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June 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

News Story

Ex-FBI Agent Pleads to Passing on Inside Info to a Close Friend

By Allan Lengel

An ex-FBI agent pleaded guilty Friday to obtaining information about an undercover law enforcement operation in Newark and giving it to a close friend,  the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark announced.

In June 2011, Ivan Stantchev was asked by a friend to  obtain confidential information in connection with four telephone numbers and any individuals associated with those numbers, authorities said.

Authorities said Stantchev asked an FBI colleague in the New York Metro area to obtain this information from FBI computers.

On June 30, 2011, that colleague sent  Stantchev an electronic document through the FBI’s email system detailing confidential information from certain FBI databases, including the existence of an ongoing FBI investigation in Newark, N.J.; the federal offenses being investigated in Newark; the related FBI case number; the name of the FBI’s operation; and notations confirming the existence of an undercover law enforcement operation in Newark.


Google Defies FBI Attempts to Gain Cell Phone Passwords

By Steve Neavling

A defiant Google earlier this year refused to unlock a suspected pimp’s cellphone, prompting a potential legal battle with the FBI that could have sweeping ramifications, the Wall Street Journal reports.

When the FBI can’t unlock cell phone information, such as texts, phone numbers and emails, it appears the agency is asking smartphone software makers for passwords, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Asking for passwords “is awfully new and aggressive,” said Paul Ohm, associate professor at the University of Colorado Law School and former federal prosecutor.

To date, there are no legal standards about obtaining passwords from phone makers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

FBI Investigates U.S. Border Patrol Shooting Along Rio Grand River

By Steve Neavling

The U.S. Border Patrol acknowledged Thursday that an agent shot a Mexican citizen along the border.

The patrol’s Laredo sector said in a statement that the shooting occurred after rocks were thrown at agents.

“A weapon was discharged by Border Patrol. All appropriate authorities were notified and the shooting is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the statement read.

The agency didn’t say whether the shooting was fatal.

Mexican officials said one of their citizens died in the shooting and accused the agency of excessive force.

FBI Agent Convicted of Fraud May Get New Trial

Steve Neavling 

A Nashville FBI agent who was sentenced last year to four years in prison for wire and bankruptcy fraud may get a new trial after allegations of racial discrimination surfaced, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, the Tennessean reports.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said the case should be sent back to district court to determine if Darin Lee McAllister is entitled to a new trial.

At issue is the dismissal of two black prospective jurors.

McAllister, who was accused of a scheme to defraud a bank, argues the District Court should have allowed him to challenge the jurors’ dismissals.

‘The Zombies Are Coming!’ Homeland Security Warns

Steve Neavling

The Homeland Security Department is urging citizens to prepare for a zombie apocalypse.

No, really. It was the government’s way of injecting a little humor into helping communities prepare for emergencies.

The idea is to prepare citizens for genuine disasters and emergencies, which would take the same sort of preparation to fend off a zombie attack, reports the Associated Press.

The tongue-and-cheek warning had a serious tone. If an emergency would break out, Homeland Security said residents should have an emergency evacuation plan and clothes, water, extra medication and emergency flashlights, the AP said.

AP reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency hosted an online seminar for its Citizen Corps organization to prepare for emergencies and used the zombie thing to add a little humor to the matter.


IG Says Justice Department Underreported Terrorism Statistics

Steve Neavling 

The Office of Inspector General said the Justice Department misreported terrorism statistics to Congress, the Associated Press reports.

The report, released Thursday, shows the Justice Department charged 544 people with terrorism-related crimes in the six years since the Sept. 11, attacks, not 512, as reported by the Justice Department, according to the AP.

In addition, 324 people were convicted or pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges, not 319.

While the numbers were  not significantly understated, the inspector general said such information must be reported accurately and more carefully, the AP reported.

Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Must Be Frustrated Seeing Prospective Black Jurors Bounced

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT –– Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick must have been frustrated on Thursday as he sat at the defense table in federal court in downtown Detroit during jury selection for his public corruption trial.

Kilpatrick complained recently that there weren’t enough prospective black jurors in the jury pool. Lawyers will tell you race can matter, particularly in a town like Detroit.

So imagine what he was thinking when only two of the 15 prospective jurors questioned in court by the defense, prosecution and judge, were black — and both wanted nothing to do with serving on the jury.

Both prospective jurors were woman who appeared to be in their late 20s or early 30s. The first woman said she didn’t feel she should judge anyone. The second woman said she had a job with a catering company and serving on the juror would create a hardship when it came to making a living. She also said she had been exposed to media reports about the case. The judge dismissed both from the trial.

In all, the court kept 11 in the jury pool and dismissed the rest. Of the 11, 10 were white males and females and one was a minority, possibly of South Asian origin. Additionally, a woman who never even appeared in court was also dismissed for hardship reasons.

To read the full story click here.

A DEA Agent, an Undercover Sting and the Capture of ‘The Merchant of Death’

Arms Dealer Viktor Bout/ dea photo

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON –– The DEA agents sat day after day in their smoke-filled command post in a Bucharest police station, checking their phones and e-mails for confirmation that one of the world’s most notorious arms dealers was coming.

Their sting was an elaborate one, a ruse involving a multimillion-dollar weapons deal between their informants posing as rebels in Colombia and Viktor Bout, a legendary arms trafficker known as “The Merchant of Death.”

But when Bout failed to show in Romania after two agonizing weeks of waiting, the agents decided to bow out for the moment, fearful of looking over-eager. They let Bout know they still wanted to meet him someplace else, and soon — although there was a risk he would slip away.

“If we were real, we would say we have other stuff to do,” said Lou Milione, the Drug Enforcement Administration agent who oversaw the high-stakes sting. “We just wouldn’t continue to wait. We were confident he would stay interested, but there is always that risk something would happen and he wouldn’t keep his interest.”

To read the full story click here.