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FBI

Colombian Drug Kingpin and Former FBI Top 10 Fugitive Pleads Guilty in Miami

Diego Leon Montonya was once an FBI Top 10 Fugitive. Now with his downfall, will his cartel fade away? If so, it’s surely to be replaced by another one. As long as there’s demand, there will be a supply.

file photo/dea

file photo/dea

BY JOSE PAGLIERY
The Miami Herald
MIAMI — With the stroke of a pen, Diego León Montoya Sánchez assumed responsibility for it all.

He admitted to running Colombia’s most prolific cocaine cartel. To laundering millions earned from the transcontinental trade. To ordering assassinations to keep quiet members of his organization.

And on Tuesday, the one-time leader of the powerful North Valley cartel said he was sorry for every bit of it.

Montoya Sánchez, 48, pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court in Miami on Tuesday, months after being extradited to the United States from Colombia. The extradition agreement prohibits a life sentence. The charges include conspiracy to import more than five kilograms of cocaine, conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering and obstruction of justice by murder.

For Full Story

FBI Agent James Robertson Named Special Agent in Charge of Buffalo Office

James Robertson/fbi photo
James Robertson/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — James H. Robertson, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, has been named special agent in charge of the FBI Buffalo Division, the agency announced Tuesday.

Robertson, who was chief of the International Terrorism Operations Section II, FBI Counterterrorism Division, replaces Laurie J. Bennett. She is now deputy assistant director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at FBI Headquarters.

Robertson became an agent in 1989 in the Chicago office, where he served on the joint FBI-Chicago Police Organized Crime Task Force, the FBI said. He was also a primary sniper for the SWAT team.

Nine years later, he was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Inspection Division at FBI Headquarters. In 2000, he was assigned as the supervisory senior agent in the Detroit division, overseeing offices in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph in the western part of the state.
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He then became an assistant special agent in charge in the Cincinnati Division’s National Security Branch, the FBI said.

From October 2005 to April 2006, he commanded FBI operations in Iraq. He was promoted to section chief at headquarters in 2007.

Read FBI Press Release

U.S. Soldier Among Three Charged in Texas With Killing Drug Cartel Member Who Was a Gov Informant

Here’s a new twist in the violent drug war. A U.S. soldier is involved in this killing. Then again, nothing should come as a shock at this point. Border patrol agents are on the take. Mexican police are getting wiped out.

us-army-logo

By Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times
EL PASO, Tex. – A U.S. Army soldier is one of three men facing murder charges in the killing of a Juárez cartel member who was a government informant.

The soldier was in a camouflage uniform as he and two other men were escorted by homicide detectives and uniformed officers out of El Paso Police Headquarters shortly before 1 a.m. today to be booked into the El Paso County Jail.

The handcuffed men walked out quietly. One of them shook his head no when asked if he had anything to say. Another tried to hide his face from a video camera.

For Full Story

MORE STORIES OF INTEREST

Texas Lawyers Want Case Dismissed Because of FBI Leaks

This should be an interesting case. The judge is taking this serious and has scheduled a hearing on the matter. But is it enough to dismiss criminal charges?

houston-map

By MARY FLOOD
Houston Chronicle
HOUSTON — Lawyers for two developers accused of bribing a city official are seeking to have their entire criminal case tossed out by alleging government agents leaked information to a television news reporter.

Andrew Schatte and Michael Surface were indicted in January 2008 on charges of conspiracy and fraud accusing them of trading gifts for city contracts.

But their lawyers want the case dismissed, alleging a FBI agent leaked information to KTRK Channel 13 reporter Wayne Dolcefino about a separate ongoing investigation involving the men and Harris County.

“The process becomes very questionable if the judge finds there was a leak,” said Chip Lewis, lawyer for Surface. Lewis suggested the leak was meant to create negative pretrial publicity to harm his client.

For Full Story

Weekend History Series: Nixon and Haldeman Discuss FBI and Watergate

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Kl1qJeYSM

Some Fed Prosecutors Think Atty. Gen. Holder Sold Out in Ted Stevens Case

This controversy is far from over. But apparently some prosecutors outside of Washington feel Atty. Gen. Eric Holder bowed to politics when he dismissed the Ted Stevens case. Are they right? Or was Holder just trying to do the right thing?
Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

By Dan Levine
The Legal Pad

When Attorney General Eric Holder dismissed all charges against former Republican Senator Ted Stevens in March, he won plaudits from several quarters – including the New York Times editorial page – for putting the law above politics.

A few career federal prosecutors perceive the decision more cynically, however. Stevens, a longtime senator from Alaska, had been convicted on seven counts by a Washington, D.C., jury for lying on a financial disclosure form.

But prosecutors soon came under fire from the trial judge for failing to turn over interview notes to the defense, which an FBI whistleblower alleged was intentional. Those disclosures led Holder to toss the conviction and announce that Stevens would not be retried.

Despite the allegations, prosecutors contacted by The Recorder in three federal districts outside D.C. – who requested anonymity because they currently work for the Justice Department – said Holder’s decision rankled, partly because no official determination had yet been communicated to the field as to whether the DOJ personnel on the Stevens case truly acted in bad faith.

The department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating, along with a special counsel appointed by the trial judge. If it turns out that the disclosure failures had been a mistake, then Stevens should not have been let off the hook without a retrial, these prosecutors believe.

To Read More

FBI Agent Charged With Negligent Homicide in Shooting Death of Puerto Rican Cop During Raid

Any time something tragic like this happens, it’s a public relations nightmare.

puerto-rico-map

By The Associated Press
Authorities charged an FBI agent with negligent homicide on Friday in the alleged “friendly fire” shooting death of a Puerto Rican policeman during a gun battle with kidnappers last year.

Justice Secretary Antonio Sagardia told reporters that special agent Jared Hewitt is accused of shooting 12-year police veteran Orlando Gonzalez Ortiz during a joint raid to rescue a kidnap victim.

Sagardia said Hewitt is no longer in Puerto Rico, but FBI commanders have assured local authorities that he will soon travel to the U.S. Caribbean territory for the prosecution.

“We are working shoulder to shoulder with the federal authorities, hand in hand,” Sagardia said in the capital, San Juan.

For Full Story

The Infamous $90,000 in the Freezer Was a Weak Link in a Strong Case Against William Jefferson

VOTERS IN LOUISIANA, ON SATURDAY, KICKED OUT OF OFFICE DEMOCRATIC SENATOR WILLIAM JEFFERSON. YOU REMEMBER THIS GUY? REMEMBER THE GUY WHO WAS INDICTED LAST YEAR FOR HAVING $90,000 IN BRIBE MONEY, IN CASH, IN HIS FREEZER. WELL, THE VOTERS KICKED HIM OUT OF OFFICE. HOW IRONIC IS THAT? THE ONLY POLITICIAN IN WASHINGTON WHO ACTUALLY SAVED SOME MONEY. HE HAD MONEY LEFT. MAKE HIM TREASURY SECRETARY. GIVE HIM – PUT ALL OUR MONEY IN THE FREEZER!

Jay Leno 12-26-08

Jay Leno

Jay Leno

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FROM LOUISIANA, WILLIAM JEFFERSON – YOU KNOW THE GUY THAT WAS CAUGHT WITH $90,000 IN HIS FREEZER. HE’S BEEN INDICTED ON 16 CORRUPTION CHARGES. THAT’S WILLIAM JEFFERSON. DON’T CONFUSE HIM WITH HIS WIFE, WEEZIE. IS THAT – IS HIS WIFE WEEZIE?

Jay Leno  6-7-07

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – Once the FBI found the $90,000 in William Jefferson’s the freezer, the jokes kept coming.

To the general public, the freezer, the $90,000, the absurdity of it all, surely told of an open and shut case. Most assumed it was the “smoking gun”.

In reality, the case was about so much more. And truth be told, even before trial, the cold cash started to look like one of the weaker links in the case.

The jury saw that. On Wednesday, it convicted ex-Rep. William Jefferson of 11 of 16 counts. But it acquitted him on five counts, including the one linked to the $90,000 – bribing a foreign official.

The marked FBI money had been given to Jefferson (actually $100,000) in July 2005 by a Virginia investor, Lori Mody. She was wearing an FBI wire. The money was supposed to be a bribe to the vice president of Nigeria Atiku Abubakar to grease the skids for a business deal.

A few days later, FBI agents raided the vice president’s home in Potomac, Md. , hoping to find the money. That would have nailed that bribe down, completed the circle. Instead, they found the money in Jefferson’s freezer at his home on Capitol Hill – minus $10,000.

The government claimed during trial that Jefferson just didn’t have the time to pass the money on because the vice president had left the country. But they said the intent to bribe a foreign official was there, and that was good enough.

During trial, Jefferson’s attorney Robert Trout claimed Jefferson never intended to pass the money on and foolishly played along to make Mody feel good.

Sure it was stupid, Trout said. And yes, Jefferson may have swindled Mody out of some money. But he didn’t intend to bribe the vice president as charged.

Trout did a good job of raising questions during his closing argument – enough for the jury to have some reasonable doubt.

Fortunately for the prosecution, there was so much more to nail Jefferson on.  In the end, regardless of the intent, the money didn’t end up being a gift to the Nigerian vice president, but rather a gift to comics like Jay Leno.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST