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Tag: Detroit

Ex-Detroit Fed Prosecutor Convertino Stepped into New Controversy With Old Colleagues: Then Case Suddenly Ends

Ex-Prosecutor Richard Convertino

Ex-Prosecutor Richard Convertino

UPDATE: (Fri. May 21) — The battle between  Richard Convertino and prosecutors came to an abrupt halt Thursday when Convertino’s client, ex-state Rep. Mary Waters pleaded guilty   in the bribery case along with her co-defendant Sam Riddle. Waters, who pleaded to a misdemeanor, is expected to get probation and Riddle could get up to 37 months in prions, according to the Detroit News.
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Richard Convertino, the controversial former Detroit federal prosecutor is in the middle of a controversy once again with former colleagues at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

This time it’s over wiretaps.

Federal prosecutors in a court motion claim that Convertino, who is now a defense attorney, breached a court secrecy order and disclosed government informants when he filed a motion to suppress evidence from wiretaps in a bribery case against his client, ex-state Rep. Mary Waters, according to the Detroit News. Convertino told the paper he has done nothing improper.

Convertino has a history with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Known as a hard-charging prosecutor,  he successfully prosecuted two men on terrorism related charges in 2003. A third co-defendant was only convicted on fraud charges and a fourth was acquitted.  The men had been arrested shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.

Then the case unraveled.

Read more »

Fed Court Seldom Gets Out of Hand: Monday Was an Exception in Detroit

detroit mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Things seldom get out of hand in federal court. Sometimes a defense attorney or prosecutor asks a witness an objectionable question that stirs a round of passionate arguments. Sometimes a judge loudly scolds. or even screams at an attorney.

But Monday,  the Detroit News  reported that jurors in the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club racketeering trial in downtown Detroit  “got a shock this morning when a woman in the audience stood up and accused a government witness of murdering her son.”

The woman pointed to the witnesses on the stand, Daniel Sanchez, a former vice-president of the Detroit Highwaymen Motorcycle Gang, and shouted “He murdered my son,” according to the News.

The woman was referring to an unsolved 1999 killing, the News reported.

U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds excused jurors and the woman explained that she had heard from a defendant in the case, who is not on trial, that the man she says murdered her son was to be testifying.

The jury was subsequently called back in the courtroom and told to ignore the outburst, the News reported. It was unclear what if anything was done to the woman.

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4 Indicted in Connection With Theft of $3 Million From Detroit Schools

“Make Me Wanna Holler, Throw Up Both My Hands” — Marvin Gaye, Inner City Blues, 1971marvin_gaye

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

If Marvin Gaye were still alive, the latest news out of Detroit would make him wanna holler. Really holler.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office on Wednesday unsealed an indictment charging two former officials in Detroit Public Schools’ risk management department and two vendors with “converting more than $3 million” of school funds to themselves, family and friends. Some of the money was spent on  lavish parties and jewelry.

The news comes at a time the beleaguered school district faces roughly a $300 million deficit and the city in general is struggling to maintain everyday services.

The eight-count indictment alleges bribery, fraud, extortion and money laundering and names Stephen Hill, 58, of Detroit, former executive director of the risk management office and Christina Polk-Osumah, 59, former risk management finance manager along with Sherry Washington, 53, and her sister, Gwendolyn Washington, 66, both of Detroit, who are partners in Associates for Learning, a vendor hired to administer a health awareness program for the district.

Read more »

Gordon Snow To Head FBI’s Cyber Security Division

Gordon Snow/ fbi photo
Gordon Snow/ fbi photo
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Gordon M. Snow, a Detroit native, gets a bump up, going from deputy assistant director of the agency’s Cyber Division to assistant director of the division, which protects U.S. from cyber attacks and high tech crimes.

“The FBI considers the cyber threat against our nation to be one of the greatest concerns of the 21st century,” FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said in a statement. “Protecting the United States against cyber crimes is one of the FBI’s highest priorities and, in fact, is the FBI’s highest criminal priority. Gordon’s broad range of investigative and leadership experience will serve the Cyber Division well as they carry out this mission.”

Snow started as an agent in 1992 Huntsville, Ala., where he investigated violent crime, drug, civil rights, public corruption, and white-collar crime.

In April 1996, he jointed the Critical Incident Response Group as a member of the Hostage Rescue Team. His assignments included “assessment, protection, and investigative support missions after the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, and the embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya.,” the FBI said.

Read more »

Pulitzer Prize Winners Who Brought Down Detroit Mayor Publish Book of His Famous and Infamous Quotes

Kwame-Sutra
By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

When former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is the target of an FBI bribery investigation, was re-elected in 2005 in a miraculous comeback, he told his followers, “Some y’all just crazy.”

When he came to visit the Detroit Free Press years before his text-message scandal, he said to city hall reporter M.L. Elrick, “Boy, I’d really like to hit you.”

Well, Elrick, along with fellow reporter Jim Schaefer, ended up delivering the knockout punch to Kilpatrick. They got hold of thousands of his text messages on his pager — some worthy of Hustler magazine — that he had sent to his chief of staff and lover, Christine Beatty. The rest is history — including a Pulitzer Prize for Elrick and Schaefer and a book of Kilpatrick’s quotes that’s selling well enough to spark talk about a sequel.

The messages showed Kilpatrick had perjured himself in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by two ex-cops.

Tor read full story click here.

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Defends Handling of Christmas Day Bombing Incident in Detroit

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi stock photo

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi stock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III on Wednesday found himself defending the handling of the Christmas day bombing attempt in Detroit — this time before a Congressional committee.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., told Mueller he would have preferred that a team of interrogation experts had been brought to Detroit to question Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab instead of the local FBI, according to the Associated Press.

“They were not the best people that we had in the nation at that time to interrogate the Christmas Day bomber,” Wolf said, according to AP.

But Mueller, who appeared before a House Appropriations subcommittee,  defended the the way things were handled, saying the FBI could have lost valuable information while waiting for the out of town interrogators to arrive, AP reported. He added that Abdulmutallab is continuing to cooperate with authorities.

“One has to make decisions relatively quickly in order to maximize the opportunity to get that intelligence,” Mueller said.

Read Mueller’s Statement before the House Appropriations Subcommittee

Detroit FBI Raids Toyota Auto Suppliers

Underwear Bomber Claimed There was a Second Bomb on Plane

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The badly burned underwear bomber told authorities as he was led away on Christmas Day that there was a second bomb aboard the Northwest plane that have arrived from Amsterdam, when in fact there was not, the Associated Press reported.

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab made incriminating statements to Customs officials on the way to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, and then to the FBI during about 50 minutes of questioning at the hospital, AP reported.  The FBI did not give him his Miranda Rights during that time, the AP reported.

It was during that time he admitted having been trained and instructed by al Qaeda in Yemen, the AP reported. The news agency said law enforcement investigators do not have to read the Miranda Rights to a suspect if they are trying to end a pending public threat to the public.

The FBI interview ended when the suspect was given medication.

“He would not be questioned again for more than five hours,” AP reported. ” By that point, officials said, FBI bosses in Washington had decided a new interrogation team was needed. They made that move in case the lack of a Miranda warning or the suspect’s medical condition at the time of the earlier conversations posed legal problems later on for prosecutors.”

The handling of the suspect has become a flash point of debate. Some Congressional members have argued that he should have been treated as an enemy combatant. They say he stopped talking once he was given a public federal defender.

To read more click here.

Meanwhile, NPR reports that British and U.S. intelligence authorities have linked Abdulmutallab to two men accused of being part of  terrorist plots in the United Kingdom.

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