“Ex-agent testifies to good FBI reviews while taking Bulger bribes”

June 28, 2013

Reuters on June 28, 2013 released the following:

By Richard Valdmanis

“(Reuters) – Now retired FBI agent John Morris testified that he received excellent performance reviews from the bureau in the 1970s and 1980s while he and a colleague accepted cash bribes from members of Boston’s violent Winter Hill Gang and protected them from arrest.

In a Boston court on Friday, a lawyer for accused gang boss James “Whitey” Bulger showed Morris three of his reviews describing him as “excellent” and “exemplary” – part of his questioning aimed at undermining the credibility of FBI evidence at the murder trial of Bulger, the reputed head of Winter Hill.

Once one of the most feared men in Boston, Bulger, 83, is on trial for killing or ordering the murders of 19 people while running extortion and gambling rackets for decades. Bulger, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, evaded capture for 16 years and now faces life imprisonment if convicted by a Boston federal jury.

“I received good reviews,” Morris said on the witness stand, as defense lawyer Henry Brennan showed him a series of documents, including one which said other FBI supervisors looked to Morris for guidance.

The trial, which began June 12, has given the jury a glimpse of an era when machine-gun toting mobsters shot associates who talked too much and buried bodies under bridges in a bloody struggle for control of the criminal underworld.

But it also has shown a dark side of the FBI during that period, when some former agents are suspected of having traded information with Bulger and his gang to help them elude arrest and murder “rats” who spoke to police.

Morris testified on Thursday that he and another ex-FBI agent John Connolly – who cultivated Bulger as an FBI informant – would sometimes invite Bulger and his associate Steven “The Rifleman” Flemmi to dinner, where they would trade information and gifts.

Connolly apparently became so rich on kickbacks that he began wearing jewelry and bought a boat and a second home on Cape Cod, Morris said, adding that he too had accepted at least $5,000 in cash directly from Bulger and provided tips.

“I felt helpless. I didn’t know what to do. I felt awful about everything,” he said.

Morris, who now works as a part-time wine consultant, was offered immunity from prosecution in late 1997 in exchange for his testimony in hearings about FBI misconduct.

“I didn’t want to carry that burden anymore,” Morris said.

Bulger cursed at Morris in court on Thursday and called him a liar as the prosecution witness described how Bulger received special treatment for being a government informant.

Bulger denies providing any information to law enforcement officials, contending that he paid them for tips, but offered none of his own.

The gangster’s story has fascinated Boston for decades and inspired the 2006 Academy Award-winning Martin Scorsese film, “The Departed,” in which Jack Nicholson played a character loosely based on Bulger.

Called “Whitey” because he once had white-blond hair, fled Boston after a 1994 tip from Connolly that authorities were preparing to arrest him.

Connolly is serving a 40-year prison term for murder and racketeering.

Bulger’s attorneys have spent much of the past few days attacking the reliability of the FBI’s 700-page informant file on him, which they contend was fabricated by Connolly to provide a cover for his frequent meetings with the gang boss.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


John Edwards Jury Resumes Deliberation for 7th Day

May 29, 2012

ABC News on May 29, 2012 released the following:

Associated Press

“The jury in the John Edwards campaign corruption trial is deliberating for a seventh day after a judge gave the panel a stern warning not to talk about the case over the weekend.

The jurors reconvened Tuesday morning. The judge met in a closed courtroom Friday with attorneys to talk about a problem with a juror, but she did not elaborate.

The judge again met with the attorneys behind closed doors Tuesday, but their discussions were not made public.

Some of the alternate jurors wore matching shirts last week, and one of them was said to be flirting with Edwards.

Edwards faces six charges involving nearly $1 million provided by two wealthy donors to help hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the White House.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Prosecutors Poised to Rest in Roger Clemens’ Federal Criminal Trial

May 29, 2012

MLB.com on May 29, 2012 released the following:

By John Schlegel / MLB.com

“Prosecutors poised to rest case vs. Clemens

WASHINGTON — As the seventh week of the Roger Clemens federal perjury trial begins, the prosecution is poised to rest its case against the former star pitcher.

With likely two witnesses remaining before the government’s case gives way to the defense’s case, which lead attorney Rusty Hardin has said will take seven or eight court days to present, the prosecution has called 21 witnesses over 19 days of complicated, detailed and sometimes tedious testimony to attempt to prove to jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that Clemens lied to Congress in 2008.

The defense will continue to endeavor to raise that doubt with its case, which will include repeat appearances from federal agents Jeff Novitzky and John Longmire, who each spent several hours on the stand as witnesses for the prosecution.

Before Hardin and fellow defense attorney Michael Attanasio, who proved to be a potent force in cross-examination of witnesses from Andy Pettitte to scientific experts, take their turn in presenting Clemens’ case, the prosecution will wrap up its presentation with what it hopes is an effective finale Tuesday.

Clemens is charged with three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress based on his testimony during a Feb. 13, 2008, hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a Feb. 5, 2008, deposition conducted by committee staff members. Clemens said at the hearing, “Let me be clear: I have never used steroids or HGH.”

Brian McNamee, who served as a strength and conditioning trainer to Clemens in one capacity or another for nearly a decade, said in his own deposition and at that same hearing and again in a week-long stay on the witness stand in the trial that he had injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs on numerous occasions, keeping items he says proves it in a beer can and a mailing box for nearly seven years.

Forensic scientist Alan Keel revealed Friday that Clemens’ DNA was found on a needle and two cotton balls that were part of the physical evidence McNamee kept in his house for several years before turning it over to the government. Keel also withstood rigorous cross-examination from Attanasio and numerous skeptical questions from jurors.

When court reconvenes Tuesday, the government intends to call Wall Street investment manager Anthony Corso and FBI forensic scientist Eric Pokorak. Prosecutors indicated at one point they might call one other as yet unnamed witness as well.

Corso is expected to testify about how McNamee told him in 2002 that Clemens had used HGH to help with recovery and told him in 2005 that he had saved needles from Clemens, combining with the testimony from former Major Leaguer David Segui to further rebut defense attacks that McNamee made up his story to appease federal investigators in 2007.

Pokorak likely will tie up the loose ends on the forensics introduced so far. Testimony has yet to provide the link between the items Keel testified had Clemens’ DNA to the steroids that other scientific experts testified were found on the items.

The government filed a pair of motions on Memorial Day. One moves to rebut the defense’s attacks on Keel and inform the jury that the defense also could have tested the evidence.

The other motion attempts to head off some of the character witnesses the defense intends to call, asking the court to “preclude or limit additional evidence of the defendant’s athletic work ethic and any opinion testimony by former coaches, trainers or teammates regarding the defendant not showing any signs of steroid or HGH use.”

The government argued that such testimony should open the door to testimony from other baseball players who “also adhered to strong athletic work ethics but nonetheless used steroids or HGH to perform better than their competitors.”

The pace of the trial was a significant issue earlier in the trial, which was projected to last 4-6 weeks — so much so that Judge Reggie Walton imposed time limits on the attorneys of 90 minutes for direct and cross. But Walton allowed both sides some leeway on that with Keel, given the importance of the evidence he discussed. Juror questions of Keel took about an hour as well.

Two jurors were excused for falling asleep on the job, and now a third juror may not be able to return. Juror No. 16, a Metro transit police officer, found out as Friday’s proceedings were coming to a close that her mother had passed away. Walton indicated it’s unlikely she’ll return to duty, which would leave the jury panel with 12 jurors and just one alternate remaining.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Adis Medunjanin’s Federal Criminal Trial in Federal Court in Brooklyn is Set to Begin

April 16, 2012

Associated Press on April 16, 2012 released the following:

“NYC Man Faces Terror Trial

By TOM HAYS

There’s no dispute that Adis Medunjanin and two of his former high school classmates from Queens packed up and traveled together to Pakistan in 2008.

But federal prosecutors say the three were homegrown Muslim extremists who, under al-Qaida’s tutelage, came back to the United States and hatched a foiled plot to attack the New York City subways as suicide bombers. Lawyers for Medunjanin claim he never was a threat.

A jury is set to hear both sides Monday in opening statements at Medunjanin’s trial in federal court in Brooklyn.

Medunjanin, 27, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, providing material support to a terrorist organization and other charges in what U.S. officials have described as one of the most chilling terror conspiracies since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Childhood friends Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay have admitted in guilty pleas that they wanted to avenge U.S. aggression in the Arab world by becoming martyrs. Both could be called by the government to testify against Medunjanin.

Another possible witness is Bryant Neal Vinas, a Long Island man who joined al-Qaida around the same time as the other men. Officials have credited Vinas with providing key intelligence about the terror group since his capture in 2008.

Jurors also are expected to hear evidence that following his arrest, Medunjanin told the FBI he had become a more devout Muslim about four years before the plot was exposed after he and Zazi began spending time together at a local mosque, FBI reports say. He also recalled being influenced by tapes of U.S.-born extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, they say.

In 2008, Medunjanin and his friends decided to join the Taliban and fight U.S. soldiers in retaliation for the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, the FBI reports say. The three instead were recruited by al-Qaida operatives, who gave them weapons training in their Pakistan camp and asked them to become suicide bombers, they say.

Medunjanin told his al-Qaida handlers “he had prayed but still wasn’t sure if he was ready to be a martyr,” the reports say. He later was sent home on his own, the reports add, after he told them “the best thing for him to do … was to return to the U.S. and provide financial support” for the terror network.

Zazi, after relocating to the Denver area, got as far as cooking up explosives and setting out by car for New York City in September 2009 to carry out the attack. He was arrested after abandoning the plan and fleeing back to Colorado.

The FBI reports say Medunjanin denied knowing what Zazi was up to. And the defense has claimed he spoke to the FBI under duress.

In a sworn statement, the defendant accused agents of making veiled threats against his family and denying him access to his attorney for 36 hours. Federal authorities insist his statements were voluntary.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.