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Houston U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson Resigning to Join Private Firm

Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson

By Allan Lengel

ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Houston U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson announced his resignation Wednesday, effective Feb. 13.

Johnson will join a private law firm in the Houston area, according to a press release issued by his office.

Johnson has served as U.S. Attorney since November 2008. He replaced U.S. attorney Don DeGabrielle.

Ill. Sheriff Busted by the Feds For Selling Pot Now Faces Murder-for-Hire Charge

gallitan county sheriff mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Down in southern Illinois, Sheriff Raymond Martin enjoyed the respect of the people of Gallatin County — that is until the feds busted him last May on charges of selling marijuana while in uniform.

Now things have only gotten worse. Martin, who has been sheriff since 1990, was charged with plotting to kill someone while behind bars, the Associated Press is reporting. His wife and 20-year-old son were also charged.

“Is it greed? Ignorance? I don’t know,” County Chairman Randy Drone told the Associated Press Tuesday before Martin’s first court appearance with his wife and 20-year-old son.

“Arrogance – maybe that’s it. Thinking he’s so above the law he could actually get away with this.

“But getting rearrested while still in jail? That’s something.”

Drone has urged the sheriff to resign.

For Full Story

U.S. Atty Office Presents Grand Jury Evidence in NBA Star Gilbert Arenas’ Gun Case

handgun-photo
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It’s seldom a good thing when an NBA basketball star continuously grabs more headlines off the court than on.

The Washington Wizard’s star Gilbert Arenas has fallen into that category.

The Washington Post reports that the U.S. Attorneys Office here on Tuesday began presenting evidence to a D.C. Superior Court grand jury on Arenas’ gun case.

Arenas had stored four guns in his locker at the Verizon Center downtown. The Post reported that carrying a handgun without a license is a felony punishable up to five years in prison.

To read the full story click here.

University Study Plays Down Radicalization of the American Muslim

terrorismBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Not everyone is sounding the sirens about the radicalization of American Muslims.

A new study released by Duke University and the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill says the threat has been overstated, the Associated Press reported.

The study identified 139 American Muslims accused of terrorist plots or violence since Sept. 11, 2001, and said while the number is significant, it’s still a far cry from terror cases in other countries and too soon to tell if it’s a trend.

“The study credits self-policing in American Muslim communities for limiting radicalization,” the AP reported.

To read more click here.

Mobster in Tony Soprano Terrority Pleads Guilty

sopranos 2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Just in case you needed a reminder, Yes, the New Jersey mob isn’t just committing crimes on the Sopranos.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Andrew Merola, 42, the reputed leader of a North Jersey faction of the Gambino crime family, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Newark to heading up an organization involved in gambling, loan-sharking, scams, and labor racketeering.

The paper reports that Merola, 42, is a close friend and “alleged criminal associate of South Jersey mob leader Nicky Scarfo Jr.”

The paper reported that the case, which involved  multiple targets, resulted in 39,000 wiretapped conversations.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

No Rape Charges Against ex-OK Gov Mansion Workers (AP)

Courtney Evans — FBI Liaison to Hoover and the Kennedys — Dies at Age 95

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A historic link to the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover and JFK and Robert Kennedy is gone.

Courtney A. Evans, 95, a high ranking FBI official who was a liaison between Hoover and the Kennedy’s, died last month of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Naples, Fla., the Washington Post reported.

The Post reported that the veteran FBI agent became friendly with the Kennedys in the 1950s and  became the bureau’s assistant director in the early 1960s.

“His job landed him in the middle of a power struggle between the autocratic Hoover and a new administration determined to rein in Hoover’s authority, said Athan G. Theoharis, a retired professor at Marquette University, who is a historian of the FBI’s Hoover years,” the Post reported.

“Evans found himself in this very difficult position,” Theoharis said, according to the Post.”He briefed the attorney general, but it wasn’t always clear that he fully informed the attorney general of FBI practices — and there was some indication that Kennedy was party to a ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ [attitude]. Even so, Evans became persona non grata in the bureau.”

He resigned from the FBI in 1964 and eventually was a founding partner in a D.C. law firm, the Post reported.

To read the full obituary click here.

Commentary: I’ll Say it Again: Don’t Bother Charging the Salahis — Move On

The publicity seeking Salahis/facebook photo

The publicity seeking Salahis/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — I’ll say it again, as I did recently: the feds shouldn’t waste their time trying to figure out whether to criminally charge the famous White House party crashers,  Tareq and Michaele Salahi.

It’s a waste of time, and a distraction from the task at hand: plugging up all the security gaps that allowed the couple to attend the Nov. 24 state dinner.

We need to move on, correct what needs correcting. Besides, charging the Barbie Doll couple with something like criminal trespassing will only look petty.  (To add to the embarrassment, we now learn that a third person, a D.C. man named Carlos Allen,  made it into the party without being on the official guest list.)

In any event, if  the Salahis must be punished, I suggest they be charged with making the Secret Service and White House look foolish. In the court of public opinion, they’ve already been found guilty of that charge.

Besides, we should be grateful it was the harmless-publicity seeking Salahis, not an underwear bomber, who pointed out the flaws in the White House security.

Las Vegas Fed Courthouse Shooter Had Violent Criminal Past

nevada1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Perhaps it should come as no big shock that Johnny Lee Wicks, the man who killed one court security officer and wounded a deputy Marshal in the Las Vegas federal courthouse on Monday, had a violent criminal past.

The Associated Press is reporting that Wicks, 66, served 12 to 15 years after being convicted of  killing his brother Leo Wicks in Memphis in 1974. He was paroled in 1981.

The AP also reported that he served time after pleading no contest to domestic battery in Sacramento in 1995.

Court records show Wicks, an African American, complained of racial discrimination “and lost a federal lawsuit last year challenging a $286 cut in his $974 monthly Social Security benefits after moving from California to Las Vegas,” the AP reported.