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They’re called lesser slow lorises because they creep about the trees so sluggishly that they barely seem to move. No doubt it’s completely unfair to compare them to federal agents who took four years to close the book on a wildlife smuggling ring in Southern California. The first shoe dropped in 2002, when customs officials at Los Angeles International Airport opened a traveler’s bag. A rare bird of paradise popped out and started flying about the room. The man soon confessed, “I’ve got monkeys in my pants.” (Lorises, actually, according to court records. They are a primate native to Southeast Asia.) Officials found four of the endangered birds in all, plus rare orchids. The smuggler, Robert Cusack, ended up serving six months behind bars. Authorities learned only recently that Cusack had an accomplice, Chris Edward Mulloy, who apparently took advantage of the hubbub at the customs desk to slip away with a couple of Asian leopard cats in his backpack. Now the law has caught up with Mulloy, who has been indicted on five counts related to smuggling wildlife. “This is a good example of justice delayed but not denied,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph O. Johns told the Los Angeles Times. - Staff reports Pre-emptive joke Justice department officials couldn’t keep from laughing when they showed U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan a clip from The Daily Show, in which comedian Jon Stewart poked fun at a top counterterrorism official’s taped deposition statement that he didn’t know the difference between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. But it’s precisely that chuckling, and the potential abuse of the discovery process, that the government is afraid might happen if an unrelated deposition of former Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum is released. “It just creates a public spectacle that a transcript doesn’t,” government lawyer Lisa Olson said. McCallum’s deposition is part of a Freedom of Information Act suit, filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), regarding documents related to the government’s 2005 decision to lower the civil penalties it was seeking against tobacco companies to $10 billion from $130 billion. The organization would like to make public the deposition video, which CREW lawyer Anne Weismann contends shows inconsistencies in McCallum’s testimony. Sullivan held off on a ruling but indicated he understood the government’s worry. “Is that supposed to be our job? To provide fodder for Saturday Night Live?” he asked. - Legal Times A cry for help A man charged with computer theft apparently couldn’t restrain himself-prosecutors say he stole computers from the courthouse during his trial. “It just amazed me that someone could be in the middle of a jury trial for a burglary involving computers and immediately get involved in another burglary at the Civic Center,” said sheriff’s Sergeant Jerry Niess. Jon Houston Eipp, 39, of Novato, Calif., pleaded guilty in three separate cases involving 10 different charges, including burglary, theft, drug possession, attempted auto theft and more. He faces nearly five years in prison. In an interview at the Marin County, Calif., jail, Eipp said he stole the computers “for personal reasons. “I needed help, and I didn’t know how to ask for help,” he said. “And I guess, in my crazy way, that was my way of asking for help. Help with my drug problems, help with my sanity.” - Associated Press

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