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By MAURA REYNOLDS | December 21, 2005
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's decision to bypass court review and authorize domestic wiretapping by executive order was part of a concerted effort to rebuild presidential powers weakened in the 1970s as a result of the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War, Vice President Dick Cheney said yesterday. Returning from a trip to the Middle East, Cheney said that threats facing the country require that the president's authority under the Constitution be "unimpaired." "Watergate and a lot of the things around Watergate and Vietnam, both during the 1970s, served, I think, to erode the authority ... the president needs to be effective, especially in the national security area," Cheney said.
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NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2014
A Pasadena man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to tipping off a major cocaine dealer that his phone was being monitored after learning about the tap from a local court official. Last June, Joshua Ferguson, 34, found out from a friend who worked at the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court that authorities were conducting a wiretap investigation, and the next day called one of the targets of the investigation to warn him. The court employee, Sarah Harris, 23, had learned about the investigation when a Drug Enforcement Administration task force officer came in to file applications for other electronic surveillance in the case.
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NEWS
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2011
The Baltimore cops called themselves the "untouchables group" and talked in thinly veiled code, referring to alleged payoffs as "coffee," according to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI. They complained about being broke and demanded expedited payments. They made disparaging remarks about the people they were supposed to protect. Phone conversations and streams of text messages intercepted during a corruption investigation caught police officers in unguarded moments — raw chats laced with profanities and describing meetings in convenience store parking lots to collect money, sometimes with officers pulling up in marked squad cars.
NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | April 17, 2013
When FBI agents heard on a wiretap that a Baltimore police detective was preparing to make a drug arrest based on false information, according to court documents, they decided not to intervene. The arrest of Brenda Brown went forward, and so did the federal case against Kendell Richburg. Richburg pleaded guilty last month to armed drug conspiracy charges after prosecutors said he protected a drug-peddling informant in exchange for information he needed to make arrests. Four more officers have been suspended in connection with the investigation, sources told The Baltimore Sun last week.
NEWS
By Steve Chapman | January 24, 2007
CHICAGO -- Is President Bush surrendering in the war on terror? For more than a year, the administration has insisted that preserving its "terrorist surveillance program," which involves unfettered and unauthorized wiretapping of Americans suspected of communicating with al-Qaida operatives abroad, was, in the words of former White House press secretary Scott McClellan, "a vital tool" for us "to stay a step ahead of a deadly enemy that is determined to...
NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | April 17, 2013
When FBI agents heard on a wiretap that a Baltimore police detective was preparing to make a drug arrest based on false information, according to court documents, they decided not to intervene. The arrest of Brenda Brown went forward, and so did the federal case against Kendell Richburg. Richburg pleaded guilty last month to armed drug conspiracy charges after prosecutors said he protected a drug-peddling informant in exchange for information he needed to make arrests. Four more officers have been suspended in connection with the investigation, sources told The Baltimore Sun last week.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | October 5, 1999
A Howard County circuit judge has been assigned to the wiretapping case against Linda R. Tripp, the Pentagon employee indicted in July on charges brought by State Prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli that she illegally taped a conversation with White House intern Monica Lewinsky in December 1997.Judge Diane O. Leasure said yesterday that she would hear the case but had not looked at the file.Tripp, who lives in Columbia, has refused to accept a plea bargain. No trial date has been set.Pub Date: 10/05/99
NEWS
By Lee H. Hamilton | November 4, 2007
If the local fire company asked for your help putting out a neighbor's blaze, you would not force the firefighters to justify their request. You would just help, right? That's what the phone companies did when the Bush administration asked them in secret for help with wiretaps to target al-Qaida communications into and out of the country. However, the president's warrantless wiretap program caused a furor when it became public. The administration had circumvented the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, raising many doubts about the legality and even constitutionality of its wiretap program.
NEWS
By Alan J. Craver and Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer | August 9, 1992
Detectives probing an alleged Joppa drug ring with ties to Florida and New York did not do enough investigating before seeking a telephone wiretap, defense attorneys argued.Police should have exhausted other investigative techniques, such as surveillance and informants, before getting the wiretap, said attorneys representing the 16 defendants who were charged after an eight-month investigation.On Tuesday the attorneys asked Harford Circuit Judge Albert Close to prevent evidence provided by the wiretap from being used.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | February 1, 1996
Thirteen years ago, the Hagerstown police chief illegally tapped the telephone of an officer he suspected of tipping off gamblers to police investigations.Chief Clinton E. Mowen's eavesdropping ended his 29-year career, impugned the reputation of the officer and began a legal battle that will be heard today by Maryland's highest court.The Maryland Court of Appeals will have to decide if Bell Atlantic-Maryland should be held liable for invasion of privacy because one of its supervisors helped set up the seven-month wiretap.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2013
Accused of taping a judge without her consent, a Baltimore police officer broke down on the witness stand Friday as he testified that one phone call left his 18-year career hanging in the balance. "I've lost everything because of this," said Sgt. Carlos M. Vila. Prosecutors allege that Vila's recording of a phone conversation during which he argued with the judge was a violation of Maryland's wiretap laws. Vila is also charged with playing the recording - which he says was accidental - for colleagues on two occasions.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2013
Like many of the criminals they chase, the top prosecutors in Baltimore and Baltimore County are regularly hauled before judges, not to answer for their misdeeds, but to make wiretap applications. In Baltimore, investigators asked for as many as 32 wiretaps or renewals in the past two years; in the county, 14. Each authorization is good for a month and can cover multiple phone lines. Under Maryland law, a local government's top prosecutor must be present for a judge to sign off on a wire, so the schedules of Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger and Baltimore State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein offer a glimpse into the frequency of the investigative technique.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2012
Baltimore City Police Sgt. Carlos M. Vila pleaded not guilty to charges that he wiretapped a judge discussing a warrant, in a brief hearing Thursday. In announcing the indictment in August, prosecutors said Vila recorded part of an April telephone conversation with Maryland District Court Judge Joan B. Gordon without her knowledge and played it a month later at the Southeast District Police Station. Another officer "heard the recording and confronted Vila," which led to an investigation, prosecutors said.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2012
When Antonio Malone needed $15,000 to pay off the assailants who stormed his West Baltimore rowhouse and demanded money and heroin, a gang leader told him exactly where to go. Police say he was sent to a 12 t h floor apartment at The Redwood, the home of Felicia "Snoop" Pearson. The building on South Eutaw Street, within walking distance of the Inner Harbor and featuring a large ninth-floor deck and a 'round-the-clock fitness center, seems appropriate for an actress on the much-acclaimed HBO series "The Wire.
NEWS
June 1, 2011
How very amazing that it is the Democrats who seem to be the only ones "Sounding an alarm on the Patriot Act" (May 31). And here I thought it was Republicans who wanted smaller government. If they do, then why aren't they sharing the concerns about this law, so secret that no one can even talk about its powers unless they are out of range of a possible wiretap? Why aren't they joining their voices to those worried that cell phone calls, business records, GPS tracking and who knows all what can be monitored on anyone without their knowledge?
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | April 14, 2011
In 1991, Charles "Billy" Guy became the first person convicted under Maryland's newly enacted drug kingpin statute, which carried a mandatory prison term of 20 years without parole. A New Yorker, he had regularly traveled to the Inner Harbor in limousines and spent lavishly on diamonds as he collected as much as $30,000 a week in drug profits. "Yesterday," a Sun article at the time read, "the lavish lifestyle ended for the man who called himself 'the great Billy Guy.'" Not quite, according to federal authorities.
NEWS
By Alan J. Craver and Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer | July 19, 1992
A detective investigating an alleged Joppa drug ring with ties to Florida and New York said police had no alternative but to use a telephone wiretap to get evidence of the group's suspected cocaine deals.But attorneys representing 16 defendants charged after the eight-month investigation contended that the evidence provided by the wiretap should be thrown out.Twelve defense attorneys and two prosecutors argued last week during a Harford Circuit Court hearing whether the evidence should be withheld when the defendants go to trial.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | July 1, 2000
In a case experts say shows the gap between technology and the law, a Laurel man was convicted yesterday of wiretapping by secretly placing a video camera in the bathroom of a friend's Edgewater home. What led to a judge's conviction of Thomas Paul Deibler, 34, on two counts of wiretapping were the voices on the tape - a woman and her father wondering about the device she had found - even though the camera took pictures of the 42-year-old woman as she showered and used the bathroom in her parents' home June 19 last year.
HEALTH
By Annie Linskey and Julie Bykowicz, The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2011
Less than 12 hours after the confetti dropped on Maryland's 2011 legislative session, Gov. Martin O'Malley signed legislation Tuesday morning to limit access to credit reports, allow police to use wiretaps to investigate human trafficking and to prepare the state for the federal health care overhaul. In the first signing ceremony of the year, O'Malley endorsed about a quarter of the 707 bills passed by the General Assembly during the 90-day session that ended Monday. Not on his desk Tuesday was legislation to extend in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants or to raise the sales tax on beer, wine and liquor from 6 percent to 9 percent.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2011
The Baltimore cops called themselves the "untouchables group" and talked in thinly veiled code, referring to alleged payoffs as "coffee," according to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI. They complained about being broke and demanded expedited payments. They made disparaging remarks about the people they were supposed to protect. Phone conversations and streams of text messages intercepted during a corruption investigation caught police officers in unguarded moments — raw chats laced with profanities and describing meetings in convenience store parking lots to collect money, sometimes with officers pulling up in marked squad cars.
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