Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

June 2021
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



News Story

Ex-Detroit Fed Prosecutor Convertino Stepped into New Controversy With Old Colleagues: Then Case Suddenly Ends

Ex-Prosecutor Richard Convertino

Ex-Prosecutor Richard Convertino

UPDATE: (Fri. May 21) — The battle between  Richard Convertino and prosecutors came to an abrupt halt Thursday when Convertino’s client, ex-state Rep. Mary Waters pleaded guilty   in the bribery case along with her co-defendant Sam Riddle. Waters, who pleaded to a misdemeanor, is expected to get probation and Riddle could get up to 37 months in prions, according to the Detroit News.
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Richard Convertino, the controversial former Detroit federal prosecutor is in the middle of a controversy once again with former colleagues at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

This time it’s over wiretaps.

Federal prosecutors in a court motion claim that Convertino, who is now a defense attorney, breached a court secrecy order and disclosed government informants when he filed a motion to suppress evidence from wiretaps in a bribery case against his client, ex-state Rep. Mary Waters, according to the Detroit News. Convertino told the paper he has done nothing improper.

Convertino has a history with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Known as a hard-charging prosecutor,  he successfully prosecuted two men on terrorism related charges in 2003. A third co-defendant was only convicted on fraud charges and a fourth was acquitted.  The men had been arrested shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.

Then the case unraveled.

Read more »

FBI Agent Fatally Shoots Knife-Wielding Army Vet on Air Force Base in Tampa

tampa1
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent shot and killed an Army veteran Wednesday night after he allegedly came at the agent with a knife  at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.,  authorities said, according to a press conference aired on Tampa television.

Authorities said that the veteran was a guest at the  base’s family camp, which is for recreational vehicles. At some point, the vet got into an altercation and then fled on his motorcycle with base security in pursuit shortly after 6 p.m. At that point, the base locked all the exits.

When the vet approached the locked gate, he  got off his bike and came at the agent with a knife, and the agent shot him, authorities said.  Authorities at a press conference, which was posted on Channel 10 in Tampa, said that the agent was the FBI liaison and happened to be at the gate because he was trying to exit.

FBI agent Dave Couvertier, a spokesman,  said at the press conference that a shooting review team from Washington was expected to fly down and investigate the incident.

PRESS CONFERENCE

D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office #2 Prosecutor Channing Phillips Off to the Justice Dept. to Help With Diversity Management

Channing Phillips/doj photo

Channing Phillips/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Channing Phillips, the number two person in the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office, is heading off to the Justice Department several blocks away to become Deputy Associate Attorney General for Diversity Management.

A Justice Department memo announcing the move said Phillips will be responsible for the implementation  of Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.’s Diversity Management Plan, which calls for greater diversity in such areas as hiring, promotions and retention at the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney’s Offices and agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF and Marshals.

Phillips will also serve as Executive Director for the Attorney General’s Diversity Management Advisory Council.

Phillips first joined the Justice Department in 1990 and was hired by then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder Jr. in 1994 as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the D.C. office. He held a variety of posts over the year, including chief of staff,  but was best known to reporters as the affable and very able person who dealt with the media.

Last May, he was appointed interim U.S. Attorney and tossed his hat into the ring to be considered for the permanent post, which is a presidential appointment.  But he lost out to a private attorney and former federal prosecutor Ronald Machen, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February.  Phillips subsequently became the second in command of the office.

Many believed that Phillips was clearly capable of handling the U.S. Attorney job, but because he had been a career prosecutor, he wasn’t able to build up the political capital necessary to close the deal.

Kansas City Used Car Dealer Pleads Guilty to Supporting al Qaeda and Sending $$$

kansas cityBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Smack in the middle of the heartland, in an area better known for its steak and barbecue than its links to al Qaeda, comes a little bit of news.

Khalid Ouazzani, 32, a used car and parts dealer from Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty Wednesday to providing material support to al Qaeda by sending it $23,000 and swearing an oath of allegiance to the group, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced. He also pleaded guilty to bank fraud and money laundering.

“Citizens in the heartland should be alert to suspicious activity and never hesitate to report their concerns to law enforcement,” Brian Truchon, special agent in charge of the Kansas City FBI, said in a statement.

Ouazzani, a native of Morrocco and a natural U.S. citizen, admitted that between August 2007 and February 2010 he was out to help al Qaeda in different ways including talking to people about plans for them to fight in Afghanistan, Somali and Iraq, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Ouazzani also pleaded guilty to money laundering and bank fraud by stealing about $175,000 from Union Bank by using false and fraudulent financial information.

Kansas City U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips said in a statement: “Federal prosecutions not only result in long prison sentences, but yield valuable intelligence that can be used in the fight against al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Man Charged With Trying to Take Stun Gun, Box Cutters, Pepper Spray, Knife, Electric Charge on JetBlue Flight

jetblue2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Think of anything you’re not supposed to bring on an airplane — short of a gun.  Now think of  Jose Pol.

Authorities charged that Pol tried to take a stun gun, four box cutter knives, pepper spray and a switch blade on a JetBlue flight from Puerto Rico to Boston on Monday, according to Reuters news service.

But that’s not all. An FBI affidavit also said his luggage contained two lighters, a device that gives an electric charge via a wire when a button was pressed, scissors, matches, a flight simulator program and information about New York City, Reuters reported.

He was  arrested at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport on Monday after the items were discovered in his luggage by security, the news service reported. Reuters first reported that the man was from Puerto Rico, but other reports later had him hailing from Rhode Island.

“We will continue to investigate this matter vigorously until we determine the defendant’s motives in attempting to board an airliner with the dangerous weapons he was carrying,” U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-VØlez said in a statement.

Rep. Wolf Pushes Bill to Make Top TSA Post 10-Year Term Like FBI

Rep. Frank Wolf/gov photo

Rep. Frank Wolf/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) on Tuesday renewed his call for the Obama administration to support his legislation that would make the top post at the Transportation Security Administration a 10-year term.

In a letter to the president, posted on his website, he applauded Monday’s presidential nomination of deputy FBI director John Pistole to head TSA and urged the President to consider the bill.

He said the 10 year term — which is what the FBI has for its top spot — would provide stability to the agency.

“It is troubling that since its creation following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, TSA has had six administrators, averaging terms of just 1.5 years,” he wrote.

“As you know, I have written you and members of your administration numerous times since January urging you to support four bipartisan proposals to strengthen our national security, including making the TSA administrator position a 10-year term of service.

“To date, none of these proposals have been adopted – in spite of the recent attempted terrorist attacks on Christmas Day and in Times Square in New York City. I would appreciate an explanation about why proposals made by members of Congress continue to be downright ignored by this administration.”

Feds Charge Canadian Doctor With Treating Pro Sports Figures With Illegal Drugs

Rumor Mill: No 3 FBI Agent Tim Murphy Could Jump to Number 2

rumor millBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON —  Timothy Murphy, the FBI’s number three person, seems to be a name circulating in the agency’s rumor mill as a strong prospect to replace deputy director John Pistole, the number two man at the FBI, sources say.

The rumor mill  kicked into gear on Tuesday, one day after President Obama nominated Pistole to head the Transportation Security Administration. Pistole is expected to remain at the FBI until the confirmation process is completed.

In 2008, Murphy rose to the number three spot — Associate Deputy Director in charge of FBI personnel, budget, administration and infrastructure. He was previously assistant Director of the FBI’s Finance Division.

He began his FBI career in 1988 Murphy. He served in four field offices, including Newark, Tampa, Washington  and Cincinnati , where he worked cases in a variety of areas including counterterrorism, organized crime and drugs and as a pilot in the aviation program.

In the Washington field office, he worked  an assistant special agent in charge and he served as a special agent in charge in Cincinnati.

At headquarters, some of his posts included supervisory special agent in the Executive Development and Selection Program,  unit chief  of the Senior Executive Service Unit,  unit chief of the Director’s Research Group and special assistant to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, according to an FBI bio.