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News Story

The Jefferson Political Dynasty Turned to Dust and Into a Crime Family

William Jefferson

William Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
For Sphere.com

Down in New Orleans, in Bayou country, the Jefferson family was a political force to be reckoned with.

The patriarch, former Rep. William Jefferson, headed a political machine called the Progressive Democrats. His power base included his sister Betty, a 4th District Assessor; his brother Mose, a political operative; brother-in-law Alan Green, a state judge; and daughter Jalila Jefferson-Bullock, a Harvard-educated lawyer and state representative, who was hoping one day to replace her father in Congress.

Fast-forward to today. The political dynasty is not only dead, but you need a scorecard to track who in the family is off to prison and who is awaiting trial.

Tulane University political science professor Brian J. Brox says that, simply put, the dynasty rose from humble beginnings and showed some of the best aspects of American politics, but ultimately the worst: “power for power’s sake, power for personal gain.”

To Read More Click Here

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b37QqmKoEh4

Weekend Series on Crime History: Inside the Unabomber’s Cabin

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKg3CN0dDnQ

Ex-Mississippi Judge Bobby DeLaughter Gets 18 Months for Lying to FBI Agent

Judge Bobby DeLaughter/gov photo

Judge Bobby DeLaughter/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Hinds County, Miss. Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter who made history as a prosecutor in the 1990s, is headed off to jail for lying to an FBI agent during a judicial corruption probe, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. District Judge Glen Davidson in Aberdeen, Miss.  sentenced him to 18 months in prison, the news agency reported.

DeLaughter found fame in the 1990s as an assistant district attorney after he  helped convict Byron de la Beckwith in for
the 1963 murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, which became the subject of a Hollywood movie.

To read more click here.

Rep. Jefferson Gets a Record 13-Year Sentence on Fri. the 13th for Public Corruption

Jefferson stands next to attorney Robert Trout during sentencing/Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

Jefferson stands next to attorney Robert Trout during sentencing/Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Allan Lengel
For Sphere (A New AOL News Website)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Former Rep. William Jefferson, the first African-American to win a Congressional seat in Louisiana since Reconstruction, took on the added distinction Friday of receiving the harshest sentence ever given to a member of Congress for a public corruption conviction.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Elllis III, hoping to send a message to deter others in Congress, handed down a sentence of 13 years in prison, far surpassing the previous record sentence of 8 years and 4 months given to former Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham of California, who pleaded guilty in 2005 to taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. Next week, the Judge will announce when the prison term begins.

“You’re obviously a person of gifts and those gifts have been squandered,” Judge Ellis told Jefferson, who stood silently in the courtroom next to his attorney Robert Trout.

“Public corruption is a cancer that must be removed,” he said, adding at one point, “There must be some sort of greed virus that attacks people in power.”

For Full Story

Read New Orleans Times-Picayune Story

Head of FBI D.C. Office Joseph Persichini Jr. Retiring

FBI's Joseph Persichin Jr./ticklethewire.com photo
FBI’s Joseph Persichin Jr./ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Joseph Persichini Jr., who has headed the FBI Washington field office for the past three years, is retiring at the end of the year.

Persichini, 55, was special agent in charge of the administrative division at the Washington field office before he rose in 2006 to the top post in the office and was named assistant director in charge, replacing Mike Mason who eventually went on to take a job with Verizon.

He began his FBI career in 1976 as an accountant at FBI headquarters in the Budget and Accounting Section and became a special agent in 1980, according to the FBI.

As head of the D.C. FBI field office, he oversaw some major cases including the anthrax investigation and the tax scandal in the D.C. Tax Office, which involved the theft of some $50 million.

Drug Task Forces Targeting Mexican Cartels to Shrink

Maybe there’s more to this, but from outward appearances it seems rather bothersome that the Justice Department is scaling back in an area so important. We need to crack down more, not less on the violent Mexican cartels that have spread their tentacles in the U.S.

mexico-border-sign

By Joe Palazzolo
Main Justice

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is eliminating 30 attorney positions from anti-drug trafficking task forces, scaling back a key program as the U.S. tries to combat Mexican cartels and stem the flow of weapons and illegal drugs across the border.

U.S. Attorneys’ offices will realize the loses through attrition, and all nine Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force regions will be affected, Justice officials said. The OCDETF cuts were announced in a memo sent to U.S. Attorneys offices last month.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on the memo, citing personnel matters and the ongoing budget process.

For Full Story

Pot Seizures Up Fourfold at U.S.-Canada Border

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

With all the drug-related violence and craziness along the Mexican-U.S. border, we seldom hear much about canada border the Canada-U.S. border.

The Toronto Star reports that the “hardening of the Canada-U.S. border” has resulted in a fourfold increase in marijuana seizures.

U.S. authorities seized 17,915 kilos of Canadian-grown marijuana during the year ending Sept. 30, compared to 4,325 kilos the previous year, according to figures to be released Friday by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the paper reported.

The paper said U.S. border officials attributed increased seizures to better cross-border police cooperation and new technology including unmanned aerial drones.

Khalid Sheik Mohammad to be Tried in Fed Court in NY Insteaed of Military CourtAsked

Khalid Sheik Mohammad
Khalid Sheik Mohammad

Some may not agree with this, but frankly it seems like the right thing to do. Americans generally want to have confidence that justice is being carried out fairly and it seems that a trial in the federal court will be more transparent.

By Peter Finn and Carrie A. Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Khalid Sheik Mohammed — the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — and four co-defendants will be tried in federal court in New York instead of a military commission, a federal official said early Friday.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, accused of orchestrating the bombing of the USS Cole when it was docked off the coast of Yemen in 2000, will be tried at a military commission, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decisions have not yet been formally announced by the Department of Justice.

The long-awaited decisions on prosecution, part of President Obama’s quest to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, do not affect the vast majority of the 215 prisoners held at the prison.

For Full Story

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