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FBI

5 Bank Heists Later, Calif. FBI Still Hunting for the “Geezer Bandit”

"Geezer Bandit"/fbi photo
“Geezer Bandit”/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Five bank robberies and 3 ½ months later, the FBI in San Diego is still hunting for an elusive, elderly mystery man in his 70s dubbed the “Geezer Bandit.”

“It’s unusual for someone this age to be robbing banks,” Darrell Foxworth, an FBI spokesman in San Diego said Wednesday. “Normally our bank robbers are 18 to 45 and male.”

Rail thin, clad in baseball cap and brandishing gun, the man held up his first bank in San Diego County on Aug. 28. Since then, he’s robbed a bank in that county about every two to four weeks, authorities said.

Authorities are taking it all very seriously.

Read more »

Head of D.C. FBI Joseph Persichini Jr. Leaving Under Cloud Involving Test Scandal; 2 Other Top Officials Also Face Scrutiny

Joseph Persichini Jr./fbi photo

Joseph Persichini Jr./fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Joseph Persichini Jr., the head of the Washington field office, is retiring this month under a cloud of allegations that he  violated agency rules when taking an open book exam.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the Office of Professional Responsibility, which conducts ethics investigations, had recommended disciplinary action, but “the appeals process had not run its course by the time Persichini announced his retirement last month.” He is scheduled to step down on Dec. 25.

Andrew Castor/fbi photo

Andrew Castor/fbi photo

The investigation into violation of the test rules also centers around two other high ranking officials in the D.C. FBI office — Keith Bryars, special agent in charge of administration, and Andrew Castor, special agent in charge of the criminal division.

Keith Bryars/fbi photo

Keith Bryars/fbi photo

The story about the scandal was first reported last month by ticklethewire.com.  The names of the agents were not published at the time, but it was reported that three high ranking agents may have received help on the exam from an FBI lawyer, and may have worked together, a clear violation of agency rules.

Persichini last month declined to comment on the scandal, as did Bryars when contacted by ticklethewire.com.  Castor did not return a phone call last month for comment. The Post reported that Persichini, 55,  attended his retirement party on Tuesday, and did not respond to requests for comment.

Calls to Persichini on Wednesday were transferred to Kate Schweit, the FBI spokeswoman, who said “we will be making no comment.” Bryars, when contacted Wednesday, took a number and indicated he would call back. Castor did not  return a phone call for comment.

Read more »

FBI Appoints Ex-Director William Webster to Conduct Independent Review of Fort Hood Incident

William Webster/fbi photo

William Webster/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has appointed former FBI director William Webster to conduct an independent review of the agency’s policies and actions prior to mass shootings at Fort Hood on Nov. 5.

The FBI said in a press release Tuesday that a preliminary review had been completed and “Webster will now lead an independent, outside effort that will look both at the initial findings and allow for additional review as he and his staff determine.”

“As a former FBI director, director of central intelligence, and federal judge, Judge Webster is uniquely qualified to undertake this task and look at the procedures and actions involved in this matter,” Mueller said in a prepared statement. “He, in the past, has led independent reviews of various FBI systems and broader policies and provided valuable recommendations. In this case, Judge Webster will have complete access and whatever resources necessary to complete the task.”

Webster was FBI director from 1978 to 1987.

FBI Probing Fatal Prison Stabbing in West Virginia

Hazelton Prison/usbop photo

Hazelton Prison/usbop photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and prison officials are investigating a fatal stabbing of an inmate Sunday at the U.S. Penitentiary at Hazelton in West Virginia, the Associated Press reported.

The facility has been on lockdown since the Sunday when Jimmy Lee Wilson, 26, was stabbed to death during an altercation, AP reported. He had been serving a 130 sentence for robbing a credit union.

FBI Raids Chicago Bars; Probe Video Poker Machine Links to Mob

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

Chef Overboard? The FBI Wants to Know

Coral Princess Ship
Coral Princess Ship

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has jumped into the probe into a missing Italian chef who disappeared aboard a cruise ship sailing from Aruba to Colombia.

The Associated Press reported that chef Angelo Faliva was last seen Nov. 26 aboard the Princess Cruise’s Coral Princess. Authorities are looking into the possibility he went overboard.

AP reported that the FBI joined the investigation at the request of the Italian Consulate in Los Angeles. The ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles on Monday.

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Daphne Hearn to Head FBI’s Intelligence Division in LA

Daphne Hearn/fbi photo

Daphne Hearn/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Daphne Hearn, special assistant to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, has been named special agent in charge of the bureau’s Intelligence Division in Los Angeles

Hearn, a Kansas City, Mo. native, began her FBI career in 1991. She started out in Buffalo and got involved in an organized crime investigation into an international illegal gambling operation with links to the mob in several cities, the FBI said.

In May 1998, she was went off to the Chicago division where she worked organized crime involving the town of Cicero, Ill.

Read more »

Another Mistrial in Big Federal Case; This Time NJ Shock Jock Hal Turner Walks

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — On Monday, for the second time in less than a week, a federal judge declared a mistrial in a high profile Justice Department case that captured the interest of many nationwide.

A federal judge in Brooklyn declared a mistrial in the case against Hal Turner, a New Jersey shock jock,White Supremacist and ex-FBI informant who was accused of threatening the lives of three federal Chicago judges who ruled in favor of a gun control case, the Associated Press reported.

A re-trial for Turner, 47, was set for March 1 in Brooklyn. The case was indicted in Chicago, but was moved to New York as part of a change of venue request.

The bad news for prosecutors came nearly a week after a mistrial was declared in Manhattan in the racketeering trial of John Gotti Jr. It was his fourth mistrial in five years. The prosecution has not yet announced whether it will go for a fifth trial.

After the mistrial in Turner’s case, one juror, Richard Gardiner, spoke to reporters and said the jury voted 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal, the AP reported.

As in the Gotti trial, the majority of the jurors in the Turner case thought the government case was weak, the juror said.  The lone juror said he favored conviction.

CNN Special on Hal Tuner

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

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