“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!
Posted: October 04, 2016 at 3:52 PM ~ Updated: October 04, 2016 at 3:53 PM PT
OCEANA COUNTY, MI – Jonah Evan Zucker, 21, is a resident of Dillon, Colorado. He is facing up to 20 years in prison for drug charges stemming from his attendance at Electric Forest this year. According to a press release issued by the State Sheriffs Chiefs Enforcement Narcotics Team (SSCENT) Zucker has been charged with possession with intent to deliver ecstasy. The ecstasy charge is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. He is also charged with possession with intent to deliver ketamine. Ketamine is an anesthetic that is used on animals, including horses. It is used on humans as well.
The annual Electric Forest music festival is held at Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, Michigan. Zucker was investigated while he was attending Electric Forest in June. A 22-year-old Lansing man died at Electric Forest after overdosing on a cocktail of drugs. According to police, the cocktail included cocaine, methamphetamine and ketamine.
Zucker was arraigned in 78th District Court in Hart on the two charges and has been released on bond.
Posted: Nov 19, 2016, 8:30 PM ET ~ Updated: Nov. 22, 2016 01:37AM PDT
FILE - Efrain Antonio Campo Flores (L) and Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas (R) after their arrest in Haiti. Two nephews of Venezuela's first lady have been found guilty of conspiring to import 800kg (1,750lb) of cocaine into the US.
Manhattan, New York -- Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas, 31, and Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 30, were convicted in a court in Manhattan, New York. They were arrested in Haiti in November 2015. Their arrest followed a sting operation by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Prosecutors said the two men plotted to use a Venezuelan airport's presidential hangar to send the drugs to Honduras and on to the US. Both of the defendants face up to life in prison when they are sentenced.
The U.S. government and other law enforcement agencies paid DEA informant Jose Santos-Pena, 55, approximately $1 million over several years. During this same time period they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars more to his son, Jose Santos-Hernandez, 34. The money was for information about drug dealers. Santos-Pena signed a co-operation deal to testify against the defendants. In court papers praising the two informants earlier this year, federal prosecutors wrote that Santos-Pena and Santos-Hernandez had "participated in multiple significant international drug trafficking investigations. The investigations included cases focusing on some of the most violent places in the world targeting extremely violent criminals."
The father-son team played a central role in the cocaine trafficking prosecution of the nephews of Venezuela's first lady The pair traveled to multiple countries. Some of the countries were where Drug Enforcement Administration agents aren't welcome. They traveled to these countries to make secret recordings of people believed to be involved in drug trafficking. One country included Venezuela. Santos-Pena recorded two nephews of Cilia Flores handling a block of cocaine. Cilia Flores is the wife of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. However, Santos-Pena, 55, was using and dealing cocaine as he helped the DEA build the case.
Informants with dirty pasts are a fixture at drug trials. However, even by those standards, the father-son team stands out. In April, prosecutors learned that while working for the DEA, Santos-Pena and Santos-Hernandez were also hard at work smuggling drugs themselves. Santos-Pena and Santos-Hernandez pleaded guilty to trafficking charges in late summer. As the case against Flores' nephews was getting ready to go to trial in New York the duo admitted to dealing drugs for at least four years. They admitted to dealing drugs while they were building the Venezuelan case last fall under the direction of the DEA.
Prosecutors went ahead with their case against Venezuelans Francisco Flores, 31, and his cousin, Efrain Campo, 30, anyway. The two were accused of conspiring to ship over 1,700 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. They were arrested in Haiti last year and flown to the U.S. for trial. The defendants' lawyers argued that the sting operation was deeply flawed and built around an unreliable informant. The defense produced evidence that Santos-Pena had lied. A defense attorney revealed that he had jailhouse tapes that proved Santos-Pena continued to communicate about drug deals in recent weeks. (His son did not testify at the trial.) Prosecutors knew going in that Santos-Pena had a shady past. Before he began cooperating with U.S. authorities in 2007, he testified that he had been a member of the Mexico-based Sinaloa drug trafficking cartel for a decade. He moved to the U.S. in 2003. He said he was involved in deals this year in Los Angeles and Pomona, California, involving about 7 kilograms of cocaine.
However, the government did not know that more surprises surrounding its star witness, Santos-Pena, lay ahead for them. In September, Prosecutors had a court hearing regarding the Flores case. During a lunch break Santos-Pena confessed to prosecutors that he had used a prostitute twice during a trip in Caracas, Venezuela, last year. He had also allowed his son's friend to sit in on some of the DEA-orchestrated meetings with their Venezuelan targets. He also admitted that he'd been using cocaine regularly while working for the DEA.
As the trial against Campo and Flores neared its conclusion this month, Prosecutors took the unusual step of announcing in court that Santos-Pena's deal would be torn up. After the tapes were played for jurors, a prosecutor notified Santos-Pena that his continued lies, including that he had not communicated with his son while in prison, meant the government was ripping up a cooperation agreement that he was counting on to win leniency. Without it, he faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life. Santos-Pena seemed surprised.
Lawyers for Campo and Flores said in their closing statements to jurors Thursday that the informants are simply liars who shouldn't be believed. Prosecutors overcame the humiliation of their star witness when the jury returned a guilty verdict Friday against the nephews. "He was slime," juror Robert Lewis, a 69-year-old architect, said of Santos-Pena. He said other evidence, including transcripts of conversations involving the nephews and text messages, were enough to prove guilt. Lewis said: "We had to rely on those things,".
For all the dirt revealed about the informants in the Venezuelan case, they will never rival the notorious history of Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, who admitted his role in 19 murders in a sweetheart deal that resulted in a five-year prison sentence in exchange for his testimony against the late Gambino boss John Gotti.
Race & Police Brutality in the USA - 2012
United States -- In the United States, race and police brutality continue to be closely linked, and the phenomenon has sparked a string of race riots and general uprisings over the years. During the Vietnam War, anti-war demonstrations were sometimes quelled through the use of billy-clubs and CS gas, commonly known as tear gas. The most notorious of these assaults took place during the August 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The actions of the police were later described as a "police riot" in the Walker Report to the U.S. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence. One recent and notable uprising was caused by the arrest and beating of Rodney King on March 3, 1991 by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. The police officers' brutality had been videotaped by a bystander and widely broadcast (around the world) afterwards. When the four law enforcement officers charged with assault and other charges were acquitted, the 1992 Los Angeles Riots broke out.
October 24, 2012
"Dream Act" Meth!
CHICAGO,Ill. (WCJB) -- Naperville police are investigating what is described as DuPage County's largest meth bust, and authorities warn it's a growing problem. Edgardo Rodriguez-Sanchez, 20, and Jesus Rubio, 25, are behind bars after police say they were found with 19 pounds of methamphetamine in bags. Bond was set at $1 million for each man. The two men, who live in Des Moines, Iowa, were arrested Tuesday near Route 59 and North Aurora Road following a routine traffic stop by Naperville police. The police say the suspects tried to hide the drugs under a pile of shingles. A trained police dog sniffed out the meth, according to authorities.
"I'm fairly confident that they were headed for surrogates of the cartel that are here working in the city," said Jack Riley, Special-Agent-In-Charge, DEA. Riley says in recent weeks similar large meth busts have been happening with more frequency. "Alongside heroin, I've often said this: if I can think of anything that is likened to a weapon of mass destruction on a family, on a community, on social services, it's methamphetamine," he said.
Meth has long been a problem in rural communities where mom-and-pop meth labs have thrived in remote areas. But Riley says what's now invading Chicago is being produced and delivered by powerful Mexican drug cartels, which have been partnering with Chicago street gangs to sell large quantities of heroin. "Now the cartels, with their hubbing of much of their business out of the Chicago area, they're now taking an opportunity to try to get a new product on the streets," said Riley.
Illinois State Police says seizures of meth on highways has increased five-fold in recent months. "It can be buses. They'll bring it in on rail. They'll bring it in on rental cars. We've seen motor homes," said Master Sgt. Frank Spizzirri, Illinois State Police. "These organizations, in my opinion, are probably the most well-organized, well-financed, vicious criminal entities we've ever seen in this country," said Riley.
Published: 9:34 AM EDT, Tue May 29, 2012 - Modified: 10:14 PM PDT, Thur May 31, 2012
My Dear Lady!
Bali, Indonesia (WCJB) -- Lindsay June Sandiford, 55, a British woman, could face the death penalty after being found with an estimated $2.6 million worth of cocaine in her luggage by Indonesian authorities. Sandiford was found to have blocks of cocaine weighing almost 4.8 kilograms in her suitcase after she arrived on the island of Bali on a Thai Airways flight earlier this month, government officials said. Sandiford, described by British media reports as a housewife, did not speak as she was paraded at a press conference Monday wearing a prison-issue orange t-shirt.
Under Indonesia's extremely strict drugs laws, Sandiford could face execution, according to the head of Bali's Customs and Excise Agency monitoring division, Made Wijaya. "The main reason is because narcotics can massively endanger the young and, thus, whoever is caught with drugs should be severely punished. If three people can consume one gram of cocaine, then this operation has potentially saved up to 14,000 lives," Wijaya told journalists at Monday's press conference. "This is the biggest drug bust this year, and this is the first cocaine smuggled into Bali in the last three years." Three other Britons -- one woman and two men -- and an Indian man are also being questioned, Bali police narcotics chief Mulyadi told reporters. They are accused of being part of an international syndicate, he said. The four were shown to reporters at Bali's police headquarters wearing balaclavas on Monday. The British Foreign Office said it is "aware" of the arrests and is "ready to provide consular assistance." Mulyadi -- who like many Indonesians uses one name -- revealed Sandiford was detained by customs officials on May 19 in the departure hall at Ngurah Rai International airport in Bali. Officials seized her black suitcase, which contained several packages containing cocaine. He said Sandiford claimed the suitcase was to be delivered to an unknown person as ordered by a British woman identified as RLD. According to Mulyadi, Sandiford then agreed to cooperate with Indonesian authorities and a meeting was set up with RLD on the island two days later. Police were then able to arrest RLD along with her British partner, identified as JAP, another British man known as PB, and an Indian man identified only as NA.
Da' Feds, Fiends & Info' Mans!
Posted: Jun. 23, 2015 07:28:32 AM EDT ~ Updated: Jun. 23, 08:57:06 PM PDT
Da' Secret "Escort" Service!
A second DEA agent has reached an agreement with prosecutors and will be pleading guilty to money laundering and extortion for his involvement in stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoin during the Silk Road investigation.
San Francisco, CA -- DEA agent Carl Force created an online alias called “French Maid” during the investigation of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. He used the username to extort and negotiate with their target. He created another account called “Death From Above.” He used the account in an attempt to extort Ulbricht for $250,000 by claiming that he knew his identity. The only account he was authorized to use to target Ulbricht was an account called “Nob.” He used this account to bust dealers. He also used this account to persuade Ulbricht into setting up a fake “hit” against a former administrator of the site. Agent Force reportedly sold information about the investigation in exchange for money. He managed to make himself approximately $400,000 in the process.
During the time of the investigation Agent Force (pictured above, center-left) was also moonlighting with a digital currency exchange company called CoinMKT. At CoinMKT Agent Force would do criminal background checks on their customers. On one occasion he froze $297,000 in bitcoin from a customer and then transferred it to his own account. Following the investigation into his activities, he resigned last year after 15 years with the agency. Force will be formally submitting his guilty plea on July 1. His sentencing will occur at a later date, which is currently unknown.
On June 17, 2015, US Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges (pictured above, center) accepted a similar plea deal for his involvement in the bitcoin thefts. He also resigned from his position at the beginning of the investigation. Bridges had been using administrator credentials to ban dealers from using their accounts. He would then steal all of their bitcoins. He earned at least $820,000 during the scam.
Both of the officers who were implicated in the schemes worked on a Baltimore task force which was investigating the site. However, they appeared to be working separately on their own scams. The total amount of bitcoins stolen in the scheme remains unknown.
In May 2015, Ulbricht was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars for his creation of the underground website. Judge Katherine Forrest gave him the most severe sentence possible, despite the fact the prosecution only requested the 20 year minimum. Ulbricht's lawyers will be appealing the case and calling for a new trial.
Published On: May 21 2012 07:28:32 PM EDT Updated On: May 21 2012 08:57:06 PM PDT
Da' Secret "Escort" Service!
Washington, DC -- Four Secret Service employees have decided to fight their dismissals for engaging in inappropriate conduct in Colombia last month, a development that could unravel what has been a swift and tidy resolution to an embarrassing scandal over agents’ hiring of prostitutes. Several of the implicated agents have told associates that the facts of what happened in Cartagena differ from initial media accounts describing a group outing of a dozen men in search of prostitutes. Instead, the men went to different bars and clubs and met women under a variety of circumstances, in some cases resulting in voluntary trysts that did not involve money. One 29-year-old field agent assigned to the Washington office, who is single and who resigned under the threat of being fired, told investigators in a polygraph examination that he did not think at the time that the two women he brought back to his hotel room were prostitutes. He is among those seeking to overturn their dismissals, according to three people familiar with his case. The agents are arguing that the agency is making them scapegoats for behavior that the Secret Service has long tolerated. According to interviews with multiple former and current employees and people briefed on the inquiry, the Secret Service agents involved brought women to their hotel rooms without hesitation. The agency says it was clear that employees should not do anything unbecoming of a Secret Service employee. Current and former agency employees say sexual encounters during official travel had been condoned under an unwritten code that allows what happens on the road to stay there. They also contend that this tolerance is part of the “Secret Circus” — a mocking nickname that some employees use to describe what ensues when large numbers of agents and officers arrive in a city.
Shortly after landing in Cartagena at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11, the 55 or so Secret Service members had down time to explore the Caribbean resort. They were there to provide extra security for Obama’s visit for an international summit but had two days before the commander in chief arrived. In Cartagena, prostitution is legal in designated “tolerance zones.” Secret Service supervisor David Chaney, 48, had spent two decades with the agency and was among the most senior on the plane. He headed out that night to a strip club called the Pley Club, with junior agents in tow, according to two people with knowledge of the events. Chaney has been married for 20 years, but that night he and his colleagues paid the Pley Club a small fee to take at least two of the performers back to the Hotel Caribe, where they and other members of Obama’s advance team were staying, according to the two people familiar with what happened that night.
Separately, a pair of married Secret Service agents who worked together on the agency’s tight-knit, elite counterassault team — Arthur Huntington (pictured left: ex-Secret Service Agent Arthur Huntington with Kelly Scruggs.) and Joe Bongino — headed to the historic old city of Cartagena. They hit the Hard Rock Cafe, which had been recommended in the briefing guide prepared by the State Department, but it was dead. They moved down the street to Tu Candela, a popular bar and disco. In Cartagena, while at Tu Candela that Wednesday night, Huntington asked Dania Suarez, a 24-year-old prostitute, to spend the night with him. She agreed in exchange for a “gift” of $800, she later told a television interviewer. Her girlfriend agreed to join Bongino for no charge, Suarez said. People briefed on the investigation corroborated this version of events. The morning after the carousing, the party ended for all when Huntington refused to pay Suarez and, she said, pushed her out of his room into the seventh-floor hallway, setting off the dispute that would lead to the exposure of the misconduct. What none of the agents realized was the extent to which the Secret Service already had irritated the hotel manager, even before the hallway disturbance. The manager, according to people familiar with the investigation, was infuriated by the noise the agents made at the hotel bar and the inconvenience they caused other guests. Outside the Hotel Caribe, Secret Service officers had repeatedly allowed their bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois shepherds to defecate on the lone grassy patch along the hotel’s beach front property — directly in front of the hotel manager’s apartment. The manager did not respond to e-mails and phone messages seeking comment. After Colombian police alerted the U.S. Embassy, a Secret Service official dispatched to the hotel to investigate found the manager waiting with a clipboard full of complaints and quick to provide names.
Although the service warns agents in training seminars that extramarital affairs could expose them to blackmail, some married agents are widely known to cheat on their wives. The Colombian hooker wasn’t the first lady — or the second. Kelly Scruggs, whom Huntington cruelly blew off after being introduced to her mother, said she has no sympathy for the philandering fed who broke her heart in 2008. “I don’t feel sorry for (him). I think he’s a total creep now,” the blond-haired, blue-eyed Southern beauty told media sources. “A total jerk.” Scruggs was quickly joined by a third: Holly Snow, 41, who met the horny Huntington on the day of Jenna Bush’s May 2008 wedding, around the time of his break-up with Scruggs. Associates said Huntington, 41, was one who acted differently on many of his trips than he did at home. While growing up in upstate New York, Huntington went to North Star Christian Academy and attended Roberts Wesleyan College to study criminal justice. He started out working as a security guard at Greater Rochester International Airport, relatives said, until he landed a job as a cop near Tampa, Fla. Huntington’s extramarital conquests began during the George W. Bush administration, when he did the Texas two-step with a pair of Lone Star lovelies. While one knew the amorous agent was married, the other says she was seduced with endless lies by the man who lost his job for stiffing a Cartagena prostitute last month.
Huntington picked up both in the same Waco, Texas, club about a year apart. And Snow learned during their affair that he kept women “in all 50 states.” He was at least chasing them on three continents: In addition to North and South America, the media reported that the agent was on the prowl during President Obama’s trip to Ireland last year. All the while, his loyal wife, Jolie, and their two sons were waiting at their suburban Maryland home. Huntington — who would soon his job after giving the Colombian (escort) prostitute (pictured left) just $28 for an $800 night of carnal delights — actually told Scruggs that he was divorced. Huntington even referred to his “ex-wife” Jolie by name during their heart-to-hearts. One of the implicated men has told associates that a senior security supervisor had advised agents to follow loose guidelines when spending time with women they met on the road: One-night stands were permitted, this supervisor explained, as long as the relationships were cut off when the agents left the country. Three of those implicated, including Bongino, were cleared of serious misconduct charges. In addition to the four who are challenging their dismissals, at least four others were forced out: Chaney, who immediately took early retirement; Huntington, who was pushed to resign; and two others, who were also dismissed. The fate of one agent is unknown. One of those cleared is a single agent who speaks Spanish, and who picked up a local woman at the same bar and took her back to his hotel independent of his colleagues, according to two people briefed on the incident. He — along with Bongino and another colleague — kept their jobs after proving that they did not pay for sex. But both the Spanish-speaking agent and Bongino have been shifted off the elite counter-assault team, those briefed on the incident said. The 29-year-old agent has told investigators a similar story: that he took two women to his room without realizing they were prostitutes. He maintained, under a polygraph exam, that he told the women to leave when they asked for money for sex, according to associates familiar with his account. He has withdrawn his resignation. Only one agent was completely cleared, after proving that someone else had improperly used his name to register a female guest. The scandal has badly damaged the Secret Service’s reputation, and the fallout has spread to other federal agencies. A dozen members of the military also are accused of hiring prostitutes on the trip, and the Drug Enforcement Administration is looking into allegations, made by a Secret Service agent during the investigation, that DEA members had previously brought prostitutes to their apartments in Cartagena. The confirming allegations by the four agents is a charge that Director Mark Sullivan may have to address when he appears before a Senate committee Wednesday. He has not spoken in public about the controversy, but according to his prepared testimony, he plans to tell Congress that there was no breach of operational security.
Published On: May 21, 2010 - Updated On: May 23 2012 03:37:06 PM PDT Lake Ronkonkoma, NY -- The United States Secret Service came to Gatelot Avenue Elementary School Thursday afternoon. No, President Barack Obama was not in attendance, but one of his presidential limousines was. As part of Operation Safe Kids, the Secret Service hosts programs nationwide to fingerprint and photograph children in case they go missing, according to Mike Seremetis, a resident agent in charge with the SS. Students were treated to an assembly where Special Agents Joe Bongino (pictured left) and Steve Chaklos spoke about their daily responsibilities, which include more than just the few who men and women tasked with being on presidential detail. The parent of a student notified the school about the program after reading about it in a newspaper. Gatelot applied and everything came together. "The benefit is multifaceted," said Leslie Arent, the school's social worker. "It makes kids more aware of safety. It also makes them understand technology and how it works for their safety." "They did an amazing job and worked well with the children," said Gatelot principal Denise Kleinman. "The benefits are insurmountable. God for bid a child gets lost or stolen or kidnapped, it's so much easier to try and find them." Seremetis said they've fingerprinted about 80,000 children in the course of 500 events.
Published On: May 21 2012 07:28:32 PM EDT Updated On: May 21 2012 08:57:06 PM PDT
Da' DEA in Cartagena!
"Not good! It's disturbing that we may be uncovering a troubling culture that spans more than one law enforcement agency. In addition to the Secret Service scandal, we now learn that at least two DEA agents apparently entertained female foreign national masseuses in the Cartagena apartment of one of the agents. The evidence uncovered thus far indicates that this likely was not just a one-time incident." -- Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which on Wednesday will hear the first testimony from Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCJB) - Three Drug Enforcement Administration agents are under investigation for allegedly hiring prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, a congressional source confirms to media sources. According to this source, House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, R-New York, and committee investigators have been "aware of this for some time." News of the investigation comes on the heels of a prostitution scandal involving U.S. military and Secret Service agents who were detailed to Colombia in April in advance of President Barack Obama's trip to the Summit of the Americas. Several Secret Service members have been dismissed as a result of investigations. Media sources spoke with three senators -- one of whom asked not to be identified -- who confirmed the investigation concerning the DEA agents. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said senators found out about the matter a week ago but were asked to keep it quiet until the agents were removed from Colombia. DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said the matter has been turned over to the Justice Department inspector general. "The Drug Enforcement Administration was provided information from the Secret Service unrelated to the Cartagena hotel Secret Service incident, which DEA immediately followed up on, making DEA employees available to be interviewed by the Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General. DEA takes allegations of misconduct very seriously and will take appropriate personnel action, if warranted, upon the conclusion of the OIG investigation," Payne said. "Not good," said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which on Wednesday will hear the first testimony from Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan. Collins released a statement later Monday, saying, "It's disturbing that we may be uncovering a troubling culture that spans more than one law enforcement agency. "In addition to the Secret Service scandal, we now learn that at least two DEA agents apparently entertained female foreign national masseuses in the Cartagena apartment of one of the agents. The evidence uncovered thus far indicates that this likely was not just a one-time incident," Collins added in her statement. In addition, Collins and one other senator told media sources that one additional Secret Service agent has come forward in recent days and volunteered to his superiors that he paid a prostitute while in Colombia in advance of President Obama's recent trip there. An aide to Collins said the Secret Service is telling the senator's office that the agent says he thought he was paying for a massage, not for prostitution. Because that agent came forward on his own, he will not lose his job, one of the senators said.
Posted: Fri. May 4, 2012 17:54 PDT - Updated: Fri. May 4, 2012 22:28 PDT OAKLAND, CA -- The stardom-seeking private investigator at the center of an East Bay law enforcement scandal pleaded guilty Friday to seven criminal counts in an agreement with federal prosecutors. Christopher Butler, 50, pleaded guilty to charges including extortion, robbery and conspiring to deal drugs during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Oakland. Butler had sought fame - and a reality television deal - by hiring "Mommy P.I.s," attractive women whose job was to lure men into cheating on their wives. But Butler was exposed for using actors to fake some of the stings. He and Norman Wielsch, a former state Department of Justice agent who led an anti-narcotics task force in Contra Costa County, were indicted last year. The two once worked together as Antioch police officers. Butler and Wielsch were accused of crimes including stealing marijuana and methamphetamine from police to sell, embezzling cash and opening a massage parlor in Pleasant Hill that served as a front for prostitution. Wielsch, 51, has pleaded not guilty to similar charges and remains free on bail. In court Butler also admitted to bribing a Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy, Stephen Tanabe, with cocaine and a gun to make drunken-driving arrests of men he was investigating - so-called "dirty DUI" stings. Tanabe, who is no longer a sheriff's deputy, has also pleaded not guilty. Butler also admitted to carrying out a fake arrest of the teenage son of a client who suspected the boy was selling drugs, and setting up 75 to 100 illegal wiretaps as part of his private-investigator business. Butler said he and Wielsch had stolen methamphetamine from police evidence lockers and sold at least a pound of the drug for $9,800. Butler also admitted to conspiring with Wielsch to establish the Pleasant Hill brothel, and to collecting more than $10,000 from the business that allegedly went to Wielsch in exchange for protection for the operation from law enforcement. Butler's sentencing is set for Sept. 11, and prosecutors would not say what term they would recommend. The drug charge against him carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life. Two defendants left In the same courtroom Friday, an associate of Butler's, former San Ramon police officer and vice cop Louis Lombardi, was sentenced to three years in prison by U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong. Judge Armstrong, a former Oakland police officer, also ordered Lombardi to pay $7,500 in restitution to the city of San Ramon. As part of his sentence, he must undergo drug treatment while in prison. "It is a sentence that allows everyone to start healing and moving forward," his lawyer said. "Mr. Lombardi has worked very hard since being arrested to right the wrongs he committed." Lombardi had admitted to nine felonies, including stealing $40,000 in cash while on the job and pocketing drugs during searches. Lombardi, 39, worked as Wielsch's second-in-command on the now-disbanded Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team from 2005 to 2009. He was arrested in April 2011, two months after Wielsch and Butler, and pleaded guilty in January. Lombardi admitted that Wielsch had once given him half a pound of marijuana, which he then sold to a confidential informant in Arizona and split the profits with his former boss. In court papers, prosecutors depicted Lombardi as an opportunistic man who used the power of his badge to steal large sums of cash as well as petty items, including a bottle of whiskey and a pair of sunglasses. But in court, prosecutors asked the judge for a lenient sentence, explaining that Lombardi was cooperating with law enforcement and accepted responsibility for his crimes. Lombardi tearfully apologized to his family and to police officers for "destroying" the reputation of law enforcement. "There's nothing I can do to bring that back," he said. "I'm deeply sorry." Lombardi's lawyer said the former officer had begun taking drugs as a form of self-medication after rupturing a back disc during a 2008 arrest. Butler's attorney, said he hoped his client would receive a similarly lenient sentence. He said the private eye has also cooperated with prosecutors, and that much of the case against Wielsch is due to the "candor of Mr. Butler." He said Butler had fallen in love with the spotlight - the "Mommy P.I.s" got him on the Dr. Phil show and brought a write-up in People magazine. "I think good judgment was just overcome by the desire for notoriety," the attorney said. Butler was stoic during Friday's hearing. After he pleaded guilty, he removed his jacket and tie, handed it to his attorney and went with the U.S. marshal taking him into custody.
Posted: 05/04/2012 11:36:34 AM PDT - Updated: 05/04/2012 2:20:35 PM PDT
Posted: May 22, 2012 12:24 AM PDT - Updated: May 22, 2012 12:24 AM PDT
Da' FBI & Friends!
"Dear Edgar, It has come to my attention that the son of a lifelong personal friend has applied to become a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation..." -- August 1, 1968, U.S. House Speaker John William McCormack writes a personal note to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover on behalf of a constituent (John J. Connolly, Jr.). Connolly, Jr. was appointed to the FBI in October 1968.Boston, MA -- A judge told FBI agent John J. Connolly, Jr. that he had ‘crossed over to the dark side’. Connolly, Jr. is an ex-FBI agent, who was convicted of racketeering and obstruction of justice convictions stemming from his relationship with James J. "Whitey" Bulger, Steve Flemmi, and the Winter Hill Gang. Connolly was indicted on December 22, 1999 on charges of alerting Bulger and Flemmi to investigations, falsifying FBI reports to cover their crimes, and accepting bribes. In 2000, he was charged with additional racketeering related offenses. He was convicted on the racketeering charges in 2002 and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Connolly would later tell reporters that as a boy, his first memory of James "Whitey" Bulger was "Whitey" using his illicit earnings to buy ice cream cones for all the boys that swarmed around him in adoration. Stephen Joseph "The Rifleman" Flemmi (born June 9, 1935) is an Italian-American mobster and close associate of Winter Hill Gang boss James J. "Whitey" Bulger. Beginning in 1965, Flemmi was a top echelon informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Despite delivering a great deal of intelligence about the inner workings of the Patriarca crime family, Flemmi's own criminal activities proved a public relations nightmare for the FBI. For this reason, he was prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and sentenced to a long term of incarceration. This scandal was the basis for the book Black Mass and is alluded to in the 2006 crime thriller film ‘The Departed.’ Damon plays the part as a Massachusetts State Trooper detective who plied his (childhood) Mob links with information. Connolly (pictured left) graduated from Boston College and attended law class and then briefly, unhappily, attended Suffolk University Law School for a Bachelor of Law in the same class as John Martorano's brother, James Martorano. (Connolly is the brother-in-law of Arthur Gianelli, who was later indicted with Joe (Joey Y) Yerardi, who oversaw John Martorano's criminal operations when he was a federal fugitive in Florida between 1978 and 1995. In 1989 the DEA was probing the Winter Hill Gang for suspected drug trafficking. Arthur Gianelli and Connolly purchased adjoining property in Lynnfield, Massachusetts from Patriarca crime family extortionist, Rocco Botta. Retired FBI Special Agent Joseph D. Pistone wrote in his book, The Ceremony, "The reign of the Patriarca crime family is ended. A substantial amount of the credit for the demise of that mob family must be given to one man, Special Agent John Conolly." Louis Litif, one of the top bookmakers and Winter Hill Gang mob associates was one of Connolly's handball partners at the Boston Athletic Club.) He later withdrew from Suffolk University and went on to earn a graduate degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Before he became an FBI agent Connolly worked as a teacher at South Boston High School and Dorchester High School. (In 1965, Flemmi was secretly recruited as a confidential informant by FBI Agent H. Paul Rico, giving the agency inside information about Boston's gangland. However, Flemmi allegedly used his informant status to get important members of the rival Charlestown Mob arrested and to protect his allies.) In 1968 he met with H. Paul Rico's FBI partner, Special Agent Dennis Condon, and Boston Police Department Detective Edward Walsh, an old friend of the Connolly family. Both Condon and Walsh would later brag that they had 'recruited' Connolly. Then he stopped by his old neighbor and state representative Billy Bulger (Whitey's brother) to discuss career opportunities in law enforcement. On August 1, 1968 U.S. House Speaker John William McCormack wrote a personal note to J. Edgar Hoover on behalf of a constituent. The letter began, "Dear Edgar, It has come to my attention that the son of a lifelong personal friend has applied to become a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation..." He was appointed to the FBI in October 1968. He began his FBI career in Baltimore field office and then San Francisco field office before he was transferred back to New York City where he helped break up a child pornography ring. During his career in the FBI, Connolly investigated organized crime and over the span of his career received eight commendations from every Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from J. Edgar Hoover through L. Patrick Gray, William Ruckelshaus, Clarence M. Kelley, James B. Adams, William H. Webster, John Otto and William S. Sessions. In 1973 he was the first agent assigned to the FBI office in Boston and maintained an office at One Centre Plaza in Government Center, Boston. Boston FBI Special Agent Robert Fitzpatrick said, "Connolly just became a force unto himself, a vortex in a constantly changing system. He stayed put as new agents in charge came and went. And he could take care of other agents. He became the guy who could get you sports tickets. He could help you get a day off through the secretaries. He made no secret that he could help you get a job after retirement through Billy Bulger [Whitey's brother]. But he wasn't that much of an agent. He couldn't write a report. He was no administrator. He was just this brassy bullshit artist. We enabled him to some extent. No one had the stomach for examining what he was up to. We just never came to grip with that guy." In 1990 after he retired from the FBI, Billy Bulger (Whitey's brother) lobbied with Boston Mayor Ray Flynn to have Connolly appointed Commissioner of the Boston Police Department. Flynn instead appointed Francis Roache. However, upon his honorable retirement from the FBI in 1990, Connolly accepted the position of Director of Security/Public affairs for Boston Edison, from former Boston FBI Special Agent John Kehoe. FBI Supervisor John M. Morris, who would also face charges of corruption, was Connolly's supervisor during much of his time working for the FBI. As an agent Connolly was also one of the primary agents involved in developing the Top Echelon Criminal Informants Program in New England. In 2005, Connolly was indicted on murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges in the 1982 slaying of Arthur Andersen certified public accountant John B. Callahan and the 1981 murder of Roger Wheeler, owner of the World Jai Alai sporting corporation. Connolly stood trial in 2008 in Miami. Throughout a two-month trial in Miami, Florida, a panel of judges heard that Connolly, 68 was on the Mafia payroll, getting money from infamous Mob head James "Whitey" Bulger (pictured left) who ran the Winter Hill gang in Boston in the 1980s. The evidence presented in court demonstrated that as the FBI handler for Bulger and Flemmi, Connolly (who had grown up in the Old Harbor Housing Project with Bulger) had been protecting them from prosecution by feeding Bulger information about possible attempts to catch them, in addition to leaking the names of informants. Callahan was murdered by John Martorano who shot Callahan and left his body in the trunk of his Cadillac in a parking lot at Miami International Airport. Prosecutors alleged that Callahan was killed on the orders of Whitey Bulger and Stephen Flemmi after Connolly told them that the FBI was investigating his ties to the Winter Hill Gang in their ongoing investigation into Wheeler's death. Wheeler had been killed by Martorano in Tulsa, Oklahoma in May 1981. (FBI Civil Trial Lawsuit Photo (Monday, July 20, 2009) -- A federal judge is demanding the families of two women butchered by James “Whitey” Bulger (pictured right, center) and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi (pictured far left) justify why he shouldn’t toss their lawsuits against the FBI when they waited nearly 20 years to cry foul. The issue is expected to be addressed as the wrongful-death trial of Flemmi’s lovers Debra Davis (pictured right, top) and Deborah Hussey (pictured right, bottom) resumes today. Arguments to U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young supporting the lawsuits include new details suggesting the mob monsters’ lust for revenge was rivaled only by their psychological cruelty. Flemmi is described by his former mistress Marilyn DeSilva as mild mannered and personable. He was a childhood friend and mentor of Richard J. Schneiderhan, who later became a Lieutenant in the Massachusetts State Police. In April 2005, Flemmi was deposed in New York City by a group of lawyers representing the families of his and Bulger's victims, who are currently suing the federal government. Among other things, he testified that he and Bulger had been paying off six FBI agents in the Boston office. Those who could be reached issued denials.) During Connolly's criminal trial, Bulger associates Stephen Flemmi, Kevin Weeks and John Martorano testified for the prosecution detailing Connolly's ties to Bulger and Flemmi. Flemmi testified that Connolly warned them that the FBI wanted to question Callahan in the death of Wheeler, telling them that Callahan "wouldn't hold up" and would probably implicate them. Kevin Weeks, Bulger's right-hand man, testified that Bulger boasted that he had corrupted six FBI agents and more than 20 Boston police officers. At holiday time, Bulger stuffed envelopes with cash, Weeks testified. "He used to say that Christmas was for cops and kids," Weeks said. Also testifying against Connolly was his former FBI boss, John Morris, who admitted that he accepted $7,000 in bribes from Bulger and Flemmi. He stated he began leaking information to them after Connolly delivered a case of wine and an envelope stuffed with $1000 cash from the pair.
Posted: 05/16/2012 6:39 PM EDT - Updated: 05/22/2012 2:20 AM PDT
Posted: May 22, 2012 12:24 AM PDT - Updated: May 22, 2012 12:24 AM PDT After the death of John F. Kennedy, Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson, was appointed president. He immediately set up a commission to "ascertain, evaluate and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy." The seven man commission was headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren and included Gerald Ford, Allen W. Dulles, John J. McCloy, Richard B. Russell, John S. Cooper and Thomas H. Boggs. Lyndon B. Johnson also commissioned a report on the assassination from J. Edgar Hoover. Two weeks later the Federal Bureau of Investigation produced a 500 page report claiming that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin and that there was no evidence of a conspiracy. The report was then passed to the Warren Commission. Rather than conduct its own independent investigation, the commission relied almost entirely on the FBI report. Clint Hill, Roy Kellerman, and William Greer after giving evidence to the Warren Commission (March, 1964) It is believed that J. Edgar Hoover either knew of plans to kill Kennedy and did nothing to stop them, or he helped to organize the assassination. One unnamed author provides information that Hoover and the Federal Bureau of Investigation helped to cover-up the real identity of the people who assassinated John F. Kennedy. Another author claims that members of the Secret Service agents were involved in the killing of Kennedy. This included providing the assassins with a good opportunity to kill Kennedy. The author was highly critical of the behaviour of Secret Service Agents William Greer, Roy Kellerman and Winston G. Lawson during the assassination. The author believes that after the assassination of Kennedy they hijacked the body in order to alter the corpse. One other author writes: "I have discovered at least fifteen indications of Secret Service complicity in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, from the absence of protective military presence to a lack of coverage of open windows, to motorcycles out of position, to Secret Service agents failing to ride on the Presidential limousine, to the vehicles arranged in an improper sequence, to the utilization of an improper motorcade route, to the driver bringing the vehicle to a halt after bullets began to be fired, to the almost total lack of response by Secret Service agents, to the driver washing out the back seat with a bucket and sponge at Parkland Hospital, to the car being dismantled and rebuilt (on LBJ's orders), to the driver giving false testimony to the Warren Commission, to the windshields being switched, to the autopsy photographs being taken into custody before they were developed." The Zapruder and other films and photographs of the assassination clearly reveal the utter lack of response by Secret Service agents Roy Kellerman and William Greer, who were in the front seat of the presidential limousine. After the first two shots, Greer actually slowed the vehicle to less than five miles an hour. Kellerman merely sat in the front seat, seemingly oblivious to the shooting. In contrast, Secret Service Agent Rufus Youngblood responded instantly to the first shot, and before the head shots were fired, had covered Vice-President Lyndon Johnson with his body. Evidence of four police officers protecting the motorcade about what the presidential car did when the shots were fired in the Dealey Plaza. James Chaney (motorcyclist on motorcade): "From the time the first shot ran out, the car stopped completely, pulled to the left and stopped." Bobby Hargis (motorcyclist on motorcade): "The car stopped immediately after that and stayed stopped for about half a second, then took off." Earle Brown (police officer on overpass): "When the shots were fired, it (the car) stopped." J. W. Foster (police officer on overpass): "Immediately after Kennedy was struck... the car pulled to the curb."
Da' Secret Service '63!
March 5, 2010 SCITUATE, R.I.—Three Providence police officers, including a narcotics detective and a school resource officer, were arrested Thursday on charges that they helped with a cocaine-dealing operation. Detective Joseph Colanduono, Patrolman Robert Hamlin and Sergeant Steven Gonsalves were arrested at police headquarters and have been suspended without pay, said Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman, who called it a "hard day" for his department. The officers either used the cocaine or helped arrange the drug deals, police said. "These actions that we saw are an offensive display of a violation of trust that we cannot and will not tolerate," Attorney General Patrick Lynch said. The arrests followed a more than four-month investigation that began with information from a state police detective and involved wiretaps and intercepted phone calls. Police seized several hundred grams of cocaine and firearms as part of the probe. Three other men were arrested, including Hamlin's brother, Albert, who police describe as a major cocaine dealer and the primary target of their investigation. Police say Robert Hamlin, a school resource officer at a Providence high school, helped his brother avoid getting caught by giving names of narcotics detectives and providing descriptions of their police cars, said State Police Capt. David Neill. The media reported that Gonsalves is a former driver for Providence Mayor David Cicilline and the husband of the mayor's executive assistant, Xiomara Gonsalves. The media said the mayor described his assistant as "incredibly heartbroken." Cicilline's spokeswoman, Karen Southern, did not return calls seeking comment Thursday night. Also arrested was Khalid Mason, who in 2007 faced drug dealing charges that were dismissed by a federal judge after a Providence police sergeant testified at a pretrial hearing that he didn't have any notes or reports from his investigation. That case is not connected to the current arrests, police said. Mason supplied drugs to Albert Hamlin, who would purchase one kilogram of cocaine at a time for about $35,000 and break down the drugs into smaller quantities, which he would then sell, police said. Gonsalves, 47, is charged with soliciting another to commit a crime. Robert Hamlin, 33, is charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine, and Colanduono, 44, is charged with conspiracy to deal cocaine and compounding and concealing a felony. A phone message left with the police union was not immediately returned, and it was not immediately clear if the officers had lawyers. Gonsalves was released on personal recognizance by a bail commissioner Thursday evening and is due in court March 18. The other five defendants, including the two officers, are being held without bail overnight and will be arraigned Friday in Providence District Court. State Police Col. Brendan Doherty told the media that at least some calls were made when the officers were on duty, though police say there's no evidence that any drug dealing took place at a school. Cicilline called the arrests "gravely disappointing" and said the officers deserve to be prosecuted aggressively. The investigation is continuing and more police officers are expected to be arrested.
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