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Archive for January 21st, 2010

FBI Busts Maryland Police Lt. On Allegations That Included Phone Texts of Sexually Explicit Photos With Teen Girl He Was Having Affair With

anne arundel police patch 2

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI arrested a lieutenant from a suburban Maryland police department on child pornography charges stemming from his alleged relationship with a teenage girl and the exchange of sexually explicit photos  and messages via phone texts, the  U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore announced Thursday.

James Cifala, 47, of the county police department in Anne Arundel,  a bedroom community considered a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington, was arrested Wednesday night at the police station. He made his initial appearance in federal court in Baltimore on Thursday. He was being detained pending a detention hearing Friday.

“The complaint alleges that a sworn law enforcement officer violated his oath in an egregious manner by engaging in a relationship with a child who was more than 30 years younger,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of Baltimore said in a statement.

“I hope this case will send a wake up call to parents about the need to monitor their children’s use of cellular telephones and other communication devices.”

According to a court affidavit, parents of the teenage girl contacted the FBI to report their daughter’s sexual relationship with an adult, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that “FBI agents recovered sexually explicit text message conversations between the girl and “Johnny,” who has been identified as James Cifala.”

The FBI recovered images and text messages from the girl’s cell phone allegedly showing that “Cifala exchanged sexually explicit text messages with the girl and that she transmitted sexually explicit pictures of herself to Cifala’s cell phone at his request,” authorities said.

Authorities said that FBI agents executed a search warrant at Cifala’s home on January 20 and “observed furnishings that allegedly match the background of a sexually explicit photograph Cifala sent to the girl.”

If convicted, Cifala faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Senate Confirms ex-U.S. Attorney and Atlanta Fed Judge Beverly Martin to Court of Appeals

atlanta-map1By Allan Lengel
tickethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the nomination  of U.S. District Judge Beverly Martin, a former U.S. Attorney, to the  federal court of appeals judge in Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Martin joins the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

“It is humbling that President Obama and his administration thought of me for this job,” Martin, 54, said shortly after the vote, according to the newspaper.

In 1998,  President Clinton appointed her as the U.S. Attorney in Macon, Ga., and two years later he made her a U.S. District Court judge.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Officials Regret Curbs on Adding to No Fly List ( NY Times)

Newsweek Reports Obama Admin. Flabbergasted Over Intelligence Dir. Testimony on Detroit Bomber and Demanded Correction

Dennis Blair/gov photo

Dennis Blair/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff reports that the Obama administration was flabbergasted Wednesday when Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair testified before Congress  and said  the infamous Christmas Day underwear bomber  should have been questioned by a special interrogation unit that doesn’t exist rather than by the FBI.

Newsweek reported that one senior official described Blair’s comments as misinformed on multiple levels. And officials were concerned it  gave Republicans more fuel for the criticism of the handling of the Detroit case.

“People are annoyed, angry, and frustrated about this,” said the senior official, who asked not to be identified, speaking about Blair’s testimony, according to Newsweek.

The official added, according to Newsweek, that the White House had ordered Blair to “correct” his remarks, which he did in the afternoon.

“He’s taking a mulligan on this,” the official said,  according to Newsweek.

To read the full report click here.

Read ticklethewire.com report from Wednesday