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Delays Continue to Hamper U.S.-Mexico Border Fence

This project could be tied up for quite some time as the government deals with land acquisitions from private property owners. With all the hurdles, it won’t be easy to complete.

border-fence-photo5

By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN
Associated Press Writer
BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Nearly six months after the U.S.-Mexico border fence ordered by the Bush administration was supposed to be finished, its completion is in limbo while a judge waits answers to questions about private property in the fence’s path.

About 630 miles of the promised 670-mile-long vehicle and pedestrian barrier is complete, with the unfinished portion in deep south Texas where opposition is fierce and the government has struggled to get the land it needs.

The biggest unfinished segment is a 13-mile stretch that runs east of Brownsville through rich farmland toward the Gulf of Mexico.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

A 64-Year Old Calif. Man Really Loved Being a Lawyer But There Was One Big Problem

gavel22By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Let’s face it, Harold Goldstein of Newport Beach, Calif.,  really really loved being an attorney.

Really.

One big problem: He didn’t have a law degree.

In May, he was sprung from prison after serving time for posing as an attorney.  Last Sunday,  the FBI arrested the 64-year-old man at his home for violating his parole by  posing as an attorney once again, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. On Monday, a federal judge ordered him held without bond.

In 2005, Goldstein,  originally got 13 years in years in prison for making false declarations to the court and sending solicitation letters to inmates advertising his legal services. He stole the real identity of a Northern California lawyer. His sentence was eventually reduced.

On May 1, he was released from prison. While out, the government charges, that Goldstein  posted a job ad on Craigslist.  He told applicants that he was retired or semi-retired and was looking to contract with an attorney who could do in-court legal work, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

A preliminary hearing is set for June 22. Hopefully, he won’t represent himself during the proceeding.

An ex-Cop, Professor and Politician Among Those Vying for Fla. U.S. Atty. Post

This is a rather large field of candidates. All around the country, people are jockeying for U.S. Attorney posts, politicking and making phone calls to try and get the edge.

State Rep. Michael Scionti among candidates

State Rep. Michael Scionti among candidates

By Robbyn Mitchell
St. Petersburg Times
TAMPA — A politician, a professor, a former police officer and former federal prosecutors have all applied to replace A. Brian Albritton as U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida, according to records released Tuesday.

Among 11 contenders for U.S. attorney are state Rep. Michael Scionti D-Tampa; lawyer Herbert Berkowitz; Roger B. Handberg, chief assistant to the U.S. attorney in Orlando; Harry Shorstein, retired state attorney from Jacksonville; and Robert O’Neill, who served as interim U.S. attorney until Albritton took over on Oct. 15.

The other candidates are Marcus A. Christian, Thomas K. Equels, John Z. Pare, Mike Peacock, Michael Seigel and Sandra Wiseman.

For Full Story

Boston Trial Underway to Determine How Much the Gov Owes a Widow Whose Husband Was Murdered by Mobsters Working as FBI Informants

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

A widow whose husband, a  Boston nightclub owner, was killed by mobsters wants the government to pay for her husband’s death. She says in a lawsuit that the FBI failed to take action against the mobsters, who were working as FBI informants. A federal judge has already ruled in her favor. Now another federal judge is trying to determine in a trial how much the government owes her.

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe
BOSTON — Notorious gangsters and longtime FBI informants James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi orchestrated the 1976 slaying of Revere nightclub owner Richard J. Castucci. But his life was not enough; they wanted his money, too.

Taking the stand yesterday in her wrongful death suit against the government, Castucci’s widow described being caught in a terrifying web as her husband’s killers – members of the Winter Hill Gang – and the New England Mafia both vied for control of her husband’s interest in The Squire, a popular and highly profitable strip club.

“I was scared,” said 72-year-old Sandra Castucci, recounting how Flemmi, a stranger to her, showed up unexpectedly at her Revere Beach home after her husband’s killing, asking about her financial interest in the club and suggesting he should handle it for her.

She was frightened by the visit and immediately alerted the businessman who co-owned The Squire with her husband. Then the Mafia got involved.

For Full Story

Big or Small Problem? Key Witness Who Wore FBI Wire Won’t Testify in ex-Rep. Jefferson Trial

The questions that looms large: Will it hurt the prosecution not to have the testimony of key witness Lori Mody, who wore an FBI wire? Some say yes. Sure, the prosecution can still play the FBI tapes, but it would be better if Mody testified. The fact she isn’t obviously means there were some big problems going on behind the scenes.
By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

ALEXANDRIA, VA . — Lori Mody, the Virginia businesswoman who was expected to be the government’s star witness in the federal corruption trial of former Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, will not be called to testify for the prosecution, lawyers said today.

The judge was informed of the government’s decision during a bench conference this morning that was not immediately made public. “We do not intend to call Lori Mody in our case in chief,” lead prosecutor Mark Lytle said without further explanation.

It was Mody who helped spark the investigation of Jefferson after going to the FBI in March 2005 to complain that she was the victim of fraud in African investments being promoted by the congressman. She agreed to wear a wire and the recordings of her meetings with Jefferson are at the heart of much of the government’s case.

For Full Story

A 20-Something Man Dies in Washington area While Taking FBI Physical Stress Test to Become Agent

fbi1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – A man in his 20s who worked for the D.C. Inspector General’s Office collapsed and died Wednesday in suburban Virginia while taking a FBI physical stress test to become an agent, according to sources familiar with the incident.

Lloyd Hodge, a special agent with the D.C. Inspector General’s Office, was going through the steps necessary to become an FBI agent, which included the physical test on Wednesday.

The FBI declined to comment on Wednesday.

The incident happened in the  Tysons Corner area  in Fairfax County outside of Washington, according to sources familiar with the incident.

An 88-Year-Old White Supremacist Opens Fire at Holocaust Museum in D.C. and Kills Guard

holocaust-museum-2

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — An 88-year-old man with ties to white supremacists entered the U.S. Holocaust Museum on 14th Street in downtown Washington shortly after noon Wednesday and opened fire and killed a  guard, law enforcement authorities said.

Two other guards returned the  fire and struck the shooter, seriously wounding him, according to Sgt. David Schlosser of the U.S. Park Police.

The gunman was identified  by law enforcement as   James W. von Brunn, 88, who is known to authorities as a white supremacist. The Washington Post reported that on ” a Web site he apparently maintains extolling a “Holy Western Empire,” von Brunn says he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, worked for 20 years as an advertising executive and film producer in New York and then became “an artist and author” living on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.”

OTHER REPORTS

Washington Post
New York Times

Gunman With White Supremacist Ties Exchanges Gunfire at D.C. Holocaust Museum