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May 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Fla. Judge Recommends that Major Charge Against Ex-Head of Miami DEA be Dropped


By Allan Lengel

Tom Raffanello, the former head of the DEA in Miami, who  most recently served as the head of security for suspected financial scammer Allen Stanford, could get a little break in his criminal case.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Rosenbaum in Miami has recommended that one of the major charges against him be dropped, specifically one that says  he interfered with a federal probe of Allen Stanford’s company by ordering the destruction of reams of company documents, the Miami Herald reported.

Raffanello is charged with destroying the documents after the feds shut down Stanford’s financial empire. Stanford is currently in prison.

The Herald reported that the magistrate said the government failed to show he interferred with the Security Exchange Commission probe. The magistrate did not recommend dismissal of the entire case, saying the government could show he did destroy records during the probe.

Convicted Ex-Rep. Jefferson Wants to Keep Worldly Posssesions Including Wedding Rings and Gun

William J. Jefferson

William J. Jefferson

By Allan Lengel

Convicted ex-Congressman William Jefferson may be facing some serious prison time, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to keep some of his worldly possessions including his and his wife’s wedding rings and a gun, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The paper reports that Jefferson is scheduled on Dec. 9 to appear in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Orleans to argue to keep some possessions.

Will Jefferson, 62, be in prison by Dec. 9? Who knows. But it’s not likely. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in Alexandria, Va. on Nov. 13 after being convicted on 11 of 16 corruption charges, and it’s likely that the judge will give him a little bit of time to report to prison.

Jefferson is likely to get at least 10 to 12 years in prison, though it could be a lot more. The guidelines call for a sentence that exceeds 20 years. To read more about his bankruptcy click here.

NY Appeals Court Rules that Deported Syrian Suspected of Terrorism Can’t Sue U.S.


By Allan Lengel

The U.S. government scored a victory in the deportation of a Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar who was deported to Syria after being arrested in New York for being a suspected terrorist, the Canwest newservice reported.

The 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals rejected Arar’s bid to sue the U.S. over his case, ruling 7-4 in favor of the government.

Canwest summed up the ruling by saying “the court ruled that the case was so unusual that the U.S. Congress would have to expressly authorize such lawsuits, complete with remedy if wrongdoing by government officials is determined to have occurred.

Canwest reported that the majority ruled that letting the lawsuit move forward would “offend the separation of powers and inhibit (U.S.) foreign policy,” the majority said.

“We decline to create on our own, a new course of action against officers and employees of the federal government,” Chief Judge Dennis G. Jacobs wrote in the 59-page majority opinion.

Arar’s attorney indicating the ruling may be appealed.


Authorities Say Fatal Shooting of Seattle Police Officer Appears to be Random

Kansas FBI Task Force Shoots and Wounds Wanted Man in Gunfire Exchange

olathe-map-ksBy Allan Lengel

A  man wanted on a warrant for aggravated assault, was shot and wounded Sunday in a Kansas City, Ks., suburb after exchanging gunfire with an FBI Violent Crime Safe Streets Task Force, the Kansas City Star reported.

The paper reported that task force members confronted the man about 7:15 p.m. outside a Subway restaurant  in the town of  Olathe when he drew a gun. Gunfire was exchanged and he was shot in the torso and arm. He was treated at a local hospital.

No law enforcement officers were injured.

Juror Complains About Fellow Juror in John Gotti Jr. Trial

John Gotti Jr./youtube

John Gotti Jr./youtube

By Allan Lengel

The New York tabloids are having a blast with a jury dispute in the federal trial of mobster John Gotti Jr.

One juror  wrote a note to the judge voicing concern about a fellow loud mouth juror.

“There’s more infighting on the Gotti jury than at a gangland sitdown – and they’re not even deliberating yet!,”  the New York Daily News reported last week.

A note signed by “A Concerned Juror” said:
“She announced that we the jurors better be prepared to be deliberating until after the Christmas holiday because … she is not going to allow any f—— body to rush her,” the two-page letter said.

The note also complained that the juror, a 34-year-old postal worker — was ogling “defense attorney Mr. Charles Carneglia,” the Daily News reported.

The juror complained that the loud juror also “charged a takeout order of fried calamari to the court’s tab when the panel visited a local restaurant,” the newspaper reported.

The judge has not removed the juror, but did interview all the jurors to determine if the loud-mouthed juror had discussed the case, read  about it or got information from outside the courtroom, the Daily News reported. Gotti faces a variety of charges including racketeering and murder.

It is his fourth trial in five years. The other three ended in a mistrial.


60 Minutes Reports that Japanese Mafia Don Agreed to Provide Info to FBI and Donate $1 Million to UCLA Med Center to Get Liver Transplant

By Allan Lengel
One of the top Mafia dons in Japan donated $1 million to a California medical center and cut a deal to provide info to the FBI to get a special visa to come to America and to get moved up on the list to receive a liver transplant, 60 Minutes reported Sunday night.

The CBS newsmagazine reported that the Yakuza Mafia Crime Boss Tadamasa Goto, who is known in American law enforcement circles as the “John Gotti of Japan”, agreed to rat on other mobsters and donate money to the UCLA Medical Center. It also reported that three other associates donated money to UCLA  to get liver transplants.

The FBI declined to comment for CBS, which also reported that UCLA insisted the medical center had no idea about the background of these people.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Weekend Series on Crime History: Chicago Mob Atty. Turned on the Mob