National briefs: Ex-Rep. Renzi given 3 years

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A federal judge Monday sentenced former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi to three years in prison for convictions on public corruption, money laundering and other charges, capping a corruption case prosecutors said began more than a decade ago.

U.S. District Judge David C. Bury also sentenced Renzi co-defendant James Sandlin to 18 months in prison, and ordered both men to pay fines. They are to begin their prison terms in January.

Renzi, 55, a Republican, represented Arizona's sprawling 1st Congressional District from early 2003 until early 2009. He chose not to run for re-election in 2008 while facing the federal indictment.

A federal jury in Tucson convicted him in June on 17 of 32 counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and making false statements to insurance regulators. He was acquitted on the remaining counts.

Confidential data stolen

NEWARK, N.J. -- A British hacker stole "massive amounts" of confidential data from the U.S. Army and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, including service members' personal information, the U.S. said Monday.

Lauri Love, 28, and others also breached computer systems at the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, according to Paul Fishman, the U.S. attorney in New Jersey. Ms. Love was arrested Oct. 25 at home in Stradishall, England, Mr. Fishman said.

Ms. Love stole identifying information of workers at NASA, the Missile Defense Agency and the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, according an indictment unsealed in federal court in Newark, N.J.

No charges against guards

BOISE, Idaho -- After a three-year investigation into allegations of possible criminal civil rights violations at Idaho's largest private prison, the U.S. Department of Justice is declining to prosecute any current or former guards with Corrections Corporation of America.

U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson made the announcement Monday, saying the FBI's investigation into inmate-on-inmate assaults at the CCA-run Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise was detailed and covered multiple incidences. Ms. Olson says that while the assaults at the prison have been problematic, prosecutors didn't believe they would be able to prove elements of a federal crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Asian carp reproduced

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Scientists said Monday they have documented for the first time that an Asian carp species has successfully reproduced within the Great Lakes watershed, an ominous development in the struggle to slam the door on the hungry invaders that could threaten native fish.

An analysis of four grass carp captured last year in Ohio's Sandusky River, a tributary of Lake Erie, found they had spent their entire lives there and were not introduced through means such as stocking, according to researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey and Bowling Green State University.

Grass carp are among four species imported from Asia decades ago to control algae and unwanted plants in controlled settings such as sewage treatment lagoons. They escaped into the wild and have spread into the Mississippi and other rivers and lakes across the nation's heartland.

Obama reassures FBI

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Monday assured FBI employees that he would fight to keep politics from interfering with their mission as the agency struggles to contend with budget shortfalls.

Speaking at the agency's headquarters at a ceremony recognizing James B. Comey as the new director, Mr. Obama said it was unfortunate that the broad spending cuts known as sequestration have affected the agency's resources as it tries to adjust to constantly changing threats.

"I'll keep fighting for those resources because our country asks and expects a lot from you," Mr. Obama said, "and we should make sure you've got the resources you need to do the job."

Mr. Comey was sworn in during a private ceremony Sept. 4, taking the reins from Robert S. Mueller III. Under law, Mr. Comey will serve a 10-year term at the FBI.


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