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June 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

News Story

Fed Sting Involving Sneakers and Guns Nabs 60

 By Danny Fenster

There’s a sneaker and jersey store in Mansfield, Ohio that was dealing with much more than sneakers and jerseys. In fact, the feds were running the store and buying illegal guns and drugs from bad guys as part of a year-long sting operation that netted 60 arrests, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

The ATF worked with the office of U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Richland County Sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices on the case, the paper reported.

“I have warned that the availability of guns was a serious issue for any urban center. It’s an issue that is playing out in our neighborhoods everyday,” said Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson.

ATF Director Melson and Az. U.S. Atty. Dennis Burke Stepping Down

                                                                                                                                Melson and Dennis Burke/atf file photo
By Allan Lengel
ATF acting Director Kenneth E. Melson, who took a lot of heat for the failed “Operation Fast and Furious” program, announced Tuesday he was stepping down  to become Senior Advisor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy (OLP) where he will specialize in forensic science policy issues at the Department of Justice.
The Justice Department announced that B. Todd Jones, the U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, will replace Melson as acting director, effective Wednesday. He will also remain U.S. Attorney in Minnesota.
At the same time, the Justice Department announced the resignation of  U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke, who oversaw the Phoenix Division during Operation Fast and Furious. His sudden resignation appeared to be part of the fallout from Fast and Furious.
Melson was at the helm during one the agency’s more turbulent periods, thanks to ATF’s “Operation Fast and Furious” , which encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers, all with the hopes of tracing the guns to the Mexican cartels.

ATF lost track of some of the guns. Some surfaced at crime scenes on both sides of the border.

“ATF employees are hard working and dedicated to the mission of protecting the public every day, and in my time here I have seen firsthand their extraordinary commitment to stopping violent crime,” said Melson in a statement announcing his resignagtion. “I will miss working with them, but know that my continued work at the Department will contribute in their pursuit and prosecution of violent criminals.”

On Dennis Burke’s resignation, U.S. Atty. Eric Holder Jr. stated;

“Under his leadership, the office has made great progress in its pursuit of justice with the creation of special units focusing on civil rights enforcement and rule of law, as well as more robust outreach to key communities, particularly in Indian Country. The office’s quick response to the devastating shootings in January that claimed the lives of several people and critically injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was crucial in arresting and charging the alleged shooter.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a critic of ATF who has been leading the probe into Operation Fast and Furious, issued a statement after Melson announced his resignation:

“While the reckless disregard for safety that took place in Operation Fast and Furious certainly merits changes within the Department of Justice, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee will continue its investigation to ensure that blame isn’t offloaded on just a few individuals for a matter that involved much higher levels of the Justice Department.

Rep. Issa/gov photo

“There are still many questions to be answered about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and who else bears responsibility, but these changes are warranted and offer an opportunity for the Justice Department to explain the role other officials and offices played in the infamous efforts to allow weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels.

” I also remain very concerned by Acting Director Melson’s statement that the Department of Justice is managing its response in a manner intended to protect its political appointees. Senator Grassley and I will continue to press the Department of Justice for answers in order to ensure that a reckless effort like Fast and Furious does not take place again.”

Tensions Grow Between FBI and Nigerian Law Enforcement

By Danny Fenster

Tensions seem to be heating up between African authorities and the FBI, reports Afrigque en ligne.

Nigerian police and the State Security Service say they feel sidelined by FBI agents’ investigation of the recent UN-building bombing in the nation’s capital Abuja. Though security and intelligence agents in Nigeria said they felt “embarrassed and ridiculed” by the bombing, they said the FBI were bound to find little “due to the unfamiliar terrain and peculiar Nigerian environment.”

“FBI operatives and other foreign experts have been taking part in investigations into the bombings in the country from the October 1, 2010 incident to the June 16, 2011 Force Headquarters blast. Yet, they have not been able to provide any useful lead that could help us to apprehend the masterminds,’ said a local paper.

The CIA Wants Cuts in Ex-FBI Agent’s Book That’s Critical of Spy Agency

New York Times

WASHINGTON — In what amounts to a fight over who gets to write the history of the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath, the Central Intelligence Agency is demanding extensive cuts from the memoir of a former F.B.I. agent who spent years near the center of the battle against Al Qaeda.

The agent, Ali H. Soufan, argues in the book that the C.I.A. missed a chance to derail the 2001 plot by withholding from the F.B.I. information about two future 9/11 hijackers living in San Diego, according to several people who have read the manuscript. And he gives a detailed, firsthand account of the C.I.A.’s move toward brutal treatment in its interrogations, saying the harsh methods used on the agency’s first important captive, Abu Zubaydah, were unnecessary and counterproductive.

Neither critique of the C.I.A. is new. In fact, some of the information that the agency argues is classified, according to two people who have seen the correspondence between the F.B.I. and C.I.A., has previously been disclosed in open Congressional hearings, the report of the national commission on 9/11 and even the 2007 memoir of George J. Tenet, the former C.I.A. director.

To read full story click here.

Inmate With FBI Wire Helps Bust Cellmate Who Wanted Prosecutor Killed

By Allan Lengel

With the help of a prisoner, who agreed to wear a wire, the FBI on Monday busted a 73-year-old man who wanted to have a Massachusetts prosecutor killed.

An affidavit by FBI agent Michael E. Dwyer said the FBI first received a letter from an inmate at the Worcester County House of Corrections on July 11, saying he wanted to speak to an FBI agent about an important matter.

Dwyer went to to the jail on July 28 and spoke to the inmate who said his former cellmate, Pernell Powell, wanted to have an Assistant District Attorney murdered, the affidavit said.  Powell was angry that the prosecutor recommended he serve four to six years for his fifth drunk driving offense.

The prison informant said Powell offered to pay $2,000 up front and another $2,000 after the job was done.

Earlier this month, the prison informant agreed to wear a wire and talk to Powell.

According to the affidavit, when the inmate asked Powell whether he was sure he wanted the prosecutor rubbed out,  Powell said:  “I want it. I mean what do you I put that money up for? I want his ass either way man”

The Telegram and Gazette reported that his next appearance is Sept. 6.

Read FBI Affidavit

FBI Says Ex-NBA Player Arrested at Calif. Airport on Murder Charge


Javaris Crittenton/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel

Authorities Monday night arrested ex-NBA player Javaris Crittenton at John Wayne Airport in Orange Co., Calif.,  on a murder charge out of Atlanta, the FBI said, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Crittenton was arrested at the airport while checking in for a red eye flight from LA to Atlanta, the paper reported.

Mr. Crittenton wants to clear his name,” attorney Brian Steel told the paper. “He’s innocent of the charges.”

Crittenton, 23, had a short-lived carreer in the NBA. He was traded his rook season to the Memphis Grizzlies, who sent him off to the Washington Wizards where he became better known for a gun incident in the locker room with star Gilbert Arenas in late 2009.

Both pulled guns on each other over a gambling dispute. Crittention was suspended by the NBA and got probation in the criminal case. He eventually ended up playing minor league basketball with the Dakota Wizards.

Authorities allege that he shot and killed a 22-year-old mother of four in Atlanta on Aug. 19. Reports indicated that the mother was not the intended target, but rather someone who Crittenton thought had stolen jewelry from him.





NY Times Editorial: Didn’t FBI Learn Anything from Whitey Bulger Case?

Whitey Bulger/fbi

By The New York Times
Editorial Page

Cutting deals with criminal informants may, at times, be a necessary if unsavory part of law enforcement. But the benefits must outweigh the costs, and it is not clear the F.B.I.’s Boston office has mastered that balance.

A police wiretap referred to in documents filed in a Boston court shows the Mafia capo Mark Rossetti telling his F.B.I. handler that “he knows he will be protected for the crimes he has been committing with the knowledge of his handler.”

The crimes he was talking about include running a heroin and loan-sharking ring, for which Massachusetts indicted and locked him up last year. He is also being investigated for six murders. The Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts State Police only learned about his link to the F.B.I. through its wiretaps of Mr. Rossetti.

To read more click here.

FBI Informant Who Infiltrated KKK Dead at Age 94

fbi photo

By Danny Fenster

FBI informant Stetson Kennedy, who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, passed away this weekend near St. Augustine, Fla., at the age of 94, reports the International Business Times. Kennedy had been in hospice care at a nearby hospital.

Kennedy, using the name of a deceased uncle and former klansman, gained membership and trust within the Ku Klux Klan throughout the 1940s and 50s, spilling secrets about and ridiculing in books and radio the secret rituals and views of the klan, the publication reported. Rejected for military service, Kennedy sought to fight “homegrown racial terrorists” instead.

Kennedy provided information to the FBI, IRS, the Anti-Defamation League and Washington Post columnists Drew Pearson, and testified in the grand jury about the klan’s involvement in the bombing death of NAACP leader Harry T. Moore, all of which helped to weaken the racist organization, the publication reported.