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June 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter


Boston Globe Columnist Blasts Justice Dept. For Blowing Off Victim’s Family in Murder Involving Mobster Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

The ugly chapter involving the questionable relationship between mobster Whitey Bulger and the FBI continues to rear its head in Boston. It seems the Justice Dept. has to owe up to the facts of the case and move on. Boston Globe Columnist Kevin Cullen feels the Justice Department isn’t doing that. He says the department is essentially telling a victim’s family to “drop dead”. Here’s the story.
By Kevin Cullen
Boston Globe Columnist
— You may recall reading in this space not long ago about the family of Michael Donahue, a truck driver from Dorchester who was murdered on the South Boston waterfront 27 years ago by the gangster Whitey Bulger with a very generous assist from the FBI.

The day after the column appeared, lawyers for the US Justice Department informed lawyers for the Donahue family that the government was going to ignore a judge’s recommendation to settle a lawsuit for getting Michael Donahue killed.

In essence, the government told the Donahues to drop dead. It wants to retry the damages part and force the family to go through the whole rigmarole again, on the pretext that the recent death of Judge Reggie Lindsay somehow changes the fact that Lindsay found the FBI liable for causing the murder of Michael Donahue while protecting its prized snitch Whitey Bulger.

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FBI Hostage Negotiating Team Brings Experience to Pirate Situation

Perhaps it’s a testament to its reputation that the FBI hostage negotiation team has been called in to help with the pirate hijacking on the high-seas. The unit has been involved in a lot of high profile situations and this is the latest.
By Rebecca Cole
Chicago Tribune
WASHINGTON fbi-logo — The FBI, brought in to help negotiate with the Somali pirates holding an American freighter captain, is no stranger to overseas hostage crises.

Since 1990, its Crisis Negotiation Unit has worked on more than 100 foreign hostage situations in Iraq, the Gaza Strip, Haiti and elsewhere.

The unit, based in Quantico, Va., routinely deploys negotiators to assist in kidnapping and other incidents involving U.S. citizens. Called the negotiating arm of the U.S. government, the FBI has about 340 crisis negotiators in 56 field offices.

FBI spokesman Bill Carter confirmed that the agency is assisting Navy personnel in negotiations with the pirates but would not comment on specifics. Among the cases on which the FBI has worked is the kidnapping of Jill Carroll, the American freelance journalist who was held for 82 days in Baghdad in 2006.

FBI Hostage Negotiators Join in Piracy Caper on the High-Seas

horn_of_africaThe FBI has entered the picture, hoping to solve this latest chapter in what has been a mind-boggling pattern of craziness on the high- seas. Nations around the world have to figure out a way to put a stop to this madness.

WASHINGTON (AP) – FBI hostage negotiators joined U.S. Navy efforts Thursday to free an American cargo ship captain held captive on a lifeboat by Somali pirates. A U.S. destroyer and a spy plane kept a close watch in the high-seas standoff near the Horn of Africa.

The pirates tried to hijack the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama on Wednesday, but Capt. Richard Phillips thwarted their takeover by telling his crew of about 20 to lock themselves in a room, the crew told stateside relatives.

The crew later overpowered some of the pirates, but Phillips surrendered himself to the bandits to safeguard his crew, and at least four of them fled with him to an enclosed lifeboat, the relatives said. It was the first such attack on American sailors in about 200 years.

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Kenneth Melson Named Acting Chief of ATF

Kenneth Melson/fbi photo

Kenneth Melson/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — Kenneth E. Melson, a federal prosecutor who headed the Justice Department’s Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys since 2007, has been named acting head of ATF.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. made the announcement Wednesday along with some other appointments including Mary Patrice Brown as acting head of the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Prior to heading the Executive Office for U.S. Attorney, Melson was the first assistant for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Va.

On different occasions, betwtween 1991 and 2001, Melson served as acting and interim U.S. Attorney for the Alexandria office, the Justice Department said.

Melson started his federal career in 1983 as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Alexandria.

“Ken’s more than 25 years of career federal prosecutor service and his knowledge in forensic science will make him a valuable asset,” Holder said in a prepared statement. “I am pleased that he will provide his talents to such an important Department of Justice agency.”

FBI Probe into Jesse Jackson Jr. Seems to be Heating Up

From the onset, Jesse Jackson Jr. has denied doing anything improper in connection with President Obama’s old senate seat. So far, it looks like he hasn’t convinced the FBI of that. The scandal involving ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich is likely to grow.



By Jeff Coen and John Chase
Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — Federal authorities have questioned a former chief of staff to ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and other cooperating witnesses about an attempt by friends of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to raise funds for Blagojevich to encourage him to pick Jackson for the U.S. Senate, sources said.

A federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the Blagojevich administration is expected to hear from witnesses about the fundraising effort in coming weeks, sources said.

Federal prosecutors allege Blagojevich, who was indicted last week on corruption charges, was considering awarding the seat to Jackson in return for a Jackson associate offering $1.5 million in campaign cash.

Covert recordings of Blagojevich last fall allegedly captured the then-governor suddenly going from cold to hot on naming Jackson to replace President Barack Obama in the Senate.

Prosecutors allege Blagojevich told aides he had been promised something tangible and immediate to name Jackson to the seat-namely money-and that he was leaning toward appointing Jackson.

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FBI Probing Leak of Hugh Jackman Film on Web a Month Before Release

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman

There is pirating a film and there is this, posting it on the website even before it’s released. That’s a bold new world we’re entering here.

By The Herald Sun of Australia

The FBI is investigating the leak of a copy of Hugh Jackman’s new film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, almost a month before its cinema release.

A high-quality work print has surfaced on internet file-sharing websites, and hundreds of thousands of people have already downloaded it.

It is an incomplete print, minus special effects and extra scenes, but 20th Century Fox vowed to track down and prosecute the source.

“We forensically mark our content so we can identify sources that make it available or download it,” the company said in a statement.

“The source of the initial leak and any subsequent postings will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“The courts have handed down significant criminal sentences for such acts. The FBI and Motion Pictures Association of America are also actively investigating.”

 For Full Story

Alabama U.S. Atty. Deborah Rhodes Latest to Step Down

U.S. Atty. Deborah Rhodes

U.S. Atty. Deborah Rhodes

By Allan Lengel
U.S. Attorney Deborah Rhodes of Alabama’s Southern District in Mobile becomes the latest U.S. Attorney to step down.

The Press-Register in Alabama reported that the prosecutor will step down April 17.

Rhodes assumed the position initially on an interim basis in 2005 after U.S. Attorney David York resigned “amid allegations of an improper relationship with an assistant prosecutor”, the paper said.

She became the permanent U.S. Attorney in 2006.

U.S. Rep. Artur Davis and a panel has recommended that federal prosecutor Vicki Davis get the post. A rival panel has recommended former District Attorney Barrown Lankster, the Press-Register reported.

“She’s been a terrific leader for this office…,” Maria Murphy, criminal division chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office told the paper. “I think we will all be sorry to see her go.”


Mother of Slain FBI Agent Feels the Pain in Slaying of 3 Pittsburgh Cops

FBI Agent Sam Hicks

FBI Agent Sam Hicks

It’s so hard to imagine three Pittsburgh cops being slain at once. The slayings are bringing up certain emotions for Charlotte Hicks Carrabotta whose son, FBI agent Sam Hicks, was gunned down last year.

By Anya Sostek
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PITTSBURGH –– For the last five months, Charlotte Hicks Carrabotta has inched through the grieving process for her son, FBI Special Agent Samuel Hicks, who was killed last year while serving a warrant in Indiana Township.

Yesterday, she found herself horrified by the fact that three new families were about to embark on the same painful journey.

“It cannot even be explained what you go through,” said Ms. Carrabotta, of Rockwood, Somerset County. “First you’re numb, then angry, then you realize that none of it does any good. You just take it one day at a time and be appreciative that you had what you did.”

Shortly after her son died, she was overwhelmed with well-wishers, condolences from friends and strangers and offers of assistance — none of which even started to fill the void left by her son’s death.

“What you want, they can’t do,” she said, “and that’s to bring them back.”
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