“Another Nigger fried. No big deal.”
-- April 16, 2011, Statement by New York City Police Officer Michael Daragjati, boasting of his false arrest of another African-American male.
Top News Story! FBI Informants
Feds & Badboys, Inc. (FBI) - Part IINew!
PUBLISHED: October 12, 2012 - MODIFIED: 10:05 PM PDT, Sat. October 13, 2012
Miami, Florida (WCJB) -- A member of the Secret Service was arrested in Miami early Friday after a run-in with a patrolman, city police said. The incident occurred after President Obama campaigned in the city Thursday. Obama had delivered remarks at the University of Miami and the JW Marriott Marquis Miami.
Police spotted Aaron Francis Engler lying down on a street corner, according to a police report, and an officer roused him to help him sit up and stand. He had difficulty standing, the officer said, and had bloodshot eyes, "slurred speech, and a strong odor of alcohol" on his breath.
Engler argued and threw his arms around as the officer patted him down, the report said. And when the officer tried to handcuff him, he hit the officer's face, tensed his arm and pulled away. He then turned on his back and hit the officer's chin.
The officer called for backup, and two other officers arrived and helped handcuff Engler, authorities said. The arrest occurred at 7 a.m. Engler is accused of disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence.
Miami police said he was released to members of the Secret Service Miami field office. The Secret Service says its Office of Professional Responsibility is conducting an internal review of the incident.
PUBLISHED: July 12, 2012 - MODIFIED: 05:00 PM PDT, Sun. July 15, 2012
'Pump the brakes ...'!
"They are representative of the sacrifices and that quiet courage that exists among law enforcement officers all across the country and their families."
-- May 12, 2012, Statement by Barack Obama in a White House Rose Garden ceremony to honor the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO).
Washington, D.C. -- The Secret Service is downplaying reports that a Washington, D.C., police officer made a threat against first lady Michelle Obama during Wednesday morning roll call, media sources reported. The police officer was removed from his unit and placed on administrative duties. But the agency is not concerned that the remark made by the officer constitutes any kind of actual threat. “Pump the brakes on this one,” a Secret Service official told media sources.
The officer under investigation works in the Special Operations division, which handles presidential and dignitary motorcades in the city. The police officer is a member of the official motorcade unit, according to the Washington, D.C. police and the Secret Service. A police lieutenant heard the officer making what he described as a threatening comment. According to another source, the officer allegedly said he would shoot the first lady and then pulled up a photo of a gun on his cell phone.
"There is conflicting information about what the officer said," D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told media sources. "Internal Affairs will get to the bottom of it." Police haven't released the name of the officer. Officials familiar with what happen say that it was a bad joke made by someone who should have known better. The officer, who is represented by the police union, has retained a lawyer.
"We received an allegation that inappropriate comments were made," said Gwendolyn Crump, director of communications for MPD. She said they are also investigating the case.
"The motorman allegedly made the comments Wednesday morning as several officers from the Special Operations Division discussed threats against President Obama. It was not immediately clear where the alleged conversation took place or exactly how many officers took part in the conversation. During that conversation, the officials said, the officer allegedly said he would shoot the First Lady and then used his phone to retrieve a picture of the firearm he said he would use. It was not immediately clear what type of firearm was allegedly shown.""We're aware of it and taking the appropriate steps," said an official for the Secret Service.
In front of the White House Thursday evening, tourists said they are concerned about the allegation. "I'm very disturbed," said one visitor. Another said, "It's horrible that anyone would threaten our first lady, especially a Metropolitan Police officer."
Posted: 06/15/12 05:52 PM ET Updated: 06/16/12 01:40 PM PT
Secret Service 2004!
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secret Service agents and officers have been accused of involvement with prostitutes, leaking sensitive information, publishing pornography, sexual assault, illegal wiretaps, improper use of weapons and drunken behavior, according to internal government reports reviewed by media sources on Friday. It wasn't immediately clear how many of the accusations turned out to be true. The new disclosures of so many serious accusations since 2004 lend weight to concerns expressed by Congress that the Secret Service prostitution scandal in April in Colombia exposed a culture of misconduct within the agency. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan apologized for the incident during a hearing in May but insisted that what happened in Colombia was an isolated case.
A leading senator who has been investigating the Colombia scandal, Susan Collins, R-Maine, said some of the accusations appeared legitimate and that "adds to my concern about apparent misconduct by some of the personnel of this vital law enforcement agency." "The key question is whether these incidents indicate a larger cultural problem," Collins said Friday.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., said Friday an investigation by the Secret Service's inspector general is continuing and the public should withhold judgment until that review is complete. The heavily censored list, which runs 229 pages, was quietly released under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act to several news organizations following the prostitution scandal. It describes accusations filed against Secret Service employees with the Homeland Security Department's inspector general.
Some of the accusations occurred as recently as last month. In many cases, the government noted that some of the claims were resolved administratively, and others were being formally investigated. The complaints included an alleged sexual assault reported in August 2011. In the heavily censored entry, an employee was accused of pushing a woman who also worked for the agency onto a bed during a work trip. The employee "got on top of (censored) attempting to have sex," even though the woman "told (censored) `no' several times." The entry noted that supervisors described the accused as "a conscientious and dependable employee." The incident was closed with an "administrative disposition" in February.
They also included an anonymous complaint in October 2003 that a Secret Service agent "may have been involved with a prostitution ring," noting that two telephone numbers belonging to the agent, whose name was censored and who has since retired, turned up as part of an FBI investigation into a prostitution ring. In addition, in 2005, an employee was reported to the Washington field office for being arrested on a charge of solicitation in a park. Documents do not reveal the outcome of that case. In 2008, an on-duty uniform division officer was arrested in a Washington prostitution sting. The officer, who was driving a marked Secret Service vehicle at the time, was placed on administrative leave, the records show. Sullivan said during the May hearing that the officer was later fired. Other allegations include:
•» October 2011: An employee was accused of sending harassing messages to a woman who interpreted them to be sexual harassment.
•» March 2011: A complaint was filed involving embezzlement or theft of public money. Nearly the entire entry was censored save for a notation that it was adjudicated by a judge.
•» October 2010: An employee was implicated in a national security leak. The details were censored, and the records didn't include a disposition of the case. •» May 2012: An employee was accused of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. No details were provided, other than that the case was closed administratively.
•» May 2012: An officer was videotaped, twice, wandering nude around an apartment complex.
•» January 2011: Police in New York arrested an investigative support assistant on charges sexual abuse. The records do not list an outcome for the case. •» 2005: An armed agent was accused of threatening to shut down a strip club because it was charging $40 for lap dances and $25 for table-side dances, which the agent said was against federal law. The incident was reported in May 2012.
Some of the allegations were obviously spurious, such as a complaint in August 2010 that a Secret Service agent had performed experiments and implanted stimulators in a citizen's brain. The list also included dozens of complaints about fraudulent emails that circulate widely on the Internet and appear to come from the Secret Service. A dozen Secret Service officers, agents and supervisors were implicated in the Colombia scandal and eight have been forced out of the agency. At least two employees are fighting to get their jobs back.
Feds & Badboys, Inc. (FBI) - Part IINew!
PUBLISHED: April 24, 2012 - MODIFIED: 10:53 PM PDT, Wed. April 25, 2012
Detroit, Michigan -- A Detroit-area Judge (pictured above, center) is facing possible disciplinary action after sending a bare-chested photo of himself to a female bailiff. Judge Wade McCree – who specializes in sexual misconduct cases – isn’t bothered by the allegations. “I’ve got no shame in my game,” McCree told a local media affiliate. The picture shows a very fit, bare-torso McCree snapping a cell-phone photo in what appears to be a bathroom mirror. “Hot dog, yep that’s me,” McCree said when showed a printout of the photo.
The photo was reportedly discovered on the unnamed recipient’s cell phone by her husband who found the judge’s behavior “inappropriate.” McCree, who is married, disagrees and later admitted to sending the photo to other woman. “There is nothing nude about it,” said McCree who added that there is more exposure at a YMCA swimming pool. The bailiff’s husband said they were now filing a complaint against McCree with the prosecutor and the Judicial Tenure Commission, which could cost him his seat on the bench. Complaints with the state’s judicial watchdogs are confidential.
McCree’s father, Wade McCree Jr., served under President Jimmy Carter as the second African American solicitor general in US history.
PUBLISHED: April 26, 2012 8:30 PM EDT - MODIFIED: 06:03 PM PDT, Wed. April 26, 2012
El Salvadorian Strippers!
A strip club in San Salvador called "Lips"
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Expanding the prostitution investigation, the Secret Service acknowledged Thursday it is checking whether its employees hired strippers and prostitutes in advance of President Barack Obama's visit last year to El Salvador. The disclosure came not long after the Homeland Security secretary assured skeptical senators that the recent prostitution scandal in Colombia appeared to be an isolated incident. A spokesman for the Secret Service, Edwin Donovan, said the agency was investigating allegations raised in news reports about unprofessional behavior that have emerged in the aftermath of the Colombia incident.
The latest, by a Seattle television news station, quoted anonymous sources as saying that Secret Service employees received sexual favors from strippers at a club in San Salvador and took prostitutes to their hotel rooms ahead of Obama's visit to the city in March 2011.
Prostitution is legal in both Colombia and El Salvador. Separately, The Washington media this week cited unnamed "confidants" of the Secret Service officers implicated in Colombia saying senior managers had tolerated similar behavior during previous official trips. The Post described a visit to Buenos Aires in 2009 by former President Bill Clinton, whose protective detail it said included agents and uniformed officers. During that trip, the media source said, members of the detail went out for a late night of partying at strip clubs.
PUBLISHED: April 22, 2012 6:17 PM - MODIFIED: 10:03 PM PDT, Wed. April 25, 2012
Columbia -- Suspicion is spreading in the Secret Service scandal beyond the agents in just one Colombian hotel. Media sources reported that a law enforcement official told sources that the latest agent under investigation brought a woman back to the Hilton Hotel in Cartagena, Columbia, just five days before President Barack Obama would be staying there. Until now, the Hotel Caribe had been the focus of the scandal, where the other 22 members of the Secret Service and military accused of inappropriate behavior were checked in.
"Now you're into the hotel where the President of the United States was going to stay, and it just gets more troubling," Sen. Joe Lieberman said on a news show. Lieberman is now joining some of his Senate colleagues like Republican Chuck Grassley who are also calling for a broader investigation into whether White House staffers could have been involved.
While the scandal is getting a lot of attention on Capitol Hill, when asked directly, most lawmakers have voiced support for the way Secret Service director Mark Sullivan has handled the fall-out.
Feds & Badboys, Inc. (FBI) - Part IINew!
PUBLISHED: April 21, 2012 -- Updated 0016 GMT (0816 HKT) - MODIFIED: 9:03 PM PDT, Thur. April 20, 2012
Hotel Caribe in Cartagena!
Washington, D.C. (WCJB) -- Three more Secret Service employees have "chosen to resign" in the wake of a prostitution scandal that emerged last week, the agency said in a news release Friday. Six Secret Service members now have left their jobs in the wake of the incident in Cartagena, Colombia, which came while they were on a security detail in advance of President Barack Obama's trip there for the Summit of the Americas. The agency also announced Friday that a 12th Secret Service "employee has been implicated," having previously said 11 were under investigation. One employee "has been cleared of serious misconduct, but will face administrative action," the Secret Service said. Five employees are on administrative leave and have had their security clearances temporarily revoked.
The controversy has embarrassed the nearly 150-year-old agency that protects the president and other top officials and investigates criminal activity. It also raised questions about a possible security breach immediately preceding Obama's visit, though House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King has said that "from everything we know, nothing was compromised."
Two of the Secret Service employees whose departures were previously announced -- identified as David Chaney and Greg Stokes, a source familiar with the investigation told a media source -- were supervisors. In a photo posted on his public Facebook page in January 2009, Chaney is seen standing behind Sarah Palin, wearing dark glasses and what appears be a wedding ring. Under the photo, Chaney posted a comment that said, "I was really checking her out, if you know what I mean?" That remark drew a strong response Thursday night from Palin, who was a vice presidential candidate when the photo was taken.
"This agent who was kind of ridiculous there in posting pictures and comments about checking someone out," Palin said on Television News. "Check this out, bodyguard. You're fired! And I hope his wife sends him to the doghouse."
Chaney, a son of a Secret Service agent, has been employed with the agency since 1987, according to his posting on Reunion.com. The posting notes that he is married, has an adopted son and his assignments included a stint protecting former Vice President Dick Cheney.
PUBLISHED: 2:02 PM EDT, Thur. April 19, 2012 - MODIFIED: 9:58 PM PDT, Thur. April 19, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Secret Service announced Wednesday that it was seeking to fire one supervisor tied to the alleged misconduct. Another supervisor is retiring, and a third agent will be allowed to retire. More resignations are expected soon in the Secret Service prostitution scandal. Eight other employees have had their security clearances suspended pending the investigation. "It is our understanding the resignations could come today or tomorrow," Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Thursday. He has been briefed by Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan. Officials have resisted being pulled into discussions about whether misbehavior was tolerated in the Secret Service, or how far up the chain resignations may go. “The fact of the matter is this is an incident that requires investigation,” Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said Thursday. Carney repeated that the president has confidence in the Secret Service director, although he said they had not spoken in recent days.
We have learned the names of two of the Secret Service agents being ousted from the agency for alleged inappropriate behavior involving prostitutes on a presidential mission to Cartagena, Colombia. USSS supervisor David Chaney was the supervisor who was allowed to retire. USSS supervisor Greg Stokes was "removed with cause" and has the option to appeal the decision within 30 days. He was recently listed on the internet as the supervisor of the Canine Training Section of the Secret Service. Attempts to reach both of them were unsuccessful. The third ousted agent, a non-supervisory employee who resigned, has yet to be identified. One of the trio is planning a lawsuit, sources also reported, without specifying which employee. Others of the 11 Secret Service agents caught up in the probe have hired attorneys and have offered to cooperate with the internal investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter cited by media sources Thursday.
The 11 agents and 10 members of the military allegedly patronized prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, last week before President Obama arrived for the weekend Summit of the Americas. They reportedly visited a Cartagena brothel late last Wednesday and bragged to prostitutes they were in the city to protect Obama. White House officials have said the president's security was not compromised. We have also learned that all agents accused of wrongdoing are undergoing drug testing, but there is no evidence of drug use and that polygraphs have been conducted on agents involved all week. The Secret Service and the Pentagon are conducting parallel investigations, including interviews with women believed to be prostitutes who were brought into Hotel Caribe, where the U.S. advance team was staying. Up to 21 women have been identified. Officials have been able to find some of the women because they were required to leave personal identification at the front desk before they went up to the rooms. Local police were called after a disturbance broke out early on April 12, reportedly after one of the women complained she had not been paid for sex.
One agent involved in an altercation with a prostitute over payment claims he did not realize there was payment involved or that the woman was a prostitute. Some of the agents, however, knew that the women were prostitutes, had sex with them and paid for the sex. One woman, an escort, spoke to media about the incident. She alleges that "In the morning, she tries to collect the money and says he (the SS Agent) must pay her $800, and he says, apparently, 'No way.' And they argue, he gets angry, calls her a name, and kicks her out." Identified as Dania Suarez (pictured below, center) the woman at the center of the scandal is reportedly a single mom in her mid-20s. She said the agent only wanted to pay her $30, not the $800 she had asked for, after their night together. She also insisted she is an escort, not a prostitute.
Members of Congress are questioning whether the incident is part of a pattern at the Secret Service. Several retired agents say they don’t believe so. “My opinion … is that this is an anomaly,” said Patrick Morrissey, who retired May 2011 after a 27-year career that included a stint as head of the elite Counter Assault Team (CAT), the heavily armed tactical unit that travels with the President and is trained to address a variety of scenarios including multiple assailants and mass casualty weapons. “Most of the men and women in the service try to be quiet professionals, avoid the limelight, and do their jobs. I never before heard of our folks being involved with prostitutes.” Arnette Heintze, a 20-year agent who retired in 2003 after serving in senior roles, echoed that assessment. But he said it didn’t make the scandal any less damaging. “This is a disgrace,” he said. “What an embarrassment.”
Married and a father, Chaney, 48, is reported to have covered the Sarah Palin speaking event during the 2008 presidential campaign, when she was John McCain's running mate. He wrote about a picture he posted of himself behind the former Alaska governor, "I was really checking her out, if you know what I mean?" Palin reacted angrily to news of the Facebook posts late Thursday, telling media sources that she has "had enough" of the cavalier actions of the Secret Service agents and that responsibility for the scandal must be placed on the president. "The president ... has got to start cracking down on these agencies," Palin said, before joking that agents may also be checking out the first lady, Michelle Obama.
The Secret Service is being careful not to say that such behavior has never happened before, but officials have told congressional investigators that a similar incident has never been reported to the Office of Personal Responsibility. The incident has put the culture of the Secret Service under scrutiny, with reports of long-running jokes like "wheels up, rings off" raising questions about discipline within the security agency.
Feds & Badboys, Inc. (FBI) - Part IINew!
PUBLISHED: 9:35 PM EDT, Tue April 17, 2012 - MODIFIED: 9:37 PM PDT, Tue April 17, 2012
Washington, D.C. (WCJB) -- The White House defended the Secret Service and its director Tuesday amid an embarrassing investigation into whether several agents brought prostitutes back to their hotel in Colombia ahead of a presidential visit. Eleven Secret Service members have been implicated in the investigation, which began Thursday after one of the women complained that she hadn't been paid. In addition, as many as 10 U.S. military personnel from all branches of the armed forces are being questioned about potential involvement in any misconduct, two military officials told media sources.
The Americans were in Cartagena to prepare for President Barack Obama's weekend visit to the Summit of the Americas, and Obama has said he expects a "rigorous" investigation. The investigation is being led by Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, who has been briefing members of Congress. A leading senator said Tuesday she had been told as many as 21 women had been involved, and questioned whether the incident could have endangered the president.
"Who were these women? Could they have been members of groups hostile to the United States? Could they have planted bugs, disabled weapons, or in any other (ways) jeopardized security of the president or our country?" asked Maine's Susan Collins, the ranking Republican on the Senate The Americans were in Cartagena to prepare for President Barack Obama's weekend visit to the Summit of the Americas, and Obama has said he expects a "rigorous" investigation. Collins said she believed Sullivan "will fully investigate" the allegations and take "appropriate action" if the allegations bear out. But she questioned whether there was any similar misconduct on previous missions, and whether the issue is a sign of a deeper problem within the agency.
The Secret Service agents and officers involved range in experience from relative newcomers to nearly 20-year veterans, and all have been interviewed at least once, two government officials with knowledge of the investigation told media sources on Monday. Their security clearances have been pulled while the investigation is under way and could be reinstated if they are cleared, the officials said. The agents were offered an opportunity to take a polygraph test, according to a U.S. official. Some of the agents and military personnel maintain they didn't know the women were prostitutes, the official told media sources.
PUBLISHED: April 16, 2012 4:16 PM - MODIFIED: April 16, 2012 3:51 PM PDT
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCJB) - The Secret Service sent 11 of its agents home from Colombia amid allegations that they had hired prostitutes at a Cartagena hotel. The Secret Service has also revoked the top secret security clearances for all 11 agents and officers accused of misconduct during a presidential mission to Colombia over the weekend. The Secret Service personnel were sent back to the U.S. through Miami and interviewed in Washington regarding the alleged hiring of prostitutes and other misconduct. They have been placed on administrative leave and barred from entering Secret Service facilities worldwide. Two Secret Service supervisors were among the 11 involved. A top official confirms that the group also included three members of the Counter-Assault Teams, the agents who wear black commando outfits and carry large weapons.
Members of the Counter Assault Division of the US Secret Service keep an eye on the crowd as President Barack Obama departs the Annual Legislative Conference of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC.
A media source publication suggesting there is a larger cultural problem at the agency known as "Wheels down, rings off" was rejected as false by Secret Service officials. "That's not true," a top law enforcement official said. "We hold employees to a high standard. This incident was an anomaly."
Separately Monday, the Pentagon said there may be more U.S. military members under investigation for the alleged inappropriate behavior than the five announced over the weekend. A defense official told media sources that it looks like "more than 10" U.S. military personnel could be involved. Pentagon press secretary George Little said Monday that he could not provide a specific number, but that military members who are being investigated were assigned to support the U.S. Secret Service in preparation for President Barack Obama's visit to Cartagena. He said they were not directly involved in presidential security.
Issa: No Secret Service "pre-wheels up" parties
Obama: "I'll be angry" if Secret Service scandal is true
The U.S. Southern Command had announced on Saturday that five service members assigned to the presidential mission in Colombia had violated curfew and may have been involved in "inappropriate conduct." A military source told media sources the one of the five is an explosives ordnance disposal technician in the Air Force.
Feds & Badboys, Inc. (FBI) - Part IINew!
PUBLISHED: 2:02 PM PDT, Thur. April 19, 2012 - MODIFIED: 10:27 PM PDT, Thur. April 19, 2012
New York -- Chris Paciello (pictured left) strolls past the mirrored walls and into the restaurant's scented main room, he's instantly recognizable as the handsome impresario who dominated the South Beach nightlife scene in the 1990s. Dressed in a snug-fitting dark pinstripe suit, the man who made South Beach a beacon of international glamour looks damn good for his 40 years. Six years behind bars did little to diminish the sulky bad boy charisma that in his heyday attracted a bevy of famous women from Jennifer Lopez (pictured below, far right) to Sofia Vergara to Madonna (pictured below, center). The night is his comeback party. Well, sort of. Officially, it's the debut of the Delano Hotel's restaurant Bianca, a high-priced, high-wattage South Beach Italian eatery. Unofficially, it's an event to welcome back onto the A-list a man whose life story is tabloid legend: An impossibly attractive young thug appeared from nowhere, captured the attention of the Miami Beach smart set, used those connections to build a nightlife empire, and then was brought down by a secret from his past.
Despite the six years he spent in the federal pen for the felony-murder of Staten Island housewife Judith Shemtov, Paciello has returned to reclaim his crown. The night is also a test. Can Paciello still lure bold-face names to his parties, something he was lionized for in glossy magazines and gossip columns during the 1990s? And it seems he is about to pass, because before long, celebrities arrive in dazzling spurts. There's Sammy Sosa, A-Rod, Mickey Rourke, Entourage actor Kevin Connelly, Diana Ross's son Evan, and a gaggle of supermodels including Jessica Stam and Selita Ebanks. They dine against a backdrop of antique pillars and billowing curtains, while outside by the swimming pool, a trumpeter blows bland jazz on his horn. Also in attendance are '90s scene-makers such as property tycoon Thomas Kramer, luxury homebuilder Michael Capponi, and sycophant-to-the-stars Ingrid Casares; all are here to support their friend's improbable comeback. "Chris still has the magic touch that it takes to run the hippest place in town," says Kramer. "I'm glad he's back and kicking. [Bianca's opening party is] like a big, happy family reunion." His Hollywood friends and South Beach supporters mistakenly believe the Mob turncoat only informed on a handful of low-level thugs involved in the 1993 murder-robbery of homemaker Shemtov, who was brewing a cup of tea before taking a bullet in the head. Though he didn't pull the trigger, Paciello planned the robbery-gone-wrong and drove the getaway car.
Paciello's triumphant return to South Beach got a kick in the pants. Not so happy is Paciello's former family, La Cosa Nostra. Recently, media sources chronicled how the ex-club kingpin joined the ranks of other famous mob turncoats like Henry Hill and Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. An investigative journalist who authored Clubland, a book partially about Paciello's rise and fall -- divulges the mob secrets Paciello gave up. He snitched on the Bonanno crime family so he could avoid life in prison for the 1993 murder of a 46-year-old Staten Island housewife in a botched home invasion he planned. According to hundreds of pages of sealed court documents — including interviews he gave to his government handlers — that media sources obtained from a confidential source, Paciello's snitching to the FBI was far more extensive and damaging to the Mafia's interests than previously reported.
Madonna and Chris Paciello.
Between December 2000 and May 2001, the FBI met with the fallen club king eight times and conducted 15 hours of interviews. During those meetings, Paciello detailed not only his own criminal history, but those of dozens of his Mob colleagues. Some of the secrets contained in the documents that the former Madonna flame divulged to FBI agent Gregory Massa include:
• A 1997 plot involving Paciello and Colombo crime family boss Alphonse Persico to try to kill a dissident Mafioso. Paciello secretly pleaded guilty and got off virtually Scot-free.
• The 1994 kidnapping of a Staten Island businessman from an auto body repair shop by Paciello and a Bonanno family soldier.
• The million-dollar robbery of a Westminster Bank in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, that provided the start-up capital for Paciello's first Miami Beach nightclub.
• The burglary of more than 30 bank night safety boxes in four states by Paciello in alliance with members of a Bonanno-affiliated gang called the New Springville Boys.
Most significant, Paciello fingered two made members of the Bonanno family, which led ultimately to the takedown of almost the entire upper echelon of the organization, including family boss Joseph "Big Joe" Massino. This is something that even undercover FBI agent Joe Pistone, AKA Donnie Brasco (whose exploits were described in the eponymous 1997 movie starring Johnny Depp), never managed to achieve during his six years infiltrating the Bonanno family in the 1970s.
During a May 2001 interview with the FBI, Paciello described how after his father departed, his family moved from Brooklyn to Staten Island. That's where he first met Lee D'Avanzo, the leader of the New Springville Boys, a ragtag group of wannabe wise guys whom the government would later characterize as a "farm team" for the Bonanno crime family. D'Avanzo was a meaty tough guy with a cleft chin, piercing eyes, and jet-black hair. A cousin of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, he was the son of a car thief and loan shark who was killed in 1977 after trying to run down an FBI agent. Paciello spent untold hours spilling the dirt to lawmen about the range of D'Avanzo's criminal activities, from ripping off banks' night deposit boxes to burglarizing stores to breaking into drug dealers' homes. Paciello also exposed D'Avanzo's loan-sharking operation; D'Avanzo once confided to him that he had as much as $100,000 on the street at any one time.
Wrote FBI agent Massa: "D'Avanzo always had guns. He would keep a shotgun next to his bed. Whenever [Paciello] needed a gun, D'Avanzo would provide one."
Sometime in fall 1992, one of D'Avanzo's buddies was picking up drugs on Richmond Terrace in Staten Island when he saw a group of men loading bales of marijuana into a U-Haul truck, according to the FBI documents. He called D'Avanzo and together they followed the truck to a secluded location in New Jersey. They then phoned Paciello, who headed over from the city, broke into the vehicle, and drove it away. When the trio arrived back in Staten Island and jimmied open the U-Haul, they could barely believe their eyes. It was literally a ton of marijuana. Paciello sold his portion of the pot to a low-level mobster after placing a tracking device in the load. He then stole it back.
Word soon reached Bonanno Mob capo Anthony Graziano, a stocky, brutish man with a permanent smirk, about the huge haul. Soon Paciello was ordered to deliver $50,000 in a brown paper bag. (Documents that describe this incident only list Paciello as "source," but it is clear from the context that this is Paciello.)
According to the FBI report: "[Paciello] went to Graziano's house and met in the garage with Graziano. Graziano questioned [Paciello] about how much money [he] had from the score. [Paciello] lied and said only $150,000. [Paciello] told Graziano that [he] had used the money to purchase a home for his mother." Graziano must have sensed a lie because he instructed one of his soldiers "to deal with this kid." The soldier pulled Paciello aside: "You want to be around for all the weddings, but none of the funerals," he reprimanded him. It was a thinly veiled threat.
Over the next six months, Paciello acknowledged to the FBI and federal prosecutors, he and the New Springville Boys pulled off several bank jobs. In one, a gangster strapped a fake bomb to his chest and walked into a bank, where he threatened to blow up the building if the tellers didn't give up the money. They did: $300,000.
In December 1992, Paciello helped stage a $360,000 robbery of a Chemical Bank branch in the Staten Island Mall. Fourteen months later, in February 1994, he teamed up with seasoned bank robber Eddie Boyle to take down a Westminster Bank in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. This heist was meticulously prepared, according to testimony Paciello gave at Boyle's 2005 trial. The future club owner cased the bank for a full month, watching the comings and goings of employees and clocking the exact time the armored car arrived to pick up money. The morning of the robbery, an empty work van was parked six blocks away in case the robbers needed a place to hide.
While Paciello waited outside in the "crash car," three masked accomplices entered the bank's basement through an adjoining laundromat and handcuffed two employees who were preparing the money for transport. When Paciello saw the armored car approaching in his rear view mirror, he radioed his accomplices. They quickly burst out of the front door of the shuttered laundromat carrying two black garbage bags stuffed with bricks of money and drove off in a stolen SUV. Paciello's job was to trail the getaway car, and if he spotted the police, to ram the pursuing vehicle with his Ford Explorer. But the crew got away free and clear. The haul: a cool million dollars.
Then there was Limelight, a popular New York nightclub in the early 1990s, which saw mostly Italian-Americans who traveled to the club to experience a new sound that was all the rage at the time: techno, or music imported from Belgium that sounded more like synthesized heavy metal than dance music. Upon swallowing copious amounts of ecstasy and once under the influence of the drug, they hugged each other close, swearing undying brotherhood. "It was Mob mentality dressed up like techno," said a Limelight doorman at the time. The creator of these events — and the man who established the East Coast's first full-fledged rave scene — was Lord Michael, AKA Staten Island's Michael Caruso, the so-called "Al Capone of raves." Behind the scenes, however, this chunky techno promoter who sported gang tattoos crawling up his legs also led an armed crew of ecstasy bandits who robbed club kids and suburban candy ravers for their drugs, which Caruso would then later sell at the Limelight.
One of the young toughs the techno promoter relied on to protect his drug operation was Chris Paciello. "There were times when people made physical threats towards me," Caruso told DEA agents after he was arrested in 1997 for dealing ecstasy and cocaine, "and Chris would tell them, 'Anyone who comes near him, they're going to have to deal with me.'"
John Gotti Jr., pictured above, center, right, told media sources that he found out about the mob ties of his father, Gambino Family mob boss John Gotti, while he was attending military school at age 14.
Flush with cash from the Westminster Bank robbery, Paciello and Lord Michael decided to open a New York-style dance club in Miami Beach. Paciello's older brother, George Jr., had visited Miami Beach and returned with stories about a flourishing nightlife scene. The location for the new club would be a bar called Mickey's at 1203 Washington Ave. that was nominally co-owned by actor Mickey Rourke. Paciello would later testify that Mickey's was a front for the Gambino crime family. He decided to call his new club "Risk" because it was a dicey venture from the get-go. "I was a big Guido from New York opening up a club," Paciello recalled in a late-1990s interview with Ocean Drive. "Everybody thought I would be out of business within a week." On November 16, 1994, a 30-strong crew of junior-level Staten Island mobsters flew down to Miami Beach to celebrate the opening of Risk. The late, great raconteur and doorman, Gilbert Stafford, described the scene to me in a 2002 interview: "I thought they were just dressed up like mobsters; it wasn't until later that I found out they really were gangsters." Paciello would later testify in court that the lease for the space cost him $450,000. The budding entrepreneur forked over $125,000 up front, paid an additional $15,000 a month, and agreed that if he failed to pay after two months, he would have to hand back the key to the Gambino family.
"Chris wanted to use my knowledge of the club scene and then kill me to take over my share of the club," Caruso recently told media sources. Caruso says he was so scared for his life that he skipped town in a hurry, not even bothering to pack his belongings.
Paciello's cooperation with the federal government was "unprecedented," according to a March 2004 letter by his then-lawyer to the court. The lawyer estimated that "more than 70 people" had been "prosecuted directly and indirectly as a result of [his] cooperation." This was largely confirmed in a subsequent letter sent by the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Brooklyn.
During Paciello's 2004 sentencing hearing at federal court in Brooklyn, Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Andres spelled out the important behind-the-scenes role Paciello had played in crime boss Massino's conviction. "Mr. [Paciello]... provided us with information that led to the arrest and later cooperation of made members of the Bonanno crime family. Prior to December of 2002, [none of them] had ever cooperated. In the last 14 months, we've arrested virtually ever criminal supervisor in the Bonanno family. Those prosecutions resulted in part from the cooperation of Mr. [Paciello]."
Feds & Badboys, Inc. (FBI) - Part IINew!
Bonanno Crime Family
Unofficial Boss: Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano (Life Imprisonment x 2)
Acting Boss: Vincent "Vinny T.V." Badalamenti (Jailed, Under Indictment)
Underboss: Nicholas “Nicky Mouth” Santora (Jailed, Under Indictment)
Consigliere: Anthony "T.G." Graziano (Jailed, Under Indictment)
Acting Consigliere: Anthony “Fat Tony” Rabito
New Jersey Faction Boss: Joseph Sammartino Sr.
Estimated membership: About 115 Made Members
In a "Dear Judge" letter that he penned for a 2004 sentencing hearing, the high school dropout cited his heroin-addicted dad as the reason he turned to crime: "My father, my role model as a child, left me, my two brothers, and my beautiful mother with nothing... I became the man of the house and this is where my criminal life began. I began to steal, rob, and do whatever I had to, to help me and my family survive."
Federal documents reveal a staggering number of serious felonies committed by mob turncoat Paciello. The secret FBI interviews with Paciello unearthed by media sources exposed the former SoBe club king as the very model of the multi-tasking Mafioso, a virtual one man crime wave. But he got off practically scot-free because of his cooperation deal with the government. Additional FBI reports show even more examples of organized crimes to add to an already lengthy list. Here are five of Paciello's most brazen rip-offs that he was never charged with by law enforcement.
5. By his admission, Paciello stole over a hundred automobiles in the early 1990's, often working in tandem with Ray Merolle, the head of a Staten Island car theft ring dubbed the Untouchables, the outfit said to have inspired the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds". Merolle regarded Paciello as a close friend, until he found out that the future clubowner was behind the1991 burglary of the Merolle family home. Paciello stole $30,000 from a safe in the house, money that was supposed to pay for the wedding of Merolle's sister.
4. In the fall of 1993, Paciello and two accomplices posing as flower deliverymen forced their way into the home of a Staten Island restaurant owner known as Tony Meatballs. Paciello had received a tip that the businessman kept as much as a million dollars at the residence. While Paciello ransacked the safe, his accomplices tried to tie up Tony Meatballs but he fought back and managed to chase them out of his house with a gun. A panicked Paciello fled through the back door with Tony Meatballs in hot pursuit, but Paciello dropped the bag of money when the restauranteur fired a shot at him. Paciello was furious that his criminal associates had left him literally holding the bag.
3. The following year, Paciello hooked up with Bonanno crime family associate Paulie Cantarella to kidnap the proprietor of an auto body repair shop from his workplace. The duo threw the businessman into his Mercedes and drove to his home, where he was forced at gunpoint to turn off the burglar alarm and open a safe containing a large amount of expensive jewelry. The domino effect that Paciello set in motion when he ratted out Paul Cantarella and his father, family underboss Richard "Richie Tattoos" Cantarella, both of whom turned state's evidence, ultimately led to the successful prosecution of the entire top leadership of the Bonanno family.
2. During this same time period, Paciello unwittingly set the stage for another kidnapping when he agreed to accompany two gangsters to break into the home of a Staten Island diner owner named Mike "The Greek" Theodoleo. The trio tried to enter the house through the basement, but failed. Later, Paciello learned that his colleagues had kidnapped Theodoleo's son to extort money from the father.
1. The crime wave continued after Paciello moved to Miami Beach in the fall of 1994 when he tried to burn down local hotspot Groove Jet and then attempted to rob Prince's nightclub Glam Slam. Paciello and two of his cronies also posed as FBI agents in order to steal a local topless dancer's life savings. The trio had heard she kept a large sum of money in a bank safety deposit box. After visiting her at home, the trio waited outside her house and then followed her to the bank. As she left the bank, they grabbed a duffel bag she was carrying, but it was empty.
In early 1996, the new darling of the South Beach set got word that Colombo family underboss William "Wild Bill" Cutolo wanted to meet him, according to court documents. Given Wild Bill's fearsome reputation, it was an invitation the polo-playing tough guy dared not refuse. He flew to New York and Wild Bill notified him that he was now "on the record" with the Colombo crime family and would "have to start coming around to see me in Brooklyn." Paciello testified in court that he understood this to mean he was obligated to begin kicking money up the ladder to the Colombo family. But there was a problem: Paciello was now caught in a dispute between the Gambinos, who had given him his start in the nightclub business, and the Colombo family, who were now recruiting him.
By 1997, Paciello's relationship with Lee D'Avanzo had seriously soured. FBI agent Massa wrote after an interview on May 10, 2001: "[Paciello] stated that he didn't care much for D'Avanzo and that he became jealous of Paciello's success." Things had grown so bad between Paciello and the New Springfield Boys that D'Avanzo's friend Danny Costanza approached Bonanno captain Anthony Graziano and asked for permission to kill Paciello. Graziano refused, possibly thinking it was more profitable to keep the club owner alive now that he was making major money in Miami. It was a decision he would come to regret. Paciello soon gave up the Mob capo to the feds, providing damaging details about a Florida pot business that subsequently led to Graziano's conviction for drug distribution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Andres wrote in a letter dated September 10, 2004: "[Paciello] provided detailed information that led to the indictment of Graziano for marijuana trafficking."
Eleven members of the New Springville Boys were eventually indicted, then convicted of bank robbery, loan sharking, and drug dealing based in large part on the inside dope that Paciello had given the FBI. D'Avanzo was sentenced to 62 months in prison.
So why is Chris Paciello still breathing today? And what does it say about the dwindling power of the Italian Mafia that instead of being turned into alligator food in the Everglades, he not only just opened a pricey restaurant, but recently debuted a swanky nightclub, the FDR Lounge, at the Delano Hotel — all in the full glare of the public spotlight?
Long before he became a rat, though, Paciello was arguably most feared palooka in power on Miami Beach, lording over the city's decadent party scene in the late 1990s. Listed below are Paciello's five most notoriously violent beatdowns over the years. Anyone who got on his bad side, usually ended up in stitches or knocked out cold. His victims included a Latin King, a former Mr. Universe, an ex-arena football player, and a paparazzo. Five of his most violent attacks are listed as follows:
5. Ax attack
In the summer of 1994, Paciello and cohort Michael Caruso fought with bouncers near the entrance to New York dance hall Sound Factory. Alex Cofield, head of security and reputed member of the Latin Kings, rushed at Paciello with an ax handle. Paciello snatched the handle away and beat Cofield with his own weapon. No criminal charges were filed in the incident.
4. Beer bottle beatdown
On June 25, 1996, body builder Michael Quinn was sitting at a table inside the VIP room of Paciello's nightclub Liquid when Paciello overheard him call a patron the N-word. Paciello smashed a beer bottle into the 270-pound body builder's face, shattering his nose and several facial bones. Quinn alleged Paciello also repeatedly kicked him. A civil jury subsequently acquitted him, ruling Paciello acted in self-defense.
3. Football player knockout
Two months after bludgeoning Quinn, Paciello ran into Matt Martinez, a former player of the defunct Miami Hooters arena football team. Martinez, ex-husband of supermodel Niki Taylor, approached Paciello incensed that the club owner was dating his baby momma. Paciello allegedly knocked Martinez out with one blow. No criminal charges were filed.
2. Russian stabbing
In 1997, while on a trip to New York City, Paciello and some friends accompanied former Miss U.S.S.R Julia Sukhanova to nightclub Life. A brawl erupted when a Russian photographer would not leave the beauty queen alone. He was stabbed three times. Paciello was arrested for attempted murder, but the charges were dropped when surveillance video revealed that one of his friends committed the stabbing. But the tape did show Paciello punching the photographer.
1. Hollywood revenge
After his release from federal prison in 2006, Paciello has had a tough time shedding the hood label. On Aug. 17, 2008, in Hollywood, Calif., Paciello and a friend allegedly hunted down Will Wright, who had argued with the ex-mob associate earlier in the evening. Wright alleged Paciello slammed his car into him, knocking him to the pavement. Then Paciello, who was charged with felony assault, pummeled Wright. The charges were dropped after video of the incident showed Wright wielding a knife. Two years later, Paciello was again arrested with assault during a brawl at Voyeur nightclub in Hollywood. His attorney told media sources that Paciello was the victim: "he was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Feds & Badboys, Inc. (FBI) - Part IINew!
Posted: June 26, 2012 - Updated: 1:07 AM PDT, Mon. July 16, 2012
Boston, MA -- James "Whitey" Bulger (pictured below, right-center) the reputed former Boston mob boss who was arrested last summer in California, is planning to argue that his upcoming case should be dismissed because of an immunity agreement he had while working as an FBI informant in the 1970s, according to court documents and the defendant's attorneys. Bulger is not the first member of the Winter Hill Gang to claim immunity. Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi (pictured below, center-left) Bulger's alleged right-hand man and fellow FBI informant, had also argued unsuccessfully for immunity from prosecution.
In a motion filed with presiding Judge Richard Stearns, Bulger's attorneys said Monday that they plan to pursue an immunity hearing to clear their client of 19 murder charges (two of Flemmi and Bulger's female murder victims, pictured above, right-top-bottom). "The defendant reached an agreement with the Department of Justice through its agent during the 1970s," his attorney argued in the motion. "The immunity agreement fully protects the defendant from prosecution for all of the crimes currently under indictment."
Bulger, the alleged former head of Boston's notorious Winter Hill Gang, made headlines when he was arrested in June 2011 in Santa Monica, California, after being on the run for 16 years. Prior to his sudden departure from Boston, he cooperated as an informant with disgraced ex-FBI agent John Connolly Jr. (pictured left) who is currently serving a 50-year sentence for second-degree murder and racketeering. According to an indictment against Connolly filed in 2000, Bulger became his confidential informant in the fall of 1975.
"When the United States Attorney's Office indicted the defendant for alleged past crimes, they directly violated the immunity agreement that the defendant had bargained for, had relied upon, and had been promised," Bulger's attorneys said in the motion. However, prosecutors disagree. "Being an informant in and of itself, having certain representations by law enforcement agents, does not provide sufficient or adequate immunity," U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz told media sources.
Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi later cooperated with federal prosecutors, avoiding a potential death penalty sentence, and is serving life terms without parole.
Posted: 7:53 PM EDT, Wed March 14, 2012 - Updated: 12:16 PM PDT, Mon. March 19, 2012
Boston, MA -- The FBI’s desire to eliminate the Italian mob clouded the judgment of many in the FBI. In exchange for becoming an informant for the FBI, Irish mobster James "Whitey" Bulger (pictured left) received a dream deal, one whistle-blowing FBI agent says. First, his handlers promised to protect him, leaving him to continue his criminal enterprise without competition from the Italian mob. They let him know about pending investigations of his activities by other state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the Massachusetts State Police and the US Drug Enforcement Agency. They even tipped Bulger off about associates who were cooperating with law enforcement. Armed with this information, Bulger is alleged to have tortured, dismembered, and “disappeared’’ these “rats’’ all over Greater Boston.
The FBI sought to use Bulger to take down the Italian Mafia in New England. Instead, according to sources, Bulger used the FBI to get away with murder. A former agent who spent two decades with the FBI, tells the stomach-churning story from inside the bureau’s “integrity-challenged’’ Boston office. This is a tale of organizational dysfunction and corruption that extends beyond a single rogue FBI agent – the convicted John Connolly, Bulger’s “handler’’ inside the Boston office – into the top echelons of the federal law enforcement agency. Connolly and others inside the bureau inflated the importance and value of the information Bulger passed on to the FBI. The FBI agent who actually arrested Italian Mafia kingpin Gennaro Angiulo in a North End restaurant, repeatedly tried to argue that Bulger, who was clearly a public danger in his own right, had limited value as an FBI “asset.’’ The same agent spent much of his time in the Boston office, trying in vain to terminate the agency’s relationship with Bulger, only to have his efforts blocked by higher-ups who viewed him as a troublemaker.
Feds & Badboys, Inc. (FBI) - Part IINew!
Posted: 7:53 PM EDT, Wed March 14, 2012 - Updated: 12:16 PM PDT, Mon. March 19, 2012
Boston, Mass. (WCJB) -- The longtime companion of notorious fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger has pleaded guilty to several charges related to her infamous 16-year run from authorities with her alleged mobster boyfriend. Catherine Greig (pictured left) entered the guilty plea Wednesday to one charge of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive and two counts of identity theft, according to federal court spokesman Steve York. "In early 1995, I agreed to join Bulger and travel with Bulger during his flight from law enforcement. From January 1995 through June 22. 2011, I also agreed with others, including Bulger, to harbor and conceal him from law enforcement," Greig said in court documents. Bulger's brother, William Bulger, was the former president of the University of Massachusetts and a state Senate leader. He was forced to step down from his university job after then-Gov. Mitt Romney, now a Republican presidential candidate, accused him of being evasive during congressional testimony about the whereabouts of his brother.
The couple had, for several years, hid in plain sight in the palm-tree-lined, oceanside city near Los Angeles in a three-story building named Princess Eugenia. Bulger, 82, has previously pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, including 19 murder charges. Bulger, who is being held without bail, was the head of a South Boston Irish gang before he fled an impending racketeering indictment in 1995.
In 2011, the FBI began airing a 30-second public service announcement aimed at getting Bulger. The agency bought about 350 ad spots in 14 U.S. cities. The ad focused on Greig, then 60, and targeted female viewers around the same age. It described her as loving dogs and other animals and frequenting beauty salons. It said she had worked as a dental hygienist, likes to maintain her teeth, and had had multiple plastic surgeries.
But before settling into anonymity, Bulger was once one of the FBI's Top 10 most wanted fugitives. His alleged barbarity as an Irish-American mobster in Boston is said to have inspired the Jack Nicholson character in Martin Scorsese's 2006 film "The Departed." Dick Lehr, who wrote a book about Bulger, described him as a cold-blooded killer whose gang went to lengths to avoid detection. "When they killed someone -- this is pre-DNA -- they pulled the teeth out, cut the fingers off, tried to make it so the victims, if they were discovered from their graves, couldn't be identified. There's just no bottom. It doesn't get much uglier than someone like Whitey Bulger," Lehr said. He evaded law enforcement for 16 years before he and Greig were arrested in June 2011 in Santa Monica.
U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of Massachusetts said Greig is "no victim" and her plea was "no sweetheart deal." Greig could face a five-year sentence for each count, according to court documents.
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Movie Intermission! "Gotti (1996) - Mafia Movie!"
Description: Gotti: The Rise and Fall of a Real Life Mafia Don is a 1996 HBO original movie made for television directed by Robert Harmon. It features Armand Assante, as the infamous Gambino crime family Boss John Gotti, William Forsythe, and Anthony Quinn. The film was the highest rated original telefilm in HBO history at that time, according to IMDB. Assante won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special, for his performance. Assante also received a Golden Globe nomination the same year.(Runtime: 01:57:27)
Feds & Badboys, Inc. (FBI) - Part IINew!