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September 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter


Urban Schools Prepare Kids for Life of Crime

By Ross Parker columnist

This fall someone near and dear to me began a job tutoring and counseling students at an inner-city Detroit high school.

Her daily reports over the dinner table range from disturbing to appalling. Despite the heroic efforts by some of the teachers and students, attending school consists mainly of fighting your way to and from school with limited learning in between.

Her school has been on “lock down” two days this week because of incidents involving firearms. Squabbling among politicians, bureaucrats, teachers, and parents, along with a pathetic state economy and financing system, have insured the escalation of this dismal situation.

This subjective and heartbreaking appraisal by my source was confirmed by the National Assessment of Education Progress test scores which were announced this week.

Detroit students not only scored the lowest in the nation, but the lowest in the 40 year history of the test.

If the scores of the top 10% of the Detroit students were removed from the mix, one could assume that the remainder could have done as well by choosing answers with a dart and dart board.

With only about 25% of the students managing to graduate, two-thirds of the drop-outs end up in either prison or on welfare.

Although Detroit’s test results are notable, an objective examination of more than a dozen other school systems in some of the country’s largest cities demonstrates that Detroit is not alone.

Clearly, the education systems in low income areas deserve an “F” for Failure. They prepare their students for lives of crime, poverty and neglect. The kids and their families pay the highest price but, without a doubt, we all are paying for this under-educated generation.

So what does this depressing news have to do with a law enforcement newsletter? Any police officer can answer that question, and this assessment is demonstrated by sociologists who find a direct link between crime and violence, on the one hand, and poor educational skills on the other.

A cynic might point out the silver lining for law enforcement officers in this pitiful situation by responding, “Job security.” But actually the opposite is true.

Not only will police officers and federal agents suffer the financial hardships of supporting this lost generation like the rest of the working Americans, but more particularly their jobs will be more difficult and dangerous, discouraging and dispiriting.

As the stress levels of law enforcement officers continue to escalate, the resulting toll on their emotional, medical, and social lives, and those of their families, cannot but increase as well.

Where is the outrage to this dismal state of affairs which might lead to serious reform efforts on a community, state and national level? Instead, denial, apathy, and finger pointing rule the day.

At the risk of being overly simplistic, I say we take some of the hundreds of billions we spend training and supporting Iraqis and Afghans and bolstering the military industrial complex and spend some of it on inner city kids who deserve an education other than the one they will get in the criminal justice system.

The White House Incident Needs to Be Kept in Perspective

James G. Huse is a retired assistant director of the U.S. Secret Service and a retired Inspector General for Social Security.

By James G. Huse Jr.

In the wake of the kabuki surrounding the media focus on the bizarre escapades of White House crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi, one fact stands completely indisputable: there is no such thing as perfect security.

The Secret Service knows this from its long history, and from that, has built its protective operations accordingly. All Secret Service protective operations are woven from inter-locking internal controls (some highly classified) that not only reinforce each other, but provide parallel assurance as well.

In the context of this incident, as the Director of the Secret Service Mark Sullivan testified before the Congress, neither the President’s safety or well-being or that of the Prime Minister of India were jeopardized by the attendance of the non-invited Salahis to the state dinner.

Any security system for public dignitaries that depends on the discretionary judgments of humans, has to accept the risk of human error as a variable.

Indeed, in this incident the failure of these controls at a critical checkpoint allowed the Salahis their uninvited access. How that failure transpired is under intense investigation by the Secret Service, and appropriate adjustments and actions will follow as a result.

Nevertheless, what is not clearly reported, is that other concurrent security operations were successfully performed at the state dinner, that assured the safety of the President and his distinguished Head of Government guest.

The strident critics of the Secret Service do not understand this concurrent security dynamic, or do not care to comprehend this reality because it deflates their various theses that this incident is the result of mismanagement or budget stinginess.

The clear understanding that human error can occur drives the development of Secret Service protective operations plans and execution.

In my own personal experience as a special agent, I remember the state arrival ceremonies on the South Grounds of the White House, in 1979 for the Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, that were disrupted by an unruly individual in the press pool who screamed out unflattering epithets at the visiting dignitary during his speech.

Subsequent investigation revealed that the individual had garnered press credentials with a claimed affiliation to a non-existent publication. While the arrival ceremony was marred by this breech of etiquette, neither President Carter or Leader Deng Xiaoping were endangered in any way.

In later years as an Assistant Director, I was the Chief Investigator for the White House Security Review that followed the September 1994 small plane crash on the South Grounds of the White House, and the semi-automatic weapons firing by Francisco Duran at individuals on the North Grounds of the White House in October 1994.

This investigation and the subsequent publication of the White House Security Review in 1995 resulted in substantive recommendations to improve the security of the White House complex, and yet, in neither incident was the security of President Clinton harmed in any way because of existing concurrent security operations and planning.

The Secret Service has a difficult mission and does not seek to avoid or compromise its responsibilities for the safety of its designated protected individuals.

It understands that constant improvement is the guarantor for operational success. The Secret Service accepts that its vital trust to protect the President is not an impossible mission but knows it is a most complex and dynamic one, where the public access to its leaders in a representative democracy is a constant dynamic.

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Press Release


More than 1,000 police officers and federal agents executed dozens of arrest and search warrants this morning in a coordinated operation in which members of a violent street gang were taken into custody for their alleged roles in the widespread distribution of narcotics. The results of today’s operation were announced by George S. Cardona, Acting United States Attorney in Los Angeles; William Bratton, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department; Keith Bolcar, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles; and Carmen Trutanich, City Attorney in Los Angeles. The announcement of the law enforcement operation called “40 Ounces to Freedom” was made on behalf of multiple agencies that participated in the investigation to assist the FBI/LAPD task force.

Seventy-four members of the gang known as the “Rollin’ 40s Neighborhood Crips” were charged in 23 federal indictments and 45 state warrants for their alleged roles in a narcotics trafficking conspiracy that operated within a three-square-mile area of Los Angeles. The federal indictments that were unsealed this morning charge 29 gang members with crimes that include conspiracy, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) and methamphetamine, and firearms violations. Forty-five additional members of the gang are named in state charges filed in Los Angeles Superior Court for their roles in the illegal drug distribution operation. Many of the defendants at the federal and state level were arrested this morning; however several defendants were already in custody on both related and unrelated charges. Several subjects of this operation are still being sought by law enforcement, including six federal defendants and 20 state defendants.

The FBI/LAPD task force initiated an investigation in 2008 to address gang-related crime and persistent violence fueled by narcotics trafficking being reported in the city of Los Angeles. Using statistics, including offenses reported to the police, and further analysis, the task force identified the Rollin’ 40s Neighborhood Crips territory as among the most violent in the city, and focused on the “shotcallers” who control the criminal activity in the area.

The Rollin’ 40’s Neighborhood Crips is a violent Crips gang that operates primarily in a three-square-mile area of South Los Angeles, an area which falls under the jurisdiction of the LAPD’s Southwest Division. The Rollin’ 40s have established strong ties to other gangs under the “Neighborhood Crips” umbrella, as well as other Crips gangs in the local neighborhood. The Los Angeles Police Department has identified this gang as one of the 10 most violent gangs in the city of Los Angeles.

The Rollin’ 40s are organized into four loosely affiliated cliques that control their particular neighborhood area. Its members are known to be involved in a variety of crimes, including murder, assault, robberies, narcotics and firearms violations. Each clique is controlled by a shotcaller who determines the overall strategy relative to the criminal activity within the clique.

Prior to the charges announced today, this investigation resulted in 51 felony arrests and 35 misdemeanor arrests, separate from those individuals sought today, including members of the Rollin’ 40s gang and members of other gangs. Among those arrested were active parolees and felony probationers. In addition to substantial quantities of narcotics, task force members seized several handguns, rifles and a large amount of cash during this investigation. During today’s operation, narcotics were seized, as well as approximately 10 weapons.

The Los Angeles County City Attorney’s Office has brought parallel civil actions as part of this investigation, including five nuisance abatement lawsuits against six separate properties being used by gang members to conduct criminal activity, including drug transactions and illegal weapon storage. For each abatement, the City Attorney’s office will seek an injunction against the owner ordering various improvements, orders to stay away from gang members named as defendants in the lawsuits, civil penalties and additional fees. In addition to the five lawsuits, the City Attorney’s Office is notifying property owners that, by law, tenants conducting illegal drug activity must be evicted. A permanent injunction was filed against the gang in 2008.

Based on federal sentencing laws, the mandatory minimum sentence each federal defendant faces is five years in prison. Eleven of the federal defendants face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in prison. If convicted of the charges, several federal defendants face between 20 years to life in prison. Federal defendants arrested today will make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles this afternoon.

This case was investigated by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department, in coordination with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. Multiple agencies participated in today’s operation, including the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Department of Transportation, the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Los Angeles City Fire Department – EMS Services, the Los Angeles County Probation Department, and the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services.

The federal defendants will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. The District Attorney in Los Angeles will prosecute defendants charged by the state.

The FBI/LAPD Task Force is one of many FBI Safe Streets Task Forces throughout the United States, funded for the purpose of assisting local police in identifying and addressing violent crime in America.

Media Contacts:

FBI: Laura Eimiller: 310 996-3343 or

Lourdes Arocho (Spanish speaker): 310 996-4402

LAPD Media Relations: 213 485-3586

U. S. Attorney’s Office Public Affairs: Thom Mrozek: 213 894-6947

Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office: Nick Velasquez: 213-507-4434

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office: 213 974-3525

Betting and “Sports Bribery” Can Taint Sports

By Greg Stejskal

An estimated $300 billion is bet illegally on sports each year in the U.S. The underground industry has grown in good part because of the exponential increase in television coverage of games and the advent of the Internet as a betting and information forum.

The most popular games to bet on are football and basketball, but bets can be placed on virtually all sports. Unfortunately, from time to time, some games have been fixed through “sports bribery” or point shaving. I’ll get to more of that in a minute.

There is only one place in the US where sports gambling is legal, Nevada, and the bettor has to be physically present. Of course it is possible though not legal to have someone in Nevada place a bet for you.

The fact gambling is illegal has never had much impact on its growth or the public’s general acceptance. Pick any newspaper and you will find the betting line in the sports section. There is no difficulty in finding places to make a bet.

A bookie is probably as close as your local sports bar or one of the many sports gambling sites on the Internet. I recently received, via the U.S. Mail, advertisements for Internet sports gambling sites, e.g., and Gambling on these sites is illegal in the U.S., but enforcement is difficult because they generally operate off-shore.

Consequently, law enforcement (most often enforcement is done by Federal agencies) has concentrated on large scale bookmakers and organized crime’s connections. Because of the amounts of money involved and pervasive nature of sports gambling, efforts to gain an edge are inevitable.

Enter sports bribery. It poses a great threat to the integrity of sports at the college and professional levels. If fans lose faith and fear the outcome is fixed by gamblers, all sports become like professional wrestling, a caricature of a sporting event.

To understand the threat and how to combat it, it is necessary to understand how sports gambling works.
When placing a bet with a bookmaker (bookie), the bet is not as to which team will win.

Instead, it centers on which team will beat the other by the spread or line. The spread or line is a predetermined differential set by odds makers, usually in Las Vegas.

The line is a very educated prediction as to how many points the favored team will beat the other team. For example, the line may be for Michigan to beat Notre Dame by 3 points.

The bettor may bet on either Michigan or Notre Dame. If the bettor bets on Michigan, it is not enough for Michigan to win, they must win by more than 3 points. If not, the bettor who chose Notre Dame wins.

To avoid a tie or a push, odds makers sometimes use ½ points. Thus in our example Michigan would be favored by 31/2 points, and would have to win by 4 or more points to cover the spread. The line is meant to not only closely predict the outcome of the game, but to encourage betting on games.

Bookmakers do not generally care who wins. They simply hope that more people lost bets than won. This is because the bookmaker makes money only on the losing bets.

Ordinarily the losing bettor pays an additional 10% on top of the actual bet. This 10% commission goes to the bookie and is referred to as the “vigorish” or vig and is the bookie’s compensation.

Bookies may also offer credit or loans to bettors, but these loans will often be at usurious interest rates. Any bookie, whose business is relatively large, will probably have direct or indirect connections with organized crime (OC).

Illegal gambling is one of the largest revenue sources for organized crime. A bookie may pay a fee or tribute to an OC group for the “privilege” of conducting business.

The OC group may in return provide protection, eliminate competition and help with collection of bets or loans.
There have been numerous instances where people have tried to impact the game’s outcome, or find out inside information not known publicly that could impact a team or player’s performance.

To actually impact a score, the bettor would usually develop a relationship with a player(s). Based on past experience, this relationship usually develops when a player himself bets on games.

The player may become indebted or just have a desire to make more money. The bettor may suggest the player could make money by making sure the favored team did not win by the prescribed spread. (Note the bettor is not asking the player to lose the game, but just not win by as many points.) This is called point-shaving.

In one actual instance, in 1994, a bookie/bettor, Benny Silman, convinced an Arizona State University basketball player, Stevin (Hedake) Smith to insure that ASU win some games in which they were favored by less than the line or spread.

It became the biggest point-shaving scandal in terms of money wagered in college sports history. Silman had been Smith’s bookie and Smith had accumulated a gambling debt of $10,000 with Silman. Silman suggested that Smith insure that ASU win by less than the spread in a game they were heavily favored to win.

In return Silman would forgive Smith’s $10,000 debt and pay Smith an additional $10,000 (sports bribery). Smith agreed to the arrangement, and ASU won by less than the spread.

Interestingly, Smith had had one of the best games of his career, scoring a personal best 39 points. He was able to achieve the desired result by allowing the opposing player he was guarding to score more points (not really point shaving). The scheme was repeated in several more games in which ASU was favored. However, too many people learned of it and the betting was so heavily one-sided in Vegas on a later ASU game that the odds makers became suspicious.

The FBI investigated. People began talking and implicating others. Ultimately Silman, Smith and others were convicted. Smith’s anticipated career in the NBA never happened.

Earlier this year another point-shaving case was indicted in Federal Court in Detroit. The indictment alleges that University of Toledo football and basketball players colluded with Detroit bettors/bookies to shave points in Toledo games.

The University of Michigan did a study about 10 years ago involving a blind survey of Division 1 college student athletes. This survey found that over 4% of male student athletes admitted to directly betting with bookies since attending college, and in addition, nearly 4% admitted wagering on sports through the use of parlay cards – cards that list the week’s games along with point spreads.

Statistically that means on a D1 college football team, which typically has over 100 players on its roster, it is possible that 7 players or more per team are engaged in illegal sports wagering. How many of them will be tempted to try and influence the outcome of a game?

It is clear that athletes involved in sports gambling pose a very significant risk to the integrity of sports.

It’s little wonder when sports leagues and associations react quickly and harshly towards athletes who bet on games, such as Major League Baseball did when it determined that Pete20Rose bet on baseball games.

Over 30 years ago the FBI in cooperation with the NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA and the NHL instituted a “sports presentation program” wherein the FBI would provide specially trained FBI agents gratis to teams wishing to have them address the dangers of sports gambling and bribery.

As a FBI agent I participated in that program and made numerous presentations to college and professional teams. As the primary agency enforcing laws regarding illegal sports gambling and bribery, the FBI is uniquely able to have significant impact when making presentations to young athletes.

But because of changes in the FBI’s priorities and limited resources, the program barely exists today.

I would argue that the program is extremely cost effective and has had a proactive and positive effect on college and professional sports, and has likely deterred gambling activity that could potentially destroy the integrity of sports.

I have continued to make these presentations after my retirement whenever requested without compensation.

Current and Ex-Secret Service Agents Violated Trust

By James G.  Huse Jr.

There is significant agitation and unease in the ranks of my brother and sister agents of the Secret Service, both active and retired, with the recent publication of Ronald Kessler’s new book, In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect.

Mr. Kessler’s well-marketed book is a pastiche of titillating anecdotes and facts served up about Secret Service protected dignitaries and operations by loose-tongued former and active agents as well Mr. Kessler’s own research and opinions.

The majority of retired and active service agents are disappointed to say the least by the willingness of those who cooperated with Mr. Kessler’s research, and broke an unwritten compact with Secret Service protected dignitaries, past and present, that warranted their private lives.

Obviously, such a tradition is central to the ability of the Secret Service to have the trust of and the access to those it protects. Without this “understanding” that their privacy is sacrosanct, the protection of these individuals would be incredibly more complicated and remote.

Such close access bespeaks discretion and judgment. The fact this tradition has been damaged by these self-promotional disclosures, angers the majority of agents, past and present, whose silence, in this instance, is their bond.

There are no non-disclosure oaths that Secret Service agents swear to as a condition of their employment other than those associated with national security information.

What has prevailed through history is a code of personal responsibility: The importance of this critical trust and discretion for the success of the protective mission.

That self-discipline has been assaulted by these reckless disclosures. The other perplexing dimension to these disclosures is to what end were they made? Certainly, no honor comes to those who broke faith with this tradition.

No one faults, Mr. Kessler for his enterprise or his right to publish his book, but there is ample disgust and embarrassment for these erstwhile professional comrades who have broken our ranks, and told him private tales for some incomprehensible illusion of celebrity.

This is a sad consequence of life today where any story, no matter how profane or sacred, is brought to light simply for the fleeting and momentary celebrity of the teller-of the tale.

The other flaw in Mr. Kessler’s book is his misunderstanding of the complexity and nature of the Secret Service’s protective mission which lead to his claim that the Secret Service isn’t doing its job.

While some of his facts are true — such as the repotting of the Secret Service from the Treasury Department in
to the new Department of Homeland Security after September 11, 2001, which has complicated its mission performance — his overall conclusions are developed with a core flawed premise.

As every agent learns in their first weeks on the job, there is no such thing as perfect security.

The mission of the Secret Service, in our democracy, is to bring in the security margins for its protected dignitaries, as much as possible, in continuous, dynamic actions influenced by intelligence assessments, finite budget and resource parameters, and the collective experience and wisdom of its operatives.

There is no one standard for protective operations. The art of fulfilling this critical mission is to apply the right mix of these capabilities in an appropriate manner based on a spread of variables.

In reality, the leadership of the Secret Service has always had to balance fulfilling the mission against the free exercise of the functioning of our government and the rights of our citizens.

The truth is, looking around the world at similar agencies with like responsibilities, nobody does it better than the Secret Service.

Finally, there is a sense of sadness that some in our ranks broke faith with our traditions. They were wrong to do that, and should not be counted in our number.

What It Means to be a True Public Servant

I have struggled with this column the past few months. Part of that comes from the demands of my day job, trying to keep my small company successful in today’s economy.

James Sloan-the Gold Standard for Public Servants
James Sloan-the Gold Standard for Public Servants

But, the balance of my distraction comes from my discomfort in trying to be relevant in the era of Facebook and Twitter and tweeting and blogging.

I think I preferred the less formidable presentation of news by the traditional media that I came to age with. In any case, recent events have jarred me to express my dismay at how attitudes have changed in my lifetime about many things, but, none more so than what it means to be a public servant.

In recent weeks, we have witnessed the quirky behaviors of two Governors, Sarah Palin’s whimsical resignation of her office in Alaska, and Mark Sanford’s explanations for his international leave-of-absence from his duties in South Carolina.

Both luminaries, much in the news, purport to be public servants, a description whose definition, I believe, has drifted considerably from its original historical moorings. My understanding of a public servant is close to that which describes the ancient Roman office of tribune, a person who upholds or defends the rights of others.

I know a real tribune who recently died on June 24 after a long struggle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). James F. Sloan was a friend; a fellow retired U.S. Secret Service executive and veteran Army officer. He was also in his time the Director of the Department of the Treasury’s FINCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) , and most recently until this past February, the Assistant Commandant of the Coast Guard for Intelligence and Criminal Investigation.

Jim’s whole adult life was a testament to the true definition of public service. Public service, especially in federal law enforcement – is a vocation.

The men and women who devote their lives to this high calling every day, as true tribunes of the people- do so in the face of corrosive self absorption and promotion that all too often defines public service today.

James F. Sloan was the gold standard for duty well-performed, honor in all things, and country above the self which was the officer’s code, he learned at the outset of his federal career, and which he lived his life fulfilling.

When one contrasts his dedication and purposeful life with the shallow traces of what the cult of celebrity serves up today as exemplars of public service, we realize the true loss of this fine man and deeply appreciate those who are like him.

(Jim Huse is the CEO of IntegriGuard, LLC, a program integrity, payment accuracy company in Omaha, NE. You can learn more about him and his company at

Physical Appearance and Presentation Important in Today’s Job Hunt

After spending the bulk of my career in the highly competitive world of television news, a place where the color of your lipstick can be as important as the facts of a story, I thought I had seen the last of superficial hiring managers.

You know the type.

Managers who judge professionals by how they look, rather than their performance. Surely the suit you wear to interview with a B2B manufacturing company can’t be as critical as what you wear for a network broadcast with seven million people watching.

Wrong! I can’t tell you the number of times I heard the word “frumpy” used to describe both male and female candidates applying for a senior level position or the number of professionals that have been ruled out of a job search because they did not show well.

Executive presence is a critical component to any candidate’s success.

But what is executive presence? And how do you get it? The term is often used as a catchall phrase to describe leadership, presentation skills, your ability to effectively interact with executives, and yes your appearance.

“Appearance is important,” says Mark Palmer, the V.P. of Communications for Sysco, a leading food service marketer and distributor in North America. “It’s an issue, so take care of it. Are you well groomed? Are your shoes shined? Do you look sharp? I’ve seen suits that would be great for a nightclub, but not a Fortune 100 company.”

You know executive presence when you see it. It’s the person in a meeting or a social gathering who exudes the right level of confidence, the clarity of thought and the ability to express those ideas in a meaningful, yet concise way. It’s that “wow factor” that makes leaders stand out and others listen.

“Confidence is about being able to make your point without having to go on and on about it,” says Palmer. ‘If you are confident and know your stuff, you can present it in a way that people understand without using a $5 word and paragraphs. It’s about story telling, relating the topic to the person you are talking to.”

Self-confidence is just one ingredient in the mixed bag of qualities that make up executive presence. Here are some additional qualities that will help you communicate with confidence in the C-suite.

Candor: The appearance of honesty. The skill to tell it like it is, yet be judicious in what you say.

Clarity: The ability to tell your story in a clear, compelling and concise way.

Listening: Listening is a leadership skill. It includes being accessible and conveying genuine interest in others and the challenges they face.

Passion: Speak with energy and purpose. Exhibit commitment, motivation and drive for what you do.

Poise: The look of sophistication, conveying a background of education and experience. A polished personal style isn’t just about the clothes you wear; it’s about how you feel in those clothes. Your business attire should make you feel confident and powerful every day.

Sincerity: The conviction of believing in what you say.

Thoughtfulness: Think first and then talk. Have the confidence to pause. Don’t share your internal debate with others.

And here are some final thoughts. Stand up straight and make steady eye contact. When you stand tall, you tell the world you are confident in who you are, what you are doing and where you are headed. If these pointers seem like a lot to digest, remember, executive presence can be learned, improved upon and mastered. Most of us are not born with it.

Shellee Smith is a communications expert with an extensive background in management consulting, broadcast journalism and executive search. She is married to a retired federal agent. Shellee can be reached at