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News Story

Under the Ooops Category: New Orleans Cop Off To Prison

NEW ORLEANS –Donald Battiste, a former New Orleans Police Officer was sentenced last week in federal court here to 4 years and 9 months in prison for civil rights violations in connection with the beating and robbery of a man he thought was an itinerant worker, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. It ended up the worker was an undercover cop working a sting operation.

Battiste admitted that in October 2006, while on duty, he robbed and beat the person, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The incident was captured on video tape.

Kansas U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren Steps Down

U.S. Atty. Eric Melgren/wibw.com photo

U.S. Atty. Eric Melgren/wibw.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
As we prepare to usher in a new administration, U.S. Attorneys are heading for safer ground.
The latest is U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren in Wichita, Ks., who stepped down this week to be sworn in as Kansas’ newest federal district judge, the Justice Department announced. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marietta Parker will become the Acting U.S. Attorney in the District of Kansas.
Melgren spent 6 1/2 years as the U.S. Attorney and came from the Wichita law firm of Foulston Siefkin LLP, the Justice Department said.
“The past almost seven years as U.S. Attorney have been a great honor and a personal delight,” Melgren said in a prepared statement. “I am proud to have been associated with the important work of the Department of Justice and with the outstanding professional staff of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Kansas and our colleagues across the country.”
Earlier this week, Chuck Rosenberg, the U.S. Attorney in Alexandria, Va., announced his resignation.

DEA Busts Drug Cells That Distributed For Mexican Cartel

The DEA  and other law enforcement agencies busted up a number of cells that distributed drugs for a huge Mexican cartel.
By Greg Moran
San Diego Union-Tribune
SAN DIEGO – Federal authorities on Wednesday announced the indictments of 35 members of a half-dozen drug-trafficking cells that shuttled drugs north and cash south through Imperial County.
The indictments focused on six distribution cells that ran drugs for a Mexican organization known as the Sinaloa cartel, U.S. Attorney Karen Hewitt said at a news conference.
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Led by Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman, the Sinaloa cartel is believed to be one of the groups currently locked in a bloody gang war with the weakening Arellano Felix cartel for dominance in Tijuana.
For Full Story

Read One Of The Indictments In The Case

Colombian Warlords Sentenced In Miami For Drugs

By CURT ANDERSON
The Associated Press
MIAMI — Two right-wing paramilitary warlords extradited earlier this year with 12 others with great fanfare from Colombia were ordered Thursday to spend decades behind U.S. bars after pleading guilty to roles in a far-reaching cocaine smuggling conspiracy.
U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore imposed the maximum sentences under federal guidelines Thursday on 60-year-old Ramiro Vanoy Murillo and Francisco Javier Zuluaga Lindo, 38, even though prosecutors recommended lesser sentences.
Vanoy Murillo was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison; Zuluaga Lindo’s sentence was just under 22 years. They are the first of the 14 warlords extradited in May to be sentenced to federal prison.
For Full Story

Mexican Cartels Buying Drugs From Colombian Rebels

Mexico  and Colombia both have a problem. Can it ever be solved?

By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO
Associated Press Writer
MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s powerful drug cartels are buying drugs directly from Colombia’s main rebel group, a senior Colombian defense official said Tuesday at a hemispheric meeting on crime.
The finance chief of the FARC rebel unit along the Ecuador-Colombia border is the main contact with the Mexican gangs that purchase cocaine from the rebels, said Colombia’s deputy defense minister.
“We are particularly worried about the strengthening connections between Mexican cartels and the FARC,” Jaramillo said. “The Mexican cartels are buying directly from the FARC.”
For Full Story

Related Story:

Two Colombians Extradited To D.C. On Terrorism and Drug Charges (Justice Dept. Press Release)

Man Sentenced For Smuggling Sea Turtle Skins: He Made Boots For Bush And Ex-Mexican Prez

A Mexican man was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Colorado for illegally importing skins from sea turtles and other endangered animals. Turns out that he had some prominent customers.

white house photo

white house photo

By The Associated Press
DENVER-A man who made boots for President Bush and former Mexican President Vicente Fox has been sentenced to two years in prison for his part in smuggling endangered sea turtle skins and other exotic leathers from Mexico to the United States.
Martin Villegas Terrones of Leon, Mexico, was sentenced in Denver this week to two years in prison.
Terrones pleaded guilty in March to federal smuggling charges.
He is the sixth person to be sentenced in the case. Four others have been indicted but remain at large.
Federal prosecutors say Terrones made boots for Fox and Fox’s bodyguards, Cabinet members and friends. President Bush accepted a pair of Terrones’ ostrich-skin cowboy boots as a gift in 2001.
For Full Story

Read Indictment

Man Admits In Fed Court to Posing As A Naval Officer

An ex-Naval man went around posing as a rear admiral. Problem was, he wasn’t one.

By Christian Davenport and Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writers
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – He wore a short-sleeve Navy summer white uniform, crisp and pressed. Had the black and gold shoulder boards of a rear admiral and a chest full of ribbons and carried himself with the confidence such a high rank bestows. He said he was a veteran who had served all over the world, in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq.
Last year, at a ceremony in Falls Church to commemorate the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Day, Trung Huan Nguyen took the stage and addressed a crowd of about 100 Vietnamese Americans.
Although he certainly seemed like the real thing, there was something that wasn’t quite right about the man in white. No matter how perfect his uniform, or how plentiful his service and personal decoration ribbons, some attendees were suspicious. They checked him out. And yesterday, Nguyen pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to impersonating a Navy rear admiral.
For Full Story

FBI Looking At Detroit Star In Mortgage Scam

Detroit Pistons star guard Lindsey Hunter could end up in court soon — and not the basketball court. A suburban Detroit man alleges that the  hard-working guard was involved in a mortgage scam.

Lindsey Hunter/pistons photo

Lindsey Hunter/pistons photo

Paul Egan
The Detroit News
DETROIT — A Waterford Township man who alleges veteran Detroit Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter involved him in mortgage fraud says the FBI is now investigating forgery in connection with the removal of his name as a joint holder of a Hunter bank account.
Bruce McClellan said the FBI recently contacted him about bank documents on which his signature was forged and his name was spelled wrong. Michael J. Smith of Sterling Heights, McClellan’s attorney, confirmed what his client said.
McClellan said his signature was forged on documents that removed him as a joint holder of a Hunter account at the Bank of America, formerly LaSalle Bank.
For Full Story