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October 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for October 9th, 2009

A Ventriloquist, A Dummy, The White House, Secret Service and Explosives

*not the actually dummy
*not the actual dummy/photo

By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON –  Jerry Smolinsky may be no dummy, but he was pretty close to one on Friday.

The 55-year-old ventriloquist was riding in a cab Friday morning in Arlington, Va., with his dummy in tow,  when he told the driver he had explosives and was on his way to the White House, according to a law enforcement source.

The cab driver called his dispatcher who phoned authorities, the law enforcement source said. D.C. police stopped the cab at 17th and C Streets NW, not far from the White House.

U.S. Secret Service agents interviewed Smolinsky, who confessed that he had no explosives and that he just wanted to get a rise out of law enforcement, the source said.

He was arrested and charged with a felony threat. He was expected to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. No word on the whereabouts of his dummy as of Friday night.

Smolinsky, a former computer programmer, who is originally from California, has been living out of hotels around the country, the source said.

FBI’s Stu McArthur Leaves the Mothership to Head Springfield, Ill. Office

Stu McArthur
Stu McArthur

By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — Stu McArthur, an Inspector in the FBI Inspection Division at headquarters, is leaving the mothership to head up the Springfield, Ill. office as special agent in charge.

He replaces Karen Spangenberg, who was recently named deputy assistant director of the Criminal Investigative Division.

McArthur started his FBI career in 1990 and was first assigned to the New York office where he worked on a drug enforcement task force with the N.Y. police department investigating Colombian drug cartels.

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Prosecutor in Madoff Probe Removes Himself Over Conflict of Interest

It doesn’t take much to bump into a conflict of interest in the federal justice system.  Prosecutor Richard Zabel and his office did the smart thing by declaring the conflict of interest. End of story. Or at least it should be.

Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff


Just days after being appointed, the new chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, Richard Zabel, has taken himself off the biggest case his office is handling, the investigation of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, because his father represents one of the potential targets.

“He has recused himself from any involvement in the Madoff case,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office, Rebekah Carmichael, told Friday. Zabel’s appointment was announced Tuesday. The spokeswoman declined to provide any details about who would oversee and supervise the Madoff investigation.

For Full Story

FBI Top 10 Fugitive Caught in Mexico

Jorge Alberto Lopez Orozco/fbi photo
Jorge Alberto Lopez Orozco/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — A triple-murder suspect who has been on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List since 2005 along with such notables as Osama bin laden, has been captured in Mexico, the Associated Press reports.

Mexican federal police caught Jorge Alberto Lopez Orozco in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, the AP reported, attributing Thursday’s announcement to the Mexican Attorney General’s Office. He was being held on an American extradition request.

Lopez Orozco, 33, is charged in the  2002 murders of Rebecca Ramirez, who he had been dating on and off, and her sons, ages 2 and 4, in Elmore County, Idaho, according to the FBI and AP. The three had been shot and their charred remains were found in a burned out car.