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Archive for March, 2012

Whitey Bulger’s Girlfriend May Cop a Plea in Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The girlfriend of James “Whitey” Bulger, who is accused of helping the Boston mobster elude authorities for more than 16 years, may end up pleading guilty, the Boston Globe reported.

Girlfriend Catherine Greig has indicated she wanted to cop a plea to harboring a fugitive, the Globe reported. Bulger, who was an FBI informant, is accused of murdering 19 people in the 1970s and 80s.

The Globe reported that the brother of one of those victims said that a victims’ advocated for the U.S. Attorney’s Office told him about Greig’s intentions. The Globe reported that it was unclear if she would be compelled to testify against Bulger, who goes to trial in November.

Greig and Bulger were captured last summer in California.

 

9/11 Co-Chairs Prod Senators for Cybersecurity Action

Thomas Kean (left) and Lee Hamilton

Thomas Kean (left) and Lee Hamilton

By Suzanne Kelly
CNN

Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, who co-chaired the 9/11 Commission, weighed in last week on a simmering disagreement in the Senate over the best way to address the nation’s vulnerability to cyberattacks.

The two men, who now run the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Homeland Security project, are calling on senators to take more urgent action on the issue of cybersecurity. They cite recent public statements by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and FBI DIrector Robert Mueller warning that the cyber threat is expected to overshadow other terrorist threats facing the United States in the not-too-distant future.

“Much like the situation before the September 11, 2001, attacks, the federal government is not adequately organized to deal with a significant emerging national security threat,” said Kean, former governor of New Jersey; and Hamilton, a former congressman from Indiana, in a letter sent to Senate leaders urging action on cybersecurity.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Weekend Series on Crime: Gen. Manuel Noriega

Ex-Ohio Commissioner Convicted of Bribery and Taking Gifts Including Prostitutes

Jimmy Dimora

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Make that number 50.

Ex-Cuyahoga County, Ohio, commissioner Jimmy Dimora was convicted Friday on public corruption charges that involved taking bribes and gifts and prostitutes.

He becomes the 50th person  convicted in an ongoing  federal investigation into corruption in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland.

A federal jury convicted him of racketeering, bribery, conspiracy, Hobbs Act conspiracy, tax charges and other crimes. Co-defendant Michael Gabor, 52, was also conviced.

Both men were ordered detained.

Authorities said that Dimora took more than $166,000 worth of bribes in the form of cash, home improvements, lavish meals at high-end restaurants, services from prostitutes, gambling trips to Las Vegas and Canada, and other items, according to testimony.

In exchange, he Dimora helped steer contracts to allies, get jobs and raises for associates, intercede with judges on pending cases, lobby for grants and favorable loans for people who paid him and other official actions, according to testimony.

 

NCAA Contacts FBI About Point Shaving Allegations at Auburn University

Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The NCAA and Auburn University have contacted the FBI about point-shaving allegations involving the school’s men’s basketball program, CNN reported.

“We are very concerned by the point-shaving allegations involving Auburn University men’s basketball program and have been in contact with the school and the FBI since the issue arose in February,” the NCAA said this week in a statement, according to CNN

“The NCAA takes any allegation of point shaving very seriously because sports wagering threatens two of our core principles — the well-being of student-athletes and the very integrity of intercollegiate sport.”

 

FBI Kept File on Christopher Hitchens

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI kept a file on the  late outspoken writer Christopher Hitchens, the website Historiographic Anarchy reports.

The website reported that the FBI released through the Freedom of Information Act, 19 pages on Hitchens, some which show he was the subject of an FBI Foreign Counterintelligence probe. He died in December at age 62 after a long fight with cancer.

The site reported that the first two pages involve a check requested by the Immigration and Naturalization in March 2005.

The next five pages reveal that he was the subject of a foreign counterintelligence probe and there is a discussion of his socialist-Trotskyist activities in Oxford and that he was traveling in the U.S. on a student scholarship.

Files also pertained to a Secret Service request for info in 1983 after Hitchens requested a White House press pass.

To read more click here.

Minneapolis FBI Moves to the Burbs

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Minnesota FBI, which also covers North and South Dakota, has moved.

The Associated Press reports that the office has moved from downtown Minneapolis to a standalone facility in the suburb of Brooklyn Center, just northwest of the city.

Features of the new facility include bulletproof glass and blast-proof walls.

 

FBI Appoints New Chief of Intelligence Division

fbi photo

By Jon Perkins
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Eric Velez-Villar,  deputy assistant director of the Directorate of Intelligence Operations Branch at FBI Headquarters, is getting a bump up to assistant director of that division, the FBI announced this week.

In testimony last month before the House Homeland Security Committee subcommittee on  counterterrorism intelligence, Velez-Villar pledged the FBI’s cooperation with state and local authorities in trying to root out domestic terror threats.

“The FBI will continue to provide relevance and context on foreign threat information; however, we also recognize that the violent extremism threat may be first identified within our communities by state, local, or tribal law enforcement,” Velez-Villar said. “As a result, we have taken numerous proactive steps in the past year to develop a more robust information sharing capacity with all federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners.”

He also testified that training material detailing  how law enforcement agencies can ensure officers understand how to identify and document suspicious behavior will be distributed in several states within months. He said the material will also contain information that will guide officers in the protection of privacy and civil liberties when documenting information.

Velez-Villar joined the FBI in 1985. In 1992, he worked organized crime and drug matters in San Antonio. Velez-Villar has also investigated public corruption cases in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

He also worked with the DEA’s Special Operations Division helping coordinate major drug trafficking investigations throughout the nation.

In 2004, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Los Angeles Division’s counterterrorism program. Two years later, Velez-Villar was promoted to deputy director of the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center. In 2008, he was appointed as the first special agent in charge of the Los Angeles Division’s newly created Intelligence Division.

Velez-Villar is a 2008 recipient of the Attorney General’s award for distinguished services.

The intelligence division is charged with leading efforts to coordinate security that protects the United States from terrorist attacks.