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April 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for April, 2009

Dem Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu Says She’ll Back Republican U.S. Atty. Letten’s Bid to Stay On

The Senator had been hinting for months that she would back the current U.S. Attorney. The Obama administration has said that it won’t simply replace U.S. Attorneys because they were appointed by a Republican. So far, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago is the only Republican-appointed U.S. Attorney who has been told he can stay on for good. Letten, who enjoys a great reputation in New Orleans, would be the second Republican appointed U.S. Attorney to get the nod to stay on.

U.S. Atty. Jim Letten

U.S. Atty. Jim Letten

The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said Monday she will recommend that President Barack Obama keep a popular Republican, Jim Letten, as the U.S. Attorney in New Orleans, a powerful patronage post that usually goes to a member of the party that holds the White House.

Landrieu also announced her recommendation that Obama appoint New Orleans Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris to an open U.S. district judgeship in New Orleans and Louisiana State Police Lt. Col. Genevieve “Genny” May as the U.S. Marshal for the New Orleans-based federal district.

But it was the Letten recommendation that was the most eagerly awaited in Louisiana political circles. Letten gained political fame in the state when, as an assistant U.S. Attorney during the Clinton administration, he led the prosecution team that put former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards in prison for corruption. After George W. Bush became president, Democrat Eddie Jordan left the U.S. attorney’s post, as often happens with a change in administrations. Letten filled the job on an interim basis then was formally appointed by Bush.

For Full Story


Montana Fed Judge Blasts Prosecutors in Asbestos Criminal Trial

missoula-montanaThe pain of the Sen. Ted Stevens case still languishes. In that case, the government was accused of misconduct that included  failing to turn over documents to the defense. The conviction was vacated. Now comes this case where the allegations are similar and the judge, just like in the Stevens case, is steaming mad.

New York Times
MISSOULA, Mont. – A chastened team of prosecutors stood here on Monday before a clearly angry federal judge in the criminal trial over asbestos contamination in the small town of Libby, Mont., and in soft voices, trying to salvage their threatened case, said they were sorry.

“The truth of the matter is that we just dropped the ball,” said Tim Racicot, an assistant United States attorney, standing before Judge Donald W. Molloy at a hearing in Federal District Court in the trial of W. R. Grace, the big chemical products company, and five of its executives, who are charged with multiple felonies in connection with their operation of a vermiculite mine in Libby.

Lawyers for Grace asked last week for the charges to be thrown out after two months of testimony. They accused prosecutors of repeatedly violating court orders to turn over evidence favorable to the defense and of putting on the stand a star witness whose credibility, they said, has since been shattered by information about his character, motivation and relationship with the prosecutors that the jury never heard about.

Fed Judge in Calif. Sentences “America’s Sheriff” to 5 1/2 Years in Prison

It’s a tough thing to live up to the unofficial title of  “America’s Sheriff”. Obviously, ex-Sheriff Mike Carona found it to be a tough challenge. He failed.

The Orange County Register
Sheriff Mike Carona

Sheriff Mike Carona

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Former sheriff Mike Carona was sentenced Monday to 5 ½ years in federal prison by a judge who said Carona brought shame to Orange County and victimized the people he was sworn to serve.

Carona, the highest ranking law enforcement official ever prosecuted in Orange County, displayed no emotion. He sat with his head up and hands clasped on his knees as U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford rejected his plea of probation.

He was allowed to remain free until July 24.

“Trust has been harmed here,” Guilford told Carona moments before reading his sentence. “Especially by this county’s leading law-enforcement officer.”

For Full Story

FBI Arrest Sheds Light on Twitter Crime Scenes

twitter4The FBI is being forced to be well versed in such social networks as Twitter and Facebook. Welcome to the new frontier.

Toronto Globe and Mail

The arrest this month of an Oklahoma City man who is accused of posting death threats on Twitter shines a light on how law-enforcement agencies are conducting investigations in the age of microblogging, when blogs and MySpace sites can be far more useful than fingerprints.

The FBI arrested Daniel Knight Hayden, 52, earlier this month for allegedly issuing death threats on April 11. Several posts were made under the handle “Citizen Quasar,” in relation to the “tea party” anti-tax protests in U.S. cities. One such protest was scheduled for Oklahoma City.

Among the posts on April 11 (all posts are as they appeared online): “The WAR wWIL start on the stepes of the Oklahoma State Capitol. I will cast the first sotne. In the meantime, I await the police.”

A few minutes later, another post reads: “I really don’ give a shit anymore. Send the cops around. I will cut their heads off the heads and throw the on the State Capitol steps.”

For Full Story

Read columnist Greg Stejskal’s column on the Internet and Freedom of Speech

Feds Say They Arrested Louisiana Judge After They Had Concern He Might Harm Himself

louisiana-mapIt’s not everyday that the feds say the timing of the arrest was based on concerns that the person might harm themselves. Even the judge’s attorney found that “ironic”.

By  Chris Kirkham
The New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS –– Friday’s FBI arrest of St. Bernard Parish District Judge Wayne G. Cresap came after concerns that the judge might harm himself if agents didn’t make a move, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said Monday.

Letten would not go into detail about how seriously Cresap might have injured himself or how agents learned about the risk, but he said “the timing of the arrest was precipitated in some significant measure by our concerns.”

Cresap was released Monday evening from Orleans Parish Prison after Letten’s office and Cresap’s attorney agreed he was no longer a danger to himself, three days after he was arrested on wire fraud charges stemming from an alleged judicial corruption scheme.

U.S. District Judge Lance Africk released Cresap on a $100,000 signature bond after a medical examination, meaning the judge did not have to put up any money, authorities said. Cresap’s attorney, Pat Fanning, said “it did seem a little ironic” that the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office were primarily concerned about Cresap’s mental health.

For Full Story

Informant Says FBI in Calif. Monitored Mosque Members at Gyms

istock_000007698493xsmallThese latest revelations can only create more tension between the FBI and the American Islamic communities. The FBI needs to make sure it lose all the ties it has made in Islamic communities since Sept. 11, 2001.

By Scott Glover
Los Angeles Times

As part of their anti-terrorism efforts, FBI agents monitored popular gyms throughout Orange County to gather intelligence on members of several local mosques, according to a man who claims to have been a key informant in the operation.

Sal Hernandez, director of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, declined comment on the matter Monday. Another law enforcement source, however, confirmed that the surveillance occurred, but emphasized that it was a narrowly focused operation targeting people whom the informant had already implicated in alleged crimes.

The informant is Craig Monteilh, who said he posed as a Muslim convert at the request of the FBI to gather intelligence that might aid anti-terrorism investigators.

Monteilh, a muscular man with a background as a personal trainer, said he was instructed to lure mosque members to work out with him at local gyms. FBI agents, he said, later would obtain security camera footage from the gyms and ask him to identify the people on the tapes and to provide additional information about them. He said he was told that the agents then conducted background checks on the men, looking for anything that could be used to pressure them to become informants.

For Full Story

Ex-Homeland Chief Michael Chertoff Praises Obama’s Security Measures

Michael Chertoff

Michael Chertoff

It’s refreshing to see a former Bushee voice an independent opinion that is not steeped in bitterness or total partisanship.

By The National Journal

In a recent interview with, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff differed with two of his Bush administration colleagues — backing away from statements by former Vice President Dick Cheney that President Obama had made the country less safe and slamming former FEMA Director Michael Brown as “obviously bitter.”

Chertoff had nicer things to say about the current White House, praising the Obama administration for continuing Bush-era policies like the Merida Initiative to fund anti-drug efforts in Mexico and invoking the state secrets privilege.

Since leaving government, the former secretary has started his own security consulting firm, the Chertoff Group. Edited excerpts of his conversation with Alina Selyukh follow.

NJ: One of the issues you work on with the Chertoff Group is cybersecurity. Who do you think was behind the recent online intrusion onto the U.S. electricity grid?

Chertoff: The issue of attacks or intrusions on networks has been an issue we’ve been talking about for several years now. And without getting into things that are classified, obviously, some of these kinds of intrusions do come from other countries. Some of them come from criminal groups. Some of them just come from people who are hackers who want to prove that they can intrude in a network…. The key is to try to create a system that protects you from all of these groups.

To Read the Rest


Homeland Sec. Napolitano Declares “Public Health Emergency” But Says Swine Flu Situation NOT Dire