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Archive for February 17th, 2009

Border Patrol Agents Who Shot Drug Dealer Released From Prison

For President Bush — who gave far few commutations or pardons than people expected — this was one of the higher profile cases.

By CNN
Two former U.S. Border Patrol agents — whose cases became flashpoints in the controversy over border security — were released early from prison Tuesday, one of their attorneys and a congressman said.
The agents were convicted in 2006 of shooting and wounding an unarmed illegal immigrant and then covering it up.
President George W. Bush issued commutations for both men during his final days in office last month. Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean had received 11- and 12-year prison sentences, respectively.
After the commutation, their prison sentences were set to end March 20.

For Full Story

Say it Ain’t So: Sen. Burris Says He Sought Campaign Funds For Gov. Blago

Day by day, this gets worse. Can this guy survive all this? Very good question. With all else that’s going on, this is probably the last thing Congress needs to deal with.

Sen. Roland Burris/official photo

Sen. Roland Burris/official photo

By Rick Pearson, John Chase and Ray Long
Chicago Tribune

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris has acknowledged he sought to raise campaign funds for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich at the request of the governor’s brother at the same time he was making a pitch to be appointed to the Senate seat previously held by President Barack Obama.
Burris’ latest comments in Peoria Monday night were the first time he has publicly said he was actively trying to raise money for Blagojevich. Previously Burris has left the impression that he always balked at the issue of raising money for the governor because of his interest in the Senate appointment.
In comments to reporters after appearing at a Democratic dinner, the senator several times contradicted his latest under-oath affidavit that he quietly filed with the Illinois House impeachment panel earlier this month. That affidavit was itself an attempt to clean up his live, sworn testimony to the panel Jan. 8, when he omitted his contacts with several Blagojevich insiders.
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Retired DEA Agent Stanley M. “Mike” Grobe Dies at Age 65

Chicago Tribune
Stanley M. “Mike” Grobe, age 65, of Kankakee, IL, U.S. Army Veteran, Special Agent for the DEA, retired after an illustrious career of 31 years.
Son of the late Stanley Myers Grobe and MinnieGertrude Chapman; husband of Christine K., nee Miller; father of Alexa Miller Grobe, Christian Miller Grobe, Janna (David) Viverito and Erik Grobe; brother of Sharon Kay (Charles) Perry of Huntington, WV and the late Ronnie Grobe; uncle of several nieces and nephews.\
Visitation Thursday,4 p.m. until time of Funeral Service 8 p.m., at theKankakee Chapel of the Schreffler Funeral Homes.\

Demand For High-Caliber Ammo Surging


By Mike Clary
South Florida Sun Sentinel

After a surge in firearms sales linked to political change in Washington, some South Florida gun dealers report an inability to meet the demand for certain types of ammunition.
“People are hoarding,” said Vito Servideo, whose Pompano Beach store, Only The Best, specializes in high-caliber weapons.
Exploding off the shelves are rounds for military-style assault weapons.
Curtis Soles of Davie’s Tropical Firearms said he recently received a shipment of five 1,000-round boxes of .223-caliber rifle cartridges used in the AR-15 and sold all five in one day. Price: $450 a box.
For Full Story

Dept. of Homeland Security Aided Maryland State Police Spying

The spying caper has been a big embarrassment for the Maryland State Police. Now we find out the Department of Homeland Security had a hand in it.


By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security tracked the protest plans of a peaceful Washington area antiwar group and passed the information to the Maryland State Police, which had previously labeled the activists as terrorists in an intelligence file.
The federal agency obtained two e-mails containing plans for upcoming demonstrations at a military recruiting center in Silver Spring in 2005, the first indication that DHS might have worked with the police to monitor advocacy groups. The notification by DHS appears in a state police file on the DC Anti-War Network, or DAWN, provided to The Washington Post under the Public Information Act.
The file is one of five created by the state police on the antiwar group in 2005 and 2006. Along with 53 individuals and about two dozen other protest groups, including Amnesty International and CASA of Maryland, the network was labeled a terrorist group in an internal police database. Police have said the names were not put on federal anti-terrorism lists.
For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Some Dispute FBI Agent’s Allegations of Government Misconduct in Sen. Stevens Case

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens before his defeat
Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens before his defeat

It’s hard to figure out what was more interesting: the trial or the post-trial with even juicier allegations of government wrongdoing.


By RICHARD MAUER and LISA DEMER
Anchorage Daily News

As the Justice Department prepares its official response to the FBI whistle-blower complaint that surfaced in the case of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, people with first-hand knowledge of some of its issues, including some named in the complaint, say it represents overblown concerns of an inexperienced agent.
The unusual complaint was brought by FBI agent Chad Joy, one of the key investigators in the five-year-old federal inquiry into corruption in Alaska politics. He accused the lead agent in the broad investigation and several prosecutors in the Stevens case of wrongdoing.
One former confidential source in the corruption investigation took issue with some of the facts alleged in the complaint by Joy. The source, Frank Prewitt, a former state corrections commissioner, said in an interview recently that he never observed FBI case agent Mary Beth Kepner, the chief target of the complaint, cross the line into improper or unethical conduct.
For Full Story

Read Latest Gov. Motion That Includes Info on the Replacement of Prosecution Team  Filed 2-16-09

Inventor of the Taser stun gun Jack Cover Dies at Age 88

Jack Cover/taser co. photo

Jack Cover/taser co. photo

Most people never heard of Jack Cover. But they”ve certainly heard of his invention, the Taser stun gun, which became a household word.


By BRUCE WEBER
New York Times

Jack Cover, the physicist who invented the Taser stun gun, the police weapon that subdues its targets with jolts of electricity, died Feb. 7 in Mission Viejo, Calif. He was 88 and lived in San Clemente, Calif.
The cause was pneumonia brought on by Alzheimer’s disease, said his wife, Ginny.
Mr. Cover (pronounced KOH-ver), who worked as an aerospace scientist and was affiliated with NASA’s Apollo moon landing program, came up with the idea for a nonlethal weapon for use in law enforcement in the 1960s as a response to emergencies in the news, including airplane hijackings.
The scientific inspiration, Ms. Cover said, was a newspaper article about a man who had inadvertently walked into an electrified fence and survived, though he was temporarily immobilized.
“When he read that had happened, he knew an electric current could be used without danger,” Ms. Cover said.

For Full Story

Family of Slain Border Agent Happy With Arrest in Mexico

The family of the victim is happy authorities made the arrest. But they said they’ll be happier when the suspect is on American soil.

By Adriana M. Chávez
El Paso Times
EL PASO, Tex. — For the family of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar Jr., who was killed last year near Yuma, Ariz., the arrest of a man suspected of killing him comes as happy news.
But the man’s arrest doesn’t end the grief or bring closure for his family.
On Wednesday, Mexican federal agents arrested Jesus Navarro Montes, 22, near Zihuatenejo, a Mexican resort town, in an operation coordinated with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI said. The U.S. government is seeking his extradition on drug charges.
FBI agents in San Diego want to question Navarro, a Mexican citizen, about Aguilar’s death in January 2008 near southeastern California’s Imperial Sand Dunes, where marijuana smugglers have long mixed in with recreational dune riders.

For Full Story