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News Story

Feds Digging In N.Y. For Mobsters

The FBI is digging for bodies linked to the mob wars in the 1990s. In 2006,  agents in Michigan dug up rural land outside of Detroit looking for James Hoffa, but came up empty handed.

BY Robert E. Kessler and Sophia Chang
Newsday
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -Federal agents were digging at two sites and investigating a third site in East Farmingdale that sources said could be burial grounds containing the bodies of at least three victims of the bloody wars in the 1990s for control of the Colombo organized crime family.
At one site, a cluster of FBI agents stood near the railroad tracks behind an Executive Boulevard parking lot as a small backhoe dug into the dirt, before a police officer told reporters to get off private property.
Less than a mile away a large bulldozer began digging away in a vacant lot at the corner of Carolyn Boulevard and Boening Plaza.
For Full Story
Also Read:
Bonanno Crime Family Leader Anthony Spero Dies In Prison (Newsday)

S.C. County Councilman Busted For Computer Crime

Down in South Carolina, a popular County Councilman finds himself facing criminal charges for accessing a government computer and planting a monitoring device.

Tony Trout/county photo

Tony Trout/county photo

By David Dykes and Tim Smith
Greenville News Staff Writers
GREENVILLE, S.C. — The FBI on Wednesday arrested Greenville County Councilman Tony Trout on charges that he accessed without authorization a computer belonging to County Administrator Joe Kernell, according to U.S. Attorney Walt Wilkins and court records.
Trout said he was arrested by a swarm of FBI agents during a meeting with his attorney at a local fast-food restaurant. He called the FBI “imbeciles.”
He was released on $25,000 bond after a hearing before U.S. Magistrate William M. Catoe at the federal courthouse in Greenville.

For Full Story

Read FBI Affidavit

FBI Blocks Agents From Airing Criticisms About CIA

Two FBI agents won’t be appearing on a tv documentary to vent criticisms about the CIA. The FBI won’t let them.

By Jeff Stein
Spy Talk

The FBI has blocked two of its veteran counterterrorism agents from going public with accusations that the CIA deliberately withheld crucial intelligence before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
FBI Special Agents Mark Rossini and Douglas Miller have asked for permission to appear in an upcoming public television documentary, scheduled to air in January, on pre-9/11 rivalries between the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.
The program is a spin-off from The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, by acclaimed investigative reporter James Bamford, due out in a matter of days.
For Full Story

DEA Busts Ex-NFL Bronco Star

Travis Henry/cbs4denver

cbs4denver photo

Former Denver Bronco star Travis Henry is facing more than a 15-yard penalty. Maybe more like 15 years.

By Kirk Mitchell
The Denver Post
DENVER — Former Broncos running back Travis Henry was arrested yesterday along with an accomplice for a series of large cocaine sales out of Centennial, according to federal authorities.
Charges were filed against Henry and James Mack this morning in U.S. District Court in Denver, according to a news release by Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge of the Rocky Mountain Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The drug sales involved more than five kilograms of cocaine, worth more than $100,000, according to an arrest warrant affidavit that referred to Henry as the “money guy” in an ongoing multi-state drug conspiracy.
Henry told one Billings, Mont., customer that he and his family were all “dead” if they didn’t come up with $40,000 worth of cocaine lost when their home was robbed.

For Full Story

Read Criminal Complaint

Read Arrest Warrant

Oregon Post Man Delivers More Than Mail

Mailmen know, rain, sleet or snow, they must deliver. But one Portland, Ore. mailman took the delivery vow a little too far. How far? Far enough to get the  DEA’s attention.

KGW-TV Online
PORTLAND, Ore. — A citizens complaint has led a pot-dealing postman from package delivery to prison time.
Ronald Berkan, a 48-year-old postman in Veronia, Ore., was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison, following his guilty plea last April on one charge of marijuana distribution to a person under 21 years old.
The delivery occurred on his mail route in the Cedar Mill area of Washington County. As part of the sentence, almost $3,000 of drug proceeds Berkan had collected was also forfeited.
The legal investigation began in 2006 when federal authorities received a citizens complaint that a uniformed postal carrier was offering marijuana for sale on his route.
Berkan was identified by the U.S.  Postal Service Office of the Inspector General. Drug Enforcement Administration officials subsequently joined in an investigation that lasted 11 months,according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Ex-Buddy Continues To Pound Away At Senator

Prosecutors continued to question an ex-friend of Sen. Ted Stevens on Wednesday, hoping to deliver a knockout punch that will put Stevens away.

Sen. Stevens/official photo

Sen. Stevens/official photo

By Matt Apuzzo and Tom Hays
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A wealthy oil pipeline contractor testified Wednesday that he didn’t charge Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens for renovating his home because he was told that Stevens’ requests for invoices were just a ruse.
The home improvement project is the centerpiece of the Justice Department’s corruption case against Stevens. Prosecutors say the longest-serving Senate Republican lied on Senate forms about receiving $250,000 in renovations and other gifts.
For Full Story
Also Wednesday the government filed a motion to introduce damaging emails to show  that Stevens was kept abreast of the renovation project.
Read Government’s Motion

Emails Hint At White House Links To U.S. Atty Firings

I.G. Glenn A. Fine/doj photo

I.G. Glenn A. Fine/doj photo

The investigation into the firings of U.S. Attorneys is far from over and the White House could be more involved than first suspected. The only problem is: the White House has stonewalled and impeded the probe. Ultimately, will there be justice in Justice?

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — In 18 months of searching, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine and Office of Professional Responsibility chief H. Marshall Jarrett have uncovered new e-mail messages hinting at heightened involvement of White House lawyers and political aides in the firings of nine federal prosecutors two years ago.
But they could not probe much deeper because key officials declined to be interviewed and a critical timeline drafted by the White House was so heavily redacted that it was “virtually worthless as an investigative tool,” the authorities said.

For Full Story

Read Full Report On Firings

Four Oregon Students Confess To Obama Incident

Sen. Obama/official photo

Sen. Obama/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
A Christian university in Oregon said yesterday that four students confessed to being responsible for a Sept. 23  incident on campus in which Sen. Barack Obama was hanged in effigy.
The Office of Student Life at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., identified the students late last week and completed disciplinary hearings, which resulted in long-term suspensions and community service, the university said in a press release posted on its website.
“Regardless of the students’ intent, the image of a black man hung from a tree is one of the most hurtful symbols of racism in American history,” Brad Lau, vice president of student life , said in the release. “Displays such as this have no place on a campus that is dedicated to living out the teachings of Jesus.”
The FBI opened up a preliminary investigation last week to determine if any federal civil rights laws were violated.
Read University Press Release
Read University President’s Remarks The Day After The Incident