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July 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for July 8th, 2009

Feds Bust Dog Fighting Rings in 5 States

Bad News For Ex-Gov Blago: His Top Aide John Harris Pleads Guilty and Agrees to Cooperate With Feds

John Harris/msnbc photo
John Harris/msnbc photo

This can’t be good for ex-Gov. Blagojevich to have his top aide plead guilty while he awaits trial. In fact, after admitting criminal acts involving the ex-Gov, top aide John Harris also agreed, according to page 17 of the plea deal  “to fully and truthfully cooperate in any matter in which he is called upon.” Yikes.

Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — A former top aide to Rod Blagojevich pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, admitting he discussed having his then boss appoint an adviser to President Obama to the U.S. Senate in exchange for financial benefits for the ex-governor.

The 26-page plea deal details various conversations that allegedly took place between Blagojevich and his former chief of staff, John Harris, concerning who would fill Obama’s open seat.

Harris’ plea deal also reveals a new allegation against the ex-governor concerning “Senate Candidate D,” identified by three sources as former Senate President Emil Jones.

Harris says Blagojevich sent him to deliver a quid pro quo request to the now-retired Jones.

For Full Story

Read Plea Agreement

Cyberattacks Focus on Govern. Sites Including Homeland Security and the Washington Post & Nasdaq

computer-photoThese attacks certainly aren’t catastrophic — at least not yet. But they are scary and are a reminder that we need to do more to protect our computers.

By Brian Krebs and Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — A widespread and coordinated cyberattack during the past few days has targeted Web sites operated by major government agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, according to several computer security researchers.

The attacks involved thousands of computers around the globe infected with rogue software that told them to repeatedly attempt to access the targeted sites, a tactic aimed at driving up traffic beyond the sites’ normal capacity and denying access to legitimate users, according to the researchers, many of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they are helping with the investigation.

Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said that the agency was aware of ongoing attacks and that the government’s Computer Emergency Response Team had issued guidance to public and private sector Web sites to stem the attacks.

For Full Story

Woman Offers Undercover FBI Agent Swimming Pool and Gas Money to Kill Ex-Boyfriend

illinois-map1The FBI suggested this was the first time a murder-for-hire case began with text messaging. The woman wasn’t exactly offering the world for the murder: an above-ground swimming pool and $200 in gas money. She could have at least thrown in a couple inflatable rafts for the pool in the whole deal.

By Steve Schmadeke
Chicago Tribune reporter
CHICAGO — An Indiana woman offered an undercover FBI agent posing as a professional hit man her above-ground swimming pool and $200 in gas money to kill an ex-boyfriend who wanted custody of one of her children, federal authorities in Chicago charged Tuesday.

Heidi Friedburg, 30, and her current boyfriend, William C. Alexander, 31, of New Carlisle, Ind., were arrested Monday as they unloaded Friedburg’s disassembled swimming pool to seal the deal with the would-be hit man in a south suburban parking lot.

Ross Rice, the FBI spokesman in Chicago, said he believed it was the first murder-for-hire case that began with text messages — and without a doubt the first time a pool had been offered as payment.

“How low can we go?” said Rice, who indicated the swimming pool had been seized as evidence.

Shortly after her Illinois ex-boyfriend filed a paternity lawsuit, Friedburg asked a former co-worker via text message to help find a hit man, the criminal complaint stated. The co-worker contacted the FBI the same day.

For Full Story

Disbarred Lawyer Testifies that He Tipped Off Wrong People: Boston FBI and Police Detective

The ugliest chapter in the history of the Boston FBI continued to unravel in federal court in Boston where families are suing the government for allegedly failing to stop mobster/FBI informants from killing. In Tuesday’s testimony, a disbarred attorney said he started to suspect that the FBI and Boston police were crooked.


By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe Staff
BOSTON — A disbarred lawyer testified yesterday that he warned an FBI agent and a Boston police detective in 1980 that a bookmaker was poised to drop a dime on a drug-dealing ring involving corrupt police officers and South Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger.

The bookmaker, Louis Litif, was shot to death one to four weeks later, on April 12, 1980, according to the former lawyer, Kevin Curry of Winchester.

“I began to figure out in my mind that I might very well have tipped the wrong people off,” said Curry, testifying in a federal trial over wrongful death suits filed against the government by Litif’s family and the families of two women Bulger allegedly killed. Curry first reported the information to investigators a decade ago.

Curry testified that he was representing a drug dealer when Litif offered to be a witness in the case. He said Litif professed to be taking drugs out of Boston Police Headquarters, with the help of corrupt officers, and giving them to a South Boston operation controlled by Bulger. At the time, Litif was awaiting trial on a murder charge and was looking to cut a deal, he said.

For Full Story