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Archive for January, 2016

Justice Department Plans to Hire More Attorneys to Handle Clemency Cases

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s push to grant early release to federal prisoners has prompted the Justice Department to announce it’s drastically increasing the number of attorneys to handle the clemency, The Daily Caller reports. 

The Office of the Pardon Attorney is looking for 16 attorney advisors to help handle the clemency cases.

The hiring would more than double the agency’s staffing level, which currently has seven permanent attorneys.

The Justice Department has encouraged federal prisoners to petition for early release.

Under the initiative, announced in April 2014, federal prisoners who served at least a decade in prison for non-violent crimes are eligible.

Ex-Federal Prosecutor Says Hillary Clinton Could Soon Be Indicted Because of ‘Overwhelming’ Evidence

Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In the midst of the Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, a former U.S. attorney said he believes the Democratic frontrunner may soon be indicted over the e-mail scandal, The Daily Mail reports. 

The remarks come just before the Iowa caucuses in February, which suggests Clinton’s campaign could be derailed.

Joe DiGenova, a prosecutor appointed to President Reagan, said the investigation has reached a “critical mass.”

“They have reached a critical mass in their investigation of the secretary and all of her senior staff,” DiGenova said Tuesday. “And, it’s going to come to a head, I would suggest, in the next 60 days.”

DiGenova said the Justice Department is “not going to be able to walk away from it.”

“They are now at over 1,200 classified emails. And, that’s just for the ones we know about from the State Department. That does not include the ones that the FBI is, in fact, recovering from her hard drives.”

FBI Believes Aging Mobster Knows Whereabouts of Stolen Gardner Museum Masterpieces

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum  in 1990.

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The mystery behind the theft of $500 million worth of masterpieces from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990 continues to baffle federal investigators.

But the FBI believes an aging Connecticut mobster knows the whereabouts of the paintings, the Boston globe reports.

An assistant U.S. attorney told a judge on Wednesday that a Robert Gentile, 79, told at least three people he knows where the paintings are since he was jailed several years ago on drug and gun charges.

An undercover agent posing as a drug dealer said Gentile offered to sell the paintings for $500,000 apiece before the deal collapsed.

“There is a legitimate law enforcement interest in trying to recover the paintings,” US District Judge Robert N. Chatigny said.

Among the stolen paints were three Rembrandts, a Manet, Vemeer and Flinck.

The theft is considered the world’s largest art heist.

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Sexually Assaulting a Potentially Drugged Minor

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent is accused of sexually assaulting a potentially drugged minor, NBC 7 San Diego reports.

Daniel Alfredo Spear, 45, has been arrested and charged with forcible lewd and lascivious acts on an underage person.

Spear is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the probe.

Details of the allegations have not yet been released.

Ex-FBI Agent Who Authored Books Critical of J. Edgar Hoover Has Died at 88

fbi logo newBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

William Weyand Turner, a former FBI agent who criticized J. Edgar Hoover in several books, died Dec. 26, the Marin Independent Journal reports. 

Turner died after complications with Parkinson’s Disease.

He was 88.

Hoover fired Turner in 1962 after he testified before Congress that an investigation was needed into the bureau’s extensive wiretapping.

When Turner was an agent, he testified that he set up hundreds of wiretaps on telephones and even broke into homes and businesses to plant the hidden surveillance.

Turner detailed in his 1970 book, “Hoover’s FBI,” that the bureau’s director placed so much energy on cracking down on communism that he failed to adequately prosecute organized crime.

“For nearly four decades, he (Hoover) stuck his head in the sand while the crime syndicates waxed fat,” he wrote.

Leader of Occupation of Federal Building in Oregon Said FBI Raid Is Coming

oregonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The leader of the armed group occupying a federal building in Oregon said he believes the FBI plans to raid the property soon after obtaining five arrest warrants, Fox 6 News reports. 

Ammon Bundy said he’s been told that the FBI is preparing a raid, which local and federal authorities would not confirm.

Local police and the FBI continue to say they are seeking a peaceful resolution.

The group is protesting the five-year prison sentences of two local ranchers who have since distanced themselves from the protest group.

“The FBI is working with the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and other local and state law enforcement agencies to bring a peaceful resolution to the situation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge,” the FBI’s Portland office said in a statement.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Tries to Fill in 18-Minute Gap Between San Bernardino Shooting And Police Pursuit

San Bernardino couple who opened fire at a holiday party.

San Bernardino couple who opened fire at a holiday party.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to figure out what the San Bernardino couple did in the 18 months after killing 14 people at a holiday party.

The Boston Herald reports that the FBI is seeking the public’s help in filling in the gap, which could be critical to understanding whether the couple was in contact with anyone else after the massacre.

So far, the FBI has found no evidence that the husband-and-wife terrorist team intended to strike another target.

Federal investigators also want to now whether Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 29, contacted anyone or stopped anywhere between the attack and the police pursuit.

“It’s possible that they stopped, whether it be a storage area, a residence, a business. It’s possible there was a contact made. We just don’t know,” David Bowdich, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said. “It very well may not be an important fact, but until we close that gap we just don’t know for sure.”

Armed Protester Occupying Federal Refuge Would Rather Be Killed Than Arrested

burn oregonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

At least one of the armed protesters occupying a federal refuge in Oregon said he is prepared to die before being arrested, NBC News reports. 

Today is the fifth day of the standoff at the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The FBI is trying to resolve the impasse without violence.

But one occupier, LaVoy Finicum, said he “absolutely” would rather be killed than arrested.

“I have no intention of spending any of my days in a concrete box,” he said.

“There are things more important than your life and freedom is one of them,” he said. “I’m prepared to defend freedom.”

But Finicium, a Mormon rancher from Arizona with 11 children, suggested Tuesday that he hopes the standoff ends soon because “I need to get home.”

“I got cows that are scattered and lost.”