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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.”

John Hinckley Wants More Unsupervised Visits to Mother’s Va. Home

John Hinckley Jr. -abc news photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — John Hinckley Jr., the Jodie Foster-obsessed gunman who shot President Reagan in 1981, wants more unsupervised visits to his mother’s home in Virginia, according to a court filing on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington.

The court papers filed by attorney Barry Levine asks a federal judge to grant the  55-year-old more unsupervised visits. The papers noted that Hinckley had been granted 12 unsupervised visits, but used them all up. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity. The filing was first reported by the Associated Press.

“This Court’s July 20, 2009 Order granted Mr. Hinckley a total of twelve (12) visits to his mother’s home for a duration of nine nights,” attorney Levine wrote. “Mr. Hinckley has recently completed his twelfth visit, and therefore is unable to continue progressing with the therapeutic and transitional goals of the visits unless and until there is further relief form this Court.”

“Like his prior conditional release visits, each and every one of Mr. Hinckley’s twelve visits under the July 20, 2009 Court Order were completed in full and faithful compliance with the Court’s order, without any manifestation of mental disease or danger to himself or others, as has been reported to this Court.”

“Consequently, the Hospital is preparing a petition to this Court to request that Mr. Hinckley be given additional time in the area of his mother’s home toward the goal of fully transitioning Mr. Hinckley there.

“During the pendency of the preparation of the petition, Mr. Hinckley and the Hospital respectfully request that this Court enter an Order granting him interim relief of additional visits until such time as the Court enters a new order in order for Mr. Hinckley to maintain his therapeutic and transitional goals.”

Read Court Filing

Woman Threatens to Kill FBI Agent Who Arrested Her 20 Years Ago

By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

Some people hold a grudge a long long time.

That would apparently include Kim Rolene Hutterer, 47, who was charged this week in Minneapolis with threatening to kill and “slowly cut skin off” FBI agent Dean Scheidler who arrested her 20 years ago for threatening to bomb a plane in 1991, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that the woman sent an 11-page letter to the Minneapolis FBI office in October threatening to kill Scheidler and harm or kill others including judges and Vice President Joe Biden. AP reported that a criminal complaint stated that Hutterer has been threatening the agent for years and even carved a threat on her jail cell 20 years ago.

Rep. Issa Fires Off Letter Critical of Hillary Clinton for Failing to Provide Info on Controversial ATF Gun Program

Hillary Clinton/state dept. photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, took sharp aim Tuesday at Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton over the controversial ATF gun program dubbed Operation Fast and Furious.

In a letter fired off  Tuesday to Clinton, and posted on the CBS News website, Issa chastised Clinton for not providing information to Sen. Chuck Grassley on the ATF program that allowed gun traffickers to pass weapons on to Mexico, all with the hopes of tracing them  to the drug cartels.

“On March 4, 2001, Senator Charles E. Grassley wrote to you requesting basic information about the connection between Operation “Fast and Furious”conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the December 14, 2010 firefight that claimed the life of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry,” Issa wrote. “I understand you have yet to respond and are likely to refuse Senator Grassley’s request for information without a letter from the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Issa/gov photo

“This refusal is mystifying in its own right, given Senator Grassley’s standing as the Ranking Member of that Committee. More inexplicably, your refusal stands in stark contradiction to the promise of transparency promoted by President Obama. During Sunshine Week last year, the President stated that  he had “recommit(ed) (his) administration to be the most open and honest ever.”

“Given the gravity of this matter, this refusal is simply unacceptable,” he wrote. “Therefore, I am joining Senator Grassley’s request for any and all records relating to a meeting involving the then-U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual with Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Mr. Breuer’s deputy, and other officials in Mexico City in the summer of 2010 regarding “on-going investigations” related to Project Gunrunner and its “Fast and Furious” component….Additionally, please explain in detail the reasons behind your refusal to answer the Senator directly.”

Issa asked that doucments be handed over no later than 5 p.m. on April 12.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Executions of Fed Prisoners May Be Rare But the Denver U.S. Atty. Will Try for Dealth Penalty in 2 Cases

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Going for the federal death penalty is one thing. Putting a federal inmate to death is another.

Since the reinstatement of the federal death penalty in 1988,  three  federal inmates have actually been executed and 60 are sitting on death row, according to Death Penalty Information Center. The last inmate to be executed was Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh by lethal injection on June 11, 2001.

Now comes one of the latest pushes:  U.S. Attorney John Walsh in Denver is seeking  the death penalty for two inmates already convicted of murder, who face fresh charges of killing inmates at the Supermax” federal prison  in Colorado, according to the Denver Post. It is the first time a U.S. Attorney in Denver has filed notice to go after the death penalty since 2001, the paper reported. The inmates names are Richard Santiago and Gary Watland and are charged in separate murders.

The Denver Post reported that  Santiago, 51, is accused of beating a man to death at the Supermax prison in 2005. Authorities charged that he and another inmate, Silvestre Mayorqui Rivera,  stomped  on inmate Manuel Torrez until he was unresponsive. After walking away, Santiago returned and kicked him in the head and torso several times, the Post reported.

Prosecutors are only seeking the death penalty against Santiago, who claims to be in the Mexican Mafia,  and  was involved in a previous murder while in custody in Fresno, Calif., the Denver Post reported.

In the other case, inmate Gary Douglas Watland, 48, is accused of stabbing fellow inmate Mark James Baker in the neck and head with a homemade metal “shank” in 2008, the Post reported. The paper reported that Watland was serving a life sentence for a state murder at the time of the prison slaying.