How to Get a Gold Star From the DEA

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Bump and Update: The Flores Twins have each been sentenced to 14 years. The Judge said had they not continued to deal drugs while cooperating, they would have gotten 12 years.

The infamous Flores twins of Chicago will finally be sentenced Tuesday. Some background on twin brothers Pedro and Margarito Flores, is in this Chicago Reader article. The Government filed its sentencing memorandum a few weeks ago, which I have uploaded here. Their sentencing guidelines (level 47, Category I) call for a sentence of life in prison (there is no parole in the federal system and good time doesn't apply to a life sentence.)

Due to the Flores Twins' “extraordinary cooperation”, which the Government maintains resulted in more than 50 people being charged (list here), most of whom are their workers and customers, the Government is asking for a sentence at the low end of a reduced range of 10 to 16 years. The Government writes:

Absent their cooperation, the government would argue life imprisonment is the appropriate sentence for these defendants. However, they are not being sentenced absent cooperation.

How big were the Flores twins? Read More

San Diego : Newly Unsealed Sinaloa Charges Aren’t Very New

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Amidst much fanfare and back-patting at a press conference Friday, the U.S. Attorney in San Diego Friday announced recently unsealed drug and money laundering indictments of various leaders and members of the Sinaloa cartel. The Government’s press release is here, and the list of charged defendants is here.

“Recently unsealed” does not mean “new.” Read More

Tsarnaev Defense Appeals Denial of Venue Change

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Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accused of the Boston Marathon bombings. Yesterday, hours after the trial court refused its most recent request for a continuance, the defense filed a petition for writ of mandamus with the First Circuit Court of Appeals requesting a change of venue, or in the alternative, an order compelling the trial judge to hold an evidentiary hearing on its change of venue motion. You can read it here. It also filed a motion in the trial court requesting that jury selection be delayed until the appeals court has ruled.

The petition makes several references to the ruling of Judge Matsch in the OKC bombing case of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols (available here.) Judge Matsch rejected the Government’s arguments that a fair trial could be held outside of OKC, but still in Oklahoma. He ruled a fair trial was not possible anywhere in the state of Oklahoma, and moved the trial to Denver. Read More

Tuesday Open Thread

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Here’s an open thread. All topics welcome.

It is really cold here:

Forecasters say temperatures in Denver will top out at 4 degrees on Tuesday before dropping to as low as minus 9 at night with a wind chill of minus 15. A 70 percent chance of snow remains until this evening through which about an inch is expected to fall.

The keyless entry system in my Jeep went haywire yesterday. As I was pulling it into my garage it flashed a message saying there was no key activated and the engine shut down. (At least I had finished parking it.) I can start the engine with the key fob but I keep getting that message. Jeep says I have to take it in. Not what I want to do when it’s 4 degrees out, the roads are slick ice and the jeep dealer is 15 miles away. What if the engine shuts down on the way to the dealer?

I think I’ll just stay home, test my new Spanish learning program, play with WordPress some more and maybe get some work done.

ISIS Releases Issue 6 of Dabiq Magazine

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ISIS has released issue No. 6 of Dabiq Magazine. You can read it here. Shorter version:

The Muslims will continue to defy the kāfir war machine, flanking the crusaders on their own streets and bringing the war back to their own soil.

I don't think it's as interesting as prior issues, despite the graphic photo of the captured Jordanian pilot wearing an orange jumpsuit. Read More

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Seeks Trial Delay

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers are asking for a trial delay, primarily due to last minute document dumps by the Government, as well as new expert witness disclosures. The Government opposes the delay. I’ve uploaded the defense motion here and the Government’s motion here. (Addresses and phone numbers of defense counsel redacted.) From the Defense motion:

The size of the witness list:

On December 15, the government provided a witness list (comprised of 590 “law enforcement personnel” and 142 “civilian witnesses”) and an exhibit list (naming 1,238 exhibits and an additional 413 “files contained on digital exhibits”).

On the recent document dumps: Read More

Weekend Open Thread

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I’ve been working on this site since Christmas eve. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
(You have to be logged in to comment. If you haven’t registered yet, please do, with your current user name if you have one so we know who you are. To reduce spam, your first comment will have to be manually approved. After that, it’s just log in and comment.

I’ve added as many features as I could from your earlier suggestions. The comment box now allows you to view your comment either in preview mode (visual). It also has more styling options.

Another benefit to being logged in: You will see a section on the right of “unread comments” since your last visit (in addition to recent comments.)

I don’t have a set date for moving the site. But I’m getting closer.

If you have questions or suggestions, or notice bugs, you can put them here. Since I want to see how the comment section works, and what changes still need to be made overall, this is an open thread where you can write about whatever you want — it doesn’t have to be about the site.

ISIS and the Jordanian Pilot Hostage

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The father of 1st Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh, the Jordanian pilot captured by ISIS has issued a plea for his return.

“I direct a message to our generous brothers of the Islamic State in Syria: to host my son, the pilot Mu’ath, with generous hospitality,” he said. “I ask God that their hearts are gathered together with love, and that he is returned to his family, wife and mother.”

“We are all Muslims,” he added.

Here are very large-size (non-violent) photos of his capture.

What are the chances the pilot will not be killed? Read More

Todenhoefer and the ISIS German Fighter Interview

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This is the longer (12 minute) version of CNN's interview with German journalist Juergen Todenhoefer who recently returned from spending 10 days with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. (Here is the 3 minute version I wrote about Monday.)

This longer version is even more compelling. There are also new details on the overweight German fighter who defends slavery and beheadings and tells Todenhoefer ISIS will conquer Europe some day, it’s only a matter of time, and that James Foley died because of the U.S. government.

He is 30 year old Christian Emde, who was jailed in Great Britain in 2011 along with 25 year old Richard Baum, for possessing a lot of extremist literature, including the AQAP articles from the issue of Inspire Magazine on how to build a bomb. They were convicted and sentenced, and deported back to Germany in 2012. They both then joined ISIS. Baum blew himself up in a suicide attack weeks ago. Read More