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Tag: New Jersey

Wondering in the Pretend Mob World if Tony Soprano Died at the End? Here’s the Answer

Tony Soprano

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fans of the HBO mob show “The Sopranos,” never got the answer to the big question: Did Tony Soprano die in the last episode?

We last saw the Soprano family on June 10, 2007 eating at a New Jersey diner. Tony was knocking back onion rings. the family was getting together.

But it looked as if Tony was about to get knocked off at the diner. The show ended and we never knew.

Well, apparently Martha P. Nochimson of Vox asked the show’s creator David Chase at a coffee shop.

Chase responded:

“No he isn’t.”

 

 

FBI Helped Try to Send Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter Back to Prison After Wrongful Murder Conviction

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was released from prison in 1976 after being wrongly convicted of murder, New Jersey prosecutors weren’t happy and brought in a heavyweight – the FBI – in hopes of dragging Carter back to jail, CNN reports.

Newly released documents show that Passaic County officials wanted feds to help get Carter back behind bars for allegedly beating a female friend. And although the FBI is typically busy with racketeering, corruption and other federal crimes, agents joined the case just two months after the former middleweight was released from prison because of his conviction for killing three people in a New Jersey bar was reversed.

A long-time friend of Carter’s isn’t surprised.

“If they’re out to get you, they’re going to attack from the air, land and sea,” said Ron Lipton, a former police officer. “They have carte blanche to do whatever they want.”

The documents were released after Carter died in April.

Carter was never charged in the alleged attack, but he was wrongfully convicted twice for the murders before being released for good in 1985.

Washington Post Editorial: Justice Department Should Order States to Comply with Prison Rape law

Washington Post
Editorial Board

Congress unanimously passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act in 2003. More than a decade later, many states are only beginning to comply with the law, and prison rape is still a disgusting and pervasive problem across the country.

According to the latest Justice Department survey, 4 percent of state and federal prison inmates had reported suffering sexual abuse in the previous year. That ratio was a staggering 1 in 10 for youths in various correctional facilities. And those results reflect only those willing to report sexual abuse to survey-takers.

Although American culture often treats it as such, rape cannot be an expected part of how the justice system punishes criminals, particularly young and vulnerable offenders. They surrender their liberty, not their humanity. Any official tolerance of sexual abuse in prisons, jails or local lockups is torture. Congress wisely decided to devote federal time and money to stamping it out.

So what’s the holdup? The law required a commission to make recommendations, then the Justice Department spent years finalizing rules for the states to follow. Last month, states had to report on their progress. Only New Hampshire and New Jersey certified that they fully comply with the law. Most of the rest instead offered “assurances” to the Justice Department that they were working on complying. The law offers states this leeway, as long as they devote a significant chunk of the federal money they get toward prison rape reform. Then there are a handful of states —Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, Texas, Utah and Florida — that offered no assurances that they would comply. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said that the rules are too one-size-fits all and would be too costly.

To read more click here.

FBI Investigates Small New York Town After It Bungled Big Baseball Stadium Deal

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Let’s just say taxpayers are fed up.

A top elected official in Ramapo, NJ, pledged to bring a minor-league baseball team to the small town about 40 miles northwest of New York City if a new stadium was built at no cost to taxpayers, Bloomberg News reports.

Now,  taxpayers are on the hook for as much as $60 million in stadium costs – enough to draw the attention of the FBI.

Agents recently descended on the town and are now examining one of the state’s most fiscally stressed municipalities.

“This is the most dramatic scenario with a stadium I’ve heard of,” said John Dittrich, who has more than 40 years of experience as an executive in professional baseball. “If taxpayers are mad about the way it went down, they’re not going to be customers, and it hurts.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Alleged Mobster ‘Papa Smurf’ Sentenced Up to 3 Years in Prison in Waste Hauling Scandal

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

They call him Papa Smurf.

The alleged mobster, Carmine Franco, 78, will spend two to three years in prison after he was sentenced Friday to racketeering charges, the New York Daily News reports.

Franco is accused in a multi-crime-family plot to seize control of waste hauling in New York City and New Jersey between 2009 and 2012.

Franco is among 32 alleged mobsters swept up in an FBI sting involving three families.

Newark Star-Ledger: FBI Surveillance’s Lasting Impact Reminiscent of NYPD’s Snooping in Newark

Editorial Board
Newark Star-Ledger 

In its hunt for terrorists, the New York Police Department hid moles in Newark mosques and sent agents into Paterson bodegas. The spying stayed secret until boxes of documents were leaked to the Associated Press.

Here’s what was exposed: The NYPD’s surveillance of New Jersey Muslims never turned up a useful lead. But it bred mistrust in those neighborhoods — of police, the government and each other. The damager will outlast the cops’ cloak-and-dagger failure.

The American Civil Liberties Union has evidence of a nearly identical FBI program to
track and map racial, ethnic and religious groups across the country — under a 2003 law that protects the agency’s profiling. In 2011, ACLU lawyers sued for details about who, where and how the feds are watching these communities. This week, a federal appeals court ruled the FBI can keep its spy mission secret.

No one doubts the value of national security. But dangerous, discriminatory policies — particularly those directed at Muslim Americans since 9/11 — undermine trust between law enforcement and those communities. In the end, we’re all less safe.

To read more click here.

Government Must Get Warrant for GPS for Car, Appeals Court Rules

By Andrea Peterson
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled Tuesday that the government must obtain a warrant to attach a GPS unit to a car.

The case involved alleged pharmacy burglaries in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland: the authorities suspected a trio of brothers and slapped a magnetic GPS unit to one of their vehicles after consulting the U.S. Attorney’s office — but without obtaining a warrant. Using the evidence gathered from the device, the vehicle was tracked to a recently burglarized RiteAid. Police stopped the brothers shortly afterward, and a search allegedly revealed items from the RiteAid.

In the resulting case, U.S. v. Katzin, the brothers argued that the evidence obtained as a result of the GPS unit should be inadmissible because the police had not obtained a warrant.

To read more click here.

Justice Department Intervenes in Dispute over Sports Betting in New Jersey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Saying the 20-year federal ban on sports betting is unconstitutional, New Jersey is challenging the law in hopes of legalizing sports betting at casinos and racing tracks, NJ.com reports.

But the U.S. Department of Justice struck down the argument Friday, saying New Jersey can’t challenge the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, NJ.com reported.

The DOJ intervened on behalf of a lawsuit filed by the National Collegiate Athletics Association and professional leagues – the NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL.

“(The federal law) is a constitutional exercise of congressional authority,” the lawsuit reads, “and it should be upheld.”

New Jersey officials claim the law is unconstitutional because, for one, four states are allowed to bet on sports but the others, including New Jersey, are not.