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Tag: sentencing

Updated: Ex-FBI Translator Gets Probation for Making False Statements in Terrorism Case

Abdirizak Jaji Raghe Wehelie.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Updated: 9:40 a.m. Monday — A former FBI translator was sentenced to probation Friday after he admitted doctoring transcripts when his own voice came up on intercepts of phone calls placed by a terrorism suspect, the Associated Press reports. He was also fined $1,000.

________________

A former FBI translator is expected to be sentenced in federal court today after he pleaded guilty to making false statements in a case involving a terrorism suspect.

Abdirizak Jaji Raghe Wehelie, 68, of Burke, Virginia, was arrested in May on charges of lying to investigators about having contact with a man accused of joining a militant Somali group tied to terrorism.

In November, Wehelie pleaded guilty to making false statements, saying he doctored transcripts to hide the fact that he received a phone call from the man, who had been under surveillance.

The Justice Department said Wehelie had a personal relationship with the suspect, who had left a voicemail on Wehelie’s phone. When Wehelie translated the call, he changed his name to “unidentified male.”

The terrorism suspect’s phone was under court-ordered surveillance.

According to federal prosecutors, Wehelie later disclosed that he had been friends with the suspect for years.

Wehelie faces up to 25 years in prison, but sentencing guidelines call for zero to six months in jail.

Former Trump Campaign Aide Rick Gates May Dodge Prison Time Today

Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates with Trump.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday morning in federal court in Washington D.C.

Gates, 47, who pleaded guilty in February 2018 to lying to the FBI and conspiring to conceal tens of millions of dollars, had faced possible jail time.

Gates had been facing up to six years in prison, but he may get no time behind bars because of what federal prosecutors said was his “extraordinary assistance” in the special counsel investigation, The Washington Post reports.

“Under exceedingly difficult circumstances and under intense public scrutiny, Gates has worked earnestly to provide the government with everything it has asked of him and has fulfilled all obligations under his plea agreement,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly Gaston wrote in a sentencing recommendation this month.

Gates’ attorney, Thomas Green, asked for probation and community service for his client.

“We submit that Richard Gates has accepted responsibility for his misconduct in every way possible,” Green wrote.

Reputed Gang Member Sentenced to Nearly 17 Years for Shooting ATF Agent in Face

Ernesto Godinez

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A reputed gang member who shot an ATF agent in the face in Chicago last year was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison Wednesday.

A federal jury found Ernesto Godinez guilty in June in the shooting of Kevin Crump, who was nearly killed when a bullet tore through his neck and exited between his eyes on May 4, 2018.

Godinez, 29, was sentenced to 16 years and 8 months in prison, CBS News reports.

Calling the attack “brazen, callous, and cowardly,” federal prosectors said Crump is lucky to be alive.

“The depravity of the defendant’s crime is remarkable. A sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment is the only fair answer here, both to punish this reprehensible crime and to protect the community he endangered time and time again,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing recommendation.

Police said Crump was placing a tracker on Godinez’s car when the reputed gang member ambushed the agent and opened fire. Prosecutors said Godinez, who was arrested three days later, believed he was shooting a rival gang member.

Surveillance cameras captured Godinez before and after the shooting.

Godinez’s attorney acknowledges his client was in the area the morning of the shooting, but insists Godinez was not involved in the shooting. The 12-member jury didn’t buy that.

Judge Blasts Plea Deal with Michael Flynn, Setting Sentencing in Limbo

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, went to court thinking he’d receive leniency for cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors Tuesday.

After all, Flynn struck a deal with prosecutors, who argued this month that he should not get prison time for his help with the Russia investigation.

But U.S. District judge Emmet Sullivan disagreed, causing a delay in sentencing on a charge of lying to the FBI.

“I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense,  Sullivan said, adding he is deviating from Mueller’s recommendation, The Washington Post reports.

The judge also was unhappy when Flynn’s attorneys suggested he was duped into lying to the FBI.

“All along you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country, while serving as the national security adviser to the president of the United States!” he said. “Arguably, that undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out!”

This means Flynn could serve substantial time in prison. ‘The judge requested a status report in 90 days before sentencing is scheduled.

Michael Flynn Faces Potential Prison Time Today When He Is Sentenced

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former national security director, Michael Flynn, will learn today whether he will be sent to prison for lying to the FBI.

The sentencing of Flynn comes just one day after unsealed court records showed two of his former associates have been charged with conspiracy to violate federal lobbying rules.

On Monday, prosecutors provided new details of how Flynn lied to federal investigator about conversations in December 2016  with Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak. According to the documents, Flynn admitted he lied when he told the FBI that he had not urged Kislyak to restrain from escalating tension with the U.S. after the outgoing Obama administration imposed sanctions against Russia.

Flynn, who faces up to six months in prison, has urged for leniency, saying he cooperated with special counsel prosecutors who are investigating Russia and Trump’s campaign.

Special Counsel: Manafort Repeatedly Lied to FBI in Violation of Plea Agreement

Paul Manafort

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, repeatedly lied to the FBI in violation of a plea agreement he reached with special counsel prosecutors about two months ago, according to a court filing late Monday.

Robert Mueller’s special counsel team wrote that Manafort’s “crimes and lies” about “a variety of subject matters” is a breach of his agreement, the New York Times reports.  

Since he violated the agreement, the prosecutors said, Manafort does not deserve leniency when he is sentenced.

It’s unclear what prosecutors believe Manafort lied about, but his lawyers have an opportunity to challenge the prosecutors’ allegations.

Manafort’s lawyers maintain he did what he was asked and that he “believes he has provided truthful information,”

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia is expected to soon announce a sentencing date for Manafort, who has been in solitary confinement in a jail in Alexandria, Va.

Prosecutors Call for 4-Year Prison Sentence for Ex-FBI Agent Who Leaked Classified Documents

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors are pushing for a four-year prison sentence for the former FBI agent who acknowledged he disclosed classified terrorist-profiling guidelines to the media.

But former agent Terry Albury’s attorney argues he should not be sentenced to prison during a hearing later this month, Politico reports.

In April, the 16-year FBI veteran pleaded guilty to felony charges of illegal transmission of national security information and illegal retention of the data.

Albury admitted he leaked the bureau’s procedures for handling sources in terrorism investigations, but he said he did it out of concern about the FBI’s interactions with minority communities.

Judge Doesn’t Budge on Lowering Blagojevich’s Sentence Despite Apology and Daughters’ Tears

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Rod Blagojevich and his family hoped that a federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday would reduce the ex-Illinois governor’s 14-year sentence during a resentencing hearing. But that didn’t happen.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Blago’s  young daughters wept openly in the front row of a federal courtroom and clutched their mom. Their dad, who is locked up at a federal prison in Colorado, appeared in court via a video transmission. He now sports stark white hair.

“I made mistakes,” Blagojevich, 59, said, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “I regret those mistakes and those judgments. And I’m sorry, your honor. I wish I could find a way to turn the clock back and make different choices. But that is not possible.”

But U.S. District Judge James Zagel was unmoved and reinstated the 14-year prison sentence despite an appellate court ruling that tossed five of Blagojevich’s convictions last year,  the paper reported.

Other politicians who have gotten stiff sentences for public corruption convictions in recent years include former New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson, who got 13 years and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was sentenced to 28 years.