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Archive for December, 2010

Sylvester Stallone to Play Late Mobster John Gotti? Son Says Forgeddabout It

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sylvester Stallone as the mob Godfather John Gotti? Forgeddabout it!

The Wrap, a Hollywood website, reports that “John “Junior” Gotti wants Sylvester Stallone to stop telling people he’ll play his father, legendary mob boss John Gotti, in a movie based on his life — a charge Sly denies.”

But the Wrap reports that Junior Gotti and his partners insist that’s what’s been going on.

“It’s frustrating, because when we’re talking to anybody — actors, studio finance people — we keeping getting the same spiel that Stallone is making this movie,” Marc Fiore, chief executive officer of Fiore Films, who have teamed up with the younger Gotti, told TheWrap. “I tried to talk to him about it and his people said they’d get back to us.”

The Wrap reported that Stallone had dinner with Gotti and publicly stated that he was considering a Gotti project. But Gotti said he went with the lower profile Fiore Films.

Father John J. Gotti

“Marc knew the direction we wanted to go in. Stallone wanted a mob ‘shoot ‘em up’ movie. This is a father-and-son story,” Gotti told TheWrap.

The feds in New York tried prosecuting Gotti Jr. in four different trial, all which resulted in a hung jury. Prosecutors finally gave up and dropped the charges. His father, the boss of the Gambino crime family,  died in prison in 2002 at age 61.

Customs and Border Protection Agent at Atlanta Airport Charged With Smuggling Cash and Guns in Sting

By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent at the Atlanta airport was charged with 13 others in a large scale drug operation in which authorities seized 700,000 tabs of ecstasy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Authorities say that agent Devon “Romey” Samuel, 45, of Stockbridge, Ga., was charged in three undercover stings conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in which he allegedly smuggled drug money and guns through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Authorities say the probe into Samuel led to the “unraveling of a large scale ecstasy trafficking organization.”

On Nov. 3, an undercover agent posing as a drug money launderer gave Samuels about $22,000, authorities charged. Samuels then used his badge to bypass security and delivered the money to a Jamaica to an undercover police officer posing as an international drug dealer.

A few weeks later, he allegedly accepted $50,000 from an undercover officer and delivered the money to Jamaican undercover police, authorities said.

On Nov. 30, authorities say Samuels accepted five firearms and about $20,000 in what he thought was drug money from an undercover cop, authorities said. He went directly to the airport with the guns and money and used his badge to bypass security. Once inside the airport, he allegedly gave the guns to  second undercover officer who told Samuels he was going to give the guns and cash to members of a Mexican drug cartel at a meeting in Arizona.

Authorities alleged that Samuels also used government computers to check whether he or his associates were under investigation.

“The indictment charges a Customs and Border Protection agent at the airport with taking payoffs to smuggle guns and drug money from undercover agents posing as international drug traffickers,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “That investigation led to unraveling a large scale ecstasy trafficking organization and the seizure of more than $2.8 million worth of ecstasy from a house in Chamblee–one of the largest seizures in the country.”

Palestinian Pleads to Plotting to Buy Stolen Military Weapons in FBI Sting

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Palestinian man pleaded guilty Thursday in Miami in a plot to acquire and transport stolen military weapons in what turned out to be an FBI sting.

Abdalaziz Aziz Hamayel, 23, of the West Bank, pleaded guilty to trying to buy from an undercover agent what he thought were stolen M-16s, AK-47s and explosive materials, including hand grenades and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Sentencing is set for Feb. 22. Another conspirator in the case still faces trial, authorities said.

Authorities said were told by a confidential source in April 2009 that the two men wanted to purchase large quantities of automatic weapons. The source then introduced them to an undercover agent who posed as a weapons supplier.

At their first meeting with the undercover agent the following month, the men requested 200 to 300 fully-automatic assault rifles that they planned to ship out of the country, authorities charged. They also asked for grenades and homemade bombs with remote detonation capabilities.

Feds Seize Paintings Stolen By Nazis in Poland

"Self-Portrait From Palette" by Julian Falat was painted circa 1896.

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Federal authorities have seized two Julian Falat paintings stolen by the Nazis during World War II from New York auction houses, with the hope of returning the national treasures to the Polish government.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that it had filed a civil forfeiture complaint on Wednesday to seize the two paintings — “Off to the Hunt” and “The Hunt” — which were stolen by the Nazis from the National Museum in Warsaw. U.S. authorities said the U.S. District Court in Manhattan had authorized the seizure of the paintings pending the outcome of the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that in 2006 the Polish government learned that the two paintings were being offered for sale by two New York auction houses. The Polish government contacted the U.S. government for help in recovering them.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

al Qaeda Planning Holiday Attacks in U.S. and Europe, Authorities Say

bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a "religious duty"

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Last year, al Qaeda supposedly sent the “Underwear Bomber” on a plane Christmas Day. This year?

The Associated Press reports that captured insurgents told Iraqi authorities that al Qaeda is planning suicide attacks in the U.S. and Europe during the holiday season.

AP reported that a senior US intelligence official confirmed the threat as credible.

To read more click here

FBI Helping Long Island Police in Possible Serial Killer Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is assisting police in Long Island into what may end up being a serial killer case. Four female bodies have been found in recent days on a Long Island Beach.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said in a statement Wednesday that the bureau “has offered assistance in the case. This is a Suffolk County Police Department investigation and we refer you to them for any additional information.”

The New York Times reported that the women “were found in brush about 500 feet apart from one another off a highway in Gilgo Beach.”

The Times reported that the identity of the woman and the cause of death is unknown.

LA Times Editorial: Stings Can Be Legitimate Tool in Terrorism

By The Los Angeles Times
Editorial Page

From Abscam to the arrest of former Washington Mayor Marion Barry on drug charges, sting operations have brought accusations that the government was entrapping its targets.

This perennial complaint has acquired a new sensitivity with charges that the FBI, as part of its anti-terrorism activities, is inducing Muslims to take part in fictitious plots and then arresting them. So far the accusations seem exaggerated, but the FBI needs to be careful that it doesn’t propose violations of the law to individuals who have shown no propensity to commit crimes.

The latest suggestion of entrapment comes from the lawyer for Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the 19-year-old Somali American accused of plotting to explode a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Ore., last month. The lawyer said undercover agents had been “basically grooming” Mohamud for months to commit a terrorist act, and complained that they failed to record their first meeting with Mohamud — the meeting at which evidence of entrapment would be most evident.

The notion that Mohamud was entrapped brought a defiant response from Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. Addressing a group of American Muslims, Holder said he would make no apologies for the FBI’s conduct in the case, which included providing Mohamud with a large and elaborate “explosive.” More generally, Holder said undercover operations “have proven to be an essential law enforcement tool in uncovering and preventing potential terror attacks.”

If the government’s recitation of facts in the Mohamud case is to be believed, Holder is on solid ground.

To read more click here.

Dallas FBI Agent Gets Probation for Hiring Illegal Aliens for Her Deli

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Dallas FBI agent was sentenced Wednesday to two years probation and ordered to pay a $18,000 fine for unlawfully employing illegal immigrants at a deli she owned in suburban Dallas, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Ann Cox,  who was fired in the summer after the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed charges,  pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor offense for unlawfully employing aliens.

Authorities said that Cox, 49, of Rockwall, Tex., knowingly hired six illegal aliens while owning a Schlotzsky’s Deli from August 1997 to December 2008. Her husband is an FBI agent, but was not involved in the case.

“While it is disappointing that an FBI Special Agent chose to break the law, it is important for citizens to understand that the FBI has an unwavering commitment to take appropriate action when transgressions are committed by its employees, the overwhelming majority of whom are above reproach in their professional and personal conduct,” said Robert E. Casey Jr., head of the Dallas FBI.