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Senate Confirms U.S. Attys. for D.C., NY and Calif.

D.C. nominee Ronald Machen

D.C. nominee Ronald Machen

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Chalk up three more confirmations of U.S. Attorneys around the country.

The news website Main Justice reports that the Senate on Thursday confirmed Ron Machen for the District of Columbia; Andre Birotte Jr. for the Central District of California and Richard Hartunian for the Northern District of New York.

Main Justice reported that the Senate has confirmed 34 U.S. Attorneys so far.

There’s  plenty more to go. In Texas, for instance, there are four U.S. Attorney spots that have not been filled by the Obama administration.

FBI Raids Southern Christian Leadership Conference

dayton

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI on Thursday searched the offices of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Dayton, Ohio and the home of the national chairman Rev. Raleigh Trammell, who has been under investigation for allegedly embezzling $569,000, All Headline News reported.

The news service noted that the raid came “a few days after the SCLC national board had accused Trammell of mishandling funds.”

It also said agents “seized a computer and several boxes from Trammell’s home and also seized similar items during a search of his daughter’s home.”

Mike Douglas’ Son Faces Tough Jail Time After Bust by DEA

Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

If Cameron Douglas acts as if he’s really really worried, he’s not really acting.

The 31-year-old son of actor Michael Douglas, and grandson of actor Kirk Douglas, faces some tough jail time when he gets sentenced April 27 in U.S. District Court in New York.

The Associated Press reports that he faces a minimum of 10 years in federal prison.

Late last month, the younger Douglas pleaded guilty to selling large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine while staying at Hotel Gansevoort, a trendy Manhattan hotel. He was busted by the DEA.

The AP reported that he also pleaded guilty to heroin possession after his girlfriend tried to smuggle the drug to him in an electric toothbrush while he was under house arrest.

To read more click here.

Read Superseding Information Document

Jury to Begin Deliberating in Trial of Ex-Miami DEA Chief Tom Raffanello

miami map istockBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

And now comes the jury deliberations.

A Miami jury will begin deliberating Thursday in the trial of Tom Raffanello, the former head of the Miami DEA, who is accused of conspiracy and obstructing an SEC investigation by shredding thousands of records to protect his boss — accused swindler Allen Stanford, according to the Miami Herald.

Rafanello, the former chief of security for Stanford Financial group, is on trial along with the company’s technology officer Bruce Perraud. He has denied wrongdoing.

To read the full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Student Detained at Philly Airport for Arabic Flash Cards Sues FBI and TSA

philly airportBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some Arabic flashcards are at the center of a lawsuit against the FBI, police and the Transportation Security Administration.

The Associated Press is reporting that a student is suing the agencies after he was handcuffed at Philadelphia International Airport in August and questioned about his Arabic flash cards.

The AP reported the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on Wednesday on behalf of Nick George, 22, of Wyncote, Pa.

It alleges that George, who studies Arabic at Pomona College in California, was detained for four hours and missed his flight to California even after it became apparent he was no threat, the news service reported.

Ex-Gov Blago Wants Judge to Let Him Play All FBI Tapes at Trial

Rod Blagojevich/rod radio photo

Rod Blagojevich/rod radio photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Publicity hound Rod Blagojevich, the ex-Gov. of Illinois, pleaded “innocent” Wednesday in federal court in Chicago to a revised public corruption indictment, and his attorneys indicated they want the green light to play all the secret FBI recordings they desire during trial, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Tribune reported that Blago’s attorneys wrote in a motion that the former governor is “desirous that the recordings be heard in open court by the jury, believing as he does that a full airing of the recordings will establish his innocence of every count in the indictment.”

After the hearing, the Tribune reported that Blago said:

“Play the truth and nothing but the truth. Play all the tapes.”

He is accused of using his office to make money and trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

Prosecutors had filed a revised indictment to avoid any complications that might come from a pending Supreme Court ruling on “honest services” fraud.

Read full story.

Read Blago’s Motion on Tapes

Angel Moreno Named Acting U.S. Atty. in Texas

texasBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Moreno, who is based in Laredo, Tex., is the new acting U.S. Attorney for the Houston division, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The federal judges in the Southern District of Texas voted to appoint Moreno to the position, the Chronicle reported.

President Obama has yet to name anyone for the four U.S. Attorney posts in Texas, which include Houston, Dallas, Beaumont and San Antonio.

To read more click here.

ATF Offers $5,000 Reward in San Diego Co. Church Fire

arsonBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF is offering a $5,000 reward for for information leading to the arrest in the January arson fire at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a beach community in San Diego County.

Authorities say sometime between 8:00 p.m. on Jan. 24, and 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 25  a fire broke out in the foyer at the church. Damage was estimated at more than $5,000.

ATF said parishioners found graffiti spray painted on two different exterior doors of their church.