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Senate Confirms FBI’s John Pistole to Head Transportation Security Administration

John Pistole/fbi photo

John Pistole/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s number two man John Pistole, who was considered a sure bet, was confirmed unanimously by the Senate Friday to head the Transportation Security Administration, The Hill newspaper reported.

Pistole, who was highly respected in the FBI, was the third nominee for the post. The two others, ex-FBI agent Erroll Southers and retired Gen. Robert Harding, withdrew their nominations after problems surfaced in their backgrounds.

No replacement has been named for Pistole, though one likely and logical candidate appears to be the FBI’s number three person Timothy Murphy.

Previously, Pistole’s  name surfaced as one of four candidates being considered to head up the Drug Enforcement Administration. But in the end the nod went to the acting head of DEA, Michele Leonhart. After that, his name had surfaced as a possible head for ATF, but that idea never went any where.

Read more »

Man Pleads to Bribing Iraqi Officials in Oil Contracts

iStock_000006637909XSmallBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A man with Canadian-Lebanese dual citizenship pleaded guilty Friday to participating in an eight-year conspiracy to defraud the United Nations Oil for Food Program and bribing Iraqi officials in connection with the sale of a chemical additive used in the refining of leaded fuel, the Justice Department announced.

Ousama Naaman, 61, of Abu Dhabi, was arrested July 30, 2009, in Frankfurt and extradited to the United States, the Justice Department said. He pleaded guilty to charges including violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

From 2001 to 2003, acting on behalf of the company Innospec, Naaman paid 10 percent kickbacks to the then Iraqi government in exchange for five contracts, the Justice Department said.

Authorities said Naaman negotiated the contracts, which included a 10 percent price increase to cover the kickbacks, and routed the funds to Iraqi government accounts in the Middle East.

He also admitted that from 2004 to 2008 he paid more than $3 million worth of bribes in cash, travel, gifts, and entertainment, to officials of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and the Trade Bank of Iraq to secure sales of tetraethyl lead in Iraq, as well as to secure “more favorable exchange rates on the contracts.” the Justice Department said. Naaman faces up to 10 years in prison.

Powerful Jamaican Drug Lord Christopher Coke Arrives in U.S.

jamaica_mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Jamaican gang leader Christopher “Dudus” Coke, whose loyalty in his country set off a bloodletting after the U.S. came after him, was sent to New York on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

Coke not only had plenty supporters in Jamaica, but in the U.S. as well.

Federal prosecutors filed court paper saying drug dealers from the U.S. regularly sent cash and goods to Coke as tribute payments. Coke was scheduled to make a court appearance in Manhattan Friday.

Coke was captured in Jamaica on Tuesday. After Jamaica announced it would agree to extradite Coke, the drug dealer’s followers clashed with government forces, resulting in 76 dead, AP reported.

To read more click here.

Senate Judiciary Approves U.S. Attorneys for Tenn. and Ill.

Wiggington/law firm photo

Wiggington/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee continues to chip away at confirming U.S. Attorneys around the country.

On Thursday, the commmittee gave the nod to Stephen Wiggington for the Southern District of Illinois and Edward L. Stanton III for the Western District of Tennessee.

To date, the panel has approved 59 U.S. Attorney nominees and the Senate has confirmed 57 of those, according to the website Main Justice, which closely follows the process.

Minn. Man Charged With Sending Threatening Email to Vice Pres. Joe Biden, Gov and Senator

white house photo

white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 45-year-old Minnesota man was indicted Thursday for hacking into his neighbor’s wireless router Internet service and sending threats to the vice president and the governor and senator from Minnesota   from email under the neighbor’s name.

Authorities said Barry Vincent Ardolf was charged with two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of making threats to the president and successors to the presidency, one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of distribution of child pornography.

Ardolf is accused of hacking into his neigbhors wireless router in February 2009 and creating Yahoo.com e-mail accounts under the neigbhor’s name. In May 2009, he used on of the accounts to send Vice President Biden an email under his neighbors’s name:

“This is a terrorist threat! Take this seriously. I hate the way you people are spending money you don’t have…. I’m assigning myself to be judge jury and executioner. Since you folks have spent what you don’t have it’s time to pay the ultimate price. Time for new officials after you all are put to death by us….”

The e-mail was also sent to the governor and a U.S. senator from Minnesota, and threatened to kill the officials one at a time, starting June 1.

On top of that, he is accused of sending child pornography to the neighbor’s co-workers with the intention of the email being traced to his neighbor.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Breaking News: Philly’s Janice Fedarcyk Named Head of New York FBI; First Woman To Head Office

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Janice Fedarcyk, one of the names that had been circulating as a prospect to head the New York FBI,  has been named to that post. She is the first female to head that office.

Janice K. Fedarcyk-FBI Philadelphia

Janice K. Fedarcyk-FBI Philadelphia

Fedarcyk currently heads up the Philadelphia FBI. Agent Richard Kolko, a spokesman for the N.Y.  office, confirmed the appointment Thursday afternoon.

She replaces Joseph Demarest, who left the office under a cloud and was later assigned to headquarters  where he now works as Assistant Director of the International Operations Division.

He had  been under internal investigation in connection with an affair he’d had with a supervisor in his office. Investigators were looking into whether he had been totally forthright when questioned about it.

At the time, no permanent replacement had been named, so the office’s special agent in charge George Venizelos was named as the interim head.

Early on, Fedarcyk’s name had surfaced as a candidate along with some others including Andy Arena, who heads the Detroit FBI.

Supreme Court Ruling Casts Doubt on Conviction of Enron Exec Skilling and Other Cases

The ruling by the Supreme Court could spell trouble for some federal cases. It will also change the way federal prosecutors charge certain defendants, though  some had started to look at different ways in anticipation of the ruling.

judge and gavelBy Robert Barnes
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court Thursday restricted one of federal prosecutors’ favorite tools for pursuing corrupt politicians and self-dealing corporate chiefs, and cast doubt on the conviction of former Enron chief Jeffrey Skilling.

It also sent back to a lower court the conviction of newspaper magnate Conrad Black for a decision on whether his conviction should be overturned.

The justices were passing judgment on a federal statute used in the prosecution of both men, and many others. It makes it a crime to deprive the public or one’s employer or shareholders of the “intangible right of honest services.”

Although a favorite of federal prosecutors–it figures in the current trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich– it has been roundly criticized as being so vague as to make it impossible to know what sorts of actions are illegal. Skilling said it should be struck as unconstitutional.

To read full story click here.

Read Supreme Court Ruling

5 Northern Virginia Men Convicted of Terrorism in Pakistan

pakistan-map
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Five  Northern Virginia men who vanished, only to appear in Pakistan, were sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of terrorism charges Thursday by a Pakistani court, the Washington Post reported.

Pakistani authorities introduced evidence including emails, which it said showed the young men planned to carry out terrorist attacks in Pakistan, the Post reported.

The attorneys for the men questioned the verdict and the legitimacy of the emails. The Post reported that the families back home were devastated by the verdicts.

To Read more click here.