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March 2013


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for March 11th, 2013

In Surprise Move, Judge Jails Ex-Detroit Mayor After Jury Convicts Him

Kwame Kilpatrick/photo by Lauren Davies of Deadline Detroit

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT –– In a dramatic scene, a federal judge Monday afternoon ordered Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson off to jail pending their sentencing on public corruption charges.

After the ruling deputy U.S. Marshals approached the men, who both took off their suit jackets. They were then put in handcuffs. Kilpatrick popped something in his mouth, but it was unclear what it was.

U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds said it was a close call, but sided with the prosecutors who had argued that both Kilpatrick Ferguson be put behind bars pending sentencing. They argued that they were liars and cheats who had access to big money and violated court orders after their convictions in state court. Kilpatrick was convicted of lying during a deposition and in trial in state court. Ferguson was convicted in 2005 of pistol whipping an employee.

She noted Kilpatrick showed up to court and complied with all the pretrial conditions in federal court. But she said he had an incentive to show up to trial because he kept insisting he was innocent. She said that incentive to comply was no longer. She also said that Ferguson was someone who used intimidation.

Jim Thomas, Kilpatrick’s attorney, and Gerald Evelyn, Ferguson’s attorney, argued that they should remain free pending sentencing.

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Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Jury Convicts Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, His Dad and Good Friend

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel and Bill McGraw
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Kwame Kilpatrick, the youngest mayor in Detroit history, who became a devisive figure and ended up in trouble with the law time after time, was convicted by a Detroit federal jury today on numerous public corruption charges, along with his long-time friend Bobby Ferguson. His father Bernard Kilpatrick was convicted on one count of filing a false tax return.

After 14 days of deliberation, the jury of six whites, five blacks and one Hispanic found Kilpatrick and Ferguson guilty on most counts incluindg racketeering conspiracy, extortion and bribery. The jury could not reach a verdict on the father involving the racketeering. U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds said the jury had reachd a verdict on Friday but decided to sleep on it and come back on Monday.

The jury found that Kilpatrick and Ferguson rigged bids and extorted money from contractors while Kilpatrick was mayor.

Specifically, the jury found Kwame Kilpatrick guilty on 24 of 30 counts. The jury acquitted him on three counts and were deadlocked on three others. The jury convicted Bobby Ferguson on 9 of 11 counts and Bernard Kilpatrick on one of four counts. Bernard Kilpatrick faced racketeering charge but the jury deadlocked ont that one. Most of counts against Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson carry a maximum penalty of 10 to 20 years. His father, who was convicted of filing a false tax return, faces up to three years in prison.

To read more click here.


Police and FBI Tracked bin Laden’s Son-in-Law For About 10 Years

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON – U.S. investigators tracked Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, for about 10 years before he was detained in Jordan and brought by the FBI to New York City in the past few days, U.S. officials familiar with the investigation said.

An FBI agent and a New York police detective together spent more than a decade investigating Abu Ghaith, not only for his role as a spokesman for al Qaeda after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington but for activities they believed he was involved in before 2001, said one official.

On Friday, Abu Ghaith pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court to conspiring to kill Americans, becoming one of the highest-ranking al Qaeda figures to face trial in the United States for crimes connected to the September 11 attacks.

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Iran Says It Wants to Help Find Out About Whereabouts of Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel

Have we heard this before?

The Associated Press reports that Iran’s foreign minister says his country is prepared to help find out what happened to retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished six years ago while traveling to the Iranian island of Kish.

Iran has indicated in the past that Levinson is no longer in Iran.


Court: Border Patrol Must Have Reasonable Cause to Conduct Thorough Search of Electronic Devices

Steve Neavling

Border Patrol is prohibited from conducting a thorough search of an electronic device like a computer or cell phone unless there is reasonable suspicion of a crime, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday, the Inquisitr reports

But the ruling does not prevent Border Patrol from making cursory checks of electronic devices without reasonable suspicions.

The case involved a convicted sex offender whose laptop was seized at the US-Mexico border. After performing a comprehensive forensic audit, agents found child pornography, the Inquisitir reported.

Judges ruled that Border Patrol overreached its authority in that case.

“A person’s digital life ought not be hijacked simply by crossing a border,” the ruling reads.

Justice Department’s Civil Rights Head Expected to Be Nominated Labor Secretary

Thomas Perez

Steve Neavling

President Obama is expected to nominate Thomas Perez, a civil rights expert, as his choice to head the Department of Labor, the Associated Press reports.

Head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division since 2009, the 51-year-old could be nominated as early as today.

Perez led an effort to challenge voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas because of the potential to restrict minority voting rights, the AP reported.

Perez has support from organized labor and many Hispanics.

Beefed-up Border Patrol Making Progress in Securing U.S. Border

Steve Neavling

Arrests of migrants are at their lowest level since the 1970s because of increased security, the LA Times reports.

Since 1986, the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents rose 3,222 to 18,500 today, the LA Times reported.

The result: Less crime and more economic development for border towns.

“We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement,” said President Obama during a trip to the border at El Paso in 2011. “All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done.”

Some question the meaning behind the reduction in border crimes, saying fewer people are coming to the U.S. for jobs because of the economy.

Unidentified Bodies Stacking Up While Border Patrol Increases Security: 5,513 Found in 15 Years


Border fence along Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo

Steve Neavling 

Increased security along the U.S.-Mexico border is forcing some migrants to traverse remote deserts with debilitating heat – a reality that leads to deaths.

The Associated Press reports that 5,513 bodies have been found in the past 15 years.

Critics charge that federal agents are more worried about enforcement than saving lives, the AP reported.

“The language coming out is alarmingly more of the same,” said Kat Rodriguez of Coalicion de Derechos Humanos in Tucson, who collects information on missing migrants to help medical examiners identify the dead, the AP wrote.

Many corpses are found with no way to identify the migrant, leaving a backlog of unidentified bodies.