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Archive for October 10th, 2013

Judge Still Not Satisfied That Drug Dealer’s Mercedes is Drug-Related Property

Judge Paul Grimm/ Baltimore CIty Paper photo

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper

BALTIMORE — Maryland U.S. District judge Paul Grimm spent more than 15 years as a federal magistrate judge before being elevated to his current perch in 2012. That’s a lot of time to gain a nuanced understanding of the rules of evidence that must be met before law enforcers can lawfully seize or search property – one of a magistrate’s key bailiwicks.

So now that Grimm is a district judge with a docket that includes civil proceedings, called forfeitures, in which the government seeks to keep criminally derived property it has seized, he has a sensitive nose for the required legal thresholds – and in one case this year, he’s twice cited a dearth of evidence in denying the government’s move to keep convicted drug-dealer John Edward Butler Jr.’s 2003 Mercedes Benz CL500.

Butler was a St. Mary’s County drug dealer who pleaded guilty in a large federal cocaine conspiracy, and in 2011, the government filed a forfeiture case to keep his seized Mercedes. Grimm’s second denial, issued on Oct. 2, was in response to the government’s motion for reconsideration of his first, which was handed down in July. What’s clear from the second is that Grimm’s patience with the government’s arguments is wearing quite thin.

To read the full story click here.

NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Gets Visit from Father in Russia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Since Edward Snowden fled his home in Hawaii several months ago after leaking sensitive NSA information, he has lived a rather solitary life.

Now he’s getting a visit from his father, Lon Snowden, of Pennsylvania, the New York Times reports.

Lon Snowden arrived Thursday morning at Sheremetyevo Airport in Russia, where his son was granted temporary asylum.

Snowden said he didn’t expect his son to return to the U.S.

“That’s his decision you know. He’s an adult,” Snowden told reporters.

President of Victims Group for Pan Am Flight 103 Hopeful for Justice

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The president of Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 said he is hopeful the FBI will continue vigorously investigating the 1998 terrorist bombing, Syracuse.com reports.

The attack killed 270 people, and the only person convicted of the murders has been released from prison.

The FBI identified seven co-conspirators earlier this year, said the group’s president, attorney Frank Duggan.

“We don’t know how many of them are alive today,” Duggan told Syracuse.com. “That’s 25 years ago. The FBI never rests. They say they always get their man.”

But, he acknowledged, “We’re pretty far down the list.”

Justice Department Urges Court to Toss Lawsuit Filed by Florida Socialite Jill Kelley

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Florida socialite whose complaint to the FBI led to the resignation of Gen. David Petraeus, Lawyers.com reports.

Jill Kelley claims in a lawsuit that her reputation was tarnished when the government allegedly leaked her private e-mails to the media.

Some of the messages, according to leaks to the media, were sexually explicit.

The Justice Department claims the suit should be tossed because Kelley failed to substantial her claim that the government violated her privacy, Lawyers.com reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTERST