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FBI

FBI Executes Search Warrants in Northeast in Connection With Times Square Car Bomb; 3 Detained

fbi logo large

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The failed Times Square car bomb incident has led the FBI to the Northeast sector of the country where agents have executed search warrants,  CNN reported, saying  cash couriers seemed to be the target.  The raids took place in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

By afternoon the Justice Department had confirmed that three people had been arrested.

“Three individuals encountered during the searches were taken into federal custody for alleged immigration violations.” said Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd in a statement. “At this time we can provide no further details as the investigation is ongoing. These searches are the product of evidence that has been gathered in the investigation subsequent to the attempted Times Square bombing and do not relate to any known immediate threat to the public or active plot against the United States.”

An FBI spokeswoman told AP that there was “no known immediate threat to the public or any active plot against the United States.”

The AP reported that authorities had cordoned off a small house in Watertown, a Boston suburb.

Speculation Begins as to Who Will Take Over NY FBI Office

FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo

FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The speculation has begun as to who will get the top spot in the New York FBI office vacated by Joseph Demarest, who was officially named assistant director of the International  Operations Division at headquarters in Washington on Wednesday.

Some names that have surfaced so far include Andrew Arena, head of the FBI Detroit office, Janice Fedarcyk, head of the Philadelphia FBI and George Venizelos, a special agent in charge of the New York office, who has been named the interim head.

Arena, who formerly served as a special agent in charge in the New York office, has been with the bureau since 1988.

Fedarcyk took over the Philadelphia office in 2008 and has been with the bureau since 1987. And Venizelos became a special agent in charge in the New York office in 2006. He has been with the bureau since 1991.

Janice Fedarcyk/fbi photo

Janice Fedarcyk/fbi photo

Speculation as to whether Demarest would return to New York from Washington ended Wednesday when headquarters officially announced he was staying in Washington.

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

He was sent to Washington on a temporary assignment while an internal investigation looked into whether he had been truthful about an affair he had with one of his supervisors.

Demarest was considered a strong personality that could deal with New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, known as a person of strong will.

The FBI is likely to look for someone who can deal with Kelly as well.

Speculation Begins as to Who Will Take Over N.Y. FBI

FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo

FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The speculation has begun as to who will get the top spot in the New York FBI office vacated by Joseph Demarest, who was officially named assistant director of the International  Operations Division at headquarters in Washington on Wednesday.

Some names that have surfaced so far include Andrew Arena, head of the FBI Detroit office, Janice Fedarcyk, head of the Philadelphia FBI and George Venizelos, a special agent in charge of the New York office, who has been named the interim head.

Arena, who formerly served as a special agent in charge in the New York office, has been with the bureau since 1988.

Janice Fedarcyk/fbi photo

Janice Fedarcyk/fbi photo

Fedarcyk took over the Philadelphia office in 2008 and has been with the bureau since 1987. And Venizelos became a special agent in charge in the New York office in 2006. He has been with the bureau since 1991.

Speculation as to whether Demarest would return to New York from Washington ended Wednesday when headquarters officially announced he was staying in Washington.

He was sent to Washington on a temporary assignment while an internal investigation looked into whether he had been truthful about an affair he had with one of his supervisors.

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

Demarest was considered a strong personality that could deal with New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, known as a person of strong will.

The FBI is likely to look for someone who can deal with Kelly as well.

Man Indicted in Cross Burning Near Louisiana Home of Interracial Couple

louisiana-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For some people stuck in a certain era, public acts of hate never go out of style.

Enter Joshua  James Moro, 23, who has been indicted in connection with a 2008 cross-burning in Louisiana near the home of an interracial couple, the Justice Department said.

Moro faces a  charge of conspiring to interfere with another person’s civil rights in the incident that took place in Athens, La. He was arrested Wednesday on an indictment that was issued April 28. Authorities said his co-conspirator and cousin Daniel Earl Danforth was convicted in the incident in January.

Authorities said that at Danforth’s trial evidence surfaced that Danforth and others “built a cross out of small pine trees and transported the cross to an area adjacent to the victims’ homes, where they set it on fire in order to intimidate the interracial couple.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary J. Mudrick for the Western District of Louisiana and Trial Attorney Erin Aslan from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Takes Out Full Page Ad in Plastic Surgery Newsletter on Fugitive Whitey Bulger’s Girlfriend

Defense Atty. Accuses FBI of Improperly Recording Detroit Journalist’s Conversations in Public Corruption Case

Bankole Thompson/facebook

Journalist Bankole Thompson/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ex-federal prosecutor turned defense attorney is accusing the FBI of improperly taping conversations of a Detroit journalist and fabricating documents by describing him as an “unknown male.”, according to the Detroit News.

The defense attorney Richard Convertino, in a court filing on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, claimed the FBI recorded the conversations of Michigan Chronicle senior editor Bankole Thompson and failed to get approval from Washington as required, the News reported.

Bankole was talking to Sam Riddle, the target of a public corruption probe, but nothing beneficial was said in those conversations,  claimed Convertino, who also alleged other improprieties involving the wiretaps.

Convertno represents ex-state Rep. Mary Waters, a former companion of Riddle’s. Both Riddle and Waters are charged with bribing a Southfield City Councilman William Lattimore.

“As fruits of the poisonous tree, it is clear that without these illegal wiretaps, the government would not have had any evidence from which to derive …. the purported bribe(s) of Southfield City Councilman William Lattimore,” Convertino wrote in the motion.

Consequently, he asked that the charges be dropped against Waters.

The paper reported that a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined comment.

Read Full Story

Read Convertino’s Motion

Head of NY FBI Joseph Demarest Permanently Reassigned to Headquarters

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Joseph Demarest, the head of New York FBI, who had been under internal investigation in connection with an affair he’d had with a supervisor in his office, will become the new Assistant Director of the International Operations Division at headquarters in Washington, ticklethewire.com has learned.

FBI agent Richard Kolko, a spokesman for the New York office, confirmed that Demarest was getting the headquarters job, but referred any other questions to headquarters.

Demarest, whose title was assistant director in charge of the N.Y. FBI,  had been temporarily reassigned to headquarters during the internal probe.

No permanent replacement has been named for Demarest in New York.  In the interim, special agent in charge George Venizelos will head the office.

A number of names have surfaced in the rumor mill including Andy Arena, the head of the Detroit FBI.

Back in March, ticklethewire.com reported that Demarest had been temporarily reassigned to headquarters while an internal probe looked into whether he’d been truthful to investigators looking into an affair with another agent. His story reportedly conflicted with the agent’s version.

The press office at headquarters did not immediately respond to questions about the reassignment and what the outcome was of the internal probe.

UPDATE: Late Wednesday afternoon the FBI announced the appointment. Here’s the press release.

Retired FBI Agent Frank Scafidi Running as Write-In Candidate for Sacramento Co. Sheriff

scafidiBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Frank Scafidi, a popular figure in the FBI who was known for his keen sense of humor, is running a write-in campaign for Sacramento County Sheriff.

The Sacramento Bee is reporting that Scafidi, 58, who is retired from the FBI, has a campaign staff  made up of his family and a $600 war chest. He is running against three other people on the ballot.

“I’m under no illusions,” Scafidi told the Bee. “As a write-in candidate, it’s a nearly impossible task because no one knows me.”

“I have watched the campaign for sheriff with equal parts of disappointment, surprise, shock and sadness,” Scafidi said in a statement on his website. “The voters are being asked to select the next top law enforcement official in the county. You would think that candidates for sheriff would personify all of the ideals that their badge represents. You would think that instead of resorting to the lesser of three evils voters would lament that only one can win. You would think.

“But this race has delivered three candidates who have given the voters nothing to feel good about.”

Scafidi worked as an agent in Oklahoma, Washington, D.C. and Sacramento before retiring in 2004.