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Tag: illegal

Editorial: Justice Department Wrong to Ignore Federal Pot Laws

The Post-Journal
Editorial
 
Marijuana is illegal under federal law. Yet Attorney General Eric Holder has decided not to interfere in any way with two states where recreational use of the drug has become permissible.

Colorado and Washington decriminalized marijuana last fall. Many states allow its use for medicinal purposes, but the two western states in essence allow anyone who wants to get high to buy the drug.

Proponents of legalizing marijuana for recreational use were delighted by Holder’s decision. “The message to the people of the other 48 states … is clear: Seize the day,” exulted Neill Franklin, of one pro-legalization group.

To read more click here.

Colorado Officials Pledge to Repeal Controversial Immigration Reporting Law

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Colorado moved closer Monday to repealing a controversial law that requires local police to determine the status of immigrants and report undocumented people to federal authorities, the Denver Post reports.

A state House committee voted 9-2 to repeal the six-year-old law, SB 90, that state officials said has cost taxpayers $13 million a year and eroded public trust, the Post wrote.

“SB 90 needs to go away,” testified Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson, who was representing the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police. “It is outdated and ineffective.”

Some groups said the law also discourages immigrants from reporting crimes.

“Because they are brown, they feel like they can’t report crimes,” John “Eddie” Soto with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition told the committee.

Defense Attorney Gets LAPD Cop Off on Exporting Gun Charges; Says Laws Confusing

softair gun from online catalogue

softair gun from online catalogue

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An attorney for a Los Angeles cop who was acquitted last week of illegally exporting guns says the laws are so confusing it’s difficult for people to adhere to them all.

“There is so much confusion when comes to these requirements,” Humbarto Diaz, a federal public defender, said in an interview Friday with the Los Angeles Times. “Several federal agencies have oversight of the shipping of weapons out of the country, and there is still information floating around on their websites that contradicts current requirements.”

An LA federal jury last week acquitted Johnny Augustus Baltazar of illegally shipping  a safe packed with firearms and ammunition to Belize in July 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The paper reported that the federal prosecutor Amanda Bettinelli could not be reached for comment.

At trial, Diaz tried to hammer home that the charges against his client involved technical violations of a complex series of regulations.

To read more click here.

5 Ex-Blackwater Execs Indicted on Weapons Charges

blackwaterlogo2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Five ex-executives from Blackwater, the highly controsersial security firm, were charged Friday with illegally acquiring automatic weapons and filing false documents. Some weapons were gifts to the Kingdom of Jordan in hopes of landing a lucrative contract to build and run a training center, authorities said.

The 15-count federal indictment out of Raleigh, N.C. charged Gary Jackson, 52, former President; William Wheeler Mathews, Jr., 44, an attorney and former Executive Vice President and Vice President of Operations; Andrew Howell, 44, General Counsel; Ana Bundy, 45, former Vice President of Logistics and Procurement; and Ronald Slezak, 65, a former armorer. The company now operates under the name XE Services.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said employees acquired the high power weapons in hopes of getting a competitive with contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Specifically, authorities alleged that the company allegedly purchased 227 short barrel rifles without registering them, a violation of the law.

Additionally, the company wanted to acquire a stock of automatic weapons for use at its Moyock, N.C., facility.

But authorities said federal law limits the number of certain firearms.

“To evade the legal limit of no more than two weapons of any type, they allegedly arranged straw purchases with a small local sheriff’s office,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release.

“Blank letterhead stationery from the sheriff’s office was provided to Blackwater, which was used to prepare letters claiming the sheriff’s office wanted to purchase 17 Romanian AK47s and 17 fully automatic M4s,”the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “The weapons were paid for by Blackwater, were immediately delivered to Blackwater upon their arrival, and were locked in Blackwater’s armory to which the sheriff’s office had no direct access.”

Read Justice Dept. Press Release

FBI Illegally Collected Telephone Records During Bush Years, Wasington Post Reports

telephoneBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A yet to be released Justice Department report is expected to conclude that the FBI illegally collected more than 2,000 telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 during the Bush administration, the Washington Post reported.

The paper reported that the FBI illegally collected the records by “by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records, according to internal bureau memos and interviews.”

The paper said the bureau issued approvals “after the fact to justify their actions.”

To read more click here.

The FBI responded Tuesday with a statement:

Washington, D.C. — Today, The Washington Post published a story on an upcoming Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on the FBI’s use of exigent letters during the time period 2002-2006. The report is expected to build on the OIG’s 2007 findings regarding a limited and discontinued FBI practice wherein exigent letters, or other informal requests for telephone records, were made to obtain telephone toll billing records. The FBI ceased this practice in 2006 and was never involved in obtaining the content of telephone conversations.

“The OIG report is not expected to find – nor were there – any intentional attempts to obtain records that counterterrorism personnel knew they were not legally entitled to obtain,” said Michael P. Kortan, the FBI’s Assistant Director for Public Affairs. “The FBI was lawfully entitled to acquire every record at issue in the OIG report, and no FBI employee used informal methods to obtain telephone records for reasons other than a legitimate investigative interest. FBI employees involved in this matter obtained the telephone records at issue to perform their critical mission to prevent a terrorist attack or otherwise to support a counterterrorism investigation.”

Read more »

Report Says Immigration Agents in Long Island and N.J. Forced Way into Homes Without Warrants

This program was supposed to focus on illegal immigrants who posed a threat to national security. That wasn’t the case. Law enforcement abused the program.

ice-logo

BY SUMATHI REDDY
Newsday

Immigration agents in Long Island and New Jersey forced their way into private residences without judicial warrants, arrested hundreds without any legal basis and committed widespread constitutional violations, according to a report to be released today on home raids carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Nassau Police Commissioner Lawrence W. Mulvey headed an advisory panel that reviewed the report from the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

The study found that two-thirds of arrests made in home raids under the National Fugitive Operations Program were not of targeted individuals but of undocumented immigrants, largely Latinos, with no criminal records. The program was designed to focus on immigrants who pose a threat to national security.

“There is an established pattern of misconduct, certainly in New York and New Jersey, enough to really suggest that we need to look hard at whether this is a widespread national phenomenon,” said Peter L. Markowitz, director of the clinic. “I think if these types of systematic constitutional violations were happening targeting any other group in society we would have seen a national outcry a long time ago.”

For Full Story