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Tag: obstruction of justice

Philadelphia Cop Accused of Tipping Off Drug Trafficker

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A 23-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department is accused of leaking information about a federal investigation into drug trafficking organizations, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

An unsealed indictment Wednesday accuses Rafael Cordero, 51, of the police department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, of tipping off his half-brother, David Garcia, about a search warrant and a surveillance camera on a telephone pole.

Cordero also is accused of hiding drug money and evidence against Garcia, according to the Daily News.

Cordero has been charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal agents.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told the Daily News that Cordero will be suspended for 30 days with the intent to terminate.

EPA Investigator Pleads to Lying About Affair With FBI Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
A former special agent with the Environmental Protection Agency pleaded guilty Monday to lying in a civil case about having an affair with an FBI agent he was working with.

Keith Phillips, 61, of Kent, Texas, who worked in the EPA Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in Dallas, pleaded guilty in federal court in Louisiana to lying under oath and obstructing justice, the Justice Department said. The charges stemmed from his sworn testimony in a pending lawsuit in the Western District of Louisiana.

Authorities stated that Phillips and a female FBI agent from September 1996 to Dec. 14, 1999 investigated a criminal case that resulted in the indictment of Hubert Vidrine Jr. and several others.

The criminal charges against Vidrine were ultimately dismissed, and Vidrine turned around and filed a lawsuit against the federal government for malicious prosecution, authorities said.

Authorities said that during a deposition taken in Vidrine’s civil suit, agent Phillips “allegedly falsely testified that he did not have an affair with the FBI special agent, when, in fact, he did. The indictment alleges that it was material to the civil lawsuit to determine any potential motives of the criminal investigators in investigating and prosecuting the charges against Vidrine, and that Phillips committed perjury when he testified falsely about the affair and obstructed justice when he provided this false testimony.”

The indictment also alleges that he then contacted the FBI agent and tried to convince her not to confess to the affair.

Fed Prosecutors Drop Remaining Charges Against Barry Bonds

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Baseball slugger Barry Bonds got a little good news even though he faces sentencing Dec. 16 for an obstruction of justice conviction in San Francisco.

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday dropped the remaining three charges of making false statement, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The jury had deadlocked on those charges in April, opening the door for the prosecution to consider a retrial.

The Times reported that prosecutors dropped the charges days after a judge upheld the obstruction of justice conviction.

 

Breaking News: Baseball Slugger Barry Bonds Convicted of Obstruction of Justice: Jury Deadlocks on Other 3 Counts

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal jury in San Francisco convicted baseball legend Barry Bonds on Wednesday afternoon of one count of obstruction of justice, MSNBC reported.

The jury deadlocked on the other  three counts of perjury involving allegations that  he lied to a grand jury in 2003 about his use of steroids and human growth hormones, the station reported.

MSNBC reported that Bonds sat stone-faced while the verdict was read.

Column: Barry Bonds Fed Trial About “America’s Discomfort With Prominent, Powerful, Wealthy Black Men”

Editors Note: The jury in the Bond’s case begins its fourth day of deliberations on Wednesday. He faces charges of making false statements to a grand jury about steroid use and obstruction of justice.

By WILLIAM C. RHODEN
The New York Times

The trial of Barry Bonds has always been more than a simple case of pursuing a bad guy and proving that he lied. The chase and the subsequent trial have been as much about a baseball era driven by vanity and greed, and fueled by performance-enhancing drugs.

But the eight-year pursuit of Bonds also reflects America’s discomfort with prominent, powerful, wealthy black men.

That might seem like an incredible statement to make in a nation that elected Barack Obama as its first black president. But Obama, who has had his citizenship questioned and has been heckled by a member of Congress, has a place among men including Jack Johnson, Paul Robeson, Muhammad Ali and Bonds.

In good conscience one could never put Bonds on par with Ali or Robeson and certainly not with the president of the United States.

Bonds’s historical antecedent is Jack Johnson, who became the first black heavyweight champion in 1908.

Johnson lived a fast, unapologetic lifestyle. He incensed some blacks and enraged many whites by openly keeping company exclusively with white prostitutes and marrying at least one.

To read more click here.

Ex-FBI Agent Responds to Column

Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office. He writes a column for ticklethewire.com. Stejskal sent this response to William Rhoden and shared it with ticklethewire.com. The response below by Alan Gershel was also sent to Rhoden and shared with ticklethewire.com.

The author (right) Greg Stejskal and University of Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

By Greg Stejskal

I generally agree with your premise about the prosecution of Barry Bonds as a misuse of money, but I think it’s a bit of a stretch to compare the Bonds prosecution to that of Jack Johnson.

If Bonds did lie to the Grand Jury, it is a felony and arguably the Grand Jury process would not be viable if witnesses were allowed to lie under oath with impunity.

There is precedent for such prosecutions of perjury in similar circumstances. In the Michigan Fab 5 case, only Chris Webber, of all the University of Michigan players who testified, lied about having received money from Eddie Martin. Those that admitted having received the money were not prosecuted. Webber was prosecuted for perjury and he ultimately pleaded to a felony.

In the FBI steroid case (Equine) I was involved in, we did not pursue users no matter whether they were high-profile athletes. We focused only on the dealers, but at the culmination of the case in 1994, I warned MLB (Major League Baseball) about the problem and was ignored.

I’ve often wondered if we shouldn’t have prosecuted some of the athletes. In the long run it might have avoided some of these problems.

I wrote a piece about why Roger Clemens should be prosecuted. Despite what you say about that prosecution being forced on the Department of Justice, I think the arguments I make apply to both cases.   (Here’s a column I wrote on the steroid problem and Clemens)

Ex-Federal Prosecutor Alan Gershel Also Responds

Alan Gershel worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for nearly 30 years, and was chief of the Criminal Division from 1989 to 2008. He is currently a full-time professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, Mi.

Alan Gershel/cooley law school photo

By Alan Gershel

Dear Mr. Rhoden: as a former federal prosecutor, I read your article regarding the prosecution of Barry Bonds with great interest. You have stated that Barry Bonds was prosecuted for his “unlikability” and that the government’s effort”was a colossal misuse of time and money…”

You also seem to suggest that protecting a grand jury investigation is an “altruistic goal” not worth pursuing. I respectfully disagree. The prosecution of Barry Bonds is eminently justifiable.

A grand jury investigation is a search for the truth. Its success depends almost entirely on witnesses, who have been placed under oath and who are advised of the consequences should they fail to do so, telling the

truth. Perjurious testimony is an anathema to a search for the truth.

I am assuming we can agree that the nature and scope of the government’s investigation was a serious and legitimate one. If you do concur, then witnesses who may have information regarding the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball are legitimate witnesses. Once called and placed under oath, they cannot intentionally lie with impunity.This is what the prosecution is about.

It is not about the personality or race of Mr. Bonds. To have ignored his alleged false testimony, would have been giving Mr. Bonds favorable treatment because of his celebrity or the government’s fear of controversy. An unacceptable result, assuming there was sufficient evidence to prosecute.

Finally, an important deterrent message flows from a case of this nature that hopefully will have an impact on future investigations.

It’s Game Time for Barry Bonds; Fed Trial in San Francisco Begins

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s game time for the baseball legend Barry Bonds.

Jury selection begins Monday in federal court in San Francisco for the home run slugger who is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying when he said he didn’t take steroids.

Bonds, 46, is not likely to face prison time even if convicted, according to the web site California Watch. The site reported that two defendants convicted of lying about steroids were sentenced to home confinement by Bond’s current judge, Susan Illston.

Ex-Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent says an acquittal would greatly enhance Bond’s chances of making it into the Hall of Fame, according to California Watch.  A conviction would set him back in his bid at least 30 years, Vincent said.

S.F. U.S. Attorney’s Office Gets Bad News in Barry Bonds Case

Barry Bonds/facebook
Barry Bonds/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Home run slugger Barry Bonds just keeps knocking them out of the park in the legal arena.

On Friday, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a federal judge’s ruling that bars three steroid tests from being introduced into his perjury case, a ruling that will weaken the federal government’s case, the San Franciso Chronicle reported. And it could potentially spell the end to the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco.

Bonds, 45, had told a federal grand jury in 2003 he had never knowingly taken performance enhancing drugs. He was indicted in 2008 for perjury and obstruction of justice.

The court, in a 2-1 ruling,  barred the evidence because Bond’s trainer Greg Anderson, who had arranged the tests, refused to testify against Bonds, resulting in no valid evidence that Bond was the source of samples for the tests,  the San Francisco Chronicle wrote.

The prosecution had delayed the case pending the ruling on the evidence.

Dennis Riordan, a lawyer for Bonds, told the Chronicle that the delay in trial was a concession by the prosecution that it “could not proceed against Mr. Bonds in a jury trial without the evidence that’s now been excluded.”

“We hope that this puts the entire prosecution to rest,” Riordan said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office does have other evidence in the case, the Chronicle reported. It said the office declined comment on the ruling.

To read more click here.

Read Court Opinion

Judge in Miss. Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice; Lied to FBI Agents

Bobby DeLaughter was a hero and did great things as a prosecutor. Will this erase his legacy?

Judge Bobby DeLaughter/gov photo

Judge Bobby DeLaughter/gov photo

By Jerry Mitchell
Jackson Clarion Ledger
ABERDEEN, Miss. – He wore the suit of an acclaimed prosecutor before donning the robe of a well-respected judge. Now Bobby DeLaughter expects to wear the uniform of a prison inmate.

Hours after resigning his $104,000-a-year job as Hinds County circuit judge, DeLaughter, 55, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. Under his plea agreement, he would serve 18 months in prison and wouldn’t have to cooperate with federal authorities in their continuing investigation. No date has been set for sentencing.

Under the agreement, DeLaughter’s remaining four counts of mail fraud conspiracy and involvement in a bribery scheme would be dismissed.

But if U.S. District Judge Glen Davidson rejects the plea deal, DeLaughter can withdraw his guilty plea and go on trial. His trial had been set for Aug. 17.

For Full Story

Read Plea Agreement