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FBI

Ex-Gov Blago Asks Judge to Cancel Retrial and Sentence Him

Ex-Gov. Blago while in office/official photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

In an unexpected move, the highly entertaining and often unpredictable former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked a federal judge to cancel his retrial and sentence him on the sole conviction in his first trial: lying to an FBI agent.

Blagojevich insisted that he is still innocent but said he was making the request in the interest of justice and saving taxpayers money, according to a motion filed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago. He was convicted in the first trial on one of 24 counts, and the government is slated to retry him April 20.

He has been given court-appointed attorneys paid by the government. However, the attorneys have yet to be paid.

“The federal budget is being drastically cut,” Blagojevich attorney Lauren Kaeseberg wrote in the five-page motion. “Specifically, the funds for lawyers to defend indigent defendants have been suspended.

To read more click here.

Read Blago Motion

FBI Agent Says NY Terror Suspect Considered Himself Prisoner of War

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A man accused of plotting to bomb the N.Y. subway considered himself a prisoner of war after he was arrested in New York last year, an FBI agent testified in court, according to Newsday.

FBI agent Farbad Azad testified in federal court that he interviewed bombing suspect Adis Medunjanin at a Queens hospital, and the suspect asked to be part of a prisoner of war exchange with the Taliban for an American Service man, Newsday reported. The suspected was hospitalized after crashing on the Whitestone Expressway.

“The defendant viewed himself as a prisoner of war caught on the battlefield,” FBI agent Farbad Azad said, according to Newsday. “He asked if he could be exchanged for a U.S. serviceman, a prisoner captured by the Taliban.”

Medunjanin is charged with plotting to attack New York City subways with Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay. The two others have already pleaded guilty.

Chicago Drunk Driver Gets Probation: FBI Agent He Hit Has Undergone 5 Surgeries

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Under the category of very sad stories, a 21-year-old Chicago man was sentenced Tuesday to 24 months of probation after pleading guilty to being under the influence of alcohol when he hit an off-duty FBI agent’s car  head-on last last September in the Chicago suburb of River Grove, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The paper reported that FBI agent Elizabeth Petruc was driving to run in a Labor Day marathon.

She told the judge during an impact statement that she has had five surgeries and she probably won’t be able to return to work for at least a year, the Tribune reported.

“I’ve sacrificed a great deal to become an FBI agent and I love my job,” Petruc said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I’m just a shadow of myself physically and mentally.”

The paper reported that the drunk driver, Jose Rodriguez, who was not of age to drink at the time, apologized. His alcohol blood level was triple the legal limit.

“He realizes his apology is of little use to the victim. But he is truly sorry and the matter haunts him,” said defense attorney Roy Amatore, according to the Tribune.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

NY Terrorist Suspect Said Something Mel Gibson-like

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

He may not be Mel Gibson, but terrorist suspect Adis Medunjanin might have done something sort of Mel Gibson-like after he was arrested last year in connection with an alleged al-Qaeda-sanctioned plot to blow up New York’s subway system.

The New York Daily News reports that FBI agent Aaron Spivack testified Monday at a pretrial hearing in Brooklyn federal court that Medunjanin, after his arrest, wanted to know if the agent was Jewish. He also called Judiasm “the wrong religion.”

“He began to talk religious talk . . . about how Judaism was the wrong religion . . . it was like a lecture or a speech,” Spivack said, according to the Daily News.

The suspect’s attorneys wanted the judge to toss the incriminating statements and said their client was denied access to a lawyer, AP reported.

Authorities allege that Medunjanin and co-conspirators Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay plotted to blow up the subway and were, in part, motivated by their hate for Israel, the Daily News reported.

As you might recall, after Mel Giblson was arrested in Malibu, Calif. on July 28, 2006, he said to the arresting officer James Mee, who is Jewish: “F— Jews…the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”

Sounds like the Medunjanin, the suspected terrorist, might have been a little more polite.

.

Iran Claims it Has “No Trace” of Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It’s tough figuring out the truth here.

Bloomberg news reports that Iran’s Foreign Ministry claims it has “no trace” of ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in 2007 from an Iranian island. The U.S. has said it believes he was abducted by Iranian agents.

If the U.S. has “consistent information, they can relay it to us,” Ramin Mehmanparast, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, told state TV today, according to Bloomberg. “Through collective effort, we could do a more effective search.”

The U.S. recently announced that it believed Levinson, 63, was alive and being held in Southwest Asia.

To read more click here.

FBI Arrests Calif. Woman Charged With Scamming Nuns Out of $285,000

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

A California woman may have to answer to a higher authority — a federal judge, that is — after being charged with scamming a group of nuns out of $285,000 and using the money to pay for items such as lingerie and pet sitting.

The FBI Monday arrested Linda Rose Gagnon, 57, of Tustin, on three counts of wire fraud for allegedly swindling a group of nuns at the U.S. Province of the Religious of Jesus & Mary Inc. in Rhode Island in a real estate scam.

Authorities say Gagnon operated the California-based Rose Enterprise Inc., a company she claimed helped clients with delinquent mortgages and real estate transactions. She had no real estate license.

According to a federal indictment, Gagnon, a former student of a boarding school operated by the Sisters of Religious of Jesus & Mary, visited the convent in Rhode Island in November 2008 and learned the organization was attempting to purchase a property in San Diego as a residence for nuns. It has residences for nuns all around the country.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI’s Ralph Boelter in Minn. Put a Face on Agency in Community

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ralph Boelter, head of the Minneapolis FBI, who headed up a large scale probe into counterterrorism involving local Somalis heading overseas to fight with a terrorist organization, is headed east to Washington to become the agency’s deputy assistant director in charge of counterterrorism, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Boelter told the paper that he plans to apply what he learned in Minneapolis: To fight extremism, the agency needs to establish sincere relationships with the community.

“We had to be able to show people they could trust me, trust us,” Boelter said of the local commuity.

During his tenure, which lasted four years,  young Somali men were sneaking off to fight in their homeland for Al-Shabab, a U.S. designated terrorist organization.

Saeed Fahia, executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, told the Star Tribune that Boelter put a human face on the FBI.

“Now the FBI is a known quantity. It’s not just an acronym. It’s people you know,” she said.

On the ICE, Secret Service Topples the FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI may be the bigger of the two agencies, but that didn’t stop the Secret Service from defeating the bureau in annual hockey game in Arlington, Va.

CNN reported that Secret Service defeated the FBI 7-6 in overtime at the Kettler Capital Iceplex. The FBI won last year.

CNN reported that attendees were asked to donate $5, which went to Secret Service agent Keith Rile, who has cancer. All 2,500 tickets for the event were sold out.

“The FBI is a family; the Secret Service is a family. We work together every day of the year, and one day we come together to have this friendly rivalry,” FBI director Robert Mueller, who attended the game, told CNN. “We’re all here to support him and support his family”

“It’s never an easy win,” Secret Service agent Todd, who played in the game, told CNN.