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Fed Judge Bans Ex-Ill. Gov. Blago From Tweeting in Court

Ex-Gov Blagojevich

In happier days as Governor

By Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

Trying to silence ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich is almost as challenging as capping the oil spill in the Gulf.

Still, U.S. District Judge James Zagel, who is presiding over Blagojevich’s public corruption trial in Chicago, thought he’d try to slow the word spillage a little.

Just before opening statements on Tuesday, Zagel banned Blagojevich from tweeting from the courtroom, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“The technologically-challenged ex-governor joined Twitter earlier this month, but most of his milquetoast, 140-character messages seem to be written by his publicist,” Bob Secter of the Tribune wrote. “After all, Blagojevich didn’t even know how to send a text message or open a Word file on the “Celebrity Apprentice” when it was filmed last year.”

Blagojevich, who seems to have a love with cameras and microphones, can still talk with the media outside of court, the Trib reported.

But the  judge warned  Blagojevich that his “repeated public statements” could be used against him if he testifies during the trial, the paper reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Border Patrol Agent Fatally Shoots 15-Year-Old at Texas Border

Border PatrolBy Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on a bicycle shot and killed a 15-year-old Mexican boy Monday at an international bridge near downtown El Paso during a rock throwing incident, authorities said, according to the Associated Press.

According to authorities, agents had detained suspected illegal immigrants when some people started hurling rocks at the agents and one agent opened fire, AP and the El Paso Times reported.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Doug Mosier said preliminary reports indicated the teen was shot on the U.S. side of the Paso Del Norte Bridge, across from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, AP reported.

The teen was identified as Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca, AP reported, adding that it was unclear if he was throwing rocks.

Read more »

Fla. Woman Wants Husband Dead: Hires Wrong Hitman

hitman-gun1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

All is not always fair or safe in love and war.

The FBI arrested a Florida woman on Monday with trying to hire a hitman to kill her ex-husband, who helped put her behind bars in a major drug-money laundering case, the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported.

Mercedes Morales, 57, of Miramar, Fla. allegedly gave a $5,000 diamond ring as a down payment to the hit man to kill her 45-year-old husband Fred Coral.

Only thing was, the hitman was actually working undercover with the FBI, the paper reported.

The paper reported that she was convicted in 2003 for being a courier for a Florida organization that laundered Colombian drug cartel cash. She was released in 2005.

Her husband, who cooperated with the feds, was also charged but never served time, the paper reported.

FBI’s John Pistole Likely to Get Grilled on Collective Bargaining as TSA Nominee

John Pistole/fbi photo

John Pistole/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — John S. Pistole, the FBI’s second in command, who has been nominated to head the Transportation Security Administration, is expected to get grilled Thursday on his views about collective bargaining rights for TSA employees, the Washington Post reports.

Pistole is scheduled to go before a Senate nomination hearing and is likely to get some tough questions from those like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who oppose collective bargaining for TSA employees  on the grounds that it would make the agency less flexible and potentially compromise security, the Post’s Federal Diary Columnist Joe Davidson reports. Union leaders call the concerns nonsense.

Davidson writes that Pistole “is unlikely to give them much of an answer” on the collective bargaining issues. The two previous nominees, who eventually withdrew their names,  gave Senators vague answers about the thorny issue.

To read more click here.

Father and Son Charged With Sending Threatening Letter to Rep. Stupak Because of Health Care Bill

Rep. Bart Supak/govt photo

Rep. Bart Supak/govt photo

By Allan Lengel
tickilehtwire.com

A Michigan man and his son in Colorado have been arrested and charged with conspiring to send a threatening letter to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mi.) for his support of health care, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit announced.

Russell Hesch, 73, of West Branch, Mi., a known critic of Stupak, allegedly wrote the threatening letter and then sent it to his son David Hesch, 50 of Loveland, Colo. who mailed it to Stupak’s office in Menomie, Mi., the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Stupak told investigators he had met Hesch on several occasions and he was “historically most vocal and critical constituents.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

No Jail Time in Criminal Case for Ex-Calif. FBI Agent Linked to Golf Pro Greg Norman

Greg Norman/great white shark enterprises

Greg Norman/great white shark enterprises

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

A former California FBI agent who federal prosecutors say abused his position to help pro golfer Greg Norman in his 2006 divorce was sentenced Monday in an unrelated case to one year’s probation, including three months of home confinement, The Orange County Register reported.

Peter Norell Jr., a veteran agent out of Orange County, was sentenced for illegally accessing FBI records and pressuring someone in 2005 to pay a $500,000 debt owed to an acquaintance and other investors.

Norell — popular among his peers, some of whom reportedly showed up in court to support him Monday — was not charged in the Norman incident in 2006. But it was cited by the government in a sentencing memorandum to illustrate another time that Norell had “misused his FBI position on behalf of a friend.”

Norell resigned from the FBI as part of the plea agreement for illegally accessing the FBI records.

During a three-hour sentencing hearing in Santa Ana, Calif., Norell apologized to fellow agents, prosecutors and U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford, according to the Register.

“I understand my actions have tarnished the image of the FBI and for that I am deeply, deeply sorry,” he said. “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

To read full story click here.

Washington Post Editorial: “Appalling” That Fed Agencies Unprepared for WMD Attack

terrorismBy The Washington Post
Editorial Page

WASHINGTON — “EVERYBODY WOULD be winging it.” That is how one law enforcement official described the likely Justice Department response to an attack involving weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

The remark was included in a critical report by the department’s inspector general, which concluded that the department “is not prepared to fulfill its role . . . to ensure public safety and security in the event of a WMD incident,” including those involving biological, chemical or nuclear weapons.

The only Justice component to receive high marks was the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which the report noted had specific policies in place to deal with a WMD attack and routinely carried out WMD-specific training for agents and other personnel.

Not so the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Agency or the U.S. Marshals Service.

The ATF, for example, had been tapped to coordinate federal law enforcement’s response and its efforts to dovetail with local and state efforts in such matters as sealing off buildings and areas subject to WMD exposure. But the agency has no policies or training focused specifically on reacting to a WMD attack, and many officials within the Justice Department were not aware of the agency’s critical role nor had they worked with any other component, including the FBI, to coordinate efforts in the event of an attack.

To Read More click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Column: We Must Stop Glamourizing Mobsters

William Donati is an English professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) and author of the just-released book: “Lucky Luciano: The Rise and Fall of a Mob Boss”

lucky luciano and bookBy William Donati
For ticklethewire.com

LAS VEGAS –– Hollywood was criticized in the thirties for films like Public Enemy and Little Caesar: Gangsters were portrayed too sympathetically complained citizens.

In modern times, we have the Godfather, Goodfellas, Scarface, and the Sopranos offered as popular entertainment. Motion pictures reflect cultural values. The recent film Dillinger was criticized for its moral ambiguity. The cops are just as rotten as the crooks. Is that true?

Do citizens believe that? If so, society is in deep trouble.

Of course, the real heroes are the police and prosecutors. Film audiences do not feel the actual pain criminals inflict as killers, extortionists, thieves, and drug dealers.

Read more »