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Attorney Gets Extension to Review Boston Mobster Boss Whitey Bulger’s Case

Updated Bulger photo/wbur

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

The lawyers for James “Whitey” Bulger have received an extra 2 weeks to review his case before deciding whether they can be properly prepared for trial.

Attorney J.W. Carney has been struggling to wade through hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence related to a 1999 indictment for crimes allegedly committed in the 1970s and 1980s, reports Reuters.

The 82 year old mob boss and FBI informant is accused of 19 murders. Bulger was arrested with his girlfriend at their hideout last June 22 after the FBI made a renewed push to find him.

For all the glut of evidence Carney must sift through, he says important pieces have been withheld. He believes prosecutors have sealed evidence to protect corrupt cops from public scrutiny, according to Reuters, and that the missing information may be hampering his ability to defend his client.

“The government doesn’t want to have everyone know about the depth of corruption that went on for decades in this city,” Carney said, according to Reuters.

James “Whitey” Bulger’s story of crime boss-turned-informant inspired Martin Scorsese’s 2006 Oscar-winning film “The Departed.”

The real story is none too flattering for the Boston FBI back in the day when it let Bulger step over the line while he snitched on his enemies.

To read more click here.

Jury Deliberation Drags on in John Edwards Trial

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Jury deliberation drags on for an 8th day in ex-presidential hopeful John Edwards’ corruption case.

The jury must decide whether $925,000 in gifts, used to cover up Edwards’ extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter, was merely social capital, or illegal campaign contributions… and they must decide whether Edwards understood them as such.

The jury has been deliberating since May 18, sifting through 17 days of testimony from 31 witnesses, reports the L.A. Times. However much of the testimony in this high-profile case was less lurid than Edwards’ affair and focused on forensic examinations of bank transactions, and scrutiny of campaign finance laws.

The former vice-presidential candidate and presidential hopeful could face a maximum of 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines if convicted on all six counts against him. But these high stakes are not ruling the mood in the court, which doesn’t seem to be in any hurry.

As graduation season arrives, many of the jurors have been allowed to wag the dog as U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagle adapted the deliberation schedule to their family calendars.

Reporters have not come up with any theories regarding an apparent fashion statement: the four alternate jurors all wore yellow on Thursday, red on Friday, and on Tuesday, they wore gray and black.

But decoding that secret message ought to kill some time as the bored spectators wait for a verdict.

To read more click here.

32 Guns Found at U.S. Airports in a Week

tsa photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After Sept. 11, 2001, it’s still amazing to find how common it is for people to bring guns to airports.

On occasion, ticklethewire.com likes to check in to see just how many folks still bring guns.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, 30 loaded guns and two unloaded ones were discovered at airport checkpoints during the week of May 11 to May 17.

A TSA blog also noted that there were seven incidents in a week in which drugs were found on passengers using imaging technology.

“We’re not looking for drugs, but finding these nonmetallic items in areas where explosives could also be hidden is a testament that the technology works,” the TSA blog said. “In addition to these discoveries, there was also a passenger at Anchorage who attempted to sneak in a tube of toothpaste by placing it in her groin area. This was an attempt to get it through after we had already caught it in her bag earlier. If you’re not familiar with why toothpaste is prohibited, you can read about our liquid policies here.”

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NATO Takes Out 2nd-Highest al Qaeda Leader in Afghanistan

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. led-NATO forces chalked up a major score in Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda’s second-highest Afghan leader, Sakhr al-Taifi, was killed by a NATO airstrike in eastern Kunar province on Sunday, reports the AP.

Al-Taifi, also known as Mushtaq and Nasim, commanded foreign insurgents in Afghanistan and directed attacks against NATO and Afghan forces, the coalition told AP. He often traveled to Pakistan communicating with al Qaeda higher-ups and transporting weapons and fighters.

NATO reported no civilian casualties in the Sunday strike.

To read more click here.

Kentucky Gun Shop Owner Charged with Threatening ATF Agent

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Anger management is a great idea for those working around firearms for a living.

Unfortunately former Kentucky gunshop owner and former prison employee Ted Ray Schlenker, 48, of Louisville didn’t get that memo.

Schlenker is charged with mailing threats and a gun to ATF agent Dan Volk in Bowling Green. Reports AP, he’s been in federal custody since his April 28th arrest.

Damning evidence was found at Schlenker’s home, discrepancies were found in his gun shop records, and he may have also had a motive.

ATF considered Schlenker a person of interest in two prior incidents. In January 2010 a grenade exploded on the property of a former co-worker’s family, after Schlenker had faced disciplinary action at work. That March a letter containing white powder and a grenade pin was sent to the same worker at the prison.

This recent ‘care package’ was sent to the ATF agent overseeing Schlenker’s investigation.

To read more, click here.

Mexico Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Hiring Hit Squad for Mexican Drug Cartel

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Carlos Cosme, 36, a Mexican police officer was working in Mexico’s Baja California  Attorney General’s Office as a  supervisor in the sex crimes unit — that is until he decided to trade it all for a piece of Mexican drug cartel FSO. Baja California is the northern most state in Mexico.

Cosme pleaded guilty to federal RICO charges on Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego said in a statement, according to the Courthouse News Service.

Cosme admitted to hiring Jose Ortega Nuno to run a ‘hit squad’ for multinational crime organization the FSO, which amounted to federal conspiracy to murder charges. Cosme also confessed to importing and selling meth on behalf of FSO.

Going down with Cosme on RICO charges are the former Director of International Liaison in the same Baja Attorney General’s Office, Jesus Quinonez Marquez, who pleaded guilty last week, and Jose Ortega Nuno, who was extradited to the United States from Mexico and pleaded guilty in December of 2011.

To read more click here.