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Mobster “Whitey” Bulger Traveled to Boston, Las Vegas and Mexico While on the Lam

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More is coming out about the adventures of mobster James “Whitey’’ Bulger, who was captured last week after 16 years on the lam.

The Boston Globe reports that during those 16 years he returned to Boston in disguise and “armed to the teeth’’ several times “to take care of some unfinished business.’’  The paper cited government documents filed Monday.

The paper reported that Bulger, who is charged with 19 murders,  refused to say who he came to see or when, but  former associates said he returned at least twice during the first year on the lam.

Bulger also told FBI agents he also visited  Las Vegas and Mexico, and  stashed money with people he had trusted, according to the Globe.

Prosecutors are arguing that Bulger’s lifestyle indicates that he can afford to pay for his defense, the Globe reported. When authorities busted him they found more than $800,000 stashed in his apartment.

Kans. Man Gets 20 Years for Attempting to Kill FBI Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A word to the unwise: Don’t shoot at FBI agents.

Nicholas Henry, 28, Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison for attempting to kill an FBI agent and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

In his plea, Henry admitted that on Nov. 1, 2009, he fired at an FBI Task Force Officer in a parking lot at 151st and Ridgeview Road in Olathe, Kan. where he was in a stolen pickup truck, authorities said.

When the task force tried to arrest him, he produced a .40 caliber handgun and fired two shots at one of the agents who was about 10 feet away. He missed.

Other agents returned fire and hit Henry 14 times. He survived.

Column: ATF Agent Says Agency Can Get an Agent Confirmed as Director if They’re Top Notch

Vincent Cefalu is a special agent with ATF. His column is in response to a column authored by ex-ATF official James Cavanaugh, who said appointing an ATF director by presidential appointment isn’t working. Cavanaugh said the appointment should be made by the umbrella agency — the Justice Department.

Vincent Cefalu

By Vincent A. Cefalu
For ticklethewire.com

I too I have worked for many Directors for 25 years and am STILL on the job. Therefore I would like to respond to the ATF unofficial mouth piece, Jim Cavanaugh.

First of all please stop speaking for ATF management, they are big boys. They have chosen to speak through DOJ attorney’s instead and that is quite troubling.

Your comments early in this debacle suggested you were trying to mitigate and minimize HQs accountability for being so out of control. You were making excuses for how hard catching gunrunners is. Let me break it down for you; you develop evidence and probable cause you seize their guns and arrest them or not. No Guns hit the street.

They LET 2000 guns go to criminals because no one in the loop had the courage or integrity to stop it. Sound familiar Jim? You are obviously doing a Great bit of promoting. And I am intimately aware of the gunshots you heard in anger, and the circumstances of why you heard those shots. That’s not a GOOD thing Jim. Why exactly did you hear gunshots at all?

Have you lost your mind? Keep the appointment in Justice? Yeah that’s who I want overseeing and making sure ATF is accountable.

We have the opportunity to stand with the big boys and because of a totally ineffective and abusive Executive staff, you assert that we can’t get a Director confirmed.

Enter Clarance Thomas, he got confirmed, enter an EXTRA 2 years for the Honorable Mr. Mueller. Stop telling the American people St. John cant get confirmed. How would you know that. All three of our last attempts failed. Stop selecting poor candidates and we will have a Director. Just because he has an ATF badge, doesn’t make him competent

I think what you fail to acknowledge is that Mr. Magaw saved and rebuilt this agency, love him or hate him. He definitely would have been confirmed. Then Mr. Truscott began the process of bosses being bigger than the mission.

Then Mr. Sullivan, who paid about as much attention to our agency as you do to facts. Half United States Attorney and half ATF Director. I think I may have figured out why we have lost our explosives jurisdiction for all practical purposes.

Our ESF 13 function was openly criticized by the GAO. Our NRT program is in the tank and we have more employee disputes than either the FBI or DEA. The industry that we have all worked so hard to become partners with over the last 30 years hate us and don’t trust us.

A Director from inside would be preferred by ALL. The notion the NRA will tank anybody for no reason is insane.

The abuses brought down on the industry by bad policies, the legislating from inside a Bureau has to stop. The total adversarial demeanor has to change, between the field and HQ. Most have lost faith.

That’s not going to happen, dipping a little deeper into the same poison well. They are all either promoted by or have promoted each other.

We need clean crisp leadership to groom a future Agent as our Director. A General Stanley McChrystal of sorts, that realizes HQ is here to support the field, not the other way around. Put a strong “A” political Cop Boss in their and he will get confirmed as a Director.

The exact reason the current and your generation of bosses got away with so much is because the layers of accountability were so thick, and there was no transparency.

No one much had accountability that he/she couldn’t hand off to somebody else. Lets be accountable. We are ATF. We don’t redact 95% of a document to a Congressional Chairman. We hand all of our stuff over. We are ATF and we have nothing to hide.

So Jim, if we let the Justice Department pick our Director, is it your assertion that they would hold likes of Mclemore, Crenshaw, Ford, Hoover at bay?

Um, do you watch the news? The agency lacks character and accountability at the highest levels. An outsider has to clean house, and then provide a short list of qualified managers for consideration as our Director. And no Jim, that is not going to be you. If it makes you feel better, I don’t want the job either.

Despite Capture of Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger Some Question FBI; Congressman Calls Justice Dept. Probe

Updated Bulger photo/wbur

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has gotten plenty pats on the back for capturing Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, who had been on the run for 16 years and was a long-time snitch for the bureau.

But the capture has dredged up plenty of old wounds — the fact that the FBI protected Bulger while he acted as an informant. There have been allegations the FBI sabotaged cases of other agencies like the DEA to protect Bulger, who was eventually charged in 19 murders.

The Boston media has been relentless in questioning the resolve of the FBI to capture Bulger, suggesting the agency wanted to avoid what’s about to happen: A dredging up of allegations of old — and possibly new — that the agency had some crooked agents and did some highly questionable things.

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) wants the Justice Department to investigate how the FBI handled Bulger. He said maybe the Justice Department can glean new information to shed more light on the matter, according to the Boston Herald.

“There may be an opportunity to gain additional information regarding the FBI’s involvement in these crimes. It remains the responsibility of the Justice Department to see that a full investigation is completed,” Lynch said in a statement to the Herald. “With the capture of Mr. Bulger, my hope is that this (arrest) will bring some closure for the families of the victims.”

Boston FBI agent John “Zip” Connolly is behind bars for his handling of  Bulger.   Connolly was convicted of racketeering  in federal court and second-degree murder in state court in Florida for helping set up the 1982  killing of  World Jai Alai boss John Callahan in Miami.  Another ex-agent was implicated in the case but died in 2004, according to the Boston Herald.

Connolly , now 70, was accused of tipping off Bulger and Stephen Flemmi that Callahan was likely to implicate them in a murder. Hitman John Martorano killed Callahan in 1982.

The questioning of the FBI’s resolve in the case prompted Boston FBI Richard DesLauriers to issue a statement on Friday:

“Any claim that the FBI knew Mr. Bulger’s whereabouts prior to the FBI’s publicity efforts this week are completely unfounded. When we learned his location, he was arrested promptly.”

Some in the media haven’t really questioned DeLauriers’ resolve, or for that matter some of his  his predecessors, but they have raised questions as to others when Bulger first went on the lam in the mid-90s.

“It may be true that the new crop of agents and federal prosecutors are clean and wanted Whitey,” wrote Michelle McPhee in the Boston Herald .

“But there are too many unanswered questions about how he got away in the first place that should make U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz want to hand this case to an independent body, so the taint of the dirty Boston FBI office of the past does not leave a stench all over the work the feds are doing in this city now.”

Secret Service Officer Sues Oklahoma Narcotics Agents for Drug Raid in 2008

By Allan Lengel
tickletheire.com

A U.S. Secret Service officer from Maryland is suing the an Oklahoma narcotics agent as a result of a 2008 raid at his home in a multi-state steroids probe, the Tulsa World reported.

Lester Blount Jr. of Prince Georges County, Md., whose job is to protect federal buildings and functions, is suing Brian Surber, an agent for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the paper reported.

Blount alleged that Surber was among the agents who used excessive force —  they held his family at gunpoint — during a raid at his home, the paper reported.  His children at the time were 1, 3 and 8.

Blount was put on a 22 month  administrative leave without pay before returning to work, the paper reported.

The lawsuit claims Surber used excessive force and made false statements in the search warrant affidavit, the paper reported.

“The search warrant was based on unverified allegations of steroid possession and distribution and the fact that Mr. Blount had a ‘muscular physique,’ ” the suit states, according to the paper.

“The charges, for which the unsupported search warrant was issued, were eventually dropped by Defendant because Mr. Blount is not, in fact, a drug user or dealer,” the lawsuit states.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Head of Boston FBI Says Speculation That the FBI Didn’t Want to Find Whitey Bulger is “Completely Unfounded”

Richard DesLauriers

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The head of the Boston FBI  Richard DesLauriers responded Friday to public speculation that the FBI didn’t really want to find mobster James “Whitey” Bulger because he had so much dirt on the agency that could surface publicly.  He called the claims  “completely unfounded.”

DesLauriers, in a statement issued Friday afternoon, said:

“There has been some speculation that the FBI knew about the location of Mr. Bulger prior to the initiation of the FBI’s most recent publicity campaign regarding Catherine Greig and James J. “Whitey” Bulger. (Greig is Bulger’s girlfriend).

“To ensure that there is no misunderstanding about the FBI’s search for Mr. Bulger, I want to reiterate statements I made earlier on this matter.

“Any claim that the FBI knew Mr. Bulger’s whereabouts prior to the FBI’s publicity efforts this week are completely unfounded. When we learned his location, he was arrested promptly.”

“The FBI crafted a media plan to reach as many people as possible. As is now evident, this effort was successful and led directly to the arrest of Mr. Bulger, and highlights the importance of the public’s assistance in these matters.”

Some have suggested that  Bulger has much more  dirt to spill on the FBI, the result of  agents using him as an informant, all while letting him get away with crimes as part of Boston’s notorious Irish mob.  Bulger, who was on the lam for 16 years, was charged in 19 murders.

Other law enforcement agencies in the state complained that the FBI at the time protected Bulger, and sabotaged some of their cases. It caused strains between the FBI and some of the law enforcement agencies.

Bulger, 81, and his girlfriend Catherine Greig, who was wanted for harboring a fugitive,  were captured Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. shortly after the FBI launched a nationwide TV campaign that focused on Greig.  The FBI said it received a tip on Tuesday night as a direct result of the public service announcement campaign. Agents found $800,000 in their apartment along with about 30 weapons.

On Friday, the Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen wrote a column that  may have added to the speculation about the FBI’s resolve to find Bulger.

“It was hard to find anyone in the Boston Police Department, the State Police, or the US Drug Enforcement Administration who truly believed the FBI wanted to find Bulger. He was the FBI’s prized, if highly overrated, snitch, and he had murdered many while the FBI protected him and compromised other investigations that other law enforcement agencies mounted against Bulger,” he wrote.

“Bulger used to have the FBI in his pocket; now all he has in that pocket is the potential for revenge, should he choose to exact it. He has told friends — indeed he has even told corrupt FBI agents — that the FBI reneged on their deal to let him run his venal little empire as long as he fed them crumbs on the competition.”

“The obsession with the details of Bulger’s arrest is understandable. But the bigger picture is this: there has been a carefully constructed narrative, one of damage control for the FBI and Justice Department, which is now at risk.”

Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles, where Bulger was captured, said of the speculation questioning the FBI’s resolve:

“There’s no merit to it.”

Boston Columnist Says FBI Needs to Let Other Agencies Help Restore Public Confidence in Whitey Bulger Case

Updated Bulger photo/wbur

By Kevin Cullen
Boston Globe Columnist

For the past 23 years, Whitey Bulger was the FBI’s worst nightmare.

Now he’s their prisoner.

It was hard to find anyone in the Boston Police Department, the State Police, or the US Drug Enforcement Administration who truly believed the FBI wanted to find Bulger. He was the FBI’s prized, if highly overrated, snitch, and he had murdered many while the FBI protected him and compromised other investigations that other law enforcement agencies mounted against Bulger.

Bulger used to have the FBI in his pocket; now all he has in that pocket is the potential for revenge, should he choose to exact it. He has told friends — indeed he has even told corrupt FBI agents — that the FBI reneged on their deal to let him run his venal little empire as long as he fed them crumbs on the competition.

The obsession with the details of Bulger’s arrest is understandable. But the bigger picture is this: there has been a carefully constructed narrative, one of damage control for the FBI and Justice Department, which is now at risk. It was a narrative that held that Whitey Bulger was protected by a rogue FBI agent, John Connolly, and a rogue FBI supervisor, John Morris, both of whom had been dealt with: Connolly was given a life sentence and sent off to prison, and Morris was given immunity and sent off to disgrace.

To read the full column click here.

2 Men Charged With Plotting to Attack Military Processing Center in Seattle

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two men who converted to Islam were arrested Wednesday and charged with plotting to kill recruits and employees at the Military Entrance Processing Station in Seattle, the U.S. Attorney’s announced Thursday.

Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, aka Joseph Anthony Davis, 33, of Seattle, and Walli Mujahidh, aka Frederick Domingue, Jr., 32, of Los Angeles, were charged in a criminal complaint with buying machine guns to carry out the attack, authorities said. They also planned to use grenades.

Authorities said the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force  began “monitoring” the two as the plot was developing “to prevent the attack and protect the public.” They said the guns provided to the men “were inoperable”.

“The complaint alleges these men intended to carry out a deadly attack against our military where they should be most safe, here at home,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement. “This is a sobering reminder of our need to be vigilant and that our first line of defense is the people who live in our community. We were able to disrupt the plot because someone stepped forward and reported it to authorities.”

Authorities first became aware of the plot when a man, who had been approached about participating, tipped off Seattle police.

The tipster than agreed to work with authorities, and the FBI began monitoring their activies, videotaping and recording conversations.

“Driven by a violent, extreme ideology, these two young Americans are charged with plotting to murder men and women who were enlisting in the Armed Forces to serve and protect our country. This is one of a number of recent plots targeting our military here at home,” said Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “The threat was averted by the combined efforts of the federal, state and local law enforcement officers that make up the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.”