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June 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter


Attorney Gets Extension to Review Boston Mobster Boss Whitey Bulger’s Case

Updated Bulger photo/wbur

Shoshanna Utchenik

The lawyers for James “Whitey” Bulger have received an extra 2 weeks to review his case before deciding whether they can be properly prepared for trial.

Attorney J.W. Carney has been struggling to wade through hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence related to a 1999 indictment for crimes allegedly committed in the 1970s and 1980s, reports Reuters.

The 82 year old mob boss and FBI informant is accused of 19 murders. Bulger was arrested with his girlfriend at their hideout last June 22 after the FBI made a renewed push to find him.

For all the glut of evidence Carney must sift through, he says important pieces have been withheld. He believes prosecutors have sealed evidence to protect corrupt cops from public scrutiny, according to Reuters, and that the missing information may be hampering his ability to defend his client.

“The government doesn’t want to have everyone know about the depth of corruption that went on for decades in this city,” Carney said, according to Reuters.

James “Whitey” Bulger’s story of crime boss-turned-informant inspired Martin Scorsese’s 2006 Oscar-winning film “The Departed.”

The real story is none too flattering for the Boston FBI back in the day when it let Bulger step over the line while he snitched on his enemies.

To read more click here.

32 Guns Found at U.S. Airports in a Week

tsa photo

By Allan Lengel

After Sept. 11, 2001, it’s still amazing to find how common it is for people to bring guns to airports.

On occasion, likes to check in to see just how many folks still bring guns.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, 30 loaded guns and two unloaded ones were discovered at airport checkpoints during the week of May 11 to May 17.

A TSA blog also noted that there were seven incidents in a week in which drugs were found on passengers using imaging technology.

“We’re not looking for drugs, but finding these nonmetallic items in areas where explosives could also be hidden is a testament that the technology works,” the TSA blog said. “In addition to these discoveries, there was also a passenger at Anchorage who attempted to sneak in a tube of toothpaste by placing it in her groin area. This was an attempt to get it through after we had already caught it in her bag earlier. If you’re not familiar with why toothpaste is prohibited, you can read about our liquid policies here.”


FBI Has Reason to Doubt Pedro Hernandez Confession to Killing Etan Patz

nypd poster

Shoshanna Utchenik

Like the rest of the Etan Patz disappearance, the murder confession of Pedro Hernandez is not an open-and-shut case.

Lack of evidence, inconsistencies in the suspect’s story, and mental health issues are bringing Hernandez’s confession into doubt, according to the NY Daily News.

Since the 6-year-old Patz went missing in 1979, there has been an emotional parade of suspects and revived searches, including the recent deconstruction of a SoHo basement that revealed no new evidence. When Hernandez, an 18 year old neighborhood bodega worker at the time of the disappearance, confessed in great detail last Wednesday, it appeared something had finally gone right. Hernandez was charged Thursday, and arraigned Friday for second-degree murder.

Several witnesses reported that Hernandez confided to them about hurting a child in the years since Patz went missing. Hernandez said he lured Patz into the bodega by promising treats, only to strangle him to death and discard the body in a garbage bag. However the bipolar suspect appears to be an unreliable source and there is no material evidence linking him to Patz. The child’s body has never been recovered.

“The bosses are very skeptical,” a police source in contact with the FBI told the Daily News. “They don’t believe him. He’s got mental problems and there’s no other evidence. They think we moved too fast.”

To read more click here.

Column: Should FBI Be Allowed to Wiretap Facebook?

By Adam Cohen
Time magazine

We may all be getting a new Facebook friend soon: the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI wants to shift its wiretapping from old-school telephone lines to person-to-person platforms like email and instant messaging and even social media like Facebook.

To help it make the switch, the FBI is asking Congress to require tech companies to rewrite their software so it has a “back door” that the FBI can use to listen in.

It is all part of an initiative known as “Going Dark.”

To read the full column click here.



Exciting Ride for Detroit’s Top FBI Agent Andy Arena

Andy Arena

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — On Christmas day in 2009, Andrew Arena, head of the Detroit FBI, made a beeline to the airport to deal with a young Nigerian man — aka The Underwear Bomber — who tried to blow up an airliner.

“He slipped up and gave us some stuff,” Arena explained of the valuable global terrorism information the bomber gave up during the interrogation. ” I can’t get into because it’s still classified. We exploited a lot… We got some key stuff.”

Arena was directly involved in the decisions about the interrogating the bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — including when to read him the Miranda warning, an issue that would later become a “political football” in Washington.

Some conservative Republicans like Michele Bachman were highly critical, insisting the FBI shouldn’t have read the Miranda warning to a terrorist because it may have stifled the flow of valuable information. Many Democrats defended the FBI and Justice Department, which delayed reading the rights, but ultimately did after six hours. The Obama administration claimed it got plenty of valuable information about the plot and terrorism around the world.

“People used the national security issue for political purposes,” he said of the partisan bickering in Washington. “Yeah, that did bother me.”

In his FBI office on Michigan Avenue in downtown Detroit, Arena, a personable man who speaks fondly of his native Detroit, sat down earlier this month with Deadline Detroit reporter Allan Lengel to discuss his 24-year-career in the FBI, including the last five as head of the Detroit office.

He’s set to retire at the end of the week, on May 31, and take over as director of the newly formed Detroit Crime Commission. The commission, he says, will try unearthing corruption and other crime and try to fill some gaps law enforcement hasn’t been able to address.

To read the full interview click here.


FBI Arrests New Jersey Mayor and Son for Hacking

Mayor Roque

Shoshanna Utchenik

Reasons to ‘Recall Roque’, the Mayor of West New York, N.J., seem to be apparent without visiting the website by that name.

For starters, Felix Roque and his 22 year old son Joseph were arrested by the FBI Thursday for allegedly hacking, where the anti-Roque website’s domain was registered, reports Politico. The pair allegedly shut down, though reports no effects to its own infrastructure.

But that’s not all. Politico says the unsealed criminal complaint also accuses the Mayor of making threatening phone calls to the government official in Hudson County, N.J. responsible for the online recall campaign.

The Roques are scheduled to appear in Federal court on Thursday.

The good news is that the internet is a bastion of learning: the Roques apparently learned Hacking-101 for free by surfing the web.

To read more click here.

FBI Investigates ‘Revenge Porn’ Website Founder Hunter Moore

Shoshanna Utchenik

Hunter Moore, 26, creator of the ‘revenge porn’ website and self-promoted bad-boy, is under FBI investigation, confirmed ABC Nightline.

Moore operated the site that allowed scorned lovers to post nude photos of their  ex-partners. It also allowed people to comment.

He sold the website, and it was shut down in April.

Moore’s site allowed anyone to upload sexually explicit photos and videos, including screen grabs of Facebook accounts and links to Twitter accounts, without subjects’ permission or even knowledge, says Nightline. Moore boasted nearly 5 million hits a month, with some of those users posting comments that added insult to injury for those who found themselves unwilling internet porn stars, ABC reported.

One of those unwilling stars was aspiring actress Kayla Laws, 25, who claimed her computer was hacked and private nude photos ended up on

Her outraged mother, private investigator Charlotte Laws, initiated a cease-and-desist and take-down notice to Moore, who refused. Mom says she then convinced the FBI to investigate whether daughter’s computer was hacked.

Moore denied ever hacking any nude photos.

To read more click here.

Ponzi Schemer Keith Simmons Sentenced to 50 Years Plus Restitution

Shoshanna Utchenik

Keith Franklin Simmons, 47, of North Carolina, was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison for an elaborate Ponzi scheme that devastated hundreds of investors, mostly elderly and vulnerable, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

A disgusted U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad Jr. and agents involved in his case described Simmons as a callous swindling predator, who wreaked devastation leading victims to anxiety, despondency, and in one case according to the Winston Salem Journal, denouncing god and considering suicide.

Simmons and his co-conspirators began soliciting victims to invest in Black Diamond Capital Solutions in April 2007. Over 400 victims invested more than $40 million from 2007 to 2009, when the bogus claims of wild profits started to unravel and Simmons was arrested by the FBI. Rather than trading in the foreign currency exchange market, as promised, Simmons was funding his own extravagant life style with the investments.

Judge Conrad also sentenced Simmons to pay $35,331,632 in restitution, which will come from selling off that stolen lifestyle one property at a time.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced it will additonally “request liquidation of forfeited assets and return of net proceeds of liquidation to victims.”

Hopefully these reparations will happen quickly, as almost 100 of those who lost everything are over 75 years old and have no time to lose.

To read more click here.