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December 2013


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for December, 2013

Eye-Witness Accounts So Varying That Police Ask for FBI’s Help in Officer-Involved Shooting Death

Steve Neavling

Eye-witness accounts can be wildly different, causing a headache for investigators.

Take a St. Louis police-involved shooting that killed a young black man in April.

Police interviewed about 12 witnesses, half of whom said they saw the shooting, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports.

Some said the young man, Cary Ball, had a gun in his hands. Some said he was surrounding. The witnesses also couldn’t agree on how far police were from Ball when he was shot 21 times.

St. Louis police concluded the shooting was justified, even though no witness saw Ball point a gun at officers, the Post Dispatch reported.

“Some paths are very clear to me, and with this one, I want to make certain that we are right,” Police Chief Sam Dotson told the Post Dispatch in a recent interview.

Border Patrol to Test High-Tech Surveillance Balloons Along Mexican Border

Steve Neavling

Forget drones.

The U.S. Border Patrol is testing the abilities of helium-filled balloons that were originally used by the Department of Defense for surveillance, the Associated Press reports.

Don’t be confused by the seemingly simple technology of balloons.

Aerostats, as they’re called, can identify the make, model and color of a car a few miles away while being tethered about 2,500 feet above the ground, the AP wrote.

Border Patrol is testing the devices in hopes of using them to combat human and drug trafficking.

Secret Service Investigates Massive Breach of Credit Cards at Target During Holidays

Steve Neavling 

Just as the holidays kick into high gear, Target is reporting a security breach involving stolen credit card and debit card information for millions of customers, the New York Times reports.

The Secret Service is investigating a breach that apparently occurred on the day after Thanksgiving and may still be happening.

Authorities worry that cybercriminals are creating counterfeit cards and may even be able to withdraw cash through an ATM, the Times reported.

Target and major credit card companies also are investigating.

How FBI Agents Tracked Down Harvard Student Accused of Making Bomb Threats

Steve Neavling

The FBI had a crisis on its hands.

Several bomb threats were sent via email to Harvard University, causing the school to close buildings during final exams.

The student accused of sending in the threat, sophomore Eldo Kim, took steps to hide his identity using two anonymity tools – the routing service Tor and the temporary mail service Guerrilla Mail, the Verge reports.

But the tools were no match for the FBI, which used the information to track down Kim, who was using Harvard’s wireless network.

Kim told authorities he was trying to get out of a final exam.


Gang Land News: Dead Mobster Ignored FBI Warning

By Allan Lengel

Sometimes it really does pay to listen to the FBI.

Jerry Capeci of the website Gang Land News, reports that mobster Anthony DiLapi was murdered by a Luchese family hit squad after ignoring warnings by an FBI agent that he was targeted for death.

Capeci writes:

 Anthony DiLapi, a short, stocky mobster was polite but firm when FBI agent Pat Marshall tracked down the transplanted wiseguy in California where he had relocated after fleeing New York where rivals had seized control of his crime family. “He said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, but if I do have a problem, I’ll take care of it,'” Marshall told Gang Land.

Marshall wasn’t surpised by DiLapi’s reaction. It was similar to others the G-man had heard during 14 years as a mob-busting agent in New York. It’s what they always say, he told Andy Stefanak, who became his FBI partner after he transferred to the Los Angeles office a year earlier.

Gang Land News is a paid subscription site, but it’s worth it.

Justice Department Puts Off Decision to Indict Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and Wife

By Allan Lengel

Will Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his wife get indicted?

We may soon find out.

Rosalind S. Helderman, Carol D. Leonnig and Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post report that the Justice Department last week had notified him and his wife that they would be charged in connection with a gift scandal.

But the Post reports that  senior Justice Department officials “delayed the decision after the McDonnells’ attorneys made a face-to-face appeal in Washington, according to people familiar with the case.

The Post wrote:

Dana J. Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, told the McDonnells’ legal teams that he planned to ask a grand jury to return an indictment no later than this past Monday, people familiar with the conversations said.

Some element of the lawyers’ arguments apparently persuaded the Justice Department to delay, according to people with knowledge of the case. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. On Friday, the day after the meeting, McDonnell’s attorneys were told that the decision would be put on hold, the people said. A final decision about whether to press charges is now not expected before Jan. 2, and could come as late as February, they said.

To read more click here.

FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Illegal Bank Deposits in Scheme to Hide Gambling From Bosses

By Allan Lengel

FBI agent Travis Raymond Wilson, 38, of Huntington Beach, Calif., thought he could hide his gambling activity from his bosses.

He was wrong.

Wilson pleaded guilty Wednesday to structuring financial transactions in violation of the federal Bank Secrecy Act, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Fresno, Calif.

Authorities stated in court documents that Wilson was a FBI special agent assigned to offices in California.

Between January 2008 and February 2013, Wilson regularly gambled at casinos in California, Nevada, Arizona, and West Virginia, authorities said.

Authorities charged that he frequently left the Casinos with more than $10,000 cash and regularly made deposits in amounts of $10,000 or less into his bank account “to attempt to prevent CTRs from being filed because he did want not the FBI to become aware of his gambling activities. In total, Wilson structured more than $488,000 in cash into his bank account.”

“Agent Wilson was well aware of the CTR requirement, and engaged in a pattern of transactions intended to circumvent the reporting of cash transactions under the Bank Secrecy Act,” said U.S. Attorney  Benjamin Wagner. “It is particularly important that federal law enforcement agents be faithful to the letter and spirit of federal law.”


Naval Criminal Investigator Pleads in Massive Fraud and Bribery Scheme

By Allan Lengel

A big scandal continues to unravel.

The latest:   John Bertrand Beliveau Jr., 44, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) pleaded guilty Wednesday to participating in a massive international fraud and bribery scheme, admitting he shared with a foreign Navy contractor confidential information about ongoing criminal probes into the contractor’s billing practices in exchange for prostitutes, cash and luxury travel, the Justice Department said in a press release.

“Today, John Beliveau has admitted to accepting lavish gifts in exchange for revealing sensitive law enforcement information to a primary target of this massive bribery investigation,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a statement. “For nearly two years, Beliveau deliberately leaked the names of cooperating witnesses, reports of witness interviews, and plans for future investigative steps. Through his corrupt conduct, Beliveau helped the target of the investigation evade the reach of law enforcement, and cost the U.S. Navy millions of dollars. Thanks to the Navy’s extensive cooperation and assistance, and the hard work of the NCIS and DCIS agents assigned to this ongoing investigation, we have now been able to hold him to account.”

Sentencing is set for March 9.

According to the press release Beliveau

Acknowledged that he regularly searched confidential NCIS databases for reports of investigations related to the contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis, chief executive of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA). Beliveau admitted that, over the course of years, he helped Francis avoid multiple criminal investigations by providing copies of these reports plus advice and counsel on how to respond to, stall and thwart the NCIS probes. This duplicity began while Beliveau was stationed in Singapore and continued for more than a year after Beliveau returned to the NCIS office in Quantico, Va.

The guilty plea is part of a bigger scandal involving contracts.