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Miami Feds Indict 11 Suspected Mobsters With Ties To N.Y. Bonanno Crime Family

Series May Be Gone, But the Mob Isn't

Series May Be Gone, But the Mob Isn't

The Sopranos tv series may have gone off the air, but the government says the traditional mob continues on.


By DON JORDAN
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Nearly a dozen Palm Beach and Broward county residents were indicted today (Thursday) after federal prosecutors outlined their alleged roles in a organized crime ring specializing in fraud, illegal narcotics, gambling and mob-style shakedowns.

The crew operated out of South Florida, but regularly reported and paid tribute to the powerful Bonanno Family, a New York City-based Mafia unit, according to the indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami.

Boynton Beach resident Thomas Fiore, 46, is an associate of the Bonanno family and leads its South Florida operation, prosecutors said. Each of the 11 alleged criminals were indicted on federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, charges after a two-year undercover investigation.

The other defendants include Billie Robertson, 34, and Lee Klein, 39, both of Boynton Beach; Daniel Young, 57, and Guy Alessi, 81, both of Delray Beach; Kenneth Dunn, 44, and Nicholas Fiore, 49, both of Boca Raton; and Frank D’Amato, 48, of West Palm Beach. The indictment also included Coral Springs residents Pasquale Rubbo, 43, Joseph Rubbo, 45, and Marc Broder, 42.

None of the defendents are formally inducted, or “made” members of the Bonanno family.
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Columnist Skeptical About Feds Terrorist Convictions in Miami

miami-mapBy Leonard Pitts Jr.
Miami Herald Columnist

Like the Mounties, they finally got their men. And all it took was three years, three trials and millions of taxpayer dollars.

At that price, you’d like to feel a certain satisfaction from last week’s guilty verdict against five men from inner-city Miami who stood accused of conspiring with al-Qaida to launch terrorist attacks in this country. You’d like to feel you’d seen justice done. Instead, you are left with the nagging suspicion that all you’ve seen is justice miscarried.

Prosecutors say the seven men arrested at a Liberty City warehouse in June 2006 were a homegrown terror cell conspiring with an FBI informant they thought was an al-Qaida representative to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago and other sites. The feds made their case with secret recordings, testimony that the men swore an oath of allegiance to al-Qaida and photos of possible terror targets taken by the defendants.

But the defense said the seven were just the hapless members of a would-be religious sect who thought they had found a patsy who’d give them money as long as he believed they were planning a terrorist strike. All they wanted, they said, was cash — to finance their sect.

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Computer Virus Strikes FBI and U.S. Marshal Computers

computer1Scary to think these agencies are so vulnerable. Looks like some IT folks have some work to do.

By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press
WASHINGTON – Law enforcement computers were struck by a mystery computer virus Thursday, forcing the FBI and the U.S. Marshals to shut down part of their networks as a precaution.

The U.S. Marshals confirmed it disconnected from the Justice Department’s computers as a protective measure after being hit by the virus; an FBI official said only that that agency was experiencing similar issues and was working on the problem.

“We too are evaluating a network issue on our external, unclassified network that’s affecting several government agencies,” said FBI spokesman Mike Kortan. He did not elaborate or identify the other agencies.

Marshals spokeswoman Nikki Credic said the agency’s computer problem began Thursday morning. The FBI began experiencing similar problems earlier.

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FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Tells Congress Gitmo Detainees in U.S. Pose Risks

Robert Mueller III/file photo

Robert Mueller III/file photo

The testimony only helps create more questions than answers to this controversial topic.

By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress on Wednesday that bringing Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States could pose a number of risks, even if they were kept in maximum-security prisons. Responding to FBI concerns, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration would not put Americans at risk.

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller faced repeated questions about the prospect of transferring to the United States some of the 240 inmates currently held at the naval base in Cuba.

President Barack Obama has ordered the Guantanamo Bay detention center closed by January 2010, but that timetable may be in jeopardy. As Mueller testified, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to block funding for bringing detainees to the U.S., whether freed or imprisoned.

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EX-Assistant U.S. Attorney Charged in N.J. With Murdering

Chicago FBI Task Force to Feature Bank Robbers on Internet

On one hand you have to applaud the FBI in Chicago for doing this. On the other hand, you really have to ask: What took so long? For years, now federal and local law enforcement have passed up on using the Internet to help solve crimes. All the bureaus around the country have to do something like this now, rather than later.
By MIKE ROBINSON
Associated Press Legal Affairs Writer

fbi photo

fbi photo

CHICAGO — Bank robbers love being obscure. The last thing they want is to find themselves stars of the Internet.

Chicago’s FBI-led violent crimes task force, however, is launching a Web site designed to give this city’s bank robbers the prominence lawmen say they deserve.

The site www.bandittrackerchicago.com will feature photos taken by bank video cameras and other pictures of robbers if the FBI can get them, special agent in charge Robert Grant said Wednesday.

Getting the faces of robbers before the public is likely to produce tips for agents investigating holdups and alert bank workers to be watchful, Grant said.

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Justice Dept. to Expand Healthcare Fraud Investigations

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Not a bad idea in a country where fraud is running rampant and costing taxpayers far more than they can imagine.

By Carrie Johnson
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON– The Obama administration today announced it would expand Justice Department health-care strike forces to Detroit and Houston, part of a broader commitment to root out fraud in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared at Justice Department headquarters in Washington to announce the move, which they portrayed as an effort to rein in fraud, waste and abuse in the taxpayer-funded programs. Medicare and Medicaid spend hundreds of billions of dollars annually on health care for the elderly, disabled and poor.

Health-care fraud is among the top enforcement priorities of the new team at the Justice Department, which is working closely with the inspector general at HHS and the FBI to collect and analyze computerized information about fraudulent claims.

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A Border Patrol Agent, a Cheeseburger, Poison and an FBI Probe

This is just a bizarre story. The FBI is investigating and there’s many unanswered questions.

By ZACHARY FRANZ
Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer
GREAT FALLS, Montana — A United States Customs and Border Patrol agent who was poisoned at a Cut Bank fast food restaurant last year is back in the hospital for injuries suffered in a fall earlier this week.

Denton Moberly sustained a head injury after falling outside of his Shelby home Tuesday, said his wife, Sheila Moberly. He is being treated at Benefis Health System in Great Falls.

Moberly, who moved his family from Texas to Montana two years ago because he thought it would be safer, nearly died after eating a cheeseburger laced with agricultural chemicals that he bought in a restaurant’s drive-through.

The poison caused major brain damage and forced Moberly to use a wheelchair for a year.

FBI investigators have said they have leads in the case but haven’t made an arrest.

On Tuesday, Moberly was at home with his 12-year-old daughter. She saw him go outside and later saw him lying on the ground. She called 9-1-1.

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens Paid At Least $1 Million in Legal Fees

Justice is supposed to be blind. But it sure as heck doesn’t hurt to get some high-paid attorneys to make sure justice has 20-20 vision. Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens apparently doled out the cash for his defense, and in the end it paid off.

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens during his last campaign

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens during his last campaign

Mike Scarcella
The National Law Journal

Nobody’s ever said Ted Stevens’ defense team would come cheap. Stevens paid his lawyers at Williams & Connolly between $1 million and $5 million, according to a financial disclosure report the former Alaska senator filed this month with the Senate Ethics Committee.

Williams & Connolly partner Brendan Sullivan Jr. won the Stevens case after a jury handed him a loss back in October. Several other partners, including Rob Cary, Alex Romaine and Craig Singer, were counsel of record in the case. At least several associates, including Beth Stewart, were part of the team.

Stevens also includes in the disclosure report that he spent between $50,000 and $100,000 on attorney fees at Utrecht & Phillips, which formed after the split up of Ryan, Phillips, Utrecht & MacKinnon. William Phillips and Carolyn Utrecht were not immediately reached for comment Friday.

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