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FBI

Wife of Retired FBI Agent Missing in Iran Pleads for Help 1,000 Days Later

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The wife of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson marked the 1,000th day of her husband’s disappearance in Iran Thursday by talking about the anguish and pleading for help from the Iranian government to find out about his whereabouts.

“Today, Thursday, December 3rd, marks the 1,000th day since my husband, Robert “Bob” Levinson, went missing in Iran,” wife Christine Levinson wrote on the website set up to gather information on his whereabouts.

“To put 1,000 days in perspective – Bob disappeared less than a month after now-President Barack Obama first declared his candidacy, three and a half months before the iPhone was released and two weeks before 15 members of the British Navy were detained in Iran and subsequently freed. On a more personal level, 1,000 days ago our youngest son was 13; today he turns 16 years of age. It is not a happy birthday.‬‪” ‬

“Bob went missing on the Iranian island of Kish on March 9th, 2007. Kish Island is not even part of the Iranian mainland – it is a free trade zone that does not require a visa for entry. My husband expected to be on the island for just 24 hours – one day. But it has now been 1,000 days.”

“My family and I have spent almost three years seeking answers from the Iranian government, which I believe has the power to help us. We continue to ask for their assistance. We have no reason to believe Bob ever left Iran, and his passport has not shown up in any other country.”

The FBI issued a press release saying that it was continuing to seek information about Levinson’s whereabouts, and noting that he has seven children and two grand children.

“Although the FBI has note received any information from Iranian authorities to date about Mr. Levinsion, we are willing to cooperate fully with Iranian investigators in the our effort to find Mr. Levinson and bring him home safely.”

To read the wife’s entire statement click  on “Read More”.

Read more »

DEA’s Michele Leonhart Still Appears on Track to Get Agency’s Top Post

Michele Leonhart/dea photo

Michele Leonhart/dea photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Despite all the speculation and rumor as to who will be the next chief of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, word has it that the acting chief Michele Leonhart is still on track to get the nod from the White House for the top post.

Leonhart, whose title is acting administrator, was one of four people being considered for the job as the permanent administrator. Several months back, the FBI’s deputy director John Pistole, by all accounts,  seemed to be the front runner.

But for some reason,  sources said Leonhart had stepped to the front of the line. Still, because nothing has happened, speculation as to who will be the chief continues to circulate inside and outside the agency.

But a source says that Leonhart is  on track to get the job, but it’s still not a done deal. DEA spokesman Rusty Payne declined to comment Wednesday on the matter.

Read more »

FBI Busts D.C. Guards on Charges of Smuggling Cellphones and Ipods to Inmates for Cash

dc. dept of correctionsBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — An undercover FBI employee posing as an inmate’s brother, helped bust two D.C. corrections officers and a Maryland woman on federal bribery charges for allegedly smuggling cellphones and iPods to prisoners in exchange for cash payments, the Washington Post reported.

Authorities on Tuesday arrested corrections officers Thomas Ford, 35, and Quincy Hayes, 32, who were placed on administrative leave, the Post’s Del Quentin Wilber reported. Both work at the D.C. Correction Treatment Facility, which is run by the Corrections Corporation of America.

Authorities also charged Renee Braxton, 44, a security guard at a museum, the Post reported.

The paper reported that an inmate tipped off the FBI to the contraband smuggling. Subsequently, an undercover FBI employee, posing as an inmate’s brother, “met with Braxton and Ford in 2008 and early this year and gave them several hundred dollars to smuggle a phone, an iPod and a charger to inmates at the CTF,” the Post reported.

Ex-U.S. Atty/Gov. Elect Chris Christie Subpoenaed in Trial of Right Wing NJ Shock Jock

Christopher Christie/campaign photo

Christopher Christie/campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Now that the election is over, New Jersey’s Gov.-elect Christopher Christie doesn’t have to deal with this as a potential campaign issue.

Nonetheless, it’s probably a situation the former New Jersey U.S. Attorney would rather not deal with at all.

The Herald News reported that Christie, who stepped down as Newark’s U.S. Attorney late last year, was subpoenaed Tuesday to testify as a defense witness for Hal Turner, a New Jersey right-wing blogger, shock jock and ex-FBI informant former who is on federal trial in Brooklyn on charges of threatening the lives of appeals court judges in Chicago.

The paper reported that Turner’s defense attorney, Michael Orozco, said “he hopes to question Christie about whether federal prosecutors in Newark made a blanket decision not to file charges against Turner after previous threatening statements on the radio or on his blog.”

A Christie spokesman confirmed the existence of the subpoena, but did not comment further, the paper reported.

To Read More click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

NY Mobster Gregory DePalma Whose Friends Included Sinatra Dies in Prison at Age 77

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

New York mobster Gregory DePalma, whose friends included celebrities Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Willie Mays, and who was embarrassed when he suggested an undercover Cuban-born FBI agent become a made man in the Gambino crime family, has died in prison at age 77, Gangland News reported.

DePalma became a “made man” under the late Paul Castellano regime, Gangland reported.

Gangland reported that DePalma predicted at his sentencing in 2006 that he wouldn’t survive his 12 year sentence. He died from a myriad of ailments last week at the federal prison hospital North Carolina.

He was embarrassed when it came out that he tried to get Cuban-born undercover FBI agent Joaquin Garcia into the Gambino crime family as a made man.

“The world is a better place without Greg,” Garcia told Gangland. “I hope Greg made his peace with God before he died, but if he didn’t, God better watch his wallet.”

See Video on Undercover FBI Agent Joaquin Garcia Who  Helped Put DePalma Away

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBxsJwLyL10

FBI Joins Hunts for Wash. State Cop Killer; Ex-Ark. Gov. Huckabee Commuted Sentence of Suspect

Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee

Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI joined the hunt for a “person of interest” in the slaying of four police officers in Parkland, Wash., at a coffee shop Sunday morning, according to media reports.

Authorities identified the person of interest as Maurice Clemmons, 37, of Tacoma, Wash.

Meanwhile, the Seattle Times reported that ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had commuted Clemmons’ sentence nine years ago despite protests from prosecutors.

The Times reported that Clemmons  had a lengthy criminal history that  included at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington.

The Seattle paper said  Huckabee issued a statement Sunday night calling the slayings  “a horrible and tragic event” and that if Clemmons is in fact responsible  “it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State.”

For Full Story

Read Seattle Times Account of Shooting

Suspect Told Parole Board He Had Changed (Seattle Times)

UPDATE: Monday 8:45 a.m.  Shooting Suspect Wounded and May be Dead (Seattle Times)

UPDATE: Monday 11:55 a.m. — Suspect Not in House Police Surrounded Over Night (Seattle Times)

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Cyber Expert Warns of Criminals Snatching Info From Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin

facebook1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A cyber-security expert who has worked with such agencies as the FBI and Scotland Yard is warning that hackers and cyber criminals are targeting social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, the The Observer in London reports.

“It’s happening all over the world,” said the expert Mikko Hypponen, who refuses to use Facebook, the Observer reported.

“These guys steal an individual’s profile, then email everyone in their contacts with a link and a subject heading like ‘check this out’. You trust the email because it’s from your friend,” Hypponen told the Observer.

“So you click on the link and before you know it all your security information has been stolen. I don’t use Facebook because I know who’s watching and I don’t want these guys looking at pictures of me and my family. People think no one phishing will be able to make money from Facebook, but cyber-criminals can. This is only the beginning. You will see this happening more and more.”

To Read More

FBI Probing Las Vegas Hospital for Leaking Info to Ambulance Chasing Attorneys

ambulanceBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ambulance chasers beware.

The FBI is probing allegations that someone at the University Medical Center  in Las Vegas released confidential information about  traffic accident victims to personal injury attorneys hunting for new clients, Courthouse News Service reports.

“Our main concern right now is to conduct a thorough and professional investigation for the purpose of determining what actually happened,” the FBI said in a statement, according to the Courthouse News Service. “The FBI is closely working with UMC officials to determine the scope of any possible breach.”