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Retired FBI Agent Recalls Notorious, Unsolved Robbery at Boston Museum in 1990

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum  in 1990.

Theft at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Retired FBI agent and supervisor Tom Casson will never forget when he began investigating the notorious Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robbery in March 1990, when thieves swiped artwork valued at up to a half-million dollars.

“Two individuals dressed as Boston police officers knocked on the side door of the museum, and at the time, there were two security personnel,” Casson told 22 News WWLP. “They were part-time students who had nothing else to do at night, so they took a job at the museum. 

“There were millions and millions of dollars’ worth of paintings and these two guys were the only ones who were charged with preventing what had happened to happen. They admitted what they thought were the two Boston police officers and were told there was a problem in the courtyard that they had to investigate.”

But they weren’t police officers and tied up the two security guards. They stole works by Degas, Flinck and Manet.

“Depending on who you ask, the value of the stuff taken was anywhere from $200 million to $500 million,” Cassano said. “As of the time I left (in 2001), they knew no more than they did the day it happened. We are not sure how many (suspects) there were. We know there were at least two. These two guards were put down in the basement so nobody kept track of what was happening. We know how they came in, but we don’t know how they got out.”

Casino said his office worked full-time on the case with more than 15 agents. The FBI also offered a $5 million reward for the capture of the thieves.

“Every prisoner who was incarcerated at the time knew that this was a ‘get out of jail free’ card if they could come up with these bandits,” Cassano said. “I don’t know how many calls we got. We had hundreds and hundreds of leads and none of them panned out to this day, as far as I know.”

Hillary Clinton Received Nearly $75,000 in Donations from Justice Department Employees

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton raked in nearly $75,000 in political contributions from employees of the Justice Department, which will ultimately decide whether to pursue charges against the presidential candidate for using a private e-mail server, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

The donations exceed those given to rivals Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

Clinton received $73,437 from 228 Justice Department employees. Twelve employees donated the maximum $2,700.

Clinton collected less money from Justice Department employees when she ran for president in 2008. She received 23 contributions totaling $15,930.

Dave Bossie, president of the watchdog group Citizens United, said he’s not shocked but he donations this year.

“I’m not surprised in the least to see more evidence that shows the politicization of the Justice Department,” Bossie said in a statement to the Free Beacon. “How can Democrat political appointees fairly investigate someone who is about to become their nominee for president? That’s why last July I called on Attorney General Lynch to appoint an impartial special counsel to investigate the private Clinton email server.”

Government Technology: Stop Letting Cybercriminals Hide from FBI

hacker-istock-photoBy Editorial Board
Government Technology

Imagine that a criminal investigator has identified one or more computers that are part of ongoing criminal activity. Unfortunately, the people operating these computers are hiding them. The machines could be anywhere in the world, using anonymous email or tools like Tor to conceal their location.

The investigator also has a tool, a carefully engineered piece of software, which she calls a “Network Investigatory Technique,” or NIT, that will cause a targeted computer to reveal itself. Once she sends the software to the computer she’s investigating, it will reply with a message saying, “I am at this location.” The rest of the security world calls the NIT “malicious code” (“malcode” for short) and deploying it “hacking,” because the software exploits a vulnerability in the target’s computer, the same way a criminal would.

Federal court rules currently say she can use this tool only if she gets an electronic search warrant from a judge. But the computer could be anywhere: to which court should she go to get the warrant?

This is not a hypothetical problem. Online investigations face this problem all the time, when tracking down fraudsters or those issuing threats using anonymous emails, botmasters who have compromised thousands of computers around the planet or purveyors of drugs or child pornography. The current federal rules of criminal evidence (in particular a section known as Rule 41) require investigators to seek warrants from a magistrate judge in the federal court district where the target computer is located.

But if investigators don’t know where in the country, or indeed the world, the computer is, the existing rules effectively dictate that there is no judge who could approve a warrant to actually find out its specific location. In essence, the rule is, “The investigator can get a warrant to hack these computers to reveal their location only when she knows where they already are.” That rule might have made sense before the digital age, but in today’s digital world it forces an end to promising investigations.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security Officer Accused of Killing Wife, 2 Others During 2 Days of Violence

Eulalio “Leo” Tordil

Eulalio “Leo” Tordil

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Homeland Security police officer is accused of killing his estranged wife and two others during a two-day rampage of violence.

Eulalio “Leo” Tordil, 62, was arrested Friday afternoon and is charged with first-degree murder and related charges.

The Washington Post reports that the Federal Protection Service stripped Tordil of his gun and badge in March after his wife was granted a protective order. She said her husband “threatened to harm me if I leave.”

The incident allegedly provoked the rampage in Maryland. Tordil is accused of shooting his wife and four seeming strangers. His wife and two of the others died.

Border Patrol Agent Pricked by Needle Found Under His Car Door Handle

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent was pricked by a needle stuck under his car door handle with gum.

The FBI is investigating.

The agent from the Tucson Sector was pricked by the needle while stopping at a local convenience store to start his day, Tucson News Now reports.

“The agent opened his passenger side door and felt a sharp pain in his finger,” said the President of the Local 2544 Border Patrol Union.

Authorities to Examine Airflow at New York Subways to Prepare for Possible Terrorism

New York City Subway.

New York City Subway.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities are examining the airflow of tunnels in the New York subway to prepare for a potential biological chemical attack.

The massive study will involve a small device that authorities hope will play a big role in the event of a terrorist attack, CBS New York reports. 

“This is important information to help local authorities enhance their emergency preparedness for an event that might occur in the subway if there’s a release of biological material or a chemical material,” Dr. Donald Bansleb with Homeland Security said.

About 200 chemical tracers will be placed at dozens of subway stations across the city as part of a five-dat airflow test.

“This will tell us in real time data aerosol concentrations and the particle concentrations in the stations after we do the release,” laboratory engineer David Brown said.

“That will help authorities to predict boundaries of contamination if there is a release of a substance,” Bansleb said.

Other Stories of Interest

More Public Corruption Charges Expected in FBI Case Targeting Pennsylvania Officials

Harrisburg Capitol Building.

Harrisburg Capitol Building.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is expected to make more public corruption arrests stemming from a case that targeted a onetime top aide to former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, the New York Times reports. 

John H. Estey, 53, is expected to plead guilty to wire fraud in federal court Tuesday.

The investigation involves a phony company established by the FBI to root out public corruption in Harrisburg.

“I would anticipate that there are a lot of people who are nervous and looking over their shoulder right now, because they know they had conversations with John Estey,” said Jeffrey Lindy, a Philadelphia defense lawyer and a former prosecutor.

More charges are likely, legal experts said.

“You’re not going to set up a fake corporation and go to all the trouble just to take down one guy,” said L. George Parry, a Philadelphia defense lawyer who as a former prosecutor helped set up the fake businesses.

Ex-FBI Agent to Plead Guilt to Perjury Following ‘Whitey’ Bulger Testimony

"Whitey" Bulger

“Whitey” Bulger

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent plans to plead guilty to perjury charges as early as Monday after prosecutors said he lied during the James “Whitey” Bulger case in Boston.

The Associated Press reports that Robert Fitzpatrick is accused of lying to jurors when defense attorneys called him as the first witness in the high-profile trial.

Prosecutors accused Fitzpatrick, 76, of falsely claiming to recover the rifle used to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and exaggerating claims that he tried to get supervisors to stop using Bulger as an informant because he wasn’t helpful.