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Tag: Detroit

Rep. Conyer’s Wife Can’t Serve Remaining Prison Term at Home, Judge Rules

Monica Conyers/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Monica Conyers, the divisive ex-Detroit City Council member, and the wife of Rep. John Conyers, isn’t coming home any time soon.

The Detroit News reports that U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn of Detroit denied her request to serve the remainder of her 37-month prison sentence at home. She pleaded guilty in June 2009 to taking at least $6,000 in bribes for her vote on a city sludge hauling contract.

Cohn, who sentenced her last year, wrote in a court order filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit that he lacked jurisdiction to modify her sentence or credit her with time spent free on bond, the Detroit News reported.

“As to defendant’s argument that the Court misapplied the sentencing guidelines, her pending appeal has divested the court of jurisdiction to reconsider its judgment,” Cohn wrote, according to the News.

Judge Avern Cohn/wsu photo

The News reported that the 46-year-old, who is in a West Virginia federal prison, argued that Cohn “failed to consider her age, education, work skills, employment record, family ties and ‘likihood (sic)’she would commit another crime. Plus, her son’s baby sitter is returning to school soon.”

Detroit Fed Judge Sets August Plea Deadline for Underwear Bomber

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marshals photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The man dubbed the Underwear Bomber has until Aug. 19 to hammer out a plea deal, the Associated reported. Trial is set for October.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried blowing up an Amsterdam to Detroit bound Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas day in 2009, appeared in U.S. District Court on Thursday in downtown Detroit.

Prosecutors had asked for the plea deadline for Abdulmutallab, who is representing himself, AP reported.

Knowledgeable sources have privately said that Abdumutallab, should he choose to knock out a plea, won’t have much bargaining power since he was caught in the act in front of a number of witnesses.

They say he might be able to negotiate for certain conditions in prison, but isn’t likely to get much more.

Why the Underwear Bomber Picked Detroit

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marshals photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Why Detroit?

The Associated Press reports that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, dubbed the “underwear bomber”, thought about blowing up a plane above Houston or Chicago on Christmas day in 2009, but the ticket to Detroit was cheaper.

The AP reported that he considered Houston, where he had gone to school. Instead, he chose a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Northwest Airlines. The bomb never detonated, and he now faces trial in Detroit.

Detroiters, who are often sensitive about the city’s image, won’t be flattered by this latest revelation.

Fed Agents Go After Suspected Mexican Cartel Members in U.S. in Response to Murder of ICE Agent

ICE Agent Jaime Zapata killed in Mexico/ice photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents have been conducting raids in U.S. cities and targeting Mexican cartel members in response to last week’s murder of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico, the Associated Press reported. Another ICE agent Victor Avila Jr. was shot and wounded.

“We are taking a stand and we are sending a message back to the cartels that we will not tolerate the murder of a U.S. agent, or any U.S. official,” Carl Pike, assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special operations division said, according to AP.

The roundup, which began Wednesday and is expected to go through Friday, has targeted cities including Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver, Detroit, San Antonio, San Diego, Chicago and New Jersey, AP reported.

AP reported agents seized more than $4.5 million in cash and nearly 20 guns, arrested more than 100 people and confiscated about 23 pounds of methamphetamine, 107 kilos of cocaine, 5 pounds of heroin and 300 pounds of marijuana at more than 150 different locations.

Sen. Carl Levin Wants to Address Vulnerable Canadian-U.S. Border Security Issues

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Most of nation’s border-anxiety seems to be focused on Mexico. But in northern states like Michigan, it’s a different story.

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, responding to a Government Accountability Office report pointing to potential threats from smugglers and terrorists, called for meetings to improve security at the Detroit-Windsor border, MLive.com reported.

The website reported that the report released Tuesday stated that the Border patrol had reached an acceptable level of security on 32 of about 4,000 miles of U.S.-Canadian border.

“I have serious concerns that lack of coordination between Immigration and Customs Enforcement Personnel and Border Patrol personnel is hindering border security in Detroit,” Levin (D-Detroit) said a statement, calling on representatives for both agencies to meet with him in Detroit within two weeks, the website reported.

“Any failure to coordinate efforts between agencies that weakens security on the northern border is totally unacceptable.”

To read more click here.

Read GAO Report

Ex-Leader of Detroit Highwaymen Motorcycle Club Gets 37 Years

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The former head of the Detroit Highwaymen Motorcycle club got hit with a 37 year prison sentence on Monday in U.S. District Court in downtown Detroit.

Aref “Scarface” Nagi, 46, was convicted last year on a variety of charges, including conspiracy to violate federal racketeering laws and conspiracy to commit murder, along with controlled substance, stolen property, and firearm violations, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said in a press release.

Nagi was found guilty along with Leonard “Dad” Moore, 61, Joseph “Little Joe” Whiting, 56, Anthony “Mad Anthony” Clark, 52, Michael “Cocoa” Cicchetti, 55, and Gary “Junior” Ball Jr., 44. Nagi is the first of the defendants to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds.

“Dismantling violent gangs is a continuing priority for the FBI,” said Andrew G. Arena, head of the Detroit FBI.

Rep. Mike Rogers — Ex-FBI Agent — Criticizes Dir. Robert Mueller For Going to Az

Rep. Mike Rogers/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mi.), a former FBI agent, criticized the decision by President Obama to dispatch FBI director Robert S. Mueller to Arizona after the mass shooting on Saturday, according to the radio station WHMI in Livingston County, Mi., outside Detroit.

“He didn’t need to be in Arizona to be updated frequently and this is a very serious matter and I just hope…We don’t to overreact to the full implementation for successful investigation,” Rogers told WHMI.

“They are fully capable of doing it without the Director himself being on the ground in Arizona,” said Rogers who was an FBI agent in Chicago from 1988-1994 where he investigated public corruption.

Rogers also told the station it makes his “blood boil” when pundits try to implicate Sarah Palin in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Az) because of her website which included bulls eye on lawmakers who supported the Obama healthcare.

Read ticklethewire.com Column Praising Mueller’s Trip to Az

Detroit Fed Prosecutor Doesn’t Want Names in Escort Service “Black Book” Released

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A good old fashion “black book” prostitution scandal is brewing in U.S. District Court in downtown Detroit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Blackwell has filed papers urging the court to deny a Florida defense attorney access to tens of thousands of customers’ names on a list of a Miami escort service that wound up getting busted in Detroit last summer, the Detroit Free Press reports. Customers paid up to $500 an hour.

The list also includes dates, phone numbers and sexual preferences, the Free Press reported.

The paper reported that the attorney wants the names to interview and check backgrounds of customers to prepare for the case. The prosecution is not buying that.

“In fact, it is quite conceivable that the sole purpose of this request is not to adequately prepare for trial, but only to intimidate, threaten or harass potential witnesses for the government … and that he is seeking to exploit this matter in the media with such aim,” the prosecutor wrote, according to the Free Press.

To read more click here.