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Archive for September, 2009

Weekend Series on History: The Rise and Fall of NY Mobster Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AKYdk1pxIA

NY Daily News Reports that Denver Man at Center of NY Terrorism Probe Wants to Cut Deal with FBI

UPDATE: Sunday 12:45 a.m.  FBI Arrests Father and Son in Terror Probe (NY Times)

The FBI is expected to run down counterterrorism leads and check them out thoroughly. And that’s what the agency seems to be doing in this case. But it’s still not clear how big of a deal this was.denver-map

BY James Gordon Meek In Washington, Judith Crosson In Denver and Rocco Parascandola and Larry Mcshane In New York
N.Y. DAILY NEWS WRITERS

The Afghan national at the center of a reputed Al Qaeda terror cell probe was trying to cut a deal Friday after two days of FBI grilling, sources told the Daily News.

Lawyers for Najibullah Zazi, 25, were negotiating with federal officials for an agreement where he could admit receiving military training – but deny plans to injure any Americans, sources familiar with the case said.

Zazi arrived at the FBI’s Denver office Friday for a third day of questioning. He did a pair of eight-hour Q&A sessions with federal agents on the two previous days.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

NBA Star Arrested for Carrying 3 Guns (Fanhouse)

Justice Dept. Review of CIA Detainee Abuse to Focus on Small Number of Cases

This will continue to be a political hot potato. But it seems that the Justice Dept. should look into cases in which CIA employees went beyond the guidelines of interrogation.

torture 2

By Carrie Johnson, Jerry Markon and Julie Tate
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s review of detainee abuse by the CIA will focus on a very small number of cases, including at least one in which an Afghan prisoner died at a secret facility, according to two sources briefed on the matter.

On Friday, seven former CIA directors urged President Obama to end the inquiry, arguing that it would inhibit intelligence operations in the future and demoralize agency employees who believed they had been cleared by previous investigators.

For Full Story

Mass Judge Orders Boston Mobsters to Pay $33.5 Million to Family of 1981 Murder Victim

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Massachusetts judge has ordered two infamous Boston mobsters — James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi — to each pay $15 million to the family of  26-year-old Debra Davis after finding the duo  liable  for her 1981 murder, according to press reports.

Norfolk Superior  Judge Patrick Brady also ordered, as part of the lawsuit, that  Flemmi  pay another $3 million for molesting the woman’s younger sister, and another $500,000 for intentionally inflicting emotional distress on the woman’s mother, the Boston Globe reported. The sister and mother have both died.

It all may sound good, but the judgment in the lawsuit may end up being symbolic.  In other words, collecting the money may be next to impossible. Bulger has been on the lam for years, and Flemmi is serving a life sentence in prison for 10 murders.

Of the two mobsters, Bulger, 80, is more likely to have the cash. But no one can find him. He remains on the the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted fugitive list.

Steve Flemmi

Steve Flemmi

The Davis lawyer told the Boston Globe that it was unclear whether the two mobsters had the assets to pay up.

Fed Judge Won’t Dismiss Murder Charges in Mobster Gotti Trial Set to Begin Monday

Let the high drama begin. Trial starts Monday for mobster John Gotti Jr., who by all accounts, was not nearly as sharp as his old man. The judge ruled against him on dropping some charges, but is going to let a statement be read in court saying that Gotti was involved in three other trials that resulted in mistrials.

John Gotti Jr./youtube

John Gotti Jr./youtube

By ANTHONY M. DESTEFANO
Newsday

John A. Gotti, son of the late mob boss, lost out Thursday on an attempt to get two murder charges dismissed from his upcoming federal trial slated to begin on Monday.

Manhattan federal Judge Kevin Castel denied a motion by Gotti to get two drug-related murder charges, as well as a drug conspiracy charge, cut out of the racketeering trial indictment.

Gotti, of Oyster Bay Cove, had argued through his attorneys that the two drug-related charges contained allegations of crimes that took place in Queens, and thus couldn’t be tried in Manhattan federal court. The slayings involved the deaths of George Grosso and Bruce Gotterup in Queens.

For Full Story

Thieves Break into FBI Agent’s Indianapolis Car and Steal Weapons

gunBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s one burglary that will probably get a little more attention from law enforcement than most.

The Indianapolis police reported that thieves broke into an FBI agent’s car on the city’s northwest side Thursday morning and stole a submachine gun, a semiautomatic rifle, .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun and two sets of body armor, according to the Associated Press. AP initially reported that burglars broke into the agent’s home.

The news agency reported that the agent, a member of the SWATT team, had stored the weapons in a chained lockbox.

The AP reported the agents home was among a number of  homes, garages and vehicles that were broken into.

Michael Moore for U.S. Attorney? Say What?

Michael Moore/michaelmoore.com

Another Michael Moore/michaelmoore.com

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Michael Moore for U.S. Attorney. What’s this world coming to?

Well, it’s not actually the Michael Moore of “Roger and Me” fame, the target of the right.

It’s the other Michael Moore, a former Georgia state senator and a former chief assistant district attorney. He is currently a private attorney.

President Obama has nominated him to be the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, according to the Macon Telegraph.

In other moves, President Obama nominated Ed Tarver for the U.S. Attorney job in the Southern District of Georgia and Carmen Ortiz for the Boston U.S. Attorney post.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Top Aide to Atty. General Ashcroft Takes the Fifth

John Ashcroft/doj photo

John Ashcroft/doj photo

It’s a little painful to see an ex-top aide to the Attorney General take the Fifth while on the witness stand.

By NEDRA PICKLER
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON — A top aide to former Attorney General John Ashcroft claimed his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination Thursday in a trial related to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

David Ayers, who was Ashcroft’s chief of staff at the Justice Department during the Bush administration, refused to answer questions under oath about tickets he received from Abramoff’s firm and any favors he may have granted for the firm’s clients.

Ayers was called as a defense witness in the corruption trial of Abramoff deputy Kevin Ring. Ring faces charges that he illegally influenced federal officials by providing them with expensive meals, drinks and tickets to concerts and sporting events.

For Full Story