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FBI

Chandra Levy’s Convicted Killer Gets 60 Years in Prison; Mother Tells Killer “F— You!”

Ingmar Guandique

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – Ingmar Guandique, who was convicted of killing intern Chandra Levy in a case that captured the nation’s attention over the years, was sentenced Friday in D.C. Superior Court to 60 years in prison.

The sentencing for Guandique, 29, fell short of the life in prison without parole the U.S. Attorney’s Office had asked for.

Levy, a native of Modesto, Calif. went missing in Washington in  May of 2001. A year later, her skeletal remains were found in Rock Creek Park in the Upper Northwest section of Washington. Guandique was convicted,thanks in part, to key testimony from a cell mate.

Before being sentenced, Guandique addressed the Levy family and said, according to the Washington Post:

“I am sorry for what happened to your daughter. But I had nothing to do with it. I am innocent.”

Chandra Levy

Levy’s mother also spoke, reading a statement she, her husband and son had submitted to court, the Post reported.

“Because of you, young man, you have caused us to live a Holocaust again. You have sentenced our entire family to days of sadness, tears and heartache. You are a hideous creature.”

“How could you take my daughter’s life? Did you really take her life? Look me in my eyes and tell me.”

She then said, according to TBD: “F— You!”

“Over nearly 10 years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Metropolitan Police Department, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies have worked tirelessly to solve this case,” U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said in a statement.

“Late last year, the question of who killed Chandra Levy was finally answered by a District of Columbia jury when Ingmar Guandique was found guilty of first degree felony murder. We hope that this sentence provides some measure of closure to the Levy family, which has shown remarkable strength throughout this ordeal.”

D.C.Police Chief Cathy Lanier issued a statement saying: “This was a complicated case that spanned a decade. I applaud the detectives and prosecutors for their uncompromising resolve. My thoughts are with the Levy family for all they have endured.”

FBI Releases 3,600 Pages on the Late Sen. Ted Stevens

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens before his defeat

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI on Friday released about 3,600 pages on the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, about 2,700 of which were from media reports.

The files included complaints received by the FBI Anchorage office alleging “instances of Stevens being involved in corruption or other illegal activities” and Stevens accepting free services.

The files also detail threats made against Stevens over the years including in 1985 when he was among a number of members of Congress members who received threatening letters, the FBI said.

Stevens was convicted on public corruption charges in 2008,just before he was up for re-election. He lost the election. But a federal judge, at the request of the Justice Department, ended up vacating the conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct.

Stevens died in a plane crash last August. He served in the Senate from 1968 until Jan. 3, 2009.

Some of the information contained in the files, according to the FBI, included:

* Letters back and forth between Stevens and FBI Directors and other executives, the U.S. attorney general, and the Anchorage special agents in charge discussing legislation, constituent concerns, crime reporting, and news articles of interest;

* Letters of complaint from the public and political organizations regarding alleged corruption, which tie in other Alaskan political figures;

* References from the 1950s when Stevens was the U.S. Attorney (involving his appointment to the position and participation in U.S. Attorney conferences); and

* Correspondence between Hoover and other FBI executives regarding Stevens’ relationship with the FBI and the Anchorage Field Office as a U.S. Attorney.

Read Files

FBI Agent Adrian Johnson Involved in Fatal Crash; Blew .25 on Breathalyzer; Had Just Been Assigned to Atty. General’s Security Detail

Ex-House Staff Member Convicted of Taking Bribe: Trip to Game One of 2003 World Series

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – Game One of the 2003 World Series at Yankee Stadium; All expense paid trip.

Priceless? Only when you don’t get caught.

Fraser C. Verrusio, 41, a former staff member for Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who was then-chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee,  was convicted Thursday after a 10-day trial in Washington  on one count of conspiring to accept an illegal gratuity and other related counts connected to taking a free trip to Game One of the World Series between the Yankees and the Florida Marlins,  the Justice Department said.

The conviction appeared to be the last of the  trials linked to the ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff scandal.

“Accepting gifts from lobbyists and then lying about those gifts on financial disclosure forms is simply not acceptable,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman said in a statement. “The Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and our partners in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices are committed to holding accountable government servants who abuse their positions for personal gain.”

James W. McJunkin, head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office added: “Mr. Verrusio’s conduct cuts against the thousands of government workers who live their lives by the ethical code they pledged to uphold.”

The Justice Department said that Verrusio worked as the policy director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure that had responsibility for the Federal Highway Bill.

Testimony at trial showed that Verrusio and Trevor Blackann, a legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, accepted an all-expenses-paid trip to Game One of the 2003 World Series from a lobbyist working for an equipment rental company interested in inserting three amendments into the Federal Highway Bill.

The trip was paid for by the equipment rental company and the lobbyist’s firm. Blackann has already pleaded guilty in the case.

Calif. Real Estate Agent Charged With Posing as FBI Agent

Karen Hanover

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Seal Beach, Calif. woman is in big trouble for allegedly posing as an FBI agent.

The Associated Press reports that Karen Elaine Hanover, who allegedly posed as an agent, had a real estate service that charged clients $30,000 to provide commercial property information.

AP reported that some disenchanted clients unhappy with the service blogged about Hanover’s operation and encouraged people to report her activity to the FBI.

AP said the FBI claims Hanover threatened  clients by phone and posed as an FBI agent. In at least one instance, AP reported, she  used “spoofing technology” to make her voice sound like a man.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Director Mueller Says Cyber-Crimes Making it Easier to Steal Intelligence and Cash

FBI Dir. Mueller testifies Thursday

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III emphasized Thursday that the cyberworld has dramatically changed the landscape when it comes to theft of intelligence and money.

“You have probes and capabilities of intruding into networks..that previously you had to recruit somebody inside to obtain, which makes it much easier for those who are trying to steal our secrets, to steal our secrets, ” Mueller testified before the House Select Intelligence Committee.

And he said there’s the problem of “robbing banks of millions of dollars over night by intruding and upping the limits on say, ATMs.”

He testified that sometimes it’s difficult to tell initially who is behind some cybercrimes.

“At the outset you do not know whether it may be a state actor, a group of individuals operating at the behest of a state actor or a high school kid across the street.”

Mueller appeared on the Hill along with some other notables including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter and CIA Director Leon Panetta.

The juicy stuff was supposed to come later during a closed-door session.

Mueller Also Testifies that FBI Scrutinizing Iraqis Who Settled in U.S. and May Have Ties to al Qaeda (AP)

Cross Burnings — Symbols of Hate — Know No Boundaries

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Cross burnings which once symbolized the pervasive racism in parts of the South decades ago, is apparently not a thing of the past, and apparently knows no boundaries.

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced that Michael Francis Bealonis,19, of Robinson, Pa. pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to burning a 6-foot cross in November 2009 in the backyard of someone in his neighborhood.

Bealonis pleaded guilty to burning the cross at the home of a family that had three minor children, one of whom was an adopted African American.

“This teen used an unmistakable symbol of bigotry and hate to threaten a family with violence simply because the race of a child,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.” These incidents have no place in our country, and they are a reminder of the civil rights challenges we still face today.”

Sentencing is set for May 25.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Homeland’s Janet Napolitano Says U.S. at Most “Heightened State” Since Sept. 11 Attack

Janet Napolitano/file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Certainly it’s not what we want to hear.

Janet Napolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security told a Congressional committee Wednesday that the terrorism threat “facing our country has evolved significantly in the last ten years – and continues to evolve – so that, in some ways, the threat facing us is at its most heightened state since those attacks.”

Appearing before the House Committee on Homeland Security, she said:

“In addition to the direct threats we continue to face from al-Qaeda, we also face growing threats from other foreign-based terrorist groups that are inspired by al-Qaeda ideology but have few operational connections to the core al-Qaeda group.

“And, perhaps most crucially, we face a threat environment where violent extremism is not defined or contained by international borders. Today, we must address threats that are homegrown as well as those that originate abroad.

“One of the most striking elements of today’s threat picture is that plots to attack America increasingly involve American residents and citizens. We are now operating under the assumption, based on the latest intelligence and recent arrests, that individuals prepared to carry out terrorist attacks and acts of violence might be in the United States, and they could carry out acts of violence with little or no warning.”

To read text of full speech click read more.

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