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FBI

Ex-High Ranking Secret Service Agent Among Those Busted in FBI Sting Involving 22 Executives

Secret-Service-Badge
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A former high ranking Secret Service agent was among 22 executives of military and law enforcement supply companies indicted this week in an FBI sting involving foreign bribery and sale of small arms, amunition and protective gear to Africa.

Patrick Caldwell, the chief executive officer of Florida-based Protective Products of America, spent 27 years with the U.S. Secret Service, rising to the deputy assistant director of the Office of Protective Operations.

Caldwell was among the 22 executive s charged with paying off a representative of a defense minister of an African nation to land lucrative contracts to supply the presidential guard of an African nation.  But the representative was actually an undercover FBI agent and there was actually no African nation involved.

Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith reported that Caldwell and former company CEO Stephen Gerard Giordanella “are alleged to have met with the FBI’s undercover agent at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami to hammer out details of a two-phased contract calling for a total of 3,650 armored body plates. The contract would include a 20 percent “commission” for a man they believed was an African nation’s defense minister.”

“Money changed hands, and in an October 2009 follow-up meeting at Clyde’s, a Washington, D.C., restaurant, Caldwell was told the defense minister “was pleased” with the product,” the columnist wrote. “The ex-Secret Service agent swallowed the undercover sting hook, line and sinker, according to the indictment.”

“He will have difficulty pleading ignorance of the law in the investigation despite the fact he’s only been with the company since January 2009,” wrote Smith. “The decorated Vietnam veteran was once in charge of the Vice Presidential Protective Division.

In a July 2009 press release announcing his hiring the company wrote:

“Pat’s vast expertise in federal law enforcement and the military are a natural fit for PPA and we are delighted that he has agreed to step into this important leadership position,” said General Hugh Shelton (ret.), Chairman of the Board. “We continue to work diligently to secure previously delayed and new military contracts as well as bolster our soft armor business where we see significant opportunity in diversifying our revenue stream.”

Newseum in D.C. Has Exhibit on G-Men And Journalists and Top Stories of the FBI’s First Century

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhdoaD2ES_o

FBI and Justice Dept. Employee Alice J. Manning Dead at Age 82

justice logo2

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Alice J. Manning, 82, who was featured in a Washington Post article in 1946 along with her seven brothers and sisters, and who worked as a secretary for the FBI and an administrative assistant for the Justice Department, died in Baltimore last month, the Washington Post reported Friday. She had Alzheimer’s.

The Post reported that Manning and four of her sisters worked as secretaries for the FBI. She eventually worked for the CIA and State Department before “spending the bulk of her career with the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, where was an administrative assistant. She retired in 1987.”

She was born in Bolton, Mass., and attended Emmanuel College in Boston and Catholic University, the Post wrote.

The Post said she enjoyed dancing and attended Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kensington, Md. She is survived by two sisters and two brothers..

OYE! Jewish Prayer Object Causes Plane to Divert to Philly

tefillin/istock photo
tefillin/istock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Oye.

A US Airways Express flight carrying 15 passengers from New York to Louisville on Thursday was diverted to Philadelphia after a Jewish teenager put on a religious prayer object called a tefillin, the Associated Press reported.

Authorities said the 17-year-old from White Plains, N.Y., put on the tefillin, which includes two black boxes attached to leather straps. One is strapped to the head and the other to the arm.

“It’s something that the average person is not going to see very often, if ever,” FBI spokesman J.J. Klaver told the Associated Press.

The AP reported that the teen explained the ritual to the crew members. However, Republic Airways, which operates the plane issued a statement saying crew members “did not receive a clear response” when they talked with the teen. “Therefore, in the interest of everyone’s safety, the crew decided to land in Philadelphia.”

AP said the plane was searched and passengers were questioned and the teen was very cooperative. The teen was traveling with his sister. Both were allowed to continue on their trip.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Investigating Allegations by TV Star Jon Cryer That Ex-Wife May Have Hired Hitman, TMZ Reports

Jon Cryer/cbs photo

Jon Cryer/cbs photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Drama for the cast of “Two and a Half Men” seems to be going  far beyond the tv screen.

TMZ is reporting that the FBI is investigating allegations by Jon Cryer, who co-stars with Charlie Sheen on the CBS hit,  that his ex-wife may have hired a hitman to kill him.

The tv tabloid reported that “Cryer and his ex have been embroiled in a bitter custody fight, which has gotten even more intense recently.”

Sheen has had his fair amount of drama over the past years. Sounds like they’re ready for a reality tv show.

Justice Dept. Fires Back As Tension Mounts With Office of National Intelligence

Fingerpointing: A favorite sport in Washington

Fingerpointing: A favorite sport in Washington

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Let the fun begin.

The Justice Department is firing back as tension between the agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence seems to be on the rise.

On Wednesday, Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told a Congressional committee that he was never consulted before the FBI decided to interrogate the underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and charge him in a civilian court instead of a military one. He also said the bomber should have been interrogated by a new special unit, even though he forgot to mention the unit was not yet operational.

The Obama administration was reportedly furious over the remarks, and Thursday said Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. had made the determination to try the underwear bomber as a civilian.

Also on Thursday, Justice Department’s chief spokesman Matthew Miller issued a statement that said:

“Since September 11, 2001, every terrorism suspect apprehended in the United States by either the Bush administration or the Obama administration has been initially arrested, held or charged under federal criminal law.

“Al Qaeda terrorists such as Richard Reid, Zacarias Moussaoui and others have all been prosecuted in federal court, and the arrest and charging of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was handled no differently. Those who now argue that a different action should have been taken in this case were notably silent when dozens of terrorists were successfully prosecuted in federal court by the previous administration.

“In the hours immediately after Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to detonate an explosive device on board a Northwest Airlines flight, FBI agents who responded to the scene interrogated him and obtained intelligence that has already proved useful in the fight against Al Qaeda.

“It was only later that day, after the interrogation had already yielded intelligence, that he was read his Miranda rights. After the Department informed the President’s national security team about its planned course of action, Abdulmutallab was charged in criminal court.

Read more »

FBI Busts Maryland Police Lt. On Allegations That Included Phone Texts of Sexually Explicit Photos With Teen Girl He Was Having Affair With

anne arundel police patch 2

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI arrested a lieutenant from a suburban Maryland police department on child pornography charges stemming from his alleged relationship with a teenage girl and the exchange of sexually explicit photos  and messages via phone texts, the  U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore announced Thursday.

James Cifala, 47, of the county police department in Anne Arundel,  a bedroom community considered a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington, was arrested Wednesday night at the police station. He made his initial appearance in federal court in Baltimore on Thursday. He was being detained pending a detention hearing Friday.

“The complaint alleges that a sworn law enforcement officer violated his oath in an egregious manner by engaging in a relationship with a child who was more than 30 years younger,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of Baltimore said in a statement.

“I hope this case will send a wake up call to parents about the need to monitor their children’s use of cellular telephones and other communication devices.”

According to a court affidavit, parents of the teenage girl contacted the FBI to report their daughter’s sexual relationship with an adult, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that “FBI agents recovered sexually explicit text message conversations between the girl and “Johnny,” who has been identified as James Cifala.”

The FBI recovered images and text messages from the girl’s cell phone allegedly showing that “Cifala exchanged sexually explicit text messages with the girl and that she transmitted sexually explicit pictures of herself to Cifala’s cell phone at his request,” authorities said.

Authorities said that FBI agents executed a search warrant at Cifala’s home on January 20 and “observed furnishings that allegedly match the background of a sexually explicit photograph Cifala sent to the girl.”

If convicted, Cifala faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Newsweek Reports Obama Admin. Flabbergasted Over Intelligence Dir. Testimony on Detroit Bomber and Demanded Correction

Dennis Blair/gov photo

Dennis Blair/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff reports that the Obama administration was flabbergasted Wednesday when Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair testified before Congress  and said  the infamous Christmas Day underwear bomber  should have been questioned by a special interrogation unit that doesn’t exist rather than by the FBI.

Newsweek reported that one senior official described Blair’s comments as misinformed on multiple levels. And officials were concerned it  gave Republicans more fuel for the criticism of the handling of the Detroit case.

“People are annoyed, angry, and frustrated about this,” said the senior official, who asked not to be identified, speaking about Blair’s testimony, according to Newsweek.

The official added, according to Newsweek, that the White House had ordered Blair to “correct” his remarks, which he did in the afternoon.

“He’s taking a mulligan on this,” the official said,  according to Newsweek.

To read the full report click here.

Read ticklethewire.com report from Wednesday