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Weekend Series on Crime: The NY Mafia Lords

Sorrow, Forgiveness at Funeral for ATF Agent

Book Review: Retired FBI Agent Writes About His Dealings with Mobster “Whitey” Bulger

By Pamela Reinsel Cotter
Associated Press

Retired FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick tells his compelling story of trying to bring Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger to justice in “Betrayal,” written with Jon Land.

Fitzpatrick’s career was filled with multiple commendations and promotions, and when he transferred to Boston in the early 1980s with orders to “clean up the mess,” he jumped right in and asked to meet Bulger, a prized informant.

Fitzpatrick was shocked to discover Bulger acting like he was in charge. He tried to shut down Bulger’s FBI informant status and have him arrested for murder, but Bulger managed to stay one step ahead.

The book is available on Amazon.

To read more click here.

FBI Definition of Rape to Include Men for First Time

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For 85 years, the official definition of rape did not include men.

That’s changing.

The FBI is changing that definition to include sexual assault of males, USA Today reports.

“Under the current definition, established 85 years ago, many of the sex crimes alleged in the ongoing prosecution of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky would not be counted in the bureau’s Uniform Crime Report, one of the most reliable measures of crime in the United States,” USA Today’s Kevin Johnson writes.

USA Today reports that the rape is currently defined as “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.”

To read more click here.

Memorial Fund Established for NY ATF Agent John Capano

John Capano/atf photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A memorial fund has been set up for ATF agent John Capano of New York who was killed New Year’s Eve day while attempting to stop an armed robbery of a pharmacy in Long Island where he had gone to fill a cancer medication for his ailing father.

The primary purpose of the fund is to provide monies for his son’s and daughter’s college education. His son is attending Northeastern University and his daughter is a high school student.

Individual and corporate donations can be made out to Special Agent John Capano Memorial Fund and sent to the Federal Drug Agents Foundation, 380 North Broadway, Suite 203, Jericho, NY 11753. Donations to the fund are tax deductible.

Authorities suspect that Capano was killed by friendly fire from a retired cop who had come to his rescue after he began struggling with the robber.

The funeral is scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m. at the St. William the Abbot Roman Catholic Church in Seaford, N.Y. Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. is scheduled to speak at the funeral.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

More Shakeups at ATF Over Fast and Furious

By Danny Fenster and Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Now comes more shakeups at ATF over the controversial program Fast and Furious.

ATF confirmed Thursday that three officials have been detailed to headquarters in non-operational positions pending the outcome of an Inspector General report into the Fast and Furious program, which encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to middlemen, all with the hopes of tracking the weapons to the cartels. Some guns surfaced at crime scenes, causing a furor on Capitol Hill.

The latest shakeup was first reported by the website Sipsey Street Irregulars.

Those transferred to headquarters included: William Hoover, the acting head of the Washington Field office; Mark Chait, head of the Baltimore field division,  and  William McMahon, the deputy assistant director of the ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations.

Scot Thomasson, chief spokesman for ATF issued a statement on the matter, saying:

“Taking into consideration the depth and breadth of the Fast and Furious investigation a decision to detail ATF Deputy Assistant Director William McMahon, Special Agents in Charge William Hoover and Mark Chait from operational positions with oversight responsibilities to non-operational positions was made by the Deputy Director Thomas Brandon. These new assignments will remain in effect pending the outcome of the OIG investigation.”

Interestingly, the three had already been transferred once before as a result of Fast and Furious.

Before the first transfer, Hoover was the acting Deputy Director of the ATF, the number 2 spot;  Chait was the Assistant Director in Charge of Field Operations and McMahon was Deputy Assistant Director of Field Operations.

The Fast and Furious Operation is still stirring controversy in Washington.

US Attorey General Eric Holder is expected to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding Operation Fast and Furious on Feb. 2.

Mexcan Drug Lord Pleads Guilty in San Diego

Border fence along Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The one-time Mexican leader of “one of the most notorious multi-national drug trafficking organizations to ever exist” pleaded guilty to a variety of charges in a federal court in San Diego on Wednesday, according to the FBI.

Benjamin Arellan-Felix was the leader of the Tijuana Cartel/Arellano-Felix Organization (AFO) from 1986 until his arrest in Mexico in 2002. He was extradited last April 29 from Mexico to the U.S.

The group controlled the flow of cocaine, marijuana and other drugs into the Unites States from the border towns of Tijuana and Mexicali, says the FBI, with operations extending south into Mexico and Colombia as well.

“The plea today marks the end of the Arellano-Felix drug trafficking organization as we know it,” said William R. Sherman, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA in San Diego. The plea is the latest in a string of convictions against members of the AFO, including Arturo Paez-Martinez in 2002, Ismael and Gilberto Higuera-Guerrero in 2007, Javier Arellano-Felix in 2007 and Jesus Labra-Aviles in 2010.

“The AFO has been effectively dismantled and no longer poses the same threat to the people of the United States or Mexico,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Laura E. Duffy.

Slain ATF Agent Honored at Childhood Schools

John Capano/atf photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The flags flew at half mast this week at the school district where  ATF John Capano attended.

Capano was fatally shot Dec. 31 when he tried to interfere with a robbery occurring at the Long Island pharmacy where he was picking his father’s cancer medication. Authorities suspect he was accidentally shot by a retired cop who came to his rescue.

In the Seaford School District, in Seaford, New York, Capano was honored as all U.S.  flags were placed at half-mast, the Massapequa Patch reports. At a Seaford Board of Education meeting on Thursday night, a moment of silence is also planned in honor of the former ATF agent.

Brian Conboy, Seaford Superintendent of Schools, told the Patch he remembers growing up with Capano, running into him in recent years at a local 7-11 and catching up on old times.

“He had very strong ties to the community,” Conboy said. “He comes from a very community-minded family.” The two attended school together at the former Seaford Avenue Elementary school and were in Boy Scouts and Little League together, according to Patch.

To read more click here.