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Archive for February, 2010

Is The White House Really Still Considering 9/11 Trial in NY?

Acquitted Cleveland DEA Agent Wants Job Back

clevelandBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Cleveland DEA agent Lee Lucas who was acquitted last week of helping frame 17 suspects in a 2005 sting,  would like to return to his job, his attorney told the Associated Press on Monday.

“Lee looks forward to returning to duty with the DEA as quickly as possible,” Joel Kirkpatrick told the AP in a phone interview.

AP reported that Kirkpatrick expected Lucas , a 19-year DEA veteran, to be cleared in the civil lawsuits filed  by people who were wrongfully charged in the sting.

Lucas was known as a hard charging agent, but also somewhat of a cowboy whose tactics sometimes raised questions.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office had charged him with  covering up and lying about made up information provided by an unreliable informant.

The AP said it could not reach anyone Monday at DEA headquarters for comment.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that DEA officials this week could decide on the status of  Lucas, who had been suspended without pay after his indictment last year.

Ex-NY Fed Prosecutor Could Become the First Openly Gay Federal Judge

Alum Sen. Charles Schumer
Sen. Charles Schumer

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Daniel Alter, a former N.Y. assistant U.S. Attorney who served on the prosecution team in the 1998 African embassy bombings, could become the first openly gay federal judge.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer has sent  the White House a recommendation nominating the Yale Law School graduate as a U.S. District judge in Manhattan, according to a press release from Schumer’s office.

“I’m proud to nominate Daniel Alter. Period,” Schumer said in a statement. “But I am equally proud to nominate him because he is a history-maker who will be the first openly gay male judge in American history.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial: Criticism in Detroit Case “Entirely Unjustified”

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Editorial Page

PITTSBURGH — Criticism by some senators of Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to treat attempted airline bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as a prisoner to be handled according to American standards of justice is entirely unjustified.

When Mr. Abdulmutallab was arrested Dec. 25 he was questioned briefly and read the Miranda rights that cover anyone arrested on American soil. According to Mr. Holder, he made the decision to handle Mr. Abdumutallab in that fashion after consultation with the FBI. The Nigerian was clearly both an alleged criminal and a potential source of intelligence.

The charge by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and others is that in dealing with Mr. Abdumutallab in that fashion — as opposed to labeling him an enemy combatant, turning him over to the military and the CIA, and likely grilling him with irregular methods such as waterboarding (as might have been his fate during the Bush administration) — the attorney general risked losing useful intelligence that could possibly have been extracted from the Nigerian.

To read more click here.

Fed Judge’s Tough Message to China: “Stop Sending Your Spies Here”

confidential-photo
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A former aerospace engineer for Boeing was sentenced Monday in California to 15 years and 8 months  in prison for stealing restricted technologies and trade secrets on behalf of China that included information related to the Space Shuttle program and the Delta IV rocket, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney in Santa Ana, Calif.,  handed down the tough sentence to Dongfan “Greg” Chung, 73, of Orange, Calif., saying he wanted to send a message to China to “stop sending your spies here,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Authorities charged that Chung had acted as agent for China for more than three decades while first employed by Rockwell in its space and defense unit, which was later acquired by Boeing.

Chung, a native of China who is a naturalized United States citizen, held a “secret” security clearance. He retired from the company in 2002, but returned a year later to Boeing as a contract until 2006, authorities said.

“The FBI and our partners in the intelligence community are committed to stopping those intent on stealing American technology, whether they are motivated by money or allegiance to their native country, as in the case of Mr. Chung,” Steven M. Martinez, head of the Los Angeles FBI office,  said in a statement.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Detroit Airport Police Taser Ticketless Man Who Ran Past Checkpoint

Detroit airport/michigan.org photo
Detroit airport/michigan.org photo

Update: Tuesday 12:40 a.m.: The FBI charged Kaylan Policherla, 27, of  Ohio with violating airport security requirements, according to the Detroit News.
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the wake of the Christmas Day incident, an ounce of trouble at Detroit airport gets a whole lot of notice.

The Detroit News reports that at  7:45 a.m. on Monday airport police at the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport  tasered a ticketless man who ran past a security checkpoint  and refused to stop.

The Paper reported that authorities “activated the breach alarm, causing metal gates to snap down, isolating the section around Concourse A.”

“It worked really well. This guy had no place to go,” said Michael Conway, airport spokesman, according to the paper.

The paper reported that authorities were questioning the man.

Gotti “Thought He was Dead Meat”; Fired Off Letter to Judge

John Gotti Jr./cbs news

John Gotti Jr./cbs news

By Allan Lengel
For Aol News

John Gotti Jr.’s fourth racketeering trial was a disaster for the prosecution, ending up in another mistrial. But he thought he was going to get convicted and wrote the judge at the onset of jury deliberations in November, griping about his rulings and his attorney’s refusal to let him testify during trial.

“He thought he was dead meat,” said one knowledgeable source, according to the Web site Gang Land News, which requested that the letter be released. “He felt that everything had gone against him and he would be convicted. That’s what spurred him to write the letter.”

The letter was just unsealed Feb. 2 in federal court in New York. In it, Gotti also complained about the judge not granting funding for transcripts and a decision not to allow a witness to testify.

The government tried four times in five years to convict Gotti, the son of the late John Gotti, the boss of the Gambino crime family. Each time the juries deadlocked, resulting in mistrials. Last month, the U.S. attorney’s office officially announced that it would not pursue a fifth trial.

As part of his defense in his trials, Gotti claimed he had left the mob long ago. The prosecution insisted he was lying.

“Make no mistake, I committed crimes in the past, but I left my former life behind over 10 years ago,” Gotti wrote to U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel. “I have served my time and paid my debt to society (I’ve served over 7 years in prison; I’ve paid a $13,000 fine; I forfeited $1.5 million as well as 90 acres in the Poconos and a farm in upstate New York; I paid approximately $400,000 in restitution; I paid back hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes …).

To read more click here.

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Obama Terrorism Adviser John Brennan Tiring of Terrorism Being Used as Political Football

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