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September 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter


Rumors are That Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger Died; FBI Says No Proof It’s True

New Salt Lake City FBI Building Going Green

By Allan Lengel

The Salt Lake City FBI is going green.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) broke ground on Thursday for a new green-certified, four-story FBI building at 5425 West Amelia Earhart Drive in Salt Lake City, the FBI said. The building will be made of at least 30 percent recycled content.

The office serves Utah, Montana and Idaho.

Authorities said materials for the 160,000 square-foot building will come from matter extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. GSA said the building will also save or create 500 construction jobs, most of which will be filled by folks in the local community.

The building is expected to be completed by late summer of 2012. The current building is in downtown Salt Lake City.

“This is a significant occasion for the citizens of Utah, Montana, and Idaho, as well as the employees of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office,” James McTighe, special agent in charge, said in a statement. “The completion of this state-of-the-art, stand-alone facility will enhance the FBI’s ability to protect Americans from national security and criminal threats by increasing our efficiency and capacity to collaborate with our federal, state, and local partners. ”

The new building is  part of the FBI- GSA 10-year acquisition program aimed at replacing or modernizing 39 FBI field offices and four major resident agency facilities across the country, the GSA said.

In recent years, new field offices have been built for the FBI’s Baltimore division and for the  suburban Washington agents.


Column: Ex-ATF Official Offers Insights and Advice on Hunt for Nursing Student

James Cavanaugh was an ATF agent and supervisor for 33 years before retiring in 2010.

James Cavanaugh/atf photo

By James Cavanaugh

Tennessee is in the midst of a critical search for 20-year-old nursing student Holly Bobo. Holly was abducted from her home in a rural area of Tennessee during the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 13.

Holly’s father and mother had just previously left the house on their way to work and Holly’s brother Clint remained at home. Clint reported looking out the window and seeing Holly walking with a man in full camouflage holding her arm.

Reports are that Clint first thought that it was Holly’s boyfriend but later went outside and found some blood and called 911. Law enforcement officials city, county, state and federal came in mass to Parsons Tenn. to try to track down Holly’s abductor, and return Holly safely to her family.

Citizens from all around Tennessee and beyond have rallied to the search to help find Holly. One report had as many as 1100 volunteers searching the woods on foot horseback,  ATV’s and four-wheel drive vehicles. Clearly the response by law-enforcement and citizens to find Holly has been overwhelming.

I am familiar with his rural section of Tennessee. I started working with ATF in the area in 1976. Additionally,  I have worked on large scale and complicated and difficult cases where no suspects or easy answers were apparent. And I have a few observations and suggestions for law enforcement including the piecing together of a comprehensive time line chronicling the last 60 days of Holly’s life before she vanished.

Holly Bobo

But before I get to that, let me go on with more background on the case. The Tennessee Bureau of investigation has reported in excess of 250 leads and is doing all it can to coordinate and lead the search for Holly’s return home.  Given the nature of the case — no remains have been found and the search was quickly organized —  there exists at at least an even chance that Holly remains alive and is being held by her abductor.

The crime seems to have been carefully planned with the abductor placing a lot of time and effort into locating, surveilling and even stalking Holly.

Read more »

Portland Mayor Wants Cops to Rejoin FBI’s JTTF — Sort Of

U.S. Atty. Dwight Holton finds plan "unworkable"/doj photo

By Allan Lengel

The mayor of Portland, Ore., wants his police officers to rejoin the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force — sort of. He’s offering up conditions  some like. Others see them as being far too restrictive.

As you recall, the city pulled its cops out of the JTTF in 2005, citing concerns about spying on citizens and violating their rights, and breaking state and local laws. The then-mayor and police chief also were bothered that they hadn’t gotten security clearance and access to classified information.

But last November, after an FBI sting turned up a man who was plotting to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, some thought it was time to reconsider rejoining. Not all agreed. Some officials still protested.

So this week, Portland Mayor Sam Adams offered up a compromise. He wants to rejoin the JTTF with the condition that cops not get involved in the initial phase or assessment of the investigations unless there’s an imminent threat, the Oregonian newspaper reported.

Under the proposal, officers would get involved in full investigations once a credible threat is established, The Oregonian reported.

The Oregonian reported that U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton considers such a plan “unworkable.”

The Oregonian reported that Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard said he discussed the issue with the mayor a few weeks ago and wanted restrictions on what Portland cops would do on the JTTF squad.

“I did not want our police officers involved in sifting through what is or is not a threat,” Leonard said.

Judge Chastises FBI for Listening to Too Much, But Won’t Ban All Recordings

By Allan Lengel

A federal judge on Wednesday chastised the FBI for listening to wiretapped conversations that were private or irrelevant, calling the agency’s action “unnecessary”, “voyaeuristic” and “disgraceful.” But  he refused a request by the defense to bar all tapes from being used in an upcoming insider trading trial in Manhattan.

Defendant Craig Drimal, a former Galleon Group hedge fund trader, had asked that all tapes  be barred because the FBI listened to “scores” of  personal conversations with his wife, “some of a particularly intimate and personal nature,” according the judge’s ruling. The government is supposed to stop listening to wiretapped conversations when it determines the  talk is personal or irrelevant.

“As these eight calls illustrate, for at least portions of the wiretaps, the government failed to take appropriate steps to ensure that unnecessary intrusions into the private lives of its targets were kept to a minimum,” U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan wrote.

“While the majority of these calls were not particularly lengthy — indeed, most were under two minutes — in each of these calls it should have been apparent within seconds that the conversation was privileged and non-pertinent. As the Court stressed at the hearing, given the deeply personal nature of several of these conversations, the agents’ failure to minimize was nothing short of ‘disgraceful.'”

But Sullivan added:  “Nevertheless, viewing the wiretap as a whole, the Court cannot find that the government’s conduct was so unreasonable that it warrants the ‘drastic and excessive’ remedy of total suppression.”

“Given the wiretap’s scope and the substantial manpower needed to sustain it, the Court concludes that, on the whole, the wiretap was professionally conducted and generally well-executed,” Sullivan wrote.

Drimal’s attorney JaneAnne Murray told Reuters: “This litigation prompted the U.S. Attorneys’ Office to review its wiretap procedures. Hopefully, the deeply troubling privacy intrusion Sullivan found here will not occur again.”

A spokesperson for the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment, according to Reuters.

Read Judge’s Ruling


Rep. Issa Threatens to Hold ATF in Contempt

ATF's Kenneth Melson /fbi photo

By Allan Lengel

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) continues to hammer away at ATF.

On Wednesday, the Congressman threatened to  begin contempt proceedings against the agency if it continues to hold back subpoenaed documents on the controversial gun-walking programs that encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers — all in hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels.

David Codrea of The Examiner reported that Issa, chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,  fired off a letter dated April 20 to acting ATF director Ken Melson  stating: “I am hereby informing you that the Committee intends to enforce the subpoena issued to you on March 31, 2011. If you do not comply with the subpoena, the Committee will be forced to commence contempt proceedings.”

Earlier on in the 6-page letter, Issa stated: “I am disappointed that you have failed to produce any documents that would meet your legal obligation by the subpoena’s April 13 deadline. ”

Issa’s committee has been pushing to review Project Gunrunner and its offshoot Operation Fast and Furious.

The ATF gunwalking program proved an embarrassment. ATF lost track of some of the guns, which ended up in the hands of criminals. The committee is trying to determine if the guns were used in the murder of a border agent and an ICE agent.

ATF declined comment on the letter.

Read the letter

FBI Profilers Looking at Folks Like Serial Killers and Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff

By Matthew Goldstein

NEW YORK — Bernard Madoff — the architect of history’s biggest Ponzi scheme — and Gary Ridgway – the Green River killer — would seem to have little in common aside from being branded as “monsters” in the tabloids.

But a team of FBI agents, the same ones who specialize in helping local police track down serial killers like Ridgway, are using their expertise in behavioral profiling to target white collar criminals like Madoff.

For about two years now, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Behavioral Analysis Unit have been consulting with their colleagues in New York who specialize in securities fraud detective work. The BAU agents are going over the case files put together by the FBI for Madoff and other convicted scammers like Bayou Group’s Samuel Israel, whose $400 million hedge fund turned out to be Ponzi scheme, and former Democratic fundraiser Hassan Nemazee, who stole nearly $300 million from Citigroup and two other big banks.

The hope is the BAU agents, whose work in profiling serial killers has been popularized in books, movies and on TV, can get into the minds’ of fraudsters and see what makes them tick.

To read more click here.


Jones motion

The FBI Shows What it Does in Afghanistan