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January 2011


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for January, 2011

Surprise Development: Woman Plans to Plea in Fatal Shooting of FBI Agent Sam Hicks

Slain FBI Agent Sam Hicks/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel

In a surprise development, a woman who fatally shot Pittsburgh FBI agent Sam Hicks in 2008 is set to enter a guilty plea in federal court Tuesday morning, court records show.

U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry set the plea date for Christina Korbe just three days after he ordered the federal jury administrator to summon 350 people to serve as the jury pool for the March 7 trial. The potential jurors were set to report to the courthouse on Feb. 14 for preliminary instructions.

Christina Korbe is charged with shooting Hicks to death. Hicks and other agents had come to the house to serve an arrest warrant for Korbe’s husband. She opened fire, killing Hicks. Her husband Robert Korbe has been sentenced to 25 years in prison on drug and other charges. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported the plea agreement.

Authorities said when the agents came to the home, Robert Korbe ran in the basement to get rid of cocaine and his wife Christina opened fire from upstairs.

In November 2009, the Baltimore FBI building was named after Hicks, who had been a Baltimore cop before joining the FBI.

Column: Ex-FBI Agent Rowley “Secretive, Unaccountable” Homeland Security Turning Inward on Americans

Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent and legal counsel in the Minneapolis field office, wrote a “whistleblower” memo in May 2002 and testified to the Senate Judiciary on some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures. She retired in 2004 and is now a writer and speaker.

FBI Agent Colleen Rowley/ photo

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

A secretive, unaccountable, post-9/11 homeland security apparatus has increasingly turned inward on American citizens.

The evidence includes everything from controversial airport body scanners to the FBI’s raids last September on antiwar activists’ homes in Minneapolis and Chicago. A federal grand jury investigation in Chicago was recently expanded.

Unless the erosion of proper legal safeguards is halted, we risk a return to Vietnam-era abuses on the part of the FBI and other security agencies.

Agents are now given a green light, for instance, to check off “statistical achievements” by sending well-paid, manipulative informants into mosques and peace groups.

To read more click here.


Homeland Security Pulls Plug on Border Fence

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — It’s certainly not the first government boondoggle and it certainly won’t be the last. Nonetheless, it appears it was waste of time and money.

The Department of Homeland Security on Friday decided to cut off the ambitious, problem-plagued billion-dollar program SBInet to build a high-tech fence along the Arizona border to battle the nagging problem of illegal immigration, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The project had been plagued by continuous delays, cost overruns and technology glitches.

The Journal reported that Homeland Security will turn to “a mix of proven, existing technology it says will help agents patrol a much bigger chunk of the Southwest border at a lower cost.”

“SBInet cannot meet its original objective of providing a single, integrated border-security technology solution,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a written statement.

The Journal reported that she said the new solution will include mobile surveillance systems, unmanned aircraft and thermal-imaging devices. Up until now, only 53 miles of the border have been protected with the technology.

To read more click here.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Chinatown Mafia

Column: Ex-DEA Official Criticizes Outspoken Arizona Sheriff Dupnik

William Coonce worked for the DEA for 29 years and was special agent in charge of the Detroit Division from 1987 to 1993.

William Coonce

By William Coonce

TUCSON — Subsequent to my retirement from the DEA in 1993, I was hired by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Tucson, Arizona to be the Deputy Director of the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking (HIDTA) program.

For the next 8 years I worked indirectly for Mr. Clarence Dupnik, the Pima County Sheriff. As most everyone in the country has heard, Mr. Dupnik has made several highly inappropriate comments about people in the media and talk radio as somehow being responsible for the shooting in Tucson last Saturday.

He also has referred to those who support SB 1070, the Arizona Immigration law as being ‘bigots’ and ‘racists’.

Despite his long tenure as the Pima County Sheriff, Mr. Dupnik has never been a visible leader in Tucson.

His style is one who quietly manipulates people and issues behind the veil of his subordinates. They are expected to do his bidding and then take a fall if circumstances indicate that that his skin is on the line.

Given this history, his recent comments are highly out of character and may in fact reflect his true feelings given the emotional trauma of this tragic event. The remarks might also just be just Democratic demagoguery. Either way he should not have made the damaging and un-true statements.

I was raised and educated in Tucson and my respect for the heritage, people, culture and the Sonora desert have no bounds as people who know me will attest.

I could not wait to retire and come back home. My grade school through college education in Tucson was always multicultural where everyone was equal. There were no ethnic awareness classes, defined barrios or ethnic conflict.

To this day I enjoy the Mexican culture, tradition, mariachi music and of course the food. I frequently visit Mexico where I speak passable, although somewhat fractured Spanish and love doing it.

I am, however, a supporter of SB 1070 and want and expect elected and appointed law enforcement officials to support and enforce the immigration laws in this country and this state.

So, a little memo to you Clarence: You are correct that I and others are a little angry. We are angry and disgusted at a community manager like you who dare to call us racists and bigots!

You are blaming conservative Tucsonans for fanning the flames of dissent when in fact it is you Mr. Dupnik who are clearly doing so and not citizens like us who watch you flaunt the laws by not enforcing them.

We need a leader as the Sheriff in Pima County. It is time for you to step up to the plate or step down.

Ex-Mobster Claims in Book He was Recruited to Kill John (Junior) Gotti

By Allan Lengel

A reformed Brooklyn gangster claims in his book “Surviving the Mob” that he was recruited by a Gambino crime family capo in 1996 to rub out gangster John (Junior)  Gotti  over money, according to the website Gang Land News.

Some have dismissed the claims as garbage, according to Gang Land News editor Jerry Capeci, a former mob writer for the New York Daily News.

Nonetheless, ex-mobster Andrew DiDonato, now 45, claims it all took place when Nicholas (Little Nick) Corozzo was expected to take over the crime family, pending the exhaustion of all appeals for the elder Gotti for his 1992 conviction, Gang Land reported.

DiDonato writes that Nick Corozzo explained that even though “the feds were after him and his taking over the family would double the speed of their investigation” and “he expected to be arrested at anytime…he had to grab the opportunity. After all, that was what every gangster who came up from the streets dreamed of being some day: the boss of the family.”

John "Junior" Gotti/youtube photo

“Nicky turned to me and made the sign of a gun with his thumb and finger. He said if he did get arrested, there’d be a lot of work (killing) to do. Then he looked around at everybody and he said, ‘Do you hear me? I said if I get arrested there’s gonna be a lot of fuckin’ work to do.

“Nicky grabbed my hand and said, ‘And we’re gonna start with that fucking Baby Huey in Queens.’ Baby Huey was what we called Junior Gotti. Nicky looked at me and Mike Yannotti. He said, ‘Okay. Start gettin’ familiar with this guy.’ Mike nodded. I said sure, whatever had to be done, would be done.”

Gangland reported that in an interview with DiDonato that the ex-mobster said Corozzo didn’t specifically say why he wanted the Gotti son dead, but Corozzo had voiced anger with Junior “about the phone card business that they were involved in. He felt he was partners with Junior and Jackie D’Amico and Joe Watts and he believed there was supposed to be some money coming to him. He wasn’t getting the share that he deserved and he wasn’t happy about that.”

Joseph Corozzo, (right) Nicky’s nephew and a leading attorney, said, according to Gang Land: “It’s completely untrue, but unfortunately anyone can write a book these days in an attempt to cash in on his criminal activity.

Gotti Jr.’s attorney Charles Carnesi said, according to Gang Land: “The allegation makes no sense. The guy’s trying to rewrite history. John has never been involved in any phone card operations.”

Brooklyn Fed Judge Defies Prosecutors in Child Porn Case

By Allan Lengel

In Brooklyn, a federal judge is getting some attention for siding more with a man convicted on child pornography charges than with federal prosecutors.

The New York Times reports that U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein blew off prosecutor’s recommendation that defendant Pietro Polizzi, 57, of Queens get 11-14 years. On Thursday, the judge gave him the mandatory minimum of five years.

The Times wrote that Judge Weinstein “was compassionate toward the defendant, allowing him to remain free for two more months, and dismissive of the government’s efforts to get a longer sentence.”

Last year, in an interview with The New York Times, the judge said those who viewed pornography should not be treated the same as those who produce images.

”We’re destroying lives unnecessarily,” he said then. ”At the most, they should be receiving treatment and supervision.”

On Thursday, the judge responded to the government’s sentencing recommendation of 11-14 years, according to the Times, by saying: ”I find it grossly excessive. Therefore, a guideline sentence is not imposed.”

Federal prosecutors had asked that he be taken into custody immediately. The judge gave him eight weeks before he had to report to prison, the Times reported.

”Calling it a crime of violence for this purpose seems to me a strange treatment of language,” the judge said, according to the Times. ”It does seem to me to be a form of cruel and unusual punishment and punitive in nature.”

To read more click here.

Column: al Qaeda “Adaptive, Agile and Resilient”

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer,  is a senior fellow in the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. His most recent book is “Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of the Global Jihad.”

Bruce Riedel/broookings inst. photo

By Bruce Riedel
Los Angeles Times Op-Ed Page

Al Qaeda has just released the latest in its series of how-to guides for jihadists in the West who want to murder without the bother of flying to Pakistan to be trained.

This time, the offering is an English-language manual explaining in detail how to build a bomb, and it demonstrates how nimbly Al Qaeda has adapted to become the world’s first truly global terrorist organization, able to recruit and train fanatics on the Internet as well as on the ground.

Almost 10 years after the most devastating attack on the American homeland by a foreign power since the British army burned Washington in 1814, Al Qaeda remains alive and deadly.

President Obama has placed considerable pressure on Osama bin Laden and his gang with drone strikes in Pakistan, but the group is remarkably adaptive, agile and resilient.

To read more click here.