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FBI

FBI Reports Drop in Violent Crimes in 2010; Murder Dropped by 4.4%

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Violent crimes and property crimes dropped in 2010 compared to the previous year, the FBI’s Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime report showed.

The report, released Monday, showed a 5.5 percent decrease in reported violent crimes compared to 2009. Property crimes dropped 2.8 percent.

The FBI reported that murder declined 4.4 percent , while forcible rape dropped 4.2 percent, robbery 9.5 percent, and aggravated assault 3.6 percent—all when compared with 2009 crime figures.

Geographically, the South saw the largest decline in violent crime (7.5 percent), followed by the Midwest (5.9 percent), the West (5.8 percent) and the Northeast (0.4 percent).

As for property crime, motor vehicle theft was down 7.2 percent, larceny-theft was down 2.8 percent, and burglary was down 1.1 percent. Arson fell 8.3 percent nationally.

To read more stats click here.

FBI Arrests Philly Mob Boss, Underboss and 9 Others


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mob in Philadelphia got a rude awakening Monday morning.

FBI agents rounded up Philly reputed mob boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, underboss Joseph Massimino and nine other reputed associates, capping a lengthy probe that focused on crimes including violence, gambling, loan sharking, witness tampering and extortion,  the Justice Department announced.

Others arrested, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer,  included reputed mobsters Anthony Staino, Martin Angelina and Gaetan Lucibello and alleged mob associate Louis “Bent Finger” Lou Monacello.

The arrests came as a result of 50-count, superseding indictment of 13 mobsters, the Justice Department said. Two were already in prison.

The Philadelphia LCN Family has shown a remarkable ability to reorganize and reinvigorate itself, even as its members were sent to prison,” Assistant Attorney Gen. Lanny Breuer said at a press conference in Philly. ” According to the superseding indictment, Ligambi rose through the ranks of the organization, becoming an underboss, then acting boss and, finally, when his predecessor was sent to prison, the boss.

“Attorney General Robert Kennedy understood that the devastating grip of organized crime in this country had to be broken,” Breuer later said. ” Attorney General Holder has renewed that commitment. While we have pried loose La Cosa Nostra’s grip on power and influence, we know that there is still work to be done.

Did Ex-FBI Agent Lin DeVecchio Cross the Line with the Mob?

New Head of Denver FBI Has Colorful, Global Experience

James Yacone/fbi photo

By Felisa Cardona
Denver Post

DENVER — James F. Yacone is a decorated combat veteran, an accomplished criminal investigator and a graduate of West Point, but he doesn’t like to brag.

The walls in his office at the Denver FBI are nearly bare, with just a sampling of photographs from his military service overseas despite his many awards and accolades.

“I am just an ordinary person put in extraordinary circumstances,” he said.

Yacone, 45, took over as special agent in charge of the Denver FBI in April after the retirement of James Davis, who went on to head the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

3 Somali Pirates Plead Guilty in Hijacking of Ship That Resulted in 4 American Deaths


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Three Somali pirates pled guilty Friday in federal court in Norfolk, Va., to leading the group that hijacked the S/V Quest in the Indian Ocean,  which resulted in the death of four American crew members in February.

“These men have admitted to pirating an American yacht and holding four U.S. citizens hostage at gunpoint for ransom. Tragically, their piracy led to the execution of the four American hostages,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride. “Piracy is big business in Somalia, and today pirates got another reminder of the tremendous cost of participating in this criminal venture. If you pirate an American ship, you will be caught and you’ll face severe consequences in an American courtroom.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk added in a statement: “Today’s pleas are a crucial step in the judicial process. Mohamud Hirs Issa Ali and Mohamud Salad Ali, the leaders of these violent pirates, were armed hijackers who directed their subordinates to take hostages and seize the Quest, resulting in the death of four innocent Americans. Modern piracy isn’t swordplay and derring-do; it’s armed robbery and cold-blooded murder at sea.”

Congressional Leaders Extend Key Provisions in Patriot Act to Help FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Congressional leaders breathed new life into the U.S. Patriot Act and a related law, and agreed Thursday to extend by four years several statutes that have give the FBI expanded surveillance powers, the New York Times reported.

The Times reported that the agreement “allows investigators to get “roving wiretap” court orders allowing them to follow terrorism suspects who switch phone numbers or providers; to get orders allowing them to seize “any tangible things” relevant to a security investigation, like a business’s customer records; and to get national-security wiretap orders against noncitizen suspects who are not believed to be connected to any foreign power.”

To read more click here.

Book Review: Author Chronicles FBI Battle Against Terrorism Over the Decades


By Joshua Sinai
The Washington Times

Now that an elite American special-operations unit has ended the life of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda’s charismatic leader and founder, the world’s most lethal and geographically dispersed terrorist organization is entering a new, uncertain direction.

Although this momentous event occurred after the publication of Garrett M. Graff’s important book “The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror,” we can be certain of one fact that runs through its pages: Our nation’s counterterrorism capability is sound and robust, exemplified domestically, although with an increasing overseas presence, by the nation’s top law enforcement agency, the FBI.

“The Threat Matrix” – the name of the daily compilation of actual or rumored threats to the American homeland and Americans overseas – is a prodigious volume, covering the FBI’s involvement in counterterrorism over the past 90 years. Mr. Graff, the editor of Washingtonian magazine, spent more than two years researching the FBI, including interviewing hundreds of people associated with the agency, such as Director Robert Mueller and current and former top officials and special agents, many of whom are discussed in the book.

To read more click here.

Some FBI Agents See Hypocrisy in FBI Dir. Mueller’s 2-Year Extension

Robert Mueller III/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When President Obama announced plans to have FBI Dir. Robert S. Mueller III stay on two years beyond his 10-year term, the FBI Agents Association quickly issued a very positive statement even though some of its members were not very happy.

Nonetheless, some of the unhappiness seems to be coming out.

The Washington Post reports some agents are angry that Mueller, who imposed term limits on hundreds of supervisors, is getting an extension himself. They find some hypocrisy in the whole matter, the Post reported.

President Obama has said that he wants Mueller to stay on past his 10-year term, which expires in September, to provide some stability and continuity. Congress will have to pass some type of legislation to keep Mueller on because the law states the FBI director should serve no more than 10 years.

“We understand the desire for stability,’’ Konrad Motyka, president of the FBI Agents Association told the Post. “But people are saying, ‘What about my stability?’ It’s ironic that this desire for stability did not apply to supervisors within the FBI.’’

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo

The policy that has so irritated agents surfaced after Sept. 11, 2001. It requires FBI supervisors to move on after seven years and compete for another managerial post, retire or get demoted at the same field office with a pay decrease, the Post reported.

The FBI has defended the policy, saying it has resulted in strong managers being brought in to various posts, the paper reported.

“People are up in arms about this,’’ one agent, who likened the news to “a shot in the kneecaps,” told the Post.

“We have lost valuable experience,’’ the agent said. “I’ve seen people, some really significant contributors to this organization and to this country, who are questioning their self-worth now and who are basically bitter.’’

The Post reported that Mueller did not seek the 2-year extension, but agreed to go along with it.

Though Mueller has enforced the term limits on supervisors, he has also given extensions to a number of agents who have reached the mandatory retirement age of 57.

The announcement of the proposed two-year extension for Mueller, has been met with mixed reaction within the bureau, ranging from ecstatic to mad to mixed.

Some say he’s been a great leader.  But others want him to go.  They say he’s drifted too far from the core mission of the agency and doesn’t relate to, or truly understand the mindset of the street agents.

Mueller, 66, started on the job  just days after the Sept. 11 attacks, forcing him to retool the agency to focus more on terrorism.

To read more of the Washington Post story click here.