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Tag: witness

Father of NY Subway Bomb Plotter Faces More Charges

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mohammed Zazi, the father of the New York subway bomb plotter Najibullah Zazi, is facing additional charges including allegations of lying and witness tampering, Newsday reported.

In a superseding indictment, authorities charged that he tried to destroy evidence after learning in 2009 that his son was under FBI investigation.

His son Najibullah Zazi, a Colorado airport shuttle bus driver, pleaded guilty this year to plotting an attack on New York City’s subways and has been cooperating with authorities, Newsday reported.

The father Mohammed Zazi lives in Denver and has been free on bail since being charged in the case in January, Newsday reported.

Newsday reported that authorities charged that the father destroyed some of his son’s bomb-making equipment and tried talking a witness out of speaking to the FBI.

Lawyer Accuses Feds of Misconduct in Gambino Crime Family Case

mafia33By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A defense lawyer is accusing the feds of misconduct,  alleging in federal court in New York that authorities helped promote teen prostitution, a crime the Gambino Crime family is accused of, the New York Times reports.

The paper reports federal authorities have charged the crime family with sex trafficking with girls as young as 15. The prosecutors at one point called it ”a new low for the Gambino family.”

But defense attorney Gerald J. McMahon, who represents one of 14 defendants in the case, said in newly filed court papers that one person operating the sex ring, who was a convicted sex abuser “had a cooperation agreement as a federal witness,” the New York Times reports.

”A reasonable person might wonder,” Mr. McMahon wrote, according to the Times, ”whether the government — in its zeal to make a racketeering case against the Gambino family — allowed a 15-year-old girl to be shamefully and criminally exploited.” He’s asked that the case be dismissed for “outrageous government misconduct.”

Federal prosecutors, declined comment and had yet to respond to the filing, the Timews reported.

FBI spokesman James Margolin, an F.B.I. spokesman in New York, told the Times: ”This office would not — and did not — approve of any criminal activity involving a minor, much less the sexual exploitation of a minor.”

To read more click here.

Ex-Fed Prosecutor Gets Break on Running Call-Girl Ring; Still Faces Fed Charges of Murder, Racketeering

Paul Bergrin/photo News12 New Jersey

Paul Bergrin/photo News12 New Jersey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The swaggering ex-federal prosecutor Paul Bergrin who authorities say became the go-to defense attorney for Newark street gangs, dodged one bullet Tuesday but awaits still a bigger one that could put him down for good.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to time served for running an escort service founded by one of his clients, the Associated Press reported. He pleaded guilty in May in New York State Supreme Court to a misdemeanor.

But he remains behind bars awaiting prosecution on federal charges of murder, conspiracy and racketeering relating to allegations that he used threats, bribes and even murder to discourage witnesses from testifying in trial, the AP reported.

Authorities have alleged that he passed on the name of an informant, who was shot to death in Newark in 2004.

Read Newark Star-Ledger Story on Plea in Call-Girl Ring

Read More About His Current Problems

A Witness Murdered After Flirtatious Phone Calls

Killing witnesses has long been a problem, particularly in urban areas like Washington, Baltimore, Detroit… and on and on. These incidents undermine the system. And the problem is not going away. washington-dc-map2 What’s the solution?

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Andre Hayes’s phone rang one October afternoon, and a mysterious woman was on the line. She had called the wrong number, she told him. But she didn’t hang up. They bantered a bit. They flirted. She said he sounded nice.

Over the next week, they spoke or texted by cellphone more than 100 times. As he drove to meet her on Halloween night, they chatted for 29 straight minutes. And then, as he awaited their rendezvous in a dark suburban driveway, Hayes was shot dead.

It soon became obvious to investigators that the mystery woman had not been looking for love, according to federal authorities who have recently detailed Hayes’s last days in court papers and at a hearing.

In fact, they allege, she seduced the 32-year-old on behalf of her boyfriend, an accused drug dealer hoping to eliminate Hayes, a key witness against him in a federal drug case.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Fed Witness in Baltimore Put in Cell With Defendants Accused of Murdering a Witness

oops-artYes, people make mistakes. But this is a bad one. Hopefully the Marshal’s office will learn from this. The upside: the  outcome could have been worse.

By Tricia Bishop
Baltimore Sun
BALTIMORE — A fight broke out (last week) in Baltimore’s federal courthouse after U.S. marshals mistakenly placed a witness in the same holding cell as the three men he was testifying against, despite a separation order requesting that they be kept apart.

The error was particularly disturbing given the nature of the case: The defendants are accused of killing a federal witness.

The U.S. Marshal’s Service refused to comment on the specific occurrence, concerned it would jeopardize the trial. But spokesman David Lutz said the protocol, if something like that were to have happened, would be “to learn from our mistakes and realize there was a break in communication and ensure something like that doesn’t happen again.”

He added: “People are people. … It’s a difficult job.”

For Full Story