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FBI

FBI Names Michelle Ann Jupina Assist. Dir. of Records Management Division

Michelle Ann Jupina/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Michelle Ann Jupina, the deputy assistant director for operations support in the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, has been named assistant director of the agency’s Records Management Division at headquarters.

Prior to her stint at headquarters, Jupina served for two years as special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office’s Intelligence Division.

“Michelle has served in numerous leadership roles during her 20 years with the FBI. As a manager, she has strengthened the FBI’s intelligence programs, and I am confident she will effectively lead the Records Management Division,” FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said in a statement.

Jupina joined the FBI  in 1996 as a special agent and was first assigned to the Washington Field Office, where she investigated cyber, white-collar crime, criminal, and counterintelligence matters, the agency said.  She later became a supervisory special agent in the National Infrastructure Protection Center and then in the FBI’s Cyber Division.

Over the years, she has held positions as special assistant to the executive assistant director (EAD) of the National Security Branch (NSB), the EAD of intelligence, and the deputy EAD of administration.  The FBI said she played an integral role in strengthening the FBI’s intelligence program.

Jupina also served as section chief of the NSB executive staff.  Prior to joining the FBI, she worked for the Department of Defense.

Six Decades Later, FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted List Still Hard to Crack

Osama bin Laden

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — In the film “Take the Money and Run,” Woody Allen played a bumbling, publicity-starved petty criminal named Virgil Starkwell. “You know he never made the Ten Most Wanted list,” Starkwell’s wife, Louise, lamented in the 1969 comedy. “It’s very unfair voting. It’s who you know.”

As Allen’s fictitious character learned, getting on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list is no easy feat. Just being a vicious criminal or a menace to society isn’t always enough.

For one, there has to be an opening. And then there’s the selection process: A committee at FBI headquarters reviews dozens of candidates from FBI field offices — there are 56 in all — before the top brass weighs in with a final decision.

“I’d be lying to say there’s no politics involved” in getting someone on the list, Tony Riggio, a former FBI agent and official, told AOL News.

In 1978, Riggio had the first organized crime figure — Cleveland mobster Anthony “Tony Lib” Liberatore — placed on the Most Wanted list. Riggio said sometimes an extra call to headquarters from a top official in the field helped get someone on the list, adding, “Being a top 10 case agent is really a feather in your cap. I got a lot of respect.”

James Earl Ray/fbi photo

Over the years, the Ten Most Wanted alum have included some of the nation’s most notorious criminals, including escaped Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray, serial killer Ted Bundy and current member, Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, who is wanted in connection with 19 murders. Most stay on until they are captured, a case no longer seems solid or authorities figure the person has died. Osama bin Laden was on the list up until his execution on May 1.

According to the FBI website, the list came about after a reporter for the International News in 1949 told the FBI he was interested in writing a story about the “toughest guys” the FBI was after. The FBI provided the names and descriptions of 10 fugitives — four escaped prisoners, three con men, two murder suspects and a bank robber — and the reporter wrote a story that captured national attention and triggered hundreds of tips.

Earlier this month, the bigger-than-life list, which had long become part of the American vernacular, turned 61. For decades a fixture in post offices and banks, the Ten Most Wanted photos are now more likely to pop up on TV shows, billboards and the Internet through websites and trendy social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

“We recognize the unique ability of the media to cast a wider net within communities here and abroad,” FBI Director Robert Mueller said in a statement marking the 60th anniversary. “The FBI can send agents to visit a thousand homes to find a witness, but the media can visit a million homes in an instant.”

Brad Bryant, chief of the Violent Crimes/Major Offenders Unit at FBI headquarters, says getting on the list is “very competitive.” Field offices are notified at once when an opening occurs.

“The criteria we’re looking for are, first of all, they must be particularly dangerous or be a menace to society or have a lengthy criminal history,” Bryant said.

Often, dozens of recommendations come in to headquarters, Bryant said. Field offices submit packets with information about the case, including a case file, photos and reasons why the person is worthy of joining the list. Some submissions include endorsements from local police chiefs.

The Violent Crimes/Major Offenders Unit also solicits input from the media representatives at headquarters, said Rex Tomb, who was chief of the FBI’s fugitive publicity unit in Washington until he retired from the bureau in 2006.

Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger

“Public affairs personnel like myself were generally asked by the Criminal Division to comment only on whether or not we believed there would be media interest in a fugitive,” Tomb said. “If for some reason there is little or no public interest in a particular case, reporters would generally pass on writing about it. … If there would be little print given to a Top Ten fugitive then there is really little or no reason to put him or her on the list.”

The candidates for the list are reviewed by a committee of agents from the Violent Crimes/Major Offenders unit, who carefully look over the submissions and case files.

“We rank the top four or five in the packet, and we prepare a briefing packet for the assistant director of the criminal division and his boss and the deputy director and the director,” Bryant said. Mueller must then sign off on it.

The tenor of the times has been reflected in the list over the years. In the 1950s, it hosted bank robbers. In the 1960s, some radicals made the cut, and later, organized crime figures and drug traffickers and eventually terrorists, violent gang members and sexual predators were added.

The shortest time anyone spent on the list was two hours. The longest-tenured was Donald Eugene Webb, wanted in the slaying of a police chief in Saxonburg, Pa., in 1980. He stayed on for 25 years, 10 months and 27 days before being removed in 2007. The FBI provided little reason why, only to say he no longer fit the criteria.

The oldest person ever to make the list is mobster Bulger, who got on in 1999 at age 69 and has stayed there ever since.

The list is regarded as a highly successful tool for the FBI. Of the 494 who have appeared on the list, 463 have been captured or located, with 152 of those from a direct result of citizen cooperation, the FBI said.

There are countless stories of citizens’ tips from the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list resulting in arrests. Two fugitives were even apprehended as a result of visitors on an FBI tour who saw the photos.

Ted Bundy

Retired FBI agent Brad Garrett said that in the end, a $2 million-plus cash award — not the Ten Most Wanted listing — helped bring in information that led to the capture of fugitive Mir Aimal Kasi at a seedy hotel in Pakistan. Kasi opened fire outside CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., in 1993, killing two CIA employees and wounding three others. A few months after the shooting, he landed on the list.

“It’s an incredibly successful and novel idea, and it has captured hundreds of fugitives,” Garrett said of the famous list. “But I think it’s a lot more effective in the U.S. than outside” in places like Pakistan.

“I think the idea of a top 10 didn’t carry a lot of weight” in this case, Garrett said. “The dollar signs after his name carried a lot of weight.”

Ex-FBI Agent Who Worked Espionage Authors Spy Novel

Tom Stutler

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI agent Thomas R. Stutler, a newly minted author, says he likes fiction readers to get a sense authors know what they’re  talking about.

“My goal when writing fiction is always to make sure the reader can tell the book was written by somebody who was in the game… Every sentence, every paragraph and every chapter should feel real and alive and most importantly… Possible!,” he writes on his website.

Stutler, a former Florida state’s attorney turned FBI agent, who worked espionage and counterterrorism in California and at FBI headquarter from 1995 to 2004, has authored  “The Consulate”, a spy novel about a CIA-trained FBI agent and the Chinese government’s efforts to compromise a classified project by the White House that impacts all the American people. The book is edited by author Bob Andelman, whose name appears as a co-author.

Stutler told ticklethewire.com that he self-published the book and got a distributor to arrange for downloads at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble and iTunes. Though the book was first available in February, he said he just started marketing it the other day because of some glitches with the download.

A second book — part of the series — has just been completed, he said. But that’s not all. Someone has offered a letter of intent for the movie rights, he said.

“I love writing,” said Stutler, who has been a consultant for the Kevin J. Anderson, the best selling author of the X-Files.

Stutler lives in Tampa and has a consulting and private investigative agency.

FBI Interviewing Libyans in U.S. as War Rages On


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Signs of concern about a backlash from the U.S. actions in Libya are surfacing.

Devlin Barrett of the Wall Street Journal reports that the FBI has started questioning Libyans in the U.S. to look “Libyan-backed spies or terrorists, and collect any information that might help allied military operations.”

The Journal reports that counterterrorism officials believe the Libyan-related threat is slightly greater in Europe than in the U.S.

To read more click here.

Journalists Accuse FBI Employee of Being out of Control and Striking Them With Her Car at National Press Club


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — An FBI employee at headquarters is being accused by two Voice of America journalists in Washington of road rage that included intentionally striking them with her car and carrying one a short distance on her hood, the Washington Examiner reports.

The paper reports that a lawsuit filed Monday by Thomas Bagnall and William Greenback is asking for $1 million each.

The lawsuit stated that the two were unloading a television camera and other equipment from their sport utility vehicle in front of the National Press Club on 14th Street NW in downtown Washington on March 23 when Joy Ellen Mullinax, who works as a support staffer in Human Resources,  at the bureau,  pulled up behind them in her 2003  Hyundai Accent, according to the Examiner. Greenback was inside the car while Bagnall unloaded equipment, the paper reported.

After pulling up, Mullinax blew her horn and yelled and Bagnall told her to go around, the suit said, according to the Examiner.

“Mullinax accelerated and struck Bagnall, who spun around and screamed in pain,” the paper reported. ” Greenback got out of the SUV and yelled at Mullinax to stop because she had struck his colleague.”

“Mullinax gunned her engine, each time moving closer to Greenback, eventually pinning Greenback between her car and another car which had stopped in traffic. She then hit the gas again, striking Greenback and throwing him onto the hood of the car,” the paper reported. ” Mullinax’s vehicle then bumped into a 2006 Chevy Trail Blazer driven by Jeneer Beer, who was already on the phone calling 911, according to the lawsuit.”

Millinax was given a ticket for changing lanes without cautions.

Ticklethewire.com left her a voicemail Tuesday morning asking for comment.

Bill Carter, an FBI spokesman, said it is the “policy of the FBI not to comment on matters involving litigation between individuals.”

He said the agency takes allegations of misconduct involving any FBI employee “very seriously” and will take whatever steps are appropriate to address the matter.

Atty. Gen. Holder Says Ill. Prison Won’t Hold Gitmo Detainees

Thomson Correctional Center/abc7 photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. on Monday gave assurances that a state prison the feds are interested in buying to hold maximum-security inmates won’t house detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

In an April 4 letter to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Holder wrote of the Thomson Correctional Center:

“While we are confident the Thomson facility would be amply secure enough to house such individuals, Congress has since prohibited the use of funds to transfer such detainees to the United States.

“The Administration opposed that restriction for the reasons set forth in the letter I sent to Senators Reid and McConnell on December 9, 2010. Nonetheless, consistent with current law, we will not transfer detainees from Guantanamo to Thomson, or otherwise house Guantanamo detainees at Thomson. The Thomson facility would only house federal inmates and would be operated solely by the Bureau of Prisons.”

The state of Illinois and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Prisons are currently in negotiations over the purchase, Durbin said in a press release.

Some had strongly voiced concerns about holding Gitmo prisoners at the nearly empty state facility in Thomson, Ill.,about two hours outside of Chicago.

In a statement, Durbin said:

“Governor Quinn has assured me that both the state and federal government have made significant progress in their negotiations and a purchase agreement is imminent. I look forward to working on a bipartisan basis to open this facility and create more than 1,100 jobs in Illinois.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Foreign Corrupt Practice Act News

Brenda Heck Named Head of Counterterrorism at FBI’s Washington Field Office

Brenda Heck/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Brenda L. Heck, deputy assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division at headquarters, has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office’s Counterterrorism Division.

Prior to entering the FBI, she was a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service from 1985-88. In 1988,  Heck  joined the FBI and started in the New York division, where she spent 14 years working a variety of cases including fugitives, crimes against children, and civil rights. She was a member of the New York Field Office Scuba Team and was awarded the medal of merit.

In 2002, she was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Criminal Investigative Division, Violent Crimes/Major Offenders Section, at headquarters.

In October 2009, she received the Director’s Award for Excellence in intelligence analysis for her work on the Strategic Execution Team initiative, a two-year project to realign FBI intelligence functions, the FBI said.

Blago Asks for FBI Interview Summaries of President Obama

Gov Blagojevich in happier days as gov/state photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorneys for ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich want prosecutors to turn over FBI interview summaries of President Obama.

In a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, the attorneys asked for the documents known as FBI 302 reports so they can use the information to cross examine a government witness.

“In support of said motion, defendant states the following: Prior to the first trial, the defense filed a Motion for the Trial Court to Issue a Subpoena to President Barack Obama,” the motion stated. “That motion was not granted and at this time, in preparation for re-trial, Blagojevich renews the portion of the motion seeking access to the FBI 302 interview summaries of President Barack Obama.

” The instant request is made because it is believed that the government will call Tom Balanoff as a witness at retrial. The Obama 302s are likely to contain information that is necessary to prepare for the cross-examination of Balanoff.”  (Balanoff is president of the Service Employees International Union Illinois Council).

“This is not a request to interview the President or to subpoena the President and it is not intended to burden the Office of the President.”

Blago, who faces a second trial on April 20, is charged with using his office as governor to personally profit and of selling President Obama’s vacant senate seat.

Blago was convicted in the first trial on only one of 24 counts– for lying to the FBI.

Read Blago Motion