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Archive for July 2nd, 2014

Seven Colombians Extradited to U.S. to Face Charges In Murder of DEA Agent James Terry Watson

James Terry Watson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Seven Colombian nationals have been extradited to the U.S. to face charges relating to the kidnapping and murder of DEA agent James Terry Watson, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

“With the extradition of these suspects, we are one step closer to ensuring that justice is served for the kidnapping and murder of an American hero,” said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement. “Special Agent Watson gave his life in the service of his country. We owe him, and his family, a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay.”

The defendants had been indicted by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria last July 18.

The defendants included: Gerardo Figueroa Sepulveda, 39; Omar Fabian Valdes Gualtero, 27; Edgar Javier Bello Murillo, 27; Hector Leonardo Lopez, 34; Julio Estiven Gracia Ramirez, 31; and Andrés Alvaro Oviedo-Garcia, 22.

Each were charged with two counts of second degree murder, one count of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to kidnap. Oviedo-Garcia was also charged with two counts of assault.

Additionally, the Justice Department said in a press release that the grand jury indicted Wilson Daniel Peralta-Bocachica, 31, also a Colombian national, for his alleged efforts to destroy evidence associated with the murder of Special Agent Watson.

The defendants arrived Tuesday in the U.S. and made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. on Wednesday.

The indictment charged that Figueroa, Valdes, Bello, Lopez, Gracia and Oviedo-Garcia were part of a kidnapping and robbery conspiracy that utilized taxi cabs in Bogotá, Colombia, to lure victims into a position where they could be attacked and robbed, the Justice Department said in a press release.

Once an intended victim entered a taxi cab, the driver would signal other conspirators to begin the robbery/kidnapping operation.

On June 20, 2013, while working in Colombia, DEA agent Watson hopped into a taxi cab operated by one of the defendants.

Watson was then attacked by two defendants, one of whom used a stun gun on him and another fatally stabbed him with a knife.

 

 

Protesters Block Busloads of Immigrant Families Trying to Enter Southern California Facility

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Waving American flags and signs reading “Go home,” protesters blocked three buses carrying immigrant families Tuesday to a CBP station in southern California, the Desert Sun reports.

The buses were headed to Murrieta, where they were met by about 100 protesters blocking the road.

The immigrants were taken to an undisclosed processing center in San Diego County.

“We can’t start taking care of others if we can’t take care of our own,” said protester Nancy Greyson, 60, of Murrieta.

The protest came as the federal government scrambles to reduce overcrowded facilities along the Texas border due to a flood of immigrants from Central America.

 

6 Los Angeles County Officials Convicted in Federal Jail Probe Involving FBI Informant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Six members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were found guilty Tuesday of attempting to interfere with a civil rights investigation into the county jails, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The two lieutenants, two sergeants and two deputies face up to 15 years in prison after the jury found them guilty of trying to hide an informant from FBI agents during an investigation into a jail scandal.

Attorneys for the defendants said they were only following orders from superiors.

One of the jurors interviewed after the trial said he believed the sheriff’s officials were following commands but crossed the line.

“At a certain point there are things you can’t do,” said the juror, a truck driver who lives in the Crenshaw district but would identify himself only as Ron.

The conviction is a big victory for prosecutors as they delve deeper into the jail investigation.

New York State Senator Charged with Lying to FBI; Son Also Indicted

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

State Sen. Thomas W. Libous and his son Matthew were indicted Tuesday on separate charges, the New York Times reports.

Sen. Libous, 61, of Birmingham was charged with lying to federal agents, while his son was charged with filing false tax returns.

Libous, who first won a seat in the Senate in 1988, is the chamber’s second-highest-ranking Republican and is considered a powerbroker in politics.

Libous denied any wrongdoing.

“I am innocent from all these charges,” Libous said. “It’s very disappointing and we are going to fight them.”

Border Patrol Union: Court Ruling Endangers Agents Because of Fear of Lawsuits

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An appellate court’s ruling that permitted a Mexican family to sue Border Patrol agents could endanger officers, the agency’s union said Tuesday, according to the Texas Tribune reports.

Agents worried about lawsuits may be more reluctant to use deadly force when necessary, according to the National Border Patrol Council.

“We’re concerned, and we think [Monday’s ruling] is going to have a very chilling effect,” said Shawn Moran, vice president at-large and a spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council.

On Monday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the family of a Mexican child can sue the Border Patrol agent who fatally shot the boy.

The ACLU applauded the decision.

“Today the Fifth Circuit helped ensure that [Customs and Border Patrol] agents are held accountable for shocking and outrageous abuse, even when their victims aren’t inside the U.S.,” Adriana Piñon, an ACLU of Texas staff attorney, said in a statement.

Secret Service Agent Sentenced to 20-40 Years in Prison for Sexually Abusing Child

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Secret Service agent accused of molesting a child was sentenced to between 20 and 40 years in prison Tuesday, Boston CBS Local reports.

Wilbur “Tom” Clark, 70, of East Kingston, N.H., pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, one count of felonious sexual assault, and one misdemeanor of obscene matter.

Clark was a Secret Service agent for more than two decades.

He was accused of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13 at his home in East Kingston, N.H.

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