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Longtime New York FBI Mob Buster Gerard Conrad Retires

Jerry  Capeci is a mob expert who formerly covered the Mafia for the New York Daily News. His website, Gang Land News, is a paid subscription site. This article was re-printed with permission.  
 
By Jerry Capeci
Gang Land News

Longtime mob buster Gerard Conrad, who helped put scores of wiseguys behind bars working as a grunt agent on the FBI’s Gambino crime family squad and later as the hands-on supervisor of a revamped squad that now investigates two crime families, retired last week after a quietly illustrious 25 year career as a G-man.

A CPA, Conrad began his FBI career in Chicago and worked organized crime cases there for five years, three under John O’Neil, the counter-terrorism expert who died in the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Conrad, a New Jersey native, transferred to New York in 1994, working white collar crime cases for four years before joining the Gambino crime family squad in 1998.

Since then, Conrad played important roles in every major case the squad has made, including two racketeering indictments against Peter Gotti and 23 codefendants, three other racketeering cases involving mobsters in New York and Italy, and a huge 62-defendant case that included the Administration of the Gambino crime family in 2008.

Two years later he shared the podium with Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and New York FBI boss George Venizelos when they announced a racketeering indictment that charged powerful Gambino capo Daniel Marino with the murder of his nephew and 13 codefendants with a litany of other crimes, including sex-trafficking charges involving a minor — a 15-year-old girl.

Conrad, who supervised two major Mafia Takedown Day cases — racketeering against capo Alphonse Trucchio and 20 cohorts and the murder indictment of consigliere Bartolomeo (Bobby Glasses) Vernace for the 1981 Shamrock Bar murders — supervised the FBI squad that currently investigates the Gambino and Luchese crime families for six years.

“Gerry was one of the finest agents I have ever worked with,” said retired FBI agent Philip Scala, whom Conrad succeeded as squad supervisor in 2008.

“The squad will miss him. He’s profoundly humble, with an unlimited willingness to sacrifice for his people and their mission.”

Conrad also knows that it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes open, and pay attention to what’s going on around you, because sometimes when you least expect it, you may come across some evidence that can help put a murderous mobster behind bars for life — even on a walk in the park.

That’s what happened to him at about 3:45 pm on August 15,  a warm and lazy afternoon when he took a break from his FBI duties and spotted three very familiar faces sitting at a  table and chatting behind a cyclone fence in Forest Park, a short stroll from his Kew Gardens office.

“I saw Bobby Vernace, JoJo Corozzo and Alphonse Trucchio,” Conrad recalled last year as one of the final witnesses at Vernace’s racketeering and murder trial in Brooklyn Federal Court. That’s Vernace, in the blue shirt on the left. Corozzo is in the middle. Trucchio on the right.

He wasn’t close enough to hear what they were saying but he knew that putting the three mobsters together just might be relevant at some point, so, he testified, “I immediately called back to the office to get some agents there with a camera” to record the session for posterity.

Conrad kept his eyes peeled on the trio, “from across the park” until agents Robert Herbster and William Johnson got there, and took photos of the trio, still talking to each other at  4:22 pm. Ten minutes later, they took one of Vernace, 65, and Corozzo, 72, who were speaking privately, as Trucchio, 37, stood out of earshot about 20 feet away.

The discussion between the two older mobsters lasted “just a short while,” said Conrad, “two to three minutes.”

The photos weren’t smoking gun evidence. But prosecutors were able to use them, along with Conrad’s detailed account, to tie Bobby Glasses to two powerful Gambino mobsters some 25 years after he had gunned down two bar owners and convince the jury that the killings were related to Gambino family activity and that Vernace was guilty of racketeering and murder.

 

Ex-Fed Prosecutor Alan M. Gershel Who Helped Convicted Detroit Police Chief is Named Head of the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission

Alan M. Gershel

Alan M. Gershel, a law school professor and ex-federal prosecutor whose high-profile cases included the prosecution of Detroit Police Chief William L. Hart, has been named grievance administrator for the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.

The commission is the investigative and prosecutorial arm of the Supreme Court for allegations of attorney misconduct.

“Mr. Gershel has a focused vision for the future, decades of experience successfully managing a team of attorneys, and a reputation for professional integrity that will be a credit to the AGC,” Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr.  said in a statement.

Gershel resigned from Cooley Law School last Friday.

Gershel replaces interim administrator John Van Bolt.  Bolt was filling in after administrator Robert Agacinski, was fired earlier this year. Agacinski is suing Young and the Grievance Commission, alleging he was fired for reporting illegal misconduct of commission staff members.

Gershel was one of three prosecutors who convicted Chief Hart in May 1992 for embezzling funds earmarked for undercover operations.  Gershel also helped oversee an FBI sting involving local Detroit judges that resulted in a number of them pleading guilty in the late 1980s.

Gershel, a 1978 graduate of University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, taught at Thomas M. Cooley Law School from 2008-2014. Before that, he worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for nearly 30 years, and was chief of the Criminal Division from 1989-2008.

 

Retired FBI Agent Charles McGinty, Who Went After Public Corruption, Died at Age of 67

Charles McGinty

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Charles McGinty, a retired FBI agent with an impressive resume, died Thursday of unknown causes, NOLA.com reports.

He was 67.

McGinty was supervisor of a public corruption squad in the FBI’s New Orleans office when he retired in 2004.

After retiring, McGinty became a security director for Fidelity Homstead Savings Bank, where he was teaching a class when he collapsed.

McGinty, whose older brother also was an FBI agent, became one of the last agents hired by J. Edgar Hoover.

McGinty investigated public corruption and white-collar crime, and at the time of his retirement, he was finishing up a case that sent two Jefferson Parish judges to prison.

Edward Reinhold to Head up the FBI’s Knoxville Division

Edward Reinhold

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Edward W. Reinhold has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Division.

Reinhold most recently served as a section chief for the National Name Check Program in the Records Management Division at FBI headquarters, the FBI said in a press release.

Reinhold joined the FBI in 1987 and was first assigned to the Las Cruces resident agency of the Albuquerque Division.

Ten years later, he was promoted to a supervisory special agent at headquarters in the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, where he was responsible for training law enforcement organizations throughout the world in the various CJIS systems and programs, the FBI said.

In 2000, he became a supervisory senior resident agent in Augusta, Ga.

In 2007, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Omaha Division, where he oversaw criminal, cyber, and administrative matters until 2012 when he returned to headquarters.

 

Head of DEA’s Chicago Office Headed to Washington D.C. for No. 3 Job

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jack Riley, the head of the DEA’s Chicago division, is headed to a top post in Washington D.C., the Associated Press reports.

The 56-year-old, who has shed light on the influence of Mexican cartels on the Midwest, has been named the DEA’s chief of operations. The No. 3 post at the agency means Riley will oversee all DEA activity.

Riley was previously the head of the El Paso office.

He is to begin his new job next month.

A replacement has not yet been named.

Terry Wade Named Special Agent in Charge of Criminal Division at the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office

FBI Agent Terry Wade

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Terry Wade has been named special agent in charge of the criminal division at the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, the agency announced Wednesday.

Wade most recently served as section chief of the executive development and selection program in the Human Resources Division at FBI headquarters, a press release said.

Wade began his career with the agency in 1996, and was first assigned to the Helena, Montana office of the Salt Lake City Division. He focused on domestic terrorism cases.

After that, he headed to the Oklahoma City division, where he primarily worked violent crimes and drug and white-collar crime matters.

After that, he was promoted to a supervisor in the Criminal Investigative Division at headquarters. In 2003, he was promoted to supervisory special agent of the Flagstaff Resident Agency of the Phoenix Division.

In 2007, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Albuquerque Division, where he was responsible for the counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cyber, intelligence programs and the crisis management program and SWAT team.

He also served as the deputy on-scene commander in Baghdad, Iraq, from December 2008 to April 2009.

 

Senior DOJ Lawyer Named to No. 3 Post, Highest-Ever for Openly Gay Official

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A senior Justice Department lawyer who has been a key proponent of President Obama’s initiatives has been named to the department’s No. 3 post, becoming the highest-ranking openly gay official to ever serve the department, the New York Times reports.

Stuart F. Delery is replacing Tony West, who announced his departure last week, and will handle civil rights and environmental cases, among other issues. Delery may be best known for his role in overturning the federal ban on same-sex marriage. “Stuart has helped to strengthen our nation’s security, to protect public health and safety, and to achieve justice in cases of financial fraud and recover billions of dollars for taxpayers,” Mr. Holder said in a statement.

“I can think of no more dedicated, more capable, or more passionate public servant to continue the duties, and uphold the high standards, that defined Tony West’s time in office.”

FBI Promotes Eric Velez-Villar to Executive Assistant Director of Bureau’s Intelligence Branch

Eric Velez-Villar, FBI photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethwire.com 

 Eric Velez-Villar, a 29-year FBI veteran who has fought organized crime, terrorism and drugs, has been promoted to executive assistant director of the bureau’s intelligence branch, the bureau announced.

Velez-Villar most recently served as assistant for the intelligence directorate.

Velez-Villar joined the FBI in 1985 and began working on organized crime and drugs. In 2000, he relocated to FBI headquarters as a supervisory special agent and worked at the DEA’s special operations unit.

In addition, Velez-Villar worked as assistant special agent for the counterterrorism program in Los Angeles.