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September 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Los Angeles

FBI Announces a Whole Lot of High-Level Appointments

By Allan Lengel

There were a whole lot of new appointments announced at the FBI this week.

Andrew G. McCabe was named assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. He last served as deputy assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division.

Robert Holley/fbi photo

Jennifer R. Sanchez was named assistant director of the Information Technology Services Division (ITSD). Her most recent post was that of the division’s deputy assistant director.

Dean C. Bryant was named special agent in charge of the St. Louis Field Office. He most recently served as the chief of the Critical Incident Response Group’s Hazardous Devices Operations Section near Quantico, Virginia.

Robert J. Holley was named deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, Operations Branch I. Holley most recently served as the special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Division.

John Perren

Steven M. Martinez was named executive assistant director of the Science and Technology Branch.He most recently served as the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division.

Ralph Boelter

Ralph S. Boelter was named assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division, the top post in that office. Boelter most recently served as the assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division.

John G. Perren was named  the assistant director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate. He most recently served as the deputy assistant director of the Criminal Investigative Division. first reported this in March.

New ATF Special Agent In Charge of LA Field Division

Shoshanna Utchenik

Steven J. Bogdalek is the new head of ATF in Los Angeles, which includes Southern California, the agency announced.

Bogdalek began his career with ATF in Detroit in 1987, according to the PR Newswire.

From 2002 until this latest appointment, he served as Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the St. Paul Field Division, overseeing five criminal enforcement groups and one intelligence group in a three-state area. These were instrumental in the investigation, arrest and conviction of numerous violent street gangs.

To read more click here.


L.A. Toy Company Indicted for Laundering Drug Money

ice video photo

Shoshanna Utchenik

 It’s all fun and games til your toy purchases may be supporting international drug cartels.

An 18-month investigation of, Woody’s Toys Inc., by Homeland Security’s ICE and the DEA’s Southern California Drug Task Force yielded video of employees receiving bricks of cash in fast food chain parking lots, among other incriminating evidence.

Homeland Security’s press release states the co-owners and three employees of Woody’s Toys have been indicted  on charges of  orchestrating an elaborate financial scheme to launder millions of dollars for drug trafficking organizations in Mexico and Colombia.

Two Mexico-based toy dealers are charged as well.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, legitimate teddy bear buyers don’t close the sale with stacks of cash in restaurant parking lots,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles in a statement. “The reality is, unscrupulous companies that conspire to help the cartels cover their financial tracks are contributing in no small way to the devastation wrought by the international drug trade.”

To read more click here.


LAPD and FBI Agent Killed Unarmed Suspect

By Allan Lengel

An investigation is underway in the fatal shooting of an unarmed double murder suspect, who was shot and killed last week by Los Angeles Police and an FBI agent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Initially, authorities said the man was armed. On Wednesday, the LAPD and FBI clarified the matter, the Times reported.

The incident happened last Thursday when three LAPD cops and an FBI agent were serving an arrest warrant for Frank Martinez, 27, the LA Times reported.

The paper reported that authorities initially said that officers and residents claimed they saw Martinez fire a handgun, but a further investigation found he had no gun. Authorities shot him on the roof of his garage.

“These are very chaotic scenes and the officers all reported they believed they were being fired on,” LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said, according to the Times “That’s why we have our Force Investigation Division, to sort through all the information, evidence and witnesses statements.”

To read more click here.


LA Feds End Probe into Lance Armstrong; No Charges Filed

By Allan Lengel

After a two-year doping investigation that triggered plenty speculation and gossip, fed prosecutors in Los Angeles decided to end  their probe into Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong without filing charges, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The media relentlessly reported on the probe and the folks who appeared before the grand jury.

But on Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced it was over.

The LA Times reported that U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte Jr. praised the work of investigators, but fell short of explaining why the probe ended in a whimper.

To read more click here.


Pastor Ain’t Going to Heaven Any Time Soon; Gets 15 Years in Medicare Fraud Scam

By Allan Lengel

Pastor Christopher Iruke, 61, is going to anywhere but heaven — at least for the time being.

The feds announced on Monday that the pastor of a now defunct Los Angeles church who owned and operated several fraudulent durable medical equipment (DME) supply companies was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in a $14.2 million Medicare fraud scheme. He was also ordered to pay $6.7 million in restitution.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said a jury last August found Iruke and his wife, Connie Ikpoh, 49, and one of their employees, Aura Marroquin, guilty of conspiracy and health care fraud offenses following a two-week trial in Los Angeles.

Authorities said that Iruke and Ikpoh were pastors at Arms of Grace Christian Center, a church that operated from 5700 Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles.

They also operated from the property Pascon Medical Supply, a fraudulent DME supply company and hired hired several of their parishioners.

The group used fraudulent prescriptions and documents to bill Medicare for expensive, high-end power wheelchairs and orthotics that were medically unnecessary or never provided, authorities said.

The power wheelchairs cost about $900 per wheelchair wholesale, but were billed to Medicare at a rate of approximately $6,000 per wheelchair.


FBI Paid LA Sheriff’s Deputy $1,500 to Smuggle Phone to Inmate in Sting

By Danny Fenster

The LA Times reports that a cell phone smuggled into the Los Angeles County jail to help document alleged inmate abuse was smuggled in by a county Sheriff’s deputy, who was paid about $1,500 as part of an FBI undercover sting. had previously written about the incident, noting the Sheriff’s displeasure with the Fed’s approach. Sheriff Lee Baca, the county’s top brass, was not notified about the FBI investigation into inmate abuse, which has caused a riff between the FBI and the county police. Baca will meet with U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte Jr. Tuesday to discuss the incident, which he calls a major safety breach.

“It’s illegal,”Baca said, according to the LA Times.  “It’s a misdemeanor and then there’s a conspiracy law that goes along with it.”

The deputy that aided the FBI was Gilbert Michel, 38, who did not know the inmate he was giving the phone to was an FBI informant, the Times reported.  Michel resigned shortly after being put on leave, according to the LA Times. Michel has not been charged with a crime but is now the subject of a criminal investigation by the Sheriff’s Department.

This is not the first investigation of LA County jails. To read more about the case and the context of the county jails, click here.


FBI-LAPD Homicide Operation Chalking Up Dozens of Arrests

By Allan Lengel

A joint FBI-Los Angles Police operation aimed a cutting a backlog of gang-related killings is showing some results, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The paper reports that the joint operation, which began in July 1 and ends Sept. 30, has resulted in 43 homicide arrests.

And the paper reported that the effort has just resulted in 11 new murder charges being filed.

Veteran LAPD Det. Sal LaBarbera said he expects the operation to clear more cases in the next 10 days before the Sept. 30 deadline.