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December 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for December, 2009

Retired ATF Official Bernie La Forest Authors Crime Novel

9781449043957_cover.inddBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Bernie La Forest had a rich career with ATF. He headed up offices in Kansas City, Detroit, Phoenix and Los Angeles and saw plenty guns, drugs, killers, con men and intrigue.

But one reality he learned over the years was that law enforcement agencies didn’t always get along. It was a simple fact.

“They don’t usually get a long, but on a common purpose they can come together, not everybody, but some people will come together for the case,” he said.

Now, the retired agent, who had the respect of the rank and file for his no-nonsense style, has penned a novel “Shadow Partners”, a crime thriller in which multiple law enforcement agencies come together to probe bombings and murders and political corruption.

La Forest, a former Detroit cop,  retired from ATF in 1998 and then worked as a contractor for the agency on a gun trace project from 2002 to 2007,

He said he’s excited about the debut of his book, which is slated to go on sale on and at retail outlets some time in February or March. It is self published.

La Forest is already looking ahead. In fact, he says he’s already got three quarters of his second book finished.

“The stories come pretty easy to me,” he said.

To read more about the book and the author click here.

Washington Post Reader Defends Secret Service Dir. Mark Sullivan After Party Crashing Incident

Mark Sullivan/s.s. photo

Mark Sullivan/s.s. photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan has taken his share of lumps over the party crashing incident at the White House involving the now famous Salahis.

In fact, some observers say he looked worn out when he recently went before Congress to testify on the matter and took blame for it all.

But Sullivan, who became director under President Bush in 2006,  still has his fair share of  supporters including Washington Post reader Toni Marsh of Montgomery Village, Md., who wrote a letter to the editor, which the paper published on Thursday.

Here it is:

“Regarding the Dec. 21 Style story on the White House gate crashers, “After the breach, gatekeeping of another sort”:

“Exactly one man has stepped forward like an adult and taken full, on-the-record responsibility for anything relating to the Salahis’ appearance at a White House state dinner, and that man is Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan. Every other person, from members of the White House staff on down, has obfuscated, evaded, hedged and hidden behind anonymity. Mr. Sullivan has been the epitome of class, responsibility and maturity since the start of this story, and the president is fortunate to have a man like him at the helm of his security operation.”

Book Says Osama bin Laden Plotted to Kill Pres. Clinton in the Philippines in 1996

clinton bookBy Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON –The U.S. Secret Service averted, at the last minute, a potential assassination attempt by Osama bin Laden on President Clinton in 1996 in the Philippines, according to a new book.

The London  Telegraph reported on the matter, attributing the information to a book “The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs Starr” by professor Ken Gormley.

The paper said the foiled attack came during Clinton’s visit to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Manila.

The paper reported that Clinton was supposed to travel across a bridge at one point.

“But as the presidential motorcade was about to set off, secret service officers received a ‘crackly message in one earpiece’ saying intelligence agents had picked up a message suggesting an attack was imminent,” the paper reported.

“The transmission used the words “bridge” and “wedding” – a terrorists code word for assassination,” the paper reported. The motorcade was rerouted.

The paper reported that authorities later discovered that a bomb had been placed under the bridge.

For Full Story


Retired Secret Service Agent James Parker Who Guarded Pres. Ford During 2 Assassination Attempts Dies at Age 70

Parker Protected Pres. Ford/pres. library photo
Parker Protected Pres. Ford/pres. library photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — James L. “Lee” Parker, a 34-year veteran of the U.S. Secret Service, who worked on presidential details including ones where attempts were made on President Ford’s life, died last month in Virginia at age 70, the Washington Post reported.

The paper reported that he died of brain cancer at the Fairfax Nursing Center in suburban Washington. He had been with the Secret Service from 1965 to 1999.

Parker worked for the Alexandria, Va. police and for the CIA before joining the Secret Service, the Post reported.

At one point in his career, in the 1990s, he headed the global counterfeit division at Interpol in Lyon, France, the Post reported.

He also served on the detail of President Ford “when Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and, later, Sara Jane Moore tried to kill the president in 1975,” the Post reported.

Update on America’s 2 Wealthy Jailbirds — Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford

jailBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON –– And now for a prison update on two of America’s most notable financial schemers.

Bloomberg news reports that Bernie Madoff, 71, has been transferred from the medium-security facility at the Butner Correctional Complex in North Carolina to the prison’s medical center.

Prison authorities confirmed that the move happened on Dec. 18, but did not say why.

And the Guardian of London reports that financier Allen Stanford, accused of bilking investors out of $7 billion, “has suffered a severe mental and physical deterioration and is in danger of ‘a complete nervous breakdown’ in a Texas prison, according to a psychiatrist’s report.”

“A 50-page petition to Houston’s federal court says that Stanford, 59, has lost 40lbs in weight in the last 90 days and is taking medicines for high blood pressure, depression, ulcers and an irregular heart beat,” the paper reported. “Following a violent assault by a fellow inmate three months ago, Stanford had to undergo reconstructive surgery. According to his lawyers, he has lost all feeling on the right side of his face and has been unable to read with his right eye.”

John Perren Named Interim Head of FBI Washington Field Office

John Perren

John Perren

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — John G. Perren,  special agent in charge of counter-terrorism at the FBI’s Washington field office, has been named the interim head of the office, authorities said Wednesday.

Perren will replace Joseph Persichini Jr, the assistant director in charge of the office, who officially retires on Christmas day. Perren’s appointment becomes effective Dec. 26.

Perren, who joined the bureau in 1987, spent a half year in Iraq for the FBI in 2005 as the on-scene commander before returning home to headquarters to become section chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction/Domestic Terrorism Operations Section.

In 2008, he became the special agent in charge of the counterterrorism division for the Washington Field Office.

He replaces Persichini, who retires under a cloud. The Office of Professional Responsibility has been investigating allegations that Persichini and two other high ranking agents in the office may have worked together and may have gotten help from an FBI lawyer on an open book exam on bureau procedures, which is a violation of bureau policy.

Nothing happened to Persichini, who had been planning to retire anyways from the bureau. The two other agents still face possible discipline, which may include a demotion and a transfer to another FBI office.

FBI Agent Wounded and Parolee Killed in Flint, Mi. Incident on Tuesday

Secret Service Arrests Woman for Threatening Life of Michelle Obama

white house photo

white house photo

By Allan Lengel

Here’s one way for the neglected to get some attention during the holiday season. Threaten the life of Michelle Obama.

The Boston Globe reports that the Secret Service in Hawaii arrested Kristy Lee Roshia on Saturday after she called the agency’s Boston office to threaten the life of Michelle Obama. Roshia  is a resident of  New Bedford, Mass.

The Globe reported that she was charged with threatening to kill a member of President Obama’s family and assaulting a Secret Service agent after striking the agent while in custody.

The Globe reported, according to a Secret Service affidavit,  that Roshia “has deluged the Boston office of the Secret Service with phone calls since 2004, when she told agents that she was an assassin whose mission was to kill the president.”

A Secret Service affidavit says over the years she made angry rambling calls to the Boston office, sometimes as many as 10 a day, the Globe reported.