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Archive for September, 2010

Defense Attorney Gets LAPD Cop Off on Exporting Gun Charges; Says Laws Confusing

softair gun from online catalogue

softair gun from online catalogue

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An attorney for a Los Angeles cop who was acquitted last week of illegally exporting guns says the laws are so confusing it’s difficult for people to adhere to them all.

“There is so much confusion when comes to these requirements,” Humbarto Diaz, a federal public defender, said in an interview Friday with the Los Angeles Times. “Several federal agencies have oversight of the shipping of weapons out of the country, and there is still information floating around on their websites that contradicts current requirements.”

An LA federal jury last week acquitted Johnny Augustus Baltazar of illegally shipping  a safe packed with firearms and ammunition to Belize in July 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The paper reported that the federal prosecutor Amanda Bettinelli could not be reached for comment.

At trial, Diaz tried to hammer home that the charges against his client involved technical violations of a complex series of regulations.

To read more click here.

Happy Labor Day Weekend From ticklethewire.com

labor-day-2

Weekend Series on Crime: Russian Organized Crime

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jw8AZDF5mQE

Ex-Head of Dallas FBI Wanted to Fire Agent Now Accused of Threatening to Kill Wife and Current Head of Office

dallas-map1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The ex-FBI agent accused of threatening to kill his estranged wife and the head of the Dallas FBI should have been dismissed 18 years ago after he was involved in a seven-hour standoff with the SWAT team, the former head of the office told the Dallas Morning News.

Oliver “Buck” Revell, the former special agent in charge of the Dallas office, told the paper that he recommended firing agent Carlos Ortiz, but his superiors in Washington rejected it, pointing out that psychiatrists had deemed him fit for duty.

Ortiz had barricaded himself in his home over “job stress and personal issues,” the Dallas Morning News reported.

“They came back and said it was stress induced, and as soon as it was dealt with, he would be just fine,” Revell told the paper. “My recommendation to headquarters was unequivocal that this man was not qualified to be an agent or carry a weapon and I want him out of my office. They said, ‘Well that would be a discriminatory action.’ ”

A magistrate judge ruled that Ortiz was a danger to society and ordered him held in jail pending his trial on federal charges of threatening to kill his estranged wife, who is an FBI analyst, and the head of the Dallas FBI.

To read more click here.

Mexico’s Military Kills at Least 25 Suspected Cartel Members in Raid

Mexico border map
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The military in Mexico flexed some muscle Thursday, killing at least 25 suspected drug cartel members in a raid and gun battle near the U.S. border, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that military aircraft flying over Ciudad Mier in Tamaulipas state spotted gunmen in front of a building. When troops moved in, the gunmen opened fire. Two soldiers were wounded.

Three kidnap victims were rescued during the raid, the Associated Press reported.

In his state of the nation speech Thursday, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon called the increasingly bloody violence in the drug war “the central threat” to the country, according to the Washington Post.

“As we all know, we face unscrupulous criminals with enormous economic capacity and great firepower.”

To read more click here.

Atlanta Cop Pleads Guilty in FBI Sting

atlanta policeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Atlanta cop Lucius T. Solomon got tripped up in an FBI sting and will likely head off to prison.

The 31-year-old, now a former cop, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to corruption and drug charges. He could get up to life in prison at sentencing, which is set for Nov. 9.

According to authorities, Solomon on three occasions in 2009 and 2010 provided protection for what he believed to be multi-kilogram cocaine deals, but in reality it was all part of an FBI sting that has been carried out in other cities around the nation over the years.

On two occasions, Solomon was on duty, in uniform and in his marked police car when he provided the protection, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. In each deal, he agreed to provide protection for $2,000.

“Instead of protecting and serving the people of this community from the scourge of the illegal drug trade, this former police officer took money to protect the very drug dealers he had sworn to pursue and arrest,” Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement. “There is no greater breach of a police officer’s oath than to actively participate in criminal conduct that so powerfully harms the community.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Dept. Sues Az Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Say it ain’t so Sheriff Joe.

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Thursday against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, claiming the Arizona lawman and his department have refused to fully cooperate with the feds’ investigation into allegations his department discriminates against Hispanics in police practices and jail operations.

The Justice Department said it took the latest step “after exhausting all cooperative measures to gain access” to documents and facilities.

The Justice Department said since March 2009 it has tried to secure “secure voluntary compliance with the department’s investigation.”

“The actions of the sheriff’s office are unprecedented. It is unfortunate that the department was forced to resort to litigation to gain access to public documents and facilities,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division said in a statement.

Chicago Tribune: Prosecuting Baseball Star Roger Clemens Waste of “Prosecutorial Resources”

*Jan 06 - 00:05*By Steve Chapman
Chicago Tribune Editorial Board

If it were a crime to venture onto Capitol Hill to reveal yourself as a self-absorbed liar with an inability to admit mistakes, there would be tumbleweeds blowing through the vacant halls of Congress. Fortunately for members of the legislative branch, that is not a crime. Unless your name is Roger Clemens.

The eccentric baseball legend is not one to let people disparage him without a forceful response, any more than he was one to let batters crowd the plate without retaliation. A couple of years ago, after being accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, he voluntarily appeared before a House committee to heap scorn on the charge.

His denial was not very convincing, since other witnesses — notably longtime teammate Andy Pettitte — had given statements contradicting him. He was repeatedly reminded by skeptical interrogators that he was under oath. Democratic Chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis joined together afterward to advise the Justice Department that “significant questions have been raised about Mr. Clemens’ truthfulness.”

But never mind if anyone believed him, or if his alleged dissembling made any difference on anything. Federal prosecutors got him indicted for perjury, and he faces trial on charges that carry penalties of up to 30 years in prison.

It’s possible to imagine less worthy uses of prosecutorial resources, but not many.

To read more click here.