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Archive for March, 2011

Boston Mobster Enrico Ponzo Became “Remade” Man as Rancher in Idaho


By WILLIAM YARDLEY
New York Times

MARSING, Idaho — Enrico Ponzo was never a proper mobster, a “made man” in the vernacular of the underworld. He was a renegade, prosecutors say, part of a violent faction intent on ousting the bosses of the powerful Patriarca crime family in Boston in the early 1990s.

When a wide-ranging indictment came down against him and 14 others in 1997, Mr. Ponzo was charged with crimes that included attempted murder and extortion. But he was also listed as the target of a contract killing planned by one of the other defendants.

While most everyone else in the case went to prison, Mr. Ponzo was not arrested — he had been missing since 1994.

Jeffrey John “Jay” Shaw was never a natural rancher. The accent from back East and his inexperience with cattle gave him away quickly as another newcomer reinventing himself in the West. “He wore bib overalls and straw hats,” said Brodie Clapier, a neighbor and a longtime rancher. “People did wear bib overalls here — in the 1930s.”

To read more click here.

President Nominates U.S. Atty. For Virgin Islands and U.S. Marshals for NJ and Va.

Ronald Sharpe/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama continued to chip away at filling some law enforcement seats Wednesday by nominating a U.S. Attorney for the Virgin Islands and U.S. Marshals for Virginia and New Jersey.

The president nominated Ronald W. Sharpe for U.S. Attorney for the Virgin Island. Sharpe has served as the interim U.S. Attorney there since 2009 and immediately before that he served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney.

For U.S. Marshal, Robert “Bobby” Mathieson was nominated for the Eastern District of Virginia and Juan Mattos Jr. was picked as the nominee for New Jersey.

Robert “Bobby” Mathieson, who is director of business development for Rileen Innovative Technologies, retired as a master police officer in 2002 from the Virginia Beach Police Department. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2008.

Juan Mattos Jr. retired in 2010 as a Lt. Colonel in the New Jersey State Police. He currently serves as an Agent with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office in Edison, N.J.

FBI Looking into Allegations Involving Newly Elected D.C. Mayor

FBI Arrests Man in MLK Day Bomb Incident in Spokane

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI on Wednesday announced the arrest of an ex-soldier with ties to White Supremacists in connection with a bomb that was placed along the parade route at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March in Spokane, Wa., on Jan. 17.

Kevin William Harpham, age 36, of Colville, Wa. was arrested and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device. The Spokesman Review reported that Harpham served from 1996 to 1999 as a fire support specialist with the Army’s 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment.

The Spokesman Review reported that the Southern Poverty Law Center confirmed that Harpham in 2004 was a member of the White Supremacist group, the National Alliance.

“What to me this arrest suggests is that the Martin Luther King Day attack is what it always looked like: A terror-mass murder attempt directed at black people and their sympathizers,” Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project told the paper.

But Erich Gliebe, chairman of the National Alliance, based in Hillsboro, W.Va., told the paper that Harpham is not a member of the group.

“We have a zero tolerance policy regarding illegal activity and anyone committing those acts – even hinting or joking — would not be welcome in our organization,” Gliebe said.

Va. Man Initially Suspected of Terrorism Sentenced to Time Served — 3 Months

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Authorities’ initial case against a Virginia man accused of writing on Facebook about blowing up the D.C. subway, fizzled somewhat.

Awais Yoiunis was sentenced Wednesday in Alexandria, Va. to time served — three months — after federal authorities scaled back the terrorism allegations,  the Washington Post’s Dana Hedgpeth reported. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III  also ordered Yoiunis to serve two years of supervised release.

Younis, 25, of Arlington County, ended up pleading guilty to making threats via Interstate communication against another person on the Internet, the Post reported. He had written on Facebook about putting pipe bombs in subway cars and wrote threatening remarks to someone.

Federal authorities had searched his home, but found no materials that could have been used in such a plot, the Post reported.

Authorities had alleged in court documents that an informant contacted the New Orleans FBI on Nov. 28 and said during a chat on Facebook that Younis discussed building pipe bombs and detonating them on the subway cars.

Once the FBI began looking into the matter, the defendant made threats against the informant and her father during a Facebook chat.

The Post reported that Younis’s attorney, Frank Salvato said his client had “no intention of ever harming anyone.”

“The court and the government acknowledged that this was an isolated heated exchange with no actual or intended harm to anyone,” Salvato said.

“The time-served sentence and a short period of supervision are more than enough in this case, and my client is looking forward to resuming his normal life,” Salvato said.

id federal agents became aware of Younis in November after a Facebook user in Louisiana tipped them off to discussions with Younis, who was using the name Sundullah “Sunny” Ghilzai online. The person who had exchanged messages online with Younis on Facebook again went to the FBI in December and described how agitated and angry Younis seemed in an online chat.

“You are sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong into something bigger than you and I,” Younis wrote. “that is the problem with Americans they cant leave well enough alone until something happends then they sit there wondering why we dropped the twin towers like a bad habit hahaha.”

10 Mexican Gang Members Indicted in Consulate Murders in Mexico

FBI's Shawn Henry and Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. (in background) announce indictments in Washington/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities on Wednesday announced charges against 10 Mexican members of the Barrio Azteca gang — which operates along the U.S.-Mexico border —  in connection with the March 2010 slayings of a U.S. Consulate employee In Juarez, Mexico, her husband and the husband of another consulate employee.

The members were indicted in Texas in the deaths of Lesley Enriquez Redelfs, 35, who worked for the U.S. Consulate in Juárez, Mexico, her husband, Arthur Redelfs, 34, a detention officer for the Sheriff’s Office in El Paso, and Jorge Alberto Ceniceros Salcido, 37, whose wife worked for the U.S. Consulate.

The 10 defendants were among  35 gang leaders,members and associates of the gang charged with a host of crimes including  racketeering, murder, drug offenses, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.  Included in the indictment was  Eduardo Ravelo, who was added to FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list in 2009. There is a $100,000 reward for his arrest.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Bauer said: “Today’s charges mark a pivotal moment in our ongoing investigation into the senseless murders of three innocent victims.

“Last March, Leslie Ann Enriquez Catton, Arthur Redelfs and Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros were mercilessly gunned down in Ciudad Juarez. They were – like so many other innocent victims of the Mexican drug wars – caught in the crosshairs of a violent criminal enterprise.”

FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry said at a press conference in Washington: “We may stand on opposite sides of the border, but we stand together on the same side of the law.”

Authorities said seven of the the 10 charged in the U.S. Consulate murders, along with two other defendants, are in custody in Mexico.

Authorities said the Barrio Azteca emerged in late 1980s as a prison gang. It has since grown into a major criminal enterprise comprised of about 3500 members, including 600 active members in West Texas and Juarez, Mexico.

The indictment alleges that the Barrio Azteca alligned itself with the Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes (VCF) drug trafficking organization in Mexico and conducts “enforcement operations” against VCF’s rivals. It also gets discounts on drugs from the VCF.

Authorities allege that the group is involved in murders in U.S. and Mexico.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Govt. Asks For Mental Competency Test for Az. Shooter

Ex-Gov Blago Asks Judge to Cancel Retrial and Sentence Him

Ex-Gov. Blago while in office/official photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

In an unexpected move, the highly entertaining and often unpredictable former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked a federal judge to cancel his retrial and sentence him on the sole conviction in his first trial: lying to an FBI agent.

Blagojevich insisted that he is still innocent but said he was making the request in the interest of justice and saving taxpayers money, according to a motion filed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago. He was convicted in the first trial on one of 24 counts, and the government is slated to retry him April 20.

He has been given court-appointed attorneys paid by the government. However, the attorneys have yet to be paid.

“The federal budget is being drastically cut,” Blagojevich attorney Lauren Kaeseberg wrote in the five-page motion. “Specifically, the funds for lawyers to defend indigent defendants have been suspended.

To read more click here.

Read Blago Motion