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Tag: confidential informant

Inmate Sentenced to 21 Years Behind Bars in Murder-for-Hire Plot Against U.S. Attorney, FBI Informant

Richard Robert Gilbert. Photo Spartanburg County Detention Center.

By Steve Neavling

A federal inmate has been sentenced to an additional 21 years behind bars for a murder-for-hire plot against an assistant U.S. attorney and a confidential FBI informant, the Justice Department announced this week.

Richard Robert Gilbert, a Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate, was serving a 130-month sentence for trafficking methamphetamine in Kentucky in 2017. While in prison, he used a contraband cell phone in an attempt to hire a hitman to kill the federal prosecutor and a key witness in his drug trafficking case. 

Unbeknownst to Gilbert, he was arranging the murder with an undercover FBI task force officer. As a downpayment for the hit, Gilbert sent the officer a $2,000 check from his prison canteen account. He planned to pay the rest using money from real estate investments. 

Gilbert provided maps and directions to the undercover officer. 

U.S. District Juge Henry M. Herlong, Jr., sentenced Gilbert to 262 months in prison. 

The FBI and BOP Special Investigative Services Team led the case.  

Former DEA Informant Among Suspects in Assassination of Haitian President

By Steve Neavling

A former DEA informant is a suspect in last week’s assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, the agency said. 

Joseph Gertland Vincent, 55, who was one of two Haitian-American men charged in the fatal attack, became an occasional DEA informant after he was arrested more than 20 years ago for filing false information on a U.S. passport application, The Miami Herald reports.

Another 26 Columbians also were charged in the attack. 

The DEA declined to confirm which of the two Americans arrested was the confidential informant. 

“At times, one of the suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was a confidential source to the DEA,” one DEA official said. “Following the assassination of President Moïse, the suspect reached out to his contacts at the DEA.

“A DEA official assigned to Haiti urged the suspect to surrender to local authorities and, along with a U.S. State Department colleague, shared information with the Haitian government that assisted in the surrender and arrest of the suspect and one other individual.”

During the attack, one of the suspects shouted that they were executing a DEA raid. 

“DEA is aware of reports that President Moïse’s assassins yelled ‘DEA’ at the time of their attack. These individuals were not acting on behalf of DEA,” said the source.

Senior officials with the FBI and Homeland Security arrived in Haiti this week to lend a hand to the island nation.

DEA Accused of Wasting $850,000 on One Informant Who Worked for Amtrak

AmtrakBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Amtrak employee was paid more than $850,000 to act as an informant for the DEA over the past 20 years, but none of the information that was received was new to the federal agency, USA Today reports. 

The employee was assisting a task force aimed at identifying drug trafficking on the passenger train system.

The inspector general said the arrangements violate federal regulations and wasted “substantial government funds.”

The DEA has been long accused of failing to provide oversight of about 240 confidential informants.

Member of Elite Squad of Snipers Pleads Guilty to Plot to Kill DEA Agent

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A member of an international crew of veteran snipers pleaded guilty Tuesday to plotting to assassinate a DEA agent, the New York Post reports.

Daniel “Nico” Gogel faces up to 28 years in prison for other crimes including conspiring to kill a confidential informant in Liberia and attempting to import cocaine and possessing machine guns with silencers.

Gogel was working with an elite security detail led by former U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph “Rambo” Hunter that allegedly was helping Colombian drug smugglers.

Surveillance caught members of the group nonchalantly talking about their past crimes and the hit on the FBI agent.

 Other Stories of Interest


DEA Paid Amtrak Insider $854,000 for Passenger Data It Could Have Gotten for Free

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA forked over $854,460 to an Amtrak secretary for confidential information the agency should have gotten for free, according to an internal investigation.

The DEA paid the employee to be an informant despite the agency’s right to obtain the information at no cost as part of a joint drug enforcement task force, the Associated Press reports.

The payments were made over a two-decade span, the investigation found.

The Amtrak secretary provided passenger information without the proper approval, but the information was available through the proper channels, the inspector general found.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

American Muslims Claim FBI Placed Them on No-Fly List for Refusing to Be Informants

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

No one has accused Naveed Shinwari of breaking the law.

But that hasn’t stopped federal authorities from placing him on the no-fly list, which has prevented Shinwari from seeing his wife for the past 26 months, the Guardian reports.

Shinwari said he believes he can’t fly because he’s refused to become an informant for the FBI.

“I’m just very frustrated, [and I said] what can I do to clear my name?” said Shinwari, 30, who has lived in the U.S. since he was 14. “And that’s where it was mentioned to me: ‘you help us, we help you. We know you don’t have a job; we’ll give you money.’”

Shinwari is among four American Muslims accusing the FBI in a lawsuit of retaliating against them for refusing to become informants.
The FBI declined to comment.

Justice for Sept. 11 Victims Could Be Years Away As Terrorism Case Hits Yet Another Legal Snag

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The first – and maybe only – trial of those accused of orchestrating and financing the Sept. 11 attacks has hit yet another legal snag that could delay the case for years.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the 9/11 conspiracy case against five suspects at Guantanamo Bay is mired in controversy related to the defense team for the suspected mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

The defense team earlier this week accused the FBI of trying to turn one of the lawyers into an informant.

Then on Thursday, the judge in the case confirmed that the defense team is under investigation for alleged wrongdoing.

The sluggish pace of the case has frustrated victims of the terrorist attacks.

FBI Agents May Be Forced to Testify in Military Court About Alleged Attempt to Turn Defense Lawyer into Informant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is under fire for its alleged handling of defense lawyers for the accused 9/11 terrorists, and the agents may be forced to testify about it in military war court at Guantanamo Bay, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

The news comes after court proceedings abruptly ended on Monday after defense lawyers said that at least two FBI special agents had tried to make a member of the defense an informant last week.

If true, it’s an egregious violation of the justice system and attorney-client privilege.

The defense team for the suspected organizers of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks said the FBI may have jeopardized the case.

It was the first court proceeding at Guantanamo since December.