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Feds Bust 14 U.S. Citizens With Ties to Somalia Terrorist Group

Sen. Judiciary Gives Nod to U.S. Atty. Nominees in Calif., Pa. and Kan.

Melinda Haag/law firm photo

Melinda Haag/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary on Thursday gave the nod to U.S. Attorney nominees in California, Kansas and Pennsylvania, the website Main Justice reported. The matter now goes before the full Senate for a vote.

The nominees include: Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California; Barry R. Grissom for Kansas and David J. Hickton for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Main Justice, which closely tracks nominations for the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, reported that the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved 66 nominees so far. Of those, 57 have won Senate confirmation.

Feds Say Retired NYPD Cop is Mob Associate

The late mobster  John J. Gotti

The late mobster John J. Gotti

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

John McNally: Hero cop or mob associate? Perhaps both.

Federal authorities have filed court papers in U.S. District Court in Manhattan alleging that the retired New York cop, now 76, worked with the late mobster John Gotti’s hired gun Joseph Watts on extortion and money laundering crimes for years, the New York Daily News is reporting.

McNally is just named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a case against Watts, who faces charges of racketeering in connection with a number of homicides “during the mob’s go-go 1980s,” the Daily News reported.

The Daily News reports that one of the mob hits in the case involves the 1985 slaying of Gambino godfather Paul Castellano. That murder opened the door for Gotti to take over the New York mob.

“At this point, he’s really old and really sick,” a friend of McNally told the Daily News. “They are just trying to besmirch his career, to embarrass him.”

The News reported that McNally worked for  attorney F. Lee Bailey on the Simpson defense team in the 1990s and did “security” in the 1980s for Gene Gotti, John Gotti’s brother.

Thursday AFTERNOON DEVELOPMENTS

Disturbing Trend Continues: Another Suspected Homegrown Terrorist Arrested

terrorismBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Homegrown terrorists just keep popping up.

The FBI on Tuesday night arrested a 26-year-old Chicago man, Shaker Masri, an American citizen, who allegedly had plans to travel to Somalia to fight with a terrorist group linked to al Qaeda and become a suicide bomber, authorities said.

Masri, who lived in the Streeterville area of Chicago, was arrested in Countryside, Ill., by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force following an 18-month probe, authorities said.

He was charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization and attempting to provide material support through the use of a weapon of mass destruction, authorities said.

Authorities said Masri expressed violent views to a friend about being part of a “jihad” and joining the terrorist group al Shabaab, which has been linked to al Qaeda. He was held without bond pending his next court appearance on Monday.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Federal Judge Facing Nightmare Behind Bars

Ex-Judge Kent

Ex-Judge Kent

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

As a federal judge in southern Texas for some 18 years, Samuel Kent sent folks off to prison.

Now he’s behind bars himself, being subjected to what his attorney describes as a Kafkaesque nightmare of “cruel and abusive treatment.” Kent, 61, is serving a 33-month sentence for obstruction of justice after he was caught lying about allegations involving groping and sexual assault of two female court employees.

On Monday, his attorney, Dick DeGuerin, filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Houston alleging widespread abuse by the Bureau of Prisons. And he asked that Kent be resentenced, saying the federal prison system denied him access to a federal substance abuse program that would have allowed him to shave a year’s time off his sentence.

“The Federal Bureau of Prisons has subjected Sam Kent to abusive psychological and physical conditions that have jeopardized his ongoing recovery from severe depression and alcoholism, while arbitrarily prohibiting him from participation in rehabilitative programs,” the lawyer wrote.

To read full story click here.

FBI Stats Show Banks Robbers Prefer Fridays

bank-robberyBy Matt Castello
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Most Americans look forward to Friday, the gateway to the weekend. Bank robbers, it appears, are no different.

The FBI’s bank crime statistics released Wednesday for the first quarter of 2010 — January through March — shows 241 bank crimes occurred on Friday, more than any other day of the week. Bank crimes occurred most frequently, irrespective of the day, between 9 and 11 a.m, according to the FBI statistics.

There were 1,183 bank crimes reported to the FBI during 2010’s first quarter, a drop of slightly more than 22 percent during the same period in 2009. A bank crime includes a bank robbery, burglary, or larceny, but the lion’s share of crimes reported by the FBI involved bank robberies.

Read more »

New Jersey Man Sentenced to 3-Years Probation For Impersonating Secret Service Agent

Secret-Service-BadgeBy Matt Castello
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Even on Halloween, it’s probably not a good idea to impersonate a Secret Service agent.

Frederick James Nickerson, of Hopatcong, N.J. was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington to three years of probation for posing as a Secret Service agent.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nickerson entered the Health and Human Services building after hours on Jan. 2, flashed a badge and claimed to be a Secret Service agent. He gained entrance into the building, but was soon stopped and asked to leave, which he did, authorities said.

This is not the first time Nickerson, 47, has impersonated a law enforcement. He tried on a cop uniform just two days prior, on Dec. 31, 2009, in the hopes of gaining access into the headquarters of the D.C. Police Department.

Blago Jury Enters 6th Day of Deliberations

Rod Blagojevich/from his website

Rod Blagojevich/from his website

UPDATE: Wed. 10:46 p.m. — Jurors failed to reach a verdict Wednesday. Thursday will mark the 7th day of deliberations.
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

No surprise that federal jurors in the Rod Blagojevich corruption trial haven’t reached a verdict yet after five days considering they have 24 counts to sift through.

Wednesday will mark the start of the sixth day of deliberations. Don’t be surprised if a verdict doesn’t come til Friday at the earliest, and more likely, next week.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that 11 of counts center around an alleged plan to sell the senate seat vacated by President Obama.

Also on Wednesday, attorneys in the case will meet with the judge to talk about the possibility of jurors considering seizing Blago’s property if he’s found guilty, the Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reports that the ex-governor spent Tuesday celebrating his daughter Amy’s 15th birthday.

“The family is being very low key and pretty much staying behind closed doors,”a source said, according to Sneed. “Rod is still jogging, he is not writing a book about his trial experience and other than talking to his lawyers . . . no friends are visiting. After all, all his friends testified against him.”