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Archive for April 1st, 2021

How the Disappearance of Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson Factors into Alleged Extortion Plot Involving Rep. Gaetz

Former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared while in Iran.

By Steve Neavling

The search for former FBI Agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran 14 years ago, appears to be at the center of an alleged extortion scheme involving a former federal prosecutor and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

The information came to light earlier this week when The New York Times reported that Gaetz is under investigation for a sexual relationship he allegedly had with a 17-year-old girl.

In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday, Gaetz claimed former prosecutor David L. McGee, who has been searching for Levinson on behalf of his family, offered to make sex trafficking charges disappear in exchange for money to help in the search for the former FBI agent.

McGee denied wrongdoing, telling the Daily Beast that the extortion allegations are “completely, totally false,” adding, “This is a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that Matt Gaetz is apparently about to be indicted for sex trafficking underage girls.”

The whereabouts and fate of Levinson have been speculated about for years. On the 14th anniversary of his disappearance last month, the Biden administration called on Iran to return Levinson to his family and provide answers about what happened to him. 

Levinson, who would be 73, disappeared while on Kish Island, a tourist spot off the coast of Iran. He worked part-time for the CIA, and U.S. officials believed he died while in Iranian custody. 

He was last seen in a 2010 hostage video. 

Arkansas Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Death Threats to FBI Agents

FBI’s Little Rock Field Office. (FBI)

By Steve Neavling

An Arkansas man who sent death threats to FBI agents and a former U.S. attorney was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison on Wednesday. 

Clayton Jackson, 35, who was living in Dewitt, Arkansas, at the time, mailed two letters to the FBI office in Little Rock in February 2020 and March 2020, threatening to kill multiple bureau employees. Jackson signed the letters. 

In an interview with the FBI, Jackson admitted sending the letters and repeated his intention to kill the employees. 

After he was indicted, Jackson continued to send death threats to the employees and former U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland. In the letters, he said he planed to escape from prison to kill the employees and Hiland. 

Jackson pleaded guilty on Nov. 2 to three counts of threatening to assault and murder a federal official and two counts of mailing threatening communications. 

 “This defendant’s repeated threats against law enforcement were a failed attempt to intimidate those who have sworn to protect and serve,” Acting United States Attorney Jonathan D. Ross said in a statement. “This lengthy sentence should serve as a warning: threats like these will not be tolerated and will not prevent law enforcement from doing their important work of protecting our communities.”

Jason Van Goor, acting special agent in charge of the Little Rock office, added, “We take any threat against law enforcement seriously, and we believe Mr. Jackson’s 40-year sentence will serve as a warning to anyone thinking about threatening federal agents and officers. As always, we are grateful to our partners at the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas for their tremendous work on this case.”