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Advice to Inmates: Don’t Threaten to Murder the Judge

jailBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Texas federal inmate John W. Manning may have a little advice for prisoners hoping to get out on time: Don’t threaten to kill the judge.

Authorities alleged that Manning did just that. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Antonio in May after he allegedly sent a threatening letter to U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia. He made his initial appearance in court on Thursday.

Manning, who was a prisoner in Beeville, Tex. was upset about his theft conviction and indicated he planned to harm the judge when he was released from prison on July 22, federal authorities alleged.

Doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Diego Rodriguez Named NY SAC for Criminal Division

Rodriguez Diego/fbi photo

Rodriguez Diego/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Native New Yorker Diego Rodriguez is leaving the mothership at FBI headquarters to return home as special agent in charge of the criminal division in New York, the agency announced Thursday.

Rodriguez, the section chief of the Domain and Collection Management Section in the Directorate of Intelligence at FBI headquarters, started his FBI career in 1990 in New York.

He was a member of the SWAT team and the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force, which was responsible for investigations involving South American and Mexican drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, the FBI said.

Read more »

Georgia Sheriff’s Deputy Offered Protection to Undercover FBI Agents Posing as Drug Dealers

fulton county sheriffBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Fulton County sheriff’s deputy in Atlanta fell for an FBI sting that has been played out before around the country targeting crooked cops.

Anthony Atwater, 33, of Atlanta, pleaded guilty Wednesday to corruption and drug offenses after he provided police protection for people he thought were drug dealers, but were actually undercover FBI agents.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office  in Atlanta, Atwater received $4,000 earlier this year to provide armed protection for the undercover FBI agents posing as drug dealers.

His services included providing armed protection for the fake cocaine shipments while he was in uniform. He also had agreed to intervene if the drug dealers were stopped by police.

The FBI sting has been pulled off on different occasions including in Detroit in the 1990s when the FBI busted several Detroit and suburban cops, along with the common-law brother-in-law of then Mayor Coleman A. Young, who helped recruit the crooked cops.

“This former deputy took money to protect men he thought were drug dealers at the expense of the public he was sworn to protect,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement. “He even wore his sheriff’s uniform and weapon while witnessing and protecting what he believed to be a major cocaine deal. Today he admitted he is guilty of this reprehensible conduct.”

“Rogue and corrupt conduct such as former Fulton County Deputy Sheriff Atwater’s, if left unchecked, undermines that much valued public trust and make the work of other law enforcement officers much more difficult,” Brian D. Lamkin, head of the Atlanta FBI, said in a statement.

Ex-High School Football Player Arrested in Bid to Join Terrorist Group; Made Threats About South Park Show

SouthPark1.jpg

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A 20-year-old Virginia man, who made threats against the TV show “South Park”, was arrested Wednesday on charges of providing material support to al Shabaab, a terrorist organization in Somalia with links to al Qaeda, authorities said.

Zachary Adam Chesser, 20, of Fairfax County, Va., who according to a report in the Washington Post, was a high school football player and rowed crew, told federal agents that he twice tried to travel to Somalia to join the al Shabaab as a foreign fighter, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria said.

He was not charged for his online posting in April that said the creators of the TV show “South Park” risked death by mocking the Prophet Muhammad, according to the Associated Press

Read more »

ATF Defends Agent Facing Murder Rap in Virgin Islands

caribbean-mapBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — From Capitol Hill to the Caribbean, a controversy is growing over a decision by Virgin Islands officials to charge a federal agent with second-degree murder in a 2008 shooting. The agent, William Clark, remains on the job at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — and his agency is adamant that he has done nothing wrong.

The ATF responded to the charge by removing its agents, including Clark, from the U.S. territory. And in Washington, U.S. Rep. Chris Lee, R-N.Y., on Monday night introduced a congressional resolution applauding Clark for his “heroic action” in the 2008 incident.

“The ATF incident review examined the circumstances and cleared Will of any wrongdoing,” Lee said in a statement to AOL News. “Will is a hero who acted in self-defense while protecting a battered woman from an intoxicated, abusive man.”

But the congressional delegate from the Virgin Islands described her colleague’s actions as an attempt to meddle with a case that is “rightfully before the court.”

Delegate Donna M. Christensen told AOL News that while the Clark incident has created “tension” with some congressional colleagues, she is reluctant to second-guess “my police and attorney general, who felt there was enough of a question that excessive force was used.”

To read full story click here.

Probe into Bush U.S. Atty Firings Finds Nothing Criminal

David Iglesias

David Iglesias

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A lengthy criminal investigation into the controversial firings of U.S. Attorneys during the Bush years ended with a whimper Wednesday.

The Associated Press reported that no criminal charges were warranted in the two-year probe that began looking at the firings of 9 U.S. Attorneys, but ended up honing in on the highest profile firing involving New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias in 2006.

The probe concluded that the actions behind Iglesias’ firing were politically inappropriate, but not criminal.

The probe, headed by career Justice Department prosecutor Nora Dannehy, concluded, according to a letter from the Justice Department to lawmakers:

“Evidence did not demonstrate that any prosecutable criminal offense was committed with regard to the removal of David Iglesias. The investigative team also determined that the evidence did not warrant expanding the scope of the investigation beyond the removal of Iglesias.”

To read more click here.

Read Letter From Justice Department

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Court of Appeals Upholds Actor Wesley Snipes’ Tax Conviction and Prison Term

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Actor Wesley Snipes is still in big trouble.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta has  refused to overturn his conviction and three year prison term for tax evasion, Courthouse News Service reported. He was convicted of failing to file tax returns from 1999 to 2001. An investigative report alleged that he tried hiding assets in foreign accounts.

Courthouse News Service reported that Snipes claimed in his appeal that the trial should have been held in New York, not Florida, and he should have gotten probation, not prison time.

“Although Snipes argues that there were mitigating factors that the judge did not specifically mention at sentencing, these facts – his college education, his family, and his charitable activities – do not compel the conclusion that the sentence … as substantively unreasonable,” Judge Stanley Marcus wrote, according to the news service.

Attorney For Tomato King Says FBI Illegally Obtained Documents

Fresh tomatoeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You say tomato. The lawyers for tomato king Frederick Scott Salyer  say something far harsher.

Defense lawyer for the former chief executive officer of the now defunct SK Foods, a tomato-product empire, claim in a court filing Tuesday in Sacramento that the FBI illegally used an informant to steal documents for its case rather than legal search warrants, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Salyer is in jail awaiting sentencing on charges of racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and antitrust violations that could send him to prison for life. Prosecutors allege that Salyer’s company inflated prices on millions of pounds of processed tomatoes sold to 55 companies in 22 states.

The defense claims the FBI obtained key documents in the case without court-authorized warrants from an informant — a vice president of the company, who took the materials, the Bee reported.

“The government’s case is based entirely on clear and substantial violations of the Fourth Amendment (which prohibits searches and seizures without warrants) by the FBI agent,” a defense attorney wrote.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office defended the case.

“We are confident that the investigation was handled properly, and we will vigorously represent the interests of the United States in court,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Delaney said in a statement to The Bee.