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Archive for March, 2012

Fed Judge Freeze’s Assets of Whitey Bulger’s Girlfriend

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds are apparently worried about the assets of James “Whitey” Bulger’s girlfriend vanishing. They want to make sure she has the money to pay for any fines at sentencing.

So they’ve frozen her assets, the Boston Herald reports.

The Boston Herald reports that girlfriend Catherine Greig, who is behind bars, had $134,545 in her bank account in December, six months after Greig was captured.

Greig’s 60-year-old twin Margaret McCusker used her power of attorney in December and transferred the money to another account, the paper reported. Prosecutors say that $115,500 is still available in the new account.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock ordered those funds frozen in a ruling that also prevents McCusker from selling her sister’s South Boston home.

Greig recently pleaded guilty to charges relating to harboring a fugitive. Bulger, a Boston mobster and FBI informant, is accused of killing 19 people. He was on the run for 16 years before he was captured last summer in California.

 

 

Nominee for Phoenix U.S. Atty. Was Critical of Sheriff Joe

Judge Leonardo/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A former Pima Superior Court judge who once had some pointed words about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a court ruling, has been nominated by President Obama to take over the U.S. Attorney post in Phoenix, the Phoenix New Times reports.

Judge John Leonardo once wrote in a ruling that the controversial sheriff “misused the power of his office.”

Interestingly, if confirmed, Leonardo could deal with Sheriff Joe as an ally in the fight against crime.

Leonardo would replace Dennis Burke, who resigned in August as a result of the ongoing controversy over ATF’s failed Operation Fast and Furious.

To read more click here.

Boston US Atty. Carmen Ortiz’s Name Pops Up for Governor Spot

U.S. Atty. Carmen Ortiz

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Atty. Carmen Ortiz for Massachusetts governor in 2014?

That seems to be the rumor circulating in Democratic circles, according to the Boston Herald.

“That’s a rumor out there,” acknowledged former Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman Phil Johnston, according to the Boston Herald “She’s had a high profile as a U.S. attorney, particularly in her efforts to combat corruption in state government. That would certainly be a positive.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

 

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Already Facing Feds Charges, John Edwards Faces Latest PR Mess: Accusations He Slept With a Hooker

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Sen. John Edwards, who is already dealing with a mess of federal charges that he violated  campaign finance laws to shield an affair,  is going to have to deal with this latest public relations mess.

The website DNAinfo reports a hooker working for the millionaire Mom Madam Anna Gristina told investigators she was paid to have sex with Edwards in 2007 while he was in New York raising money for his failed presidential bid.

One of Edwards’ attorneys issued a strongly worded statement denying the allegation.

The New York Daily News reported that one of Edwards attorneys Allison Van Lanigham issued a statement saying:

“Mr. Edwards categorically denies that he was involved with any prostitute or service.”

“These allegations are false, defamatory, and he puts those who would publish or repeat them on notice that they acting with actual malice by reporting or repeating them. He has demanded a complete retraction from the only source being quoted.”

Edward’s denials may lack a little weight considering that he denied having an affair with with former campaign worker Rielle Hunter, but eventually admitted father her child.

 

 

 

ATF Targets in Sting Were FBI Informants

 

atf file photo

By Richard Serrano
Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON – When the ATF made alleged gun trafficker Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta its primary target in the ill-fated Fast and Furious investigation, it hoped he would lead the agency to two associates who were Mexican drug cartel members. The ATF even questioned and released him knowing that he was wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

But those two drug lords were secretly serving as informants for the FBI along the Southwest border, newly obtained internal emails show. Had Celis-Acosta simply been held when he was arrested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in May 2010, the investigation that led to the loss of hundreds of illegal guns and may have contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent could have been closed early.

Documents obtained by the Tribune Washington Bureau show that as far back as December 2009 – five months before Celis-Acosta was detained and released at the border in a car carrying 74 live rounds of ammunition – ATF and DEA agents learned by chance that they were separately investigating the same man.

To read the full story click here.

Ex-Secret Service Agent Tom Rosfelder to Help Head Up Security for 2012 Dem Convention

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Secret Service Agent Tom Rosfelder, who worked for the agency for 26 years, has been hired as the security director for the organizers of September’s Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., according to the Charlotte Observer,

The native Ohio man will work with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the Secret Service, the paper reported.

“He is well versed in the many issues we’re going to have to deal with,” convention CEO Steve Kerrigan told the paper.

 

Defense Wants Mistrial in Mi. Militia Case; Claims Prosecution Withheld Evidence

 

Hutaree members/southern poverty law center photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT –– The federal trial involving a Michigan militia known as the Hutaree has raised questions about the right of free speech and what constitutes talk versus reality.

Defense attorneys claim the government has overstepped on the case. The government insists there was serious talk of killing a cop and trying to revolt against the government.

On Wednesday, the case got a little more complicated when defense attorneys asked for a mistrial, saying the prosecution of withholding evidence that might be beneficial to their clients.  There are seven of them on trial.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the defense said the evidence involved info it discovered last week. That info at issue was that the undercover FBI agent who had infiltrated the Hutaree was the handler for New Jersey, right wing, racist shock jock Hal Turner who worked as an informant for the FBI, helping collect info on hate groups and White Supremacists. The prosecution claims the info is not relevant to the case.

Turner, 48, was charged in June 2009 for writing Internet postings proclaiming “outrage” over the pr0-gun control, handgun decision  by U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer and wrote: “Let me be the first to say this plainly: These Judges deserve to be killed.”

His postings included photographs, phone numbers, work address, and room numbers of these judges. It also included a photo of the building they worked in and a map with its location, authorities said. He was sentenced to 33 months after being convicted. Jurors deadlocked in the first two trials, but the government prevailed in the third.

Turners defense, which apparently worked in the first two trials — or worked enough to raise doubts in some jurors’ minds — was that the FBI had encouraged him to take his racist rhetoric up a notch to help them with a case involving the murder of a Chicago federal judge’s family members.  The defense apparently felt that info might be helpful while cross examining the undercover FBI agent to see what, if anything, he might have done to encourage hateful rhetoric within the Hutaree group.

The FBI apparently thought the killer might be a white supremacist, Turner’s target audience. Perhaps Turner might be able to draw the person out.

So Turner said he obliged and said at the time the judge was “worthy of death”. Last summer, he posted on the Internet the photos of three Chicago federal judges who upheld a gun ban and wrote that they too were “worthy of death”.