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February 2012


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for February 16th, 2012

Updated: One ICE Agent Dead and One Wounded in Fight Among Agents at Long Beach, Calif. Fed Building

Update: 12 p.m. Friday:  The Los Angeles Times reported that all three ICE agents were supervisors, but the gunman was lower ranking.  KTLA TV reported that the gunman opened fire during his disciplinary hearing.
By Allan Lengel

One ICE agent was killed and another wounded in a bizarre shootout among agents at a federal building Thursday night in Long Beach, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reported.

The paper reported that an agent at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement shot and wounded a supervisor and a third agent stepped in and shot the gunman to death. The Times on Thursday night initially reported that two agents died and one was wounded.

The incident happened at the Glenn M. Anderson Federal Building shortly before 6 p.m. The reason for the dispute was unclear.


Breaking News: Underwear Bomber Sentenced to Life

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marshals photo

By Allan Lengel

DETROIT –– In a federal courtroom in downtown Detroit, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man better known as the “Underwear Bomber”, was sentenced Thursday afternoon to life in prison for trying to blow up a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day in 2009.

Rail thin and clad in a white t-shirt and beige khakis, he looked more like an innocent high school kid than a 25-year-old from a privileged background in Nigeria.

But during the sentencing hearing, when given an opportunity to talk,  he spoke more like a hardcore terrorist and true believer in the fight against the west, offering no remorse and shouting out repeatedly, “God is Great.”

He made disparaging remarks about Jews and America and the FBI and the federal prosecutors and he praised the concept of killing in the name of God and Islam.

“The defendant has never expressed doubt or regret or remorse about his mission,” U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds said. “To the contrary, he sees that mission as divinely inspired and a continuing mission.” She hit him with four life sentences.

The sentencing included statements from passengers aboard the plane who were traumatized by the experience.

An emotional Flight attendant Lamare Mason talked about how the Underwear Bomber had turned his dream job into a nightmare.  Consequently, he said his job is more like a punishment.

“It’s not a joy,” he said.

Passenger Kurt Haskell, an attorney, stepped up to the podium, asked Mason to stand, and then praised him for putting out the fire. Mason stood in the back of the courtroom fighting back tears.

Haskell then went on to accuse the government of having a hand in the matter.

He said the FBI didn’t seem concerned there might be others on board who were involved.

And he said back in Amsterdam, Abdulmutallab boarded the plane without a passport with the assistance of someone at the airport.

“Regardless of how media and government try to shape this case, I am convinced that Umar was given an intentionally defective bomb by a U.S. agent… to stage a false terrorist attack to be used to implement various government policies. It really saddens me that the government won’t admit its role in the event. Because of this case, I will never trust anything the government says, ever.”

U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade, who praised the judge for the sentence and feds who worked on the case, responded to Haskell’s remarks outside the courthouse and told reporters  that Haskell’s  theory “is not consistent with our facts.”

Andrew Arena, head of the Detroit FBI, said in a statement: “Those individuals who experienced Christmas Day 2009 first hand should be rest assured that justice has been done.”

And Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. issued a statement after sentencing, saying:

“As this investigation and prosecution have shown, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is a remorseless terrorist who believes it is his duty to kill Americans. For attempting to take the lives of 289 innocent people, he has been appropriately sentenced to serve every day of the rest of his life in prison.

“Today’s sentence once again underscores the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in both incapacitating terrorists and gathering valuable intelligence from them.”




Feds Pile on Another Charge on Detroit’s Ex-Hip Hop Mayor Kilpatrick

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel

DETROIT — The feds in the Motown just keep digging a deeper and deeper hole for Kwame Kilpatrick, the ex-mayor Detroit who was once dubbed the “Hip Hop Mayor.”

The Detroit Free Press reports that Kilpatrick and longtime friend Bobby Ferguson were charged Wednesday in a superseding indictment with extortion involving the shakedown of a towing contractor. Ferguson and Kilpatrick had already been charged with a slew of public corruption charges.

To read more click here. 

Book Claims “Deep Throat” Leaked Because He Wanted Top FBI Spot

By Allan Lengel

The legend of Watergate lives on.

A book to be released next month, “Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat,” reports that Felt, the number two guy in the FBI during Watergate, was leaking, not out of concern for public good but rather because he was angry he was not getting the top spot in the bureau, according the news agency ANI.

The book, authored by Max Holland, claims that Felt — known as “Deep Throat” to journalists —  hoped President Nixon would fire others, thinking they were leaking info, and Felt routinely lied to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein that one of his rivals in the FBI was trying to blackmail Nixon.

To read more click here. 

Mob Museum Opens in Appropriate Setting: Las Vegas

By Danny Fenster

The nicknames have become legendary: The Chin, The Dapper Don, Bugsy.

Now, there’s a place for them, all under one roof.

The New York Times reported on Monday of a $42 million museum in Las Vegas dedicated to the Mob, three stories of a 41,000-square-foot landmark building with 17,000 square feet of exhibition space. The museum opened on Tuesday, Valentines Day.

How romantic.

“With artifacts, clever interactive displays, atmospheric exhibits and photographs and videos, … We see how the mob maneuvered into businesses of pleasure, not releasing its hold until late in the 20th century, when corporate casinos trumped their almost quaint predecessors,” reports the Times.

The museum will also teach how immigrants of a Italian and Jewish backgrounds built what they could in the “land of opportunity” until the Feds brought them down by wiretaps and informants, according to the Times.

To read more click here.

FBI Shows Up; Texas Mayor Has Some Explaining to Do

By Danny Fenster

When you’re the mayor and the FBI shows up with a search warrant at your home, you, as Ricky Ricardo used to say, “got some splainin to do.”

The FBI and Texas Rangers showed up Tuesday with a search warrant for Art Franco, the mayor of Anthony, Tex.,  reports the news television station KTSM.

“I feel confident that I haven’t done anything wrong that I can justify what they’re investigating,” Franco said, according to the station.  “We’re working, we’re moving forward and this is not going to affect that and I feel confident that when everything is finished everything is going to be ok.”

The station reported that the FBI and Texas Rangers seized several items, including documents. Franco said the  search, part of an investigation that started last April, is politically motivated.

To read more click here.

Ala. Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Bird Feathers


Anhinga bird/istock photo

By Danny Fenster

It ain’t the crime of the century. But it can still land  you in one heck of a lot of trouble. Ask Alexander D. Alvarez.

Alvarez  pleaded guilty to the selling and possessing of illegal migratory bird feathers, the Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.

Alvarez, of Atmore, Ala., entered a guilty plea in federal court to violating the Lacey Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), according to the Justice Department Environment and Natural Resources Division announced on Wednesday. The MBTA protects certain birds from being “killed, sold, bartered, transported or possessed,” with exceptions for some American Indian tribes. Alvarez was charged on the first of the month with two felonies and one misdemeanor, violations which carry a combined possible nine-and-a-half year sentence and up to $785,000 in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for May 22.

Court documents indicate that Alvarez emailed a Louisiana individual regarding the exchange of two Anhinga tails for a crested Caracara tail, a Harris’s hawk tail and $400, then sent 14 sets of Anhinga tail feathers to the individual, asking the recipient to photograph and offer the tails for sale via email. He later received payment for the tails.

Alvarez’s home was searched with a federal search warrant on March 11, 2009, where feathers from several migratory bird species were seized, according to the Justice Department.