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FBI

Texas Juror Met With Drug Dealer Defendants During Trial

houston-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When it comes to a federal juror stepping over the line, Maximino Gonzalez rates right up there with the best of them.

Maximino, 36, of Palmview, Tex., who served on a jury in 2008, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Houston on Monday to jury tampering  after he met with defendants during trial and tried to get them acquitted, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The trial ended in a mistrial.

He has been in custody since his arrest in January. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Gonzalez was on a jury in November 2008. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that during the trial Gonzalez contacted an unindicted drug dealer implicated by testimony in the trial.

He also contacted two defendants in the trial, brothers Guadalupe and Abraham Hernandez, “to discuss the trial testimony”, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Read more »

LA Woman Pleads to Lying to FBI About Fake Kidnapping That Caught Media’s Attention

lieBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

If you’re going to make up a story and possibly go to prison for it, it might as well be a grand one.

Enter Sylvia Mardini. The 24-year-old Los Angeles woman who pretended she had been kidnapped across state lines last summer, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Los Angeles  to lying to the FBI. She faces up to five years in prison at sentencing on May 10.

Mardini vanished last August 21 and started sending text messages to her mother saying she had been kidnapped at gunpoint and she was in Utah, authorities said.

The hoax got the attention of the media. The FBI and Los Angeles Police coordinated a multi-state search.

Colorado State Patrol found her at a gas station alone in Routt County, Colo. After she returned to Los Angeles, she told FBI agents of the kidnapping story.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Author J.D. Salinger Doesn’t Rate an FBI File

catcher in the ryeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sorry J.D. Salinger, you may have made a big splash with your words, but you weren’t worthy of an FBI file.

The Associated Press reports that the FBI said it never opened up a file on Salinger, author of “The Catcher in the Rye”, who died in January at age 91.

The AP discovered this after filing a request for the files under the Freedom of Information Act.

Salinger was not known to be very political over the years, the AP reported. Conversely, the FBI had files on authors like Norman Mailer.

Hazmat Teams Respond to Utah IRS Center After Suspicious Letter Found

ogden utah
UPDATE: Mon.- 9 p.m. (EST) — ABC 4 News in Utah reports that the suspicious powder was not hazardous.
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A suspicious powder letter in a mail facility set off a series of events Monday  at the Ogden, Utah IRS center.

ABC 4 News  in Utah and the Associated Press report that hazmat teams and FBI and other agencies responded to the scene and some people are being decontaminated. One report said a person had been taken away on a stretcher and AP reported that some parts of the building had been evacuated while other parts were locked down.

In the past, ever since 2001, the suspicious letters with powder that have gone through the post office have been found to be harmless.

In the past, some people have had panic attacks when being exposed to the letters.  Every letter that goes through the U.S. Postal Service passes through a biohazard detector, which should detect such substances as anthrax. In other words, if it passed through the postal service, it’s unlikley the substance is dangerous.

Time will tell.

FBI Interivews N.Y. Mets’ Jose Reyes About Canadian Doctor Under Investigation for Selling Illegal Healing Drug

new york metsBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has interviewed New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes about a Canadian doctor accused of selling an unapproved drug known as Actovegin, an extract from calf’s blood used to speed healing, the Associated Press reported.

Reyes said he was interviewed last week about Dr. Anthony Galea at the Mets spring training camp in Florida, the AP reported.

“They just asked me basically how I met the guy and stuff like that and what he put in my body,” Reyes said, according to AP. “I explained to them what he [was] doing . . . I don’t worry about anything. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

A report over the weekend said several atheletes can expect grand jury subpoenas in the case.

FBI Ready to Close All But a Handful of 100-Plus Civil Rights Killings

Early Days of KKK in Fla./ fbi via national archive

Early Days of KKK in Fla./ fbi via national archive

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some murder cases during the civil rights era aren’t likely to end up in court.

The Washington Post’s Carrie Johnson reports that “three years after the FBI pledged to investigate more than 100 unsolved civil rights killings, the agency is ready to close all but a handful.”

The Post reports that investigators know in most cases who the culprits are, but indictments aren’t likely because the suspects died and it has only gotten tougher to gather evidence.

“There’s maybe five to seven cases where we don’t know who did it,” FBI Special Agent Cynthia Deitle told the Post. “Some we know; others we know but can’t prove. For every other case, we got it.”

The story surfaces just days after Ku Klux Klan member Edgar Ray Killen, who is serving a 60-year-sentence in the slaying of three civil rights workers in 1964, filed a lawsuit alleging that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI used a member of the Mafia to beat  and intimidate people to get information for the FBI in his case.

To read the full Post story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

New York Times Editorial Backs Independent Verification of FBI Findings in Anthrax Case

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

By The New York Times
Editorial Page

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a report that is supposed to clinch the case that a lone scientist mailed anthrax-laced letters in 2001, terrorizing a country already traumatized by the 9/11 attacks.

The agency cites voluminous circumstantial evidence that is largely persuasive, but its report leaves too many loose ends to be taken as a definitive verdict.

The scientist — Dr. Bruce Ivins, an Army biodefense expert — killed himself in 2008 as the investigation moved ever closer to an indictment. That means the evidence and the F.B.I.’s conclusion that he was the culprit and acted alone will never be tested in court.

To read more click here.

Lawsuit Claims Mafia Helped FBI in Probe In 1964 Civil Rights Slayings

Edgar Ray Killen/msnbc

Edgar Ray Killen/msnbc

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen, serving 60 years for the 1964 slaying of three civil rights workers, has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit alleging that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI paid an organized crime figure to beat and intimidate people to extract information in his case.

In all, the 16-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Miss., against the FBI and Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, claims the FBI used secretive and illegal tactics that violated Killen’s rights to a fair trial and suppressed his constitutional right to speak freely over the years. It alleged the state of Mississippi knew about the FBI abuses but chose to cover it up during Killen’s second trial, in which he was convicted.

The suit alleges that the FBI in 1964 became frustrated with the investigation into three missing civil rights workers and turned to Colombo crime family mobster Gregory Scarpa Sr. (aka the “Grim Reaper”), saying Scarpa intimidated, assaulted and pistol-whipped local residents to help locate the “burial site of the murdered civil rights workers and obtained confessions for the prosecution.”

In turn, the suit alleges the FBI paid Scarpa at least $30,000 and gave him “carte blanche to engage in all types of legal and illegal activities.”

To read more click here.