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Ky. FBI Agent Who Headed Up Major Corruption Case Dies of Heart Attack While Jogging

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 46-year-old FBI agent, who headed a major corruption probe in Clay County, Ky., died Tuesday from an apparent heart attack while jogging, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The paper reported that Timothy S. Briggs, 46, who had been an agent since 1997, suffered the heart attack while jogging with another agent Tuesday near the FBI office in London, Ky.

The paper reported that the agent who was jogging with Briggs and another person, and later emergency personnel and doctors, tried CPR on Briggs, but to no avail.

“He had a tenacity about him that not a lot of investigators have,” fellow agent Greg Cox told the paper. “He would never let go.”

The paper reported that Briggs headed up a corruption probe in Clay County that started with a drug investigation and snow balled into a case involving vote-buying and other public corruption. More than 60 people were convicted.

Ala. U.S. Atty. Leura Canary Steps Down on Friday

U.S. Atty. Leura Canary/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Attorney Leura G. Canary of Montgomery, Ala., who was appointed by President Bush in 2001, will step down on Friday, her office announced.

Canary has served with the Justice Department since October, 1990 when she was hired as a trial attorney. In November 1994,  she became an assistant U.S. Attorney  for the Middle District of Alabama in Montgomery. She later served as a civil chief.

On Sept. 4, 2001, she was appointed interim U.S. Attorney in Montgomery. She was later nominated by President Bush and confirmed on Nov. 6, 2001.

Canary’s office convicted former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, which triggered cries from Democrats that the prosecution was political.

President Obama has nominated George Beck Jr., a white-collar defense lawyer at Capell & Howard, to step in.

New Head of Denver FBI Has Colorful, Global Experience

James Yacone/fbi photo

By Felisa Cardona
Denver Post

DENVER — James F. Yacone is a decorated combat veteran, an accomplished criminal investigator and a graduate of West Point, but he doesn’t like to brag.

The walls in his office at the Denver FBI are nearly bare, with just a sampling of photographs from his military service overseas despite his many awards and accolades.

“I am just an ordinary person put in extraordinary circumstances,” he said.

Yacone, 45, took over as special agent in charge of the Denver FBI in April after the retirement of James Davis, who went on to head the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

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OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Miss. U.S. Attorney H.M. Ray Who Served 20 Years Dies at Age 86

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Mississippi U.S. Attorney H.M. Ray, whose 20- year reign included the 1960s civil rights era, and who served under five presidents, died at age 86, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.

Ray was appointed by President Kennedy to the Jackson, Miss. office, and resigned right after Ronald Reagan became president in 1981.

“We were very close. He was a great boss,” former assistant U.S. attorney John Hailman of Oxford, Miss. told the Commercial Appeal.  “Mainly, he insisted that we do the right thing. He was very courageous about taking unpopular stances, and he always backed us up.”

Some of his higher profile cases included the prosecution of  four men linked to the shooting deaths of two people during rioting over the entrance of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi in 1962, the paper reported. The men were not convicted.

Ray also served in the state House from 1948 to 1951. After resigning as U.S. Attorney,  he went off to  practice law with the Wise, Carter, Child & Caraway firm in Jackson. He then went to work for then-state Atty. Gen. Mike Moore, the Commercial Appeal reported.

“He was quite a mentor for me, and I learned a lot from him. He was a great lawyer and an even better person,”  Moore told the paper.

Juan Osun Gets Nod as Permanent Dir. of Justice Dept’s Exec. Office of Immigration Review

Juana Osuna/cspan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Former Associate Deputy Attorney Juan Osuna, who has been acting director of the Director for the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) at the Department of Justice will become the permanent director, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

“Having served with the department for over a decade, Juan has developed an extensive knowledge of immigration litigation and issues, and demonstrated himself to be a diligent and thoughtful advocate and manager,” said Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. in a statement. “I am confident he will lead this office with the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and dedication.”

EOIR was created on Jan. 9, 1983, through an internal department reorganization which combined the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) with the Immigration Judge function previously performed by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the Justice Department said.

Osuna has served as Acting Director of EOIR since December 2010. Prior to that, he worked as an Associate Deputy Attorney General focusing on immigration policy, Indian country matters, pardons and commutations and other issues, the Justice Department said.

“I am honored by the Attorney General’s appointment and look forward to continuing to serve the department and the American people on these important issues,” Osuna said.

Before joining the Deputy Attorney General’s office, he worked as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the department’s Civil Division.

DEA Official James Akagi Named Police Chief in Tennessee

James Akagi/ oakridge gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James T. Akagi, an assistant special agent in charge of the Oklahoma City DEA office, and a 25-year veteran of the agency, has been named the new police chief for Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Oak Ridge city manager Mark Watson said Akagi, 49, began his career with the DEA in 1986, and was stationed at a number of international and domestic offices including Los Angeles, Dallas and Santo Domingo,  according to a press release. He was picked among 117 applicants.

He will head up a department of 61 sworn personnel and 17 civilians with a $6 million budget.

His salary will be $110,000, a drop from $151,269 at the DEA, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported

After Hoover, No FBI Director Has Served Longer than Robert S. Mueller III

Robert Mueller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Next to the big guy, J. Edgar Hoover, Robert S. Mueller III is the longest serving FBI director.

And with Thursday’s announcement of a proposed two-year extension — which seems all but certain Congress will OK —  he’ll add to the record. His 10-year term is set to expire in September.

Next to Mueller, William Webster served the most years with  9 from Feb. 23, 1978 to May 25, 1987; Louis Freeh served nearly 8 years from Sept. 1, 1993 to June 25, 2001; William Sessions served nearly 6 years from Nov. 2, 1987 to July 19, 1993; and Clarence Kelley served nearly 5 from July 9, 1973 to Feb. 15, 1978.

William Webster/fbi photo

Hoover served nearly 37 years from July 1, 1935 to May 2, 1972.

There were also acting directors who served far shorter times.

After Hoover, Congress passed a law capping the FBI director’s term at 10-years. Congress will now have to change the overall legislation or pass some narrowly worded bill so Mueller can stay on for two more years. Mueller is generally well regarded on Capitol Hill, so it appears it won’t be a big problem passing some form of legislation.

That being said, some like Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia.) indicated Thursday that they will give the matter some examination.

“This is an unusual step by the President, and is somewhat of a risky precedent to set,” Grassley said in a statement.

“Thirty-five years ago Congress limited the FBI director’s term to one, 10-year appointment as an important safeguard against improper political influence and abuses of the past. There’s no question that Director Mueller has proven his ability to run the FBI. And, we live in extraordinary times.

“So, I’m open to the President’s idea, but I will need to know more about his plan to ensure that this is not a more permanent extension that would undermine the purposes of the term limit.”

Clarence Kelley

William Sessions/fbi photo

Louis Freeh

2 U.S. Border Agents Killed After Being Hit by Train

Hector Clark/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two U.S. Border Patrol agents were killed early Thursday morning  in Arizona when their vehicle was hit by a 90-car freight train, authorities said. The agents were assisting in the apprehension of illegal immigrants who entered the country.

The agents were identified as Hector R. Clark, 39, and Eduardo Rojas Jr., 35.

The incident happened about 9 miles west of Gila Bend, Az., in an area patrolled by the Yuma Sector of the Border Patrol, according to Kenneth Quillin, a supervisory Border Patrol agent based in Arizona. The incident happened about 80 miles from the Mexican border at Paloma Road near exit 106 of I-8.

Quillin said the men were in an unmarked SUV when they were hit by a Union Pacific freight train around 6 a.m.

“On behalf of the entire U.S. Customs and Border Protection family, I would like to share our heartfelt sympathy to the family, friends, and colleagues of Hector R. Clark and Eduardo Rojas Jr. as we mourn their passing,” Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan D. Bersin said in a statement.

Eduardo Rojas Jr/gov photo

Authorities said Clark began his career with the U.S. Border Patrol on August 20, 2001 and was first assigened to the El Centro Sector and was serving as a Lead Border Patrol Agent in the Yuma Sector in Arizona.

Clark, a native of Yuma, Ariz., is survived by his wife and two children.

Agent Rojas entered the U.S. Border Patrol on April 9, 2000, and was assigned to the Yuma Sector, authorities said.

At the time of the accident, he was serving as a Lead Border Patrol Agent in the Yuma Sector. Agent Rojas was a native of El Paso, Tex.,and is survived by his wife and two children, the agency said.