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April 2012


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for April, 2012

Escort Recounts Tiff With Secret Service

The New York Times

CARTAGENA, Colombia — A Secret Service agent preparing for President Obama’s arrival at an international summit meeting and a single mother from Colombia who makes a living as a high-priced escort faced off in a room at the Hotel Caribe a week ago over how much he owed her for the previous night’s intercourse. “I tell him, ‘Baby, my cash money,’ ” the woman said in her first public comments on a spat that would soon spiral into a full-blown scandal.

The dispute — he offered $30 for services she thought they had agreed were worth 25 times that — triggered a tense early morning struggle in the hallway of the posh hotel involving the woman, another prostitute, Colombian police officers arguing on the women’s behalf and American federal agents who tried but failed to keep the matter — which has shaken the reputation of the Secret Service — from escalating.

Sitting on a couch in her living room wearing a short jean skirt, high-heeled espadrilles and a tight spandex top with a plunging neckline, the woman described how she and a girlfriend were approached by a group of American men at a discotheque. To read full story click here.

FBI: Oregon Shoplifter Enjoyed Suburban Lifestyle; Will Serve a Year in Prison

photo courtesy FBI

Shoshanna Utchenik

Sticky-fingered John Patrick Weismiller will be breaking his habit with a year in prison.

The Oregonian was sentenced last month for making a career out of petty shoplifting, after his prolific thievery caught the eye of the FBI.

According to an FBI press release yesterday, 41-year- old Weismiller was caught on tape stuffing his pockets over 100 times at Safeway alone in 2011. Targeting big chain box stores, he earned $43k reselling the merchandise online, and cost stores $73k in losses.

The FBI reports that industry experts estimate retail criminals, including ‘boosters’ like Weismiller, cost the U.S. about $30 billion a year. The result is higher prices for American consumers and less sales tax revenue for state and local governments.

“This guy was incredibly brazen,” FBI Special Agent Joe Boyer in Portland said in a statement Tuesday. “This was his full-time job. He lived in a nice house in the suburbs with his wife and kids. If you lived next door, you would have no idea he was a thief.”

To read more click here.


Ex-FBI Agent Thomas F. Minton III Appointed Director of Pennsylvania Homeland Security

Shoshanna Utchenik

Ex-FBI agent Thomas F. Minton III  will head up the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, the governor’s office announced.

Minton, 52, served most of his 22 years with the FBI investigating national security matters with a focus on terrorism, according to a press release. Minton was involved in key investigations such as  the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 9/11 attacks on America.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Tom Minton’s caliber, character and expertise to direct our Office of Homeland Security,” Governor Tom Corbett said. “The addition of Tom to our team of leaders in public safety will ensure the security of Pennsylvanians for years to come.”

Obit: FBI Agent Harvey C. Flemister Dead at 85

Shoshanna Utchenik

Ex-FBI agent Harvey C. Flemister 85, a 27-year veteran of the  bureau, died of congestive heart failure March 18 at his home in Silver Springs, Md.

The Washington Post reports Flemister retired in 1977 as chief of the FBI intelligence division’s liaison section. Having started his career as a special agent in field offices in Pittsburgh and Detroit, he worked at FBI headquarters in Washington from 1957 until retirement.

He then continued to serve as treasurer and chairman of the D.C. chapter of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, as well as remaining active in St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Silver Spring.

He leaves behind a wife, four children, four step children and ten grandchildren.

To read more click here.


L.A. Toy Company Indicted for Laundering Drug Money

ice video photo

Shoshanna Utchenik

 It’s all fun and games til your toy purchases may be supporting international drug cartels.

An 18-month investigation of, Woody’s Toys Inc., by Homeland Security’s ICE and the DEA’s Southern California Drug Task Force yielded video of employees receiving bricks of cash in fast food chain parking lots, among other incriminating evidence.

Homeland Security’s press release states the co-owners and three employees of Woody’s Toys have been indicted  on charges of  orchestrating an elaborate financial scheme to launder millions of dollars for drug trafficking organizations in Mexico and Colombia.

Two Mexico-based toy dealers are charged as well.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, legitimate teddy bear buyers don’t close the sale with stacks of cash in restaurant parking lots,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles in a statement. “The reality is, unscrupulous companies that conspire to help the cartels cover their financial tracks are contributing in no small way to the devastation wrought by the international drug trade.”

To read more click here.


U.S. Law Enforcement Officials Continue to Trek to Israel to Learn About Terrorism

By Allan Lengel

U.S. law enforcement officials continue to trek to Israel to learn a thing or two about dealing with terrorism and homeland security.

The latest group included Assistant D.C. police chief Diane Groomes and U.S. Park Police Deputy Chief Robert MacLean of the U.S. Park Police, the Associated Press reported.

The week-long trip, completed last month, was sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League as part of of an ongoing program to show American authorities how Israel deals with the ongoing threats.

AP reported that D.C. cop Groomes was impressed show the Israeli national police force responds to a disaster and how accepting Israelis are of the security precautions taken in that country.

“I was just struck by how they can handle a scene, process and clear it and plant within it” in hours, Groomes told AP. “If we had a bomb on a bus, it would take us maybe a day or to handle. They said they just want life to go back to normal as soon as possible.”


FBI’s Top Cyber Cop Shawn Henry Joining Calif. Computer Security Firm

FBI's Shawn Henry/ file photo fbi

By Allan Lengel

Shawn Henry, the FBI’s top cyber cop up until his recent retirement, is putting his FBI skill to use in the private sector.

The Wall Street Journal’s Devlin Barrett reports that ex-FBI official Shawn Henry is joining an Irvine, Calif. upstart computer security firm called CrowdStrike Inc.

The Journal reports that Henry will lead a unit “that will provide vulnerability assessments and instant response for hacking incidents.”


FBI Needs Long Term Strategy to Fill Counterterrorism Vacancies

By Amanda Palleschi
Government Executive

The FBI needs to develop a long-term strategy for filling counterterrorism division vacancies, a government watchdog found.

Although the FBI has made some progress addressing a 40 percent vacancy rate — first reported in 2005 — in certain parts of its counterterrorism division, the bureau has yet to establish sufficient plans for recruitment moving forward, according to a Government Accountability Office report published Monday.

To read more click here.