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Archive for July, 2015

First Hispanic to Run FBI’s Largest Field Office Keeps Low Profile

Diego Rodriguez

Diego Rodriguez

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Before Diego Rodriguez became the first Hispanic person to run the FBI’s largest field office, he turned down an offer in the late 1980s to join the bureau.

“I’m really happy teaching. Thanks, but no thanks,” he recalled saying, the Associated Press reports.

But Rodriguez eventually decided to join the FBI and began working drug cases.

More than 25 years later, Rodriguez oversees about 2,000 agents working on cases raining from terrorism and insider trading to cyber fraud and public corruption. He is the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York office.

Rodriguez has kept a low profile.

“I genuinely care about their cases, but I’m not a micro-manager,” Rodriguez, 50, said in a recent interview in his lower Manhattan office. “They’ve got their own chain of command. The head of the office doesn’t need to be meddling in certain things.”

The Associated Press wrote:

Rodriguez’s modesty is rooted in humble beginnings: He was born in Colombia and moved to New York City with his family as an infant. He spent his childhood in working-class Queens, where his father turned him in to a lifelong soccer fan by taking him to see the legendary Pele play for the New York Cosmos.

After graduating from St. John’s University and teaching middle school Spanish, he made his career switch and landed his first FBI assignment in a taskforce investigating money laundering by South American and Mexican drug rings. Over the years, he held various investigative and supervisory positions in Puerto Rico, Miami and Washington before being appointed in 2010 to head the New York office’s criminal division.

At the time, the division was immersed in the groundbreaking investigation of Wall Streetmagnate Raj Rajaratnam and his multi-billion-dollar Galleon hedge fund. It marked the first time the bureau had turned to a method familiar in mob and drug cases — wiretaps — to capture conversations about insider trading. The wires sunk the talkative and boastful Rajaratnam, who’s serving an 11-year prison term.

Newly Released FBI Files Show ex-Sen. George McGovern Was Pursued for Years

George McGovern

George McGovern

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In April 1975, Sen. George McGovern wanted to know whether the FBI had collected any information on him in case he ended up on the presidential ticket.

McGovern was most concerned that the FBI possessed information about a child he fathered as a young man, the Argus Leader reports. 

Hoping to work out a compromise with the bureau, McGovern met with FBI officials and was told the bureau had information that he fathered a child.

According to new FBI records released on McGovern, the senator “made no comment nor asked any questions about the statement that the allegation concerning the illegitimate child had been verified during the special inquiry investigation.”

The FBI last month released nearly 1,4000 pages in McGovern’s FBI file, showing that he was often pursued by the bureau.

The records show that McGovern fathered a child before he was married in 1943 and that the information somehow ended up with President Nixon’s re-election campaign.

Former NSA Director Speaks Out Against FBI Head’s Call for More Surveillance Powers

Michael Hayden

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey has been lobbying hard for legislation that would require technology companies to create a back door to access encrypted communications by terrorists.

The plan is so controversial that the former head of the NSA and CIA told The Daily Beast that he is opposed to it.

“I hope Comey’s right, and there’s a deus ex machina that comes on stage in the fifth act and makes the problem go away,” retired Gen. Michael Hayden, the former head of the CIA and the NSA, told The Daily Beast. “If there isn’t, I think I come down on the side of industry. The downsides of a front or back door outweigh the very real public safety concerns.”

According to investigators, recruiters of terrorists use encrypted systems such as WhatsApp.

“We need,” Comey said, “to be able to get access to the information in those targeted individual cases.”

The problem, however, is that opening up a door for the FBI also allows access to others, such as hackers.

“A hole is a hole,” Hayden said. “Given that reality, Americans are well-served by a high water level of security for everyone.”

Dog the Bounty Hunter Says Escaped ‘El Chapo’ Is Likely ‘Out of My League’

guzmanBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Dog the Bounty Hunter is not known to back down.

But when it comes to chasing down escaped Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the reality star admits he’d have little chance of chasing down the world-famous fugitive, the New York Daily News reports.

“He probably would be out of my league,” the tough 62-year-old fugitive tracker told FOX411.

“In order to take him down, number one, you better have a fully automatic weapon,” he said. “With my weapon, you have to get really close to him — and you couldn’t get that close to him because he probably has five or six guys with him at all times.”

Guzman broke out of a maximum security prison last month, leaving Mexican officials puzzled about his whereabouts.

Guzman first escaped prison in 2001 and managed to be on the run for 13 years before he was captured in February 2014.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The 2014 Arrest of Drug Lord Joaquín Guzmán

Report Says Americans, Not Mexicans, Arrested Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman

'El Chapo' Guzman

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A controversial report has surfaced in wake of  the July 11 prison escape of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

The website, Intercept reports that Presco, an investigative Mexican magazine, is saying that initial reports about the February 2014 arrest of Guzmanin  weren’t true. The media reported back then that the arrest was made by elite Mexican marines, with U.S. federal agencies playing a crucial intelligence support role.

But the magazine, citing U.S. government sources, claims that account is false.

Proceso reports that the agents who arrested Guzmán weren’t Mexicans, but rather Americans –agents from the DEA and and U.S. Marshals Service who were dressed as Mexican marines, working alongside one or more unidentified U.S. intelligence agencies.

Government officials from Mexico and the U.S. have yet to dispute the accuracy of the story, Intercept reports.

 

FBI Losing Cyber Crime Agents to Lucrative Jobs in Private Sector

pirate-cyber-theft

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is losing some agents with experience in investigating Internet crimes.

Matthew Goldstein of the New York Times reports that in the last three months, at least a half-dozen FBI agents on the online security squad of the New York office have quit to take more lucrative jobs in the private sector.

The Times reports that the departures are beginning to concern top FBI officials.

 

To read more click here.

China Aggressively Stealing Corporate Secrets, FBI Says

map china

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

China is on the loose.

The Daily Beast writes that American companies are getting their secrets stolen like never before, according to the FBI,  and China is to blame for almost all of it.

The website reports that the FBI reports a surge in cases of economic espionage in the past year.

China’s intelligence services are “as aggressive now as they’ve ever been,” said Assistant Director Randall Coleman, who runs the bureau’s counterintelligence division, the Daily Beast reports.

To read the full story click here.