Site Search

Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

June 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter


Mexican Kingpin Turns Valuable FBI Informant

Shoshanna Utchenik

The L.A. Times recently ran a story detailing the apprehension in 2010 of Mexican kingpin Jesus Audel Miramontes-Varela and his conversion into one of the FBI’s most valuable informants.

Apparently eager to gain assylum for himself, wife and 3 daughters in the U.S., the 34-year-old Miramontes-Varela willingly confessed his leadership in the Juarez cartel, and accounted for two decades of dirty dealings. In taped sessions at a Colorado safe house, he mapped marijuana and cocaine routes to CA, NY and the Great Lakes, as well as the mass grave where agents proceeded to recover 20 bodies in Palomas, Mexico.

Miramontes-Varela was likely aware the feds were closing in on him when he decided to peacefully surrender. The Times reports that the ATF had tracked $250k in illegal gun purchases to Miramontes-Varela and his brother through its ill-fated Fast and Furious surveillance operation in Arizona, and the FBI knew Miramontes-Varela’s organization had bribed U.S. officials in El Paso and New Mexico when they uneventfully pulled over his BMW returning home from a Walgreens in suburban Denver.

To read more click here.



Detroit FBI Agent Concerned About Hezbollah’s Reaction to Conflict With Iran

By Allan Lengel

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mi. —  A Detroit FBI official on Tuesday expressed concern as to how Hezbollah, which enjoys support in the Arab community in the Detroit area, might react if Israel or anyone else goes to battle with Iran.

“If Israel or anyone else chooses to act against Iran, what exactly is Hezbollah or Iran going to do? That’s the … $64,000 question,” FBI official Todd Mayberry, head of counterterrorism at the Detroit FBI, told a crowd of about 130 people the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield, a suburb of Detroit, the Detroit Free Press reports. The group represented 58 groups and law enforcement agencies in Michigan.

Mayberry said there currently is “no specific threat to the Jewish community here in Michigan.”

To read more click here.

FBI-State Police Probing New Orleans Saints Wiretapping Allegations

By Allan Lengel

Pro football can be a dirty sport on the field, and apparently sometimes off the field.

An FBI-Louisiana State Police task force is investigating allegations that the New Orleans Saints set up general manager Mickey Loomis’ booth at the Superdome so he could eavesdrop on opposing coaches, the Associated Press reported.

State police Col. Mike Edmonson told the AP that investigators were looking to see if state or federal wiretap laws were broken.

To read more click here.







FBI Dir. Mueller Visits Yemen and Vows to Battle Islamist Extremists

Robert Mueller III/ photo

By Allan Lengel

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III vowed Tuesday in Yemen to help that nation battle an Islamist insurgency, Reuters news service reported.

Reuters also reported that a U.S. drone had killed a high level al Qaeda figure in Yemen linked to an attack on a French oil tanker.

Mueller met with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who took office earlier this year, and  promised the U.S. would support Yemen with full force, Reuters reported.

“Mueller visits Yemen on an annual basis so this is not a special or secret occasion,” said Mohammed Al-Basha, Yemen’s embassy spokesman in Washington, according to Reuters. “President Hadi emphasized that he is strongly committed to combating extremism and working with the U.S. to counter the mutual threat of terrorism.”

Would-be Bomber Pleads Guilty to 2010 Attempt to Target Chicago Hot Spots

Shoshanna Utchenik

A 2010 sting nailed a  would-be bomber for attempting to plant an explosive device in the bustling Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago. Now, he’s likely to be out of commission for a long time.

The FBI announced Monday that Sami Samir Hassoun, a 24-year-old green card holder from Lebanon, pleaded guilty to one count each of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted use of an explosive device.

The plea  capped the  FBI probe that began in July 2010, when a cooperating source introduced undercover agents to Hassoun.

Believing the agent and the FBI source were collaborators, Hassoun led the planning of a “series of escalating violent attacks” intended to “damage Chicago’s sense of security, its economy, and trust in leadership.”

According to the plea agreement, Hassoun’s targets included Chicago entertainment hot spots, civic buildings, commercial high-rises and transportation infrastructure. He was finally busted for planting a backpack with what turned out to be a FBI-provided inert bomb, in the heart of one of Chicago’s busiest neighborhoods in September 2010.

According to the plea agreement, the court must impose a minimum 20 year, max 30 year sentence or reject the plea agreement. Hassoun will also be obligated to cooperate with authorities at their request.

To read more click here.

FBI Seeks Help from Public in Solving Coastguard Killings

Shoshanna Utchenik

More than 100 people memorialized two slain U.S. Coastguard employees in Alaska last week as “full of honor, courage and passion for their families,” but the FBI offered little closure on their deaths.

The L.A. Times reports that the April 12th shooting of Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins and civilian employee Richard Belisle at a Kodiak communications station remain unresolved with no arrests. The FBI is seeking information from the public about two vehicles that may have been used in connection with the shooting: a white 2002 Dodge Ram pickup and a blue 2001 Honda CRV.

FBI spokesman Darrin Jones stressed there is no indication that the public is at risk. Meanwhile, various local Kodiak news outlets reported a search of the home of the victims’ coworker, according to the Times.

To read more click here.


Ex-FBI Agent and Wife on Trial in Va. for Fraud

By Allan Lengel

It’s showtime  for former FBI agent John Robert Graves and his wife Sara Turberville Graves.

Trial began Monday in fed court in Richmond for the two who are accused of defrauding 11 Virginians out of $1.3 million, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Graves, 52, and his wife Sara, 44, are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud and four counts of wire fraud, the paper reported.

“This is a case of a husband-and-wife team who lied to investors and who stole from investors,” Jamie L. Mickelson, an assistant U.S. attorney, told the jury in her opening statement, according to the paper.

Graves resigned from the FBI in 1999.

To read more click here.

Don Oswald Hanging Up the Gun and Badge as Head of FBI in Minn.

Donald Oswald/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel

It’s adios for Don Oswald after a short stint as head of the FBI in Minneapolis.

Oswald ,53, tells the Associated Press that he’s retiring to practice practice law. He eventually wants to become a judge. He was assigned to the job last May.

“I really would like to pursue that other career option, so I made a personal decision that I was going to close the bureau chapter and move on,” Oswald said. “I don’t know how it will unfold.”

The office covers Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Oswald joined the FBI in 1992 and first served in the Los Angeles Division where he investigated bank robberies and street gang activities and also served as a division legal adviser, the FBI said.

Two years later, he was off to new York, where he investigated complex multi-agency public corruption cases. He also served for more than three years as associate division counsel in the New York Division.

Read more »