Islamic State Spokesman Killed in Syria – Wall Street Journal

BN-PP925_isspox_P_20160830145218 Islamic State Spokesman Killed in Syria - Wall Street Journal
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This undated image provided by SITE Intel Group shows Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, an Islamic State spokesman who was killed in northern Syria, according to the group’s Amaq news agency.


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SITE Intel Group via Associated Press

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BEIRUT—A founding member and chief spokesman for Islamic State, Abu Mohammed al Adnani, was killed on a battlefield in northern Syria, the militant group said Tuesday.

Adnani played an important role in Islamic State’s external operations, grooming Abdelhamid Abaaoud during his time fighting with the group in Syria before Abaaoud went on to become the ringleader of the terror attack in Paris that killed more than 100 people.

He was known for lengthy speeches promoting Islamic State,​conveying messages from leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He would issue messages online lambasting jihadist rival al Qaeda and its leadership while imploring Islamic State supporters to take up arms and launch attacks in their home countries, from Australia to France.

Tuesday’s statements, posted to both the terror group’s official Amaq News Agency and its Aleppo Province media arm, didn’t say when Adnani had died. They didn’t detail how he was killed or which side in Syria’s multifaceted conflict was responsible for his death.

“The blood of the sheiks will only make it more firm on the path of jihad and determination to take revenge and assault,” it said.

Syrian rebel factions and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime have fought a yearslong war of attrition for the northern city of Aleppo. U.S. coalition, Russian and Syrian airstrikes pound Aleppo province regularly, with Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Kurdish and Arab rebels fighting on the ground.

U.S. officials didn’t confirm the death of Adnani, and Pentagon officials routinely withhold confirmation until they assess the results of strikes using intelligence surveillance, reconnaissance and other capabilities.

A senior U.S. defense official said Tuesday that coalition forces did conduct an airstrike on Tuesday in Aleppo province’s al Bab, targeting an Islamic State senior leader. “We are still assessing the results of the operation at this time,” the official said.

Adnani was seen by the U.S. as a “significant and influential senior operational planner,” and his removal could disrupt some of the group’s attack plotting, said Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Adnani is considered a “behind the scenes” operator who was part of Islamic State’s inner circle, according to a military official.

Islamic State’s statement Tuesday referred to Adnani for the first time as a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. That bloodline would give him important standing among jihadists, as key Islamic texts addressing the apocalypse claim a descendant of the prophet will rule as caliph, or religious emperor.

The religious title is claimed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who in 2014 declared a caliphate stretching across Syria and Iraq.

The lineage claim may mean Adnani was being positioned as the successor to Mr. Baghdadi, William McCants, a director at the Brookings Institution, said on Twitter.

The impact of Adnani’s death on Islamic State’s operations remains to be seen. Terror organizations from Hezbollah to Islamic State tend to be well-prepared to weather leadership changes, even in senior ranks. Al Qaeda continues to launch successful operations after the 2011 death of former leader Osama bin Laden.

“It’s at this early stage difficult to know quite what the implications of his death will be, beyond symbolism,” said Charlie Winter, a terror analyst who studies the group. “Islamic State’s leadership prides itself on its organizational opacity, so it is crucial that we don’t overstate the immediate tactical consequences of his death.”

Adnani was born as Taha Sobhi Falaha in Syria sometime in the late 1970s. He was put on the U.S. State Department’s terrorist designation list in August 2014.

“Adnani was one of the first foreign fighters to oppose [U.S.-led] coalition forces in Iraq before becoming ISIL’s spokesman,” the U.S. State Department said when blacklisting him, using an acronym for Islamic State.

His involvement with Islamic State dates back over a decade, when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 and regional jihadists flocked to the country to take up arms against American soldiers with the group’s predecessor, al Qaeda in Iraq.

Adnani helped al Qaeda in Iraq rise to prominence as al Qaeda’s most brutal faction during the peak of the country’s civil war from 2004 to 2007. He emerged as Islamic State’s spokesman after the group’s very public divorce from al Qaeda in 2013.

Islamic State quickly became known for amplifying al Qaeda’s brutality, subjecting Muslims and religious minorities under its rule to beheadings, crucifixions and more for defying its rule.

In a widely distributed speech in 2014, Adnani urged followers to kill Westerners and non-believers any way possible. “Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him,” he said, according to SITE, a group that monitors militant web sites.

—Noam Raydan in Beirut and Gordon Lubold in Washington contributed to this article.

Corrections & Amplifications:
An earlier version of this article misidentified the Brookings Institution as the Brookings Institute. (Aug. 30, 2016)

Write to Maria Abi-Habib at maria.habib@wsj.com

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ISIS spokesman killed in Aleppo, group says – CNN

Story highlights

  • ISIS says it is “determined to seek revenge” for killing
  • Mohammad al-Adnani had called for attacks against countries launching airstrikes against ISIS
His death marks the highest-profile killing yet of an ISIS member. While Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been ISIS’ unquestioned leader, al-Adnani may have been the terror group’s most public figure, the person floated as ISIS’ next leader should anything happen to al-Baghdadi.
The Amaq statement Tuesday said al-Adnani died while inspecting military operations in the area of Aleppo, Syria. ISIS has not revealed his cause of death.
“After a journey filled with sacrifice and fight against non-believers, the Syrian Gallant knight, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, joined the convoy of martyr leaders,” ISIS said.
“To the filthy and coward non-believers and to the holders of the Christ emblem, we bring the good news, which will keep them awake, that a new generation in the Islamic State … that loves death more than life … this generation will only grow steadfast on the path to Jihad, stay determined to seek revenge and be violent toward them.”
Al-Adnani was well known for ordering operatives to attack countries participating in the US-led coalition against ISIS. In January, al-Adnani was reported injured in a coalition airstrike.
“Abu Mohammad al-Adnani is an absolutely key figure in this terrorist group. He’s much more than just a spokesman — one of their most senior figures, perhaps one could argue their most senior figure, certainly their most recognizable figure after Baghdadi,” CNN Terrorism Analyst Paul Cruickshank said in January in response to the reports.
“In some ways he’s a more dangerous figure than Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, because he’s believed to be overseeing the external operations division of ISIS, and that’s the part of ISIS which threatens the West, which carried out the attacks in Paris, which could one day carry out an attack in the US on a significant scale.”
Without confirming al-Adnani’s death, a senior Pentagon official confirmed that coalition forces conducted an airstrike Tuesday morning in al Bab, Syria, targeting an ISIS senior leader. They are still assessing the results, the official said.

An important figure

Al-Adnani has been with ISIS since its beginnings and was close to al-Baghdadi, CNN’s Nic Roberston said.
In June 2014, al-Adnani was the first to declare a “caliphate” for parts of Syria and Iraq, indicating ISIS’ aim of not just being a terrorist group but a governing entity.
He said ISIS supporters in the West had a religious duty to launch lone-wolf attacks. Analysts have said that was a game changer and may have inspired attacks in North America, Europe and Australia.
“He was the mouthpiece of ISIS. He said things like, ‘If you can’t shoot them, then stab them, and if you can’t stab them, then crush their heads with rocks. If you can’t do that then drive your cars, your vehicles, to kill them,” Robertson said.
“He absolutely tried to maximize every opportunity to instill fear in Syria and Iraq and the international community and send fighters overseas to attack,” Robertson said.
Prior to his death, the US State Department announced a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to al-Adnani, a “specially designated global terrorist.”
“He was the strategic leader of the organization, especially when it comes to attacks on the West,” said journalist Graeme Wood, Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “To have that voice destroyed is a serious blow to the organization, probably the most significant kill that the enemies of the Islamic state have perpetrated since its declaration of the caliphate.”

CNN’s Holly Yan and Dugald McConnell contributed to this report.

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Obama commutes sentences of 111 inmates, setting record for a single month – Washington Post

AFP_C565G Obama commutes sentences of 111 inmates, setting record for a single month - Washington Post
President Obama. (Brendan SmialowskI/AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentences for 111 inmates, the latest in his push to ease harsh penalties given to nonviolent drug offenders.

Obama has been critical of what he has called the “devastating” effects of severe sentences handed down during the country’s war on drugs. He became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, and spoke there about the importance of “second chances.”

While the pace of commutations he granted had worried activists earlier this year, Obama has made a push in August to give clemency to scores of additional inmates. Earlier this month, Obama commuted the sentences of 214 other inmates, setting a single-day record for his administration. The 325 commutations he has announced this month are the most from any president in one month, the White House says, and have nearly doubled the total number he has granted while in office. 

“Entire communities have been ravaged where largely men, but some women, are taken out of those communities,” Obama said during a news conference the day after he granted clemency to 214 inmates. “Kids are now growing up without parents. It perpetuates a cycle of poverty and disorder in their lives. It is disproportionately young men of color that are being arrested at higher rates, charged and convicted at higher rates, and imprisoned for longer sentences.”

[One year out: What happened to 46 inmates after Obama commuted their sentences]

Obama said that he hoped the bipartisan push for criminal justice reform could wind up weighing how to fight crime alongside “the need for proportionality in sentencing and the need to rehabilitate those who commit crimes.”

This latest round announced Tuesday by the White House pushes the total number of commutations Obama has granted while in office to 673, nearly equal to the number of commutations issued by the previous 11 administrations combined (690).

BREAKING: @POTUS just commuted 111 people, bringing the total to more than the past 10 presidents combined. pic.twitter.com/cwRfjozpAH

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 30, 2016

“The clemency initiative is about more than the 111 people who learned today that their sentences have been commuted; it’s also about the families and communities who will welcome them home as they work to build a new life,” Sally Q. Yates, the deputy attorney general, said in a statement.

While the number of commutations Obama has granted far exceeds those of his predecessors dating back to World War II, they still impact a fraction of the country’s massive population of incarcerated people.

[How do presidential commutations and pardons work?]

At the end of 2014, there were more than 210,000 inmates in federal correctional facilities, along with another 1.3 million in state facilities, according to Justice Department statistics. That year, half of all men and more than half of women in federal prisons were serving time for drug offenses, according to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which released them last fall.

The number of inmates in federal prisons has declined to less than 195,000 earlier this month, according to a memo Yates wrote outlining the Justice Department’s plans to stop using private prisons.

With just months left in office, Obama faces a mountain of names seeking clemency and relatively little time to consider their petitions. According to the Justice Department, there were more than 11,000 commutation petitions pending earlier this month, along with more than 1,400 pardon petitions.

[Lack of resources, bureaucratic tangles have bogged down Obama’s clemency efforts]

In June, a group of experts, activists and former officials wrote to Obama urging him to speed up the process, worrying about the pace during the twilight of his administration.

Obama said during his news conference earlier this month that his main criteria was finding people who would be given much shorter sentences today than they received decades ago, individuals who his administration believes have “tried to reform themselves while incarcerated” and deserve a second chance.

“Our focus really has been on people who we think were overcharged and people who we do not believe have a propensity towards violence,” he said.

Here is the full list of people who had their sentences commuted Tuesday, as released by the White House:

· Malik Abuhamid Waking Abdunafi — Baltimore, MD.

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine, at least 50 grams of cocaine base (crack), heroin, and marijuana; distribution of cocaine and cocaine base (crack); distribution of heroin; possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, at least five grams of cocaine base (crack), heroin, and marijuana; Middle District of Pennsylvania

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $100,000 forfeiture (August 31, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016, and obligation and payment of forfeiture remitted.

· Quentin C. Adams — St. Louis, MO

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (two counts); distribution of cocaine base; Western District of Missouri

Sentence: Life imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (June 15, 2005)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 262 months’ imprisonment.

· Sly Stallone Aikens — Hickory Grove, SC

Offense: Knowingly using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to, and possessing the firearm in furtherance of, a drug trafficking crime (two counts); District of South Carolina

Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (April 29, 2005); amended to 235 months’ imprisonment (September 28, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 180 months’ imprisonment.

· Michael Alexander — Charlotte, NC

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; Western District of North Carolina

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (October 23, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Alfonso Allen — Miami, FL

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; distribution of cocaine base (two counts); possession with intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base and marijuana; possession of a short barreled shotgun in furtherance of a felony drug offense; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; possession of an unregistered short barreled shotgun; Southern District of Florida

Sentence: Life plus 10 years’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (August 25, 2009)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 360 months’ imprisonment.

· Brian Allen Altman — New Berlin, WI

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (two counts); Western District of Virginia

Sentence: 480 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (February 23, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 180 months’ imprisonment.

· Maurice D. Ball — Kansas City, MO

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; Western District of Missouri

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (June 22, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· John Franklin Banks — Lynchburg, VA

Offense: Continuing criminal enterprise; Western District of Virginia

Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $250 fine (January 14, 2000 (on remand))

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 292 months’ imprisonment.

· Human L. Barrington, III — Norfolk, VA

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; Eastern District of Virginia

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (January 7, 2009)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 180 months’ imprisonment.

· Tyrie Bell — Sauk Village, IL

Offense: Possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute; Northern District of Illinois

Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release; $500 restitution (January 19, 2000)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Ronald Owen Bilbrey, Jr. — Winter Haven, FL

Offense: Conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (two counts); attempted possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; distribution of methamphetamine (three counts); possession of ephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine; Middle District of Florida

Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (April 25, 1996)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Tremayne Kendrick Blackwell — Charlotte, NC

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute quantities of cocaine and cocaine base; Western District of North Carolina

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (February 18, 2009); amended to 240 months’ imprisonment (November 3, 2015)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 180 months’ imprisonment.

· Corey Lyndell Blount — Houston, TX

Offense: Use of a communication facility in facilitating the commission of felonies under the Controlled Substance Act; continuing criminal enterprise; Western District of Louisiana

Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (October 27, 1999)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 360 months’ imprisonment.

· Ronald Lee Blount, Jr. — Houston, TX

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; use of a communication facility in facilitating the commission of felonies under the Controlled Substance Act; Western District of Louisiana

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (July 9, 1999)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Jerome Lee Borders — Statesville, NC

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; conspiracy to commit money laundering; Western District of North Carolina

Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (May 6, 2002 )

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months’ imprisonment.

· Brad Bradley Bradford — Tampa, FL

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine; Middle District of Georgia

Sentence: 180 months’ imprisonment; three years’ supervised release (November 6, 2008)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Charles Lee Brandon — Bay City, MI

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base; Eastern District of Michigan

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (December 22, 2008)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 151 months’ imprisonment.

· Walter Breland — Statesville, NC

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine base; possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime; felon in possession of a firearm; Southern District of Indiana

Sentence: 420 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (February 12, 2003)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months’ imprisonment.

· Eugene Kenneth Brinson — Newark, NJ

Offense: Possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; possess with intent to distribute cocaine hydrochloride & heroin; possess with intent to distribute marijuana; Eastern District of Virginia

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (September 8, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months’ imprisonment.

· Roosevelt Brockington — Fort Lauderdale, FL

Offense: Distribution in excess of five grams of cocaine base; Middle District of Georgia

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (February 15, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 188 months’ imprisonment.

· Derrick Lewis Bynum — Hyattsville, MD

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances; use of a communications device to facilitate narcotics trafficking (three counts); possession with intent to distribute controlled substances (two counts); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; District of Maryland

Sentence: 300 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (December 19, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months’ imprisonment.

· Juan Benito Calbo-Gomez — Corpus Christi, TX

Offense:

1. Conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (crack) and marijuana; Eastern District of Texas

2. Supervised release violation (possession with intent to distribute marijuana); Eastern District of Texas

Sentence:

1. 210 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (October 17, 2006); amended to 168 months’ imprisonment (November 1, 2014)

2. 18 months’ imprisonment (February 15, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Joseph J. Campbell — Summerville, SC

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and cocaine base; unlawful use of communication facility to facilitate drug trafficking activity; District of South Carolina

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (February 14, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Eugene Carlton — Decatur, GA

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; Northern District of Georgia

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 1, 2002)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Shannon Cave — Bronx, NY

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base; Western District of Virginia

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (December 13, 2005)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 188 months’ imprisonment.

· Fred Charles, Jr. — Stopover, KY

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute 500 grams of cocaine; use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime; Western District of Virginia

Sentence: 248 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $500 fine (April 4, 2002)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Duane Clasen — Evansville, WI

Offense:

1. Distribution of approximately 6.85 grams of methamphetamine (mixture), after having previously been convicted of one or more felony drug offenses; Northern District of Iowa

2. Supervised release violation (distribution of amphetamine); Northern District of Iowa

Sentence:

1. 200 months’ imprisonment (July 25, 2003)

2. 36 months’ imprisonment (consecutive); six years’ supervised release; $6,142.75 restitution (October 29, 1999)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 15, 2017, and unpaid balance of restitution obligation remitted.

· Clarence Douglas Coakley — Dermott, AR

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute cocaine and cocaine base; distribution of cocaine base (two counts); Eastern District of North Carolina

Sentence: Life plus 360 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (December 9, 1996)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 360 months’ imprisonment.

· Merlin Coleman — Chicago, IL

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance; use of a communication facility to facilitate the commission of the distribution of a controlled substance (three counts); possession with intent to distribute cocaine; Northern District of Illinois

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (January 9, 2004)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Barry Renfold Cooley — Los Angeles, CA

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute narcotics; District of Nebraska

Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (December 29, 2004)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Travis Dwaine Corley — Blackville, SC

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base and a quantity of cocaine; District of South Carolina

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (July 23, 2003)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Warren Dean Cornett — Houston, TX

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine and in excess of 50 grams cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of cocaine; possess with intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of cocaine base; Southern District of Texas

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (March 27, 1998)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Bobby Richard Cotton, Jr. — Tampa, FL

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; Middle District of Florida

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (May 3, 2002)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Jessee Dane Cox — Crumpler, NC

Offense: Conspiracy to possess methamphetamine; Western District of Virginia

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 26, 2009)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Aubrey Jermaine Cummings — Miami, FL

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of cocaine base and at least five kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride; Middle District of Florida

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (August 8, 2002)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Eddie James Davis — Bedford, OH

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; Northern District of Ohio

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (November 28, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Henry Deleon — Corpus Christi, TX

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute approximately 2.22 kilograms of a mixture or a substance containing methamphetamine; aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute approximately 2.22 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine; Southern District of Texas

Sentence: Life imprisonment (December 15, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months’ imprisonment.

· James Dillehay — Akron, OH

Offense: Conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine; Northern District of Ohio

Sentence: Life imprisonment (September 10, 1993)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 360 months’ imprisonment.

· William R. Downs — Daytona Beach, FL

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute; Middle District of Florida

Sentence: 260 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (February 2, 2001)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Jarrett Dunn — Cleveland, Tenn.

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess more than 50 grams cocaine base; conspiracy to distribute and possess more than five kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride; possession with intent to distribute more than five grams cocaine base; Eastern District of Tennessee

Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 19, 2005)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 262 months’ imprisonment.

· Robert Anthony Eberhart — Garner, NC

Offense: Distribution of cocaine base; possession of a firearm during drug trafficking; Middle District of North Carolina

Sentence: 468 months’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release (February 1, 2005); amended to 420 months’ imprisonment (November 28, 2012)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months’ imprisonment.

· Darryl Dewayne Edwards — Port Arthur, TX

Offense: Attempt to manufacture 50 grams or more of cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm by a felon; Eastern District of Texas

Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (November 19, 2008)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Darryl Ellis — Fort Pierce, FL

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; aiding and abetting; Middle District of Alabama

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (November 26, 1996)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Mark Foster — Waterford Works, NJ
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; carrying or possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime; Middle District of Florida
Sentence: Life plus 60 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (July 12, 2002)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months’ imprisonment.

· Craig William Frazier — Great Falls, MT

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana; possession with intent to distribute marijuana; District of Montana

Sentence: 480 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (December 14, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Ricardo Gallardo — Rockford, IL

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin; distribution of 2,006 grams of cocaine; possession with intent to distribute 6.02 kilograms of cocaine and 996.9 grams of heroin; money laundering; engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity; Northern District of Illinois

Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $500 fine (December 16, 2005); amended to 292 months’ imprisonment (November 1, 2014)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months’ imprisonment.

· Jason Gardner — Fort Worth, TX

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base; Western District of Texas

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (March 27, 2003)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Ricky Lamont Garrett — Waco, TX

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of “crack” cocaine; Western District of Texas

Sentence: 224 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $1,000 fine (March 28, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016, and unpaid balance of $1,000 fine remitted.

· Orfil Javier Garza — Pacoima, CA

Offense: Possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute; carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense; District of Utah

Sentence: 180 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (January 13, 2010)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Antonio Jevon Gayden — Chicago, IL

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute, and/or aid and abet the possession with intent to distribute five grams or more but less than 50 grams of cocaine base after having been previously convicted of a felony drug offense; conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base after having been previously convicted of a felony drug offense; Northern District of Iowa

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (April 16, 2009)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 120 months’ imprisonment.

· Mark Francis Glidden — Clear Lake, IA

Offense: Manufacture and attempt to manufacture five grams or more of methamphetamine (actual) after a prior conviction for a felony drug offense; Northern District of Iowa

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (October 22, 2003)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Quincy Allen Goins — Madison, TN

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of cocaine base; Eastern District of Tennessee

Sentence: Life imprisonment (March 14, 2001)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2017.

· David Gonzalez — Houston, TX

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; aiding and abetting the distribution of five grams or more of cocaine base; aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; Southern District of Texas

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (January 26, 2004)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on May 31, 2017.

· Elliott Gray — Baltimore, MD

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, and aiding and abetting; District of Maryland

Sentence: 188 months’ imprisonment; four years’ supervised release (August 24, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Randolph S. Gustave — Albuquerque, NM

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute in excess of 1,000 kilograms of marijuana; conspiracy to launder monetary instruments (two counts); Western District of Pennsylvania

Sentence: 324 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (June 21, 2001); amended to 262 months’ imprisonment (November 1, 2015)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on May 1, 2017.

· Ali Reno Harden — Dublin, GA

Offense: Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; possession of a firearm having an obliterated serial number; possession with intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base; possession of a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking crime; possession of marijuana; Southern District of Georgia

Sentence: 180 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release; $5,000 fine (February 19, 2009)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016, and unpaid balance of $5,000 fine remitted.

· Ronnie Lorenzo Hardy — Chipley, FL

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; principal to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; unlawful possession of a firearm; possession of a firearm during a felony drug offense; Northern District of Florida

Sentence: Life plus 60 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $1,000 fine (September 19, 2000)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 270 months’ imprisonment.

· Charles Harrison — Natchez, MS

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; Southern District of Mississippi

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $1,500 fine (October 25, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Jason Thomas Haslip — Las Vegas, NV

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute in excess of 500 grams of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDA or Ecstasy); aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute 87 capsules and 1,419 tablets of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDA or Ecstasy); aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute 27 grams of methamphetamine; District of Minnesota

Sentence: 324 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (February 17, 2004); amended to 262 months’ imprisonment (November 1, 2015)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Monroe Herring — Greensboro, NC

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and cocaine base; Western District of North Carolina

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (March 26, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Emmanuel Herron — Stella, MO

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute 56.63 grams of crack cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; Northern District of Iowa

Sentence: 180 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (February 22, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Marvin K. Holloway — District Heights, MD

Offense: Unlawful possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; District of Columbia

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (November 21, 2000)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Cory Lamonte Huddleston — St. Louis, MO

Offense: Possession with the intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of cocaine base; Eastern District of Missouri

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (March 20, 2009)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Kevin Huff — New Orleans, LA

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; Eastern District of Louisiana

Sentence: 300 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (September 26, 2001); amended to 275 months’ imprisonment (November 3, 2008)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Jose Jasso, Jr. — Progreso, TX

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; Southern District of Texas

Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $10,000 fine (June 27, 1997)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016, and unpaid balance of $10,000 fine remitted.

· Isaac Simmons Johnson — Macclenny, FL

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; Middle District of Florida

Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (May 27, 2004)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Samuel Latrell Johnson — Odessa, TX

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance; Western District of Texas

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (October 17, 2002)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Theodore Johnson — Rock Island, IL

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base; Southern District of Illinois

Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $5,000 fine (May 19, 2000)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016, and unpaid balance of $5,000 fine remitted.

· Walter Johnson — Tampa, FL

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; distributing 50 grams or more of cocaine base; Middle District of Florida

Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (June 30, 2000)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Tony Lamont Jones — Portsmouth, VA

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing cocaine base; distribution of cocaine base; Eastern District of Virginia

Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (January 29, 1998); amended to 360 months’ imprisonment (August 28, 2015)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· James Howard Jones — Cartersville, GA

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; aided and abetted possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; Northern District of Georgia

Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (June 5, 1997); amended to 324 months’ imprisonment (November 2, 2015)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Dirk Ladson — Bronx, NY

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing cocaine and cocaine base; Eastern District of Virginia

Sentence: 328 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (January 12, 1995)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Mark Lanzilotti — Sewell, NJ

Offense: Conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine; manufacture of methamphetamine and aiding and abetting; Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (April 4, 2002); amended to 360 months’ imprisonment (August 7, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months’ imprisonment.

· Michael Freeman Lattimore — Lawndale, NC

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; Western District of North Carolina

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (March 30, 2005)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Gary L. Lynch — Rocky Mount, NC

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack) and cocaine; Eastern District of North Carolina

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $1,200 restitution (April 30, 2001)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Emmanuel Obi stores — Detroit, MI

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin; conspiracy to import heroin; Southern District of New York

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (April 11, 2008)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Larry Martin — Chicago, IL

Offense: Drug conspiracy; Northern District of Illinois

Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (August 12, 1993)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 360 months’ imprisonment.

· Rudy Martinez — Chicago, IL

Offense: Conspiracy; continuing criminal enterprise; drug distribution (two counts); use of a communication facility in commission of a crime (three counts); interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprises; Northern District of Illinois

Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (April 23, 1992)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Victor Eugene Mason — Washington, NC

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of five kilograms or more of cocaine; District of South Carolina

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (September 11, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Rodney R. McCain — Suitland, MD

Offense: Distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; felon in possession of a firearm; District of Maryland

Sentence: 200 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (September 14, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Kenneth Russell McCoy — Council Bluffs, IA

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine; Southern District of Iowa

Sentence: 216 months’ imprisonment; seven years’ supervised release (September 24, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· London Archie McRae — West End, NC

Offense: Possessed with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack); Middle District of North Carolina

Sentence: 280 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (May 29, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Danielle Bernard Metz — New Orleans, LA

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute cocaine; continuing criminal enterprise; possession with intent to distribute cocaine hydrochloride; laundering of monetary instruments; Eastern District of Louisiana

Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (December 15, 1993)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Hal Q. Mincy — Cleveland, OH

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack); Northern District of Ohio

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (June 15, 2001)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Joseph Newton — Savannah, GA

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute controlled substances; use of a communication facility; Southern District of Georgia

Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (February 19, 1992); amended to 360 months’ imprisonment (November 1, 2014)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· James Clinton Patterson, Jr. — Concord, NC

Offense: Possessed with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack); Middle District of North Carolina

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (February 12, 2002)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Raeanna Mae Paxton — Casper, WY

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; Southern District of Iowa

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (July 10, 2008)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Leon Perry — Metter, GA

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute a quantity of cocaine base and a quantity of cocaine hydrochloride; Southern District of Georgia

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $2,500 fine (December 10, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, and unpaid balance of $2,500 fine remitted, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Michael D. Points — Louisville, KY

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; Western District of Kentucky

Sentence: 180 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (December 5, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Albert Randolph — St. Louis, MO

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base; Eastern District of Missouri

Sentence: 160 months’ imprisonment; four years’ supervised release (July 1, 2008)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Gregory Augusta Ransom, II — Panama City, FL

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base and cocaine; Northern District of Florida

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (February 6, 2008)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Darryl Lamar Reed — San Leandro, CA

Offense: Manufacture and possession with intent to distribute crack and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting; Northern District of California
Sentence: 420 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $50,000 fine (January 29, 1990)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Tommy Rice — Spartanburg, SC

Offense: Aiding and abetting in the commission of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine; District of South Carolina

Sentence: Life imprisonment, 10 years’ supervised release (January 6, 2004)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Daxtrell D. Robinson — Champaign, IL

Offense: Possession of 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack); Central District of Illinois

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 25, 2005)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Uriah Alfred Rose — Miami, FL

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of crack cocaine; Southern District of Florida

Sentence: 188 months’ imprisonment; four years’ supervised release (June 7, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Calvin Dwayne Sangster — St. Louis, MO

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack); Eastern District of Missouri

Sentence: 188 months’ imprisonment; four years’ supervised release (November 30, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Martez Lamont Sherrod — Greenville, NC

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base and more than 500 grams of cocaine; possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; Eastern District of North Carolina

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (October 12, 2005)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a expire on December 28, 2016.

· George E. Smith — Riviera Beach, FL

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute less than five grams of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school; possession with intent to distribute a detectable amount of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school; Southern District of Florida

Sentence: 235 months’ imprisonment; 12 years’ supervised release (December 8, 2005)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Lue Gene Swarn — Dallas, TX

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine; use of a communication facility to facilitate the commission of a drug felony; Eastern District of Texas

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (April 4, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Western John Thomas — Albion, MI

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of cocaine base; Western District of Michigan

Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (February 22, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Timothy L. Tyler — St. Petersburg, FL

Offense: Possession with intent to deliver LSD; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute LSD; Middle District of Florida

Sentence: Life imprisonment (July 19, 1994)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Norman Eugene Van Zee — Highmore, SD

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance; District of South Dakota

Sentence: 292 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (October 20, 2003)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Gracie Walker — Granbury, TX

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance; Northern District of Texas

Sentence: 290 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (July 27, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Derrick Waller — St. Louis, MO

Offense: 1. Supervised release violation (possession of an unregistered firearm and distribution of cocaine); Eastern District of Missouri

2. Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack); Eastern District of Missouri

Sentence: 1. 36 months’ imprisonment (July 17, 2007)

2. 188 months’ imprisonment (concurrent to the unserved part of the 36-month sentence); four years’ supervised release (November 2, 2007)

45 months’ imprisonment (consecutive) (February 16, 1996)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Patrick Willard — Greensboro, NC

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; Eastern District of Kentucky
Sentence: 327 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (January 8, 2007)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Christopher White — Anderson, SC

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute narcotics; distribution and possession of narcotics with intent to distribute; aiding and abetting; District of Maryland

Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $1 fine (July 30, 1999); amended to 289 months’ imprisonment (November 1, 2014)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Daniel Williams — Schenectady, NY

Offense: Conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and cocaine base; Northern District of New York
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 2, 2008)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Jonathan Carnell Williams — Washington, DC

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (crack); District of Maryland

Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (May 6, 2003)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 28, 2016.

· Levi Wilson — Denver, CO

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, cocaine base and to use a place where cocaine base is manufactured, distributed and used; District of Wyoming

Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (November 3, 2005)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

· Richard Van Winrow — Los Angeles, CA

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute a narcotic drug controlled substance; felon in possession of a firearm; Central District of California

Sentence: Life imprisonment (December 6, 1989)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on August 30, 2017.

· Raul S. Zavala — Spokane, WA

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine; use of a communication facility to facilitate the commission of a felony; Eastern District of Washington

Sentence: Life imprisonment (April 18, 2006)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months’ imprisonment.

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  • wp-socializer-sprite-mask-32px Obama commutes sentences of 111 inmates, setting record for a single month - Washington Post
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Trump hammers Clinton for new Benghazi emails – Politico

3Furl3Dhttp253A252F252Fstatic.politico.com252Fce252F36252Ff543157f450e8434363f88a5f327252F07-donald-trump-6-ap-1160 Trump hammers Clinton for new Benghazi emails - Politico

Donald Trump raised questions about Hillary Clinton’s email server after email communications about Benghazi were discovered. | AP Photo

The State Department revealed that the FBI recovered 30 emails from Clinton’s server that may be related to the 2012 attacks.

By Louis Nelson

Updated

Donald Trump’s campaign on Tuesday seized on revelations that the FBI has recovered an additional 30 emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server possibly related to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack, saying the discovery makes one wonder “what is contained in the other emails she attempted to wipe from her server.”

The 30 emails were part of a larger cache of roughly 15,000 emails the FBI recovered as it probed Clinton’s use of a personal email server for State Department business, according to an Associated Press report.

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State Department lawyers told a U.S. district judge that some of the possibly-Benghazi-related emails were not part of the trove of emails Clinton handed over to the State Department after leaving the agency in 2013, before the FBI started its investigation.

“Today’s disclosure that 30 additional emails about Benghazi were discovered on Hillary Clinton’s private server raises additional questions about the more than 30,000 emails she deleted,” Trump’s senior communications adviser Jason Miller said in a statement. “Hillary Clinton swore before a federal court and told the American people she handed over all of her work-related emails. If Clinton did not consider emails about something as important as Benghazi to be work-related, one has to wonder what is contained in the other emails she attempted to wipe from her server.”

The revelation of potentially newly discovered Benghazi emails adds to the migraine the Clinton camp has suffered throughout her presidential campaign, as new developments keep the scandal in the headlines.

Tuesday’s hearing also delved into when the State Department would be able publicly release the thousands of emails the FBI recovered as part of its now-closed investigation, which could come uncomfortably close to the election.

State contended that it will take until the end of next month to complete the review and redact classified information before they can be released publicly. State Department spokesman John Kirby also said that review would determine if the emails are, in fact, related to the Benghazi terrorist attack or are instead duplicates of emails already turned over by Clinton.

“As we have said, the Department agreed to search the materials we received from the FBI in response to several pending FOIA requests and, to the extent responsive records are identified, produce them,” Kirby said. “Using broad search terms, we have identified approximately 30 documents potentially responsive to a Benghazi-related request. At this time, we have not confirmed that the documents are, in fact, responsive, or whether they are duplicates of materials already provided to the Department by former Secretary Clinton in December 2014.”

Information about the previously-undisclosed Benghazi emails came during a court hearing for a case brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group which has filed multiple lawsuits concerning Clinton’s records from her time as secretary of state.

Separately, Judicial Watch posted on its website a set of 25 questions that it had submitted for Clinton to answer, after a different U.S. district court judge ordered the former secretary of state to respond to the group’s outstanding inquiries under oath in writing by Sept. 29. The questions seek specific answers about the creation of her personal email server and account, her decision to use it for State Department business and her awareness of how it related to federal freedom of information laws.

The questions range from general and broad to specific, asking Clinton about particular memos and meetings she held while secretary of state in which the use of private email servers was discussed.

“These are simple questions about her email system that we hope will finally result in straight-forward answers, under oath, from Hillary Clinton,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement that accompanied the release of the questions.

The new batch of emails being reviewed by the State Department is not the only news expected soon related to Clinton’s email server. The FBI is expected to release, as soon as Wednesday, the report it issued to the Justice Department recommending against charges for Clinton following the bureau’s investigation into her email practices while with the State Department. That release is also expected to contain the FBI’s agent notes, called a 302 form, from Clinton’s interview last month at the bureau’s downtown Washington offices.

It is the second straight week that Clinton’s emails as secretary of state have put her presidential campaign on the defensive. A set of emails released a week ago by Judicial Watch showed donors to the Clinton Foundation were given access to high-level State Department officials during her four-year tenure.

Trump has hammered his Democratic opponent over the emails, which he said represented evidence that Clinton had instituted a “pay for play” scheme at the State Department. But the former secretary of state denied that the emails showed anything improper and said in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last week that she was “sure” nothing from her emails or ties to the Clinton Foundation would damage her election chances.

“My work as secretary of state was not influenced by outside sources. I made policy decisions based on what I thought to keep Americans safe and protect our interests abroad,” Clinton told “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski. “I believe my aides also acted appropriately. And we have gone above and beyond most of the charities that I understand, beyond legal requirements, beyond standards to voluntarily disclose donors and also to reduce sources of funding that raised questions — not that we thought they were necessarily legitimate, but to avoid those questions.”

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Court: Okay For Trial To Move Forward Against ESPN For Tweeting JPP's Medical Chart

The Fourth of July is long in our rearview mirrors, but for some folks the holiday haunts them still. Such is the case with NFL football player Jason Pierre-Paul, who quite famously managed to celebrate our nation’s independence by blowing apart a good chunk of his hand a year and a half ago. So too does the holiday likely remain top of mind for ESPN and its reporter, Adam Schefter, who found themselves in a bit of controversy after reporting on Pierre-Paul’s condition and tweeting out a copy of the player’s medical chart, revealing that he had no digits where there previously had been fingers. Pierre-Paul sued Schefter and ESPN for invading his privacy, arguing that he’d suffered great harm as a result and suggesting that, though Schefter had received the medical chart from a source, the publication of such information might make it less likely for other famous persons to seek medical treatment in the future. ESPN, meanwhile, attempted to spike the lawsuit on First Amendment grounds under an anti-SLAPP statute, arguing that journalists have always been free to provide evidence for stories gained from sources.

Well, the court has ruled against ESPN’s attempt to have the suit dismissed, saying the lawsuit will proceed.

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is suing ESPN and star reporter Adam Schefter over a tweet that revealed an amputated right finger as a result of a July 4 celebration last year. The NFL star asserts he suffered great damage when Schefter showed his four million followers a copy of Pierre-Paul’s medical chart. But despite ESPN’s First Amendment arguments, a judge on Thursday rejected ESPN’s attempt to dismiss, according to a statement from Pierre-Paul’s attorney.

ESPN, represented by the same lawyers that represented Gawker, argued that courts “have consistently recognized that a journalist is entitled to include visual evidence corroborating a report on a matter of public concern.”

ESPN’s lawyers also pointed out that Pierre-Paul is not suggesting that Schefter was prohibited from reporting on the exact details within the chart, which was the actual harming information if any harm actually was done, but that tweeting out the medical chart image itself suddenly was actionable. Why Pierre-Paul chose this attack on ESPN and a journalist rather than whatever source shared the chart with Schefter in the first place is largely left unaddressed, although the depth of the parties’ respective pockets likely has something to do with it.

Regardless, this is a disappointing ruling on many levels. Those seeking medical attention certainly do have an expectation of privacy from those providing the healthcare work and one would think HIPAA violations may be in play here as well, but Pierre-Paul has no such expectation of privacy from a journalist covering him. The proper defendant in this case is obviously whomever provided the chart to Schefter and likely over HIPAA violations. Whatever the implications upon privacy at issue here, it seems quite clear that chilling the reporting of journalists who receive information from sources is not hte proper vector for addressing those issues. Between this and the Gawker case, along with the public comments by one well-known would-be politician, we seem to entering a different era in terms of how the press is viewed and treated in America.

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Inspector General Finds NYPD's Surveillance Of Muslims Routinely Violated Consent Decree Guidelines

Following two lawsuits against the NYPD for its pervasive, rights-violating surveillance of the city’s Muslims, the department’s Inspector General took a look at a sampling of cases from 2010-2015 to see if the Handschu Agreement — crafted in 1985 and heavily modified in 2002 — was being followed. The short answer is “No.” So is the long answer [PDF].

The guideline was part of a consent decree created in response to pervasive NYPD surveillance of activities protected by the First Amendment, even when no unlawful activity was suspected. The guideline worked for awhile, but the 9/11 attacks changed that. The NYPD brought in two former CIA employees who decided to turn a domestic law enforcement agency into Langley on the Hudson. Former CIA officer David Cohen used terrorism fears to compel a judge to significantly modify the Handschu Agreement.

From that point on, the NYPD steadily abused the revamped agreement. Its “Demographics Unit” designated entire mosques as terrorist entities, placed the city’s Muslims under surveillance, and — best of all — generated zero leads.

The Inspector General’s report points out that the NYPD couldn’t even comply with the relaxed, post-9/11 Handschu Agreement. Instead, the Demographics Unit copy-pasted justifications for pervasive surveillance and passed them up the ladder to the rubber stamps handling the approval process.

OIG-NYPD’s investigation found that NYPD, while able to articulate a valid basis for commencing investigations, was often non-compliant with a number of the rules governing the conduct of these investigations. For example, when applying for permission to use an undercover officer or confidential informant, the application must state the particular role of the undercover in that specific investigation, so that the need for this intrusive technique can be evaluated. NYPD almost never included such a fact-specific discussion in its applications, but instead repeatedly used generic, boilerplate text to seek such permission. Tellingly, this boilerplate text was so routine that the same typographical error had been cut and pasted into virtually every application OIG-NYPD reviewed, going back over a decade.

The NYPD’s response [PDF] to the report disputes the accusation of using boilerplate permission slips. But that’s all it does. It fails to explain how each individual request somehow contained the same typographical error. Repeatedly. For fourteen years.

The NYPD disagrees with the Report’s characterization that the extensions of Preliminary Inquiries contain “boilerplate language.” To the contrary, extension requests include a full and detailed recitation of the key facts justifying investigation, including any new facts/updates learned since the investigation was opened. Often, the added facts learned since the opening of an investigation strengthen the original predicate.

Once an investigation was under way, NYPD supervisors tended to take a very hands-off approach.

Further, among all cases reviewed, NYPD continued its investigations even after legal authorization expired more than half of the time. Often more than a month of unauthorized investigation occurred before NYPD belatedly sought to renew the authorization.

As the IG points out, this is completely unacceptable. The Agreement is there for a reason: to prevent unlawful surveillance. But the NYPD is left alone to ensure its own compliance with the guideline. There’s no judicial oversight of these activities — not like there is with searches, seizures, and stops. Left to police itself, the NYPD proved unworthy of the trust placed in it.

These failures cannot be dismissed or minimized as paperwork or administrative errors. The very reason these rules were established was to mandate rigorous internal controls to ensure that investigations of political activity – which allow NYPD to intrude into the public and private aspects of people’s lives – were limited in time and scope and to ensure that constitutional rights were not threatened.

[…]

As a result, until OIG-NYPD conducted this review, there had never been any routine, independent third-party review to ensure compliance with these rules. NYPD’s compliance failures demonstrate the need for ongoing oversight, which OIG-NYPD will now provide.

The NYPD’s response admits as much, even as it challenges many of the Inspector General’s recommendations. Since February 2002, the NYPD’s Demographics Unit has been grading its own papers. A law enforcement hot take, written by a CIA officer and pushed past a local judge, has guided the NYPD for almost 15 years. What it’s left behind is a long string of First and Fourth Amendment violations. What it hasn’t left behind is a string of successful investigations. Or a coherent paper trail.

This is the NYPD in its own words, arguing with IG about the office’s findings.

First, the NYPD didn’t implement electronic tracking of its Demographics Unit cases until after it was already on the losing end of two civil rights lawsuits.

The Intelligence Bureau began discussing the development of an electronic case tracking system for Handschu investigations in February 2016 to assist in complying with the proposed modifications to the Handschu Guidelines as part of the settlement in the Handschu and Raza litigations.

It will only now begin thinking about keeping all related investigative documents together in one place.

While the prior history of a case and/or its proposed subject(s) is set forth in the Investigative Statement, the Intelligence Bureau will consider if there is a more effective way to trace the full history of an investigation, including other levels of investigation (i.e., checking of leads, Preliminary Inquiries, etc.) which may have occurred related to its underlying facts.

It will also only now start thinking about documenting the written approval process for deploying new informants or extending the use of existing ones.

The Intelligence Bureau will consider the development of best practices for documenting the written approval of the use of human sources in Handschu investigations by the Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence, including name, signature, and date.

Even though the NYPD has been running investigations under the modified Handschu Agreement since 2002, it won’t be until later this year that it will finally deliver a comprehensive compilation of baseline policies governing terrorism-focused investigations.

As is evidenced by the Inspector General’s findings — and the NYPD’s own admissions — the department has never been interested in accountability. It’s far more interested in pretending it’s the DEA, FBI, CIA, and NSA all rolled into one local law enforcement office. And it operates with a level of opacity surpassing the federal agencies it aspires to be. The report finds a pattern of noncompliance and the NYPD defends itself by either pointing out that if there’s no requirement to do something, it sure as hell isn’t going to do it, or nodding thoughtfully and promising to get right on things it should have addressed more than a decade ago.

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