- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 29, 2008

Man arraigned in lover’s slaying

TRENTON, N.J. — The married lover of a missing New Jersey woman was ordered held on bail yesterday after prosecutors said he struck her on the head, stuffed her chopped-up body in a suitcase and dumped it in a pond.

Investigators believe Rosario DiGirolamo killed Amy Giordano with a blunt object in her apartment last June, then sawed her body into pieces, prosecutor Tom Meidt said in court.

Mr. DiGirolamo, 33, was ordered to remain in jail in lieu of $1 million bond.

He was arrested after Miss Giordano’s skeletal remains were found last weekend in a remote pond in Staten Island, N.Y., with the help of John A. Russo Jr., who has been speaking with investigators. According to prosecutors, Mr. Russo helped Mr. DiGirolamo buy drain cleaner, reinforced garbage bags and a saw blade to use in the crime.

Illegal profiteering tied to terrorism

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey warned yesterday that the huge profits generated from piracy and counterfeiting are increasingly flowing to terrorist groups.

In remarks to Silicon Valley executives at the Tech Museum of Innovation, Mr. Mukasey said the U.S. economy and national security are increasingly threatened by violations involving copyrighted software code, patented inventions and trademarked properties.

Terror groups are taking their cues from organized crime and increasingly funding their operations from counterfeiting and piracy, he said.

Mr. Mukasey said his department is devoting more resources to prosecuting intellectual property crimes, which led to a 7 percent increase in the number of such cases filed in 2007 over the previous year and a 33 percent increase over 2005.

Sex-crime sweep produces 68 arrests

Federal, state and local law-enforcement authorities, led by the U.S. Marshals Service, have arrested 68 sex offenders as part of a task force operation targeting more than 800 convicted sex offenders in the El Paso area to determine whether they had registered, as federal law requires.

At total of 821 registered sex offenders were checked by agents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Marshals Service, El Paso Police Department and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, who joined forces in January to ensure they were in compliance with applicable state and federal laws.

The three-month operation resulted in 27 state warrants for offenders within the jurisdiction of the El Paso Police Department and 45 state warrants for offenders within the jurisdiction of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department. Additionally, 80 cases were referred to the U.S. Marshals Service for investigation, with 11 having been prosecuted federally.

U.S. Marshal LaFayette Collins in Texas yesterday said Operation Guardian West was designed to ensure offenders were complying with registration rules and secure criminal complaints if they weren’t. Mr. Collins said the agencies involved have “committed themselves and their resources to ensuring the safety of the community, which is evidenced by El Paso’s classification as one of America’s safest cities.”

Marines drop manslaughter case

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — The Marine Corps dropped its case and gave full immunity yesterday to a serviceman who was accused of involuntary manslaughter in a squad’s suspected killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha in 2005.

The case against Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, 26, of Edmond, Okla., was dropped as jury selection was about to begin for his court-martial. The government has been seeking Cpl. Tatum’s testimony against the squad leader, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich of Meriden, Conn.

Cpl. Tatum’s attorney, Jack Zimmerman, said there was no agreement with the government before the dismissal.

“Absolutely, there is no deal,” he said, adding that his client would testify if called in future trials but as a neutral witness, not a government witness.

The government says Sgt. Wuterich and another Marine shot five men at the scene and the squad leader then ordered his men to clear homes with grenades and gunfire, killing unarmed civilians. Sgt. Wuterich faces nine counts of voluntary manslaughter and other charges, including obstruction of justice.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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