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Tag: prison

Disgraced Ex-FBI Agent John Connolly Wants Released from Jail Because of Coronavirus

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Agent John Connolly, who is serving a 40-year prison sentence for assisting notorious gangster “Whitey” Bulger, is asking to be freed from prison because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 79-year-old “suffers from multiple severe medical conditions, poses no threat to the public safety, and seeks release to protect him from contracting the novel coronavirus,” his attorneys wrote to a Florida judge this week, The Miami Herald reports.

His lawyers say Connolly would live with his brother in Florida and serve the remainder of his sentence on home confinement.

While working for the FBI’s Boston Field Office in the 1970s, Connolly recruited Bulger as an informant. Connolly was convicted of second-degree murder for participating in a plot to kill a Florida businessman in 1982 at the urging of Bulger.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office does not want Connolly to be released.

“He deserves to remain behind bars,” State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle told The Miami Herald. “He was an FBI agent who used his badge to give information that led to the death of an informant. It’s reprehensible.”

The former agent is asking that he be allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence on home confinement.

Michel Cohen to Be Released Early from Prison Over Coronavirus Fears

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Trump.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former longtime attorney and self-described fixer, will be released from prison early over concerns that the coronavirus will continue to sweep through jails.

Cohen will serve the remainder of his three-year sentence in home confinement, his attorney Roger Bennett told reporters.

Cohen is expected to be released on May 1 after he completes a two-week quarantine at the prison.

Cohen was sentenced in December 2018 after pleading guilty to nine federal charges, including making secret payments to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. The charges also included lying to congress about his involvement with a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow and failing to report millions of dollars in income.

His initial release date was November 2021.

“Pursuant to the First Step Act, different forms of compassionate relief can be granted,” Adler told ABC News. “My client’s application was granted.”

Bernie Madoff is Dying and Wants Out of Prison, Court Filing Says

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fraudster Bernie Madoff, who became the poster boy of  all that is evil in the investment world, wants out of prison early because he’s dying.

In a court filing, Madoff, 81, says he has less than 18 months to live due to kidney disease, the New York Times reports.

In 2009, he admitted  running a Ponzi scheme that financially ruined individuals and organizations, including non-profits. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

“Madoff does not dispute the severity of his crimes, nor does he seek to minimize the suffering of his victims,” his lawyer, Brandon Sample, wrote in the court filing. “Madoff humbly asks this court for a modicum of compassion.”

Madoff is housed at federal medical center at the prison in Butner, N.C.

 

Former CBP Official Sentenced to 31 Months in Prison for Illegally Selling Guns

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former CBP watch commander who operated an illegal gun-selling business and committed other crimes while serving in law enforcement was sentenced Monday to 31 months in prison.

Wei Xu, 58, pleaded guilty in July to four felonies, including unlawfully dealing in firearms, possessing unregistered firearms, lying to a federal agency, and tax evasion, NBC News reports.

Prosecutors said Xu exploited his position as a law enforcement officer to buy and sell off-roster handguns. He also admitted to selling nearly 100 guns over two decades without a federal license, as required by law.

“Mr. Xu betrayed his oath to uphold the laws of the United States solely to put more money in his pocket,” Nick Hanna, the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, said in a statement.

Xu’s attorney, Mark J. Werksman, said described the sentence as fair and said his CBP service convinced a judge to reduce his prison time by a year.

Xu began working with CBP in 2004 and has been on administrative leave from his position at the Long Beach Seaport in California. He likely will be fired, Werksman said.

FBI Investigating Whether ‘Criminal Enterprise’ Played Role in Epstein’s Death

Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer testifying before Congress.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether Jeffrey Epstein’s prison cell death was the result of a “criminal enterprise.”

In testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer admitted investigators are looking into whether anyone other than Epstein was involved in the death, CNBC reports.

But Sawyer also testified that there’s “no indication” that the Aug. 10 death “was anything other than a suicide.”

The testimony came on the same day that two jail guards assigned to watch Epstein were criminal charged with falsifying records to hide the fact that they failed to conduct mandatory safety checks on Epstein on the night of his death.

The FBI has not commented on the investigation.

“I have received no information from the FBI investigation yet,” Sawyer said.

Federal Authorities Worried El Chapo May Try to Break Out of U.S. Prison

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are worried convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman may be planning another jail escape.

It wouldn’t be a first. Guzman, who is lodged at a federal correctional facility in New York after being convicted on 10 counts of drug trafficking and conspiracy to murder, escaped two Mexican prisons in the past.

Those fears have prompted prison officials to deny requests from El Chapo’s lawyers to prove at least two hours of outdoor recreation every week for the former ringleader of the Sinaloa Cartel, as well as access to other accommodations like earplugs and access to the commissary.

“Violate the 8th Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment as well as the fundamental norms of human decency,” his lawyers wrote to a judge in recent weeks, ABC30 reports.

Federal officials pushed back, citing fears of another breakout.

“He sees the window closing because he’s about to get sentenced,” said ABC News Consultant and former FBI Agent Brad Garrett. “Maybe he thinks that his best chance to get away again would be while he’s still in New York.”

Prison Warden Where Whitey Bulger Was Confined: ‘I think he wanted to die’

Whitey Bulger

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The then-warden of a prison where James “Whitey” Bulgar was confined said he believes the Boston gangster “wanted to die.”

“Quite frankly, I think he wanted to die,” Charles Lockett, the Florida penitentiary’s former warden, told NBC News in an exclusive interview.

“I think whatever issues he had, he had come to peace with them.”

Bulger, 89, was beat to death inside his cell on Oct. 30, 3018, just hours after he was transferred to a West Virginia prison. The transfer came after the wheelchair-bound ex-mob boss threatened a Florida prison nurse who suggested he see an outside heart doctor.

No one has been charged in his death.

Lockett, who retired in late December, spoke out for the first time, saying he doesn’t believe the death was the fault of prison officials.

It’s a tragedy, but I don’t think anyone was deficient in their duty,” Lockett said.

Lockett opened up about his personal feelings for Bulger.

“He killed a lot of people, but he wasn’t a bad old guy,” Lockett said. “Every Friday, I would walk that entire penitentiary and I would see him and he would speak to me. He was a nice, respectable guy, the murderer that he was.”

When a nurse told Bulgar he should be taken to a local hospital to see a heart specialist, the former mob boss lashed out, Lockett said.

“She pressed him to go see the doctor, and he got mad about it,” Lockett said. “He told her point blank, ‘I know people. I still have connections back home.’”

Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison, Blaming Blind Loyalty to Trump

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Trump.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former longtime attorney and self-described fixer was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to nine federal charges, including making secret payments to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump.

The charges also included lying to congress about his involvement with a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow and failing to report millions of dollars in income.

Cohen, 52, told Judge William Pauley that his loyalty to Trump led him “to choose darkness over light.”

“Recently the president tweeted a statement calling me weak and it was correct, but for a much different reason than he was implying. It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds,” Cohen said.

Cohen apologized to his family and U.S. citizens.

“I am truly sorry and I promise I will be better,” he said.

Cohen pleaded guilty as part of an agreement to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

Mueller wrote in a sentencing memo that Cohen provided “relevant and useful.”

It’s not year clear what information Cohen has provided.