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Archive for October, 2010

U.S. Atty’s Office Tries to Block Polygraphs in Upcoming Chandra Levy Trial

Chandra Levy

Chandra Levy

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The polygraph issue is a messy one.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is asking that the judge in the upcoming Chandra Levy murder on Oct. 18 block two polygraph exams from being introduced into evidence, the Washington Post reports.

A major problem, prosecutors contend, was that the polygraph exams weren’t given by a bilingual examiner and instead were done by an interpreter, a method considered far less effective and reliable.

According to a filing in D. C. Superior Court, prosecutors say defendant Ingmar Guandique, 29, took a polygraph test Feb. 4, 2002 and was asked whether he was involved in the disappearance of Chandry Levy, whose skeletal remains were found a couple months later in Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington, the Post reported.

Guandique responded “no” and the polygraph examiner found he was “not deceptive,” the Post reported. The test was given while Guandique was in prison for attacking two joggers in Rock Creek park.

The other exam involves an inmate who claims Guandique told him he stabbed Levy and was paid $25,000 by now ex-Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.).

The polygraph examiner found the witness was being deceptive, the Post reported.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Battle Against Gun Smuggling into Mexico Plagued by Problems

US Mexican borderBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More frustrating news about guns, drugs and Mexico.

The Washington Post reports that efforts to crack down on the flow of guns from the U.S. to the Mexican drug cartels “have been frustrated by bureaucratic infighting, a lack of training and the delayed delivery of a computer program to Mexico, according to U.S. and Mexican officials.”

The paper reports that Mexico has submitted information about more than 74,000 guns seized that authorities suspect came from the U.S.

“But much of the data is so incomplete as to be useless and has not helped authorities bust the gunrunners who supply the Mexican mafias with their vast armories, officials said,” the Post reports.

The bottom line, the Post reports, is that U.S. agents in Mexico say Mexican prosecutors haven’t come up with one major arms trafficking case.

To read more click here.

NY Terror Case Ruling Likely to Stir Debate Over Use of Civilian Courts

terrorismBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

A last-minute ruling Wednesday  by a federal judge blocking the government from using a key witness in a major terrorism case is expected to heat up the already contentious debate over whether to use civilian courts in such cases, legal experts say.

“It will certainly fuel the debate,” said former New York federal prosecutor Anthony Barkow, executive director of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at the New York University School of Law. “The question is whether a military commission would have reached the same conclusion.”

The debate is likely to center around whether prosecutors are more limited in what they can introduce into evidence in civilian courts as opposed to a military venue, and whether the governments should take such risks.

The three-page written ruling by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan came on the day trial was to begin in New York for Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who is accused of conspiring in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans.

To read more click here.

FBI Sting in Puerto Rico Nets 89 Law Enforcement Officers

FBI San Juan Command Post was active Wednesday/fbi photo

FBI San Juan Command Post was active Wednesday/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An FBI drug sting resulted in the indictment of 133 people in Puerto Rico including 89 law enforcement officers in the biggest crack down on police corruption in FBI history, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

The Justice Department said those indicted included 61 Puerto Rico Police Department Officers, 16 Municipal Officers, 12 Corrections Officers, one administrative examiner, one Social Security Administration employee, three Puerto Rico National Guard soldiers, two U.S. Army Officers, seven former law enforcement officers, and 30 civilians.

Authorities said the defendants provided security during undercover drug deals in exchange for payments ranging from $500 to $4,500 per transaction – more than half a million dollars in all.

The multiple indictments were the result of 125 undercover drug transactions FBI agents conducted in Puerto Rico from July 2008 until September 2010.

About 750 FBI agents and personnel were flown in to Puerto Rico from across the country to assist in the arrests Wednesday, and in all, about 1,000 FBI employees participated in the arrests, authorities said.

The multiple indictments included charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking offense.

DEA Collected More than 242,000 Pounds of Prescription Drugs

DEA personnel help dispose of drugs in Kennedale, Tex./dea photo

DEA personnel help dispose of drugs in Kennedale, Tex./dea photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The DEA collected more than 242,000 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs from the public  at more than 4,000 sites in 50 states as part of its “Take-Back” campaign held on Sept. 25.

“The Take-Back Campaign was a stunning nationwide success that cleaned out more than 121 tons of pills from America’s medicine cabinets, a crucial step toward reducing the epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is plaguing this nation,” said DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart.

“Thanks to our state and local law enforcement and community partners—and the public—we not only removed these dangerous drugs from our homes, but also educated countless thousands of concerned citizens about the dangers of drug abuse.”

The DEA said some of the folks showing up included a Troy, Mo. a man who brought his kitchen drawer full of medication to empty at a collection site. The agency said a woman in Jacksonville, Ill., brought in nearly 50 years’ worth of medicines to a site.

John Perren Named Acting Head of FBI’s Wash. Field Office

John G. Perren/fbi photo

John G. Perren/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — John Perren, FBI special agent in charge of counterterrorism branch at Washington Field Office, has been named acting head of the office.

In the meantime, James McJunkin, assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division at headquarters is rumored to be a front runner to take over the top spot at Washington Field Office on a permanent basis.

The change comes as Shawn Henry, who headed the office, moves over to headquarters to take over the number four spot in the FBI as Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal Cyber Response and Services Branch.

Prior to going to the Washington field office, Henry served at headquarters as assistant Director of the Cyber Division. He’s been with the bureau 21 years.

James McJunkin/fbi photo

James McJunkin/fbi photo

Perren joined the FBI in 1987 and has held a number of positions including  Section Chief of the Countermeasures and Preparedness Section of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Directorate at FBI Headquarters.

Perren was one of three On-Scene Commanders at the Pentagon following 9/11.

From January to June of 2005 he was the On-Scene Commander for FBI Field Operations in Baghdad, with responsibility for over 125 FBI personnel in Iraq.

It’s Life For Times Square Bomber Faisal Shahzad

Faisal Shahzad

Faisal Shahzad

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Just as expected, Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber, who authorities say had links to al Qaeda in Pakistan, was given a life sentence Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, during sentencing, told Shahzad, according to the New York Times:  “You are a young man, and you will have a lot of time to reflect about what you have said today, and what you have done.”

Shahzad told the judge:

“We are only Muslims … but if you call us terrorists, we are proud terrorists and we will keep on terrorizing you,” he said, according to the Associated Press, adding at another point: “The defeat of the U.S. is imminent.”

“If I’m given 1,000 lives I will sacrifice them all for the life of Allah,” he also said. “How can I be judged by a court that does not understand the suffering of my people?”

Though Shahzad, 31,  cooperated with authorities after his capture, he showed no remorse when entering a guilty plea, eliminating even the slightest of chances of getting any break on his sentence.

After sentencing Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara issued a statement:

“Faisal Shahzad is a remorseless terrorist who betrayed his adopted country and today was rightly sentenced to spend the rest of his life in federal prison.”

“The case of Faisal Shahzad demonstrates the global scope of the terrorist threat,” added Janice K. Fedarcyk, head of the New York FBI, in a statement. “Distinctions between home-grown and foreign terrorists are blurred when a U.S. citizen travels to Pakistan to learn bomb-making from a known terrorist organization, then returns to the U.S. and receives financial backing from the overseas organization.

” However you define him, there’s no question that Shahzad built a mobile weapon of mass destruction and hoped and intended that it would kill large numbers of innocent people – and planned to do it again two weeks later.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Twin Brothers Plead Guilty to Bribing Cops in an FBI Sting

washington-dc-map2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Twin brothers pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Washington to trying to bribe two D.C. police officers to get a heroin case dismissed in the city court.

Larry and Garry Moody, 39, both of Washington, who ended up being busted in an FBI sting, are set to be sentenced Jan. 11.

Authorities said Larry Moody was arrested in February 2009 after an undercover cop saw him preparing to sell heroin to two men in Southeast Washington.

Afterwards, Larry and his brother Gary approached two D.C. cops to see if they would help get the criminal charges dropped, authorities said.

The two cops went to the FBI, which set up a sting with the officers. On March 5, 2009, one of the undercover police officers met with Garry Moody at a restaurant in Northwest Washington and Moody paid the officer $8,000.