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Woman Charged With Exortion and Lying to FBI Was Given Money For Abortion, Coach Pitino Says

The University never likes it when your life off the court is far more interesting than your team’s life on the court. Rick Pitino has got a pretty interesting tale to tell.

Rick Pitino/univ. photo

Rick Pitino/univ. photo

By Andrew Wolfson
Louisville Courier-Journal
LOUISVILLE — University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino told police that he had consensual sex with Karen Cunagin Sypher at a Louisville restaurant where he’d been drinking on Aug. 1, 2003.

He also told police that he later gave Sypher $3,000 to have an abortion, according to Louisville Metro Police reports The Courier-Journal obtained under the Kentucky Open Records Act.

But Pitino denied Sypher’s allegations that he raped her at Porcini, after the restaurant closed, and again a few weeks later at a different location, police records show. And prosecutors who have reviewed Sypher’s claims say Pitino won’t be charged.

Sypher has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to extort money from Pitino in exchange for her silence about the alleged crimes, and with lying to the FBI. She has pleaded not guilty.

She reported the alleged rapes to Metro Police on July 9, about two months after she was indicted.

For Full Story

Woman Accused of Extortion

DEA Raids Las Vegas Pharmacy in Michael Jackson Probe

The wide ranging, multi-state probe into the death of Michael Jackson continues. Here’s the latest.

michael-jackson

By MAGGIE LILLIS
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
LAS VEGAS –Federal agents searched a pharmacy in a Las Vegas strip mall Tuesday morning as part of the investigation into the death of entertainer Michael Jackson.

Although Drug Enforcement Administration agents at the scene wouldn’t confirm that the raid was related to the pop star’s death, a law enforcement source said Jackson’s personal doctor had obtained a potent anesthetic from Applied Pharmacy Services.

Authorities believe Dr. Conrad Murray gave Jackson the anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid.

DEA agents, who said they were working with the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, arrived at the pharmacy at 6370 W. Flamingo Road, near Jones Boulevard, about 9:20 a.m. to begin their search.

For Full Story

Report Says Anti-Government Militia Groups Could Grow Rapidly

militia-photo

These groups garnered a lot of attention after the Oklahoma bombing in 1995. Then came Sept. 11, 2001, and they were pushed into the background. But with a bad economy and an African American president, don’t be surprised to see a resurgence.

By EILEEN SULLIVAN
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – Militia groups with gripes against the government are regrouping across the country and could grow rapidly, according to an organization that tracks such trends.

The stress of a poor economy and a liberal administration led by a black president are among the causes for the recent rise, the report from the Southern Poverty Law Center says. Conspiracy theories about a secret Mexican plan to reclaim the Southwest are also growing amid the public debate about illegal immigration.

Bart McEntire, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told SPLC researchers that this is the most growth he’s seen in more than a decade.

“All it’s lacking is a spark,” McEntire said in the report.

For Full Story

Read Report

Mexico Drug Dealers Operate in Prison and Bribe Their Way Out

It’s pretty simple: If you round up violent drug traffickers, lock them up and then let them go, it doesn’t do a lot of good. Mexico and the U.S. need to work more closely to deal with this issue.

jail

By MARC LACEY
New York Times
MEXICO CITY – The surveillance cameras captured it all: guards looking on nonchalantly as 53 inmates – many of them associated with one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels – let themselves out of their cells and sped off in waiting vehicles.

The video shows that prison guards only pulled out their weapons after the inmates were well on their way. The brazen escape in May in the northern state of Zacatecas – carried out in minutes without a single shot fired – is just one of many glaring examples of how Mexico’s crowded and cruel prison system represents a critical weak link in the drug war.

Mexico’s prisons, as described by inmates and insiders and viewed during several visits, are places where drug traffickers find a new base of operations for their criminal empires, recruit underlings, and bribe their way out for the right price.

For Full Story

Colombian Drug Kingpin and Former FBI Top 10 Fugitive Pleads Guilty in Miami

Diego Leon Montonya was once an FBI Top 10 Fugitive. Now with his downfall, will his cartel fade away? If so, it’s surely to be replaced by another one. As long as there’s demand, there will be a supply.

file photo/dea

file photo/dea

BY JOSE PAGLIERY
The Miami Herald
MIAMI — With the stroke of a pen, Diego León Montoya Sánchez assumed responsibility for it all.

He admitted to running Colombia’s most prolific cocaine cartel. To laundering millions earned from the transcontinental trade. To ordering assassinations to keep quiet members of his organization.

And on Tuesday, the one-time leader of the powerful North Valley cartel said he was sorry for every bit of it.

Montoya Sánchez, 48, pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court in Miami on Tuesday, months after being extradited to the United States from Colombia. The extradition agreement prohibits a life sentence. The charges include conspiracy to import more than five kilograms of cocaine, conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering and obstruction of justice by murder.

For Full Story

A Witness Murdered After Flirtatious Phone Calls

Killing witnesses has long been a problem, particularly in urban areas like Washington, Baltimore, Detroit… and on and on. These incidents undermine the system. And the problem is not going away. washington-dc-map2 What’s the solution?

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Andre Hayes’s phone rang one October afternoon, and a mysterious woman was on the line. She had called the wrong number, she told him. But she didn’t hang up. They bantered a bit. They flirted. She said he sounded nice.

Over the next week, they spoke or texted by cellphone more than 100 times. As he drove to meet her on Halloween night, they chatted for 29 straight minutes. And then, as he awaited their rendezvous in a dark suburban driveway, Hayes was shot dead.

It soon became obvious to investigators that the mystery woman had not been looking for love, according to federal authorities who have recently detailed Hayes’s last days in court papers and at a hearing.

In fact, they allege, she seduced the 32-year-old on behalf of her boyfriend, an accused drug dealer hoping to eliminate Hayes, a key witness against him in a federal drug case.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Oklahoma U.S. Atty. John Richter Stepping Down

U.S. Atty. John Richter

U.S. Atty. John Richter/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Attorney John Richter of Oklahoma announced Tuesday that he’s stepping down Aug. 21, the Associated Press reported.

The Associated Press reported that Richter announced his resignation during an interview and said he plans to be a practitioner in residence and visiting professor at the University of Oklahoma Law School.

Richter served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma since 2005.

Fed Prosecutors Turn Over Trial Evidence in Case Where 2 Convicted Alaskan Lawmakers Were Released From Prison

It’s important for the Justice Department to clear this all up. A policy of transparency and honesty can only make the system stronger.

Ex-lawmaker Pete Kott
Ex-lawmaker Pete Kott

By The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Federal prosecutors said they have complied with a court order handing over trial evidence to two former Alaska lawmakers convicted on corruption charges.

Former Reps. Pete Kott and Vic Kohring have been released from federal prison while the court reviews whether prosecutorial misconduct played a role in their trials and convictions.

The convictions came into question because the same team of prosecutors handled the case against former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, whose conviction was thrown out because evidence was withheld.

For Full Story