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Tag: federal prison

Judge: Even Convicted Terrorists Have Right to Call Friends, Relatives from Prison

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Even a convicted terrorist has a right to communicate with friends and relatives.

So ruled U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger in the case of Khalfan Khamis Mohammed, who sued the FBI because he was barred from communicating with a list of 32 friends and relatives, the Associated Press reports.

Mohammed, who is in federal prison in southern California, was convicted of killing 11 people and injuring 85 in the 1998 bombing of a U.S. embassy in Tanzania.

The judge said authorities couldn’t bar a prisoner from calling friends and family unless the inmate poses a real national security threat.

The FBI, the judge ruled, didn’t present sufficient evidence that Mohammed posed dangers while in prison.

Man Who Impersonated DEA Agent to Impress at Nightclubs Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Benjamin William Mejias seemed to tell anyone who would listen that he was a DEA agent.

He even posted photos of himself on Facebook wearing a DEA insignia and carrying guns and was so brazen that he repeated his story to an Orlando cop while wearing a DEA uniform, a badge and pistol.

On Monday, he was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for what a judge called “stupid” behavior, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

His defense attorney, Mike LaFay, said Mejias did it to impress his wife and others at Orlando nightclubs.
Meijas apologized Monday: “I’m very shameful.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Justice Department Readies for Unprecedented Campaign to Grant Clemency to Nonviolent Offenders

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Obama administration is anticipating thousands of clemency requests from federal inmates imprisoned for drug offenses.

The Washington Post reports that the clemencies are part of an unprecedented campaign to create more equity in criminal sentencing by freeing some nonviolent offenders.

The initiative will last two years and will involve dozens of reassigned lawyers to the pardons office.

“The White House has indicated it wants to consider additional clemency applications, to restore a degree of justice, fairness and proportionality for deserving individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Monday.

“The Justice Department is committed to recommending as many qualified applicants as possible for reduced sentences.”

The Game Remains the Same

ILLUSTRATION BY NOAH PATRICK PFARR/Baltimore City Paper

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper

BALTIMORE — Over the last half-decade or so, City Paper has done in-depth reporting about how Baltimore’s drug game is tied to heroin arriving from Africa, gangsters who double as gang interventionists, the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) gang’s broad reach in prisons and the streets, and legendary old felons getting charged anew. Now, with federal drug-and-gun charges unsealed Nov. 26 against Nathan “Bodie” Barksdale, one man embodies all four themes.

The case involves Barksdale’s alleged dealings with co-defendant Suraj Tairu, a man with a 1990s New York conviction for helping to import heroin from Africa, and involves heroin contained in an “egg-shaped object”—a type of heroin packaging that is commonly swallowed and later excreted by so-called “internal smugglers” from Africa who bring them to the U.S. on commercial airline flights. Initially, only Tairu was charged in the case, on Sept. 12, and court documents state that he was supplying heroin to “a long-time, high ranking member of the BGF”—who, once the indictment was unsealed, was revealed to be Barksdale.

Barksdale grew up hustling in West Baltimore’s since-demolished Lexington Terrace projects in the 1970s and 1980s, and by the end of that decade he had become a local criminal legend whose violent exploits were depicted in a 2009 docu-drama project spearheaded by Kenneth Antonio “Bird” Jackson, a stevedore and strip club manager with his own outsize past in Baltimore’s drug game. The project, The Baltimore Chronicles: Legends of the Unwired, claimed Barksdale was the inspiration for Avon Barksdale, a key character on the HBO series The Wire—a claim The Wire’s co-creator David Simon rejects. Two other old school Baltimore gangsters whose identities were used to create Wire characters—Savino Braxton and Walter Lee “Stinkum” Powell, whose names were applied to characters who were enforcers for Avon Barksdale, Savino Bratton, and Anton “Stinkum” Artis—have also faced federal drug charges in recent years and are now in federal prison.

To read the full story click here.

 

Man Finds Out Hard Way Why He Shouldn’t Commit Crimes on Airline Flight

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Evan Castle picked the wrong place to grope a woman’s butt.

Since the 24-year-old is accused of committing the crime aboard an airline flight, the incident is being investigated by the FBI, a U.S. Attorney and federal special agents, Fox 31 Denver reports.

According to Fox 31, Castle was sexually harassing two flight attendants before he grabbed their butts.

Castle was advised Monday in U.S. District Court in Denver that he faces a charge of abusive sexual contact.

If charged and convicted, Castle faces up to two years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Some Inmates Would Be Released Early Under Justice Department Plan

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is endorsing a plan that would speed up the release dates for well-behaved prisoners in a plan aimed at saving on detention costs, NPR reports.

Strapped for cash, the Justice Department is looking for ways to handle the overcrowded federal prison system that handles 218,000 inmates.

Under the plan, inmates would be given two-months credit for every year they participate in a program that reduce recidivism, according to NPR.

A second plan would increase from 47 to 54 the number of days an inmate can receive for good behavior.

Tucson Stalker Sentenced to 8 Years-Plus in Federal Prison

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Sometimes there’s a fine line between an innocent crush and something darker.

And sometimes it’s pretty black and white.

In a case of the latter, Moses Antonio Shepard, 47, of Tucson, had been showering unwanted attention on a woman he met in an NYC health club for nearly 20 years, according to an FBI press release. He was sentenced Monday to 8 years and 4 months in federal prison for making his dreams into her nightmares.

Convicted on two counts of interstate stalking for unwanted emails, letters, phone calls, and visits, Shephard will also have three years supervised release at the end of the sentence.

The FBI emphasizes “Stalking is a serious, potentially life-threatening crime.” said Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel in a statement.  “A stalker not only permanently changes the life of his victim, but he also affects the victim’s family, friends, and co-workers.”

 

Stripper Loving Jurist Free After 3 Weeks in Prison; Some Think He Got Off Way Too Easy

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

By Allan Lengel
For The Daily

A 67-year-old federal judge jailed after a crime spree involving drugs, guns and a prostitute was freed Monday after serving just three weeks.

Judge Jack T. Camp, Jr, a Ronald Reagan appointee, agreed to a plea deal, but many in the legal community believe Camp got off easy.  The fallen Georgia judge received 30 days, but he got credit for the initial time he spent in the county jail.

“Bringing a gun to a drug deal would have gotten anyone else a mandatory five years in prison,” said Atlanta defense attorney Marcia Shein.

The married father of two grown children went astray a year ago after receiving a lap dance from Sherry Ann Ramos, a stripper who worked at the Goldrush strip club in Atlanta.

To read the full story click here.