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News Story

Ex-Texas FBI Agent Jim Wilkins Dead at Age 61

Staying at any job for 34 years is amazing these days. Jim Wilkins did it and made a mark.

fbi-logo

By GORDON DICKSON
Ft. Worth Star Telegram
FT. WORTH, Tex. — Jim Wilkins’ 34-year FBI career included an important but little-known footnote in America criminal history.

Wilkins was the agent who recaptured American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, who was serving two life sentences for the 1975 murder of two FBI agents at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota when he escaped from a California prison in 1979.

Peltier fled to the Santa Maria hills. But his run from the law ended after four days, when Wilkins spotted Peltier’s white tennis shoes in the brush and took him into custody.

For Full Story

Judges Says CIA Committed Fraud in Defending Wiretap Case Against DEA Agent

Between water boarding and withholding info from Congress, the CIA doesn’t really need more bad publicity. But here it is.

Ex-CIA Chief Tenet Could Face Sanctions/gov photo
Ex-CIA Chief Tenet Could Face Sanctions/gov photo

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON – A federal judge has ruled that government officials committed fraud while defending a lawsuit brought by a former DEA agent who accused a CIA operative of illegally bugging his home.

In rulings unsealed Monday, U.S. District Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth wrote that he was considering sanctions against five current and former agency lawyers and officials, including former director George J. Tenet, for withholding key information about the operative’s covert status.

The rulings, issued in recent months, highlighted what the judge called fraudulent work by CIA lawyers in defending a suit that Lamberth said had a lengthy and “twisted history.” Brought in 1994 by DEA agent Richard A. Horn, the suit alleged that the CIA illegally bugged his residence in Rangoon, Burma, while he was serving in the country.

For Full Story

Will ex-Rep. William Jefferson Take the Stand in His Own Defense?

Drum roll please. And now the moment some of you have been waiting for: Will ex-Rep. William Jefferson take the stand on his own behalf? The defense is expected to begin presenting its case later this week and will have to decide if it’s best to put Jefferson on the stand. Some politicians have done more damage than good by taking the stand and acting arrogant. Jefferson is not likely to come off as arrogant, but he may have to do some serious dancing to get around some tough questioning by prosecutors under cross examination.

Jefferson's Atty. Robert Trout Has Tough Decision to Make/law firm photo
Jefferson’s Atty. Robert Trout Has Tough Decision to Make/law firm photo

By Jonathan Tilove
New Orleans Times-Picayune
WASHINGTON — William Jefferson and his legal team now face the most difficult and fateful decision of his trial: whether the former nine-term Democratic congressman from New Orleans should take the stand in his own defense.

“It’s the last decision you make, ” said James Neal, a prominent Nashville, Tenn., defense attorney. “It’s just a terrible decision to make because the case then turns on it. You can forget about everything else that came before in the case. The case now depends on how well the defendant does.”

Atlanta lawyer Jerome Froelich agreed that the stakes could not be higher for Jefferson.

“What I always fear is that once you put the defendant on the stand, it changes the burden from, ‘did they prove their case?’ to ‘do I believe the defendant?’ ” Froelich said.

Neal represented former Gov. Edwin Edwards in his 1985 racketeering trial. Edwards took the stand. The jury voted 11-1 to acquit. On retrial, Edwards was acquitted.

For Full Story

GAO Report Says Strain Between Venezuela and U.S. Has Caused Alarming Surge in Cocaine Trafficking

One thing the U.S. has to do is try harder to mend the strained relationship between the U.S. and Venezuela. It shouldn’t be hard to improve upon the relationship the Bush administration had.

President Chavez

President Chavez

By Chris Kraul
Los Angeles Times
CARACAS, Venezuela — A breakdown in anti-drug cooperation between Venezuela and the United States has contributed to an alarming surge in cocaine trafficking from Venezuela, according to a report issued Monday by the U.S. General Accounting Office.

The volume of drugs passing through Venezuela more than quadrupled from 66 tons in 2004 to 287 tons in 2007, the GAO said. U.S.-Venezuelan counter-narcotics cooperation ended in 2005, as friction intensified between the Bush administration and leftist President Hugo Chavez.

Although Venezuela was already a major corridor for Colombian cocaine before Chavez took office in 1999, the volume has increased to the point that in 2007, one-quarter of all Colombian cocaine produced passed through Venezuela, according to estimates.

The GAO said trafficking has increased in part because of Chavez’s alleged tolerance of Colombian rebels in Venezuelan territory and because of widespread corruption in his military and police ranks.

“Venezuela is caught between the world’s largest producer of cocaine, Colombia, and largest consumer, the United States,” the report concludes.

For Full Story

Read Report

Authorities Capture FBI Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive in Mexico

preciado_captured2

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

California Gang member Emigdio Preciado, Jr., who shot and wounded a Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy in 2000, and who is on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitive list along with Osama bin Laden, was captured in Mexico, the FBI announced Monday.

The FBI said Preciado was captured Friday night in Yagos, a rural town in the Mexican state of Nayarit, where he’d been living under the alias Regalo Castaneda-Castaneda and working as a fisherman.

The FBI said that his identifying tattoos on his chest – the names “Susana” and “Alexa” -had been surgically removed. Still FBI agents and Mexican police, who were there at the time of the arrest, confirmed his identity through fingerprints.

Sal Hernandez, head of the Los Angeles FBI,  credited the capture to “flawless collaboration” between the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, FBI and Mexican police.

Authorities charged that Preciado in September 2000, stepped out a van during a routine traffic stop and opened fire on two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies, striking one in the head. The deputy survived.

UPDATE: Tuesday: The FBI said it will pay a reward of up to $150,000 for tips that led to the capture, the Associated Press reported. The FBI said at least one person would get some money.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Agent Daniel Dubree Named Assist. Dir. Information of Tech. Division

Daniel Dubree/fbi photo

Daniel Dubree/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Daniel D. Dubree, who has a law degree, has been named assistant director of the FBI’s Information Technology Operations Division, replacing Louis Blazy, who retired.

The FBI said Monday that Dubree will be “responsible for the operations and maintenance of all FBI information technology systems worldwide”.

In emphasizing the importance of the job, FBI Director Robert Mueller III said in a prepared statement.

“Every day, FBI employees all over the world rely on our information technology systems to efficiently and effectively do their jobs. The work of the Information Technology Operations Division is crucial to keeping the FBI ready to serve. Dan brings expertise in both technical and managerial fields to this important position.”

Dubree began his career with the FBI in May 1984 as a computer programmer with the agency’s Technical Services Division. He became a special agent 2 1/2 years later.

His agent career began in the Charlotte Division’s Hickory Resident Agency, the FBI said. Over the years, he bounced around to different offices.

In February 2002, he was promoted to adjudication chief of the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, Adjudication Unit II., which involved dealing with the misconduct  of FBI employees.

The following year, he was assistant special agent in charge in Dallas. After another stop, he was named assistant director of the FBI’s Information Technology Operation Division in August 2008.

Read Press Release

Justice Dept. Moving Some Operations to South Carolina

Not a bad idea to spread some part of the Justice Dept. around the country. It helps provide another perspective, plus if Washington is ever under a terrorist attack it doesn’t hurt to have a part of Justice Dept. that can maintain operations without worrying about getting out of Dodge. Dep. Atty. Gen. David Ogden made the announcement in South Carolina.

map-south-carolina

By MEG KINNARD
Associated Press Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice is relocating some of its U.S. attorney operations from Washington to South Carolina under a 20-year lease agreement with the state’s flagship university, officials announced Monday.

The federal agency will be relocating its Executive Office for United States Attorneys to the building that now houses the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden said during a news conference in Columbia.

“I think it’s a good thing to get government out into the rest of the country,” Ogden said.

The move will bring more than 250 high-paying jobs to Columbia, a small fraction of the roughly 100,000 who work at the Department.

The effort, known as the Palmetto Project, will consolidate much of the DOJ’s attorney training program for the whole country in South Carolina. In 1996, the Department broke ground on the National Advocacy Center, a $26 million facility in Columbia where federal, state and local prosecutors participate in a variety of training programs. Since it opened two years later, more than 170,000 prosecutors and law enforcement officials have received training at the center, officials said.

For Full Story

Read Announcement by Dep. Atty. Gen. David Ogden

Fed Judge Dismisses SEC Insider Trading Suit Against NBA Team Owner Mark Cuban

Well, Mark Cuban caught a big break. Now let’s see if he can concentrate more to make his disappointing NBA team better by making an above-board trade.

Mark Cuban/60 mins.
Mark Cuban/60 mins.

By ERIC TORBENSON and BRENDAN CASE
The Dallas Morning News
DALLAS — A federal judge has tossed out the Securities and Exchange Commission’s insider-trading suit against Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, dealing a stunning defeat to the nation’s securities cop in one of its highest-profile civil actions.

Chief Judge Sidney Fitzwater of Dallas said in a 35-page ruling released Friday that the SEC had failed to prove that Cuban entered into a legal agreement not to trade stock in the search engine firm Mamma.com Inc. after learning nonpublic information about the company’s plans to raise more money.

For Full Story

Read Ruling

The Story When Cuban Was Charged Last Year

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWs40vi1LOk