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Archive for September, 2010

Is Koran Burning Controversy Over?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlLder2FEA0

Defense Lawyers Accuse Govt. of Misconduct in Detroit Motorcycle Gang Convictions

detroit mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Defense attorneys were in federal court in downtown Detroit earlier this week alleging that the government engaged in misconduct and committed a number of errors to get convictions for all six Highwaymen Motorcycle Club members earlier this year, the Detroit Free press reported.

The Free Press reported that defense lawyers on Tuesday told U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds that the prosecution withheld evidence that could have helped their case, manufactured a bogus conspiracy theory “and paid one witness $25,000 for his testimony with the expectation that he would get additional bonuses if he helped secure a conviction.”

“We don’t think that the government should be paying witnesses bonuses,” one attorney Jim Thomas said, according to the Free Press.

Prosecutors denied any wrongdoing and said the convictions were legitimate, the Free Press reported.

To read more click here.

Appeals Court Says Rep. John Conyer’s Wife Must Head to Prison

Monica Conyers/facebook

Monica Conyers/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Detroit City Council member Monica Conyers — wife of Rep. John Conyers — won’t be able to delay the inevitable.

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that she can’t stay out of prison pending her appeal, which centers on U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn’s decision not to allow her to withdraw her guilty plea on public corruption charges on the day of sentencing, the Detroit News reported.

Conyers, who was a divisive figure on the city council, is supposed to turn her self in by Friday to start serving her 37-month sentence, the News reported. The Detroit Free Press reported that she is scheduled to turn herself in by 2 p.m. to begin serving her sentence in a federal prison in West Virginia.

She pleaded guilty in June 2009 to taking at least $6,000 in bribes involving a sludge hauling contract that was before the city council.

The Court of Appeals ruled that Conyer’s legal challenge did not raise a substantial question of law, the News reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Estranged Wife Gets Protective Order Against Ex-Dallas FBI Agent

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

And now the latest in the soap opera involving fired Dallas FBI agent Carlos Ortiz.

The Dallas Morning News reports that a Dallas County associate family court judge on Thursday granted the ex-agent’s estranged wife a protective order in case he gets out of federal prison. The order forbids him from seeing the wife or their 6-year-old son.

Ortiz was ordered detained pending trial on allegations that he planned to kill his estranged wife, an FBI analyst, and Robert Casey Jr, the head of the Dallas FBI. Authorities charged him after he told his friend of his plan to kill the two.

U.S. High School Football Star Became Mexican Drug Kingpin

Mexico border mapBy JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr. and ELISABETH MALKIN
New York Times

LAREDO, Tex. — The other children in his middle-class suburb teased him by calling him Barbie because of his looks, which reminded them of a Ken doll. The name stuck, and three decades later it would become associated with sadistic gangland slayings.

Few people who knew Edgar Valdez Villarreal back when he was a square-jawed football star at United High School here would have pegged him as likely to become one of Mexico’s most feared and savage drug leaders. None of the clichéd roots of crime could be seen is his youth: no broken home, no abusive father, no poverty.

Instead, his father was a shop owner in downtown Laredo who emphasized church, hard work and the value of a college education. He grew up in a well-appointed brick home with a wooden swing set in the backyard.

To read full story click here.

FBI Investigating Vandalism at Phoenix Mosque Under Construction

phoenix-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The anti-Islam sentiment, triggered by the planned mosque in New York near ground zero, appears to be spreading around the country.

The FBI is investigating vandalism that occurred at a mosque under construction in Phoenix a few weeks ago, the Associated Press reports. The vandalism included broken glass and graffiti.

The Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked the FBI to investigate the matter, AP reported.

FBI to Investigate Staff-Inmate Sexual Misconduct at Washington State County Jail

jailBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has been asked to step in and investigate allegations of sexual misconduct involving staff and inmates at the Clallam County Jail in Washington state, the Associated Press reports.

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict told the Peninsula Daily News that he had asked the  FBI to step in , the AP reported.

A Bureau of Justice Statistics report “ranked the jail the third-highest among 286 U.S. jails for instances of inmate-reported sexual misconduct by staff,” AP reported.

The report stated that 6.1 percent of 75 inmates surveyed said they were sexually assaulted by staff, and 4.4 percent said they sexually assaulted by fellow inmates, AP reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Column: Ex-ATF Official: Know Your Real Enemy, Protect Your Friends

James Cavanaugh was an ATF agent and supervisor for 33 years before retiring earlier this year. In 2009, he was given the International Asscociation of Chiefs of Police Civil Rights Award for his Career fight against the KKK, Nazis, Militias and Hate Groups. 

James Cavanaugh/atf photo
James Cavanaugh/atf photo
By James Cavanaugh
For ticklethewire.com

Law enforcement officers and prosecutors are going to be called on more in the coming months and years to fight in the new civil rights struggle that is unfolding before our eyes.

In the midst of the long, multigenerational war against Al Qaeda and its affiliates, many haters bigots and self-appointed demagogues will attack Muslims and the face of Islam, declaring it the enemy of the U.S. and the West.

 They are wrong, not just barely wrong, not even arguably arguably wrong, just plain wrong. The attacks come in many forms as we saw in Tennessee last week with the arson at the mosque construction site and verbally as we saw in the media when cowardly politicians mouthed off about the planned Islamic center in New York City.

And let’s not forget, the foolish reverend in Florida who plans to desecrate and destroy the holy writings of Islam by burning Korans on Sept. 13.

Read more »