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October 2012


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for October, 2012

Con Man Wanted Hitmen to Store Heads of Judge, Prosecutor in Formaldehyde Until His Release

Steve Neavling

Joseph Romano, a convicted con man, wanted revenge for being sentenced to 15 years behind bars.

So much so, reports the New York Daily News, that he tried to hire hitmen to torture and decapitate the judge and prosecutor who oversaw his case in New York.

An added bonus to the killers: Store their heads in formaldehyde until Romano’s release from prison, according to the Daily News, citing authorities at a court hearing Tuesday.

Romano, 49, was convicted in 2010 of wire and bank fraud in connection with a scheme to sell collectible coins at outrageously inflated prices.

Border Patrol Shoots at Suspicious Driver in Texas; Car Crashes, Catches Fire

Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents opened fire on a stolen car when the driver tried to run over agents in a desperate attempt to flee Tuesday, News 4 WOAI reports.

The incident happened after agents pulled over the car after discovering it was stolen.

But when agents got out to talk to the driver, he reversed the car and tried to hit the agents, a Border Patrol spokesperson told News 4.

After agents opened fire, the driver crashed through a fence and hit a tree before the car caught fire, News 4 reported.

Agents rescued the driver, who was in serious condition at a San Antonio hospital, according to News 4.

Undercover FBI Agent Denies Spending Tax Dollars on Prostitutes in the Philippines

Steve Neavling

An undercover FBI agent accused of using tax dollars to  pay for prostitutes for himself and others while posing as an arms broker in the Philippines denied wrongdoing, the Washington Post reports.

“At no time did I pay to have sex with any employee” of the two clubs, according to the declaration filed by federal prosecutors. “I was never told by any manager that the bill included prostitution, nor did I ever see prostitution, in any term, listed on any bill.”

The agent, whose name hasn’t been made public, sought nearly $15,000 for reimbursements for entertainment and other expenses, records state, according to the Post.

The subjects of the FBI investigation are now asking for the case to be dropped because of the agent’s alleged behavior. A defense attorney representing one of the defendants made the allegations about prostitutes in court papers.

Federal prosecutors said law enforcement officials never saw the undercover agent go anywhere to have sex with prostitutes.

Here is part of the statement by the FBI agent that was filed Monday. The statement mentions Philippine clubs called Area 51 or Air Force One.

“Each time an undercover meeting occurred with the defendants at either Area 51 or Air Force One, we would meet in private rooms were called ” Karaoke rooms.” There were no beds in any of these rooms. An extra fee was changed by the managers of the KTV bars for use of the rooms. In the persona of an arms-buyer, I wanted defendants to believe that I represented wealthy drug dealers and that I had ready cash to finance the arms dealing.

“As a seemingly wealthy patron of Area 51 and Air Force One, the managers of those clubs plied me with female employees who would sit with us. In fact, when you wanted to have a conversation outside the presence of any of the female employees, you had a pay a fee so that she would leave.  At the end of the evening, the manager of the club would present me with a bill that included all costs for everyone in the room. The bills were not itemized. In keeping with my persona as a businessman, I would dispute the bill loudly, but mak sure that , at the end, the defendants understood that I paid the entire bill, in cash.”

“At no time did I pay to have sex with any employee of either Area 51 or Air Force One. At no time was I alone with any female employee of Area 51 or Air Force One. At no time did I leave the club in the company of a woman, nor was alone with a woman in a private room. Nor was the CS, who was present during every meeting with the defendants that occurred at Area 51 and Air Force One, ever alone with any female employee of the clubs. I never saw any defendant engage in any sexual act.  I  was never told by any manager that the bill included prostitution, nor did I ever see prostitution, in any term, listed an any bill.”

“In none of the undercover visits I made to Area 51, did I ever meet anyone who identified herself by the name ‘Natasha.'”

“At no time did I ever force any female employee of any nightclub to drink shots of alcohol. Nor did I ever berate or belittle any female employee of the nightclub.”

“At no time did I ask any employee of any nightclub to buy guns on my behalf or to sell me guns. Such a request would be counter to my persona of a well-connected arms buyer. The last undercover meeting at Area 51 took place on the night of September 24, 2011. At no time did I observe any women dancing or working as hostesses who appeared to be underage.”

Read Agent’s Full Declaration



Snapping Pictures of an Approaching Thunderstorm Raised Suspicions of Volunteer Photographer

Steve Neavling

 Why would anyone be snapping photos of a storm brewing in Houston, Texas?

The FBI was concerned enough to question photographer Michael Galindo about the Sept. 13 pictures near a refinery, reports Opposing Views.

Galindo said the answer was simple enough: He was volunteering for the National Weather Service.

After someone at the refinery called the FBI, an agent who was investigating allegedly told Galindo that he clearly wasn’t a threat, “but just be careful next time,” Opposing Views reports.

Slain Border Patrol Agent in Arizona Remembered During Funeral As New Details Emerge

Steve Neavling

 A Border Patrol agent killed by apparent friendly fire along the Mexico border in Arizona was remembered during a poignant funeral Monday, Reuters reports.

“Our best wishes and prayers continue for the other agents involved in the incident, that they may experience healing and peace. We honor all who serve in the Border Patrol, carrying out an extremely difficult task under harsh conditions,” the family of Nicholas Ivie, 30, said in a statement issued late on Sunday.

The death underscores the dangers facing Border Patrol agents, four of whom died in less than two years in Arizona, according to Reuters.

According to more recent investigations, Ivie believed he had encountered an armed smuggler and opened fire. Two other agents, believing the same thing, returned fire, Reuters reported.

Funeral services began after a horse-drawn carriage carried Ivie’s coffin through Sierra Vista to a Mormon church.

Deadly crossing: Death toll rises among those desperate for the American Dream

By Hannah Rappleye and Lisa Riordan Seville
NBC News

In the freezer of a small funeral home nearly 13 miles from the Texas-Mexico border, 22 bodies are stacked on plywood shelves, one on top of the other.

The bodies wrapped in white sheets have names, families and official countries of origin — Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, sometimes China or Pakistan. The bodies in black shrouds are the remains of the nameless and unclaimed, waiting to be identified.

For the past few years, the family-owned Elizondo Mortuary and Cremation Service in Mission, Texas, has been taking in the remains of undocumented immigrants found dead in nearby counties after crossing the border from Mexico. This year, however, they had to build an extra freezer. It’s become difficult to keep up with the rising tide of dead coming to them from across the Rio Grande Valley.

To read more click here.

DEA Leads Biggest Meth Bust in New York History

Steve Neavling

 New York has had its share of big drug busts.

But when it comes to methamphetamine, the state has never seen a bigger one than the 50 pounds seized from a boardinghouse in Westchester County, CBS New York reports.

The DEA called it the biggest meth bust in New York State history.

About $1 million worth of the dangerous drug was discovered as Mexican cartels try to carve a larger market for meth, CBS New York reports.

The bust netted two arrests, while agents search for the chemist.


Column: Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Finds Trial Almost Laughable: I Find it Depressing

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — The other day ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick tweeted: “If this case was in another State, not paid for by taxpayers, & my life was not on the line, this ish would be laughable.”

Well, yes, perhaps almost laughable for Kwame.

Depressing for the rest of us.

For the past two weeks, the government has delivered some damaging testimony in his public corruption trial. Ultimately it will be up to the jury to decide if Kwame walks or sulks behind bars for many years. If convicted, count on him going off to prison for at least 12 years. I don’t sense this judge has a lot sympathy for the defense.

As an observer, the longer I watch the trial, the more I can’t help but see Kwame as man who reigned supremely over this impoverished kingdom, whose concerns about living a lavish lifestyle overrode his concerns of his subjects.

I’m not laughing.

To read full column click here.