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June 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for June, 2009

FBI Agents Collecting Data From New Orleans City Hall

new-orleans-map-istockIf any FBI office is busy with public corruption, it’s New Orleans. The presence of FBI agents at city hall comes as the state’s infamous ex-Rep. William J. Jefferson is on trial in Alexandria, Va., on public corruption charges.

By David Hammer
New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — FBI agents have been in New Orleans City Hall since Friday collecting data from computer-network servers and backup tapes, according to a city official familiar with the investigation.

Five federal agents have tied up the work of management information systems employees as they comb through the data stored on the servers. The agents are expected to be in City Hall all week, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous because the investigation has not been made public.

The agents came bearing federal subpoenas seeking information and met with Chief Administrative Officer Brenda Hatfield, the source said.

City spokeswoman Ceeon Quiett on Tuesday evening stopped just short of denying that a federal subpoena had been served at City Hall.

For Full Story

The Latest from the Jefferson Trial (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

Fed Prosecutor Says Holocaust Museum Shooter Still Too Ill for Court Appearance

I imagine some white supremacists are proud that 88-year-old James W. von Brunn shot and killed a black man at a Jewish museum. But are they still proud of him now that the FBI has found child pornography on his computer?


By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The 88-year-old white supremacist charged with murder in the killing of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum this month was discharged from George Washington University Hospital last week but is too ill to appear in court, federal prosecutors said yesterday.

Since Friday, James W. von Brunn has been treated in a secure ward at United Medical Center, authorities said. At a brief hearing yesterday, federal prosecutor Nicole Waid said doctors indicated that von Brunn might be well enough to attend a court hearing early next week.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola set a hearing for Tuesday morning.

For Full Story

D.C. ATF Agent Faced With Choice: Pull Gun or Call For Help and Chase Suspects

Most law enforcement agents and officers are faced with the dilemma at some point or another: pull out the gun and fight it out or call for back up and follow the suspects. ATF Agent Bill Crummett had to make that decision.

capitol1By Clarence Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Bill Crummett had just spent hours organizing federal agents to investigate a fatal shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum when an unrelated burst of gunfire flashed before his eyes.

It happened June 10, hours after the museum violence, as Crummett’s car was stopped at a light a few blocks north of the Capitol.

Two pedestrians in a crosswalk at First and M streets NW pulled out semiautomatic handguns and opened fire on a third man, who was wounded and scrambled for cover behind a sport-utility vehicle. The assailants then hid their weapons in their waistbands, leaving Crummett to make a split-second decision: Engage and risk a firefight or call for help.

For Full Story

UPDATE: Disorderly Passenger Aboard Northwest Flight Walked Toward the Cockpit Door But Flight Attendant Intervened


By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — A disorderly man aboard a Northwest airlines flight headed from Detroit to Washington Tuesday night was moving toward the cockpit door but a flight attendant intervened and he backed away, authorities said.

Walter Vincent Baker, 30, of Michigan, was arrested and charged Arlington County, Va., with public intoxication and interference with the operation of an aircraft, an airport spokeswoman said.

I was aboard that plane, Northwest Flight 226, that landed at Reagan National Airport around 8:30 p.m.

Just minutes before the plane approached the gate, some shouting was heard in first-class section. Moments later, an announcement came over the public address system saying that authorities would be boarding the plane and passengers should remain in their seats.

After the plane got to the gate, about four uniformed Airport Authority Police officers boarded and quickly yanked the man out of his seat and took him away.

A flight attendant told an inquiring passenger (I was standing nearby) that the man tried to open the door during the flight and he was yelling something about terrorists. The flight attendant said it sounded like the man may have had some mental health issues.

Everyone on the plane remained calm, and a few minutes later, they left the plane.

Courtney Mickalonis, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said authorities got a call from the flight crew asking for assistance with a disorderly passenger.

On Tuesday night, she said investigators were interviewing witnesses. This morning, she said the man was moving toward the cockpit door, but a flight attendant intervened and told him to sit down.

She said words were exchanged and he eventually sat down. She said the man did not get close enough to the door to even attempt anything. No one was injured.

“We believe alcohol was involved,” she said.

Utah U.S. Atty. Tolman on Way Out; Replacement Suggested

Whatever happened, it wasn’t likely that Brett Tolman was going to get to stick around under the Obama administration.

U.S. Atty. Brett Tolman

U.S. Atty. Brett Tolman

By Chris Vanocur
SALT LAKE CITY– – It looks like it may be more bad news for Brett Tolman.

Not only is he feeling the heat for those Native American artifact arrests in Southern Utah, but now ABC 4 News is being told that Tolman will be replaced as Utah’s U.S. Attorney.

ABC 4 is being told by multiple democratic and republican sources that:

1) Tolman will not be kept on as Utah’s U.S. Attorney.

2) A candidate to replace him has already been recommended to the White House.

That candidate is said to be David Schwendiman.

Schwendiman was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, a key aide to then U.S. Attorney Scott Matheson.

For Full Story

Dept. of Homeland Security to Kill Controversial Spy Satellite Program

Some say we’re losing a tool in the war on terrorism. Civil liberty groups say it was a violation of our privacy. Apparently the latter won out.


The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to kill a controversial Bush administration spy satellite program at the Department of Homeland Security, according to officials familiar with the decision.

The program came under fire from its inception two years ago. Democratic lawmakers said it would lead to domestic spying.

The program would have provided federal, state and local officials with extensive access to spy-satellite imagery – but no eavesdropping capabilities- to assist with emergency response and other domestic-security needs, such as identifying where ports or border areas are vulnerable to terrorism.

For Full Story

N.J. Nominee for U.S. Atty. Paul Fishman Refuses to Disclose Full Client List

This raises an interesting dilemma. Yes, we have a right to know as much about a U.S. Attorney candidate as possible. And yes, clients who are targets of grand juries have a right to privacy. What to do? We assume we can trust nominees like Fishman to recuse themselves in instances where there’s a conflict of interest. On the other hand, maybe we should just avoid appointing U.S. Attorneys who are criminal lawyers and have disclosure issues.

Paul Fishman for N.J. U.S. Atty.

Paul Fishman for N.J. U.S. Atty.

By Jim McElhatton
Washington Times
WASHINGTON — The criminal defense lawyer nominated by President Obama to be the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey is declining to identify more than half of his private clients on government forms designed to help the public guard against potential conflicts of interests.

Paul J. Fishman, nominated to serve as the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, is citing the privacy interests of the clients – an exemption that is permitted under federal ethics laws, but that leaves prosecutors on an honor system to police their own conflicts, ethics watchdogs say.

Mr. Fishman provided the names of 29 clients on the government disclosure form, including a convicted former New Jersey municipal official, a health care company and the former girlfriend of New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine.

But he withheld the names of “approximately 37 confidential clients,[“] saying they cannot be named because they are involved in grand jury or other secret investigations.

For Full Story


Justice Dept. Wants Charges Dropped Against Mexican; Judge Chastises Prosecutors for Failing to Turn Over Evidence Quickly to Defense

The judge in this case, Emmet G. Sullivan, who presided over the Ted Stevens case, has a low tolerance in instances where the prosecution fails to share evidence with the defense — or do it in a timely manner. In this instance, Sullivan once again was not happy with the Justice Department.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan/court photo

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan/court photo

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department asked a federal judge yesterday to toss drug charges against a Chinese-born Mexican millionaire, saying that U.S. prosecutors had run into “evidentiary concerns” and that Mexico would be a better place to try him.

The request concerns Zhenli Ye Gon, who was arrested in July 2007 and was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District on charges of aiding and abetting a conspiracy to make methamphetamine that would be sold in the United States.

The charges came several months after a raid of his Mexico City mansion, where Mexican authorities seized $207 million in cash, most of it in $100 bills. Gon, who fled Mexico before the raid, was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration while eating dinner at a bistro in Wheaton with a female acquaintance.

For Full Story

Read Government Motion to Dismiss