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Archive for December 8th, 2009

4 Ark. Men Sentenced in Cross Burning Case

arkansas-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The angry cross of hate still burns bright for some people — even in these times.

In this instance, four Arkansas men this week were given sentences  in federal court in Hot Springs, Ark., ranging from one to two years in prison for trying burn a cross to drive off a woman and her children for associating with African-Americans, authorities announced Tuesday.

The woman is white and her three children — ages 5, 19 months and 4 months at the time of the incident  in June 2008 — were fathered by an African American male, according to a government sentencing memorandum.

“The defendants in this case threatened a young family with violence simply because they associated with persons of another race. Threats of this kind have no place in this country, but they are regrettably all too common,” Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said in a statement.

Authorities said Jacob Wingo,20, was sentenced to two years in prison; Clayton Morrison,29, got 15 months, Darren McKim,38, got 18 months; and Richard Robins, 42, got one year.

A fifth defendant, Dustin Nix, 21, was sentenced last month to one year and one day in prison.

Authorities said that Wingo admitted building a cross and taking it to the victims’ home in Donaldson, Ark and trying to ignite it in the yard while the family was home, a court document said.  Morrison admitted helping build the cross and accompanying Wingo and Nix to the the home to burn it. The others also admitted playing some role in intimidating the family.

Read Government Sentencing Memorandum

FBI Appoints Ex-Director William Webster to Conduct Independent Review of Fort Hood Incident

William Webster/fbi photo

William Webster/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has appointed former FBI director William Webster to conduct an independent review of the agency’s policies and actions prior to mass shootings at Fort Hood on Nov. 5.

The FBI said in a press release Tuesday that a preliminary review had been completed and “Webster will now lead an independent, outside effort that will look both at the initial findings and allow for additional review as he and his staff determine.”

“As a former FBI director, director of central intelligence, and federal judge, Judge Webster is uniquely qualified to undertake this task and look at the procedures and actions involved in this matter,” Mueller said in a prepared statement. “He, in the past, has led independent reviews of various FBI systems and broader policies and provided valuable recommendations. In this case, Judge Webster will have complete access and whatever resources necessary to complete the task.”

Webster was FBI director from 1978 to 1987.

FBI Probing Fatal Prison Stabbing in West Virginia

Hazelton Prison/usbop photo

Hazelton Prison/usbop photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and prison officials are investigating a fatal stabbing of an inmate Sunday at the U.S. Penitentiary at Hazelton in West Virginia, the Associated Press reported.

The facility has been on lockdown since the Sunday when Jimmy Lee Wilson, 26, was stabbed to death during an altercation, AP reported. He had been serving a 130 sentence for robbing a credit union.

FBI Raids Chicago Bars; Probe Video Poker Machine Links to Mob

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

Chef Overboard? The FBI Wants to Know

Coral Princess Ship
Coral Princess Ship

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has jumped into the probe into a missing Italian chef who disappeared aboard a cruise ship sailing from Aruba to Colombia.

The Associated Press reported that chef Angelo Faliva was last seen Nov. 26 aboard the Princess Cruise’s Coral Princess. Authorities are looking into the possibility he went overboard.

AP reported that the FBI joined the investigation at the request of the Italian Consulate in Los Angeles. The ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles on Monday.

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Daphne Hearn to Head FBI’s Intelligence Division in LA

Daphne Hearn/fbi photo

Daphne Hearn/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Daphne Hearn, special assistant to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, has been named special agent in charge of the bureau’s Intelligence Division in Los Angeles

Hearn, a Kansas City, Mo. native, began her FBI career in 1991. She started out in Buffalo and got involved in an organized crime investigation into an international illegal gambling operation with links to the mob in several cities, the FBI said.

In May 1998, she was went off to the Chicago division where she worked organized crime involving the town of Cicero, Ill.

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