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Tag: Texas

Federal Inmates Get Death, Though Executions Are Rare

jailBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

One of the last three people executed in a federal case in this country was Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, who died by lethal injection on June 11, 2001.

To say the least, putting convicted criminals to death in federal cases is not all that common, particularly when compared with state cases. Just this month, three inmates from Texas were executed, as well as two from Mississippi and one from Virginia. Fifty-two were executed last year in state court, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Now in federal court comes Mark Issac Snarr, 34, and Edgar Balthazar Garcia, 30, who were sentenced to death by a federal jury in Beaumont, Texas, today for brutally murdering a fellow inmate at the U.S. Penitentiary in Beaumont. They also stabbed and wounded two corrections officers.

The federal jury, which had convicted the two on May 7, deliberated on the death penalty for about three hours today before returning their verdict, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

For Full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Official Says Kidnappings in Texas Border Town “Off the Charts”

mexico-border-signBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An FBI official in Texas told state lawmakers Thursday that kidnappings in the border town of McAllen, Tex., have nearly quadrupled over the last fiscal year, and most were drug related, the Associated Press reported.

John Johnson, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI McAllen office, said 42 people were kidnapped between October 2008 to September 2009 compared to 11 the year before, the AP reported. On top of that, he said, many kidnappings have gone unreported.

“Fiscal ’09 was off the charts,” Johnson said in McAllen to lawmakers who were holding a hearing to determined the security needs at the border, the AP reported.

To read more click here.

Napolitano Says Unarmed Reconnaissance Drone Will Soon Fly Over Texas

Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Lone Star state’s air space is about to get a little more activity.

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, testified at a Senate hearing Tuesday that an unarmed reconnaissance drone plane will fly over Texas to bolster security at a time when the drug violence along the border has reached new heights to help, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

She said Texas is the last Southwest border state to receive a drone because its “airspace is more crowded”, the Express-News reported. She said an exact date when it will begin flying has not be established.

“The FAA now has to go in and carve out, as I understand it, space for the Predator,” she said, according to the paper.

To read more click here.

Man Who Placed Explosives in Mailboxes in East Texas Was Angry at Govt.

mailbox2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The fear in east Texas vanished with the indictment on Wednesday of a man suspected of putting more than 30 explosive devices in mailboxes and other locations, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that suspect Larry Eugene North was angry at the government and appeared have acted alone.

ATF Agent Robert R. Champion told AP that investigators believe North is the culprit who planted 36 devices since Feb. 5. The explosives put residents of east Texas on edge.

The AP reported that North had been under surveillance for about week before being arrested while placing a bomb in a mailbox in Tyler, Tex.

Feds in Texas Indict 25 Suspected Members of Colombian Drug Cartel

colombia
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In recent years, the spotlight has turned to the violent Mexican drug cartels shipping drugs into the U.S.

But on Friday, U.S. Attorney John M. Bales in Dallas announced the indictment of 25 suspected members of a Colombian drug cartel that moved massive amounts of cocaine into the U.S. through Mexico and Central America.

Authorities said the probe, to date, had resulted in the seizure of 7.5 tons of cocaine and $4.25 million in assets.

All 25 defendants are Colombian, and 21 are currently being detained in that country.

“In this operation, the agents, both American and Colombian, are literally reaching across hemispheres to strike a blow against a criminal organization that is a vital lifeline to several Mexican drug cartels,” the U.S. Attorney said.

Texas Lawyers Want Case Dismissed Because of FBI Leaks

This should be an interesting case. The judge is taking this serious and has scheduled a hearing on the matter. But is it enough to dismiss criminal charges?

houston-map

By MARY FLOOD
Houston Chronicle
HOUSTON — Lawyers for two developers accused of bribing a city official are seeking to have their entire criminal case tossed out by alleging government agents leaked information to a television news reporter.

Andrew Schatte and Michael Surface were indicted in January 2008 on charges of conspiracy and fraud accusing them of trading gifts for city contracts.

But their lawyers want the case dismissed, alleging a FBI agent leaked information to KTRK Channel 13 reporter Wayne Dolcefino about a separate ongoing investigation involving the men and Harris County.

“The process becomes very questionable if the judge finds there was a leak,” said Chip Lewis, lawyer for Surface. Lewis suggested the leak was meant to create negative pretrial publicity to harm his client.

For Full Story

Texas FBI Agent Gets Community Service For Killing Neighbor’s Chihuahua Named Sassy

This isn’t good for the FBI image. Some expect an agent might have to shoot a deranged serial killer or terrorist, but a Chihuahua named Sassy? Not good. From Waco, Texas, here’s the sad story of Sassy.

FBI Agent Shot A Chihuahua Just Like This One/istock photo
FBI Agent Shot A Chihuahua Just Like This One/istock photo

By Wendy Gragg
Waco Tribune-Herald
WACO, Tex. Disappointed but not surprised,” is how Jason and Amy Davis feel about the sentence handed down Wednesday to the local FBI agent who shot and killed their 3-pound Chihuahua, Sassy.

Lovett Leslie Ledger, 40, was sentenced Wednesday by 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson to two years’ deferred probation and 300 hours of community service after pleading no contest to state jail felony animal cruelty charges. Deferred probation means there will be no final judgment of guilt if Ledger successfully completes deferred probation.

“This is closure for us,” Jason Davis said. “We’re here for our children. They still ask us questions we don’t know how to answer.”

Jason Davis said the appropriate punishment would have been for Ledger to be in the Davis home the night when the Davises had to tell their children, now ages 9 and 6, that their pet, Sassy, had been killed.

For Full Story

Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales Finds Some Love in Lubbock: University Hires Him

Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzalez

Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales

Well, it’s still good to loved. And apparently former Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales, who is still the subject of an investigation into the controversial firings of Bush appointed U.S. Attorneys, has found love in Lubbock. They may not have hired the best ex-Atty. General, but he’s likely to be loyal if his time in the Bush administration is any indication.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
LUBBOCK, Tex. — Controversial former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will be a political science professor and diversity recruiter at Texas Tech, the university’s chancellor told The Avalanche-Journal.

Gonzales, 53, will begin his full-time duties at the university on Aug. 1, Chancellor Kent Hance said.

“Anytime, I can get a former cabinet member to work for the university, I will,” Hance said. “He can teach (students) about government, about goals, about diversity. Here’s a guy whose parents were migrant workers, and he went on to one of the highest offices in the land.”

For Full Story