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Archive for July, 2009

Texas FBI Agent Gets Community Service For Killing Neighbor’s Chihuahua Named Sassy

This isn’t good for the FBI image. Some expect an agent might have to shoot a deranged serial killer or terrorist, but a Chihuahua named Sassy? Not good. From Waco, Texas, here’s the sad story of Sassy.

FBI Agent Shot A Chihuahua Just Like This One/istock photo
FBI Agent Shot A Chihuahua Just Like This One/istock photo

By Wendy Gragg
Waco Tribune-Herald
WACO, Tex. Disappointed but not surprised,” is how Jason and Amy Davis feel about the sentence handed down Wednesday to the local FBI agent who shot and killed their 3-pound Chihuahua, Sassy.

Lovett Leslie Ledger, 40, was sentenced Wednesday by 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson to two years’ deferred probation and 300 hours of community service after pleading no contest to state jail felony animal cruelty charges. Deferred probation means there will be no final judgment of guilt if Ledger successfully completes deferred probation.

“This is closure for us,” Jason Davis said. “We’re here for our children. They still ask us questions we don’t know how to answer.”

Jason Davis said the appropriate punishment would have been for Ledger to be in the Davis home the night when the Davises had to tell their children, now ages 9 and 6, that their pet, Sassy, had been killed.

For Full Story

Jury in William Jefferson Trial Sees America’s Most Famous Freezer

Well, sure there was key testimony from an FBI agent in the case. But at the end of the day, the jury got to see America’s most famous freezer: William Jefferson’s. The one  where FBI agents found $90,000 in marked FBI bills.

America's Most Famous Freezer
America’s Most Famous Freezer/Government Exhibit

By Jonathan Tilove and Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — The lead FBI agent in the investigation of former Rep. William Jefferson denied Wednesday that he had instructed cooperating witness Lori Mody to play on Jefferson’s emotions, get him drunk, and lure him into taking a bigger share of her company.

“That’s not on her, that’s on him, ” special agent Timothy Thibault said, explaining that Jefferson continued to escalate his demands for a piece of Mody’s business even when he wasn’t under the influence of her wiles and wine.

In its redirect, the prosecution played a videotape from the four-hour, $1,023 dinner Mody and Jefferson shared at Galileo, a fancy Italian restaurant in Washington, D.C., on May 12, 2005, to show that it was Jefferson, not Mody, who was questioning the wait staff about the wine choices, and ordering a 1997 vintage.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Atty. Drops Charges Against D.C.’s Marion Barry

Mexican Army Using Torture in War on Drugs

One sure way to lose public support on the war on drugs in Mexico and the U.S. is to use torture. This is something both the U.S. and Mexico need to address if they hope to succeed.

mexico-border-sign

By Steve Fainaru and William Booth
Washington Post Foreign Service
PUERTO LAS OLLAS, Mexico — The Mexican army has carried out forced disappearances, acts of torture and illegal raids in pursuit of drug traffickers, according to documents and interviews with victims, their families, political leaders and human rights monitors.

From the violent border cities where drugs are brought into the United States to the remote highland regions where poppies and marijuana are harvested, residents and human rights groups describe an increasingly brutal war in which the government, led by the army, is using harsh measures to battle the cartels that continue to terrorize much of the country.

In Puerto Las Ollas, a mountain village of 50 people in the southern state of Guerrero, residents recounted how soldiers seeking information last month stuck needles under the fingernails of a disabled 37-year-old farmer, jabbed a knife into the back of his 13-year-old nephew, fired on a pastor, and stole food, milk, clothing and medication.

For Full Story

Feds Bust Dog Fighting Rings in 5 States

Bad News For Ex-Gov Blago: His Top Aide John Harris Pleads Guilty and Agrees to Cooperate With Feds

John Harris/msnbc photo
John Harris/msnbc photo

This can’t be good for ex-Gov. Blagojevich to have his top aide plead guilty while he awaits trial. In fact, after admitting criminal acts involving the ex-Gov, top aide John Harris also agreed, according to page 17 of the plea deal  “to fully and truthfully cooperate in any matter in which he is called upon.” Yikes.

BY NATASHA KORECKI
Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — A former top aide to Rod Blagojevich pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, admitting he discussed having his then boss appoint an adviser to President Obama to the U.S. Senate in exchange for financial benefits for the ex-governor.

The 26-page plea deal details various conversations that allegedly took place between Blagojevich and his former chief of staff, John Harris, concerning who would fill Obama’s open seat.

Harris’ plea deal also reveals a new allegation against the ex-governor concerning “Senate Candidate D,” identified by three sources as former Senate President Emil Jones.

Harris says Blagojevich sent him to deliver a quid pro quo request to the now-retired Jones.

For Full Story

Read Plea Agreement

Cyberattacks Focus on Govern. Sites Including Homeland Security and the Washington Post & Nasdaq

computer-photoThese attacks certainly aren’t catastrophic — at least not yet. But they are scary and are a reminder that we need to do more to protect our computers.

By Brian Krebs and Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — A widespread and coordinated cyberattack during the past few days has targeted Web sites operated by major government agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, according to several computer security researchers.

The attacks involved thousands of computers around the globe infected with rogue software that told them to repeatedly attempt to access the targeted sites, a tactic aimed at driving up traffic beyond the sites’ normal capacity and denying access to legitimate users, according to the researchers, many of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they are helping with the investigation.

Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said that the agency was aware of ongoing attacks and that the government’s Computer Emergency Response Team had issued guidance to public and private sector Web sites to stem the attacks.

For Full Story

Woman Offers Undercover FBI Agent Swimming Pool and Gas Money to Kill Ex-Boyfriend

illinois-map1The FBI suggested this was the first time a murder-for-hire case began with text messaging. The woman wasn’t exactly offering the world for the murder: an above-ground swimming pool and $200 in gas money. She could have at least thrown in a couple inflatable rafts for the pool in the whole deal.

By Steve Schmadeke
Chicago Tribune reporter
CHICAGO — An Indiana woman offered an undercover FBI agent posing as a professional hit man her above-ground swimming pool and $200 in gas money to kill an ex-boyfriend who wanted custody of one of her children, federal authorities in Chicago charged Tuesday.

Heidi Friedburg, 30, and her current boyfriend, William C. Alexander, 31, of New Carlisle, Ind., were arrested Monday as they unloaded Friedburg’s disassembled swimming pool to seal the deal with the would-be hit man in a south suburban parking lot.

Ross Rice, the FBI spokesman in Chicago, said he believed it was the first murder-for-hire case that began with text messages — and without a doubt the first time a pool had been offered as payment.

“How low can we go?” said Rice, who indicated the swimming pool had been seized as evidence.

Shortly after her Illinois ex-boyfriend filed a paternity lawsuit, Friedburg asked a former co-worker via text message to help find a hit man, the criminal complaint stated. The co-worker contacted the FBI the same day.

For Full Story