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Archive for April 5th, 2013

Weekend Series on Crime: The Dangerous Mexican Drug Cartels

Man Indicted in Slaying of Retired ATF Agent in Virginia


Gregory Holley

By Jeremy Borden
Washington Post

A 25-year-old Woodbridge man accused of killing a former federal law enforcement officer during what police said was a robbery gone wrong has been indicted on a capital murder charge.

If convicted, Aric A. Smith could face the death penalty in the killing of Gregory Holley, 55. Holley, retired as an Army officer and as a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, was shot and killed walking his dog in his quiet Woodbridge neighborhood on Feb. 20.

Holley, a husband and father of four, was known both for his contagious laughter and for his serious side — someone who kept a Bible at his desk. After his final retirement in 2009, he settled into a job handling the finances at his Prince William County church.

To read more click here.

FBI Elevates Murder Investigation of two District Attorneys in Texas, Launches Billboard Campaign

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has launched a public relations campaign to catch the killer or killers of two district attorneys and one of their wives, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Gov. Rick Perry and Kaufman County Crime Stoppers chipped in $200,000 for a reward for the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for killing Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife, Cynthia, and Assistant District Attorney mark Hasse.

The FBI also is posting information about the murders on billboards throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi.

“Words cannot describe the shock and grief this community has suffered over the last several months,” Perry said in a press release. “The criminals responsible for these murders will be caught, convicted and will pay the price for these horrific crimes.”

Both prosecutors were killed this year, and authorities are investigating possible ties between the killings and the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, a prison gang.

Google Challenges FBI’s Secretive National Security Letters, Saying They Violate Free Speech Rights

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Google is fed up with the FBI snooping on its users without a warrant.

Now, the company appears to be challenging so-called national security letters, which do not require a warrant to gather electronic information, reports CNet.com.

The judge hearing the case, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco, ruled last month that the national security letters “violate the First Amendment and separation of powers principle” CNet.com reported. But the Justice Department has 90s day to appeal.

New Proposal Calls for Building New FBI Headquarters in Downtown Washington D.C.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has received at least 35 proposals so far to relocate the FBI’s headquarters, and most are in the suburbs.

But the Washingtonian reports that one plan would keep the headquarters in downtown Washington near the Union Station.

The proposal by Republic Properties and renowned architect Arthur Cotton Moore calls for a 2.1 million-square-foot building bordered  by North Capitol Street, Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest, and New Jersey Avenue.

The property is currently a parking lot for the Government Printing Office, the Washingtonian reported.

The news is good for many agents who wanted the convenience of being in downtown D.C.

The FBI said its current headquarters is insufficient and flawed.

It’s unclear whether the federal government will decide which proposal to select.

Former Enron Chief Executive Skilling Could Have Prison Sentenced Reduced

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Justice Department is working on a deal that would reduce the prison sentence of former Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey K. Skilling, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Skilling was convicted of insider trading, securities fraud and conspiracy, among other charges, in 2006.

His attorney has been trying to overturn the conviction ever since.

“The Department of Justice is considering entering into a sentencing agreement with the defendant in this matter,” according to a Justice Department note, the LA Times reported. “Such a sentencing agreement could restrict the parties and the Court from recommending, arguing for, or imposing certain sentences or conditions of confinement.”

It’s unclear how much the sentencing would be shortened, if agreed to by a judge, the LA Times wrote.

ICE Settles Suit with 22 New Yorkers for $1 Million over Warrantless Search

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

More than 20 New Yorkers will receive a combined $1 million in a settlement with ICE over warrantless raids on their homes, WNYC reports.

Under the settlement, ICE also must change some of its policies and training involving searches.

“Sleeping while Latino is not a suspicious activity that justifies ICE’s forcing its way into homes and terrorizing families at gunpoint,” Ghita Schwarz, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, said. “Our brave clients have shown ICE agents that they are subject to the same constitutional restrictions as any other law enforcement officer; they need judicial warrants or valid consent to enter a home.”

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