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Archive for December 7th, 2009

Another Mistrial in Big Federal Case; This Time NJ Shock Jock Hal Turner Walks

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — On Monday, for the second time in less than a week, a federal judge declared a mistrial in a high profile Justice Department case that captured the interest of many nationwide.

A federal judge in Brooklyn declared a mistrial in the case against Hal Turner, a New Jersey shock jock,White Supremacist and ex-FBI informant who was accused of threatening the lives of three federal Chicago judges who ruled in favor of a gun control case, the Associated Press reported.

A re-trial for Turner, 47, was set for March 1 in Brooklyn. The case was indicted in Chicago, but was moved to New York as part of a change of venue request.

The bad news for prosecutors came nearly a week after a mistrial was declared in Manhattan in the racketeering trial of John Gotti Jr. It was his fourth mistrial in five years. The prosecution has not yet announced whether it will go for a fifth trial.

After the mistrial in Turner’s case, one juror, Richard Gardiner, spoke to reporters and said the jury voted 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal, the AP reported.

As in the Gotti trial, the majority of the jurors in the Turner case thought the government case was weak, the juror said.  The lone juror said he favored conviction.

CNN Special on Hal Tuner

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Michigan Duo Charged With Trying to Extort $680,000 From Actor John Stamos

John Stamos

John Stamos

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In Michigan’s rustic Upper Peninsula, where the beer is cheap and the winters long, a locale far removed from the glamor and stardom of Hollywood, authorities arrested two people  for allegedly threatening to release damaging 2004 party photos of actor John Stamos if he didn’t pay them $680,000, according to an FBI affidavit and the Web site The Smoking Gun.

Allison Lenore Coss, 23, and Scott Edward Sippola, 30, of Marquette, Mi., were charged with attempted extortion and sending a threatening communication, according to a court document. They were arraigned last week in U.S. District Court in Marquette and released pending their next court appearance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney  Maarten Vermaat Monday night declined to confirm or deny  The Smoking Gun’s report  that Stamos is the  “Mr. X” in the FBI affidavit.  He told ticklethewire.com that it was unclear what the relationship was between the two defendants.  The FBI in Detroit declined to comment on the matter.

The FBI affidavit says Stamos is a California resident but has lived in New York since July. Stamos met Coss while vacationing in Florida in 2004, court documents show.

To read more click here.

Read FBI Affidavit

Chicago Feds Charge Suspected Terrorist in Deadly Mumbai, India Attack

Chicago
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In what came as little of a surprise, federal prosecutors in Chicago charged suspected terrorist David Coleman Headley with helping plot the deadly India attack in Mumbia that killed more than 165 people in 2008.

The Associated Press reported that prosecutors charged Headley with helping scope out targets for the Mumbai attack. He and co-defendant Tahawwur Hussain Rana were charged in October in Chicago with plotting an attack on the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten because of the cartoons it published mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Rana was not charged in the Mumbai attacks.

The AP reported that Headley is cooperating with authorities.

The India media reported on Sunday that FBI agents were arriving this week in India to brief the Indian government on the Headley.

Read Justice Department Press Release

Read Headley Charges

Fed Prosecutors Could Have Difficulty Getting Death Penalty in NY 9/11 Trial

electric chairBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – Even if prosecutors convict suspected 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his cronies, they may not convince a N.Y. jury to put them to death.

The Los Angeles Times quotes a former N.Y. federal prosecutor Paul Butler who worked major terrorism cases as saying:

“It will be an uphill battle to get a death penalty in these cases…Obviously, the 9/11 crimes are as serious as you can get. But it is difficult to get 12 people in Manhattan to agree on a death penalty.”

To read more about his click here.

Secret Service Report from 2003 Cites 91 Breaches Since 1980

This report clearly shows the difficulties the Secret Service is up against. The big question is: Is the Secret Service learning and improving from each and every mistake?

secret service photo
secret service photo

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Long before a pair of gate-crashers penetrated a White House state dinner, the Secret Service had detailed for its internal use a lengthy list of security breaches dating to the Carter administration — including significant failures in the agency’s protection of the president.

A summary of a secret 2003 report obtained by The Washington Post, along with descriptions of more recent incidents by federal homeland security officials, places Tareq and Michaele Salahi squarely in a rogues’ gallery of autograph hounds, publicity seekers, unstable personalities and others identified by the Secret Service as defeating its checkpoints at least 91 times since 1980.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Convicted NBA Ref Tim Donaghy Talks About Betting on Games and the Gambino Crime Family Wanting In on the Action