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Feds Don’t Want Attys For Right Wing Shock Jock to Mention That he Was an FBI Informant in 2nd Trial

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fed prosecutors will take a second bite out of the apple next month and retry New Jersey right wing shock jock Hal Turner for allegedly threatening three appeals court judges in Chicago through inflammatory comments on his blog.

But this time prosecutors are asking the judge to bar Turner’s attorneys from disclosing  that he was an FBI informant — that is unless, they can present evidence through testimony from Turner himself, according to NorthJersey.com. He did not testify in the first trial.

If not, prosecutors wrote in a motion that “allowing argument or questioning of the government’s witnesses about [Turner’s] status as an informant is nothing but an irrelevant sideshow designed to distract and confuse the jury,” according to the website.

The first trial, which was moved from Chicago to Brooklyn,  ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked in December. Turner’s attorneys had argued that the FBI had taught Turner, as an informant, what he could and could not say.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Doing What He Does Best: Courting Trouble

Ex-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry

Ex-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Trouble is a constant companion of Ex-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who is now a city council member.

Now the latest.

An independent report conducted by attorney William Bennett on behalf of the D.C. City Council has accused Barry of public corruption. The report says Barry  secured a $15,000 contract for an ex-girlfriend and then took a cut, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

“Barry obtained a contract for Donna Watts-Brighthaupt after lending her money to help pay her bills, according to a report delivered to the council by Washington lawyer Robert S. Bennett,” the Post reported. “To get some of his money back, Barry at one point delivered a city check to Watts-Brighthaupt, drove her to a bank and waited in the car until she came back with the cash.”

The paper said the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office has been looking at the matter and will review the report. Barry has denied wrongdoing.

To read more click here.

Justice Dept. Says NYPD Cops Off the Hook in Racially Charged Fatal Shooting

sean bell-websiteBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The New York City officers involved in the highly controversial fatal shooting of Sean Bell — he was shot 50 times on his wedding day in 2006 — are off the hook.

The Justice Department announced Tuesday there was insufficient evidence to file civil rights charges against the officers in the shooting of Bell and his two friends, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield, who were wounded.

Three officers were acquitted of criminal charges in state court in 2008 in the shooting outside a Queens strip club. Bell, who was unarmed, was out with friends celebrating before his wedding. The shootings brought cries of outrage from the black community.

“Officials from the department’s Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the FBI met today with Bell’s family, his fiancée and their representatives to inform them of this decision, as well as with Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield, friends of Bell who were wounded during the tragic incident,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

Read more »

Master Hacker of Credit Cards Gets Record 13 Years

hacker-artBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Max Ray Vision’s impressive hacking skills were only equal to his impressive prison sentence: 13 years — the longest hacking sentence in U.S. history, according to the website WIRED.

Last Friday in Pittsburgh, a federal judge sent the skilled San Francisco hacker off to prison and ordered him to pay a whopping $27.5 million in restitution for his masterful theft of credit card numbers, WIRED reported.

The San Francisco computer hacker was accused of stealing roughly two million credit card numbers from banks, businesses and other hackers.

WIRED reported that he “ran an online forum for thousands of identity thieves called CardersMarket, where he sold credit card magstripe data to the underground for about $20 a card. He was caught with 1.8 million stolen credit card numbers belonging to a thousand different banks, who tallied the fraudulent charges on the cards at $86.4 million.”

Column: TSA Makes 4-Year-Old Boy Take Off Leg Braces to Pass Through Security

airport scanner 2
By Daniel Rubin
Philadelphia Inquirer Columnist

PHILADELPHIA — Just when I thought I was out of the Transportation Security Administration business for a few columns, they pull me back in.

Did you hear about the Camden cop whose disabled son wasn’t allowed to pass through airport security unless he took off his leg braces?

Unfortunately, it’s no joke. This happened to Bob Thomas, a 53-year-old officer in Camden’s emergency crime suppression team, who was flying to Orlando in March with his wife, Leona, and their son, Ryan.

Ryan was taking his first flight, to Walt Disney World, for his fourth birthday.

To Read more click here.

Ex-Special Prosecutor Ken Starr Named President of Baylor Univ.

kenneth starBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Kenneth Starr, the special prosecutor who toiled in the eye of the political hurricane during the President Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal that rocked Washington, will become the new president of Baylor University in Texas, the Associated Press reported.

Starr has been dean of Pepperdine University Law School in Malibu, Calif.

The AP said Baylor cited Starr’s Christian ideals and experience heading Pepperdine law school as some key reasons for his selection.

“While I look forward to the honor of serving as Baylor’s next president, my wife Alice and I know how much we will miss Pepperdine,” Starr said in a statement released Monday by Pepperdine, according to AP. “Working with Pepperdine students, faculty, and the law school’s alumni has been one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences of our lives.”

A New Mob Bus Tour in N.Y. That Will Include Some Oldies But Badies

To the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office, the characters were voices on wiretaps or investigative files or criminal case numbers. To the public, they still represent a slice of fascination.

Father John J. Gotti

Father John J. Gotti

BY Erica Pearson
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

That Starbucks over there? Used to be the scene of one of the city’s most notorious mob hits.

This trendy Nolita shoe shop? It was once John Gotti’s hangout, the Ravenite Social Club, where many a bloody murder was planned.

Starting next month, John (Cha Cha) Ciarcia hopes to bring some of the city’s old gangland history back to life with a new bus tour.

“Everybody loves the mob,” said Ciarcia, a restaurateur, radio host and actor who had a bit part in “The Sopranos.” “We’d like to give them a taste of history in the mob.”

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

DEA Team Leader Shot and Wounded in Afghanistan

afghanistanBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A veteran DEA agent was shot multiple times and wounded in Afghanistan on Sunday while on a mission, according to people familiar with the incident.

The veteran agent, who was a team leader of the DEA FAST Team (Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team) was shot and wounded in Marjeh, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, according to people familiar with the situation. For security reasons, his name is not being published at this point.

He was shot in the hand and thigh and has been taken to Germany for medical care. His condition could not be immediately determined.

The DEA on Monday declined comment.

In October, three DEA agents Forrest N. Leamon, Chad L. Michael and Michael E. Weston, were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

Agents Leamon and Michael were members of DEA’s FAST Team. Weston had been assigned to DEA’s Kabul Country Office.