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Tag: prison

Disgraced Ex-FBI Agent Connolly Gets New 2039 Prison Release Date in Mob Murder

Former FBI Agent John Connolly.

Former FBI Agent John Connolly.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If he lives long enough, disgraced former FBI agent John Connolly will benefit from a new prison sentence. 

Connolly, who is behind bars for a 1982 murder tied to imprisoned New England mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, will be 98 by the time of his June 22, 2039 release date, the Associated Press reports.

The new release date was set by the Florida Commission on Offender Review.

Connolly, who was Bulger’s FBI handler in Boston, was convicted in 2008 of second-degree murder following the murder of World Jai-Alai President John Callahan. Connolly tipped off Bulger that Callahan was about to rat out Bulger’s gang in another murder.

The relationship between Bulger and Connolly inspired the 2006 Martin Scorsese film, “The Departed.”

Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to 29 Months in Prison for Sexual Assault

Orlando Gomez

Orlando Gomez

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent convicted of coercing a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him in 2014 and 2015 was sentenced Thursday to 29 months in prison.

Orland Gomez, 43, of Las Cruces, was arrested in August 2016 after the victim revealed the inappropriate relationship to a relative, KVIA reports

The victim told authorities that Gomez threatened to kill himself if she didn’t have sex with him.

Gomez was convicted after pleading no contest to two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor in the fourth degree.

The victim urged the judge to impose the maximum sentence of 36 months.

“I commend the victim in this case for the courage she demonstrated in coming forward to report this crime,” Doña Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio said. “But for the courageousness of this young girl and victims like her, too many of these crimes would go unreported and unprosecuted.”

Gomez also is required to registers as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime: Mexican Mafia Fights

Former DEA Agent Sentenced to Year in Prison for Witness Tampering

dea-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former DEA agent who demanded cash in connection with a drug trafficker was sentenced Tuesday to a year and a day in prison.

Samuel Murad, 62, was hired to help secure the early release of a marijuana trafficker whom the agent helped send to prison in the 1990s, the Tampa Bay Times reports. 

“I have no excuse for my behavior,” Murad said in court. “I’ve hurt my family. I’ve hurt my friends.”

“You’ve also hurt the DEA,” U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew interjected. “You made law enforcement look bad.”

Other Stories of Interest

Justice Department Investigates Jail in Virginia Following Numerous Deaths

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has launched an investigation into Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Virginia following numerous deaths and allegations of prisoners being denied medical and mental health care.

Jail officials said they had nothing to hide and welcomed the investigation, CBS News reports. 

The deaths of two inmates in separate incidents prompted the Virginia Attorney General’s Office to request the Justice Department investigation.

Since 2012, 18 inmates have died at the jail, ranging from internal bleeding to suicide.

CBS wrote:

On August 19, 2015, 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell’s body was found inside the Hampton Roads Regional Jail. He had been arrested in April of that year for stealing $5 worth of food from a convenience store. Mitchell’s family sued after a medical examiner concluded he likely experienced cardiac arrhythmia related to wasting syndrome, a disorder characterized by extreme weight loss.

Mitchell has been diagnosed years earlier with paranoid schizophrenia, but jail officials had said no beds were available at the state mental health facility, Crimesider reported.

In another more recent case, after 60-year-old inmate Henry Stewart died in early August 2016, his family said they recovered an emergency grievance form Stewart had written indicating he had repeatedly begged for medical help.

Georgia Man Who Shot ATF Agent Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

Steven Maurice McKinley

Steven Maurice McKinley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Athens, Ga., man who shot an ATF agent during an undercover investigation more than two years ago was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison on Tuesday.

Steven Maurice McKinley, 23, was convicted of attempting to kill a federal officer and discharging a firearm during a federal crime of violence, the Athens Banner-Herald reports.

The violence broke out in September 2014 when an undercover agent agreed to buy an AK-47 and marijuana from McKinley for $800. But the meeting turned out to be a robbery attempt by McKinney, who shot and wounded the agent.

“Today’s sentence is a direct message to criminals that law enforcement is observant and it will not tolerate violent crime,” said John Schmidt, assistant special agent in charge of the ATF’s Atlanta field office. “ Steven McKinley showed a complete and utter disregard for human life when he attempted to murder a federal agent. As an agency and unified law enforcement community, we will not tolerate armed violent individuals continually terrorizing our neighborhoods and reducing the quality of life.”

Other Stories of Interest

Justice Department to Investigate Conditions at Prisons in Alabama

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department plans to investigate conditions at Alabama’s prisons for men following a work strike by guards.

“The investigation will focus on whether prisoners are adequately protected from physical harm and sexual abuse at the hands of other prisoners; whether prisoners are adequately protected from use of excessive force and staff sexual abuse by correctional officers; and whether the prisons provide sanitary, secure and safe living conditions,” the DOJ said in its statement.

A week ago, guards at W.C. Holman Correctional Facility staged a work strike to call attention to prison overcrowding and safety issues, the Root reports. http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2016/10/justice-department-investigates-alabama-prison-conditions/

Robert Council, a 42-year-old serving life without parole at Holman, said prisoners are almost always on lockdown and not allowed out of their cells for months.

“The Constitution requires that prisons provide humane conditions of confinement,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “We hope to work cooperatively with the state of Alabama in conducting our inquiry and ensuring that the state’s facilities keep prisoners safe from harm.”

Mississippi Man Who Tried to Join ISIS Credits FBI for Saving His Life

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Mississippi man thanked the FBI for saving his life as he was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday for trying to join ISIS.

Muhammad Dakhlalla told a federal judge that he didn’t know at the time what ISIS represented, the Associated Press reports. 

The 22-year-old pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization.

Dakhlalla said he watched Internet videos with his former fiancee, Jaelyn Young, and videos depicted ISIS members helping people in Syria and Iraq. While jailed, he said he learned about ISIS’ violence after watching TV news coverage of the terrorist organization.

“I was completely wrong about what ISIS was,” Dakhlalla told U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock. “I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re really sick and twisted. They twist Islam for their own agenda. I denounce them. I condemn them.”

His former fiancee, Young, was sentenced to 12 years in prison earlier this month.