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Tag: U.S. Attorney

Attorney For Tomato King Says FBI Illegally Obtained Documents

Fresh tomatoeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You say tomato. The lawyers for tomato king Frederick Scott Salyer  say something far harsher.

Defense lawyer for the former chief executive officer of the now defunct SK Foods, a tomato-product empire, claim in a court filing Tuesday in Sacramento that the FBI illegally used an informant to steal documents for its case rather than legal search warrants, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Salyer is in jail awaiting sentencing on charges of racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and antitrust violations that could send him to prison for life. Prosecutors allege that Salyer’s company inflated prices on millions of pounds of processed tomatoes sold to 55 companies in 22 states.

The defense claims the FBI obtained key documents in the case without court-authorized warrants from an informant — a vice president of the company, who took the materials, the Bee reported.

“The government’s case is based entirely on clear and substantial violations of the Fourth Amendment (which prohibits searches and seizures without warrants) by the FBI agent,” a defense attorney wrote.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office defended the case.

“We are confident that the investigation was handled properly, and we will vigorously represent the interests of the United States in court,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Delaney said in a statement to The Bee.

Mobster Snitch Testifies He was “Honorably Discharged” From High School Because “I Baseball Batted Somebody”

brooklyn-sign1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Back in 2008, Colombo mobster Michael “Mickey” Souza had had enough, according to the New York Daily News.

He was facing up to 30 years in prison on drug charges. He wanted to start singing to the feds.

” ‘Hello, John,’ ” he wrote to John Buretta, the chief of the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s organized-crime section,the Daily News reported. He wanted to help “seal up” some fed cases.

“P.S. I am so ready to go to [the witness protection program] . . . can’t do this anymore,” Souza wrote.

Last week, Souza, 42, testified as a government witness in the racketeering trial of Genovese mobster Anthony Antico in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

The Daily News reports that Souza was a little bit of a goof.

He once shot himself while tucking a gun in his sweatpants, got arrested for boating while drunk and injured a fellow mobster while they busted up a funeral parlor.

He testified in court that he was “honorably discharged” from high school because “I baseball-batted somebody on school property.”

And oh yes, at one point, the paper reported, “he was marked for death by his mobster father-in-law” after assaulting his wife.

To read more click here.

Ex-Washington Post Reporter and Editor Bill Miller Becomes Spokesman for D.C. U.S. Attorney

Bill Miller/linkedin photo

Bill Miller/linkedin photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Bill Miller, a former reporter and editor at the Washington Post,  who specialized in law enforcement coverage, is crossing over to the other side.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. announced Monday that Miller will take over as the public information officer for the busy office.

A veteran reporter, Miller worked for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Philadelphia Inquirer before coming to the Washington Post.

Miller, who had a reputation as an affable person, and top notch and meticulous  reporter and editor, worked for 10 years as a reporter for The Post, mostly covering the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the local and federal courts.

From 2002 to 2009, he worked as an editor on the city desk, and supervised criminal justice coverage. In 2009, he took a buyout from the Washington Post.

Miller replaces Ben Friedman, an assistant U.S. Attorney who had taken over the public affairs duties from Channing Phillips. Phillips had been named interim U.S. Attorney and subsequently went to work at the Justice Department.

He has a masters degree in Justice  from American University.

Miller has two children and is married to Doreen Gentzler, a news anchor for the Washington,D.C., NBC affiliate WRC-TV.

ICE and Fed Prosecutors Shut Down 9 Websites in Crackdown on Movie Piracy

sex-and-the-city-2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Now of days, you can see almost any movie — be it new or old — without going out to the the theater or renting a video– and all for free.

Unfortunately,  the whole set up is illegal.

On Wednesday, federal authorities clamped down and disabled nine websites that allowed people to download pirated movies, some which had just been released, the Associated Press reported.  Some of the free movies included Karate Kid and Sex and The City 2.

As part of the broadsweeping crackdown, AP reported that authorities seized assets from 15 bank, investment and advertising accounts, and executed residential search warrants in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Washington.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York spearheaded the effort.

U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said, “Criminal copyright

infringement occurs on a massive scale over the Internet, and reportedly results in billions of dollars in losses to the U.S. economy,” N.Y. U.S. Preet Bharara said in a statement. “That translates into lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people. That’s why we took today’s action. If your business model is movie piracy, your story will not have a happy ending.”

To read more click here.

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Mary Beth Buchanan Chalked Up $450,000 in Travel As U.S. Attorney; Feds Change Travel Rules

 Mary Beth Buchanan

Mary Beth Buchanan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mary Beth Buchanan was quite the jet setter during her eight-year reign as U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that she spent more than half of her time as the U.S. attorney on the road, taking at least 347 trips. The total cost: $450,000. She stepped down in November.

In March, the paper reported, the Justice Department changed the rules, requiring that out-of-district travel get the ok from the director or deputy director of the executive office.

“The previous policies and procedures were admittedly inconsistent,” Justice spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz told the paper. “Changes to the process were made to ensure full compliance with departmental travel policies and procedure and to strengthen controls and oversight of U.S. attorney travel.”

To read more click here.

Blago’s Attorneys Want FBI Reports on Pres. Obama Interview

The President in Louisiana/white house photo

white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich wants to look at the written reports on President Obama’s interviews with the FBI and prosecutors in his case, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The Sun-Times reports that the Blago defense team has filed a motion asking for the reports, claiming court testimony by government witness John Harris contradicts the government’s previous contention that Obama was unaware of any deals involving the Senate seat appointment.

“Testimony elicited by the government from John Harris and wiretaps played in court raise the issue of President Obama’s direct knowledge and communication with emissaries and others regarding the appointment to his senate seat,” lawyers wrote in the filing, according to the Sun-Times.

To read more click here.

James Lewis Confirmed as U.S. Atty. for Central District of Ill.

illinois-map-with-harvey-illBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James Lewis got the final nod from the U.S. Senate on Tuesday to become U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, the State Journal- Register reported.

The paper reported that U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who recommended Lewis for the post, noted that Lewis had a strong background in the law and had served as an assistant U.S. Attorney since 1983.

“I was honored to recommend his name to President Obama and am confident that he will bring a strong work ethic, independence, and depth of knowledge to the position of U.S. attorney,” Durbin said, according to the paper.

Openly Gay U.S. Atty. Jenny Durkan Speaks Out

U.S. Atty. Durkan

U.S. Atty. Durkan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Seattle U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan doesn’t have a secret.

As the first openly gay federal prosecutor, she speaks freely of being gay, and did so again Monday as the keynote speaker at the Justice Department’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride month ceremony in Washington.

“I stand before you as the first openly gay U.S. attorney,” Durkan told the audience of more than 200 Justice Department employees and others, the Seattle Times reported.

The 52-year-old, who has a long time partner and two children, said speaking out helps other gays and lesbians and helps educate the public about “the reality of our humanity.”

To read more click here.

Read Atty. Gen. Eric Holder’s Statement

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