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Biker Charged in Buffalo With Sending Threatening Text Messages

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
It’s probably beyond dispute that Ronald Blair, a New York state motorcycle gang member, was not the most artful of text messagers.

For example, court records say on Feb. 11 at 4:38 a.m., he wrote to the brother of a rival biker: “I’m coming over with a 2 club bros. want to know where jimmigy lives. bottom line. f—.”

Later in the day he wrote: “Tell him to call a doctor.boy.” and “Sorr   y to be you. f—.”

What is in dispute is how menacing those messages were.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo has filed a four-count indictment charging Blair, 39,of the Kingsmen motorcycle club, with conveying a “threat to injure” through text messages.

The Buffalo News quoted his lawyer as saying the feds “should be ashamed of prosecuting” such a case.

Read Biker Indictment

DEA Informant Who Penetrated Colombian Drug Cartel Says Agency Didn’t Provide Enough Protection

Going undercover is always dangerous work. Going undercover to penetrate a Colombian drug cartel is really really dangerous. A DEA informant says she put her life on the line and the DEA didn’t do enough to protect her. Does she have a legit beef? Jurors may decide.

By LESLEY CLARK
Miami Herald
MIAMI — In court documents she’s referred to as the Princess, with a capital ”P.” But her story reads more like Mata Hari infiltrating the Colombian drug cartel.

In federal court documents, a Palm Beach County woman — the ex-wife of two convicted drug dealers — outlines a life of intrigue, adventure and considerable danger as an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. For more than three years, she traveled the world for the Fort Lauderdale DEA office, earning a $10,000-a-month ”salary” and posing as “an affluent money launderer.”

She raked in as much as $1.85 million from the agency, according to documents in a 1997 lawsuit she filed against the agency in U.S. Court of Federal Claims. And now, after a decade of legal wrangling and a trial, the Princess may be in line for more.

A federal judge ruled that the DEA failed to protect confidential informant SGS-92-X003 — aka the Princess — when it dispatched her to Colombia in 1995 at the height of the country’s brutal drug war.

”The evidence is uncontroverted that the head of [the] DEA’s Fort Lauderdale Office, who supervised the Princess, sent her on this undercover operation without advising DEA Headquarters or the Colombian attaché,” Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams wrote in a Feb. 9 opinion that was unsealed after classified information was removed.

”During this mission,” Coster Williams wrote, “the Princess was captured by a guerrilla organization, transported in the trunk of a car, and held for over three months in a windowless, dirt floor room where she slept on a straw mattress.”

In her lawsuit, the Princess sought more than $33 million. Next step: determining whether the woman was damaged by the agency’s negligence, and if so, how much the DEA should pay.

For Full Story

To Read Lawsuit

Feds File Charges in Baltimore’s Biggest Coke Bust Near a Street of Hope

In this hard-bitten town, in the shadow of the nation’s capital, authorities recently made what they’re calling their biggest coke bust in the city’s history. The bust was notable not only for its quantity, but its location.

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper
BALTIMORE — Trenell David Murphy, a 33-year-old Baltimore man, was charged in federal court on Feb. 20 in connection with what has been touted by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) as the biggest coke bust in its history.
The location of the bust, on the 3000 block of Presstman Street in West Baltimore, is one block west of Kevin Liles Drive, so named in 2005 by then-mayor Martin O’Malley to honor Liles, the executive vice president of Warner Music Group. Liles, who grew up on the 2900 block of Presstman Street, is promoted as a model of success for youngsters growing up on the hard streets of Baltimore.

For Full Story

FBI Rounds Up 48 Teen Prostitutes in Nationwide Sweep

This is one of the sadder segments of society we only hear about from time to time. The FBI rounded up 48 suspected teenage prostitutes. The question is: How many more are out there?

By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – The FBI has rescued 48 suspected teenage prostitutes, some as young as 13 years old, in a nationwide sweep to remove kids from the illegal sex trade and punish their accused pimps.

Over a three-night initiative called Operation Cross Country, federal agents working with local law enforcement also arrested more than 571 suspects on a variety of federal and state prostitution-related charges, the bureau said.

The teenage prostitutes found in the investigation ranged in age from 13 to 17. In Ohio, about 18 adults were arrested in Toledo and Lima, said FBI spokesman Scott Wilson in Cleveland.

“We may not be able to return their innocence but we can remove them from this cycle of abuse and violence,” said FBI Director Robert Mueller.

For Full Story

FBI Director Mueller Invokes Name of Hockey Great Gretzky in Terrorism Speech

By Allan Lengel
tickelthewire.com
WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III invoked the name of hockey great Wayne Gretzky during a speech on terrorism Monday before the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Hockey great Wayne Gretzky was once asked how he consistently managed to be at the right place on the ice at the right time,” he said, according a text of the speech. “He said that while some players skate to where the puck has been, he skates to where the puck will be.”
“The same is true for those of us in the FBI. We need to know where the threat is moving, and we need to get there first.”

Mueller also said “our primary threat continues to come from the tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. But we are seeing persistent activity elsewhere from the Maghreb and the Sahei to Yemen.”

He said world events seem to have a “ripple effect” around the globe.

“The fall of Communism opened the door to a virtual army of cyber thieves. The integration of cultures around the world has facilitated state-sponsored espionage, a thriving child pornography market, as well as heightened gang activity.”

To Read Full Text

Mueller Says a Militant in Somalia Attacks Adopted Extremist Beliefs in U.S. (N.Y. Times)

Houston Fed Judge Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice

Judge Samuel Kent/official photo

Judge Samuel Kent/official photo

Sometimes when you’re guilty it’s best to grab a plea rather than go through an embarrassing trial that will end with a guilty verdict anyways. Judge Sam Kent had probably seen enough trials to figure that one out.

By MARY FLOOD
Houston Chronicle
HOUSTON — U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice today and retired from the bench, avoiding a trial on that charge and five others accusing him of sexually abusing two female employees.

Kent was scheduled to see a jury selected this morning for his trial on all six felony counts.

Few federal judges ever go to trial, but his would have been the first in which a federal judge was accused of sexual charges.

“Judge Kent believes that this settlement is in the best interest of all involved,” his attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said after this morning’s hearing.

“A trial would have been long, embarrassing and difficult for all involved,” DeGuerin added. He said Kent has retired from the bench.

Kent faces up to 20 years in prison on the obstruction charge. Prosecutors have suggested he be sentenced to three years in prison, but the judge is not bound by that recommendation.

For Full Story

Ex-Lawmaker Gary Condit Could Have Been More Honest With FBI and Police Investigators in Chandra Levy Case

Allan Lengel-editor of ticklethewire.com
Allan Lengel-editor of ticklethewire.com

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – Sadly, in the end, ex- California Congressman Gary Condit got a raw deal in the Chandra Levy case. Sadly he brought it on with his arrogance and deceit. I say all this,  now that suspect Ingmar Guandique – who is already in prison on another case– is about to be charged in the slaying of the 24-year-old intern.

Back on June 7, 2001, as a reporter at the Washington Post, I wrote that a fairly obscure California Congressman , Gary Condit had told D.C. police that missing intern Chandra Levy had stayed over night on occasion at his apartment in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood . When police pressed him about having an affair, he said something to the effect: “You figure it out.”

The story caused a firestorm. Condit’s attorney wrote a letter to the Washington Post demanding a retraction. His chief of staff in Modesto called me and demanded a retraction. I had four sources confirm the story. I was on solid ground. So I told his chief of staff to call the D.C. police public information office. Often for politicians, I said, they would make public statements correcting or clarifying an erroneous media report. I knew they wouldn’t correct the story because it was true.

He blurted out: “How dare you suggest we get special treatment.” The paper backed me up. The story stood. Condit quickly became a person of interest in the case.

Months later, the same staff member apologized and said none of the staff ever asked Condit point blank about the affair. They just believed what he spouted publicly.

Now, with word that someone else is expected to be charged this week, people are speaking out on Condit’s behalf.

Read more »

FBI Probes Washington National GM For Bonus Skimming

Jim Bowden/washington nationals photo
Jim Bowden/washington nationals photo

The FBI is keeping busy with baseball these days.  Agents are looking into whether pitching star Roger Clemens lied to Congress. They just got all-star shortstop Miguel Tajeda to plead to lying to Congress. They’re gearing up for the Barry Bonds’ steroid trial on March 2. Heck. They might as well just replace the umpires with FBI agents.

By Melissa Segura
Sports Illustrated
A federal investigation into the skimming of signing bonuses given to baseball prospects from Latin America is looking at Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden as far back as 1994, when he was GM of the Cincinnati Reds, according to a baseball executive familiar with the investigation.

Two sources inside baseball say that a long-time scout in Latin America, Jorge Oquendo, 47, is the man who links the FBI’s investigations of Bowden and his special assistant Jose Rijo to that of former Chicago White Sox senior director of player personnel David Wilder.

Last May the White Sox fired Wilder and two Dominican-based scouts after allegations surfaced that they had pocketed money earmarked for player signing bonuses. Oquendo worked for Wilder in 2006 and 2007, as well as for Bowden with the Reds in 1994 and again with the Reds from 2000 through 2003. Oquendo left Cincinnati in 2005, two years after Bowden was fired. (Bowden became Nationals GM in 2004.)
For Full Story

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