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Tag: U.S. Attorney

Someone Inside the Beltway Likes Missouri U.S. Atty. Beth Phillips

U.S. Atty. Beth Phillips/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Somebody inside the Beltway apparently likes Beth Phillips.

In 2009, President Obama appointed her as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City.

Earlier this week,  the White House nominated the U.S. Attorney for a federal judgeship in Missouri.

Before becoming U.S. Attorney she was  an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the same district from 2008 to 2009.

Before that, she  worked at the law firm of Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny from 2001 to 2008.

She also worked  an Assistant Prosecutor with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office from 1997 to 2001.

N.M. U.S. Atty. to Hire Prosecutor to Deal With Domestic Violence on Tribal Lands

U.S. Atty. Ken Gonzales/ doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Recognizing the ever-disturbing problem of domestic violence on U.S. tribal lands, U.S. Mexico U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales plans to announce the hiring of a prosecutor to specifically  address the problem, the Associated Press reported.

AP said the move is part of a pilot program by the Office of Violence Against Woman that will provide funding for a handful of U.S. Attorneys around the nation.

The statistics are overwhelming.

AP reports that three-fifths of Native women have been assaulted by their spouses or intimate partners. Plus, one-third will be raped during at some point in their life.

Additionally, AP reported that in some tribal areas, the murder rate of Native American women is ten-fold the national average.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Miss. U.S. Attorney H.M. Ray Who Served 20 Years Dies at Age 86

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Mississippi U.S. Attorney H.M. Ray, whose 20- year reign included the 1960s civil rights era, and who served under five presidents, died at age 86, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.

Ray was appointed by President Kennedy to the Jackson, Miss. office, and resigned right after Ronald Reagan became president in 1981.

“We were very close. He was a great boss,” former assistant U.S. attorney John Hailman of Oxford, Miss. told the Commercial Appeal.  “Mainly, he insisted that we do the right thing. He was very courageous about taking unpopular stances, and he always backed us up.”

Some of his higher profile cases included the prosecution of  four men linked to the shooting deaths of two people during rioting over the entrance of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi in 1962, the paper reported. The men were not convicted.

Ray also served in the state House from 1948 to 1951. After resigning as U.S. Attorney,  he went off to  practice law with the Wise, Carter, Child & Caraway firm in Jackson. He then went to work for then-state Atty. Gen. Mike Moore, the Commercial Appeal reported.

“He was quite a mentor for me, and I learned a lot from him. He was a great lawyer and an even better person,”  Moore told the paper.

Fla. Man Pleads Guilty to Impersonating an FBI Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s never a good idea. Daniel F. Cleary, 48, of Weston, Fla. knows that now.

Clearly pleaded guilty last Friday in federal court in Southern Florida to impersonating an FBI agent, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Authorities said it all began on Jan. 13 of this year when Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call regarding property damage at a home in Weston, Fla.

When the deputies arrived at Cleary’s residence, Cleary identified himself as a Special Agent with the FBI and displayed counterfeit FBI credentials bearing his name and photograph.

He also had a Glock Model 17 9mm semi-automatic pistol. He faces up to three years in prison.

Justice Dept. Probing Newark Police Dept.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is going after another major police department.

Nearly a year after it  announced plans to look into questionable practices of the New Orleans Police Department, Justice officials on Monday said they were setting their sites on the Newark Police force.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Perez and U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman of Newark made the announcement, saying they want to fix the problems.

“As Paul mentioned already, the Civil Rights Division, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, conducted a preliminary inquiry and concluded that it would be necessary and appropriate to begin a formal civil pattern or practice investigation,” said Perez.

“Our investigation will focus on allegations of excessive force, unconstitutional stops, searches, arrests and seizures, discriminatory policing, whether officers retaliate against people who observe and/or record police activity and conditions of confinement at the Green Street Lockup,” Perez added.

“U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman and I have put together a top notch team of lawyers and staff. We are retaining experts in policing, and we will reach out to a wide range of stakeholders. We will hear from officers in the NPD, people elsewhere within the administration, key stakeholders in the criminal justice system, and the community at large.”

Column: Ex-Fed Prosecutor Weighs Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. Sixteen of those years were in the drug unit. He is the author of the book “Carving Out the Rule of Law: The History of the United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Michigan 1815–2008″.

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The case for and against marijuana legalization continues to be a hotly debated issue. Weighing in, even in a subjective and limited way, is tempting after working on a history project about smugglers in the 1970s and the agents who pursued them.

Here’s the pros and cons as I see it.

There is good reason to conclude that many of the trends favor some kind of decriminalization or legalization in the United States. Many point to the growing number of states that have authorized Medical Marijuana as a key sign that we’re moving in that direction.

A dozen or so states have legislatively instituted some form of decriminalization or “harm reduction” program for use or possession of small amounts. Drug policies in several European countries such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, have established such a system.

Millions of dollars are being invested in a wide variety of public relations and lobbying activities, especially in states where referendums are pending. The arguments in favor of this development seem easier to grasp and calculate, and the well-financed campaigns have achieved some success in promoting this agenda.

On the other hand, proponents of the status quo seem less focused and their arguments more speculative. At times, the assumption of the hippie dealers of a half-century ago, who predicted the drug would eventually be legally available, seems a strong possibility.

Read more »

Mexican Man Indicted in Murder of Border Agent Brian Terry

Brian Terry

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Mexican man has been indicted in the murder last Dec. 14 of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Southern Arizona.  Terry was killed during a firefight.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, of El Fuerte, Mexico, and his co-defendants, who are fugitives,  were charged in a 14-count indictment that was unsealed Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The names of his co-defendants remain under seal while they are on the lam.

Osorio-Arenllanes was arraigned Friday in Tucson. Trial is set for June 17 before U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury in Tucson.

Terry’s murder became the subject of a controversy after Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia.) claimed that a gun sold through ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious may have been used to kill him. The operation encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers, all with the hopes of tracing the weapons to the drug cartels.

“Today’s indictment is an important step in this case, but it is only a first step to serving justice on behalf of Agent Brian Terry, his family and the other agents who were with Terry and their families,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “This is an active ongoing investigation that is making more and more progress every day.”

Burke added: “Agent Terry – who served his country honorably as both a Marine and a member of the Border Patrol – made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of the United States. His family deserves to see justice served, and everybody involved in this investigation is deeply committed to making that happen.”

Authorities alleged that  Osorio-Arellanes was part of an armed group of illegal immigrants who got into  a firefight with Agent Terry and other border patrol agents in  a remote area known as Mesquite Seep near Rio Rico, Ariz.

Agent Terry died from his wound.

Authorities said Osorio-Arellanes, who was wounded, was apprehended, treated for his injuries. Authorities had him detained on felony immigration charges.

On Friday, Rep.  Issa issued a statement on the arrest:

“The announcement of an indictment against Manuel Osorio-Arellanes for the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is certainly good news, but leaves critical questions unanswered.

“The Justice Department still hasn’t said how and why guns purportedly being tracked and monitored by federal law enforcement officials as part of Operation Fast and Furious ended up in the hands of Agent Terry’s killers.”

“It angers me to think that this death might not have occurred had it not been for reckless decisions made by officials at the Department of Justice who authorized and supported an operation that knowingly put guns in the hands of criminals. For these officials to imagine that this operation would result in anything other than a tragic outcome was naive and negligent. Sen. Charles Grassley and I continue to demand accountability as we investigate this matter.”

Portland Votes to Rejoin FBI’s JTTF — Sort Of

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After endless debate, the Portland City Council in Oregon voted unanimously Thursday for its police department to rejoin the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force — sort of.

The city quit the JTTF in 2005, citing concerns that the FBI was violating civil rights. It was also concerned its officers might snoop on citizens and violate local laws. Then-police chief and mayor were also angry that they did not have access to the same classified information task force officers had.

But on Thursday, the council reached a compromise: It decided not to permanently assign manpower to the JTTF, but to get involved  with the anti-terrorism task force on an “as-needed basis” when it deemed the investigations worthy, The Oregonian reported.

Under the plan, the police chief will have the discretion to assign officers to investigations after consulting with the police commissioner, the Oregonian reported. Some community members were adamantly against the city having a relationship with the JTTF.

U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton praised the vote, The Oregonian reported.

The issue to rejoin bubbled up again late last year after the FBI set up a sting and busted a man who was plotting to detonate a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.