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June 2022


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Tag: acquitted

Occupiers of Oregon Wildlife Refuge Found Not Guilty in Jury Trial

Burns, Oregon, where the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is located.

Burns, Oregon, where the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is located.

By Steve Neavling

The trial involving seven people who participated in the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon ended Thursday with each defendant found not guilty of federal conspiracy charges.

Judge Anna Brown announced that the defendants – the standoff’s leader, Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan and five others – were not guilty of conspiracy to impede federal officers and not guilty of possession of firearms in a federal facility, the Washington Post reports. 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, expressed disappointment over the jury’s decision.

“The occupation of the Malheur Refuge by outsiders did not reflect the Oregon way of respectfully working together to resolve differences,” Brown said in a statement Thursday.

Defendant Shawna Cox said the acquittal was a victory for the Constitution.

“We have to be vigilant people,” she told reporters. “Wake up, America, and help us restore the Constitution. Don’t sleep with your head in the sand.”

Boetig, Expert in Cyber Threats, Named Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Buffalo

SAC Boetig

Steve Neavling 

An expert on cyber threats will serve as Special Agent in Charge of the FBI office in Buffalo, reports Buffalo News.

Brian P. Boetig, former director of the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, was named Tuesday as the new head of the Buffalo office.

Boetig’s career with the FBI began in 1998. He worked as an instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and as an FBI Counterterrorism Division Liaison Officer to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, Buffalo News wrote.

Before joining the FBI, Boetig served as a police officer in Auburn, Alabama.

Boetig replaced Christopher Piehota, who departed in April to take the position of director of the Terrorist Screening Center in Washington D.C.

Breaking News: D.C. Fed Jury Acquits Roger Clemens For a Second Time

Roger Clemens/file photo

By Allan Lengel

On its second try, federal prosecutors failed once again to convict ex-baseball star Roger Clemens of lying to Congress.

CNN reported that a federal jury acquitted Clemens on Monday on all six counts.


Column: John Edwards Case Just Didn’t Feel Right


Allan Lengel

 By Allan Lengel

Some federal cases are too complicated for jurors. Some may be borderline illegal. And some may end up being a waste of taxpayer money.

The trial against ex-presidential hopeful John Edwards was probably all of the above.  A jury on Thursday acquitted him on one count and deadlocked on five others in a scandal that involved using nearly $1 million  — in what should have been declared as campaign funds — to help hide an extra-marital affair during the 2008 campaign.

It had a lot of gossip appeal, which made for good press, but in the end it seemed to lack the appropriate outrage quotient necessary to get all the jurors to jump into the guilty pool.

Who’s the loser.

The list is long.

For one, Edwards paid some serious bucks for a top-flight legal team.

Additionally, his reputation, which was already pretty poor, got tarnished even more. If you had any doubts that he was a sleaze, the trial helped put those to rest.

And he had to bear responsibility watching his family suffer through the trial.

The Justice Department once again looks bad. Granted, federal prosecutors shouldn’t fear losing. They should just worry about standing on solid ground. Some how, this one didn’t ever feel right to me.

The feds should have gone after some hefty civil fines. Edwards has lots of money. He would have gladly paid to make it go away. Maybe the money could have been put to good use.

And then there’s the former U.S. Attorney George Holding, who stuck around in his post to make sure that Edwards was indicted. He’s running for Congress and is expected to win.

But there’s talk of him jumping into the Senate race in North Carolina in 2014. A conviction of Edwards could only have bolstered his political capital. Now, sorry George, no added points for you.

So at this point, the question is: Should the feds go for a retrial?

I say absolutely not. In a case like this, one bite of the apple is enough. It’s not like the Rod Blagojevich case, which was certainly worth going after a second time after Blago was convicted on only 1 of 24 counts. The feds nailed him the second time.

This one is not worth going after again. Was Edwards a sneak? Yes. Is he a sleaze? Yes.

As the Washington Post noted:

“The mixed result in a trial that laid bare Edwards’s sexual indiscretions and serial deceptions came after nine days of jury deliberations.”

There are bigger crimes out there. And he’s paid  for his digressions. Let’s move on, and let’s forget we knew a Presidential candidate named John Edwards.

He is not worthy.


Cleveland DEA Agent Acquitted on All 18 Counts Including Perjury and Obstruction of Justice

By Allan Lengel

Cleveland DEA Agent Lee Lucas, accused of perjury, obstruction of justice and violating civil rights in a case that involved framing people in a sting,  was acquitted by a federal jury Friday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

The paper reported that DEA agent Lee Lucas broke into tears Friday after the jury cleared him of  all 18 counts stemming from a 2005 investigation.

“The truth finally came out after all those years,” said Lucas, 41, as he walked from the courtroom, the Plain Dealer reported.

The charges against Lucas stemmed from a 2005 drug investigation that resulted in about two dozen indictments, the paper reported.

Nearly all the charges were dropped after a key informant  admitted framing people “by staging phone calls and purposely identifying the wrong people as drug sellers,” the paper reported.

“Prosecutors accused Lucas of lying in written reports and in court to corroborate” the informant’s testimony, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

Jury Acquits Ex-Puerto Rico Gov. Vila on Money Laundering and Lying to the FBI

Ex-Gov Vila

Ex-Gov Vila

This is a big loss for the U.S. Attorney’s office. The ex-governor was charged in an election, which many say contributed to his loss. Now he’s turned out to be the victor. Go figure.

By The Associated Press
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A jury found Puerto Rico’s former governor not guilty Friday on all nine counts including conspiracy, money laundering and lying to the FBI, concluding his monthlong corruption trial.

Anibal Acevedo Vila, who could have faced 20 years in prison if convicted, was the first governor to be charged with a crime since the island became a semiautonomous U.S. commonwealth in 1952.

Acevedo made the sign of the cross as he heard the verdict and began to cry, as did former adviser Luisa Inclan, who was also cleared of similar charges.

For Full Story

“America’s Sheriff” Acquitted in Calif. On All But One Fed Charge

America’s Sheriff — make that ex-sheriff —  must really believe in America after this verdict. He was acquitted on everything but one count of witness tampering.

The Orange County Register
SANTA ANA – An Orange County jury today acquitted ex-Sheriff Mike Carona of conspiracy, rejecting the government’s claim that he participated in a six-year scheme to illegally win office and use his position to enrich himself and his inner circle.
Carona sobbed and laid his head on a table as a court clerk read the verdict: not guilty of conspiracy, not guilty of mail fraud, not guilty of one count of witness tampering. Guilty on a second count of witness tampering.
“What you are watching is an absolute miracle,” Carona said as he hugged friends and family members. “If you don’t believe in God, now you should.”
For Full Story