in a big case.

 

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