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Archive for June, 2010

Fed Judge Bans Ex-Ill. Gov. Blago From Tweeting in Court

Ex-Gov Blagojevich

In happier days as Governor

By Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

Trying to silence ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich is almost as challenging as capping the oil spill in the Gulf.

Still, U.S. District Judge James Zagel, who is presiding over Blagojevich’s public corruption trial in Chicago, thought he’d try to slow the word spillage a little.

Just before opening statements on Tuesday, Zagel banned Blagojevich from tweeting from the courtroom, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“The technologically-challenged ex-governor joined Twitter earlier this month, but most of his milquetoast, 140-character messages seem to be written by his publicist,” Bob Secter of the Tribune wrote. “After all, Blagojevich didn’t even know how to send a text message or open a Word file on the “Celebrity Apprentice” when it was filmed last year.”

Blagojevich, who seems to have a love with cameras and microphones, can still talk with the media outside of court, the Trib reported.

But the  judge warned  Blagojevich that his “repeated public statements” could be used against him if he testifies during the trial, the paper reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Border Patrol Agent Fatally Shoots 15-Year-Old at Texas Border

Border PatrolBy Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on a bicycle shot and killed a 15-year-old Mexican boy Monday at an international bridge near downtown El Paso during a rock throwing incident, authorities said, according to the Associated Press.

According to authorities, agents had detained suspected illegal immigrants when some people started hurling rocks at the agents and one agent opened fire, AP and the El Paso Times reported.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Doug Mosier said preliminary reports indicated the teen was shot on the U.S. side of the Paso Del Norte Bridge, across from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, AP reported.

The teen was identified as Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca, AP reported, adding that it was unclear if he was throwing rocks.

Read more »

Fla. Woman Wants Husband Dead: Hires Wrong Hitman

hitman-gun1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

All is not always fair or safe in love and war.

The FBI arrested a Florida woman on Monday with trying to hire a hitman to kill her ex-husband, who helped put her behind bars in a major drug-money laundering case, the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported.

Mercedes Morales, 57, of Miramar, Fla. allegedly gave a $5,000 diamond ring as a down payment to the hit man to kill her 45-year-old husband Fred Coral.

Only thing was, the hitman was actually working undercover with the FBI, the paper reported.

The paper reported that she was convicted in 2003 for being a courier for a Florida organization that laundered Colombian drug cartel cash. She was released in 2005.

Her husband, who cooperated with the feds, was also charged but never served time, the paper reported.

FBI’s John Pistole Likely to Get Grilled on Collective Bargaining as TSA Nominee

John Pistole/fbi photo

John Pistole/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — John S. Pistole, the FBI’s second in command, who has been nominated to head the Transportation Security Administration, is expected to get grilled Thursday on his views about collective bargaining rights for TSA employees, the Washington Post reports.

Pistole is scheduled to go before a Senate nomination hearing and is likely to get some tough questions from those like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who oppose collective bargaining for TSA employees  on the grounds that it would make the agency less flexible and potentially compromise security, the Post’s Federal Diary Columnist Joe Davidson reports. Union leaders call the concerns nonsense.

Davidson writes that Pistole “is unlikely to give them much of an answer” on the collective bargaining issues. The two previous nominees, who eventually withdrew their names,  gave Senators vague answers about the thorny issue.

To read more click here.

Father and Son Charged With Sending Threatening Letter to Rep. Stupak Because of Health Care Bill

Rep. Bart Supak/govt photo

Rep. Bart Supak/govt photo

By Allan Lengel
tickilehtwire.com

A Michigan man and his son in Colorado have been arrested and charged with conspiring to send a threatening letter to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mi.) for his support of health care, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit announced.

Russell Hesch, 73, of West Branch, Mi., a known critic of Stupak, allegedly wrote the threatening letter and then sent it to his son David Hesch, 50 of Loveland, Colo. who mailed it to Stupak’s office in Menomie, Mi., the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Stupak told investigators he had met Hesch on several occasions and he was “historically most vocal and critical constituents.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

No Jail Time in Criminal Case for Ex-Calif. FBI Agent Linked to Golf Pro Greg Norman

Greg Norman/great white shark enterprises

Greg Norman/great white shark enterprises

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

A former California FBI agent who federal prosecutors say abused his position to help pro golfer Greg Norman in his 2006 divorce was sentenced Monday in an unrelated case to one year’s probation, including three months of home confinement, The Orange County Register reported.

Peter Norell Jr., a veteran agent out of Orange County, was sentenced for illegally accessing FBI records and pressuring someone in 2005 to pay a $500,000 debt owed to an acquaintance and other investors.

Norell — popular among his peers, some of whom reportedly showed up in court to support him Monday — was not charged in the Norman incident in 2006. But it was cited by the government in a sentencing memorandum to illustrate another time that Norell had “misused his FBI position on behalf of a friend.”

Norell resigned from the FBI as part of the plea agreement for illegally accessing the FBI records.

During a three-hour sentencing hearing in Santa Ana, Calif., Norell apologized to fellow agents, prosecutors and U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford, according to the Register.

“I understand my actions have tarnished the image of the FBI and for that I am deeply, deeply sorry,” he said. “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

To read full story click here.

Ex-CIA Official Admits Raping Algerian Woman on U.S. Embassy Property

cia-logoBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — Ex-CIA official Andrew Warren pleaded guilty Monday to drugging and sexually assaulting an Algerian woman in 2008, while he was stationed in that country, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He also pleaded guilty to using cocaine while possessing a firearm.

Warren’s plea in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., capped an embarrassing international scandal for the CIA.

While pleading guilty Monday to the charge of abusive sexual conduct, Warren, 42, admitted that on Feb. 17, 2008, he had sexually assaulted the woman on the U.S. Embassy property in Algiers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The government alleged in court documents that Warren had made a drink for the woman, who “consumed part of the drink and suddenly became very ill.”

To read full story click here.

Author: We Must Stop Glamourizing Mobsters

William Donati is an English professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) and author of the just-released book: “Lucky Luciano: The Rise and Fall of a Mob Boss”

lucky lucianoBy William Donati
For ticklethewire.com

LAS VEGAS –– Hollywood was criticized in the thirties for films like Public Enemy and Little Caesar: Gangsters were portrayed too sympathetically complained citizens.

In modern times, we have the Godfather, Goodfellas, Scarface, and the Sopranos offered as popular entertainment. Motion pictures reflect cultural values. The recent film Dillinger was criticized for its moral ambiguity. The cops are just as rotten as the crooks. Is that true?

Do citizens believe that? If so, society is in deep trouble.

Of course, the real heroes are the police and prosecutors. Film audiences do not feel the actual pain criminals inflict as killers, extortionists, thieves, and drug dealers.

When I was writing my book about the Lucky Luciano case, a literary agent said it was too “law and order,” as if I had transgressed by portraying Special Prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey as a hero. But he was indeed an American hero. Yet, in the film Hoodlum (1997), a screenwriter falsely depicted Dewey as corrupt – an absolute lie.

I examined over 40,000 archival documents to investigate the Luciano case, and I can assure readers that Dewey was defamed.

In Las Vegas, where I live, Mayor Goodman’s unfinished Mob Museum will open next year. The official name will be the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement.

Alright, let’s hope it is a fine presentation. However, just announced is the Las Vegas Mob Experience where family members will tell what their gangster kinfolks “were really like” – the human side of Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky. According to press reports, it will be an interactive experience where visitors might even be “made” or “wacked.” Gee, will they sell junior Mafioso badges?

lucky luciano and bookFederal prosecutors should visit high schools and clearly state: “I represent you. I represent the People. Let me explain my job.” Let students see your faces and understand that prosecutors are the ones who defend citizens’ rights and freedoms.

A sweeping media campaign should be initiated by law officers to remain atop the pedestal of citizen opinion; a good start would be a statue of Thomas E. Dewey in Times Square.

As Dewey commented concerning Luciano’s deportation in 1946: “I sent him out of the country like the rat he was.”

Thank you. To hell with gangster glamour.