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News Story

John Edwards Jurors Say Evidence Wasn’t There But They Thought He Was Guilty of Something

 
 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The jurors in the John Edwards trial told network news stations that prosecutor simply didn’t have enough evidence to convict.

The Wall Street Journal reported that three jurors told NBC’s Matt Lauer the evidence was lacking. Jury foreman David Recchion singled out prosecution witness Andrew Young as a big problem in the prosecution’s case

“That was probably the key part of the miss for the prosecution,” he said.

One juror, Linda Aguaro, said, “I think he was guilty, but like we said, the evidence just was not there for us to prove guilt”

All three said they thought Edwards was guilty of something, but none raised their hand when asked if they thought Edwards was a bad guy.

To read more click here.

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Weekend Series on Crime: Ex-FBI Agent Ali Soufan

Ex-ICE Official Sentenced to 2 Years After Lying and Scamming Agency

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A former official for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was sentenced Friday in Los Angeles to two years in prison and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution for obstruction of justice, giving false information to a federal prosecutor and a federal judge in Florida, and devising a scheme to have his wife paid nearly $600,000 even though she did little work for the agency.

Ex-ICE assistant special agent in charge Frank Johnston, 55, of Whittier,Calif., who retired from ICE in August 2009 after 31 years was also ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution.

“Whenever public officials break the law, particularly those persons sworn to serve and protect the public, we must do everything we can to hold them accountable,” said U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr in a statement.

 

Johnston was found guilty in two federal trials. In the first, he was convicted of making false statements that resulted in the delay – lasting nearly a year and a half – of a prison term for a man who received an 18-month sentence in a cigarette-smuggling case.

Johnston told a Justice Department prosecutor and a Florida federal judge that person was providing “ongoing cooperation” in two organized crime investigations being conducted in Los Angeles — when in fact he was not.

In a second trial in February, Johnston was convicted on charges that he and his wife, Taryn Johnston, engaged in a fraud scheme in which Taryn Johnson received approximately $582,000 in salary and benefits from ICE and its predecessor agency, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, even though she had done virtually no work for the agency and infrequently went to work, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. His wife was convicted and sentenced to 30 days behind bars.

Flip-Flop Bandit Pleads Guilty for Illinois Stick-Up

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Carla R. Walker, 43, of Lebanon, Ill. must not have listed “running away” in her escape plan when she wore flip-flops to rob her hometown bank.

Walker pled guilty Thursday in federal court on one count of bank robbery, announced the Justice Department in a press release.

They must have heard Walker coming when she entered Lebanon’s First Federal Savings Bank sporting bright green flip-flops in March. She held up tellers with a pellet gun, nabbing between $14,000 and $16,000. That’s plenty to buy more practical get-away shoes for next time.

There may not be a next time though; she potentially is facing some serious prison time.

Gangster Whitey Bulger Started Snitching as Early as 1950s

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Crime never pays, but working as an informant for the FBI sure seemed to for Mobster “Whitey” Bulger. That’s why he started snitching early… as early as the 1950s reports the Boston Globe.

Arrested with his girlfriend Catherine Greig last June after 16 years on the lamb, 82-year-old Bulger may not have changed much over the years. The Boston Globe recounts that “Whitey” was first motivated to collaborate with authorities to protect his girlfriend at the time, Jacqui McAuliffe, one of a string of loyal thrill-seekers endowed with movie-star good looks but short on morals.

The story begins after McAuliffe had traveled to Indiana with Bulger to rob a bank. Accomplice Carl Smith turned them in, meaning McAuliffe would also face charges as an accomplice. That’s when the cornered Bulger chose to squeal on fellow bank robber Richard Barchard in exchange for his girlfriend’s immunity. That first deal worked, and in 1956 McAuliffe got to go back to cutting hair in Boston while the chivalrous Bulger served a 20-year sentence for the Indiana heist.

Barchard, now 81, told the Globe he had no hard feelings about being turned in by his partner in crime. “All I know is that Whitey and I were friends. We committed a crime. We paid for doing the crime. He went his way and I went mine.”

To read more click here.

Colombo Mob Boss Pleaded Guilty to Racketeering and Firearms Charges in Boston Fed Court

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Mob boss DeLeo’s been off the streets for a while, but that hasn’t kept the feds from coming after him.

The 69-year-old Colombo Family ‘Street Boss’, of Massachusetts, pleaded guilty in Boston Federal court Thursday to racketeering conspiracy and illegal possession of firearms, the Justice Department announced in a press release.

As head of the DeLeo Crew based in Somerville, Mass., DeLeo led cocaine and marijuana trafficking operations between Massachusetts, Arkansas, Florida and New York. In addition to weapons and drugs, he was busted with a stash of costumes including police uniforms.

At the sentencing set for  Sept. 6, DeLeo will face up to nearly 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine, followed by three years of supervised release. According to the Wall Street Journal, DeLeo’s already serving a 12 year sentence in federal prison for related drug crimes in Arkansas.

To read more click here.

 

FBI Sting Snares White Supremacist Who Threatened Prez: Faces Gun Charges

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An FBI sting snared a white supremacist in Virginia who posted threats about President Obama on a hate-website.

Douglas Story tried buying an illegal fully automatic machine gun from an undercover agent, Fox 5 reported.

Story alleged paid the agent to convert a rifle into a machine gun.

To read more click here.