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Archive for October, 2012

Judge: No Search Warrant Needed to Use Hidden Surveillance Cameras

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Police don’t need a search warrant to install hidden surveillance cameras to spy on suspects, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, CNET reports.

The case involved DEA agents installing multiple surveillance cameras without a warrant to uncover evidence of a marijuana growing operation.

The DEA didn’t violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches, because the hidden surveillance is a substitute for ordinary police surveillance, U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled, CNT reported.

In this case, the cameras were outside the home, which the judge said is not protected by the Fourth Amendment.

It’s unclear whether the case will make it to the Supreme Court, which has rejected warrantless GPS tracking and warrantless thermal imaging.

FBI: Arizona AG Tom Horne Involved in Hit-And-Run to Avoid Evidence of an Affair with Subordinate

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has accused Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne of leaving the scene of an accident because he was trying to conceal a relationship with a female employee, the Associated Press reports.

In a report obtained by the AP, agents said Horne was having an affair with Assistant Attorney General Carmen Chenal at her apartment. When he backed into a parked Range Rover, the FBI said Horne left the scene because he didn’t want evidence of the affair.

Horne was charged last week with a misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of an accident.

Horne originally claimed that he didn’t leave a note because he didn’t believe there was any damage, the AP reported.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Under FBI Investigation in Alleged Mortgage Swap

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway is under investigation over a suspicious $1.5 million real estate deal, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Citing a source familiar with the probe, the Free Press says the FBI is investigating how Hathaway eliminated $600,000 in mortgage debt on the waterfront home in suburban Grosse Pointe Park.

The FBI said the alleged scheme involved the judge transferring properties to relatives and then selling the $1.5 million house in a short sale for $850,000.

A former metro Detroit FBI chief, Andrew Arena, told the Free Press that swapping properties is a common mortgage fraud scheme.

Hathaway and her attorney declined to comment.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Mexican Man Pleads Guilty in Fatal Shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

Brian Terry

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A Mexican man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Arizona in the killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry near the Arizona-Mexican border in 2010, the Associated Press reports.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes said he and others snuck into the U.S. a week before the shootout to rob marijuana smugglers, stashing guns and food supplies north of the border.

It’s unclear which of the five suspects – three of whom remain at large – fired the fatal shot on Dec. 14, the AP reported.

Terry’s death broke open details of the botched gun-smuggling operation, “Fast and Furious,” because two weapons bought during the operation were found at the scene.

Osorio-Arellanes is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 11.

Prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.

Take a Tour Inside ATF Lab Where Evidence Is Examined with State-of-the-Art Equipment


Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ABC7 News takes a tour of one of the country’s three ATF labs to show how evidence is examined.

The lab in Walnut Creek, Calif. – the others are in Maryland and Atlanta – has state-of-the-art equipment used to help investigate fires, explosives and weapons.

At the heart of the lab is a forensics examination room where scientists examine the types of liquids or material used cause explosions and fires.

ABC7 News shows how investigations work and the equipment used to investigate.

Betrayal: High School Pal of Ex-Detroit Mayor Becomes a Star Prosecution Witness

Derrick Miller, inset, was a boyhood friend of Kwame Kilpatrick and part of his trusted inner circle at city hall. Miller will testify against his Cass Tech classmate.

 
By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — In the eighth-floor federal courtroom where Kwame Kilpatrick is on trial, prosecutors in coming weeks will summon one of their star witnesses: Derrick “Zeke” Miller.

Miller, who authorities say was a “bagman” and “right-hand man” for Kilpatrick, was a close friend of the mayor — not a fair-weather flatterer, as politicians often attract.

He first met Kilpatrick in Mrs. Cunningham’s ninth-grade English class at Cass Tech High School. They forged a friendship. He helped Kilpatrick get elected and worked in Kilpatrick’s inner circle at city hall along with another classmate of theirs, Christine Beatty, who would eventually become a central figure in the text messaging scandal.

“Other than my wife and Christine, I trusted no one more than Zeke,” Kilpatrick wrote in his 2011 autobiography. Eventually, the friendship died.

Miller — who went by nickname “Zeke” because of his affinity for Pistons basketball star Isiah “Zeke” Thomas — could have been sitting at the defense table along with Kilpatrick. He was initially one of five people named in the Kilpatrick indictment along with Kilpatrick’s close buddy, Bobby Ferguson, a contractor; father Bernard Kilpatrick and water department ex-director Victor Mercardo.

To read the full story click here.

Attorneys for Gangster James “Whitey” Bulger Say Judge Has Conflict of Interest

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorneys for the notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger said their client received immunity to commit crimes from a late federal prosecutor, the Irish Central reports.

The prosecutor, Jeremiah O’Sullivan, a former U.S. attorney, worked as a federal prosecutor at the same time as U.S. District Court Judge Richard Stearns, who is presiding over the case.

Bulger’s attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., said Stearns should recuse himself because the past working relationship with O’Sullivan constitutes a conflict of interest, the Irish Central reported.

Carney says Stearns was chief of the criminal division during a federal investigation of Bulger. But Stearns declined the request, saying he was not aware of Bulger being the target of an investigation at the time.

Mexican Accused of Killing U.S. Border Patrol Agent in 2010 to Change Plea

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Mexican man accused of killing a U.S. Border Patrol agent during a 2010 exchange of fire near the Arizona-Mexico border is expected to change his plea today in federal court, the Associated Press reports.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes had pleaded not guilty to murder, assaulting a federal officer and other charges in connection with the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Authorities said the firefight began when Osorio-Arellanes and four other men planned to rob marijuana smugglers.

Three of those men remain fugitives, the AP reported.