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"They rape, ... They rape a 100 white women a day, ... that's FBI statistic from 2005."
-- Dylann Roof, explaining to FBI Agents why he entered Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015 and killed nine members of the black congregation attending a Bible study inside.
Posted: May 5, 2017 - 10:53 AM ~ Updated: May 8, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. pdt
BANKS COUNTY, GA (WCJB) -- Banks County Deputy Sheriff Brent Register is one of the deputies involved in the 2015 arrest of an ex-Atlanta Hawks player, Mike Scott. Scott admitted to having marijuana in the car when stopped and asked about drugs by deputies. Police said they seized more than an ounce of marijuana and 10.9 grams of the drug known on the street as Molly. Deputy Register has now been placed on administrative leave. Deputy Register was placed on leave less than a day after the state dismissed a felony drug case against the NBA player. The dismissal of the case was based on a lack of probable cause and a determination of racial profiling.
Court records show Deputy Brent Register described a chase that never took place . He and another deputy arrested Scott and his younger brother Antonn Scott along Interstate 85 in Banks County in July 2015. Register testified he went after Antonn Scott for driving too closely behind another car. He alleged Scott led him on a two-mile chase that reached speeds of 98 miles per hour. However, towing and dispatch records indicate there was never a chase. All the vehicles came to a stop within twelve seconds of Register turning on his blue lights. The records also show the brothers’ rental car was towed from mile marker 154. This is exactly two miles ahead of the place Registered testified the non-existent chase ended.
The courts also questioned Register’s credibility based on prior issues in previous departments. The court also questioned his recent arrest records. They noted more than 75 percent of his arrests in the past year were of minorities. Banks County is comprised of a 93 percent white population. Register’s police certification records that classify him as being Hispanic.
Scott’s attorney said: “This is the most extreme racial profiling I’ve ever seen. It is scary to think that they could do this and how long they’ve been doing this.” The attorney said the Scott brothers were headed home to Virginia in a rental car. He said Mike Scott was sleeping during much of the incident. A second deputy met Register to arrest the brothers before searching the car. The attorney continued: “Within 10 seconds, there are two officers one on each side of the car, with weapons drawn, telling them to get out. I think they see two black guys in a car and they’re going to pull them out and put them in handcuffs. “This time, they got called on it.”
The attorney concluded, saying: “I understand, and I understand how people feel. But the sanctity of being able to drive or be in your house without being stopped or arrested without any probable cause to me is more important to the future of our country and to us as individuals than what they found.” He said Scott looks forward to returning to the NBA as a free agent this summer, adding: “And hopefully this won’t happen to anybody ever again.”
On Thursday, Sheriff Carlton Speed said: “At this point, he [Register] is on leave and we’re in the process of evaluating our policies and procedures,” told Carr. “(We’re) certainly going to work to correct any issues out there.” Sheriff Speed said he didn’t get a chance to see the 300-page case file until Wednesday evening. This was after Superior Court Judge Currie Mingledorff made his ruling. At this point Register was put on administrative leave pending the department’s internal investigation.
Speed oversees a small department of 65 paid employees. Less than half of them are sworn officers. He said all of his officers go through biased-based training. He does not believe his department has a racial profiling issue. He wants the public’s trust. He said: “At no time, shape, or fashion are we out to do anything to harm.” We’re here to serve the public. I’m a man of deep convictions, and I’m certainly not going to do anything to discredit this office, or shed a bad light on the people of Banks County.”
The department now seeks funding for dash cameras. On Thursday morning, Speed went to the County Commissioner’s budget meeting and requested $50,000 worth of dash cam equipment. Speed said: “(It’s) So we can have them in the future because they’re being brought into question by the courts.”
Posted: March 13, 2017, at 3:15 p.m ~ Updated: May 8, 2017, at 2:15 a.m. pdt
ROME, GA (WCJB) — GBI authorities say they've arrested northwest Georgia police officer, Ernest Edward Cox, age 39. He is charged him with drug trafficking. Cox is a 15-year veteran of the Rome Police Department. The GBI says Cox faces charges of trafficking marijuana: a violation of oath of office; tampering with evidence; and bribery.
Rome police Chief Denise McKinney in October asked the GBI to investigate allegations of police corruption against Cox. Cox was being held without bond in the Floyd County jail. The charges against him are the result of a six-month investigation that is still ongoing. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on the charges.
Posted: December 20, 2016 at 11:19 AM ~ Updated: December 29, 2016 at 6:27 PM
A Thai court has ordered the extradition of a fugitive Italian banker found guilty of laundering money for some of Italy's top mobsters through New York pizzerias in the 1970s and 80s.
Handcuffed and dressed in an orange prison uniform, Vito Roberto Palazzolo told a judge: "This is not the rule of law!" Guards then escorted him to a prison van where he told reporters: "I'm very happy to go back home."
Palazzolo was convicted in Italy in 2006 following the Pizza Connection investigation, which exposed a £1bn ($1.6bn) heroin and cocaine smuggling operation that used New York pizzerias as fronts from 1975 to 1984. He was sentenced to nine years in prison for links to the mafia.
The 65-year-old Sicilian was arrested at Bangkok's airport on 30 March as he prepared to board a flight to South Africa, his adopted homeland, where he went by the name Robert von Palace Kolbatschenko.
The criminal court in Bangkok said the extradition would take at least 30 days, mainly to process paperwork.
Thai police were tipped off by Italian authorities who had been monitoring Facebook and other social media postings by Palazzolo and his family. He was the subject of an Interpol red notice issued at Italy's request. A red notice asks for a wanted person's detention for the purpose of extradition.
Prosecutors alleged that while working in Switzerland as a banker Palazzolo laundered money for some of Italy's top mobsters, a charge he denies. Italy's highest court in 2009 upheld Palazzolo's conviction and sentence for mafia association.
Palazzolo has acknowledged that in 1982, while working as a banker in Switzerland, he returned about £3.7m ($6m) in funds to the mafia after being threatened by the mob. He alleged that he was made a scapegoat in the Pizza Connection case because he was the only Sicilian working in the Swiss banks accused of laundering drug money.
Italian authorities said in a statement after his arrest in Thailand that the Pizza Connection inquiry "showed the central role of the Sicilian mafia in the refining and trafficking of heroin, the proceeds of which were largely laundered by Palazzolo".
Palazzolo has written about his legal woes and getting swept up in the Pizza Connection inquiry on his website, vrpalazzolo.com.
He changed his name to Robert von Palace Kolbatschenko in the 1990s, he said, to help escape the media and live unobserved. He denied the name change was aimed at sidestepping the law.
Posted: December 20, 2016 at 11:19 AM ~ Updated: December 22, 2016 at 3:27 PM
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - A Las Vegas-based FBI special agent who allegedly shot at a Grand Rapids police sergeant repeatedly apologized as he was arrested at gunpoint.
"I'm so sorry, sir. I am so sorry, sir," Ruben Hernandez, said over and over, lying face-first on the ground as he was handcuffed.
A Grand Rapids police officer found his identification showing he was an FBI agent, according body-camera recordings obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. "He's got a badge," the officer says on the recording. "Federal Bureau of, he's a FBI agent."
His attorney says Hernandez, 35, suffered a paranoia attack, possibly fueled by alcohol, early Dec. 6 inside Planet Fitness, 3681 28th St. SE.
Police said he showed a handgun, then took three shots at Sgt. Neil Gomez, who responded to a report of a man brandishing a firearm.
Gomez was not hit.
Hernandez, upset and rambling, said: "Sir, they kill your man for doing the right thing."
Hernandez, a married father of two, is free on bond. He has only a "vague, hazy" recollection of events, his attorney said.
He was originally expected in Grand Rapids District Court on Tuesday, Dec. 20, for a probable-cause conference, but it was adjourned until next month.
The allegations stunned his family, friends and colleagues.
"He's feeling horrible. He can't believe it happened. He's feeling like you would think he would feel like," Willey said earlier.
Hernandez was in Grand Rapids on an investigation and expected to fly out the next day. He is an eight-year FBI special agent.
He is facing charges of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm, a 10-year felony, and assault with a dangerous weapon, a four-year felony.
Posted: MARCH 26, 2015 7:30 pm ~ Updated: MARCH 27, 2015 12:04 am pst
Fresno, California -- Keith Foster, 51, the deputy police chief of Fresno, California, was arrested Thursday on charges of possession and intent to distribute heroin and other drugs. Federal and local law enforcement officials confirmed Foster's arrest. He was named by the Justice Department as one of four people nabbed in a year-long investigation by the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Foster was charged with conspiracy to distribute and/or possess with the intent to distribute oxycodone, heroin and marijuana. Three other people were also arrested. One of the person's arrested was described as a relative of Foster's. The Justice Department said two more people were being sought in connection with the case.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer issued a brief statement to reporters late Thursday afternoon. Dyer confirmed that Foster is the department's deputy chief. Dyer said Foster has commanded patrol operations for the city of a half-million people for the past eight years. Dyer said he had little information about the investigation. He said he wasn't told about the investigation until after Foster and the other suspects had already been arrested. He said a criminal complaint was expected to be released later Thursday or Friday.
"This is a very, very sad day for the Fresno Police Department, the citizens of Fresno and the law enforcement profession," Dyer said. "I really am at a loss for words, quite frankly, other than to say that as the police chief, I'm extremely shocked." Foster was placed on administrative leave with pay. He was stripped of his service weapon and law enforcement powers.
Posted: 12:32 pm EDT, Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - Updated: 03:13 pm PDT, Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Miami Lakes, Fla. -- On Wednesday a federal judge came within a whisker of sending suspended Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi to jail. The judge made a finding that he violated the terms of his bond and lied to a probation officer about it. However, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke allowed Pizzi to remain free on bail with less than a month before his trial on corruption charges of accepting bribes in exchange for political favors. “If you keep this up, you will be across the street,” Cooke told Pizzi, referring to the nearby Miami Federal Detention Center. “You will be in jail.”
Cooke took Pizzi to task for sending out two political email blasts in April to his supporters. The e-mails were also received by potential government witnesses the former mayor was forbidden from contacting before trial. Among the recipients were Miami Lakes town manager Alex Rey, whose administration was described as “corrupt” in Pizzi’s unsigned emails. They referred to an actual Miami-Dade County Ethics Commission’s ruling that found the town’s former public works director violated a conflict of interest law.
Pizzi’s probation officer had already put Pizzi on notice for sending out email blasts to no-contact witnesses earlier this year. He told federal prosecutors that the former mayor lied when asked if he committed the same bond violation again in April. As a result, the U.S. attorney’s office asked the judge to revoke Pizzi’s $100,000 bond and detain him before his July 8 trial.
“I’m giving you fair warning right now,” Cooke told Pizzi, who was emotionally shaken by the prospect of being sent to jail. “No more, this is it. No emails. You just have to put your gadfly-ness on hold.”
Pizzi, a twice-elected Miami Lakes mayor who described himself as a longtime “gadfly” and “whistle blower,” said he can’t help himself because he’s “the guy who says the emperor has no clothes.”
“I think you’re going to have to let the emperor stand naked without your helping him,” Cooke told Pizzi.
“I may have made some stupid mistakes. It won’t happen again,” said Pizzi, who apologized while standing alongside his defense attorney, Ed Shohat. “I have gone from being a mayor ... to leading the life of a hermit.”
Federal prosecutors Jared Dwyer and Robert Senior sought to revoke Pizzi’s bond after learning that he lied about his behind-the-scene’s role in which he arranged for a public relations assistant to send the email blasts under the fake name “Jacqueline Diaz.”
“He used a bogus email address to send out an email about Alex Rey, and then when he was asked about it he lied to probation,” Dwyer told the judge. “He should be remanded” to jail.
Dwyer summarized Pizzi’s offenses for the judge, explaining how FBI agents tracked down Pizzi’s public relations assistant, Jessica Fernandez, who admitted that she collaborated with the former mayor in sending out the email blasts. He said Pizzi did not commit “stupid mistakes” but rather deliberately tried to intimidate potential witnesses such as the Miami Lakes town manager with “false allegations.”
Cooke concurred with the prosecutor’s argument, even noting that the 51-year-old Pizzi is a lawyer and former federal probation officer. But she decided to give him the benefit of the doubt as he prepares his defense for trial.
Pizzi faces fraud charges stemming from his acceptance of $6,750 in bribes from undercover FBI agents as well as a lobbyist who flipped for the feds before the Miami Lakes politician’s arrest last August.
Pizzi is accused of accepting the bribes in exchange for supporting bogus federal grant applications in Miami Lakes and Medley, where he worked as the town attorney. He has denied all charges.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the judge suggested that she might be doing Pizzi a favor if she put him in jail before his trial so he could “avoid running into his own knife.”
“I am very close to establishing electronic monitoring and curfew” as special conditions of your bond, Cooke told Pizzi. But she didn’t, insisting only that he send no more email blasts.
Said Pizzi: “I promise you there will be no further problems.”
Posted: 1:32 am, Saturday, June 14, 2014 PDT - Updated: 2:11 AM PDT June 14, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCJB) — A former Ohio lawmaker who authorities say took trips and cash in exchange for taking steps to introduce legislation has asked for early release from a three-year prison term. W. Carlton Weddington, a Columbus Democrat, pleaded guilty two years ago to charges of bribery, election falsification and filing a false financial disclosure statement. Columbus media sources reported that the 44-year-old Weddington asked in a filing Friday in Franklin County court to be freed after serving two years. Judge Mark Serrott said at sentencing he would consider Weddington's request if he behaved behind bars. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien also agreed at sentencing to take no position on Weddington's request to be released early from Allen Correctional Institution in Lima.
Posted: 1:44 AM EDT, Sun October 11, 2013 - Updated: 2:16 AM PDT, Sun October 13, 2013
Washington, D.C. -- The Air Force’s two star general in charge of the units responsible for its 450 nuclear missiles has been fired “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment.”
Maj. Gen. Michael Carey (pictured above, center) has been removed from command of the 20th Air Force, according to an Air Force statement. That command is responsible for the three wings that maintain control of the 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles scattered in missile silos across the northern plains.
Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, made the decision because of what the statement said was a ”loss of trust and confidence.
The statement added that Kowalski made the decision to relieve Carey based on information from an Inspector General investigation into Carey’s behavior during a temporary duty assignment which is the military’s term for business travel. “The allegations are not related to operational readiness or the inspection results of any 20th AF unit, nor do they involve sexual misconduct,” said the statement. Carey has been reassigned to an undetermined job within the Air Force pending the results of the investigation.
“20th AF continues to execute its mission of around-the-clock nuclear deterrence in a safe, secure and effective manner,” Kowalski is quoted as saying in the statement. “It’s unfortunate that I’ve had to relieve an officer who’s had an otherwise distinctive career spanning 35 years of commendable service.”
Brigadier General Les Kodlick, the Air Force’s chief spokesman, said the ongoing Inspector General’s investigation had been triggered by “reports of personal misbehavior” during that temporary duty assignment.
Kodlick would not specifically reveal where the personal misbehavior may have occurred or may have consisted of though he said it did not involve criminal behavior.
Kowalski’s command is responsible for two-thirds of the nation’s nuclear triad, including Air Force nuclear missiles and long-range bombers.
Kodlick explained that personal behavior is important in nuclear commands because “it’s a position of great trust and responsibility.” He added that “the nuclear deterrence mission is one of great focus and discipline. Personal behavior is vital to that, especially from a commander.
Earlier this week President Obama relieved of command the number two officer at U.S. Strategic Command, which among other things oversees the military’s nuclear forces. Vice Admiral James Giardina had earlier been suspended from that command following a criminal probe into his potential use of counterfeit poker chips at an Iowa casino.
Obama became involved because only the president can relieve a three- and four-star officer from his post. Giardina has been reassigned to an undetermined position within the Navy.
The Air Force statement indicated that the move was unrelated to the inspection results of the 20th Air Force.
Earlier this year, two of the three missile wings under Carey’s command received unsatisfactory ratings in regular annual inspections.
In August, the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, failed its third inspection in five years.
In May ,the 91st Missile wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota suspended 19 missile officers for retraining after that unit received an unsatisfactory rating for one aspect of its inspection.
Posted: November 14, 2012 - Updated: November 16, 2012, 02:17 AM PST
Lawyer, Trustee, Informant!
Marco Antonio Delgado is escorted out of the El Paso County Jail, in this Nov. 5, 2012 file photo taken in El Paso, Texas. Delgado will have his detention hearing in federal court in El Paso, Texas Wednesday Nov. 14, 2012. EL PASO, Texas -- A West Texas lawyer charged with trying to launder $600 million for a Mexican drug cartel was an informant for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement while he was moving large amounts of cash behind the agency's back, a federal agent testified Wednesday. The testimony from agent Joshua Fry with the Homeland Security Investigations' Financial Operations and Currency United Strike Force came at a hearing in which U.S. District Judge Norbert Garney denied Marco Antonio Delgado's request to be released on bond.
"We thought he had gone bad on my agents," Fry said in explaining why ICE started an investigation on Delgado after they learned that he had sent someone to Chicago to retrieve $50,000 and bring it to El Paso. The money eventually made it to Delgado's bank account and was later withdrawn.
In denying bail, Garney noted Delgado has an extensive network of acquaintances overseas, might have assets in other countries and faces a "rather extensive exposure to prison time" if the government manages to obtain a conviction.
Delgado's attorney said he will appeal Garney's decision. He told the judge that Delgado's relatives were prepared to offer all their property, totaling about $800,000, to secure bond. In addition to being an attorney, Delgado also has served as a Carnegie Mellon University Trustee and donated money to numerous causes.
Prosecutors say Delgado conspired to launder drug profits from July 2007 through December 2008. They say he's since participated in financial transactions they believe are connected to organized crime. Delgado's attorney questioned why the government waited until this September to indict his client if no money laundering activity was done by Delgado since 2008. Fry responded by spelling out two financial transactions he said took place after 2008 but that were not listed in the indictment against Delgado. Delgado's attorney said that neither of those two transactions was drug related and said the investigation on the cash moved from Chicago was closed by the end of 2008.
The investigation into Delgado started in September 2007 after a $1 million seizure was made in Atlanta. The man carrying the money told investigators that he, Delgado and other men had met in Mexico and agreed to transport money for the Milenio Cartel, a drug-trafficking organization based in the Mexican state of Colima and associated with the infamous Sinaloa Cartel. Mexican government information states the cartel was mostly disbanded in 2010.
According to U.S. authorities, Delgado admitted to ICE agents that he had been contacted by people in Mexico about slowing down extradition processes of alleged cartel members and about moving up to $600 million from the U.S. to Mexico. He told the agents the million dollars seized was "a trial run" to see if it was possible, according to the U.S. government.
At that point, Fry stated that Delgado went to Cuba to engage in "mass sexual activity with underage women." Fry didn't explain how that was relevant to the money laundering investigation. Calls to the U.S. attorney's office were not immediately replied. Delgado's arrest surprised those who knew him in El Paso.
"This came totally out of the blue. I still don't believe it," said Ralph Adame, a businessman who has served on the board of the Ysleta Educational Foundation with Delgado. The organization provides scholarships to deserving students in East El Paso.
Posted: November 12, 2012 6:58 PM - Updated: November 13, 2012, 1:21 AM PST
Federal Bungled Investigations!
Washington, D.C. -- The FBI investigation began in June with about a half-dozen emails from Paula Broadwell to Jill Kelley. While the emails did not openly name CIA Director Dave Petraeus, some of them contained information about his travel schedule -- details the public wouldn't usually have access to. This raised concerns at the FBI that someone may have breached Petraeus' computer or email files. In the end investigators determined Broadwell got that sensitive travel information from Petraeus himself, and without his knowledge. She incorporated the information into the emails sent to Kelley. It took investigators quite a while to determine this was not the result of a breach.
It started as a low-level cyber investigation in Tampa, Florida. Kelley, a socialite who's done fundraising for the U.S. military, told a friend in the FBI, Special Agent Frederick W. Humphries that she'd received a series of anonymous harassing emails. Agents quickly traced those emails to a former military intelligence officer, Broadwell, the author of the biography, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus." Officials have confirmed a report by media sources that the Tampa FBI agent who first brought the case to the Bureau's attention has been reassigned and his status is being reviewed by the FBI.
FBI Special Agent Humphries, a personal friend of Kelley's, sent the above photograph to Kelley and a host of other people i his inner-social circle. When she received Broadwell's harassing emails, Agent Humphries pushed the cyber squad in Tampa to investigate. Over time Agent Humphries became disgruntled when higher-ups in the FBI essentially cut him out of the information flow of the investigation. He then took his concerns of a possible cover-up to a congressman friend who forwarded the information to Rep. Eric Cantor. The same media source noted Agent Humphries once sent a shirtless picture of himself to Kelley. This apparently is true, but happened a long time ago, well before this investigation.
A further investigation turned up numerous emails, some of them sexually explicit, between Broadwell and Petraeus. At first blush, investigators wondered if someone had breached Petraeus' private email. Investigators had actually stumbled across an extra-marital affair. Petraeus and Broadwell exchanged hundreds, if not a few thousand, emails and messages over a number of years. Some of the information they traded was not actually emailed, but written and left in draft files which they each could read by accessing a common private email account. Draft emails, because there is no electronic transfer record, are not easily found by cyber investigators.
Officials suspect Broadwell sent the email messages to Kelley believing her to be a romantic rival. Sources say when Petraeus became aware of those messages, he asked Broadwell to stop sending them.
Meanwhile, late Monday FBI officials visited the home of Broadwell, Petraeus' mistress, for what they described as a "consensual search" to clean up lingering issues, the four-month investigation by the FBI was wrapped up just days before the election. In the end, agents did not find any evidence of an intelligence breach. Instead, they uncovered the tawdry personal affair that brought down CIA chief.
Posted: November 13, 2012, 1:21 AM - Updated: November 13, 2012, 1:30 AM PST
Washington, D.C. -- The Pentagon says the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, is under investigation. Allen, a four-star Marine general, succeeded Petraeus as the top American commander in Afghanistan in July 2011. A senior defense official says the probe involves possibly "inappropriate communications," in the form of emails, with Jill Kelley. She is the woman said to have received threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, the woman with whom now-former CIA Director David Petraeus had an extramarital affair. Kelley has been described as an unpaid social liaison at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., which is headquarters to the U.S. Central Command. She is not a U.S. government employee. Kelley is said to have received threatening emails from Broadwell, who is Petraeus' biographer and who had an extramarital affair with Petraeus that reportedly began after he became CIA director in September 2011.
The official said 20,000 to 30,000 documents from Allen's communications with Kelley between 2010 and 2012 are under review. He would not say whether they involved sexual matters or whether they are thought to include unauthorized disclosures of classified information. He said he did not know whether Petraeus is mentioned in the emails.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a written statement issued to reporters aboard his aircraft, en route from Honolulu to Perth, Australia, that the FBI referred the matter to the Pentagon on Sunday. Panetta said he ordered a Pentagon investigation of Allen on Monday. The Pentagon says Allen's nomination to be NATO's supreme allied commander has been put on hold due to the investigation.
The FBI's decision to refer the Allen matter to the Pentagon rather than keep it itself, combined with Panetta's decision to allow Allen to continue as Afghanistan commander without a suspension, suggested strongly that officials viewed whatever happened as a possible infraction of military rules rather than a violation of federal criminal law.
Panetta said President Obama was consulted and agreed that Allen's nomination should be put on hold. Allen was to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. Panetta said he asked committee leaders to delay that hearing.
Posted: Friday, November 10, 12:18 PM EST - Updated: November 11, 2012 - 02:00 pm PST
The General Too!
Washington, D.C. -- House majority leader Eric Cantor talked to an FBI official in late October about former CIA Director David Petraeus' involvement in an affair, a spokesman for the congressman told media sources Sunday. Doug Heye said Cantor, a Republican, had a conversation with the whistleblower about the affair and national security concerns involved in the matter. Other media sources reported Saturday that on October 31, Cantor's chief of staff phoned the FBI to inform the agency about the call between the congressman and the FBI official. The Times reported Cantor learned of the whistleblower through Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Washington. A spokeswoman for Reichert told media sources that a news article was accurate but that the congressman had no further comment on his involvement in the case.
Law enforcement officials have not provided an exact timeline for the investigation, but they said the inquiry started several months ago. They said investigators thought they were dealing with a routine harassment case until some communications were traced to a private e-mail account belonging to CIA Director Dave Petraeus (pictured above, left). The sexually explicit nature of the communications caused investigators to suspect that someone had broken into Petraeus’s e-mail account, leading to concerns about potential national security breaches, according to the officials.
The investigators first interviewed Petraeus about two weeks ago, the officials said. They reviewed the evidence with him but did not suggest that he should resign or that he would be charged with a crime, according to the officials. As the investigation proceeded and more evidence emerged, including Paula Broadwell’s (pictured above, right) role, FBI investigators realized they had uncovered an affair between Petraeus and Broadwell, the officials said. Petraeus, 60, quit Friday after acknowledging the extramarital relationship. He has been married 38 years to Holly Petraeus, with whom he has two adult children, including a son who led an infantry platoon in Afghanistan as an Army lieutenant. Broadwell, a 40-year-old graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and an Army Reserve officer, is married with two young sons.
The e-mails from Broadwell indicated that she thought the other woman was becoming involved with Petraeus, according to the officials. The law enforcement officials said the e-mails indicated that Broadwell perceived the other woman as a threat to her relationship with Petraeus.
A senior U.S. military official identified the second woman Jill Kelley, 37 (pictured right) who lives in Tampa, Fla., and serves as the State Department's liaison to the military's Joint Special Operations Command, where among other duties, secret drone missions are worked on. A friend of Kelley and Petraeus, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the two saw each other often, but the nature of their friendship was unclear. The military official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation, said Kelley had received harassing emails from Broadwell, which led the FBI to examine her email account and eventually discover her relationship with Petraeus.
Broadwell has not responded to multiple emails and phone messages. Attempts to reach Kelley were not immediately successful.
The FBI said the e-mails were “threatening and harassing” but not specific enough to warrant criminal charges. One of the officials said Justice Department officials were unclear on what steps to take after they concluded that there would be no charges against the CIA director or Broadwell and that there had been no breach of national security.
“What was our responsibility?” said one of the officials. “We were in an area where we’d never been before.” Other details emerged Saturday indicating that the Petraeus allegations became a secret election-night drama for the Obama administration. That evening, the Justice Department informed the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., that their investigation had unearthed compromising information about the CIA director, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official.
The notification finally came Tuesday evening, while polls were still open across the country in an election that would return President Obama to office for four more years. “Director Clapper learned of the situation from the FBI on Tuesday evening around 5 p.m.,” a senior U.S. intelligence official said. “In subsequent conversations with Director Petraeus, Director Clapper advised Director Petraeus to resign.”
Clapper then notified the White House the next day. That sequence has become a source of controversy, raising questions among some members of Congress about why key intelligence committees were not notified earlier and why the FBI waited before informing the administration about a probe that had stumbled onto embarrassing details about the CIA chief.
"I have questions about the whole matter," Rep. Peter King told sources, pointing to reports that the Obama administration first learned of the affair in a phone call from the FBI to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper at 5 p.m. on election night. The president should have been alerted far sooner if sensitive information had been compromised, King said, particularly since the investigation involved the nation's top intelligence chief. "Obviously this was a matter involving a potential compromise of security, and the president should have been told about it at the earliest state. That's really all I'm saying."
On Saturday, questions arose about why congressional leaders were not informed of the investigation immediately. According to a congressional aide familiar with the matter, the House and Senate intelligence committees weren't informed that there was an FBI investigation into Petraeus until Friday.
Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the circumstances of the FBI probe smacked of a cover-up by the White House.
"It seems this (the investigation) has been going on for several months and, yet, now it appears that they're saying that the FBI didn't realize until Election Day that General Petraeus was involved. It just doesn't add up," said King, R-N.Y. I think a timeline has to be looked at and analyzed to see what happened. I have real questions about this. "
Petraeus' affair with Broadwell will be the subject of meetings Wednesday involving congressional intelligence committee leaders, FBI deputy director Sean Joyce and CIA deputy director Michael Morell.
Posted: Friday, November 9, 12:18 PM EST - Updated: November 9, 2012 - 10:38 pm PST
Washington, D.C. -- CIA Director David H. Petraeus (pictured left) resigned Friday after admitted to having an extramarital affair. The affair came to light as part of an FBI investigation into a potential security breach involving Petraeus’s e-mails, according to federal law enforcement officials and a former senior intelligence official. The investigation uncovered e-mails describing an affair between Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and co-author of a glowing biography of Petraeus, according to two law enforcement officials who were briefed on the investigation. The abrupt resignation brought a shocking end to his brief tenure at the spy agency and highly decorated national security career.
Petraeus, a retired four-star Army general who once was seen as a potential presidential candidate, met with President Obama on Thursday and said he intended to step down because of the affair, Obama administration officials said. The president accepted his resignation Friday. Current and former U.S. military officials said suspicions of infidelities had followed Petraeus for several years.
“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair,” Petraeus said in a statement distributed to the CIA workforce Friday. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation,” he said.
The sudden departure of Petraeus created turmoil in the administration’s national security team just days after the president’s reelection. That team was expected to see a series of changes in the coming months, but many believed that Petraeus would remain in position. A senior administration official said the White House learned only Wednesday that Petraeus had a potentially serious problem. The official said that Petraeus telephoned Thomas E. Donilon, the national security adviser, early Thursday and asked to meet with Obama.
Holly Petraeus is an assistant director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where she is charged with advocating on behalf of service members and their families. She and her husband met in 1973 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where her father was superintendent.
Posted: November 9th, 2012 - 06:06 PM ET - Updated: November 16th, 2012 - 02:03 AM PST
'Subterfuged' Drug Kingpin!
New York -- Nearly one year after he was arrested, an alleged Mexican drug kingpin is now in New York to face charges he co-led the drug ring that shipped more than 100 tons of cocaine to the United States. Luis Rodriguez-Olivera (pictured above, center) was extradited from Mexico on Thursday, in order to appear later today in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York said in a press release.
"Cloaked in subterfuge, Rodriguez-Olivera traveled under a false name and posed as a legitimate business owner," said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. "But his ruse was no match for the combined efforts of law enforcement here and abroad." Rodriguez and his brothers Esteban, Daniel and Miguel were part of a group - called the "Los Gueritos" by Mexican authorities, and "Los Gueros" by those in the United States - that allegedly smuggled drugs into the United States over at least eight years.
Of the Rodriguez-Olivera brothers, Esteban was arrested in 2008, and Miguel was killed in a shootout in August 2011, Mexico's Ministry of Public Security said.
In 2005, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents seized about $2.1 million in drug proceeds bound for Mexico, which they traced to an alleged New York co-conspirator, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The U.S. federal prosecutor alleged that Rodriguez-Olivera laundered proceeds from drug sales in various ways, including by investing in seemingly legitimate businesses. The two surviving brothers were indicted in New York in 2009 on accusations of drug trafficking. Among other charges, Rodriguez-Olivera is accused of being the leader of a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiring to import and distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and conspiring to launder money. The U.S. federal indictment alleges that the brothers imported more than 100 tons (100,000 kilograms) of cocaine into the United States between 1996 and 2008 - including truckloads with over 2 tons of the drug shipped between 2004 and 2006 to New York City alone.
The crew worked under the leadership of Mexico's most-wanted fugitive, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Mexican authorities said. But U.S. authorities have offered a slightly different story, saying they broke away from El Chapo's federation around 2005 and tried to work independently. Eventually, pressured by the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels, the brothers moved their operations to Leon and established a strong relationship with the Zetas drug cartel.
In late December 2011, Mexican police arrested Luis Rodriguez-Olivera as he was trying to fly out of that country using a false name. At the time, the U.S. State Department was offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
If convicted on all charges, Rodriguez-Olivera could be sentenced to as few as 20 years and as long as life in prison, in addition to being forced to forfeit $50 million, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Posted: November 9th, 2012 - 06:06 PM ET - Updated: November 16th, 2012 - 01:51 AM PST
AB of Texas: Indicted!
Texas -- A federal grand jury has indicted 34 alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas prison-based gang - including four of its "generals" - claiming most all of them conspired to participate in racketeering activities on behalf of the white supremacist group and accusing 10 of murder, officials said. Four top leaders of the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood of Texas are among nearly three dozen alleged gang members charged in a sweeping indictment unsealed Friday that accuses them of crimes ranging from capital murder to drug trafficking. The leaders were identified as Terry Ross Blake, 55; Charles Lee Roberts, 68; Larry Max Bryan, 51; and William David Maynard, 42. Blake and Roberts were arrested Friday, while Bryan and Maynard were already in prison.
Only three people named in the indictment haven't been arrested. Fifteen of those indicted by the Houston grand jury are already in custody, 14 were arrested Friday, and five are now considered fugitives. The lengthy indictment was handed down on October 22 and then unsealed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, according to a press release from the U.S. Justice Department.
The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas was established in the early 1980s in that state's prison system, modeling itself off a similar group of California inmates that formed in the 1960s. Investigators say the gang works as five regions, and that four of those charged were "generals" who controlled activities in a region while supervising the gang's overall activities, including issuing orders to kill in a steering committee known as the "Wheel."
"Brutal beatings, fire bombings, drug trafficking and murder are all part of ABT's alleged standard operating procedure," Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breurer said in a statement. "As charged, ABT uses violence and threats of violence to maintain internal discipline and to retaliate against those believed to be cooperating with law enforcement."
The group's chief concern was initially to protect white inmates and promote white supremacy and separatism, according to court documents, but it has since "alleged to have expanded its criminal enterprise to include illegal activities for profit," the Justice Department said. "Through violence and intimidation, ABT allegedly exerts control over prison populations and neighborhoods, and instills fear in those who come into contact with its members," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.
All but one of the 34 men indicted are charged with racketeering conspiracy, while 10 face murder charges. Some were charged with involvement in at least three murders, multiple attempted murders, kidnappings, assaults and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine. Those charged with murder could face the death penalty if convicted.
The indictment includes a host of other charges, such as kidnapping, assault, and conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and methamphetamine. Federal officials called the law enforcement effort targeting the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, which they describe as an organized criminal enterprise, "a success."
Four women were among those arrested Friday, including one in North Carolina. U.S. Attorney's spokeswoman Angela Dodge said she didn't have details about the North Carolina arrest. Prosecutors said that while women are not allowed in the gang, they aid members by using phone calls, the Internet and the postal system to pass along communications that include orders to kill or assault.
According to the indictment, Bryan is facing charges in the fatal shooting of an ABT prospect member who allegedly stole drugs he was ordered to deliver to a customer on behalf of the ABT in Pleasanton, south of San Antonio. Bryan could face the death penalty in the case.
The charges against Maynard include the murder of a fellow gang member. He also could face the death penalty.
Bryan, sentenced in 1991 in Bexar County to 30 years for heroin delivery, is eligible for parole next year. Maynard arrived in 2003, with a 75-year term for murder conspiracy from Travis County. It was his fourth conviction.
"This multi-year investigation and indictment clearly targets the worst-of-the-worst among the ABT," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen Morris of the agency's Houston office, according to the Justice Department release. "This effort ... sends a clear message that we will relentlessly pursue and prosecute the leaders and members of these criminal enterprises regardless of where they lay their heads."
Posted: 11/01/2012 6:07 pm EDT - Updated: 11/06/2012 12:00 am PST
"Rafael Prieto had a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment, dedication and friendships. The Secret Service is mourning the loss of a valued colleague."
-- Secret Service agency spokesman Edwin Donovan in a statement regarding Agent Rafael Prieto's death and career.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCJB) — The Secret Service protects the lives of the president, vice president and their families, and also investigates counterfeiting, bank fraud, computer hacking and other financial crimes. For nearly six years, a senior Secret Service agent kept his extramarital affair with a Mexican woman a secret from the agency responsible for protecting the president. Rafael Prieto's secret was revealed by a fellow employee amid concerns the Secret Service wasn't enforcing its rules consistently. In the wake of an embarrassing prostitution scandal involving 13 agents and officers, in the midst of an ongoing internal investigation, Prieto apparently committed suicide last week.
When confronted, Prieto, a married father, assigned to the security detail for President Barack Obama, admitted the years-long relationship with a woman from Mexico to U.S. investigators. Prieto was serving on the protective detail for Obama, though he was not on duty at the time of his death. As recently as 2009, he was identified as the resident agent in charge at the Secret Service's office in White Plains, N.Y. He had worked for the Secret Service for 22 years. He was 47, according to public records.
Secret Service rules require that employees with a security clearance notify the agency about any relationship with a foreign citizen to ensure that the person is not a risk to national security. Before his death, Prieto was the subject of an investigation focused on whether he violated agency rules that require disclosing relationships with foreigners. There is no evidence that Prieto's relationship posed any security threat. Failing to disclose such a relationship would be not be a crime, but a violation of the agency's administrative rules. Sources familiar with the matter spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Prieto's death or the investigation.
Prieto's apparent cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning. He was found in his car with the engine running. His death was being investigated by Metropolitan Police in Washington and the medical examiner's office.
The behavior of Secret Service agents and officers has come under scrutiny since 13 employees were implicated in a prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, in April. Those employees were in the Caribbean resort city in advance of Obama's arrival for a South American summit. After a night of heavy partying in some of Cartagena's bars and clubs, the employees brought women, including prostitutes, back to the where they were staying. The incident became public after one agent refused to pay a prostitute and argued with her in a hotel hallway.
Prieto was never in Colombia during the scandal. Eight of those Secret Service employees have been forced out of the agency, three were cleared of serious misconduct and at least two are fighting to get their jobs back. The scandal prompted Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan to issue a new code of conduct that barred employees from drinking within 10 hours of the start of a shift or bringing foreigners to their hotel rooms.
"Rafael Prieto had a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment, dedication and friendships," agency spokesman Edwin Donovan said in a statement. "The Secret Service is mourning the loss of a valued colleague."
Posted: 10/19/2012 02:05:28 PM PDT - Posted: 10/21/2012 05:30:28 AM PDT
Meth' Fueled Kinesiology!
San Bernardino, CA -- A preliminary hearing scheduled next week for a CSUSB kinesiology professor accused of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine has been moved to December. Stephen Kinzey, 43 (pictured below, center) of Highland, was present and out of custody Friday morning inside the San Bernardino Superior Courthouse when the hearing date was moved. Lawyers said the dates were changed because there is more evidence to go through.
Holly Vandergrift Robinson, Hans Robert Preszler and Jeremy Disney, accused operatives in this case, were present and out of custody during the pre-preliminary hearing Friday as well. The four defendants are expected to be back in court Dec. 20 for the preliminary hearing, where the court will hear testimony and review evidence to determine if sufficient probable cause exists to hold over the defendant for trial on the charges. Prosecutors allege Disney supplied methamphetamine to Kinzey, whose drug ring sold it in San Bernardino, Highland, Redlands and Mentone. Eleven defendants were charged in the case - seven of which have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges.
Authorities began investigating the group in 2011 during a federal undercover operation involving outlaw biker clubs in the county. During an August 2011 raid at Kinzey's East Highlands Ranch officials intercepted a pound of meth that was being delivered.
San Bernardino County sheriff's detectives allege Kinzey purchased large amounts of meth from Disney and then distributed ounce quantities to other defendants who split it up into smaller amounts for mid-level and street-level dealers. Prosecutors charged Kinzey, who is on paid leave from the university, with possession of a controlled substance for sale, receiving known stolen property, participating in a criminal street gang, conspiracy, and possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, according to court records.
Posted: October 24, 2012
Top Stealing Administration!
LOS ANGELES, CA (WCJB) -- Transportation Security Administration agents are supposed to be securing our airports, but many have been caught red-handed, breaking the law. Now, for the first time, the list of airports where more than 400 TSA workers were fired for theft has been released - and Los Angeles International Airport is one of them.
According to a media investigation, LAX was ranked No. 3 in the nation with 24 TSA workers fired for theft. The second highest for TSA theft is JFK International Airport in New York with 27 TSA agents fired. Miami International Airport came in as No. 1 with 29 TSA agents fired for theft.
Top US airports for TSA employees fired for theft are:
1. Miami International Airport (29)
2. JFK International Airport (27)
3. Los Angeles International Airport (24)
4. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (17)
5. Las Vegas-McCarren International Airport (15)
6-7. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and New York-Laguardia Airport (14 each)
8-10. Newark Liberty, Philadelphia International, and Seattle-Tacoma International airports (12 each)
11. Orlando International Airport (11)
12-13. Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport (10 each)
14. Washington Dulles International Airport (9)
15-16. Detroit Metro Airport and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (7)
17-19. Boston-Logan International, Denver International and San Diego International airports (6)
20. Chicago O'Hare International Airport (5)
These figures were recently released to media sources by the TSA in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. News sources had previously done a special investigation on TSA worker thefts - specifically following one TSA officer who stole an iPad left behind at a security checkpoint at Orlando International Airport.
Just earlier this month, a TSA worker at LAX was arrested for stealing cash out of a passenger's wallet as it passed through an X-ray machine.
The airports on the above list are also the nation's busiest airports. Sixteen of the top 20 airports for TSA theft firings are also among the top 20 busiest airports nationwide.
Travelers said they're concerned about LAX's high TSA theft ranking. Chris McKenna, an engineer from Maine, said he's particularly worried because he has to transport expensive tools when he travels. So far, though, he said he hasn't had any problems with missing property.
"Desperate times, people do desperate things, and I think that's where we are right now in the country and in the world," said another traveler, Laura Liveli.
TSA released the following statement to media sources Wednesday morning:
"TSA holds its employees to the highest ethical standards and expects all TSA employees to conduct themselves with integrity and professionalism. TSA has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace and takes appropriate action when allegations are substantiated."
October 24, 2012
U.S. Marshal Indicted!
Los Angeles, CA -- Matthew Itkowitz, a deputy U.S. marshal was arrested Friday for the fatal shooting of a man who intervened in a late-night argument between the off-duty lawman and his wife in a Fairfax area alley more than four years ago. Itkowitz was taken into custody a day after being secretly indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on civil rights and obstruction of justice charges that carry a potential life sentence. He was arraigned in the same downtown Los Angeles courthouse where he reports to work each day.
The filing of criminal charges against a law enforcement officer for use of deadly force is rare, and such cases are typically difficult to prove. The case against Itkowitz represents a bold move by U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte Jr., who, prior to being appointed U.S. attorney, spent six years scrutinizing alleged police misconduct as inspector general of the Los Angeles Police Department. "The public has got to believe in the integrity of its law enforcement officers," said Assistant U.S. Atty. Meghan Blanco, the lead prosecutor on the case. "These cases are rare because most police officers are law abiding (she's lying). As the evidence shows, this is a particularly egregious case — the type of case that should go to a jury."
Federal authorities took over the case after the L.A. County district attorney's office declined to prosecute Itkowitz in 2010, despite concluding that his account of the shooting was "patently inconsistent" with video footage captured by a wall-mounted security camera in the alley.
Itkowitz, dressed in khakis and a short-sleeved button-down shirt, showed little emotion as he entered a plea of not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick. The deputy-turned-defendant at one point chuckled as he spoke to a fellow marshal standing guard in the courtroom.
Eick ordered Itkowitz, 43, released on $250,000 bond, but also placed him under house arrest. He was ordered to stay away from the courthouse and any potential witnesses after the prosecutor on the case said there was evidence that Itkowitz had engaged in attempted witness tampering.
Itkowitz, who had been drinking before the incident, told police he acted in self-defense when he shot Ryan Gonzalez on March 5, 2008, in an alley off Melrose Avenue. Gonzalez intervened in the argument between Itkowitz and his wife after the woman ran up to him and several others standing behind a tattoo parlor and asked for help.
The couple, both in their 30s, were walking home from dinner at a Mexican restaurant where Itkowitz acknowledged having "four or five shots" of tequila.
Itkowitz would later tell police that Gonzalez confronted him in the alley, saying "Why are you yelling at the lady? Why are you treating the lady like that?" He said Gonzalez then produced a gun and threatened to kill him, according to law enforcement records.
Witness accounts vary over who was the initial aggressor, but the confrontation soon came to blows.
According to Itkowitz, he shot Gonzalez immediately after Gonzalez punched him and knocked him to the ground.
"In a split second," Itkowitz told police, he lifted up his shirt, drew his .40-caliber service weapon and opened fire. "I popped up … and I just started firing."
The video footage, however, shows that the shooting did not occur until after the men had separated and began walking in separate directions in the alley. As Gonzalez walks back in the direction of the tattoo parlor, Itkowitz can be seen removing a gun from the waist of his pants and holding it behind his right leg.
Still walking toward the tattoo parlor, Gonzalez turns back toward Itkowitz and motions for him to leave. When he doesn't, Gonzalez walks several steps back in Itkowitz's direction. He was about 10 to 12 feet away when Itkowitz raised his gun and fired.
The off-duty marshal shot Gonzalez five times as he chased him down the alley. Three rounds struck Gonzalez in the back, an autopsy revealed.
When LAPD officers arrived, they found Alexandra Itkowitz hiding under a parked car. She told officers "she thought that Itkowitz was going to shoot her next."
The LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division, which specializes in complex and potentially high-profile crimes, took over the investigation and submitted the results to the district attorney two months later. Prosecutors in Steve Cooley's office conducted a "substantial independent investigation," calling several witnesses before a grand jury.
Cooley's office issued a 10-page report saying that Itkowitz's statements were at odds with the video footage and that his wife had changed her story in a way "that strongly suggests that she has been influenced to support the statement [her husband] made to the police."
Nevertheless, prosecutors concluded "there is insufficient evidence to prove that Itkowitz did not act in self-defense." .” A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said a gun allegedly belonging to Gonzalez was found in the alley.
FBI agents and federal prosecutors in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. have been working on the case ever since.
Itkowitz was indicted Thursday on charges of deprivation of rights under color of law, using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and obstruction of justice. The obstruction charges stem from his alleged mischaracterization of the shooting and from telling a supervisor on the night of the incident that he was "attacked by two Hispanics."
Attorney Michael Grobaty, who represents Gonzalez's mother in a civil suit against Itkowitz and the marshal's service, said she and his stepfather felt vindicated by the charges.
"They are ecstatic that the Department of Justice has finally done the right thing in deciding to prosecute the man who wrongfully killed their son," he said.
Posted: Aug 17, 2012 - Updated: November 11, 2012 07:39 AM PST
Infiniti's Gambino Associate!
Long Island, NY -- Michael Scarpaci, a reputed Gambino associate who is about to begin a 25-month sentence after being convicted of a $20 million securities scam, has reinvented himself as quite the successful car salesman. And he's hoping that his newfound skill will help to keep him out of prison, according to the New York Daily News.
Scarpaci has been working at a Long Island Infiniti dealership and his boss, David Fine, does not want to see him go, as the business has been seeing record sales. Fine has recently been lobbying to allow Scarpaci to remain on the payroll until the end of the year.
"If allowed to remain with us until the end of the year it will give us ample opportunity to finish well above our factory objectives for 2012," Fine wrote in a letter to Federal Judge Jack Weinstein. "He has had a tremendous impact on our organization."
Scarpaci has already been granted two adjournments. The U.S. Attorney's Office thinks it is well past the time for him to go to prison, but Scarpaci says that he is simply trying to support his wife and kids.
"With my wife going back to work, my children starting school and me going off to handle this situation, it's a lot for my family to swallow," he told the Daily News.
According to Scarpaci, his clients at Infiniti of Manhasset don't know about his criminal past and he has been actively trying to erase that part of his life from the Internet.
"It's so embarrassing for my career," he said.
He said that customers find it easy to trust him, which is unsurprising, as that was his specialty when tricking his unsuspecting victims back in his mobster days. Prosecutors say he was in charge of a huge scam that duped more than 1,000 investors into thinking they were putting money into a fake Wall Street investment company.
Scarpaci sold cars at a Nissan dealership before getting busted for fraud. Apparently, he was quite successful there, too, earning between $250,000 and $300,000 in 2009, according to court papers.
1:34 pm - July 18, 2013 — Updated: 9:55 pm PDT - July 18, 2013
I'za Gub' Mint 'Sociate!
BOSTON, MA — James “Whitey” Bulger and his former partner faced each other for the first time in nearly two decades Thursday, when Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi took the stand at Bulger’s racketeering trial and told of their years as secret FBI informants while they ran a feared gang in South Boston.
Prosecutors say they were partners in crime, gangsters who together led a criminal organization that ruled Boston’s underworld for more than two decades through fear, intimidation and violence.
Flemmi’s short appearance — he took the stand about 15 minutes before the day’s court session ended and was expected back Friday — was bookended with tense exchanges with Bulger.
As he was led into the witness box, Flemmi gave Bulger a long, hard stare, and Bulger glanced over at him. Afterward, Flemmi, who’s now 79, stood in the box with his hands on his hips and stared confidently at the 83-year-old Bulger. The two exchanged words briefly, though it wasn’t clear what they said to each other.
Bulger has already had two profanity-laced outbursts during the trial, one directed at his former protege, Kevin Weeks, and the other at a former FBI agent who admitted taking payoffs from Bulger.
Though Flemmi’s first appearance was short, prosecutors worked quickly, asking Flemmi to explain how he and Bulger gave information about the Mafia and other criminal organizations to an FBI agent. Flemmi said the two were top-echelon government informants from about 1975 to 1990, a claim the defense has repeatedly tried to rebut.
On Friday, Flemmi will likely be asked to name Bulger as a killer and the man who he watched strangle two 26-year-old women.
Investigators say Flemmi’s testimony will be the ultimate betrayal to Bulger, given their long relationship as criminal partners and friends. The two men met in the late 1960s and became partners in the 1970s.
Bulger, of South Boston, was with the Winter Hill Gang, while Flemmi had ties to the New England Mafia. Together, they built a criminal organization that made millions by controlling and extorting bookmakers, drug dealers and loan sharks.
“These guys were equal partners. One was not subservient to the other,” said Michael Kendall, a former federal prosecutor who investigated several of Bulger’s associates.
“Now, with Flemmi testifying against him, I think it’s going to be like when Dracula fights Frankenstein — the two personifications of evil at each other’s throats,” he said.
Both became FBI informants, and by the late ’70s, the two men were meeting together regularly with former FBI Agent John Connolly and providing him with information on the rival Mafia, as well as other criminals, prosecutors say.
Bulger fled Boston in late 1994 after being tipped off to an upcoming indictment by Connolly, according to testimony from Weeks. He was one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives for more than 16 years, and was finally captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011.
Flemmi stayed in Boston, was indicted and has been in prison since.
Flemmi, now 79, pleaded guilty to 10 murders in a deal with prosecutors that spared him the death penalty for killings in Oklahoma and Florida. He is now serving a life sentence.
Bulger, now 83, is accused of participating in 19 killings during the 1970s and ’80s.
Also Thursday, a would-be witness against Bulger, Stephen “Stippo” Rakes, 59, of Quincy, Mass., was found dead outside Boston. The Massachusetts office of the chief medical examiner is conducting an autopsy, officials said.
Posted: 06/26/2012 - Updated: July 1, 2012 12:25 AM PDT
BOSTON, MA -– The top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts expressed skepticism Tuesday about mobster James “Whitey” Bulger’s claim that the government allowed him to commit crimes because he was an FBI informant. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said Bulger’s former co-hort, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, who was also an FBI informant, used a similar defense, which was rejected by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “Being an informant in a criminal case does not in and of itself immunize you from crimes,” Ortiz told reporters during a break at a civil rights symposium. Ortiz said the appeals court “held that being an informant, in and of itself, and certain representations by law enforcement agents does not provide sufficient or adequate immunity.”
Bulger (pictured left) the former leader of the notorious Winter Hill Gang, is accused of participating in 19 murders beginning in the 1970s, while he was a top-echelon informant for the FBI. Bulger fled Boston in late 1994 after he was warned by his former FBI handler that he was about to be indicted. Bulger’s lawyer said Monday that Bulger should not be prosecuted because he was promised immunity by a “representative of the federal government” for past or future crimes. He said Bulger’s indictment “directly violated the immunity agreement that the defendant had bargained for, had relied upon, and had been promised.”
Carney would not say who made such a promise to Bulger, but said the agreement was made in the 1970s, when Bulger was recruited by the FBI to become an informant on the rival New England Mafia. Carney’s claims were made in a defense motion asking that U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns recuse himself from presiding at Bulger’s trial, saying he expects to call Stearns as a witness on a request to dismiss the charges against Bulger. Stearns was a top prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in the 1980s. Now 82, Bulger was apprehended last year in Santa Monica, Calif., after 16 years on the run. Former Boston FBI Agent John Connolly Jr. was convicted of racketeering in 2002 for tipping off a Bulger associate about the upcoming indictment and protecting Bulger from prosecution.
Posted: June 28, 2012 - 1:00 PM EDT - Updated: July 1, 2012 12:41 AM PDT
James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond was convicted of drug-trafficking, but his lawyer continues to shoot down reports that the one-time music mogul orchestrated the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur. "The statement by the prosecutor that Jimmy Rosemond had confessed or admitted to being involved in the 1994 shooting of Tupac is totally false," he said. "He categorically and emphatically denied that he had participation or role in that shooting and that was clear from the outset."
New York -- Things have gone from bad to worse for James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond who was formally indicted on Friday for conspiracy to murder a close associate of rapper 50 Cent. Less than three weeks after being found guilty—on all 13 charges—of running a multimillion-dollar, cross-country cocaine shipping operation, James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond (pictured left, center) has also been indicted and charged with arranging the murder of an associate of the rapper 50 Cent. On Friday (June 22) Manhattan officials confirmed that Rosemond was indicted for conspiring with five other men to kill Lowell Fletcher, a G-Unit associate, in the Bronx back in 2009. “This has not been a good month for Jimmy the Henchman,” New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement, as reported by media sources. Kelly added that the murder of Fletcher was in retaliation for an assault on Rosemond’s son.
Another source adds that Rosemond and another man hired at least two of the defendants to kill Fletcher in exchange for drugs, according to the indictment in the United States District Court in Manhattan.
“I am very disappointed,” Rosemond’s attorney told media sources following his client’s guilty verdict in the drug scheme on June 5. “I thought that there were reasons to doubt and we intend to pursue and appeal and take advantage of all legal remedies available to us. “As I said in my closing statements, the prosecution that in my view could not be trusted,” he added. “It rested in large part on the word of people who have been proven to be liars again and again, who hoodwinked the government again and again with their previous lying and the government seems so willing to embrace these people, these cooperators. I’m still under the view that the prosecution’s case could not be trusted, but I have to deal with the verdict. I’m going to continue fighting for Jimmy.”
Rosemond was the former CEO of CZAR Entertainment, which was managerially associated with acts like Game, Sheek Louch, Gucci Mane, Akon, Brandy and even Mike Tyson at one point. Henchman, who’s currently in federal custody, is waiting on his sentencing, but facing life in prison.
Reader Pageviews by Country Movie Intermission! "Aryan Brotherhood"! (Documentary)!
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Description: An inside look at one of America's most notorious prison gangs. The Aryan Brotherhood! A White Supremacist prison gang founded in California Penal System, based upon an ideology of White Supremacy!