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January 2014


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for January 10th, 2014

Weekend Series on Crime: The Kidnapping Tactics of the Mexican Cartel


Column: ATF Agent Says Goodbye to a Legendary Fellow Agent Jay Dobyns

Jay Dobyns/his website

Vince Cefalu is an ATF agent.
By Vincent A. Cefalu

 Beginning Monday January 13, 2014, Senior Special Agent Jay “Jaybird” Dobyns will join the civilian ranks after what can only be described as an incredibly storied career.

Dobyns, a college standout wide receiver from the University of Arizona decided on a law enforcement career. However, one must wonder if knowing what he knows now, whether he would make the same choice today.

The answer is a resounding YES. Before Agent Dobyns could collect his first ATF paycheck, he was taken hostage and shot in the Arizona desert. Barely escaping death, lesser committed Agents may have seen the writing on the wall. However, ATF would learn that Dobyns was not the average Agent.

Special Agent Dobyns would recover and return to duty with a vengeance and what can only be described as a fixation with protecting those who could not protect themselves. His career brought him in contact with some of the most violent groups in U.S. history.

Dobyns went on to become involved in another near lethal encounter involving himself and fellow Agents of the Chicago field division. Known and loved throughout the Bureau, Agent Dobyns was often asked to share his expertise, cunning and professionalism.

As one of the Agency’s premier and battle tested undercover operatives, Dobyns willingly accepted assignments that placed him face to face with hardened drug dealers, murderers, rapists and subversive groups and gangs coast to coast.

Special Agent Dobyns is the recipient of the prestigious Top Cop award, multiple decorations for valor, and is regarded as one of the Agency’s most notable undercover operatives.

Jay Dobyns

Dobyns again received notoriety when his unprecedented infiltration of the infamous Hells Angels Motorcycle gang was made public. What should have been the pinnacle of a career of service became a nightmare for Dobyns and his family.

Death threats abounded unlike the Agency had ever experienced. At a time when the Bureau was experiencing a breakdown in leadership, the death threats went unaddressed causing a furor in the field nationwide. Dobyns was dismayed at the lack of protection and appropriate action by ATF leadership and ultimately challenged ATFs practices through the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. The dispute was later resolved with an undisclosed settlement, but Dobyns problems were not yet over.

Dobyns public challenges to gross mismanagement and corruption within the Bureau did not make him friends in ATF headquarters. Dobyns became publicly vocal about the direction of the Bureau and joined others in exposing misconduct and waste fraud and abuse within the Bureau to the Office of the Inspector General and members of Congress.

Dobyns became instrumental in exposing the agency’s acts during the “Fast and Furious” hearings and has been outspoken regarding the abusive tactics being employed by ATF managers against whistleblowers.

As Dobyns settled into his final approach to retirement, yet another near fatal attack on Dobyns and his family left his family home burnt to the ground. The agency failed to respond to the arson and attempted murder of Dobyns and his family. This failure to act by ATF resulted in an ongoing litigation and resulted in the Agency countersuing Agent Dobyns.

Throughout these years, Agent Dobyns continued to do what “The Bird” does. He continued to offer his expertise in undercover operations to his fellow Agents as well as outside State and Local Agency’s. Dobyns was a coveted speaker and trainer in all walks of law enforcement and even military training environments. With very public disputes with ATF swirling, Dobyns continued his infectious praises for the Agency and its personnel he loved.

Vince Cefalu

Dobyns gave his time and energy to his community, coaching children’s football, and acted as an emissary for his local church on a good will mission to impoverished villages in Africa.

Agents Dobyns has given selflessly, to his Agency, his Family and the Community. Agent Dobyns is leaving the Agency 4 years before he would be required to retire mandatorily, and with that, taking irreplaceable institutional knowledge and experience with him.

Perhaps most notable, Dobyns penned the New York Times best selling book, No Angel, My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels.


FBI Director Comey: NSA Leader Snowden Is No Hero or Whistleblower

Steve Neavling

FBI Director James Comey can think of a few adjectives to describe NSA leaker Edward Snowden, but “whistleblower” and “hero” are not among them.

NPR reports that Comey can’t understand why Snowden would be held up as a hero when all three branches of the U.S. government have approved surveillance of phone records.

“I see the government operating the way the founders intended,” Comey said, “so I have trouble applying the whistleblower label to someone who basically disagrees with the way our government is structured and operates.”

That’s not good news for Snowden’s supporters, who are calling on President Obama to grant Snowden clemency or leniency.

Dozens of FBI Personnel Headed to Russia to Help Secure Games from Terrorist Attacks

Steve Neavling

Dozens of FBI agents and other experts will travel to Russia to help protect the Winter Olympics from any terrorist attacks, the Wall Street Journal reports.

FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that about two dozen FBI personnel will be in Moscow, while about a dozen others will be in Sochi, where the Olympic games take place.

Comey noted improved cooperation between Russian and U.S. intelligence officials.

“I know that we have been in regular communication, including me personally, with their security organizations to make sure we are coordinating well, and I think that we are,” Comey said.

So What Prompted Shooting of Ibragim Todashev in Florida? FBI Finishes Up Internal Probe

Steve Neavling

A lot of mystery has surrounded the shooting death of Ibragim Todashev, a friend of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

Now the FBI say it’s “eager” to release the results of an internal investigation into the May 22 shooting, which happened during a lengthy interrogation by an agent, the Boston Globe reports.

The report is expected to be released soon – once the Justice Department reviews it and writes a report.

The FBI has declined to comment on the shooting, and the father of Todashev has called for justice.


Video: Friendly Border Patrol Agent Thanks Driver for Expressing Constitutional Rights

It’s hard to imagine a federal law enforcement official thanking you for not cooperating.

But that’s exactly what a friendly Border Patrol agent did when a group of people questioned his authority to interrogate them.

The car reached a border stop, where they were asked whether they were U.S. citizens.

A passenger in the car filmed the encounter.


$600,000 Houses for Border Patrol Agents Comes Under Investigation by Homeland Security

Steve Neavling 

Opening an investigation into the costly price tag for housing for Border Patrol agents in Arizona, the Homeland Security Department has sent inspectors to the former mining town, the Arizona Republic reports.

The $15 million housing project caused an uproar among residents, who say the federal government spent far too much money on the project in a city that has an abundance of low-cost housing.

The project ended up costing $600,000 for each of the 21 modest homes.