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Archive for February 18th, 2020

Trump Dishes Out Clemencies to Rod Blagojevich, Bernie Kerik, Michael Milken and More

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump, apparently emboldened by his acquittal in the Senate, is dishing out clemencies to some big-time names.

On Tuesday, a White House press release said:

Today, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Grants of Clemency granting Full Pardons to the following individuals: Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Michael Milken, Ariel Friedler, Bernard Kerik, Paul Pogue, David Safavian, and Angela Stanton.  In addition, President Trump signed Executive Grants of Clemency granting commutations to Rod Blagojevich, Tynice Nichole Hall, Crystal Munoz, and Judith Negron.

Trump granted a pardon to Michael Milken, who was charged with insider trading in the 1980s and to Edward DeBartolo Jr., the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers football team, who pleaded guilty two decades ago for failing to report a felony.

Blagojevich, a Democrat, began serving a 14-year sentence in 2012 for corruption that included selling Barack Obama’s senate seat.

“He served eight years in jail – a long time,” Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews, according to USA Today. “Many people disagree with the sentence.”

Kerik and Milkin are no longer in prison. DeBartolo paid and fine and was put on probation.

DeBartolo Jr. pleaded guilty to failing to report a bribe, testifying in a gambling fraud and corruption case against former Louisiana governor Edwin W. Edwards (D) in 1998 that the governor extorted him for $400,000 in exchange for approval of a riverboat casino license. DeBartolo paid the money and the state licensing board unanimously approved his project, according to the Washington Post. 

DeBartolo, a billionaire, had to pay $1 million in fines, was placed on two year’s probation and handed the NFL team over to his sister.

Read full White House press release below:

Today, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Grants of Clemency granting Full Pardons to the following individuals: Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Michael Milken, Ariel Friedler, Bernard Kerik, Paul Pogue, David Safavian, and Angela Stanton.  In addition, President Trump signed Executive Grants of Clemency granting commutations to Rod Blagojevich, Tynice Nichole Hall, Crystal Munoz, and Judith Negron.

Edward DeBartolo, Jr., is a successful businessman, real estate developer, and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  During the 23 years that he owned the San Francisco 49ers, the team won an unprecedented 13 division titles and 5 Super Bowl Championships.  In 1998, he was convicted for failing to report a felony regarding payment demanded for a riverboat casino license, and he was sentenced to 2 years’ probation.  Mr. DeBartolo did not allow his conviction to define his life.  He remained a generous philanthropist and passionate supporter of numerous charitable causes, including charter schools like the Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School, and anti-gang violence initiatives.  His exceptional compassion and warmth define his character to this day.  Mr. DeBartolo treated players and coaches as part of his family.  Many prominent individuals from the National Football League have strongly advocated for this pardon, including Joe Montana, Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley, Derrick Brooks, Fred Dean, Robert Kraft, Jerry Jones, and Roger Goodell.  They have been joined in their support by other notable figures and organizations, including Pastor Darrell Scott, Kareem Lanier, Paul Anka, and the Urban Revitalization Coalition.

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Former Border Patrol Agent Who Helped Drug Traffickers Gets 6 Years in Prison

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent in Arizona was sentenced to six years in prison after admitting he helped drug traffickers cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Jose Antonio Yanez, 50, was also ordered to pay more than $340,000 of his salary back while conspiring with traffickers, KVOA reports.

Yanez had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana, receiving a bribe, and importation of a schedule IV controlled substance. At the time, Yanez was working at Border Patrol’s Douglas and Naco stations.

According to prosecutors, Yanez assisted smugglers carrying marijuana by providing sensitive material and information, turning cameras away from the smugglers and vacating his area of responsibility as the smuggling vehicles crossed the border.

TSA Agent Described As ‘Nicest Guy You Would Meet’ Killed in Car Crash

TSA Agent Kevin Nguyen, via GoFundMe.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A TSA agent at Louis Armstrong International Airpot in Louisiana was killed in a car crash caused by a driver who ran a red light, police said.

The family of 28-year-old Kevin Nguyen is holding a fundraiser to help pay for the costs of a funeral.

Nguyen “was loved by everyone,” the GoFundMe post says. “Anyone that know Kevin know that he is the happiest, nicest guy you would meet.”

The post added, “He would go home everyday after work and tell his mom ‘I Love you Mom and you’re beautiful.’ He will be missed.”

Police said Kenner’s car was “T-boned” when a truck ran a red light at 8:30 p.m. Sunday in Kenner, La., NOLA.com reports.

The driver was taken to the hospital in non-life threatening condition. Police are awaiting toxicology reports to determine whether alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash.