Archive for January 26th, 2011
William Donati is an English professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) and author of the recently-released book: “Lucky Luciano: The Rise and Fall of a Mob Boss”
LAS VEGAS – The debut of the Las Vegas Mob Experience — a new museum housed in the legendary Tropicana — coincides fairly closely with the recent mob arrests announced by Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States.
So it looks like some wiseguys won’t be attending the opening on Feb. 17 that “tells the real story of the men behind the myths” — folks like Ben “Bugsy” Siegel, Sam Giancana, the Spilotros and others.
Those charged by Eric Holder’s office allegedly engaged in murder, extortion, loan sharking, prostitution, and other illegal acts. The convicted will have a new mob experience: prison, ruined lives, humiliated wives, sons, and daughters.
Why did they choose to be wiseguys, as they call themselves? Too many movies? Could be.
Whatever the case, we’ve got to stop glamorizing these folks.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly apparently agrees. He criticized the entertainment realm for using mobsters as screen material. In fact, “Boardwalk Empire”, a popular HBO series on the mob starring Steve Buscemi, just won a Golden Globes award for the series about criminal Enoch “Nucky” Johnson.
More is spilling out about Arizona shooter Jared Loughner in the weeks before he went on a shooting spree that would stun the country.
The Washington Post’s Sari Horwitz reports that weeks and days before the shooting, Loughner surfed the Internet on his computer “in what investigators believe was an effort to prepare for his alleged assassination attempt, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation said.”
The Post reports that Loughner looked at websites about lethal injections,and solitary confinement and political assassinations. Investigators gleaned the information from an analysis of Loughner’s computer.
To read more click here.
OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST
- Muslim Cleric Arrested by U.S. Border Agents (AP)
- Plane Hit By Lightning Makes Emergency Landing (AP)
- 3 Years for Bogus Arrest and Deportation (Courthouse News Service)
- Justice Dept. Enforcement Chief Warns Against Budget Cuts (Main Justice)
- New Criminal Chief Named in Southern Alabama (Main Justice)
- FBI Investigating Sex Ring Hoax Aimed at Planned Parenthood (TPM)
- Texas Billionaire Allen Stanford Not Competent to Stand Trial Right Now (TPM)
- If Hatchet Comes to Justice, Here’s How it Might Hit (Wall Street Journal)
- Dept. Atty. Gen. James Cole Announces Top Appointments (Justice Dept. Press Release)
The last of the remaining fugitives in the historical mob take down last week surrendered on Wednesday to the FBI in New York, authorities said.
Joseph “Joe Dogs” Lombardi, a “made” Gambino crime family soldier, who faces extortion charges, was the last fugitive of the 127 indicted last week in what the FBI called the biggest mob roundup in its history. The indictments were aimed at the five New York families, one in New Jersey and the New England mob.
The multiple indictments unsealed last week — there were 16 in four jurisdictions — included allegations of murder, extortion, racketeering, loan sharking, gambling and shaking down businesses for protection.
In Arizona, which is locked in an endless battle to keep guns from going into Mexico, comes the latest.
Authorities on Tuesday announced indictments in five cases resulting in charges against 34 people accused of assisting Mexican drug trafficking organizations with illegally running firearms from the United States to Mexico.
Authorities charged in one of the key indictments that from approximately September 2009 to December of 2010 the defendants conspired to purchase hundreds of firearms, including AK-47s, to be illegally exported to Mexico.
Authorities alleged that the defendants acted as “straw purchasers” by falsely declaring they were buying the weapons for themselves. AK-47’s are considered the “weapon of choice” for Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations.
“Our office is committed to stopping the illegal flow of guns into Mexico,” U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said. “The massive size of this operation sadly exemplifies the magnitude of the problem — Mexican Drug Lords go shopping for war weapons in Arizona.”
Bill Newell, head of ATF in Phoenix said: “This investigation is further proof of the relentless efforts by Mexican drug cartels, especially the Sinaloa Cartel, to illegally acquire large quantities of firearms in Arizona and elsewhere in the U.S. for use in the ongoing Mexican drug war.”
These days the lion’s share of news involving drug cartel violence seems to focus on Mexico. But the problem hasn’t exactly vanished in Colombia.
The publication Colombia Reports wrote that the DEA has uncovered a plot to assassinate Ana Margarita Duran, head of Colombia’s drug control agency UNAIM. The report cited a story on La F.M. radio Tuesday. Colombia authorities said they were taken action to protect Duran.
Colombia Reports reported that sources told the DEA that the plot was orchestrated by Colombia drug lord Daniel “Loco” Barrera. The publication reported that a source, who was supposed to partake in the plot, disclosed the information to the DEA.
The publication described the plot as a “$500,000 assassination plan” and that criminals had allegedly been tailing the head of the anti-narcotics unit, compiling information on her daily routine. The money was to cover travel, hotel, weapons and vehicles.
Colombia Reports reported that in recent weeks, the anti-drug unit had captured some of the drug organization’s relatives and high-level players and seized about $3 million in goods.
Colombian authorities have offered an award of up to $2.7 million for information leading to the capture of Barrera, the publication wrote.
Who the heck is William G. Hillar?
Well, if you read his online bio you’d see that he had some darn impressive credentials in the military, had a Ph.d and he’s been raking in cash teaching, conducting workshops and giving speech.
Problem is, federal authorities say, he’s a fraud.
On Tuesday, the FBI arrested the 66-year-old at his Millersville, Md. home for fraud for his alleged tangled web of lies to gain employment for teaching and training people, including members of the law enforcement community, the Baltimore U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
“The complaint alleges that William G. Hillar was living a lie and basing his entire career on experience he did not have and credentials that he did not earn,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “He was never a colonel, never served in the U.S. Army, never was deployed to exotic locales and never received training in counter-terrorism and psychological warfare while in the armed forces.”
Richard A. McFeely, head of the Baltimore FBI said the fraud was brought to the FBI’s attention by “concerned citizens, including former members of the Special Forces community. This investigation is an example of the difficulty the public faces trying to verify the accuracy of information on the Internet.”