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Bernie Kerik Gets Bad News: Appeals Court Upholds Sentence

Bernie Kerik/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-NY Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who once was considered for the top spot at the  Department of Homeland Security in the Bush administration, got some bad news Thursday.

The 2nd Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld his four year sentence, saying the judge was fair, the Associated Press reported. His attorneys had argued the judge was too harsh and gave a sentence that surpassed the three years called for under the sentencing guidelines.

Kerik, 55, who is being housed in a federal prison in Maryland,  pleaded guilty in 2009 to tax fraud, making a false statement on a loan application and lying to the White House, which was doing a background on him so he could become Homeland Security chief.

AP reported that the sentencing judge, Stephen Robinson in White Plains, N.Y., was bothered by Kerik’s behavior, and noted that he lied the President to get a cabinet post.

Kerik’s attorney Andrew Shapiro said, according to AP: “We’re very disappointed by the ruling and considering our next steps.”

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICE ACT NEWS

Ex-New Orleans Cop and Current Cop Get Tough Sentences in Post-Katrina Shooting and Burning of Henry Glover

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex- New Orleans cop David Warren was sentenced Thursday in federal court to 25 years and nine months in prison for the Post-Katrina shooting  of civilian Henry Glover on Sept. 2, 2005, the Justice Department said.

A current officer Greg McRae got 17 years and three months for burning of the body and obstruction of justice.

Warren was found guilty by a federal jury of a civil rights violations  for shooting Glover. McRae was convicted of two civil rights violations, one count of obstructing justice and one count of using fire during the commission of a felony. McRae was charged with burning the Glover’s body inside a car.

Authorities said evidence at trial showed that Warren shot Glover as he approached the second floor of a strip mall which served as a police substation.  The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Glover and a friend “had gone to the mall to retrieve some items looted by friends.”

Glover’s brother and a friend flagged down a passing motorist, William Tanner, who put the wounded Glover in his car and tried to seek medical help, the Justice Department said.

But when the men drove up to a makeshift police station seeking help for Glover, police surrounded the men at gunpoint, handcuffed them and let Glover die in the back seat of the car, the Justice Department said.

Authorities said McRae then drove off with Tanner’s car, with Glover’s body inside, and burned both the body and the car with a traffic flare.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that U.S. District Judge Lance Africk told Warren during sentencing that using deadly force was unnecessary:   “You killed a man … Henry Glover was gunned down because you believed he was a looter.”

The judge also noted that he had gotten correspondence from some people who said Warren’s conviction would make officers question their right to protect themselves during chaotic incidents, the Picayune reported.

“I reject that argument.” Africk said. “You were not forced to respond to Henry Glover with deadly force.”

“Instead of upholding their oath to protect and serve the people of New Orleans in the days after Hurricane Katrina, these officers abused their power, and violated the law and the public trust,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “Today’s sentence brings a measure of justice to the Glover family and to the entire city.”

DEA and Locals Nab Guatemala’s Top Drug Trafficker


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA and Guatemala authorities on Wednesday nabbed Guatemala’s reputed top drug trafficker who was wanted on cocaine charges in Florida, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that Juan Ortiz Lopez and two other suspects were arrested at a house in the western city of Quetzaltenango.

Guatemala’s Minister Carlos Menocal said Lopez had been under surveillance by the DEA and his nation’s intelligence agents for seven days, AP reported.

“This is a big fish and we are satisfied with his capture. It’s a great achievement by this government,” Menocal said, according to AP.

Tampa’s U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill added, according to AP: “For over a decade, Ortiz-Lopez’s drug organization received multi-ton cocaine shipments in Guatemala, which would then be transported through Mexico to the United States, where the cocaine would be further distributed.”

Ex-FBI Agent Recorded Saying He “Kidnapped” Fugitives Back to Their Homeland in 1990s; Now Denies He Meant It

Jerry Forrester/company website

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A former FBI agent bragged that while working for the agency in the 1990s “he routinely arrested Bahamian criminal defendants in South Florida and unlawfully sent them back to their homeland on commercial airline flights without any formal review of their cases in U.S. courts,” the Miami Herald reported.

The Herald reported that retired FBI Agent Gerard “Jerry” Forrester, the FBI’s Miami liaison officer in the Caribbean in the 1990s, made the statements in secretly recorded conversations, which were part of a defamation lawsuit.

The conversations appeared in an affidavit  that has surfaced in a defamation lawsuit in the Bahamas filed by  Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard against  New York hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon and others, the paper reported. Bacon and Nygard both own property in the Bahamas.

The paper reported that Forrester, now a private investigator, worked for Bacon and was a consultant for an unflattering profile on Nygard that aired on the Canadian Broadcast Company.

The paper reported that the  affidavit in the defamation lawsuit  said Forrester told of a suspect, who was  initially arrested in Miami for a Bahama murder in the 1990s. A short time later, without due process, the suspect was shipped out on a plane to Bahamas where he was killed in custody.  Under U.S. law, the suspect would have had the right to fight extradition.

“I kidnapped him back to Nassau,”  Forrester, owner of JF-Investigations in the Bahamas, said in the recorded conversations. “They had him for about 10 hours and the guy wound up dead.” He later added about deporting others:   “I did it all the time. … All the time for 20 or 30 years.”

The recordings were made by former Scotland Yard detective Alick Morrison , who had been hired by fashion mogul Nygard to find out if Forrester and others were behind the negative profile on him on the CBC, the paper reported.

Forrester  chuckled when asked about the recordings, according to the Herald.

“Yes, I did say it. Was it true? No. Why did I embellish? Because I brag.”

The FBI in Miami declined comment, the Herald reported.

FBI Director Mueller Says Budget Crisis Could Leave 1,100 Jobs Open

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The endless political bickering over the budget could spell trouble for the FBI.

ABC News’ Jason Ryan reports that FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told a Senate committee Wednesday that the government’s current budget crisis could result in the FBI being unable to fill as many as 1,100 positions, which includes agents and analysts. If a new budget is not passed, the bureau will have to operate under 2010 levels.

“Under the current levels in the continuing resolution, the FBI will have to absorb over $200 million in cuts; and without any changes, the current continuing resolution will leave us with over 1,100 vacant positions by the end of the year,” Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to ABC.

“Put simply, these cuts would undermine our efforts to continue to transform the bureau and undermine our efforts to carry out our mission.”

Disgraced Ex-Fed Judge in Atlanta Set to Report to Prison

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Disgraced ex-U.S. District Judge Jack Camp of Atlanta, whose entanglement with drugs and a stripper led to a conviction and a loss of job, is headed off to prison in two weeks, the Associated Press reported.

AP reports that Camp is set to report to the Federal Correctional Institute in El Reno, Okla., on April 15 to begin serving his 30 days sentence.

Camp was busted in a sting buying drugs for a stripper he was having an affair with. He also gave the stripper his court-issued laptop.

U.S. Offers $5 Million Reward in Murder of ICE Agent and Wounding of Another; Mexico Offers 10 million Pesos

ICE Agent Jaime Zapata killed in Mexico/ice photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON— Federal authorities on Wednesday announced a reward of up to $5 million for info leading to the arrest and conviction in the Feb. 15  murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata and the wounding of another agent Victor Avila.

Additionally, the government of Mexico announced that it is offering up to 10 million pesos for information leading to the arrest in the case.

Meanwhile, the FBI and ICE have set up a 24-hour tip line in the U.S.

People in the U.S. can call the tip line at 1-866-859-9778. In Mexico, people can call +001 800-225-5324. Spanish language speakers will be available for either  number, authorities said.

Additionally, authorities said anyone can email info by visiting https://tips.fbi.gov.

The Mexican government has also set up a tip line: (55) 53-46-15-44 and (55) 53-46-00-00, extension 4748 in Mexico City and 01-800-831-31-96 outside of Mexico city.

Zapata and Avila were ambushed in Mexico on February 15 while traveling in their U.S. government-issued vehicle from the state of San Luis Potosi to Mexico City.

Authorities said that Mexican investigators have detained several individuals in the case and the probe continues.

Bureau of Prisons Director Harley Lappin Busted for Drunk Driving

Harley Lappin/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Harley Lappin, the director of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, who oversees 116 institutions and about 210,000 convicts, faces drunk driving charges stemming from a February incident in Annapolis, Md., the website Main Justice reported.

Lappin, who announced his resignation last week, told the staff about the drunk driving incident, Main Justice’s Andrew Ramonas reported.

The website reported that he faces three charges related to drunk driving.  The incident happened on Saturday, Feb. 26 around 4 a.m., less than a half mile from his home, the website reported.

Last Friday, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. issued a statement about the retirement of Lappin:

“During my tenure as both Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, it has been a privilege to work closely with Director Harley Lappin.

“For more than a quarter of a century, including eight years as Director, his service to the Bureau of Prisons has helped improve public safety, strengthen our corrections systems, and advance the Justice Department’s most critical goals.”