“High-profile cases drained federal court system, judge says”

September 20, 2013

The Boston Globe on September 20, 2013 released the following:

“By Milton J. Valencia

A series of high-profile cases have begun to financially tax the federal court system in Massachusetts as the system is absorbing budget cuts and is expecting still more hardships, the chief judge of the US District Court in Boston said in a letter released Thursday.

US District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris said in a letter to US Senator Elizabeth Warren and addressing the state’s congressional delegation that budget cuts have started to stretch court security and staff, and services such as drug and mental health treatment and legal representation.

“Any further budget cuts will hurt public safety, the administration of justice, and the independence of the judiciary,” Saris wrote.

She added, “The financial difficulties have hit this district at a time when we have experienced some of our most difficult, high-profile criminal cases.”

Those cases include the trials of Tarek Mehanna, who was convicted two years ago in a closely watched terrorism proceeding, and James “Whitey” Bulger.

The notorious gangster’s court-appointed lawyers recently submitted a $2.6 million bill for their work since his arrest in June 2011, and that does not include their work on his two-month trial this past summer.

In addition, Saris noted, the district is set to begin the high-profile legal proceedings for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspected Boston Marathon bomber, and is also handling proceedings related to the state drug lab scandal, in which defendants are seeking to have their cases reheard based on possibly tainted evidence.

Further taxing the court are civil liability cases related to the meningitis outbreak involving the New England Compounding Pharmacy.

“These high-profile cases have taxed court staff and security resources,” the judge said. The financial woes have been attributed in large part to the so-called sequester of federal funds, or the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts that went into effect on March 1.

Asked about the letter, Warren also criticized the budget cuts. “The sequester is stupid, and it’s hurting families here in Massachusetts and across the country,” she said. “We’ve seen how across-the-board federal spending cuts are hitting powerfully important programs like Head Start and Meals on Wheels and slashing critical investments in infrastructure and research. It’s time to get rid of this senseless and irresponsible policy.”

In her letter, Saris argued that funding for federal public defenders and probation officials has been hit hardest.

Lawyers and staff in the Federal Public Defender Office, which represents indigent defendants, had to take 14 furlough days in 2013.

The lawyers had to suspend work on Fridays throughout the summer, and withdrew participation in the drug court program. Positions have also gone unfilled.

Miriam Conrad, the head public defender in Boston, said, “We’re going to keep doing what we can and maintain quality representation, but it’s going to be a challenge to maintain our caseload.”

Meanwhile, the Probation Office has had to cut drug addiction and mental health treatment for defendants on supervised release, threatening to increase their recidivism.”

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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.


“Whitey Bulger convicted of racketeering, conspiracy”

August 12, 2013

NBC News on August 12, 2013 released the following:

“By Alexandra Pournaras and Tracy Connor, NBC News

The jury in the Whitey Bulger federal racketeering trial convicted him Monday of racketeering and conspiracy, finding he committed 11 murders as a Boston crime boss.

Victims’ family members were gathered in Courtroom 12 to learn the fate of the white-haired octogenarian once listed as one of America’s most wanted fugitives.

Bulger, 83, was found guilty of all charges in the 32-count indictment by a panel of eight men and four women who deliberated more than 30 hours over five days.

To support the charge of racketeering, the alleged Winter Hill Gang boss — who spent 16 years on the lam before being caught in California in 2011 — was accused of 19 murders and a raft of other crimes. The jury found prosecutors proved he committed 11 of the slayings, but not others.

A rogue’s gallery of ex-confederates took the stand as prosecution witnesses, describing in sometimes gruesome detail how he ruled South Boston with bullets and brutality before he skipped town in 1994.

In one of the trial’s most gripping episodes, Bulger’s ex-partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, testified that he watched him strangle two women: Flemmi’s ex-girlfriend and his stepdaughter.

The 41-day trial also featured testimony about the gang’s corrupt relationship with the FBI, though Bulger insists he was not an informant and has cursed at witnesses who described him as a rat.

A few hours before the verdict, court papers revealed Bulger agreed to forfeit $822,000 seized from his California hideout, but he’ll hang onto a Stanley Cup ring he got as a gift.

A court document did not say who gave Bulger the prized professional hockey memento, but he did have ties to Montreal Canadiens enforcer Chris Nilan.

Nilan, 55, who retired from the NHL in 1992, was married to Karen Stanley, the daughter of Bulger’s longtime girlfriend. A photo released by the defense during Bulger’s racketeering trial to depict him in a better light showed him posing with Nilan next to the Stanley Cup.”

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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

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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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.


“Jury hearing ‘Whitey’ Bulger trial reaches verdict: prosecutors”

August 12, 2013

Reuters on August 12, 2013 released the following:

“(Reuters) – The jury hearing the racketeering and murder trial of former mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger reached a verdict on Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston said.

Bulger, 83, is on trial for charges including 19 murders he is accused of committing or ordering in the 1970s and 1980s while running the Winter Hill crime gang. The verdict is due to be read at U.S. District Court in Boston later on Monday.”

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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

Federal Crimes – Appeal

————————————————————–

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.


“Key witness in ‘Whitey’ Bulger gangster trial found dead”

July 18, 2013

USA Today on July 18, 2013 released the following:

By: Kevin Johnson and Doug Stanglin , USA TODAY

“A friend says Stephen Rakes was looking forward to testifying against the South Boston gangster.

A body found near Lincoln, Mass., has been identified as Stephen “Stippo” Rakes, who was to be a key key witness in the trial of notorious South Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger.

Rakes was scheduled to testify that he was forced at gunpoint to turn over his liquor store to Bulger 29 years ago.

A law enforcement official confirming Rakes death to USA TODAY says authorities are investigating that he may have died of natural causes. The body of Rakes, 59, was found Wednesday afternoon.

The official said there is “no obvious sign” that he was murdered. ABC News reported that police told Rakes’ family that the death appeared to be a suicide. No phone or wallet was found on the body.

A close friend of Rakes, Steve Davis, tells ABC News, however, that he would not have killed himself and “was looking forward to taking the stand.” Davis said Rakes had planned to deliver a “big bombshell” on the witness stand.

Rakes has been attending Bulger’s federal racketeering trial in South Boston regularly over the past six weeks.

ABC says that Rakes was a particularly angry and determined victim of Bulger’s gangland tactics.

He was apparently supposed to testify that Bulger, 83, a member of his Winter Hill gang, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, threatened his daughter at gunpoint and forced him to turn over his South Boston liquor store. The building later became Bulger’s headquarters.

Bulger, a much-feared South Boston gangster for decades, fled the city in 1994 ahead of his arrest. He was captured in California two years ago after 16 years on the run.

Bulger has pleaded not guilty to 48 charges, including 19 counts of murder, extortion, money laundering, obstruction of justice, perjury, narcotics distribution, and weapons violations.”

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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.


“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:

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.


“Feds: Bulger at center of murder, mayhem in Boston”

June 12, 2013

KSL.com on June 12, 2013 released the following press release:

By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press

“BOSTON (AP) – A federal prosecutor said in opening statements Wednesday at James “Whitey” Bulger’s racketeering trial that the reputed mobster was at the center of “murder and mayhem” in Boston for almost 30 years, while the defense attacked the credibility of the government’s star witnesses.

Prosecutor Brian Kelly told jurors that Bulger headed the violent Winter Hill Gang that “ran amok” in Boston for nearly three decades, killing 19 people, extorting millions from drug dealers and other criminals, and corrupting police and FBI agents.

“At the center of all this murder and mayhem is one man – the defendant in this case, James Bulger,” Kelly said.

Bulger’s lead attorney, J. W. Carney Jr., went after the prosecution’s star witnesses, including hit man John Martorano, who admitted killing 20 people and has agreed to testify against Bulger.

Martorano served 12 years in prison for his crimes, in what Carney called an “extraordinary benefit” for his cooperation with prosecutors.

“The federal government was so desperate to have John Martorano testify … they basically put their hands up in the air and said take anything you want,” Carney said.

Other once-loyal Bulger cohorts who will likely testify against him include Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, Bulger’s former partner, and Kevin Weeks, a former Bulger lieutenant who led authorities to six bodies.

The government plans to show the jury a 700-page file they say shows that Bulger, while committing a long list of crimes, was also working as an FBI informant, providing information on the New England Mob – his gang’s main rivals – and corrupting FBI agents who ignored his crimes.

Kelly says Bulger’s gang succeeded by instilling fear in other criminals and corrupting law enforcement officials who tipped them off when they were being investigated.

“It was part of a strategy they had, and it worked for them,” Kelly said.

Carney denied that the FBI ever tipped off Bulger.

“James Bulger never ever – the evidence will show – was an informant,” Carney said.

Carney acknowledged that Bulger was involved in illegal gambling and drugs but told the jury that Bulger paid law enforcement to protect him from prosecution.

Bulger, now 83, was one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives when he fled Boston in 1994 after receiving a tip from his former FBI handler, John Connolly, that he was about to be indicted. He was finally captured in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., where he had been living with his longtime girlfriend in a rent-controlled apartment.

Connolly was convicted of racketeering for warning Bulger and later of second-degree murder for giving information to Bulger that led to the slaying of a Boston businessman in Miami.

Bulger’s lawyers have indicated that they will argue that Connolly fabricated informant reports in Bulger’s lengthy FBI file.

The defense may also present another side of Bulger seen by some residents of South Boston, where he was known for years as a kind of harmless tough guy who gave Thanksgiving dinners to his working-class neighbors.

Prosecutors, however, plan to call one family member of each of the 19 people prosecutors allege were killed by Bulger and his gang. Among the victims were two 26-year-old women who Bulger is accused of strangling.

The trial is expected to last three to four months.”

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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.


U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns will rule “in two to three days” on James “Whitey” Bulger’s trial continuance request

November 1, 2012

Boston Herald on November 1, 2012 released the following:

“Judge makes no decision on Bulger trial delay

By Laurel J. Sweet

The federal judge who’ll preside over the murder trial of accused gangland serial killer James “Whitey” Bulger will announce “in two to three days” whether he’ll grant the defense team’s latest bid to postpone the March spectacle to November 2013.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns took the request under advisement this afternoon following a 15-minute hearing that marked his first appearance in the case since Bulger’s lead public defender J.W. Carney Jr. twice demanded he recuse himself because of his prior service as a federal prosecutor. Stearns has twice refused to step aside.

Carney has also threatened to put Stearns on the witness stand next to the very bench he’ll issue orders from. Carney told Stearns today he has no plans at this time to try and get the case dismissed based on Bulger’s claim that the late U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan gifted him a license to kill and immunity from prosecution for more than a quarter century.

Despite an overflow courtroom no doubt hoping for a shouting match between the two men, they kept their conversation civil.

“I’m very impressed with the attendance,” Stearns quipped.

Carney renewed his contention that he and co-counsel Hank Brennan are overwhelmed by more than 364,000 documents they need to read, take notes from and review with Bulger, 83, in addition to Department of Justice reports they still need to comb through, books about Bulger’s reign of terror they need to read and witnesses they need to interview — all to adequately defend a mobster Carney said “has been demonized for decades.”

The former South Boston crimelord, who was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in June 2011 after 16 years on the lam as the FBI’s Most Wanted domestic terrorist, is charged with the murders of 19 men and women — two of them former girlfriends of his partner in crime Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi.

“We have been working days, nights, weekends and I say sincerely we cannot possibly digest this discovery in time to be prepared for trial,” Carney said. “It is unprecedented in my experience trying hundreds of cases.

“A fair trial before a fair judge does not begin with empanelment of a jury,” he said, “it begins with the defense counsel being allowed to be prepared to try the case.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly patiently assured Stearns that Carney “can handle it.”

“The government is always in favor of a fair trial,” he said. “What we’re not in favor of is delaying trials unnecessarily. This is a cross-examination case for him. This is basically murder and mayhem by our witnesses and his client. He (Carney) wants to litigate things, not resolve them.””

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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.