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Archive for June, 2012

No Regrets for Mobster’s Girlfriend Who Lands 8 Years in Prison

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The long-time girlfriend of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger showed little remorse before she was sentenced Tuesday in Boston federal court to eight years in prison, the Boston Herald reports.

Catherine Greig said she had “no regrets” about helping the crime lord evade a worldwide manhunt for 16 years, according to the Boston Herald.

The 82-year-old Bulger, the former leader of the notorious Winter Hill Gang, is expected to go on trial in November on charges he participated in 19 murders.

Prosecutors, who sought 10 years of imprisonment in the case against Greig, said Greig and Bulger preyed on the homeless and mentally ill as well as alcoholics and drug addicts, stealing their identities in an attempt to evade authorities.

Greig had pleaded guilty to harboring a federal fugitive, conspiracy and identity fraud.

Her attorney, Evin Reddington, said he expects Greig to be released from prison in about five years, according to the Boston Herald.

Feds Continue Crackdowns on Pot Dispensaries in California

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 

The continuing clash between state and federal officials over how to handle medicinal pot in states that legalized it arrived in Sacramento again with a raid on a dispensary, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Although the Obama administration pledged to respect state laws on medicinal marijuana, the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency executed a search warrant on the El Camino Wellness Center.

Four U.S. attorneys announced a crackdown in October on marijuana operations in California, saying medical pot operations were “hijacked by profiteers,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

Since then, federal authorities have conducted raids from Los Angeles to Oakland.

Medical pot advocates accuse the federal government of trampling on state marijuana laws that allow sick and injured people to obtain the drug for relief.

Cable Companies Probed for limits on Online Video

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has launched an anti-trust investigation into whether cable companies are acting improperly to hurt competition from online video, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Justice Department officials have talked to cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable about setting data caps and limiting how much a subscriber can download a month, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Access to cheaper online video has hurt cable companies that offer more expensive cable TV packages in what is known in the industry as “cord cutting.”

The probe is shaking a tightly regulated industry and could change the future of new online video services.

Off to the Races: Feds Indict 14 Cartel Members for Laundering Millions in U.S. Horse Racing

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Investments in the drug cartel world apparently know no bounds.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western Texas District announced Tuesday the indictment of 14 members of Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel for laundering money by purchasing, breeding and racing American quarter horses in the U.S.

Those indicted included Los Zetas leader  Miguel Angel Trevino Morales (aka “40”) and his brothers, Oscar Omar  Trevino Morales (aka “42”) and Jose Trevino-Morales, authorities said.

On Tuesday, authorities said they arrested seven of the defendants.

“The allegations in this indictment, if proven, would document yet another example of the corrupting influence of Mexican drug cartels within the United States, facilitated by the enormous profits generated by the illicit drug trade,” U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman said in a statement.

The indictment alleges that millions of dollars worth of transactions transpired in New Mexico, Oklahoma, California and Texas involving a large number of quarter horses, and the cartel used front companies to conceal the true ownership.

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ATF Probes Flashlight Bombs in Phoenix Area

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Feds are investigating the discovery of at least three flashlight bombs — flashlights designed to explode — found recently in the Phoenix area, CBS news reports

ATF officials are puzzled by the flashlight bombs that have injured five people recently.

Unclear who is behind the small bombs, local police are erecting 22 billboards across the metro area to warn residents about the flashlights.

Feds don’t suspect terrorism because the attacks appear to be random and without messages.

CBS News says the bombs are rigged to a small battery in the flashlight so that turning it on causes a blast.

Justice Department Threatens to Sue Florida Over Voting Rights

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 

The Justice Department said it will sue Florida if it doesn’t scrap its controversial voter purge program, which critics says unfairly targets minorities based on largely inaccurate information, CNN reports.

At issue is a Republican-led effort to eliminate non-eligible voters in a battleground state that will play a key role in the 2012 presidential election.

The state said it identified more than 100,000 non-eligible voters who could be on the list illegally, according to CNN.

Although states have the legal authority to remove non-eligible voters, the Justice Department argues the program violates legal standards designed to avoid mistakes.

CNN reports:

While the Justice Department notes that states can legally remove non-eligible voters from their lists, the letter Monday argues that the Florida program does not comply with legal standards, has “critical imperfections, which lead to errors that harm and confuse eligible voters.”

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties voluntarily ended the removal of names from voting lists on the recommendation of Florida county election officials, CNN reported.

Justice Department to Oversee Elections in South Carolina

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department announced it will monitor primary elections in two South Carolina counties following complaints of discrimination.

Tasked with ensuring fair elections, the Justice Department said in a press release that it will assure that local officials comply with the Voting Rights Act, which bans discrimination on the basis of race.

Civil rights groups have complained that Fairfield and Williamsburg counties unfairly target minorities.

The Justice Department sends hundreds of federal observers to monitor elections across the country.