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August 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for August, 2009

Indiana Man Charged With Burning Cross at Inter-Racial Home

hate-photo-of-handBy Allan Lengel
For some hate-minded folks like Bruce Mikulyuk, cross burnings never go out of style.

Federal authorities on Wednesday announced that they had indicted Mikulyuk of Mishawaka, Ind., on charges of burning a cross in September 2007  in the front yard of a home occupied by an African American man and a white woman.

At some point, the indictment says, Mikulyuk “returned with a knife and made threats.”

Trial is set for Nov. 3.

Read Indictment

Court Allows Key Figure in U.S. Atty Firings to Practice in D.C.

Kyle Sampson-roxbury news

Kyle Sampson-roxbury news

It’s not clear why Kyle Sampson, the Bush era figure who played a prominent role in the U.S. Atty firings, was granted a waiver to practice in D.C. by the court when the whole firing mess is under criminal investigation.

Zachary Roth
Talking Points Memo

Kyle Sampson, the Bush Justice Department staffer who played perhaps the most active operational role in the U.S. attorney firings, has been granted a rare waiver to practice law in Washington D.C., despite an ongoing criminal investigation into the scandal.

Sampson, who was chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, last year had his application for a law license rejected, pending the result of the criminal investigation, by the D.C. Committee on Admissions.

The committee referred to a “cloud” over Sampson’s “moral character,” citing his prominent role in the firings, as documented by two DOJ reports. Among other things, Sampson has been shown to have miseld Congress about the White House’s role in the firings.

For Full Story

Fed Prosecutor Who Got Loan from N.J. Ex-U.S. Attorney Christie Resigns

This has been a tough governor’s race and ex-U.S. Atty Chris Christie has been knocked around. But he has a shot at winning if he can keep his little controversies to a minimum. In this case, an ex-colleague resigned Tuesday to help the cause.


By Josh Margolin and Claire Heininger
Newark Star-Ledger
TRENTON — The federal prosecutor at the center of the controversy over a loan made by Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie resigned today.

Michele Brown, the acting First Assistant U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, said in her resignation letter it has been an “honor and privilege” to serve, but she does not want to be “a distraction” for her colleagues.

The surprise departure came only eight days after it was revealed Brown had borrowed $46,000 from Christie while Christie was her boss as U.S. attorney.

For Full Story

Lawsuit in Border Patrol Shooting Blames Agency’s Hiring Practices

The Border Patrol has had its share of problems and bad publicity. Now the family of a man killed by an agent is pursuing a lawsuit. This doesn’t help.

Border Patrol

Courthouse News Service
TUCSON — The family of a man who was shot to death by a Border Patrol agent says the agency’s hiring practices are partly to blame for the death.

Francisco Dominguez-Rivera’s family says the agency should have known of Nicholas W. Corbett’s history of “ethnic hatred” before allowing him in the field.

Corbett was tried twice in 2008 on charges of killing Francisco Dominguez-Rivera, a 22-year-old immigrant who was making his way back to Mexico through the desert near Douglas when Corbett arrested him.

After nearly hitting Dominguez-Rivera and three others with his vehicle, Corbett arrested the group and, without provocation, shot Dominguez-Rivera “execution style, within a firing range of approximately 3 to 12 inches,” according to the federal complaint.

For Full Story

U.S. Marshals Arrest Disgraced ex-NBA Ref Tim Donaghy After He Violates Halfway House Rules

Tim Donaghy/nbc sports
Tim Donaghy/nbc sports

Ex-Ref Tim Donaghy, who disgraced the NBA in a betting scandal, thought it would be ok to go to a health club instead of work. The U.S. Marshals thought differently.

Philadelphia Daily News

Tim Donaghy, the ex-NBA referee who served time in a federal prison camp for betting on basketball games, got called for a traveling violation Monday – and it cost him a trip to the county prison.

The Delaware County native, who has been living at a Tampa, Fla., halfway house since he was released from the prison camp in mid-June, thought it was perfectly OK to visit a local health club Friday, according to his lawyer.

The feds thought otherwise, and decided Monday morning to toss him into the Orient Road Jail for the unauthorized trip.

For Full Story

Inmate Sends Anthrax Threat to Assist. U.S. Atty Who Prosecuted Him

US MailBy Allan Lengel

You can accuse John Philip Barker of a crime, but don’t ever accuse him of being overly smart.

Barker, 47, has been charged with mailing a white powder letter to Assistant U.S. Attorney David Smith of Kansas City, Ks., who had just prosecuted him for mailing an anthrax threat to the IRS, authorities said.

Interestingly, a criminal complaint says that Barker spelled anthrax wrong — he spelled it “antrax” — in the first letter to the IRS and the second one to the prosecutor.

The letter to the prosecutor read:


An FBI affidavit said the letter Barker sent to the prosecutor also contained his name and address of his prison on the return address. The powder was harmless.

Barker was sentenced on Aug. 10 in the IRS mailing to one year and a day in federal prison.

Read Criminal Complaint and FBI Affidavit


FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Speaks About the Changing Face of the FBI


In FBI Press Release: Cases That Can’t be Discussed Are More Impressive Than the Ones that Can

istock_000000378393xsmall23By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — FBI officials often stop short of talking about potential terrorist plots they’ve managed to head off, citing  security concerns.

Unfortunately, what they can say isn’t always as impressive as what they can’t.

Take this week’s press release entitled: “FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate Recent Accomplishments” . Sounds  intriguing. Exciting.

“We are unrelenting in our efforts to protect the American people from weapons of mass destruction,” says Dr. Vahid Majidi, assistant director, Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate in the press release. “Whether it is a threatening letter filled with “powder” to investigating a major radiological incident….”

But the release falls short of our imagination. It mentions several cases in which people mailed harmless powder or made threats to judges. No al Qaeda. No jihads. A little disappointing.

Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman, said the release was meant to show “if anything, law enforcement is paying attention to all threats including those in the end that turnout not to (involve) threatening substances.” He said those threats can seem very real to the people who receive the fake powder.

Read more »