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September 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

News Story

Ex-Police Chief Gets Probation For Stealing Funds

OMAHA, Neb. – The former Walthill Police Department chief was sentenced in U.S. District Court  Friday to probation for taking $3,500 earmarked for drug investigations, the Associated Press reported.

Joel Tyndall, 41, was given four years probation and ordered to repay the $3,500 he took, AP reported.

Dallas Feds Will Try Again in Terror Finance Trial

Federal prosecutors in Dallas will try again to get convictions in a terrorism finance case allegedly linked to Hamas. The first trial turned into one big flop. Can they pull it off this time or do they simply not have the goods?

By Carrie Johnson and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON – The government’s largest terrorism financing case returned to a courtroom in Dallas this week as prosecutors once again try to secure criminal convictions against five men for allegedly raising more than $12 million in what investigators call “blood money” to support overseas suicide bombings.
The case against former leaders of the Holy Land Foundation, a Texas charity that authorities shuttered seven years ago because of its alleged links to the militant Palestinian group Hamas, comes nearly a year after a previous trial ended in disappointment for the government. Jurors acquitted one man outright on 31 charges and deadlocked on charges against the others. Senior U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish declared a mistrial in October 2007.
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Feds In Child Porn Case Raid Arkansas Ministry

The road to a child-porn investigation has led to a ministry in Arkansas. Just how big a scandal will this be?

By Jon Gambrell
Associated Press Writer
FOUKE, Ark. — Federal authorities conducting a child-porn investigation raided the headquarters Saturday of a ministry run by a convicted tax evader once labeled by prosecutors as a polygamist who preys on girls and women.
Social workers interviewed children who live at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries complex, which critics call a cult, to find out whether they were abused. The two-year investigation involves a law that prohibits the transportation of children across state lines for criminal activity, said Tom Browne, who runs the FBI office in Little Rock.

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ICE Halts Deportations to Hard Hit Haiti

ICE decides it would be too cold to deport people back to Haiti following back-to-back storms.

By Georgia East and Luis Perez
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -Immigration and Customs Enforcement has temporarily halted deportations to Haiti, amid mounting pressure from some South Florida members of Congress and local activists.
Critics of the deportations have said it’s inhumane to send people to Haiti after the country has been devastated by back-to-back storms.
“We are aware of the situation on the ground, and based on that, there are no removals planned,” said Barbara Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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FBI Art Sleuth Calling It A Day

A Rembrandt Wittman helped recover

A Rembrandt Wittman helped recover

Robert K. Wittman didn’t surveil terrorists or chase bank robbers for the FBI. He chased down art thieves and helped recover more than a thousand pieces of work. Wittman worked undercover and still does not want to be photographed even though he’s retiring.

By Andrew Maykuth
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA – Robert K. Wittman, the renowned undercover art sleuth who retired yesterday after 20 years with the FBI, vividly remembers the first art theft he helped solve.
In November 1988, a few days before Wittman arrived in Philadelphia fresh from the FBI Academy, a robber stole a bronze sculpture from the Rodin Museum on the Parkway. Mask of the Man With the Broken Nose was considered Rodin’s first major work.
The thief, an unemployed dancer who Wittman said was “down on his luck,” wrapped the 12-inch bronze in brown paper and hid it beneath a hot-water heater at his mother’s house on Pine Street. That’s where investigators found it a few months later.
“That was the beginning and end of his art career,” said Wittman.
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Hitman Gives a Sopranos Like Performance

Mobster Whitey Bulger/fbi photo

Mobster Whitey Bulger/fbi photo

Testimony on Friday from hitman John Martorano was as riveting as a scene in the HBO hit The Sopranos.  Martorano calmly described a murder and said he might have killed mobster Whitey Bulger had he known Bulger had ties to the FBI. His testimony came in the murder trial of ex-FBI agent John Connolly.

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe
MIAMI — Confessed hitman John Martorano gave a jury a blow-by-blow description of a murder this afternoon during blistering cross-examination in the trial of retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr.
“Can you show the jury where you shot him?” asked defense attorney Manuel Casabielle as he leaned toward the witness box.
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Related Trial Story (Miami Herald)

Mayor’s Brother Sentenced In Shake Down

BOSTON — The brother of the Providence mayor was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison and immediately disbarred for what a federal judge described as “reprehensible and inexcusable” actions, the Providence Journal reported.

John M. Cicilline, along with his former law partner,  pleaded guilty to conspiring to shake down a drug-dealing couple and manipulating the criminal-justice system. He was ordered to pay $15,000 restitution to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the newspaper reported.  Cicilline is the brother of Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline.

Sen. Stevens A Little Tight With The Wallet?

The thing about wiretaps is that they often bring to light some of the most interesting tidbits. In this instance, two friends spoke about Sen. Ted Steven’s cheapness.

Sen. Stevens/official webpage

Sen. Stevens/official webpage

By Richard Mauel and Erika Bolstad
Anchorage Daily News
WASHINGTON — Defense lawyers and prosecutors in Sen. Ted Stevens’ criminal disclosure case wrangled over the admissibility of a wiretapped conversation Thursday where two of Stevens’ friends spoke of his aversion to opening his own wallet.
“Ted gets hysterical when he has to spend his own money,” Alaska restaurateur Robert Persons told Bill Allen, the former chairman of oil field services company Veco Corp., in a conversation overheard by the FBI and quoted in court by a prosecutor.
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