Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

June 2021
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



FBI

FBI Trains on Excavating Human Remains

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5phc1VA37UU

Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh Testifies That Sotomayor is Going to Be “An Outstanding Judge”

Louis Freeh

Louis Freeh

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Former FBI director Louis Freeh testified Thursday at the hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, saying he mentored her as as a fellow U.S. District judge in New York in the early 1990s and found her to be the kind of “judge that I think we would all be proud of.”

Freeh, 59,  went on to speak of Sotomayor, 55,  in laudatory terms. The following includes some of his remarks.

“My association with her began in 1992. She was a new judge on the Southern District, and we had this tradition where the second newest judge would mentor the new judge.”

“Some of us didn’t think it was the wisest rule to have, since I had about nine months on the bench when she was entrusted to my care, so to speak.”

“And I actually sat with her in court. I sat with her during trials. I helped review opinions that she asked me to look at. My law clerks were encamped with her law clerks.”

“And I guess what I want to communicate to you in a very short period remaining is, you know, the enormous judicial integrity and commitment to finding the facts, to being open-minded, to being fair.

“She struggled and deliberated in making sure she had the facts, making sure she had the right law, following the law, and being the kind of judge that I think we would all be proud of.”

“You know, speeches are important, and it’s great the way you all have considered that so carefully. But, you know, when you enter the courtroom and you put the bench on, just as you assume the authority when you take your commitment, there’s a whole different set of influences and immense power and influence that takes over.”

“And when she’s been on the bench, when she’s written, when she’s argued, the way she’s conducted herself, I think we can very safely predict this is going to be an outstanding judge, with all the qualities I know that you would want. So I urge you all to support her.”

FBI Arrests White Va. Man for Threatening “To Start Killing Off White Judges”

U.S. District Judge Matthew Perry

U.S. District Judge Matthew Perry

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – The FBI arrested a Virginia man Wednesday for threatening to “start killing off white judges” and trying to intimidate a South Carolina federal judge hearing his civil case alleging wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution.

Stephen H. Rosenberg, 51, who is white, was arrested without incident at his home in Alexandria, Va., the FBI said. He was indicted on July 7.

According to a three-page indictment filed in Columbia, S.C., Rosenberg sent a rambling email on April 6, 2009 to Judge  Matthew Perry Jr., South Carolina’s first African American U.S. District Judge,  that included these excerpts:

“As you know, my father Col. (U.S. Army) Kermit H. Rosenberg will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery today…..I strongly urge you to immediately do your job as a U.S. District Court Judge and immediately provide me with Justice. I hope you don’t agree with the advice I received from many of my former fellow inmates who are of the same race as you that the “ONLY WAY” I am going to be able to achieve justice is “TO START KILLING OFF WHITE JUDGES.”.

An FBI press release said Rosenberg appeared before Judge Perry on his civil suit earlier this year and had sent him a number of emails including the threatening one on April 6.

According to federal court records, Rosenberg filed a lawsuit in 2006 against the state of South Carolina and the Beaufort Co. Sheriff’s Department and its members alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution.

Read Indictment

Woman Sentenced in Ill. to 10 Years for Traveling Interstate to Have Sex With Female Teen

illinois-map1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It has become all too common for federal authorities to arrest a man for traveling to another state to have sex with a minor.

But what’s unusual is for the feds to bust a woman for this crime.

Catharine L. Miller, 33, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., was sentenced earlier this week in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, Ill. to 10 years in prison for traveling from Ohio to Wayne County, Ill. to have sex with a 14-year-old girl she met on the Internet.

According to an FBI affidavit, Miller met the teen on an Internet forum in July 2008. They subsequently communicated by email and cellphone.

Miller let the teen know she was interested in sex and on Nov. 11, 2008, sent her a text message saying she had reserved a hotel room in Flora, Ill., the FBI affidavit said.

A few days later, Miller traveled form Cincinnati to Flora, Ill. and met with the teen and “proposed marriage and “provided a diamond ring” and a baby bottle “because the juvenile would be Miller’s ‘baby’.”

The next few days, the two had sex. At one point, the teen’s stepfather and mother found out the two were in a car at Johnsonville Park and caught them kissing, according to the FBI affidavit.

“The juvenile’s step-father pulled Miller out of the vehicle and contacted law enforcement”, the affidavit said.  Miller was arrested and later pleaded guilty to interstate travel to have sex with a minor.

Read FBI Criminal Complaint

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Oilman Testifies That Jefferson Wanted Money for His Brother Up Front

The theme throughout this case has been that then-Rep. William Jefferson tried to make sure his family got a slice of pie. In this case, he tried to make sure his brother Mose got plenty of money.

The Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

The Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

By Jonathan Tilove and Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — In January 2002, Louisiana oil entrepreneur John Melton presented then-Rep. William Jefferson with an agreement promising to give Jefferson’s brother, Mose, 3 percent of any profits from oil, fertilizer and other deals Melton was pursuing with the congressman’s help in Nigeria, according to testimony Wednesday.

“He looked at it and dropped it on his desk (and said), ‘This won’t do,’ ” Melton said at the nine-term Democrat’s corruption trial. Jefferson wanted money for his brother up front, Melton said. After a tense discussion, Jefferson asked Melton to walk him back from the meeting at Melton’s office on Poydras Street to Jefferson’s office, a block away in the Hale Boggs Building.

On the way, Melton said he sought to reassure Jefferson.

“You have my word I will maintain your brother’s interest in these projects,” Melton said he told Jefferson. “As the words came out, I thought to myself, ‘I wonder if the FBI could have any kind of listening device?’ ”

With that, Judge T.S. Ellis III cut Melton short, telling the jury to disregard what it had just heard.

The FBI was not listening, though Melton’s concern was not misplaced. As the jurors know, Lori Mody, a cooperating witness for the FBI, taped her conversations with Jefferson from March to August 2005, and those tapes have formed the core of the government’s corruption charges against Jefferson.

For Full Story

Atty. Gen. Holder Announces Funds to Help Local Law Enforcement Fight the Drug War Along U.S.-Mexico Border

border-fence-photo3By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fighting an uphill battle, and acknowledging the daunting task before him,   Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. announced on Wednesday in Los Angeles a $8.7 million grant to help local law enforcement in California  fight the deadly drug war along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We are intensifying our efforts to investigate, extradite, prosecute and punish the cartel leaders and their henchman,” Holder said at a press conference after holding a round table discussion with officials from the DEA, FBI, ATF, ICE and U.S. Marshals.

Holder said in coming days the Justice Dept. will announce nearly $30 million more grants to support local law enforcement agencies in California and four other states.

He said the funding would “help to ensure that our fight against the cartels is tough and smart.”

“The Mexican cartels are sophisticated criminal enterprises with billion dollar budgets,” Holder said. “But today’s round table discussion confirms my confidence  that we have the tools and capacity to defeat them.”

To Read the Full Text of His Speech click HERE

Feds Charge Detroit Political Consultant with Teaming Up with Rep. John Conyer’s Wife to Extort At Least $65,000

Sam Riddle/wdiv
Sam Riddle/wdiv

The political corruption probe continues to unravel in Detroit. The latest charges involve a free-talking political consultant Sam Riddle and  ex-Detroit City council member Monica Conyers, wife of Congressman John Conyers.  Riddle once worked as Monica Conyer’s chief of staff. By the way, this isn’t the end of the corruption charges in Detroit.

BY JOE SWICKARD, BEN SCHMITT, DAVID ASHENFELTER AND GINA DAMRON
Detroit FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
DETROIT — Detroit political consultant Sam Riddle was indicted today on a host of federal charges ranging from bribery to extortion, mail fraud and making false statements and court documents contend that former City Councilwoman Monica Conyers participated at every turn of the conspiracy.

Also charged was former state legislator Mary Waters, who lives with Riddle. The pair were charged with conspiracy to bribe and two counts of bribery stemming from their alleged roles in helping a Southfield pawnshop relocate and expand in that city.

Riddle alone was charged with multiple offenses in connection with the tainted 2007 Synagro sludge-treatment contract. He was charged with extortion, making false statements, mail fraud and bribery relating to Synagro.

For Full Story

Read Indictment

Read More Charges

Read Press Release

Retired FBI Man Says Hollywood Short Changed History With John Dillinger Film

Rex Tomb served in the FBI from 1968 until his retirement in 2006. For most of his career he served in the Office of Public Affairs, retiring as Chief of its Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit.

public-enemies

By Rex Tomb
For ticklethewire.com

It’s 1970. President Nixon was in the White House, the Viet Nam War was raging, J. Edgar Hoover was running the FBI and I was working for him as a tour guide.

Back then, guided tours of the FBI were a pretty hot item. Yearly, over a half a million people showed up for them. They were conducted in the Department of Justice Building, in Washington, by young male (women weren’t allowed to give them in 1970) clerical employees, carefully attired in a dark suit, a white shirt and a tie.

The lucky ones who were actually able to get a tour (there were always very long lines) saw the FBI Laboratory, a firearms demonstration and a wide variety of exhibits depicting, among other things, the Rosenberg atomic bomb case, the Rudolph Abel spy case, the Wilcoxson/Nussbaum bank robbery case (they mounted an anti tank gun in the rear of a car to use on pursuing police and on bank vaults) and an exhibit showing the famous gangsters of the 1930’s. The “gangster exhibit,” as we called it, was clearly one of the most popular exhibits on display.

Several notorious gangsters were depicted including John Dillinger who was by far the best known of all of them.

Though it has been over 35 years, I can still remember parts of my spiel. “The John Dillinger Gang robbed banks throughout the Midwest. They killed 10 people, wounded 7 and escaped jail 3 times. Dillinger was ultimately betrayed by Anna Sage (the infamous lady in red) and was shot at five times, outside the Biograph Theater, by 3 different Agents. Three of the 5 bullets fired hit Dillinger killing him.”

In a glass-covered display case to the right of John Dillinger’s photograph were a series of Dillinger mementos including the hat he was wearing at the time he was killed (the brim on one side was crushed where he had fallen), the cigar he was carrying that night in his shirt pocket, the eye glasses he used to disguise himself, (wire framed and badly mangled) and the piece de resistance: the Dillinger death mask (he looked peaceful).

You could almost always count on two questions from visitors: was a certain part of Dillinger’s anatomy at the Smithsonian Institution? No, and were we certain that it was really Dillinger who was shot outside of the Biograph? Yes. He was identified by his fingerprints.

For many years, public interest in the gangsters of the 1920’s thru the 1940’s has continued and Hollywood, understandably, has cashed in.

Remember “Bonnie and Clyde,” “The Untouchables” and “Bugsy?” These were big budget films with all-star casts that did well. I noticed the phenomena in the 1970’s and it has persisted to this day. Rightly or wrongly, there is a perceived elegance associated with the era that seems to extend to criminals, too.

I actually think there is something to it. Compare any street photograph taken in the1930’s to one taken now. No tattoos, no muffin top, midriffs showing; no booty shorts. Take this one step further. Compare Gershwin to say, Eminem. Note too, that the “F” word does not appear one time in any of Cole Porter’s many compositions.

While the standard of living was lower back then, the social crassness, so prevalent today, seems to have been lower, too. Probably this is a misperception but a sense that modern culture is in decline might be giving the movie-going public both a curiosity and a hunger for all things past.

“Public Enemies” skillfully captures the cultural essence of that era. The music, the clothes, the street scenes: all have been carefully crafted to evoke the way we were, or at least the way we think we were. No detail seems to have been missed. The cars, the clothes, the furnishings, the music, the movie has all of this stuff down cold.

In my opinion, the film also shows how law enforcement: federal, state and local, lacked the training, the resources and the equipment to combat the evolving, fast moving and highly mobile criminal element of that era.

It is interesting to note that it wasn’t until the passage of the May-June crime bill in 1934, that Bureau Agents could even carry firearms let alone arrest someone. Standardized training for law enforcement officers? Forget about it.

Where the film left me cold, however, was not in the 1930’s ambiance it so effectively recreated. Rather, it was how several obvious fictional details in it were presented as fact.

I was startled, for instance, to see how a female witness was treated in an interrogation scene. A Bureau Agent was portrayed shamefully beating information out of her, while numerous colleagues passively looked on. The violent methods shown in this scene would never have been tolerated by the Bureau either then or now.

Why then put it in? Literary license? If so, how would viewers of this film, unfamiliar with the facts be able to discern that this did not happen?

There was a scene in which J. Edgar Hoover was accused, in so many words, during a Senate appearance, of being an armchair detective. Mr. Hoover was indeed so criticized (unfairly in my opinion) by a member of the Senate, but not until several years after John Dillinger had died. What indeed, did this episode have to do with the story if not to subtly raise questions about Director Hoover?

In another scene, and contrary to every historical record that I have ever read, the film portrays Dillinger as having been gunned down by what can only be described as an inexperienced, rogue Agent.

Records actually show that after emerging from the theater, Dillinger sensed his impending arrest and reached for his gun. Given Dillinger’s propensity for violence, Bureau Agents understandably (and thankfully) used all available force to stop him. Who knows how many other passersby would have been killed had they done otherwise?

But the scene as depicted in the movie almost made it appear that Dillinger was the victim. How would the average viewer know this?

Hollywood has a special responsibility when portraying actual events to keep their portrayals as accurate as possible.

A major release will be seen in theaters across the United States and around the world. It will be on television, appear on DVD and will be mentioned in newspapers, magazines, on the web and sometimes in books. Movies are translated into countless foreign languages, too and those watching are being more than entertained: they are being subtly educated as well.

Let’s face it, if a production gets it wrong so do potentially hundreds of millions of people, here and abroad, now and in the future.