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Archive for June, 2010

Baltimore’s Anti-Snitching Culture and a Dead FBI Informant

There have been anti-snitching videos distributed in Baltimore, reminders of the very real anti-snitching culture that has snatched many lives. Van Smith, an investigative reporter for the Baltimore City Paper, takes a look at one of the latest victims: Kareem Kelly Guest, an FBI informant.

Kareem Kelly Guest/baltimore city paper photo

Kareem Kelly Guest/baltimore city paper photo

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper

BALTIMORE — Kareem Kelly Guest, a 29-year-old Westport resident, was no saint. He’d been charged dozens of times in state court for crimes typical of those in the drug game.

He was convicted in several cases, though his sentences were lenient and involved little jail time. But on Jan. 9, 2008, Guest did something that may have helped end his life: He sat down with federal law-enforcers and answered questions about what he knew about drug dealing in his neighborhood.

Twenty months later, after documents proving Guest’s cooperation started showing up on the streets of Westport last summer, Guest was shot dead. Who shot him and why remain unknown, though aspects of law enforcers’ efforts to answer those questions surfaced on June 1, when an obstruction-of-justice indictment was unsealed in U.S. District Court against Raine Zircon Curtis, an alleged witness to Guest’s murder.

To read the full story click here.

Boston FBI Not Giving Up on Finding Whitey Bulger: Places Ad in Military Publication

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

One thing you have to say about the Boston FBI: It’s not rolling over and giving up on capturing mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, one of the agency’s Top Ten Most Wanted fugitives.

The latest, according to the Boston Globe: the FBI placed an ad in the May 24 issue of The Military Times, with photos of Bulger, 80, and his girlfriend Catherine Greig, 59, with the headline “Have You Seen This Couple?”

Why the military angle? The Globe reports Bulger was dishonaraby discharged from the Air Force, but the FBI says “he obtained a fake military identification card before he fled Boston and may be lurking around military bases.” The agency said Bulger has a fascination with the military.

The Globe reports Bulger had served in the Air Force from 1949 to 1952 and was dishonorably discharged after going AWOL. At the time, he was charged with rapes in Montana and Boston, the Globe reported.

In recent times, the FBI placed an ad in the Plastic Surgery News because Bulger’s girlfriend had some work done on her, and a dental trade publication because she was a dental hygentist and seemed to have her teeth cleaned monthly.

“We’re looking for avenues to have his picture reach worldwide,” said Gail Marcinkiewicz, an FBI spokeswoman told the Globe.

Ex-FBI Agent Who Worked on Natalie Holloway Case Comments on van der Sloot Probe

FBI Probing Security Breach of Ipads

ipadBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The creators of the iPad — the mini computer that seems to be today’s hot item in the gadget world — may be getting a little more attention then they want.

This time it’s from the FBI.

The FBI on Thursday said it was investigating a security breach of AT&T’s wireless network, the Washington Post reported. The problem: email addresses and network numbers of iPad users were exposed.

The website Gawker reported that some high-level government officials, including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, were among those affected.

The Post reported that FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said in a e-mail: “The FBI is aware of these possible computer intrusions and is looking into it.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Crackdown on Mexican Cartels in U.S. Nets 2,200-Plus Arrests in 22 Months

Cities with "takedown activities" June 9 and 10, 2010/doj

Cities with "takedown activities" June 9 and 10, 2010/doj

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More than 2,200 people have been arrested in the past 22 months — 429 of them Wednesday — in a crackdown on Mexican drug trafficking organizations in the U.S. dubbed “Project Deliverance”, the Justice Department announced.

Among those arrested was Carlos Ramon Castro-Rocha, the suspected leader of the Castro-Rocha drug trafficking organization, authorities said.

The crackdown by federal agents and police targeted networks that distributed cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana in the U.S.,  and returned with cash and weapons, authorities said.

Read more »

Women Fed Agents Making Inroads Heading Up Field Offices; Some Say More Needs to be Done

woman_inrods

Far left block: FBI top row: l-r Amy Hess-Memphis, Valerie Parlave-Little Rock, Janice K. Fedarcyk-Philadelphia, Elizabeth Fries-Louisville; FBI Middle Row: l-r Amy Pickett-N.Y., Stephanie Douglas-San Francisco, Laura M. Laughlin-Seattle; FBI Bottom Row: l-r Charlene B. Thornton-Honolulu, Daphne Hearn-L.A., Carol K.O. Lee-Albuquerque, Kimberly K. Mertz-New Haven; Far Right Block: ATF Top Row: l-r Virginia O’Brien-Tampa, Theresa Stoop-Baltimore; DEA Bottom Row: l-r Elizabeth W. Kempshall-Phoenix, Ava A. Cooper-Davis-Washington D.C.

By Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –  In 1966, soul singer James Brown belted out his hit “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”  Well, 46 years later,  in the world of federal law enforcement,  men still far out number women,  but  woman have made some notable inroads.

At tickelthewire.com, we decided to examine  the progress by taking a snapshot of a key area of management — Special Agents in Charge (SAC)  of a field offices at three key Justice Department law enforcement agencies — the FBI, DEA and ATF.

A review of each field office shows that  women fared best at the FBI where they held 9 of 56 SAC  posts as heads of the field offices.  At the DEA,   2 of 21 offices were headed up by woman, and at  ATF 2 of 25. Additionally at the FBI, two women hold SAC positions –  one in  Los Angeles and one in New York –  but they do not head up those offices. Those offices are so big that they are headed up by an Assistant Director in charge, who supervises multiple SACs.

Some think the federal agencies need to try harder.

“I think federal agencies need to do more outreach and target women, this job is a really good match,” says Margaret Moore, who became the first female SAC for ATF in 1993, who retired from agency and is now executive director of WIFLE (Women in Federal Law Enforcement), which works to achieve gender equity in federal law enforcement.

” Women are good communicators; they’re good at analyzing and multi-tasking. It’s about connecting the dots and not kicking down the doors,” said Moore.

UPDATE: June 25: Denise Fedarcyk, the SAC for the Philly FBI, has been named to head up the New York office. Her title will change from SAC to assistant director in charge.  She is the first female to head up that office.

Read more »

DEA Agent Nabs Robber at D.C. Subway Station

metro
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — DEA agent Phil Kearney has hunted Afghan heroin traffickers over the years, but last week was a little different, according to Washington Post Columnist John Kelly.

Kelly writes that Kearney, who is now stationed in Ottawa, but was in Washington on business last week, was at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station in Washington ” backpack on his back, suitcase in his hand, suit jacket on and tie around his neck.”

Suddenly, he spotted a robber steal a cellphone from the hands of a commuter on the platform, Kelly wrote. The robber then hopped onto

Read more »

Ultimate Betrayal: Son Testifies Against Mobster Dad and Wore FBI Wire

mafia33By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It may be one of the ultimate betrayals in mob history, and certainly there have been no shortage of them. There was of course the very famous one: Gambino Underboss Sammy the Bull” Gravano turning on the top boss John Gotti.

But this one, according to the New York Daily News, may top them all: John Franzese Jr, 50, wore an FBI wire  and testified against his 93-year-old mobster dad John “Sonny” Franzese, an underboss in the Colombo crime family. The racketeering and extortion trial is currently underway in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

“The long decline of the mob has been marked by underlings ratting out bosses and even bosses ratting out everybody, but never before had a son taken the witness stand against his dad,” wrote N.Y. Daily News columnist Michael Daly.

“The betrayal was all the more remarkable because the son had no compelling reason for being up there with his left hand in his pocket and his right hand raised to take the oath,” Daily wrote.

“The younger Franzese was not working off a prison term or eluding prosecution. He did not even harbor manifest anger toward the 93-year-old father he pointed out at the defense table.”

Read More About The Son, the Wife and Father (New York Daily News)