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News Story

Mexico Takes Down No. 2 Leader of Drug Cartel

mexicoEvery big arrest like this is a big victory. But as we know,over the years, there has always been plenty cut-throat, smaller time dealers waiting in the wings, ready to fill the void.

By Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times
EL PASO, Tex — The arrest of Vicente Carrillo Leyva, considered the No. 2 leader of the Juárez drug cartel, is a breakthrough in the Mexican government’s crackdown on drug lords, officials said Thursday.

The 32-year-old suspect, nicknamed the “Engineer,” is the son of Amado Carrillo Fuentes and a nephew of Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, who assumed control of the cartel after Amado reportedly died in 1997.

Carrillo Leyva’s capture came a week after Mexican officials placed him on their list of Mexico’s most-wanted drug dealers and offered a $2.1 million reward for him.

“He is prominent in the Juárez cartel that’s involved in all this violence in Mexico,” said El Pasoan Phil Jordan, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration official, who had investigated the Carrillo Fuentes organization.

For Full Story

TV Reporter Tracks Down Indicted Ex-Gov Rod Blagojevich in Florida

Suspected Nazi Death Camp Guard John Demjanjuk to be Deported to Germany By Monday

This has been an amazing and amazingly long battle.

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

By John Caniglia
Cleveland Plain Dealer
SEVEN HILLS, Ohio – The U.S. government’s 32-year fight to deport John Demjanjuk appears nearly over, even as his family claims he is too feeble to travel.

Demjanjuk is expected to arrive in Germany on Monday to face charges that he helped kill 29,000 people at a Nazi death camp in 1943, his attorney in Munich, Guenther Maull, said in a phone interview Thursday. A doctor and a nurse will accompany him on the flight.

Ulrich Sante, a spokesman at the German Embassy in Washington, said U.S. authorities informed his office that Demjanjuk will be placed on a plane Sunday.

U.S. immigration officials refused to comment.
Demjanjuk, who turns 89 on Friday, is expected to meet with prosecutors about the charges when he arrives, Maull said. He will be held in a hospital or a jail until he goes to trial, a period that could take six months. The trial could take just as long, depending on Demjanjuk’s health, Maull said.

For Full Story

FBI Arrests El Paso Judge on Charges of Taking Bribes in Money and Sex

Judge ?/news channel 9-el paso

Judge Manuel Barraza/news channel 9-el paso

This is really where the system breaks down. When a judge is accused of wrongdoing, things are really broken. 

By Ramon Bracamontes
El Paso Times
EL PASO, Tex. — EL PASO — The state suspended District Court Judge Manuel Barraza on Thursday afternoon, just hours after FBI agents arrested him on suspicion of taking money and sexual favors as bribes.

“This is embarrassing,” Barraza said of his arrest. “What concerns me the most right now is that I’ve embarrassed my family.”

A federal grand jury indicted Barraza, 53, on three charges of wire fraud and deprivation of honest services. He faces an additional charge of making a false statement to the FBI, whose agents arrested him at his house Thursday morning.

In an interview outside the federal courthouse, where he posted $10,000 bond, Barraza spoke of the U.S. Constitution in relation to his case.

“The great thing about this is that we have a right to presumed innocence,” he said.

For Full Story  

Ex-Texas Border Patrol Agent Gets 14 Years for Helping Drug Smugglers

Border PatrolBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent, who showed drug traffickers how to smuggle 20 kilos of cocaine through Zapata County, Tex.,  was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in prison.

Authorities say Leon Morales, 30, of Zapata County, showed traffickers how to avoid sensors and drew a map of the best routes to smuggle the drugs.

Federal authorities said he also bragged that he could get other Border Patrol agents out of the area.

Ohio Men Who Pumped Bullets in Car Say They Didn’t Know FBI Agent Was Inside

It’s hardly much of an excuse when you say I pumped a car full of bullets but didn’t realize an FBI agent was inside.

cincinnati
By Dan Horn
Cincinnati Enquirer
CINCINNATI — The men accused of firing two dozen shots at a car in College Hill last week didn’t know the man sitting inside was an FBI agent.

Authorities say the men mistook the agent’s black Impala for a car driven by a thief who had stolen money from one of them. As soon as they spotted the Impala, authorities say, two of the men opened fire with a handgun and an automatic rifle, riddling the car with bullets but missing the agent.

They didn’t find out they shot at the wrong guy until police arrested them hours later.

The news got worse when they learned their target was a federal agent, a detail that could add years to their potential prison sentences.

“It’s a miracle the agent wasn’t hit,” said FBI spokesman Mike Brooks.

For Full Story

Ex-Gov Blagojevich and His Brother and Four Others Indicted in Chicago

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

The scandal is only getting bigger. All it will take is for some of the defendants to start talking and it will grow even more. Expect the ex-Gov to hit the airwaves denying guilt.

BY NATASHA KORECKI, CHRIS FUSCO AND STEVE WARMBIR
Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — A federal grand jury today has lodged sweeping corruption charges against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, his brother, Robert, two former top aides, as well as a prominent Downstate businessman.

The 19-count indictment charges that corruption started under the former governor’s reign almost as soon as he was elected office in 2002.

Blagojevich himself was charged in 16 felony counts including racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and making false statements.

Also charged as co-defendants were Alonzo Monk, Blagojevich’s former chief of staff; John Harris, his most recent chief of staff who is expected to be a witness in the case; chief Blagojevich fundraiser Christopher G. Kelly; and Springfield powerbroker William F. Cellini.

The 75-page indictment makes numerous references to the former governor’s wife, Patti Blagojevich, who got thousands of dollars from Blagojevich fund-raiser Tony Rezko, who was convicted on public corruption charges last year. She has not, however, been charged with any crimes.

“I’m saddened and hurt but I am not surprised by the indictment,” former Gov. Blagojevich said in a statement. “I am innocent. I now will fight in the courts to clear my name. I would ask the good people of Illinois to wait for the trial and afford me the presumption of innocence that they would give to all their friends and neighbors.”

For Full Story

Read Indictment

Ex-Gov Rod Blagojevich Expected to be Indicted Today

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich in happier times

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich in happier times

CHICAGO — The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the U.S. Attorney’s office will announce today the indictment of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald’s office is expected to issue a press release and a court filing late this afternoon. The office  has only said the matter involved a significant criminal matter.

Blagojevich, 52, was arrested in December on public corruption charges centering on a variety of deals including the filling of Pres. Obama’s senate seat. The indictment is the next step in the criminal matter.
Allan Lengel