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Tag: Detroit

Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Detroit Field Office Timothy Waters Retires

Timothy Waters, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office.

By Steve Neavling

Timothy Waters, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office, has retired, following 21 years with the bureau. 

Waters was appointed to the Detroit office in December 2020 after serving as the deputy assistant director of the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) in Virginia. 

Waters’ career with the FBI began in the Detroit Field Office, where he began investigating white-collar crime in 2000. 

In December, Waters sat down with Deadline Detroit, a sister publication of ticklethewire.com, for a wide-ranging interview.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Waters started working counterterrorism and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan to support military and intelligence community operations in 2005 and 2006.

Waters became a supervisory special agent in 2017 and led a section of Detroit’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. One of his investigations included the attempted bombing of an airplane at Metro Airport in Detroit on Christmas 2009. 

In 2010, Waters became the legal attaché in Islamabad. 

He returned to Detroit in 2011, serving as supervisor of a Joint Terrorism Task Force that focused on al Qaeda and al Qaeda-inspired terrorists.

In 2014, Waters became assistant special agent in charge of administrative matters in Detroit and was reassigned in 2016 as the assistant special agent in charge of Detroit’s National Security Branch, making him responsible for all counterterrorism, cyber, counterintelligence, and weapons of mass destruction investigations in Michigan.

In 2019, Waters began serving as the director of the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, an FBI-led, multi-agency squad in charge of coordinating, integrating, and sharing cyber threat information. 

Earlier this year, he was named deputy assistant director of CIRG, where he helped lead the FBI’s response to critical incidents worldwide.

Before joining the FBI, Waters served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army for eight years. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. He later earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Cleaning Man Busted Stealing Valuable Information from FBI’s Detroit Field Office

Detroit riverfront. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling

A man hired to help sanitize the FBI’s Detroit Field Office at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has been convicted of stealing valuable information on a violent street gang in the city. 

Anthony Cassani, 22, photographed a chart that detailed the rank and hierarchy of the gang members in March 2020 and then sent the photo to his friends and others using social media account, prosecutors allege, The Detroit News reports.

The chart, which was displayed on an agent’s office cubicle, contained “proprietary information,” including photos of alleged gang members who were under investigation. 

Members of several street gangs ended up with the photos of the chart, “thereby depriving the FBI of the full benefit of its use,” according to a sentencing memo. 

Cassani pleaded guilty to theft of government property less than $1,000 on June 29. 

Federal prosecutors are calling for jail time during his sentencing hearing next week in U.S. District Court. 

“Rather than do the job he was being paid to do, Cassani chose instead to steal proprietary information about a gang investigation and post it on social media,” the sentencing memo reads. “His criminal conduct has earned him a three-month sentence followed by a one-year term of supervised release with the hope that this brief term of imprisonment will promote respect for the law and deter him and others from committing similar offenses.”

Two Detroit Men Convicted of Shooting at ATF Agents in Unmarked Car

By Steve Neavling

Two Detroit men who opened fire on a pair of ATF agents in April 2019 have pleaded guilty.  

Kevin Keshawn Young, aka Gucci, 24, and Aaron Marquis Shooks, aka Boogey, 23, will be sentenced on Dec. 8 on a charge of attempted murder of federal agents, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Young and Shooks are members of a gang known as OES 187 Head Hunters, according to federal prosecutors. 

On April 15, 2019, federal agents were investigating a shooting in which Shooks and other OES members were allegedly involved. The agents were in an unmarked car, following the gang members when Young exited his vehicle and fired 11 shots at the agents. Young later claimed he thought the agents were rival gang members. 

No one was injured. 

As part of a plea deal, Young faces between 10 and 15 years in prison, and Shooks faces 10-13 years behind bars. 

“Every day our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line and risk personal injury to protect our citizens from senseless violence,” Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin said in a statement. “When officers or agents are assaulted while performing those duties, the perpetrators can expect that every resource of this office will be used to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, and to seek justice.”

Keith Krolczyk, acting special agent in charge of the ATF’s Detroit Field Division, added, “Our special agents and other law enforcement officers risk their personal safety everyday doing their job, protecting the public and enforcing the law, to make our community safe. We are proud of them and their unrelenting professionalism.”

‘White Boy Rick’ Sues FBI, Detroit Police in $100M lawsuit Claiming Child Abuse

Richard Wershe Jr.

By Steve Neavling

Richard Wershe Jr., a former federal informant and cocaine dealer known as White Boy Rick, is suing the FBI and Detroit police for alleged child abuse. 

In a federal lawsuit announced Tuesday, Wershe claims the FBI and Detroit police recruited him to snitch at the age of 14. But when law enforcement no longer needed him, Wershe stayed in the drug world before he was busted selling cocaine at the age of 17. 

“Had I not been an informant for the task force, I would never have gotten involved with drug gangs or criminality of any sort,” the lawsuit states.

He was sentenced to life in prison in 1988 and eventually paroled in 2017, only to be sent to a Florida prison to serve time for a 2006 conviction for his role in a car theft while locked up in Michigan. 

Wershe was finally set free on July 20, 2020. 

He is now 52 years old.

Suspects Shot at DEA Agents Who Were Serving Arrest Warrants in Detroit

By Steve Neavling

DEA agents came under gunfire while trying to serve a search warrant in Detroit on Wednesday morning. 

The agents weren’t injured, and the two suspects accused of firing at the agents were arrested, Fox 2 Detroit reports

“No one was injured during today’s enforcement action in Detroit and the situation was neutralized peacefully,” Detroit’s DEA office tweeted. 

The shooting broke out around 7:30 a.m., when the agents arrived at a home to serve arrest warrants for two people.

Detroit police and state troopers provided backup. 

It wasn’t immediately clear what the arrests warrants were for. 

FBI Task Force Captures Fugitive on the Run for Nearly 50 Years

Leonard Rayne Moses.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI’s Detroit Fugitive Task Force tracked down and arrested a man who had been on the run for nearly 50 years after escaping custody in Pennsylvania. 

Leonard Rayne Moses, now 71, was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder when he fled during his grandmother’s funeral in Pittsburgh, Pa., on June 1, 1971. 

During the 1968 Pittsburgh riots in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Moses and four friends tossed Molotov cocktail into a home in Pittsburgh, severely burning 72-year-old Mary Amplo, who died three months later. 

At the time, Moses was 15. He was sentenced to life in prison at the age of 17. 

While on the run, Moses assumed the identity of Paul Dickson and until at least 1999 he was a traveling pharmacist in Michigan. 

“I hope this arrest brings some closure to the family members of Mary Amplo, who was killed back in 1968,” FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman said in a statement. “Mr. Moses will now have to face justice for her murder. Through coordination with the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office and our partners in Michigan, we were able to identify Mr. Moses using the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system. It’s these new advances in technology that the FBI must continue to identify and use to make sure those who commit crimes are brought to justice.”

Operation Legend Nets 3,500+ Arrests in Nine Cities Since It Launched in July

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

More than 3,500 people have been arrested across nine cities as part of “Operation Legend,” an anti-crime initiative launched by the Justice Department in July, Attorney General William Barr announced Tuesday.

Since the operation began on July 8, federal authorities and their local partners have arrested about 200 murder suspects and seized roughly 1,000 firearms, 19 kilos of heroin, 11 kilos of fentanyl, 94 kilos of methamphetamine, 14 kilos of cocaine, and $6.5 million in drug money, Barr said at a news conference in Milwaukee.

Of those arrested, about 815 have been charged with federal offenses, 440 with firearms offenses, and 300 with drug-related crimes.

The operation involves more than 1,000 agents from the ATF, DEA, and FBI, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, in nine cities: Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis, Kansas City and Indianapolis. The operation is named in honor of LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was fatally shot while he was sleeping in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.

To see a breakdown by city, click here.

‘Operation Legend’ Leads to Nearly 1,500 Arrests in 8 U.S. Cities, Barr Announces

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Nearly 1,500 people have been arrested across eight cities as part of “Operation Legend,” an anti-crime initiative recently launched by the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr announced Wednesday.

Since the operation began on July 8, about 217 of those arrests involved federal crimes, most of them drug- and gun-related. ATF agents also seized nearly 400 firearms, Barr said.

“In just a few short weeks, federal investigators working side-by-side with state and local law enforcement have begun to make significant progress towards reducing violence related to illegal firearms, drug trafficking and other crime in our neighborhoods,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a news release. “In Cleveland, Operation Legend’s law enforcement operations have already resulted in 32 defendants charged federally with various drug trafficking and firearms violations. These early results show the potential that Operation Legend has to make our cities and communities a safer place for everyone to live.”

The operation involves more than 1,000 agents from the ATF, DEA, and FBI, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, in eight cities: Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis and Indianapolis. The operation is named in honor of LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was fatally shot while he was sleeping in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.

Click here for a breakdown of arrests by city.