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Ex-Az U.S. Atty Drops Family of Slain Border Agent, Citing Govt. Attempts to Link Him to Gun Walking Cases

Paul K. Charlton/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The overspill from ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious is touching plenty folks.

The lastest: Former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton, who has been representing the family of Brian Terry, the border patrol agent in Arizona who was killed by gunfire last December. The family has been considering legal action against the government ever since it was learned that two guns from Fast and Furious were recovered at the murder scene.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that Charlton, who served as Arizona U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2007,  has decided to stop representing the parents “because of what he called an effort by the Justice Department to link him to disgraced gun-running investigations.”

Under Fast and Furious, ATF encouraged gun dealers in Arizona to sell to “straw purchasers” or middlemen, all with the hopes of tracing the guns to Mexico. ATF lost track of many of the weapons, some which surfaced at crime scenes.

“But in early October, allegations of allowing this so-called ‘gun walking’ crept closer to Charlton himself,” the Arizona Daily Star reported. “The Associated Press reported the existence of a previous ATF investigation in Arizona that had also allowed guns into Mexico. This Tucson-based investigation, Operation Wide Receiver, had begun in early 2006 while Charlton was U.S. attorney.”

To read more click here.

 

DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood Talks About “J. Edgar” Movie

FBI Agent and Body Shop Owner to Testify Against Ex-Fed Prosecutor in Murder Case

Paul Bergrin/photo News12 New Jersey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent and a body shop owners are scheduled to testify Friday in the ongoing murder trial in federal court in Newark of ex-fed prosecutor Paul Bergrin, who once represented rap stars and drug kingpins, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

Bergin, 55,  is accused of orchestrating the 2004 murder of a government informant Kemo Deshawn McCray.

The government contends that Bergrin told a drug gang member “No Kemo, no case” after one of their associates got busted on cocaine charges, the Star-Ledger reported. Bergrin is representing himself.

On Thursday, the paper reported, government witness Anthony Young testified. He is serving 30 years for the murder.

Bergrin said in opening statements that some witnesses were lying to get lesser sentences.

To read more click here.

 

 

Bank Bandit Leaves Behind Demand Note with Prints; Suspected of Robbing Same Bank 4 Times

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

David E. Gregory, 57, walked into the Chicago Community Bank at 52 East Lake Street in Chicago, Ill. at around 9:30am on Sept. 30. He handed the teller a note which said he had a gun and a bomb, and demanded money from the teller’s drawer. Gregory walked out of the bank with $631 in cash, but left behind the note.

The FBI reports that Gregory was arrested on Friday without incident by members of the Chicago FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF), who had determined through forensic work that the demand note left behind at the scene had a latent fingerprint belonging to Gregory.

Gregory is also suspected of robbing the same bank on three other occasions–August 12, September 16 and October 12–though he has not yet been charged in those incidents. He is being held without bond until his next court hearing, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, at 2:30 in the afternoon. He faces a possible 20 year jail sentence.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

 

FBI Arrests Tenn. Man for Threatening House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor & Family

Rep. Eric Cantor/gov photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A 62-year-old Tennessee man left two messages on the voicemail of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on the evening of Oct. 27, saying he was going to destroy Cantor, rape his daughter and kill his wife, the FBI reported in a press release.

Glendon Swift of Lenoir City, Tenn., was arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. He made a preliminary appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley Jr. in Knoxville on Thursday.

“Threatening to harm the family of a public official is a very serious charge, and we are grateful to the FBI and their law enforcement partners for their quick action in this case,“ U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said in announcing the arrest.

Swift was traced as the registrant of the phone number the call was made from. He admitted to the arresting officers he had made the call.

 

Feds Convict Crooked Attorney But Not Before Being Duped by FBI Snitch


Louis Cherico/gang land news photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds got their conviction on Tuesday in New York against attorney Louis Cherico for mortgage fraud. But the case was not without embarrassment in what Gang Land News described as “Keystone Kops-like antics by the feds.”

Jerry Capeci, editor of Gang Land News, reports that the feds and Cherico “were victims of an elaborate scam by an FBI snitch.”

Here’s how.

Back in September, before trial started for Cherico, an FBI snitch provided bogus info to the feds that Cherico was going to skip town and head to South America to be with a former lover who wanted to ditch her husband, Gang Land News reported.

The snitch went as far as to say that Cherico was trying to get a secret charter flight to Venezuala and apparently used “text-spoofing” to make it look as if Cherico was texting certain messages.  Gang Land wrote: “As it happens, Cherico, 70, does not even know how to send text messages.”

Cherico ended up having to wear an ankle monitor.

On the last day of trial, Gang Land News reports, fed prosecutor Nicholas McQuaid announcd that the feds had “developed information that undermines the credibility of our source significantly.”

Gang Land reported that the prosecutor asked the judge to remove the ankle monitor from Cherico.

The feds may have gotten duped, but they did get the conviction against Cherico,70, for bank fraud, mortgage fraud and money laundering in what turned out to be a three-week trial. Sentencing is set for March 6.

 

 

FBI Turns to West Point for Counterterrorism Training

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has turned to the Army for help with its counterterrorism training.

After a troubled past with their understanding and interactions with Islam, reports Wired Magazine’s The Danger Room blog, the Bureau will begin working with the Army’s Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point.

The center at West Point is known among experts for its rigorous, practical scholarship on terrorism and Islamic Extremism, according to Danger Room. “It’s researchers consider themselves to be the opposite of analysts like William Gawthrop,” writes the Danger Room’s Spencer Ackerman, “the FBI intelligence analyst who compared Islam to the Death Star and Mohammed to a ‘cult leader.'”

“At CTC, there’s an ethos of education,” Brian Fishman, a researcher at the New America Foundation and former research director at the center, told the Danger Room. “When you have that, you inherently recognize that you need to illustrate that, for example, the practice of Islam around the world isn’t monolithic.”

According to the Danger Room, all new FBI agents go through a CTC-prepared class on international terrorism, but it is not yet certain how thoroughly the CTC will revamp the Bureau’s curriculum.

To read more click here.

Fed Jury Convicts Cop in Fatal Beating of Man Whose Last Words Were “All I wanted was a Snickers”

 By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Call it one of the low points in policing in Spokane, Wash.

A federal jury on Wednesday  convicted a Spokane, Wash., police officer  on civil rights and obstruction charges in the beating death of an unarmed man, the Justice Department announced.

Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr., 64, was convicted on charges stemming from a March 18, 2006 beating of an unarmed citizen and subsequent cover-up. Officer Thompson had claimed he felt threatened by a plastic bottle of soda the victim was holding, which justified the fatal beating.

But video evidence presented at trial established that on that day, while Zehm went to purchase soda and snacks at a Zip Trip convenience store, Thompson ran into the store, drew his baton and charged at a completely unaware Zehm, according to the Justice Department.

As the victim turned into a candy aisle he saw the officer charging at him, and within 2.5 seconds Thompson had delivered two overhand baton blows to the victim’s head, dropping him to the ground. With Zehm lying in the fetal position, Thomas then delivered taser blasts to Zehm’s chest. Zehm never stood up again.

Thompson remained standing above Zehm, delivering baton blows, “including a final flurry of seven baton strikes in eight seconds.” The incident was caught on the store’s security cameras.

The Justice Department said Thompson had responded to a vague and uncertain report earlier that night. Two teenagers said a man matching Zehm’s description had lingered around them at an ATM machine, making them feel uncomfortable. Driving away, the kids were uncertain if they had canceled their transaction and reported seeing the man walk up to the ATM and walk away with what looked like money in his hand.

“Prior to Thompson’s first strike, dispatchers made clear that the complainants were not sure whether the man at the ATM had taken any of their money,” said the FBI. “One of the women at the ATM who called 911 that night testified at trial that she was horrified by Thompson’s rapid series of overhand baton blows to the victim.”

Witnesses testified to hearing Zehm’s last words: “All I wanted was a Snickers,” he said from the floor of the Zip Trip convenience store. The man’s paycheck was found in his pocket.

Thompson later denied hitting Zehm over the head in his report of the incidence. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.