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Archive for October, 2012

Betrayal: High School Pal of Ex-Detroit Mayor Becomes a Star Prosecution Witness

Derrick Miller, inset, was a boyhood friend of Kwame Kilpatrick and part of his trusted inner circle at city hall. Miller will testify against his Cass Tech classmate.

 
By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — In the eighth-floor federal courtroom where Kwame Kilpatrick is on trial, prosecutors in coming weeks will summon one of their star witnesses: Derrick “Zeke” Miller.

Miller, who authorities say was a “bagman” and “right-hand man” for Kilpatrick, was a close friend of the mayor — not a fair-weather flatterer, as politicians often attract.

He first met Kilpatrick in Mrs. Cunningham’s ninth-grade English class at Cass Tech High School. They forged a friendship. He helped Kilpatrick get elected and worked in Kilpatrick’s inner circle at city hall along with another classmate of theirs, Christine Beatty, who would eventually become a central figure in the text messaging scandal.

“Other than my wife and Christine, I trusted no one more than Zeke,” Kilpatrick wrote in his 2011 autobiography. Eventually, the friendship died.

Miller — who went by nickname “Zeke” because of his affinity for Pistons basketball star Isiah “Zeke” Thomas — could have been sitting at the defense table along with Kilpatrick. He was initially one of five people named in the Kilpatrick indictment along with Kilpatrick’s close buddy, Bobby Ferguson, a contractor; father Bernard Kilpatrick and water department ex-director Victor Mercardo.

To read the full story click here.

Attorneys for Gangster James “Whitey” Bulger Say Judge Has Conflict of Interest

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorneys for the notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger said their client received immunity to commit crimes from a late federal prosecutor, the Irish Central reports.

The prosecutor, Jeremiah O’Sullivan, a former U.S. attorney, worked as a federal prosecutor at the same time as U.S. District Court Judge Richard Stearns, who is presiding over the case.

Bulger’s attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., said Stearns should recuse himself because the past working relationship with O’Sullivan constitutes a conflict of interest, the Irish Central reported.

Carney says Stearns was chief of the criminal division during a federal investigation of Bulger. But Stearns declined the request, saying he was not aware of Bulger being the target of an investigation at the time.

Mexican Accused of Killing U.S. Border Patrol Agent in 2010 to Change Plea

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Mexican man accused of killing a U.S. Border Patrol agent during a 2010 exchange of fire near the Arizona-Mexico border is expected to change his plea today in federal court, the Associated Press reports.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes had pleaded not guilty to murder, assaulting a federal officer and other charges in connection with the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Authorities said the firefight began when Osorio-Arellanes and four other men planned to rob marijuana smugglers.

Three of those men remain fugitives, the AP reported.

Recently Retired FBI Agent to Plead Not Guilty in Alleged Scheme to Derail Defense Contracts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A recently retired FBI agent accused of trying to derail a federal investigation into defense contract spending is expected to plead not guilty today to charges of fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, the Associated Press reports.

Prosecutors say Robert Lustyik, a former White Plains, N.Y.-based counterintelligence officer, sidetracked an investigation into $54 million in Army contracts given to a Boston-based company.

Also charged were three business associates accused of committing fraud during the bidding process.

Federal authorities says Lustyik took money in exchange for impeding the investigation.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Alex J. Turner named Assistant Director of FBI’s Security Division

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Alex J. Turner was named assistant director of the FBI’s Security Division, which is responsible for ensuring a safe work environment for employees, the bureau announced Monday.

Turner began his career as a special agent with the FBI’s Atlanta Division in 1985, investigating drug and property crime.

In 1988, Turner moved to Atlanta, where he managed the Multi-Agency Gang Task Force. In 1993, Turner supervised the Atlanta Regional Drug Intelligence Squad.

Turner was assigned to assistant special agent in charge of the Washington office in 2000. Five years later, Turner managed the FBI’s violent gang, drug and major theft investigative programs.

Turner was appointed special agent in charge of the Norfolk  Division in 2008.

Turner earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of Maryland.

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Federal Gov’t Fails to Fix Dead Spots in Radio Communications

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

U.S. Border Patrol agents have been complaining for years about losing radio contact with each other because of so-called “dead spots.”

Despite those complaints, agents continue to lose radio communication, especially in remote mountainous areas similar to the one where friendly fire killed Agent Ivie this month, the Arizona Republic reports.

A source told the Republic that Ivie and two other agents who were responding from separate directions to an activated ground sensor when they lost radio contact in southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.

It’s unclear whether dead spots contributed to the friendly fire.

“You get dead spots and you just don’t have any way to communicate with anybody,” Art Del Cueto, president of the Border Patrol union representing agents in the Tucson Sector, told the Republic.

Is Hoover Building too Ugly to be Saved?

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the FBI looks to vacate the J. Edgar Hoover building for a new Washington headquarters, you won’t find preservationists and neighbors putting up a fight to save what was dubbed the ugliest building on Earth this year, the Washington Post reports.

The fortress-like, concrete building, which is nearly 40 years old and has stylistically outlived its increasingly posh and modern neighborhood, is uninviting and generally disdained, the Post reported.

“Certainly the general public detests it,” said Tersh Boasberg, former longtime chairman of the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board.

The building is so unattractive that a travel site named the Hoover building the ugliest on Earth this year.

The FBI plans to move because the building is deteriorating, the Washington Post reported last year.