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Death of Mexican “Boss of Bosses” Drug Cartel Kingpin Won’t Spell the End

DEA's Michele Leonhart/dea photo

DEA's Michele Leonhart/dea photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The death on Wednesday of Mexican drug kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva, who claimed to be the “boss of bosses”, may be a big victory for the Mexican and American governments, but it certainly won’t spell the end to the violent grip the cartels have on the country.

In fact, it could end up creating a power struggle that may only mean more violence.

“It’s an important step but, at the end of the day, you’re not going to reduce the market,” Alberto Islas, a Mexico City-based security analyst told the Los Angeles Times. “You take out one guy and somebody else will take his place. But this is violent.”

Mexican and American officials hailed the death of the kingpin, who was fatally shot during an intense gunfight with Mexican naval commandos.

“This action represents an important achievement for the people and government of Mexico and a heavy blow against one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in Mexico,” President Felipe Calderon said, according to the Times.

“His death has dealt a crippling blow to one of the most violent cartels in the world,” said Michele Leonhart, acting director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

To Read the full Los Angeles Times Story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Contract Linguist Pleads Guilty to Leaking Top Secret Documents to a Blog

top-secret
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — An FBI contract linguist with top security clearance, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to providing classified documents to an Internet blog, which published some of the information.

Shamai Kedem Leibowitz, 39, of Silver Spring, Md., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Md., to disclosing to an unauthorized person 5 “Secret” FBI documents that contained classified information, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

His plea agreement calls for a sentence of 20 months in prison, but the sentencing judge does not have to accept the agreement.

The one-page criminal information did not disclose any details of the documents that related to communication intelligence activities of the U.S.

“As a trusted member of the FBI ranks, Leibowitz abused the trust of the FBI and the American public by using his access to classified information for his own purposes,”  FBI special agent in charge Richard McFeely of Baltimore in a prepared statement.

Leibowitz worked as an FBI contract linguist in the FBI’s Calverton, Md. office from January to August 2009.

Obama U.S. Atty. Appointments Now Outnumber Bush Appointees

It’s taken a while to get to this point, and frankly, it wouldn’t hurt to speed up the process. Each U.S. Attorney office deserves to have the stability that often comes with a permanent appointment.

One of the new Obama U.S. Attorneys Paul Fishman of NJ
One of the new Obama U.S. Attorneys Paul Fishman of NJ

By Joe Palazzolo
Main Justice

WASHINGTON — For the first time in this administration, Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorneys nominated by President Barack Obama outnumber Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorneys nominated by former President George W. Bush.

As of the end of November, more than 10 months into Obama’s presidency, the score was 24 Obama U.S. Attorneys to 21 Bush U.S. Attorneys, according to a review of Justice Department and congressional records. And of the 48 acting and interim U.S. Attorneys, just seven were appointed during the Bush administration.

The figures represent a watershed for the Obama administration, which has made halting progress filling the nation’s 93 U.S. Attorneys positions amid political resistance and a crowded legislative agenda.

For Full Story

Blago’s Attorney Could Call Pres. Obama as a Witness in June 3 Trial

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich in happier days

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich in happier days

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The realty-TV feel of the ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich public corruption case could get all the more intense if the defense calls President Barack Obama as a witness.

One of Blagojevich’s attorneys, Samuel Adams, on Wednesday hinted of the possibility of calling the President as a witness during trial, saying it would be “an awesome experience in any career” to question the leader of the Free World, according to Associated Press.

But Adams said it was too soon to tell whether it will be necessary, the AP reported. The President-elect had been interviewed by the FBI after allegations surfaced that the colorful Blagojevich was trying to sell Obama’s vacated senate seat. Obama is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

Blagojevich, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, faces a 19-count indictment that  includes allegatations of trying to sell the senate seat and fundraising abuses.  Trial is set for June 3.

Drug Trafficker Had Surgically Altered All 10 Fingers to Obliterate Prints

fingerprint-smaller-versionBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

From all outward appearances, William Wallace Keegan’s sentence in Phoenix last week was nothing out of the ordinary: a big time drug dealer getting hit with a life sentence after a long career in the drug trade.

But what made his case stand out was the evidence at trial in June which showed that the 62-year-old (aka Richard Alan King) of Harbor, Fla., had all 10 fingers surgically altered in the 1990s to obliterate his fingerprints above the first joint, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Despite his unusual effort, a DEA press release said an agency forensic print analyst was still able to “match the lower joint fingerprints” to confirm his true identity.

Evidence during trial also showed that Keegan, along with others,  obtained cocaine in Arizona and transported most of it via the U.S. Postal Service to New York between November 2005 and January 2008.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton sentenced him to five concurrent life sentences for drug trafficking and 240 months for money laundering.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Atty. Charges D.C. Cop with Murder

Key Witness in Cong. William Jefferson Case Gets Substantial Reduction in Sentence for Cooperating

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
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A key prosecution witness in the public corruption trial of ex-Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson, could be seeing daylight soon.

As expected, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of Alexandria, Va., in a written filing on Dec. 11 substantially cut the sentence of key witness Vernon Jackson from 87 to 40 months. The government had asked that the judge cut the sentence by 50 percent.

Jackson, 57, owner of a high-tech, Kentucky-based business called iGate, had pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson in exchange for the Congressman’s help promoting business in Africa.

As part of the guilty plea, Jackson agreed to cooperate and ended up delivering some key testimony during the summer trial that resulted in Jefferson being convicted on 11 of 16 counts of public corruption.

Read more »

Ex-Kennedy Staffer Indicted in Scheme to Get More Than $75,000 Extra in Pay and Bonuses

istock photo

istock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– A former office manager for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy was indicted Tuesday in a scheme to get more than $75,000 extra in salary and bonuses, the Justice Department said.

Ngozi T. Pole, 39,of Waldorf, Md., was charged in a six-count indictment that alleged that as office manager for Kennedy between 2003 and 2007 he “repeatedly submitted paperwork causing the Senate to pay him larger salary and bonus payments than had been approved by either the chief of staff or Senator Kennedy,” a Justice Department press release said.