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Tag: New Orleans

U.S. Marshals Rescue 19 Missing, Endangered Children During 4-Month Operation

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By Steve Neavling

Nineteen missing and endangered children were rescued during a four-month, U.S. Marshals Service-led operation in the New Orleans area. 

Dubbed “This Is The Way Home,” the operation focused on missing and endangered runaways between March 1 and June 30. 

Nine adults were arrested in connection with the missing children. 

One of the recovered teens, a 16-year-old runaway, was wanted by police in Tennessee on warrants for possession of a firearm, evading arrest, narcotics violations, theft and violation of juvenile probation. 

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, which assisted, seized more than $17,500 in cash, seven firearms, and drugs. 

“This was a joint operation with our local, state, and federal partners and teamwork and information sharing made these results possible,”  Scott Illing, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana, said in a news release. “I am extremely proud that the U.S. Marshals Service was tasked with the mission of locating missing and exploited children. 

“While 19 recoveries may not seem high, this work, which is time consuming, was accomplished while also running our normal day-to-day violent felony offender investigations across 13 parishes. A sex offender fugitive operation (NO Saints and Sinners 2021) was also ongoing in the district at the same time resulting in over 35 additional felony arrests, along with our other judicial missions. Our local, state, and federal partners embrace the opportunity to conduct such meaningful operations for the community, in addition to their more traditional law enforcement activities to combat the rise in violent crime.” 

FBI Seels Help Investigating ‘Most Prolific Serial Killer’ in U.S. History

Samuel Little, via FBI

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is calling on the public to help in an ongoing investigation of a 79-year-old man who the bureau says is the “most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.”

His name is Samuel Little. Between 1970 and 2005, he says he strangled 93 victims.

FBI crime analysts say Little’s confessions are credible and have so far verified 50 of them. Some of the bodies have never been discovered, and some of the cases were originally ruled overdoses or accidental.

Samuel Little drew this victim.

For five years, analysts have used the bureau’s Violent Crime Apprehension Program (ViCAP) to link Little to the murders.

“For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,” ViCAP Crime Analyst Christie Palazzolo says in a detailed, multi-media news release.

Now the FBI is urging the public to help with the 43 unconfirmed confessions. On its website, the FBI posted some of Little’s illustrations of his victims, as well as video confessions in five cases.

“Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim – to close every case possible,” Palazzolo says.

The unverified confessions involve purported murders in Miami, Fla.; North Little Rock, Ark.; Covington, Kentucky; Las Vegas, Nev.; and New Orleans, La.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. https://tips.fbi.gov

Bryan A. Vorndran Named Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Field Office

Bryan A. Vorndran, special agent in charge of the New Orleans Field Office.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Bryan A. Vorndran has been named special agent in charge of the New Orleans Field Office.

Vorndran, who most recently served as a deputy assistant director in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C., became an FBI special agent in 2003. On his first assignment, he primarily investigated cocaine and heroin trafficking.

In 2008, he joined the International Contract Corruption Task Force in Afghanistan for five months before being promoted to supervisory special agent at the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters. In 2012, he was promoted to unit chief.

In 2013, Vorndran began leading the Washington Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Three years later, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the cyber and counterintelligence programs at the Baltimore Field Office.

In 2017, Vorndran was promoted to chief of the Strategic Operations Section of the Counterterrorism Division at Headquarters.

A year later, Vorndran was named a deputy assistant director of the Criminal Investigative Division, overseeing FBI programs focused on helping dismantle transnational criminal organizations involved in violent crimes that impacted the U.S.

Before joining the FBI, Vorndran was an engineer in the private sector. In 1998, he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Lafayette College, and in 2012, he received a masters of business administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Mistrial Declared in Trial of Ex-DEA Agent in New Orleans

By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

Federal prosecutors have a decision to make whether to go after ex-DEA agent Chad Scott again.

A mistrial was declared Monday in the trial of the former agent after jurors failed to reach a verdict.

Scott is accused in a seven-year conspiracy of stealing property and money taken during investigations, reports WVUE.

According to  NOLA.com, Scott faced two counts of falsification of government records, related to a Ford pickup truck the prosecutors said was “a gift … from a dope dealer,” three counts of obstruction of justice — related to accusations Scott induced false testimony at a hearing and trial for an alleged drug supplier, Jorge Perralta — and two counts of perjury, related to Scott’s testimony in the Perralta case.

Brazen Thief Steals Copper from FBI Construction Site in New Orleans

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A brazen New Orleans man was arrested after stealing copper from a construction project at the FBI New Orleans Field Office.

FBI security cameras and guard spotted Michael Bailey, 39, stealing copper from the construction site of the new visitor center built at the field office, the Times-Picayune reports

Bailey was charged with a felony count of theft on Wednesday.

Video surveillance shows Bailey scavenging the site for copper wire. He was able to flee in his truck.

He was arrested Wednesday after investigated interviewed him.

Eric J. Rommal Tapped to Serve As Special Agent in Charge of New Orleans Division

Eric Rommal, newly appointed FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Division.

Eric Rommal, newly appointed FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Division.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Eric J. Rommal, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, will begin serving as special agent in charge of the bureau’s New Orleans Division.

FBI Director Christopher Wray made the announcement Wednesday.

Rommal, who most recently served as deputy assistant director in the Directorate of Intelligence, began working for the FBI in 1997 and was assigned to the Atlanta Division, where he investigated violent crime, white-collar crime, cybercrime and health care fraud.

Rommal has served in leadership positions in the Counterterrorism Division and the Washington Field Office.

Rommal will begin working in his new role in November.

FBI Agent Files Suit Over Bureau for Allegedly Violating His Free Speech Rights

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who was suspended after he alerted a judge to alleged prosecutorial misconduct by the New Orleans U.S. attorney’s office, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the bureau and several superiors.

Special Agent Mike Zummer claims in the federal lawsuit that he was disciplined after sending a letter to U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt over the agent investigation of a former Louisiana district attorney accused of trading sex for leniency in more than a dozen cases, WWL-TV reports

Zummer was suspended Sept. 30, 2016, without pay after he said he spoke out about the DOJ’s failure to full prosecute former St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel.

Zummer expressed disgust when the judge was only sentenced to three years in prison last year as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors on charges of obstructing a federal investigation.

In a ruling last year, the judge said Zummer raised “legitimate concerns” about the Justice Department’s leniency within its ranks.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The New Orleans Crime Boss