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Tag: Detroit

FBI Takes Over Embezzlement Investigation of Catholic Priest in Suburban Detroit

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is investigating a Catholic priest in suburban Detroit accused of embezzling more than $400,000 from his church, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Troy police handed over the investigation of Rev. Edward Belczak, 67, a former pastor at St. Thomas More Parish in Troy for three decades, the Free Press wrote.

The Archdiocese of Detroit removed Belczak from his position after nearly three decades as allegations of financial improprieties surfaced.

Belczak is accused of padding his pay and bankrolling a ghost employee.

Homeland Security Spied on Occupy Wall Street Protests in about a Dozen U.S. Cities

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A division of the Department of Homeland Security spied and kept records on the Occupy Wall Street protests, even when they were peaceful the Huffington Post reports.

More than 250 records obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund show the federal government was keeping close tabs on protesters.

“Taken together, the two sets of documents paint a disturbing picture of federal law enforcement agencies using their vast power in a systematic effort to surveil and disrupt peaceful demonstrations,” Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, said in a statement. “The federal agencies’ actions were not because Occupy represented a ‘terrorist threat’ or a ‘criminal threat,’ but rather because it posed a significant grassroots political challenge to the status quo.”

The department was watching demonstrations in Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Denver, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Tampa, Fla.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

2 Detroit Cops on ATF Task Force Shot and Wounded by Parolee

Suspect Matthew Joseph was fatally shot

By Allan Lengel and Bill McGraw
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — The man suspected of shooting and wounding two Detroit police officers on Tuesday evening following a car chase on the city’s west side, had been on parole since last October after serving time for armed robbery, according to a law enforcement official and public records.

Matthew Renard Joseph, 23, of Detroit, was under surveillance Tuesday for a March 28, narcotics-related homicide, a source said. In the end, he was fatally shot by law enforcement.

The surveillance, which began shortly before 6 p.m. in the 3700 block of 25th Street, turned into a car chase. After police boxed Joseph’s car in at Linwood and Hooker, they got out of the car, law enforcement sources said.

Joseph then opened fire, striking one officer in the head and the other twice in the leg. Law enforcement shot back, killing him, authorities said. Two people in the suspect’s car, a man and a woman, were taken into custody, Detroit Police said.

To read full story click here.

FBI Agent Opens Up About Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick’s Public Corruption Trial

Kwame Kilpatrick/deadline detroit

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI opened its investigation of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick more than 8 years ago after getting a variety of tips, the leader investigator on the case told WXYZ Channel 7 reports.

Channel 7 interviewed FBI Special Agent Bob Beeckman about an investigation that included some 70 agents, 1,000 witnesses and 40,000 text messages.

“If you have public officials that betray the trust of citizens, the whole fabric of society comes apart,” Beeckman told Channel 7.

The prosecution tallied more than 30 guilty convictions against Kilaptrick, his father and contractor Bobby Ferguson in the public corruption case two weeks ago.

Beekman said the most damning evidence was probably the text messages that revealed a lot about the former mayor’s administration.

Kind Words Flow for Slain Ex-ATF Official Gregory Holley Sr.

Gregory Lee Holley Sr.

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — The tragic death of Gregory Holley Sr., a former ATF official killed in a robbery in Northern Virginia on Wednesday,has triggered an outpouring of kind words.

On a Facebook page created for him, some commented on the loss including Mike Morrissey, who formerly headed the Detroit ATF office.

Morrissey wrote:

“Greg was a good friend and dedicated family man. It was my honor and priviledge to have worked with him in the Detroit Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Greg was my Assistant and I recommended him for the Special Agent in Charge position when I retired. I was most impressed by his dedication and commitment to his God and his family. I am so saddened by his tragic and untimely death and my prayers and my thoughts go to his family and friends. May God be merciful to you in this time of mourning and may His peace be upon you as you navigate through this period of life. Thanks Greg for what you did for the men and women of this nation and for being such a great example of faith. I will miss you but I will look forward to our reunion in heaven.”

Shana Robinson wrote:

“Such a quiet spirited man, a warm smile, and friendly hello is how I will remember Bro. Greg. I am shocked and saddened by this senseless tragedy. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family and may God be your comforter and strengthen you during this time of grief. God Bless, We love you!!!”

A memorial service is set for Thursday at 7:00pm at Hylton Memorial Chapel, 14640 Potomac Mills Road, Woodbridge, VA.

 

WDIV: ‘Almost A Certainty’ FBI Will Dig Up Land In Search For Jimmy Hoffa

James R. Hoffa

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit 

DETROIT — WDIV’s Kevin Dietz reports that it’s “almost a certainty” that the FBI will dig up land in Oakland Township, north of Detroit,  where an ex-mobster claims Jimmy Hoffa’s body is buried.

“Half the office wants to go today, the other half wants to wait a few weeks for better weather,” Dietz reports. “No one is saying digging would be a waste of time.”

The ex-mobster Anthony Joseph Zerilli has told the feds, who have interviewed him on several occasions, that the late mobster Tony Giacalone told him that the body was buried on the land that was once owned by ex-Detroit mob boss Jack Tocco, WDIV reports.

To read more click here.

 

Column: The FBI, Some Gay Murders and a Fingerprint Examiner Named Thurman Williams

Greg Stejskal

Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office.
 
By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

I was seated, facing Michael Lee Sprague as I interviewed him. We were on the same side of the table. As an FBI agent on the fugitive squad in the Detroit Division, I never liked having anything between me and the person I was interviewing. It was  easier to observe body language, and it didn’t  give the person being interviewed the psychological shield of having an object between them and me.

I was transfixed by Sprague’s eyes. He had just confessed to a double homicide, but his eyes revealed nothing. I knew the aphorism, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” Sprague’s eyes were more like black holes – they didn’t reflect light they absorbed it.

But how did Sprague come to be arrested and interviewed by the FBI?

The story really begins in Jackson, Tennessee. Sprague was a drifter, and he had met Thomas Menth on the road. They had decided to travel together. In December, 1975, they picked up two gay professors from Bethel College which is near Jackson. They had all gone to a room at the Holiday Inn where Sprague and Menth overpowered the professors. They bound and gagged them, stabbed them multiple times and slit their throats – their throats weren’t just slit, the professors were nearly decapitated.

The murder scene was extremely bloody. When Sprague and Menth left the room, one of them put his hands covered with the victims’ blood on the wall near the light switch. This left impressions of several of his fingerprints from both hands. These prints were” identifiable,” but there was a problem.

There was a common myth at the time probably propagated by the movies and TV, that a fingerprint found at a crime scene could be matched with someone if their fingerprints were on record. The reality was, at the time, fingerprints were classified using all 10 fingers. The US central repository for all the fingerprint records was the FBI Identification Division in Washington, DC. (In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the FBI, was responsible for the establishment of a national repository for fingerprints.)

ice photo

When a person was arrested their inked prints were put on a fingerprint card which had pre-marked spaces for each finger. At the Identification Division, the card was classified by fingerprint examiners using the Henry classification system. Each fingerprint is unique like a snowflake. All fingerprints have common characteristics referred to by terms like loups, arches & whorls. Using these common features with their infinite variations, each of the fingerprints is classified with numbers and letters. These individual classifications are written in sequence determined by the order of the fingerprints on the card. The total sequence of all 10 fingers is the classification.

If an investigator were lucky enough to find an identifiable fingerprint at a crime scene, that is, one that was at least partially classifiable, the investigator could compare the single print to the fingerprints of a suspect. But only if a suspect was developed through investigation, a suspect could not be identified with just the found fingerprint.

Read more »

Prosecution: Ex-Detroit Mayor Ran a Criminal Enterprise That Was Like a “Private Profit Machine”

Kwame Kilpatrick/deadline detroit

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Federal prosecutor Mike Bullotta loaded up with plenty of ammunition and never stopped firing away Monday afternoon during a forceful closing argument in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial.

Standing in front of a lectern, before jurors, he said Kilpatrick turned the mayor’s office into “a private profit machine” in what the government dubbed “Kilpatrick Incorporated.”

He said the mantra of corrupt organization, made of up Kilpatrick, his dad Bernard Kilpatrick and friend Bobby Ferguson — was “no deal without me.”

“If you wanted a city contract, you had to pay,” Bullotta said. “If you didn’t pay, you didn’t get a contract.” He added that the citizens of Detroit lost out.

To read more click here.