Showing posts from July, 2010

Barefoot Bandit Pleads Guilty

CNN is reporting that the Barefoot Bandit, nineteen year old Colton Harris-Moore, has pleaded guilty in a Bahamian court to a charge of illegally landing a plane. He was sentenced to three months in jail or a $300 fine. A deportation order was also entered in the case. According to CNN : Harris-Moore, 19, appeared before Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez for arraignment Tuesday. He was taken into custody on Harbour Island in the Bahamas early Sunday. He is sought in a string of home and airport break-ins in various U.S. locations along with thefts of vehicles. He faces charges in Washington state in the theft of an aircraft, and police have said they believe he stole a plane in Indiana and flew it to the Bahamas, where it was found off Abaco Island. The teen has been on the run since he escaped from a juvenile halfway house in Renton, Washington, in 2008. The FBI had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. "At this point, we're not aware of any requests from

More on the Russian Sleeper Agents' Plea Deals

The New York Times has continued coverage of the prisoner swap between the United States and Russia. Included in the article are further details of the plea deal that lead to the exchange. The sensational case — complete with invisible ink, buried cash and a red-haired beauty whose romantic exploits have been excavated in the tabloids — came to a dramatic denouement in court. The 10 defendants sat in the jury box, while their lawyers and prosecutors filled the well of the packed courtroom. Some of the Russian agents wore jail garb over orange T-shirts, while others wore civilian clothes. Natalia Pereverzeva, for example, known as Patricia Mills, sat in jeans with a dark sweater. Few of the defendants conversed with one another. Some looked grim. One, Vicky Peláez, appeared to be weeping as she gestured to her sons at the close of the hearing. At one point, Judge Kimba M. Wood asked the 10 to disclose their true names. The first to rise was the man known as Richard Murphy, who lived w

Former Congressman Pleads Guilty to Obstructing Justice, Acting as Unregistered Foreign Agent

The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri has issued a press release stating that a former congressman and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and to acting as an unregistered foreign agent related to his work for an Islamic charity with ties to international terrorism. According to the press release : Mark Deli Siljander, 59, of Great Falls, Va., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey to one charge contained in an Oct. 21, 2008, federal indictment, and an additional charge filed today, involving his work for the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) of Columbia, Mo. Siljander was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan and was a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations General Assembly. Co-defendant Abdel Azim El-Siddig, of Chicago, Ill., a former IARA fundraiser, also pleaded guilty today to conspiring with Siljander and others to hire Siljander to lobby for IARA’

Breaking News! Ten Russian Spies Plead Guilty in New York Federal Court

According to various news sources, the ten individuals arrested in late June and accused of spying for the Russians have pleaded guilty in New York federal court. The guilty pleas are thought to be the first step in a prisoner swap between the United States and Russia. According to Fox News : Ten people accused of spying for Russia pleaded guilty inside a Manhattan courtroom Thursday as the largest Russia-U.S. spy swap since the Cold War appeared to get under way. The Russians will trade four people for the ten accused Russian spies in U.S. custody, a source confirmed to Fox News. The defendants all affirmed U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood's question of whether they would plead guilty in a Manhattan courtroom. The defendants were expected to be deported to Russia within hours, apparently in exchange for the release of convicted Russian spies. A Russian arms control analyst convicted of spying for the United States was reportedly plucked from a Moscow prison and flown to Vienna earli

Plea Bargaining an Issue in Second Circuit Death Penalty Decision

The New York Times reported last week on the case of Ronell Wilson, whose death sentence for killing two New York City undercover police detectives in 2003 has been overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The decision is noteworthy because federal juries in New York State are historically reluctant to sentence defendants to death. According to the New York Times, federal prosecutors in New York have asked for the death sentence in 19 cases from 1988-2008, but in only one case - that of Ronell Wilson - has the jury returned a verdict of death. The case also involves plea bargaining. As reported by the New York Times: The Court of Appeals’ ruling centered on two arguments that prosecutors made to the jury about Mr. Wilson’s remorse and acceptance of responsibility for the killings during the penalty phase of his trial. The judges noted that prosecutors used Mr. Wilson’s demand for a trial and his failure to plead guilty as evidence that he lacked remorse