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Archive for October, 2013

Former Detroit Mayor Gets 28 Years in Prison for Racketeering Scheme

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison for running a complex racketeering scheme out of city hall.

The sentence is one of the stiffest ever leveled against a corrupt politician.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds said she wanted to send a clear message that corruption would not be tolerated.

Kilpatrick extorted bribes from contractors and steered at least $127 million in contracts to his friend and business partner, Bobby Ferguson, who is to be sentenced today.

Kilpatrick said he “really messed up” and was “extremely remorseful.”

Weekend Series on Crime: The Meth Problem in Northern Michigan

httpv://youtu.be/rI-UiYkx21Y

Rabbis Accused of Conspiring to Kidnap, Use Cattle Prods to Force Divorces

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Three rabbis and seven others are accused of trying to force Orthodox Jewish men into agreeing to divorce their wives, CBS New York reports.

They allegedly conspired to kidnap and use cattle prods to get the men to agree to divorce their wives.  Under Jewish law, a person must obtain what’s called a “get,” a legal Jewish document, for a divorce to become official. But a husband must agree to give a “get” for the divorce to be official.  In some instances, the men refuse.

The suspects were arraigned in a New Jersey federal court.

“The charge is kidnapping and extortion. Violent crime to get Jewish men to give divorces they wouldn’t otherwise get. It’s not really an exercise of religion. It’s really about money and violent crime,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.

 

Federal Investigators Probe Ethics Scandal with Ties to Georgia Governor

AG Eric Holder Sends Message to Justice Department Employees About Shutdown

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Dear Colleagues,

This ongoing shutdown continues to be a very frustrating time for all of us who work for the Department of Justice and those who provide services on contract. I remain particularly concerned about the impact the shutdown continues to have on all of you and your families. Unfortunately, because we are unable to predict when it will be resolved, we are not able to allay all of your justifiable concerns.

In an effort to answer as many questions as possible, we have updated material under the “Information for Employees” section of the Department’s homepage. There you will find information about pay, ethics issues, employee assistance programs, unemployment compensation, and the Department’s contingency plans.

I also want to reiterate how important each and every one of you is to the Department of Justice’s mission. To those of you who are excepted from furlough, thank you for continuing to work through this difficult period, even though most of you are doing so on an “IOU” basis. To those of you who are furloughed, I wish you were on the job furthering the mission of this great institution, instead of wondering when you will be able to return to work and if and when you will be paid. Please understand that I believe every Department employee, whether excepted or furloughed, is essential to ensure that justice is served on behalf of the American people.

As we await a resolution of this shutdown, we will continue to provide information to you as quickly as possible. Please continue to check the Department homepage to receive the most up-to-date information for employees.

Thank you for your service to the American people. I look forward to see you all back on the job again soon.

Sincerely,

Eric H. Holder, Jr.

U.S. Won’t Pressure Mexico to Capture Man Who Kidnapped, Tortured DEA Agent

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The U.S. isn’t doing enough to pressure Mexico to find the man who kidnapped and tortured a DEA agent after officials released him from a Mexican prison, Fox News reports.

“Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena was a decorated agent, his death long forgotten if not for his killer’s recent release and Mexico ignoring our extradition request,”  Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse said. “This raises questions about what the U.S. is, or isn’t doing, to find him.”

Camarena was abducted in 1985 and tortured for three days.

Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero and others crushed Camarena’s skull, used a cattle prod and drilled a hole into his head.

“Only U.S. pressure can make Mexico act,” Jeunesse said. “Right now, they don’t see it.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Judge Still Not Satisfied That Drug Dealer’s Mercedes is Drug-Related Property

Judge Paul Grimm/ Baltimore CIty Paper photo

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper

BALTIMORE — Maryland U.S. District judge Paul Grimm spent more than 15 years as a federal magistrate judge before being elevated to his current perch in 2012. That’s a lot of time to gain a nuanced understanding of the rules of evidence that must be met before law enforcers can lawfully seize or search property – one of a magistrate’s key bailiwicks.

So now that Grimm is a district judge with a docket that includes civil proceedings, called forfeitures, in which the government seeks to keep criminally derived property it has seized, he has a sensitive nose for the required legal thresholds – and in one case this year, he’s twice cited a dearth of evidence in denying the government’s move to keep convicted drug-dealer John Edward Butler Jr.’s 2003 Mercedes Benz CL500.

Butler was a St. Mary’s County drug dealer who pleaded guilty in a large federal cocaine conspiracy, and in 2011, the government filed a forfeiture case to keep his seized Mercedes. Grimm’s second denial, issued on Oct. 2, was in response to the government’s motion for reconsideration of his first, which was handed down in July. What’s clear from the second is that Grimm’s patience with the government’s arguments is wearing quite thin.

To read the full story click here.

NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Gets Visit from Father in Russia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Since Edward Snowden fled his home in Hawaii several months ago after leaking sensitive NSA information, he has lived a rather solitary life.

Now he’s getting a visit from his father, Lon Snowden, of Pennsylvania, the New York Times reports.

Lon Snowden arrived Thursday morning at Sheremetyevo Airport in Russia, where his son was granted temporary asylum.

Snowden said he didn’t expect his son to return to the U.S.

“That’s his decision you know. He’s an adult,” Snowden told reporters.