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Tag: Texas

A Border Patrol Agent, a Cheeseburger, Poison and an FBI Probe

This is just a bizarre story. The FBI is investigating and there’s many unanswered questions.

By ZACHARY FRANZ
Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer
GREAT FALLS, Montana — A United States Customs and Border Patrol agent who was poisoned at a Cut Bank fast food restaurant last year is back in the hospital for injuries suffered in a fall earlier this week.

Denton Moberly sustained a head injury after falling outside of his Shelby home Tuesday, said his wife, Sheila Moberly. He is being treated at Benefis Health System in Great Falls.

Moberly, who moved his family from Texas to Montana two years ago because he thought it would be safer, nearly died after eating a cheeseburger laced with agricultural chemicals that he bought in a restaurant’s drive-through.

The poison caused major brain damage and forced Moberly to use a wheelchair for a year.

FBI investigators have said they have leads in the case but haven’t made an arrest.

On Tuesday, Moberly was at home with his 12-year-old daughter. She saw him go outside and later saw him lying on the ground. She called 9-1-1.

Ex-Prosecutor Asks: What Should Happen to a Fed Judge Convicted of a Federal Offense?

Steve Levin

Steve Levin

By Steve Levin
Fraud With Peril Blog

What should happen to a Federal Judge convicted of a Federal offense?

If you have not been following the news closely, you might have missed this story: Federal District Judge Samuel Kent in Texas has pled guilty to one count of obstruction of justice stemming from false statements he made about his sexual advances to various female employees.

In so doing, Kent faces up to 20 years in prison under the statute, though it is anticipated that prosecutors will recommend that Judge Vinson sentence Kent to three years confinement pursuant to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The issue of sending a Federal Judge to jail raises some interesting issues, some of which are applicable to many white collar defendants who find themselves in a Federal courtroom. Some of which are not.

Every BOP inmate was sent to prison by a Federal Judge. This fact, and the security concerns that flow from this fact, will no doubt be a factor in Judge Vinson’s decision whether to place Kent among those who may very well have a grudge against him or Federal Judges in general. To put Kent in prison would also be a tremendous burden to the BOP staff.

Here’s why:

Typically, one might expect a defendant with Kent’s background who has been convicted of obstruction to be housed in a minimum security prison. A minimum security prison has the lowest security level and Kent’s designation to one would probably ease any concerns that BOP staff might have with respect to Kent’s safety.

To Read More

Expensive Web Cameras at Texas-Mexico Border Not Paying Off

The 21st Century high-tech equipment should be taking law enforcement to new heights. But in this case, it may be taking it to marginal heights.

By Brandi Grissom
El Paso Times
AUSTIN — A virtual border surveillance program Gov. Rick Perry has committed millions of taxpayer dollars to fell far short of expectations during the first six months of operation.
Border sheriffs, who Perry gave $2 million to line the Texas-Mexico border with hundreds of Web cameras, installed only about a dozen and made just a handful of apprehensions as a result of tips from online viewers.
Reports obtained by the El Paso Times under the Texas Public Information Act show that the cameras produced a fraction of the objectives Perry outlined.
Perry’s office acknowledged the reported results were a far from the expectations but said the problem was with the yardstick used to measure the outcome and not with the camera program.

For Full Story

Bush Cuts Sentence of 2 Texas U.S. Border Patrol Agents

Citizens and politicians on both sides of the fence pushed for this. In the final hours, President Bush came through for them.

By DEB RIECHMANN
Associated Press
WASHINGTON – In his final acts of clemency, President George W. Bush on Monday granted early prison releases to two former U.S. Border Patrol agents whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug dealer fueled the national debate over illegal immigration.
Bush, responding to heavy pressure from Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike, commuted the prison sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. The two guards from El Paso, Texas, each were sentenced to more than 10 years for the shooting, which they tried to cover up. They will be released within two months.
Opposition to their convictions, sentencing and firings has simmered ever since the shooting occurred in 2005.
“After four years of fighting this, it’s taken a toll on me and my daughter, and really the whole family,” said Joe Loya, Ramos’ father-in law, who has received tens of thousands of supportive e-mails and spent much of the past two years traveling the country to speak about the case. “We wouldn’t give up. … I knew sooner or later God would come through – that finally it would happen.”
For Full Story

SURPRISE: Doesn’t Appear Bush Will Give Last Minute Pardons To Big Names Like Scooter Libby or Sen. Ted Stevens (New York Times)

Prosecuting Illegal Immigrants Taking Toll on Federal Prosecutors and Eroding Morale

Prosecuting illegal immigrants is taking its toll on federal law enforcement. Someone needs to address this issue.

By SOLOMON MOORE
New York Times
LAREDO, Tex. – Inside a courthouse just north of the Rio Grande, federal judges mete out prison sentences to throngs of 40 to 60 illegal immigrants at a time. The accused, mostly from Central America, Brazil and Mexico, wear rough travel clothes that speak of arduous journeys: flannel shirts, sweat suits, jeans and running shoes or work boots.
The prosecutors make quick work of the immigrants. Under a Justice Department program that relies on plea deals, most are charged with misdemeanors like improper entry.
Federal prosecutions of immigration crimes nearly doubled in the last fiscal year, reaching more than 70,000 immigration cases in the 2008 fiscal year, according to federal data compiled by a Syracuse University research group. The emphasis, many federal judges and prosecutors say, has siphoned resources from other crimes, eroded morale among federal lawyers and overloaded the federal court system. Many of those other crimes, including gun trafficking, organized crime and the increasingly violent drug trade, are now routinely referred to state and county officials, who say they often lack the finances or authority to prosecute them effectively.
For Full Story

Two Texas Border Patrol Agents Charged With Drug Trafficking

The temptation to make money beyond the government paycheck may have been too much for two Border Patrol agents down in Texas.

By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN
Associated Press Writer
McALLEN, Texas – Two South Texas Border Patrol agents appeared in federal court Thursday on charges alleging they helped drug traffickers move their product across the U.S.-Mexico border.
A grand jury in Houston returned sealed indictments Dec. 1 against Leonel Morales, 30, of the Border Patrol’s Laredo sector and Salomon Ruiz, 34, of the Rio Grande Valley sector.
Both men made their initial appearances in federal courthouses in McAllen and Laredo on Thursday after the FBI arrested them Wednesday. They will remain in custody until their respective detention hearings next week, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
For Full Story