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Tag: U.S. Attorney

Head of Sacramento FBI Drew Parenti Stepping Down

Drew Parenti/fbi photo

Drew Parenti/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Drew Parenti, head of the FBI’s Sacarmento bureau, is retiring to take a job as vice president of security for Penske Truck Leasing in Reading, Pa., the Sacramento Bee is reporting.

Parenti, 50, a 26 year bureau veteran, said the FBI is “a hard organization to leave,” according to the paper.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner told the Bee: “I am very, very sad to see him go. We had some controversial prosecutions a few years ago that obviously took a toll on our relationship” with the Muslim American community, the paper said.

“Drew came in and helped us get on a lot better footing, and I think that has paid dividends for law enforcement and the community,” said Wagner. “He immediately took an interest in reaching out to members of underserved communities.”

To read more click here.

Feds Won’t Appeal Witness Ban in NY Gitmo Trial

Judge Kaplan

Judge Kaplan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Saying they didn’t wish to delay the trial, federal prosecutors on Sunday said they won’t appeal a judge’s ruling that bans a key witness from testifying in the first criminal trial of Guantanamo Bay terrorism suspect, Reuters news service reported.

“The government . . . has decided not to pursue an appeal from the court’s decision,” said a letter from the New York U.S. Attorney’s Office to the presiding judge in the case, Reuters reported.

The letter said the government case is sufficient without the witness.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan cause a delay in the trial when he ruled that the witness, Hussein Abebe, couldn’t be used in the trial against Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who is accused of conspiring in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans.

The judge ruled that the government discovered the name of the witness during a harsh interrogation of the defendant in an overseas jail run by the CIA. The government insisted it would have learned about Abebe even without the interrogation, an argument the judge rejected.

Prosecutors had said that the witness told FBI agents he had sold the defendant explosives for one of the bombings.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Atty’s Office Tries to Block Polygraphs in Upcoming Chandra Levy Trial

Chandra Levy

Chandra Levy

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The polygraph issue is a messy one.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is asking that the judge in the upcoming Chandra Levy murder on Oct. 18 block two polygraph exams from being introduced into evidence, the Washington Post reports.

A major problem, prosecutors contend, was that the polygraph exams weren’t given by a bilingual examiner and instead were done by an interpreter, a method considered far less effective and reliable.

According to a filing in D. C. Superior Court, prosecutors say defendant Ingmar Guandique, 29, took a polygraph test Feb. 4, 2002 and was asked whether he was involved in the disappearance of Chandry Levy, whose skeletal remains were found a couple months later in Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington, the Post reported.

Guandique responded “no” and the polygraph examiner found he was “not deceptive,” the Post reported. The test was given while Guandique was in prison for attacking two joggers in Rock Creek park.

The other exam involves an inmate who claims Guandique told him he stabbed Levy and was paid $25,000 by now ex-Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.).

The polygraph examiner found the witness was being deceptive, the Post reported.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Conner Eldrige Nominated for U.S. Atty in Arkansas

arkansas-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON– As part of what seems like a never ending process of filling the U.S. Attorney posts nationwide, President Obama on Wednesday nominated Conner Eldridge to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.

Eldridge has served as a Special Deputy Prosecutor for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of Clark County, Ark. since 2009, the White House said.

He previously worked for Summit Bank and Summit Bancorp, Inc., from 2004 to 2010 in various senior management positions and was ultimately named Chief Executive Officer in 2008, the White House said.

A Costly Dip in the Pool for Fed Prosecutor Who is Arrested

miami-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Cronin’s decision to take a little dip in the pool has created a major headache.

The Miami Herald reports Cronin was arrested Sunday in Miami  after a mother and young girl accused him of being indecent when he jumped into the pool at Finnegan’s River, a local bar overlooking the Miami River and downtown, wearing his boxers.

The Herald reported that the 35-year-old prosecutor was charged with a felony — lewd and lascivious behavior in front of a minor.

The arrest form said the girl and her mother, who were in the pool, said Cronin’s privates were exposed after getting out of the pool and the mother had to cover up her daughter’s eyes, the Herald reported.

Cronin, who is assigned to the appellate division in Miami, tried fleeing, but officers caught him, the Herald said. He was arrested about 2:30 p.m.

Cronin’s lawyer, Joel Denaro, told the Herald that the charges are “beyond absurd.”

“He went swimming in his boxer shorts, for God’s sake,” Denaro told The Miami Herald. “He did nothing wrong.”

The U.S. attorney’s office in Miami declined comment, according to the Herald.

Witness in Chandra Levy Case Was Sexually Assaulted in Prison by Suspect

Chandra Levy

Chandra Levy

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office is gearing up for an Oct. 18 trial in the slaying of intern Chandra Levy in 2001.

The latest in the case came Monday when prosecutors told a D.C. Superior Court judge that Ingmar Guandique,29, the man charged in the murder, sexually assaulted a fellow inmate who is expected to testify as a key government witness, the Washington Post reported.

The witness is expected to testify that Guandique told him that he murdered a woman in Washington and “tied her down” and “hog tied” her before sexually assaulting her, the Post reported.

The Post reported that prosecutors expect the defense to argue that the witness, who was not named, was biased against Guandique because of the sexual assault in prison.

Guandique is currently serving a 10-year sentence for assaulting two women at knifepoint in Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington where Levy’s skeletal remains were found one year after she disappeared.

The trial is being held in the city’s criminal court.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. handles criminal cases in both the federal and city courts.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Charges Dropped Against Wall Street Journal Reporter in Blago Case

Douglas Belkin/facebook

Douglas Belkin/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For a while, during the public corruption trial of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in downtown Chicago, the only sure conviction appeared to involve defendant Douglas Belkin, a Wall Street Journal reporter.

In July, the 42-year-old reporter was arrested while covering the trial of Blagojevich and his brother Robert, the Associated Press reported. The U.S. Marshals Office accused Belkin of leaving a designated reporters area in the courthouse to pursue an interview and failing to stop when ordered to, AP reported.

But Belkin is now off the hook.

AP reported that the U.S. Attorney’s office decided to drop the charges — petty citations for disturbance and  disobeying signs and directions.

AP reported that the The Wall Street Journal complained the reporter was wrongfully detained while doing his job, but it was glad the ordeal was over.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Head of St. Louis FBI Roland Corvington Going to Work For University

Roland Corvington/fbi photo

Roland Corvington/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Veteran agent Roland J. Corvington, head of the St. Louis FBI, is leaving to the become  chief of security at Saint Louis University, according to the St. Louis American.

“I am terribly sad to see him go,” U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan for Eastern Missouri – executive prosecutor to Corvington’s top cop in St. Louis’ federal crime-fighting community.

The paper reported that Corvington, who had been with the FBI for 23, became eligible for retirement last December.  He still had seven years until the mandatory retirement age of 50.

The paper reported he’ll assume the position of assistant vice president and director of public safety and security services.

“This was a great opportunity for post-retirement,” Corvington told the paper.

To read his FBI bio click here.