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News Story

Former FBI Agent Recalls Real-Life ‘Casino Story’ And the Perp Walk

fbi badgeJane Ann Morrison
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Although I have never been a perp, I participated on a famous perp walk in 1983 and have the black-and-white photo to prove it.

The perp was later-to-be-murdered mobster Anthony Spilotro. The serious-looking FBI agent walking him by the press was Marc Kaspar.

The journalists waiting to ask questions that wouldn’t be answered were George Knapp and the R-J’s federal court reporter at the time. That would be me. The one with the Afro.

During a panel Saturday, Kaspar told the behind-the-scenes story of that perp walk outside the Foley Federal Building.

Spilotro had been indicted on racketeering by a federal grand jury, and Kaspar went to arrest him. The two men had known each other for years because Kaspar has been on the FBI’s Las Vegas organized crime squad since coming to Las Vegas in 1977, and the squad’s No. 1 target was the Chicago mob’s enforcer.

You would think they would be bitter enemies. Not so. When Spilotro was arrested, Kaspar didn’t even use his handcuffs. Until they got close to the federal building and Kaspar said, “Tony, I’ve got to put handcuffs on you.”

Spilotro offered his hands up, he was cuffed, and they did the perp walk. Kaspar knew what he had to do, so did Spilotro; it was all very professional.

Kaspar has donated those cuffs to the Mob Museum, which hosted the Saturday panel discussion of what was real and what was fiction in the 1995 movie “Casino.”

Kaspar was speaking out publicly for the first time about his experiences as the case agent in the Spilotro investigation.

Oscar Goodman gave his views from the perspective of the attorney representing Spilotro and his chum Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal.

Former Gaming Control Board member Jeff Silver spoke about his role chasing the mob as a state regulator.

Former FBI agent Deborah Richard told her experience in two previous columns, and retired television reporter and anchor Gwen Castaldi told of the challenges facing journalists covering the mob in the 1970s and 1980s.

As Castaldi said, without cellphones and the Internet, it wasn’t easy, especially because news about the mob in Las Vegas was frequently connected to news about the mob in Kansas City, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago.

Kaspar told about a 1981 search where the subject — in this case Stardust employee Phil Ponto — had been tipped. The agents searched his apartment looking for marked money that had been skimmed from the Stardust.

The safe was opened, and inside was nothing but Ponto’s Social Security check.

It was Ponto’s way of flipping off the FBI, much like the simultaneous search that resulted in agents coming up with cookies and a bottle of wine in a car trunk.

To read more click here. 

FBI Foils Alleged Plans by White Supremacists to Shoot Up, Bomb Church And Synagogues

fbi-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI said it has disrupted two men’s plans to shoot up or bomb churches and synagogues.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that FBI agents were posing as illegal arms dealers who received orders for guns and explosives from two men who were part of a white supremacy group.

The men, Robert C. Doyle, 34, of Chester, and Ronald Beasley Chaney III, 33, were charged  Monday in U.S. District Court in Richmond with attempting to buy the weapons from FBI agents.

“Doyle and Chaney and others known and unknown to the FBI, ascribe to a white supremacy extremist version of the Asatru faith (a pagan religion),” alleges a five-page affidavit from FBI Special Agent James R. Rudisill.

The agent said the plan was for Doyle and others to meet at Doyle’s house “to discuss acting out in furtherance of their extremist beliefs by shooting or bombing the occupants of black churches and Jewish synagogues, conducting acts of violence against persons of the Jewish faith, and doing harm to a gun store owner.”

Two Virginia Men Accused of Plotting Race War with Attacks on Black Churches, Synagogues

Robert Doyle and Ronald Beasely Chaney.

Robert Doyle and Ronald Beasely Chaney.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Virginia men who were arrested by the FBI for allegedly plotting bomb and shooting attacks on black churches and synagogues wanted to start a race war, New York Magazine reports. 

Federal court documents allege that Robert Doyle and Ronald Beasely Chaney planned to rob a jeweler store, gun shop and armored truck so they could purchase land and “stockpile weapons and train for the coming race war.”

But that plot was quickly dashed by an undercover FBI who took a delivery order for weapons.

The men were arrested and charged.

Federal Lawsuit: FBI Agents Used Excessive Force with 3 Children in Drug Raid

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal lawsuit accuses FBI agents of using excessive force during a drug raid at a New Mexican trailer where three children were sleeping, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

According to the suit, FBI agents blew open the front door with a stun grenade, causing shrapnel to strike a 10-year-old boy in the head and shoulder. A 12-year-old girl was forced to walk outside on glass, cutting her feet. All three children, including the 9-year-old, were emotionally traumatized, the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces alleges.

The May 2013 raid was part of a pre-dawn bust of 22 suspected drug and gun dealers.

The FBI declined to comment on pending litigation.

FBI Investigates Connecticut City to Determine Whether Superstorm Sandy Funds Were Misused

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 8.41.51 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether Milford, Conn., officials misused millions of federal dollars to help clean up the damage from Superstorm Sandy, NBC Connecticut reports. 

Chairman of the Milford Republic Town Committee Paul Beckwith said the FBI Public Corruption Task Force interviewed several city employees.

“They shared with us they had been questioned about funding issues within the City of Milford concerning FEMA grants,” Beckwith said.

Agents are concerned that millions of dollars in federal funds may have been misused.

Arizona Republic: More Transparency Is Required to Keep Border Patrol Honest

Border Patrol agents reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs.By Editorial Board
Arizona Republic

Cops and the public should demand high standards from law enforcement. Why? Because high standards foster community confidence and cooperation. Both are necessary to good police work.

That’s especially important for Customs and Border Protection, which is charged with protecting the integrity of our ports and borders.

Why? Because what CBP does is a matter of national security. The agency’s actions need to be professional, transparent and in accord with our national commitment to human rights.

But the lack of transparency about use of deadly force at CBP, the nation’s largest law-enforcement agency, is a disturbing theme that is illustrated by three recent developments.

The first involves the trial of Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz, who is charged with killing 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez three years ago by shooting through the border fence into Nogales, Sonora.

In granting a delay in the trial, U.S. District Court Judge Raner Collins issued a protection order for at least two videos of the incident that CBP has previously refused to release, despite Freedom of Information requests from The Arizona Republic.

The agent shot the teen, who was allegedly throwing rocks, at least 10 times in the back and head. Witnesses say the boy was just walking down the street. The videos could help reveal the truth, but CBP stonewalled and now the public will have to wait even longer to know the truth.

Arizona Republic research found that on-duty Border Patrol and Customs officers have killed at least 53 people since 2005, including 15 Americans. The officers involved rarely faced consequences.

Agent Swartz is only the third Border Patrol agent prosecuted since 2005 and the first to be charged by the Justice Department. The others were not convicted in local prosecutions.

To read more click here. 

Ex-Border Patrol Agent Pleads Guilty to Murder in Shooting Death of Wife’s Boyfriend

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder in the fatal shooting of a man who had been dating his wife, the Corpus Christi Caller Times reports. 

Adam S. Garibay pleaded guilty Monday to the shooting death of Keith J. Martin at the victim’s parents’ home in Corpus Christi.

Garibay said he was heartbroken and couldn’t remember the shooting.

“It was too much for my mind and heart and I broke inside. I am at a loss for living or reason,” said a document admitted as evidence in a punishment hearing that began Monday.

Garibay shot Martin 10 times from behind, police said.

Other Stories of Interest

Ex-FBI Agent: No One More Capable of Solving Egyptian Plane Crash Than FBI

Google-map-SinaiBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When it comes to forensic investigations of acts of terrorism, no one is better than the FBI, former FBI agent Ron Hosko said to Newsmax TV. 

That’s why it’s no surprise that Russian leaders have called on the FBI to help investigate the deadly plane crash in Egypt.

“The truth is the FBI has vast experience in this area and tremendous expertise,” Hosko told host Ed Berliner on “The Hard Line.” “They have a capability that is probably unmatched around the world.

“In the wake of our efforts and Operation Enduring Freedom, the FBI created the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center called TEDAC in about 2003, that brings together not just FBI personnel and experts but those from the military and other government agencies as well. So there’s a great capability here.”

If anyone is capable of finding evidence of a bomb, Hosko said, it would be the FBI.

“The advantage is from a forensics point of view, it was an area essentially over the desert so that many of the pieces ought to be collectable. Even if some have buried themselves slightly into the earth, you could with metal detectors identify, locate, and bring back a lot of pieces over essentially a flat piece of land.

“This is not a remote mountain side nor is it over the ocean. So there’s a great opportunity for forensics experts with the right mindset to collect and then to analyze.

“Yes, some of the device, if it was a device, would be vaporized. However, the FBI has shown repeatedly in investigations here… that you can find those small items. Just look no further than Pan Am 103 where they tracked it back to barometric triggers and sensors and pieced that puzzle back together and went back to Libya.

“So this can be done, it’s over a piece of the world where it ought to be advantageous to do that sort of work.”