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Archive for November, 2009

FBI Adds 2 People to Most Wanted Terrorist List

Husayn Muhammad al-Umari/fbi photo
Husayn Muhammad al-Umari/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI has added two people to its Most Wanted Terrorists list.

One of those people is Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso, who is wanted in connection with the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 sailors, the FBI said.

The second man is Husayn Muhammad al-Umari, who is wanted in the 1982 bombing of Pan Am Flight 830, which killed a teen passenger and injured 16. The flight, bound from Japan to Hawaii, carried 267 people.

The additions bring to 24 the number of people on the Most Wanted Terrorist list.

The State Department is offering  up to a $5 million reward for each man for information leading to the capture or conviction.

Gotti Jury for 2nd Time Says it’s Deadlocked

deadlocked
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thanksgiving at the Gotti home may be filled with a little more laughter than at the homes of the New York  prosecutors and FBI agents who worked his case.

That’s because the odds of a mistrial for John Gotti Jr. are improving by the day.

On Tuesday, for the second time during the 9 days of  deliberations, federal jurors in New York let the judge know they were deadlocked and couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict in the racketeering trial that includes allegations of murder and drug trafficking, the Associated Press reported.

John Gotti Jr./youtube photo
John Gotti Jr./youtube photo

U.S. District Judge Kevin P. Castel rejected the defense request to declare a mistrial and ordered the jury to continue deliberating, AP reported.

“This trial has been conducted at considerable expense and human effort to both the government and the defendant,” the judge told them, according to AP. “If your deliberations do not end in a verdict, in all likelihood it would have to be tried again before another jury.”

The jury is expected to cut off at 2 p.m. Wednesday and return Tuesday. This is Gotti’s fourth trial. The other three ended in mistrials after the jury deadlocked.

FBI’s Most Wanted List No Longer Hangs in Most Post Offices

-binLadenWantedPoster

It’s hard to get all teary eyed and nostalgic about the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives list, but you have to admit the list looked pretty cool hanging on the post office walls. It brought a little excitement to a place that is anything but exciting.

By Lee Hill Kavanaugh
The Kansas City Star

For decades, the baddest of the bad stared out from FBI wanted posters in post offices nationwide.

Bank robber Willie Sutton. Serial killer Ted Bundy. Osama Bin Laden.

Multiple murderer Thomas James Holden — the first name on the FBI’s first 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list, back in 1950. Holden once escaped from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth and was captured two years later on a Kansas City golf course.

Seeing the faces on a post office wall is a rarity now. They have disappeared over the past decade.

Post offices no longer want the Most Wanted.

For Full Story

Authorities Say Kentucky Census Worker Committed Suicide

Census Bureau logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — When Kentucky Census Bureau worker William E. Sparkman was found dead in September — with the word “FED” scrawled on his chest — everyone assumed the obvious: He was murdered.

Not so,  state and federal investigators said Tuesday.

The Washington Post reported that authorities believe Sparkman committed suicide. He was found in eastern Kentucky, his hands, feet and mouth loosely bound with duct tape and a rope loosely tied around his neck, the paper reported.

Investigators concluded that he had written “FED” on his chest. People told investigators he was suicidal, the Post reported.

What’s more, shortly before his death, he had taken out two life insurance policies totaling $600,000, which would not pay out for suicide, the Post reported. The money reportedly was to go to his son.

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Cyber-Bully Mom Off the Hook in MySpace Suicide Case

myspace-images3By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It looks like cyber-bully mom Lori Drew has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

The Los Angeles U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed notice in court that it does not plan to pursue an appeal in her case. She was charged with computer fraud and Abuse Act after she created a fake MySpace account to harass a teenage girl who committed suicide, WIRED’s Threat Level website reported.

Drew was convicted in L.A. last November, but a federal judge acquitted her in July.

“We have a notice with the 9th Circuit that we are withdrawing our notice of appeal in the case,” a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles wrote in an e-mail to Threat Level.

The case raised all kinds of Constitutional questions. In the end, the law governing the Internet remains murky.

Prosecutors charged Drew under a federal hacking law, but U.S. District Judge George Wu ruled that the government’s interpretation was, in the end, unconstitutional and would have opened up the gates for more questionable prosecutions.

Background on the MySpace Case

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-RcxhUfIQw

Undercover ICE Agent’s Life Spared in Colombia When Traffickers Learn of his Identity

colombiaBY GERARDO REYES
Miami Herald

MIAMI — Luis Angel Ortiz was being driven to a party in Medellín when the car came to a halt and a man in the back seat put a gun to his head.

Time to pay up, Ortiz was told.

The threat came from the chief of a Medellín drug trafficking gang.

So began a 48-hour drama in Colombia that kept Ortiz — a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who had infiltrated the gang — teetering on the edge of death.

But Ortiz escaped execution when his captors discovered that he was an American antidrug agent.

According to Ortiz’s account to the FBI, his kidnappers panicked, apologized — and even surrendered a firearm while they asked him not to expose them, according to an FBI report obtained by El Nuevo Herald.

For Full Story

Chicago Area Businessman Pleads to Assaulting FBI Agent

illinioisBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A suburban Chicago business man, who was charged with assaulting an FBI agent, has decided to stop gambling on his fate.

John Esposito, a Franklin Park businessman, agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor after a jury failed to reach a verdict on Monday on felony charges, the Chicago Tribune reported.

His attorney James Streicker told the Tribune that the jury was split in half and his client decided to go for a sure thing rather than take a chance with a new trial.

Esposito got into a a scuffle with agent Brian Etchell, who had come to his business to investigate suspected fraud. The two ended up rolling on the ground during a confrontation.

Assist. U.S. Attorney Says More Charges to be Filed in Chandra Levy Case

chandra-levyBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — An Assistant U.S. Attorney told a judge on Monday that he planned to file more charges against the suspect in the murder of intern Chandra Levy, the Washington Post reported.

But the assistant U.S. Attorney Fernando Campoamor did not specify in D.C. Superior Court what the new charges would be against suspect Ingmar Guandique. A new arraignment on a superseding indictment was scheduled for Dec. 15, the Post reported.

As a result of the new charges, the January trial has been rescheduled for Oct. 4.

The Post said while the new charges were not disclosed, prosecutors have said Guandique had threatened to kill a potential witnesses, and that they had found at least one other person who may have been attacked by Guandique.

Guandique has been serving a 10-year sentence for attacking two female joggers in Washington’s Rock Creek Park not far from where Levy’s body was discovered in 2002, a year after she was reported missing.

To read more click here.

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