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June 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter


Elizabeth Fries to Head FBI’s Louisville Division

Elizabeth Fries/fbi photo

Elizabeth Fries/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel

Elizabeth A. Fries,  special assistant to the associate deputy director at FBI headquarters, is taking over the agency’s Louisville division as special agent in charge.

Fries joined the FBI in 1991 and was first assigned to the Indianapolis Division where she worked a variety of cases including public corruption and bank fraud, the FBI said.

Later, she was off to the Office of the Independent Counsel in Little Rock, Ark. as part of the Whitewater investigation, the FBI said. In 1998, she headed north to New York to investigate organized crime.

In 2000, she arrived at the mothership, headquarters, as a supervisory special agent in the Inspection Division at FBI Headquarters.

She went on to some other assignments and in 2006 became assistant special agent in charge of the Miami office. In 2008, she was named special assistant to the associate deputy director, where she provided counsel to the associate deputy director on a variety of policy, technical, budget, and administrative matters, the FBI said.

Supervisor of Anthrax Suspect Has Doubts About FBI’s Investigation

Bruce Ivins

Bruce Ivins

By Allan Lengel

Not everyone is buying into the FBI’s findings that scientist Bruce Ivins was the anthrax killer — including his supervisor.

The Frederick News Post  in Frederick, Md., where Ivins worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, reports that Ivins’ supervisor Jeffrey Adamovicz wasn’t impressed with the FBI findings released last week which pointed the finger at Ivins, who committed suicide before authorities could charge him. The FBI also announced the official closing of the case.

“The evidence is still very circumstantial and unconvincing as a whole,” Adamovicz, the former chief of bacteriology, wrote in an e-mail to the paper. “I’m curious as to why they closed the case while the (National Academy of Science) review is still ongoing. Is it because the review is going unfavorable for the FBI?”

“There is an assumption by the FBI that the spores could have only been prepared in the week before each mailing. This is a fatal error in logic,” Adamovicz wrote, according to the paper. “The only reason that I can derive why the FBI has proposed this is that it is the only period that helps provide circumstantial evidence against Bruce.”

To read more click here

Ex-Phone Worker Hit With 3-Plus Years For Helping Tap Phones of the Rich and Famous for Rogue Hollywood Detective Pellicano

telephoneBy Allan Lengel

The Anthony Pellicano case just keeps giving.

The latest: Joann Wiggan, 56, a  former SBC phone company worker,  was sentenced Monday  in Los Angeles to 3 years and 5 months in prison and fined $7,500 for helping  Pellicano, the rogue detective to the stars,  wiretap big name  actors like Sylvester Stallone, according to the Associated Press. She was convicted  of two counts of perjury and one count of making a false statement.

Authorities charged Wiggan was a facilities tech at the phone company and had access to the computer mainframes.

Pellicano was sentenced to 15 years in prison and FBI agent Mark Rossini lost his job and was sentenced to one year probation in Washington for leaking a secret FBI document to his girlfriend, actress Linda Fiorentino. She in turn, provided the document to Pellicano’s defense attorney for trial.

Body of Missing Retired FBI Agent Found in Texas: Homicide or Suicide?

texasBy Allan Lengel

The body of a missing retired FBI agent was found in Waller County, Texas late last week near her car, the Waller County News Citizen  reported.

The paper said unconfirmed reports indicated Patricia Durney had suffered a bullet wound to the head. It said authorities were trying to determine whether it was a homicide or suicide. Her body was found Thursday, one day after she was reported missing.

A comment from the sheriff’s department  made it sound as if they were leaning toward suicide.

“The investigation continues, however the initial investigation does not reveal any evidence of foul play,” the Waller County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release, according to the paper.

For Full Story

LA Times Editorial Wonders About DEA Chief Michele Leonhart’s Stance on Pot

DEA's Michele Leonhart/dea photo

DEA's Michele Leonhart/dea photo

Los Angeles Times Editorial

When President Obama nominated Michele Leonhart to head the Drug Enforcement Administration last month, those hoping for a sensible federal policy regarding medical marijuana — one that promotes scientific research into its medicinal value and eschews prosecution when it is used in accordance with local laws — shivered.

As special agent in charge of the Los Angeles Field Division, Leonhart zealously cracked down on dispensaries (though, it could be argued, that was during the Clinton and Bush years, and she was adhering to White House policy). Then, in 2008, as acting head of the DEA, she denied the application of a University of Massachusetts botanist to cultivate marijuana for research purposes (though that too was in line with the Bush administration’s anti-science stance).

So what are we to expect now if she is confirmed by the Senate? Hard to say. Since Obama’s Swearing in, it has been unclear whether the DEA — which Leonhart has been running as acting administrator since November 2007 — is willing to abide by his administration’s verbal and written policy of not pursuing medical marijuana operations that do not violate their state’s laws.

To read more click here.


Column: Terrorists Should Face Civilian Courts

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
By Clarence Page
Chicago Tribune Columnist

WASHINGTON — Resistance to political influence is a virtue in a good attorney general. Tone deafness to politics is not, especially when the public fails to understand the virtue in what you’re doing.

That appears to be why, as much as he prefers a civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Attorney General Eric Holder has backpedaled just enough to say that he is open to a military tribunal.

In an interview published Feb. 15 in The New York Times, he said, “You have to be flexible.” That’s true, if you can avoid tying yourself up in knots.

Holder and President Barack Obama appear to be bending to the relentless winds of opinion polls and conservative politicians. They may not have much choice. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina has introduced a bill in the Senate to cut off funding for criminal trials related to Sept. 11. He hopes to force cases like Mohammad’s into the military commissions that the Bush administration hastily organized at Guantanamo after the 2001 attacks.

It is easy to understand why our military is a sentimental favorite as a go-to place for handling terrorists. But those who root for the military commissions in Guantanamo should note a few things. The FBI, Justice Department and our federal courts have a better track record for effectiveness, constitutionality and appropriately tough sentencing than Team Obama’s political critics give them credit.

To read full column click here.

FBI Warned Mass. Mobster A Year Before He Was Whacked

By Allan Lengel

The FBI apparently warned Massachusetts mob crime boss Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno that he might get whacked a year before he was gunned down in November 2003, the Boston Globe reported.

The paper reported that unsealed records in Hamden Superior Court in Massachusetts shows an FBI agent noted in a Feb. 12, 2002 document that an informant in a federal witness protection program warned that someone wanted to take over the operation.

Last week, the feds charged two members of the Genovese Crime family with the murder of Bruno.

To read more click here.

Contractor Tells FBI He Gave Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick $100,000 Bribe

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel

DETROIT –Could it be ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of sex-text message fame, who has already served time for obstruction of justice in state court, could face far more serious charges in federal court?

The Detroit Free Press reports that “a contractor who pleaded guilty in an ongoing corruption probe in Detroit has told investigators that he handed as much as $100,000 in bribes to then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in 2002, according to interviews and sworn documents reviewed by the Free Press.”

The paper reported that the contractor, Karl Kado of West Bloomfield, Mi., also told the FBI “he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the mayor’s father, and thousands more to a close mayoral aide, according to the records and interviews.”

The FBI has been probing the mayor and his father and others for quite some time. Stay tuned.

To read more click here.