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March 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for March 23rd, 2010

U.S. Atty’s Office Wants NBA Star Gilbert Arenas to Do Time

Gilbert Arenas

Gilbert Arenas

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Suspended Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas may get to practice his basketball skills with a bunch of inmates if the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office has its way.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a sentencing memorandum Tuesday recommending that Arenas get 3 months in jail and 300 hours of community service, saying he has “shown little genuine remorse” and that he “feigns ignorance of the law” in his case in which he brought four guns to the Verizon Center locker room  in the Chinatown district in Northwest Washington. Sentencing is set for Friday in D.C. Superior Court, the city’s criminal court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh wrote in the memo that Arenas tried to cover up his confrontation with the guns and teammate Javaris Crittenton and made up different stories about why he had brought guns to work.

In very pointed language, Kavanaugh  wrote:

“If any other individual — without the fame, power, and the wealth of this defendant — brought four firearms into Washington D.C. for the purpose of a similar confrontation, fabricated a story to conceal that confrontation, provided convenient explanations in an attempt to mitigate his conduct that were proved false, joked about the incident to large groups, and stated that he did nothing wrong and felt no remorse, the government would seek their incarceration, and the Court would almost certainly give it. The defendant, although famous, powerful, and wealthy, should be treated no differently.”

Read the sentencing memorandum

Baltimore Cop on DEA Task Force Charged in Scheme to Get Informant Money; Also Charged With Pocketing Some Himself

baltimoreBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — A Baltimore police detective on a DEA Task Force was charged Tuesday with fraudulently arranging for an informant to get more than $10,000 in payoffs he didn’t deserve,  the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.  The cop is also charged with pocketing some of that money.

Detective Mark J. Lunsford, 29, of Sykesville, Md, was charged in one instance of lying in 2008 by saying that  the informant provided him a phone number of a drug suspect when in fact another informant had provided it. Ultimately, investigators got a wiretap for that number.

Following the wiretap investigation, authorities charged that Lunsford exaggerated the help his informant provided in the case so that the informant could get a $10,000 award.  Authorities also charged that Lunsford, with the okay of the informant, kept some of the award money himself.

In another instance, in 2009,  Lunsford falsely claimed that the informant provided information which led to the arrest of another suspect and the seizure of the suspect’s $17,490.  Lunsford allegedly submitted a false claim to DEA for the source to receive an award equal to 20 percent of the cash seizure, or $3,498.

He is also charged with stealing a rose-colored, stainless steel “Aqua Master” diamond watch worth more than $1,000 from a an investigation.

Ex-Acting Boss Daniel Leo “The Lion” of Genovese Crime Family Gets 18 Months

Daniel Leo "The Lion"

Daniel Leo "The Lion"

By Allan Lengel

The ex-acting Boss of the Genovese Organized Crime Family Daniel Leo “The Lion” was sentenced Tuesday in New York to 18 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $1.3 million in illegal proceeds.

Leo pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy and participation in the affairs of the Genovese Organized Crime Family through a pattern of racketeering activity, including loansharking and illegal gambling offenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

His sentence is to run consecutively to his 60-month sentence resulting from a  conviction in Manhattan federal court on extortion charges in October 2007, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Read Press Release

Secret Service Paid Big-Time Hacker $75,000 a Year As Informant, Website Reports

cash2By Allan Lengel

The Secret Service was paying big-time hacker Albert Gonzalez $75,000 a year as an informant before he was arrested in 2008 for operating a multi-million dollar credit and debit card hacking operation, the website WIRED reported.

WIRED attributed the information to Gonzalez’s best friend and convicted accomplice Stephen Watt. Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Boston.

The website said “Watt pleaded guilty last year to creating a sniffer program that Gonzalez used to siphon millions of credit and debit card numbers from the TJX corporate network while he was working undercover for the government.”

The Secret Service declined comment, WIRED reported.

“It’s a significant amount of money to pay an informant but it’s not an outrageous amount to pay if the guy was working full time and delivering good results,” former federal prosecutor Mark Rasch told WIRED. “It’s probably the only thing he was doing — other than hacking into TJX and making millions of dollars.”

To Read more click here.

Ex-Homeland Security Official Convicted in Boston in Illegal Immigration Case

boston-map-istockBy Allan Lengel

A Boston federal jury on Monday convicted a former high ranking Homeland Security official in New England of encouraging her illegal immigrant housekeeper to stay in the country, the Boston Globe reported.

Lorraine Henderson, 52, Boston’s port director for Customs and Border Protection, who testified last week that she had done nothing wrong, was surprised by the verdict, the Globe reported.

“I’m stunned,” she said, according to the paper. Her attorney, Francis J. DiMento, added: “I’m sick.”

Henderson had earned $140,000 a year at her government job.

To read more click here.

High Level U.S. Officals to Meet With Mexico Over Drug Violence

Mexico border mapBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON – More than a week after three people linked to the U.S. Consulate in Mexico were slain, the U.S. is taking things up a notch.

The Washington Post reports “that a high-level delegation of U.S. officials, including three Cabinet secretaries, will meet with Mexican officials in Mexico City on Tuesday to discuss efforts to disrupt drug cartels as violence increasingly strikes Americans on the border.”

The paper reported that the Mexican government’s need for U.S. help has taken on a a new urgency with the latest murders involving the consulate.

To read more click here.


Column: What Happens to NY’s Top FBI Agent Joseph Demarest?

Joseph Demarest Jr/fbi photo

Joseph Demarest Jr/fbi photo

Len Levitt wrote the police column “One Police Plaza” for Newsday for 10 years and has worked for several other publications including Time magazine.  His website is
By Len Levitt

Does the Federal Bureau of Investigation frown on romance?

Or does love cause some New York agents to lose their way?

Joe Demarest, the Bureau’s Big Apple top gun, is the latest G-man to have his life complicated by matters of the heart.

In January, 2009, FBI Director Robert Mueller thought so highly of the high-strung Demarest, a lean, crew-cut Delta Force lookalike, that the Bureau lured him out of retirement to head its prestigious New York office.

He gave up his lucrative position as Goldman Sachs’ Director of Security for his FBI dream job.

Today, barely a year later, Demarest is on what the Bureau describes as “temporary assignment” in Washington.

Read more »

FBI Appoints Ernest Reith to Science and Technology Branch

Ernest Reith/fbi photo

Ernest Reith/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Ernest Reith has been named associate executive assistant director of the FBI’s Science and Technology Branch.

The FBI said Reith started his career in 1985 as a regional analyst at the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) in St. Louis, Missouri “where he developed and maintained geospatial intelligence databases of the Eastern Pacific Rim.”

He briefly entered private industry and later returned to DMA. Eventually, from 2007 to 2010, he served as the deputy director of InnoVision and was responsible for the day-to-day management of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

To read the press release click here.