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Tag: Detroit

20 FBI Agents Said Detroit Imam Was Warned to Show Hands

Luqman Ameen Abdullah

Luqman Ameen Abdullah

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 300-page police report released Friday stated that  20 FBI agents and three others in  law enforcement  said they heard agents warn Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah to show his hands or they’d send in a police dog, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The report backed the conclusion this week by the Michigan Attorney General, who found agents acted properly.

The imam was shot and killed by agents during a raid on a Deaborn warehouse involving stolen goods. Other law enforcement agents who mentioned teh warnings were from the U.S. Border Patrol, Oakland County Sheriff’s Department and ICE, the Free Press reported.

The paper reported that agents released the dog, which bit him. Abdullah fired three shots in the direction of the agents and the dog, which was killed. No agents were injured. Abdullah was killed after four FBI agents fired 20 times.

The police report said the FBI brought in 14 agents from the elite Quantico, Va. squad known as Hostage Rescue Team to help the Detroit FBI, and three of the four agents who shot Abdullah were from that unit, the Free Press reported.

To read more click here.

Defense Lawyers Accuse Govt. of Misconduct in Detroit Motorcycle Gang Convictions

detroit mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Defense attorneys were in federal court in downtown Detroit earlier this week alleging that the government engaged in misconduct and committed a number of errors to get convictions for all six Highwaymen Motorcycle Club members earlier this year, the Detroit Free press reported.

The Free Press reported that defense lawyers on Tuesday told U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds that the prosecution withheld evidence that could have helped their case, manufactured a bogus conspiracy theory “and paid one witness $25,000 for his testimony with the expectation that he would get additional bonuses if he helped secure a conviction.”

“We don’t think that the government should be paying witnesses bonuses,” one attorney Jim Thomas said, according to the Free Press.

Prosecutors denied any wrongdoing and said the convictions were legitimate, the Free Press reported.

To read more click here.

Former Detroit U.S. Atty and Justice Dept. Official James K. Robinson Dead at Age 66

James K. Robinson

James K. Robinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James K. Robinson, who became the Detroit U.S. Attorney in the late 1970s at age 34, and later became a high-ranking Justice Department official, died Friday at age 66, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

The Grand Rapids native died at his vacation home in Park City, Utah, the Grand Rapids Press reported. He had suffered from gastrointestinal cancer.

Up until the time of his death, he was a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in Washington, the paper reported.

Robinson was dean and a professor at Wayne State University School of Law from  1993 to 1998, the paper reported. He went on to serve as an assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division during the Clinton administration and later returned to private practice.

To read more click here.

Disgraced Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Pleads Poverty: Gets Fed Court Appointed Attorney

Appointed Atty. James Thomas/law firm photo

Appointed Atty. James Thomas/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Disgraced ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who lived the good life on the outside, is getting a federally court-appointed attorney after pleading poverty Tuesday during his arraignment on federal corruption charges in Detroit, the Detroit News reported.

The News reported that Kilpatrick, clad in a jail suit, said “that is correct” when U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald A. Scheer asked if he couldn’t afford to hire an attorney.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Federal Defenders Office made one of  Kilpatrick’s attorneys  James Thomas, the court-appointed attorneys. Thomas is a well-known defense lawyer who has appeared in many high profile cases in U.S. District Court in Detroit over the years.

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

Thomas, who was in court, told the judge Kilpatrick has no funds, the News reported.

Kilpatrick is currently serving a state prison term for violating probation and hiding assets that should have went to help pay $1 million in restitution to the city. He had served a jail term for lying on the stand during a whistleblower lawsuit in state court.

The latest charges in federal court include allegations that he spent money donated to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund on travel, yoga lessons and other personal expenses.

Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Set to Appear in Court on Fed Charges

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The drama and embarrassment in the Motown continues Tuesday when ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick — once dubbed the “Hip Hop Mayor” — steps into a downtown federal courtroom to face arraignment on 19 felony fraud and income tax counts, the Detroit News reports.

Kilpatrick is already in prison. He served 99 days in jail for perjury charges relating to a civil lawsuit and a text message scandal involving a top staff member he was having an affair with.

In May, he was sent back to jail for concealing assets that were supposed to go toward $1 million in restitution in the text message case.

The FBI continues to probe corruption in city hall — something there seems to be no shortage of. And the Detroit News reports Kilpatrick could end up getting tagged with more federal charges.

Kilpatrick had showed some promise when he became mayor. But many say his arrogance and his immaturity did him in.  Fair to say, the Hip Hop Mayor is no longer hip and no longer hopping… at least for now.

To read more click here.

Feds Indict Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on 19 Counts

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It was anticipated for many months, and on Wednesday federal prosecutors indicted imprisoned ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on 19-criminal counts stemming from his scheme to use the nonprofit Kilpatrick Civic Fund for personal benefit and campaign expenses.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Kilpatrick, who is serving prison time for state probation violation, devised a scheme starting in 1999 to bilk the fund that was used to pay friends and relatives and cash kickbacks for himself. It also covered expenses ranging from countersurveillance and anti-bugging equipment to yoga and golf lessons, golf clubs and summer camp for his children.

In all, his unreported income amounted to $640,000 between between 2003 and 2008, authorities said.

The indictment was another embarrassment for an impoverished city trying to reinvent itself while struggling to provide the basic services for its citizens. Kilpatrick, once a young, promising political figure dubbed the “Hip Hop Mayor”, quickly fell from the top of the political heap after he got caught lying in a whistleblower case involving the police department.

“It is important that public officials not escape prosecution just because they leave office,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in the statement announcing the indictment. “Public officials need to be accountable to deter them and others from cheating our citizens in the future.”

Detroit FBI Chief Andrew Arena said in a statement that the charges are part of a continuing investigation into “the corruption that has long plagued the City of Detroit.

Read Detroit Free Press Story

Will Spike TV Spike Reality Show “DEA”?

deashow2By Matt Castello
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — NBC weatherman Al Roker predicts the weather, but his production company, which produces  the reality TV show “DEA”,  has been reluctant to predict whether there will be a third season for the program featured on Spike TV.

By most accounts, the forecast for a third season looks doubtful.

The show, which helped boost the profile of the agency and interest from prospective recruits, last aired on March 31,  2009, more than a year ago.  Both seasons featured agents in gritty, high-crime cities; the first year in Detroit, the second in Newark.

Debra Fazio, a spokeswoman for Spike TV, told ticklethewire.com “no decision has been made yet about a 3rd season.” And Tom Chiodo, a spokesman for Al Roker Entertainment Inc., the producer of the show, echoed similar sentiments, saying he was uncertain as well.

The show, which  followed DEA agents and task force members around as they busted down doors, made arrests and gathered info from informants, played to mixed reviews inside and outside the agency. On the upside, it gave the DEA, which is too often overshadowed by the FBI,  a higher profile and helped boost recruiting.

Read more »

Detroit Fed Judge Fines Ex-Prosecutor $2,000 For Allegedly Trying to Intimidate Mother of Victim in Child Porn Case

Judge Friedman imposed sanction

Judge Friedman imposed sanction

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Detroit federal judge has fined a former assistant U.S. Attorney  $2,000 for making an “unwarranted and baseless request” in a child pornography case, the Detroit News reported.  The judge alleged that the ex-prosecutor, turned defense attorney, tried to intimidate the mother of the victim.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman last week imposed the sanction against ex-prosecutor John Freeman, ruling that he had no business asking that the prosecution file a formal motion seeking  permission for the victim’s mother to speak at the sentencing  for Craig Aleo.

Aleo, a former school official in  Walled Lake, a Detroit suburb, was sentenced to 60 years in April for producing child porn in which he victimized a 4-year-old girl, the News reported.

Friedman said in an opinion that attorney Freeman already knew the mother was likely to testify at sentencing and filed  the motion with the express purpose of trying to intimidate her. The judge said it was not necessary for prosecutors to formally file such a request.

The motion that caused the stir was filed by defense attorney Freeman on April 13.

Read more »