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November 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for November, 2010

California Pot Initiative (Proposition 19) Goes to Pot

By Allan Lengel

The California initiative to legalize marijuana — a law that would have complicated enforcement for federal agents — went down in defeat on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Proposition 19, which would have allowed pot to be sold for recreational use, failed to get the support of the state’s moderate voters.

The measure had strong support from young voters, but failed to win over voters in the very populous Los Angeles County, the Times reported.

Last month, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. vowed to “vigorously enforce” federal marijuana laws even if Californians approved Prop 19.

Holder’s comments were contained in a letter to ex-federal drug enforcement chiefs.

“We will vigorously enforce the CSA against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law,” Holder wrote in the letter.

FBI Has Mystery on its Hands: Who is Shooting at Buildings in Northern Va?

By Allan Lengel

The FBI has a mystery on its hands: Who the heck keeps shooting at buildings overnight in Northern Virginia?

The latest came either late Monday or early Tuesday when authorities discovered that someone had shot at a U.S. Coast Guard recruiting center in Woodbridge, Va., the Washington Post reports.

Authorities are trying to determine if it’s linked to a recent series of shootings at U.S. military facilities in Northern Virginia, the Post reports.

Authorities have linked the same gun to shootings at buildings at the Pentagon, Marine Corps recruiting station in Chantilly and the Marine Corps Museum near Quantico. All have taken place since mid-October.

No one has been hurt.

The FBI believes that the shooter has a gripe against the Marine Corps.

Feds Indict 3 in Cross Burning Incident at African-American Home in Ark.

By Allan Lengel

Hate still burns in certain corners of the country.

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced the indictment of three men on charges of burning a cross in the backyard of an African-American resident in Saldo, Ark.

James Bradley Branscum, Tony Branscum, both of Salado, Ark., and Curtis Coffee of Batesville, Ark., were indicted in connection with the Aug. 28 incident.

Former U.S. Attorneys in Republican Party Victorious in Penn., Wyoming, Arkansas

Patrick Meehan/doj photo

By Allan Lengel

Former U.S. Attorneys from the Republican party sailed to victory Tuesday in Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Arkansas in an election that appeared to be a resounding referendum on the Obama administration.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, a former U.S. Attorney under George H.W. Bush, won the governorship in Pennsylvania, the website Main Justice and local newspapers reported. He defeated Democrat, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato.

Also in Pennsylvania, former Harrisburg U.S. Attorney Tom Marino, who served under President George W. Bush, won a Congressional seat, defeating Democratic Rep. Chris Carney.

And Patrick Meehan, a former U.S. Attorney under George W. Bush, captured the 7th Congressional seat in Pennsylvania, defeating Democrat Bryan Lentz.

In Arkansas, former interim U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin, who headed up the Little Rock office for a brief span from December 2006 to January 2007, defeated Democratic state Sen. Joyce Elliott for a Congressional seat.

Tom Corbett/ pa. state photo

And in Wyoming, former U.S. Attorney Matt Mead, who served under George W. Bush, won the governor’s race, defeating Democrat Leslie Petersen.

Customs and Border Protection Inspector Indicted in Texas for Bribery and Alien and Drug Smuggling

By Allan Lengel

A former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector has been charged in Texas with drug trafficking, alien smuggling and bribery, authorities announced Tuesday.

Luis Enrique Ramirez, 38, fled the United States in February 2009 and was arrested Oct. 30 at the B&M International Port of Entry as he tried to re-enter the U.S. from Mexico, federal authorities said.

Authorities allege that from August 2005 to Jan. 28, 2009, Ramirez conspired to transport and move illegal aliens, and took bribes to allow illegal aliens to enter the United States.

Authorities charged that he also was involved in the distribution of cocaine.


Georgia Cop Tipped Off Friends About an Informant in a Joint FBI-Police Probe

By Allan Lengel

A Polk County police detective from Felton, Ga., was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison Tuesday for interfering in a joint FBI-police probe into a chop shop in Polk County and tipping off friends about an informant in the case.

Mark Howell Sparks, 40, was convicted in July of obstruction of justice, tampering with a witness and possessing a vehicle with an altered vehicle identification number (VIN).

Authorities said Sparks was privy to confidential information and encouraged an informant in the investigation into the chop shop to conceal his friends’ involvement in the operation when talking to investigators. He also tipped off the friends that the informant was wearing a wire, authorities said.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian said Sparks placed the informant in danger by alerting his friends of the informants role.

“Instead of enforcing the law, Sparks broke it, and now he is going to prison,” Quillian said in a statement.

ATF’s Mark Potter Leaving Philly to Become Assistant Director at Headquarters

Mark Potter/atf photo

Mark Potter/atf photo

By Allan Lengel

Mark Potter, head of ATF in Philadelphia, is headed to the mothership in Washington in January to become the agency’s assistant director/chief financial officer, Office of Management.

Potter, who has been with ATF for more than 23 years, has headed up the Philly office for the past 7 1/2 years.

At his new post at headquarters Potter will serve as principal assistant to the Director and oversee ATF’s financial management, human resources, asset forfeiture and seized property, procurement, internal controls and facilities and space management.

Potter says the new job isn’t what he envisioned doing when he entered law enforcement to put away bad guys.

Read more »

Gary Condit Refuses to Discuss Relationship with Slain Intern Chandra Levy

Gary Condit in a desposition in 2004/CBS

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Ex-California congressman Gary A. Condit,graying and looking far less youthful than he did nine years ago, took the witness stand Monday in D.C. Superior Court in the murder trial of Chandra Levy and refused to discuss his relationship with the slain intern.

The Washington Post reports that he was asked at least three times if he’d had an intimate relationship with Levy, but he refused to go down that path, as he has in the past. Investigators during the investigation linked the DNA from semen in Levy’s underwear to Condit, who is now 62 and lives in Arizona.

“I don’t believe it’s relevant,” Condit said at one point while on the stand, according to the Post. “I am not going to respond to that question out of privacy for myself and Chandra.”

Ingmar Guandique, 29, has been charged in Levy’s 2001 death. He is currently serving a 10-year sentence for attacking two joggers in Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington, not far from where Levy’s skeletal remains were found in 2002.

The Post reported that Condit did testify that he didn’t kill Levy and he had nothing to do with her disappearance. He called her a friend and constituent.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which handles both federal and local crimes in the District.

To read more click here.