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FBI

Acting Head of N.Y. FBI Enjoyed the Wild Ride

Acting Head Venizelos at gang arrests in Newburgh, N.Y./fbi photo

Acting Head Venizelos at gang arrests in Newburgh, N.Y./fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

His title may be “acting,” but there’s no pretending that things haven’t been outright wild, abuzz, atwitter, downright explosive since George Venizelos took over in March on a temporary basis as head of the New York FBI office, the largest in the country.

There was the high-anxiety Times Square car bombing case. The Russian spy case. Key indictments of mobsters. And the roundup of 78 gang members from the Latin Kings and Bloods. And that’s just to name a few. In fact, since March, his agents have had a hand in the indictment of about 330 people.

“It all happened at once. It was definitely the experience of my life. It happened so fast,” he told AOL News. “Acting can be a thankless job, but acting in New York is still a tremendous responsibility.”

Monday, Venizelos loses the “acting” title and returns to his old role as special agent in charge of administration for the New York FBI Office. The permanent boss is arriving: Janice Fedarcyk, a friend of his who’s been running the Philadelphia FBI Office.

“For me personally it was exciting,” Venizelos, 50, said. “It seemed like every week something was happening. This was just kind of the perfect storm.”

To read more click here.

WEEKEND STORIES OF INTEREST

2 Cops Shot and Man Killed in Harlem Gunfight (NY Daily News)

FBI Impersonator Who Hired Assistant Gets Sentenced

fbi-badgeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The fun is over for Brenna Marie Reilly.

The Washington Examiner reports she was sentenced Friday in federal court in Alexandra, Va., to 30 days in prison and four months of house arrest for impersonating an FBI agent and hiring an assistant  to work for her as a fake agent.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga said she could serve her home confinement intermittently — on evenings and weekends — so she can work and go to school, the Examiner reported.

Authorities alleged that Reilly told neighbors, starting in August 2009, that she was a director of the FBI’s Forensic Division and an assistant director of the FBI., according to an affidavit from FBI agent Kari Alexa Parker.

Read more »

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Porn

us-capitol-police-badgeBy Matt Castello
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — In April, Dennis Craig Bell was a Sergeant with the U.S. Capitol Police. Today, the 27-year police veteran is a convict and another statistic in the ugly world of child pornography.

The Woodbridge, Va. resident pled guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to distributing child pornography. He faces a minimum of five years in prison when sentenced Oct. 22.

Bell, 55, first peaked the interest of  authorities in December 2009 when he was flagged using a peer-to-peer network set up to share child pornography, according to an FBI affidavit.

At that time, Detective David Abbott of the Manassas City Police Department was able to track down Bell’s home address through his IP address.

Read more »

Disturbing Trend Continues: Another Suspected Homegrown Terrorist Arrested

terrorismBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Homegrown terrorists just keep popping up.

The FBI on Tuesday night arrested a 26-year-old Chicago man, Shaker Masri, an American citizen, who allegedly had plans to travel to Somalia to fight with a terrorist group linked to al Qaeda and become a suicide bomber, authorities said.

Masri, who lived in the Streeterville area of Chicago, was arrested in Countryside, Ill., by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force following an 18-month probe, authorities said.

He was charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization and attempting to provide material support through the use of a weapon of mass destruction, authorities said.

Authorities said Masri expressed violent views to a friend about being part of a “jihad” and joining the terrorist group al Shabaab, which has been linked to al Qaeda. He was held without bond pending his next court appearance on Monday.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Stats Show Banks Robbers Prefer Fridays

bank-robberyBy Matt Castello
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Most Americans look forward to Friday, the gateway to the weekend. Bank robbers, it appears, are no different.

The FBI’s bank crime statistics released Wednesday for the first quarter of 2010 — January through March — shows 241 bank crimes occurred on Friday, more than any other day of the week. Bank crimes occurred most frequently, irrespective of the day, between 9 and 11 a.m, according to the FBI statistics.

There were 1,183 bank crimes reported to the FBI during 2010’s first quarter, a drop of slightly more than 22 percent during the same period in 2009. A bank crime includes a bank robbery, burglary, or larceny, but the lion’s share of crimes reported by the FBI involved bank robberies.

Read more »

Florida Man Gets Busted Planting Car Bomb in FBI Sting

tampaBy Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

Surely John Nicholas Coors thought it was a good idea to plant a bomb in a car for an $8,000 fee. Only problem was that it really wasn’t a good idea. The person offering the cash was actually an undercover FBI agent.

On Monday, Coors, of Brandenton, Fla., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Tampa to one count of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He faces up to 10 years in prison at sentencing.

During an undercover investigation, the FBI learned that Coors was claiming that he could build explosive devices with nitroglycerin, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Read more »

FBI Director Mueller Shows Up for Jury Duty

Robert Mueller/fbi photo

Robert Mueller/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Even the FBI director doesn’t get out of reporting for jury duty.

Director Robert S. Mueller III showed up Monday for jury duty at D.C. Superior Court, the city’s criminal court, the Washington Post’s Reliable Source column reported.

Mueller, who showed up with an “ear-pieced security guy in tow”, according to the column, made it to the jury box for voir dire on a gun possession case.

But that’s as far as he got. He was dismissed. No surprise there.

FBI Tells Wikipedia Not to Use Bureau Seal

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI, which can be very sensitive about its image, is taking on the ever-popular Wikipedia. The issue? The FBI seal.

The New York Times reports that the bureau sent off a letter to Wikimedia Foundation, the parent company of Wikipedia, demanding that it remove the FBI seal from an article on its pages.

”Failure to comply may result in further legal action. We appreciate your timely attention to this matter,” the FBI wrote, according to the New York Times.

Wikipedia claims the law the FBI cites is really aimed at preventing people from creating fake badges or profiting from the seal, the Times reported, noting that many websites (including this one) have displayed the seal.

Wikipedia fired back a response, according to the Times, saying the bureau had misquoted the law.

”While we appreciate your desire to revise the statute to reflect your expansive vision of it, the fact is that we must work with the actual language of the statute, not the aspirational version” that the F.B.I. had provided, the Times reported.

F.B.I. spokesman William Carter told the Times that the seal can’t be used without permission from the FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.