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Archive for October, 2014

FBI Director Comey Was Held Captive by ‘Ramsey rapist’ While a Teen in New Jersey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey knows a thing or two about being a victim of a crime.

While a high school senior, Comey was held captive in his Allendale, New Jersey home by a notorious criminal known as “Ramsey rapist” in 1977.

Comey made the comments on “60 Minutes” while talking about terrorism threats.

“I was a high school senior and home alone one night with my younger brother, and a guy – a gunman – kicked in our front door at our home in New Jersey and held the two of us captive,” Comey said.

“We escaped, he caught us again, we escaped again – so it was a pretty horrific experience,” the FBI director said. “Frightening to anybody, but especially for a younger person to be threatened with a gun and to believe you’re going to be killed by this guy.”

He added: “He got away. My recollection is he was part of a pattern of rapes and robberies, home invasions, rapes and robberies in that area of Northern New Jersey.”

Comey said the “incident most affects me in giving me a sense of what victims feel. Even the notion that no one was physically harmed doesn’t mean no one was harmed, because I thought about that guy every night for five years.”

U.S. Immigration Officer Sent to Federal Prison for Accepting Bribes of Cash, Egg Rolls

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A U.S. immigration officer who accepted bribes of cash and egg rolls from people seeking citizenship and green cards was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in federal prison last week, Fox News reports.

Mai Nhu Nguyen, 48, an officer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Santa Ana, Calif., pleaded guilty to receiving bribes as a public official.

Prosecutors said she accepted bribes from July 2011 to May 2013.

In one case, Nguyen approved an immigrant’s paperwork after the applicant paid for a $150 order of 300 egg rolls.

Other Stories of Interest


Saturday Night Live Spoofs Al Sharpton on Broadcast About the Secret Service

Longtime New York FBI Mob Buster Gerard Conrad Retires

Jerry  Capeci is a mob expert who formerly covered the Mafia for the New York Daily News. His website, Gang Land News, is a paid subscription site. This article was re-printed with permission.  
 
By Jerry Capeci
Gang Land News

Longtime mob buster Gerard Conrad, who helped put scores of wiseguys behind bars working as a grunt agent on the FBI’s Gambino crime family squad and later as the hands-on supervisor of a revamped squad that now investigates two crime families, retired last week after a quietly illustrious 25 year career as a G-man.

A CPA, Conrad began his FBI career in Chicago and worked organized crime cases there for five years, three under John O’Neil, the counter-terrorism expert who died in the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Conrad, a New Jersey native, transferred to New York in 1994, working white collar crime cases for four years before joining the Gambino crime family squad in 1998.

Since then, Conrad played important roles in every major case the squad has made, including two racketeering indictments against Peter Gotti and 23 codefendants, three other racketeering cases involving mobsters in New York and Italy, and a huge 62-defendant case that included the Administration of the Gambino crime family in 2008.

Two years later he shared the podium with Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and New York FBI boss George Venizelos when they announced a racketeering indictment that charged powerful Gambino capo Daniel Marino with the murder of his nephew and 13 codefendants with a litany of other crimes, including sex-trafficking charges involving a minor — a 15-year-old girl.

Conrad, who supervised two major Mafia Takedown Day cases — racketeering against capo Alphonse Trucchio and 20 cohorts and the murder indictment of consigliere Bartolomeo (Bobby Glasses) Vernace for the 1981 Shamrock Bar murders — supervised the FBI squad that currently investigates the Gambino and Luchese crime families for six years.

“Gerry was one of the finest agents I have ever worked with,” said retired FBI agent Philip Scala, whom Conrad succeeded as squad supervisor in 2008.

“The squad will miss him. He’s profoundly humble, with an unlimited willingness to sacrifice for his people and their mission.”

Conrad also knows that it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes open, and pay attention to what’s going on around you, because sometimes when you least expect it, you may come across some evidence that can help put a murderous mobster behind bars for life — even on a walk in the park.

That’s what happened to him at about 3:45 pm on August 15,  a warm and lazy afternoon when he took a break from his FBI duties and spotted three very familiar faces sitting at a  table and chatting behind a cyclone fence in Forest Park, a short stroll from his Kew Gardens office.

“I saw Bobby Vernace, JoJo Corozzo and Alphonse Trucchio,” Conrad recalled last year as one of the final witnesses at Vernace’s racketeering and murder trial in Brooklyn Federal Court. That’s Vernace, in the blue shirt on the left. Corozzo is in the middle. Trucchio on the right.

He wasn’t close enough to hear what they were saying but he knew that putting the three mobsters together just might be relevant at some point, so, he testified, “I immediately called back to the office to get some agents there with a camera” to record the session for posterity.

Conrad kept his eyes peeled on the trio, “from across the park” until agents Robert Herbster and William Johnson got there, and took photos of the trio, still talking to each other at  4:22 pm. Ten minutes later, they took one of Vernace, 65, and Corozzo, 72, who were speaking privately, as Trucchio, 37, stood out of earshot about 20 feet away.

The discussion between the two older mobsters lasted “just a short while,” said Conrad, “two to three minutes.”

The photos weren’t smoking gun evidence. But prosecutors were able to use them, along with Conrad’s detailed account, to tie Bobby Glasses to two powerful Gambino mobsters some 25 years after he had gunned down two bar owners and convince the jury that the killings were related to Gambino family activity and that Vernace was guilty of racketeering and murder.

 

Weekend Series on Crime: The Real Sopranos

FBI Offers $5,000 Reward in Search for High-Powered Guns Stolen from Agent’s Car

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of two high-powered weapons and body armor from an FBI agent’s car in North Carolina, WSOCTV.com reports.

The shotgun and rifle were stolen from the agent’s car sometime between midnight and 8 a.m. Monday in the Hunter Oaks neighborhood.

The agent was permitted to keep his weapons in his car because he is part of a special response team that must be ready to respond around-the-clock.

It’s still unclear how the vehicle was broken into.

“No windows were broken,” said John Strong, who is the special agent in charge of the Charlotte Division. “The weapons were in individual canvas bags and locked in the trunk, as required by policy.”

 

Why Would Someone Ambush, Shoot 2 Pennsylvania State Troopers? Special Agent Offers Insight

Eric Frein

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s still anyone’s guess why someone would ambush two Pennsylvania state troopers and then shoot them with a high-caliber rifle on Sept. 12.

One special agent with the FBI offered some insight into the suspect – 31-year-old Eric Matthew Frein.

Frein lived with his parents and likely was unsatisfied with life, said Ed Hanko, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI. He played in military re-enactments and may have wanted to fulfill one of those roles.

“We want to arrest this person,”  Hanko said, adding later, “We have the who, the what, the where. We want the why.”

After the attack, Frein took cover in the woods and has been missing since.

Next Secret Service Director Will Face Herculean Task to Raise Morale, Improve Protection

Secret Service photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Whoever takes over the embattled Secret Service will face an insurmountable task.

They must handle plunging morale, a tarnished reputation, budget holes and plenty of blunders that led to the resignation of Director Julia Pierson, the Wall Street Journal reports.

How disgruntled are employees? A 2013 survey found that Secret Service agents had the lowest employee job satisfaction in a decade.

And now there are elected officials who want to change how the Secret Service operates.

“Long term, we must consider restructuring the Secret Service’s mission,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who has emerged as one of the agency’s most vocal critics in recent days.

From 2010 to 2014, the number of people who protect the president and others fell from 3,800 to 3,533.

Now Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is considering appointing an outsider to operate the Secret Service.

The problems are numerous, said Jon Adler, the president of Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, a group whose members include Secret Service agents.

“You don’t have the current training, you have an overworked, tired overextended workforce and it’s going to factor into response time,” he said. “If the agency is properly funded, properly staffed and properly trained, those things in conjunction with the right protocols, then the system works,” he added.