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Tag: New York

New York Pharmacist Sent Cocaine in a Greeting Card To DEA Agent, Prosecutors Say

By Steve Neavling

A New York pharmacist is accused of sending powdered cocaine in a greeting card to a DEA agent after discovering his business was under investigation, the Justice Department said. 

The idea was to disrupt the investigation, but the plan failed. 

Dimitrios Lymberatos, 34, is charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice for seeking to “interfere with the investigation through intimidation,” acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss of the Southern District of New York said in a statement.

“Lymberatos’s misguided message was received loud and clear – and he now faces the possibility of a lengthy prison term for his potentially harmful attempt to obstruct law enforcement,” Strauss said. 

The DEA began investigating the pharmacy in November 2019 over discrepancies in a registration application, delaying his ability to receive authorization to dispense controlled substances.

Frustrated with the impact on his pharmacy, Lymberatos hired a private investigator to learn more about the DEA investigator. After discovering the agent’s home address, he sent her a greeting card with several packets of cocaine. 

When the agent received the card and found white powder inside, she alerted law enforcement and went to the hospital for a toxicology screening. 

Prosecutors say the motive was to create “fear” for the agent’s “physical safety, and to create trouble for the Investigator by causing her to come into possession of an illegal controlled substance.”

“One of our own diversion investigators was allegedly targeted simply for doing their job, and as such, Mr. Lymberatos’s alleged actions as a pharmacist and licensed professional were completely unconscionable,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Raymond Donovan said. “Thankfully, due to the diligent work of our Tactical Diversion Squads, he will be brought to justice.” 

Gov. Cuomo As U.S. Attorney General? Biden Is Reportedly Considering Him

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

By Steve Neavling

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is reportedly considering New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as his attorney general if he wins the election. 

The possibility is so strong that the National Governors Association is looking into contingencies to replace Cuomo as the chairman because he would be unable to serve in that role if he becomes attorney general, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Cuomo, 62, served as New York’s attorney General from 2007 to 2010.  

Biden and Cuomo have a relationship dating back to the 1980s. People familiar with the relationship say Biden sees himself in Cuomo. 

Other potential candidates for attorney general include former acting AG Sally Yates and Stacey Abrams, who served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017.

CBP Arrests Armed Woman Accused of Sending Ricin to President Trump

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

CBP officers on Sunday arrested a woman accused of sending an envelope containing the poison ricin to the White House.

The woman was arrested with a gun in her possession soon after crossing the Canadian Border in Buffalo, The Associated Press reports.

The suspect’s identity had not been disclosed as of Monday morning. She is expected to be charged Monday.

The letter, which was addressed to President Trump, was intercepted at a mail-screening facility and traced back to Canada, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which helped the FBI investigate.

Ricin, which is derived from castor beans and has no antidote, can be deadly if inhaled or ingested.

Ex-Special Agent in Charge of Albany Field Office Accused of Sexually Harassing Subordinates

James Hendricks, former special agent of the FBI’s Albany Field Office.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

James N. Hendricks, the former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Albany Field Office, is accused of sexually harassing eight subordinate employees and creating a hostile work environment for another employee, according to an Inspector General’s Office obtained by The Albany Times Union.

The IG says the harassment happened while Hendricks was serving as chief of the Countermeasures Operation Section in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at the bureau’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

Hendricks was tapped to lead the Albany Field Office in July 2018 and stopped working for the bureau earlier this year.

The FBI declined to discuss the allegations.

“We don’t have anything more to add, other than the FBI is committed to fostering a work environment where all of our employees are valued and respected,” an FBI spokesperson said. “We have a zero tolerance policy regarding sexual harassment.”

The Times Union couldn’t reach Hendricks, 50, for comment.

Stephen Belongia Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI Buffalo Field Office

Special Agent Stephen Belongia.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Stephen Belongia has been named special agent in charge of the FBI Buffalo Field Office in New York.

Belongia, who most recently served as the section chief of Cyber Readiness at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., first joined the bureau as a special agent in 1997 in the Phoenix Field Office, where he investigated criminal and counterterrorism issues.

While in Phoenix, Belongia became supervisor of a white-collar crime squad in 2010, focusing on investment and complex security frauds. He later led a counterterrorism squad.

In 2011, he was deployed to Iraq on a temporary assignment, investigating international contract corruption. In 2013, Belongia became an assistant legal attaché in Nairobi, Kenya, where he investigated, among other things, piracy and the terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall.

Belongia returned to Nairobi and began serving in the Human Resources Division at FBI headquarters, focusing on policy and administrative roles.

In 2017, Belongia was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Tampa Field Office in Florida, where he led the cyber, counterintelligence, human intelligence, technical, surveillance, intelligence, and administrative programs.

In 2019, Belongia was elevated to section chief of Cyber Readiness at FBI headquarters, working on a variety of tasks, including cyber education and training, human capital, strategic management, security, logistics, financial management, and workforce development. In addition, conceived and led several initiatives that included the FBI Cyber Academy, Cyber Pipeline, and the Cyber 2025 Strategic Review.

Before joining the bureau, Belongia earned a bachelor’s degree in business from California State University in Sacramento and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Oxford. Before becoming a special agent, Belongia worked as a CPA for KPMG.

Anti-Defamation League Hires Ex-FBI Official to Work With Law Enforcement Partners

Greg Ehrie (FBI photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Greg Ehrie, a 22-year veteran of the FBI, has been hired by the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish organization, as vice president of  Law enforcement and Analysis.

In this role, Ehrie will lead efforts to “further partnerships and engagement” with federal, state and local law enforcement across the country and supervise new program development to battle hate,  the ADL said in a press release.

During his tenure with the FBI, Ehrie rose to special agent in charge of the Newark Field Office.  He previously served in a number of posts including  supervisor of the New York Office’s Domestic Terrorism squad and section chief of the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Operations Section.

Additionally, he was deployed for two years to the Joint Task Force, U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was named the first permanent supervisor for FBI Detainee Operations. The job included being a senior representative to the Intelligence Community and leading a team that conducted detainee interviews, threat assessments and analysis.

He graduated in 1990 from Manhattan College in New York  where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has also earned executive certificates from the Kellogg School of Management,  Northwestern University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. 

The ADL promotes itself as a leading anti-hate organization.

Thomas Relford Named Special Agent in Charge of Albany Field Office

Special Agent Thomas Relford.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Thomas Relford, who had been serving as an inspector at FBI headquarters, has been tapped as special agent in charge of the Albany Field Office in New York.

Relford joined the bureau as a special agent in 1996 at the New Orleans Field Office, investigating criminal and counterterrorism cases. In 2005, he was promoted to supervisor of the Baton Rouge Resident Agency in Louisiana, overseeing investigative programs.

In 2008, Relford became the legal attaché in Dakar, Senegal, where he oversaw investigations in 11 Western and Central African countries and served as FBI liaison to local law enforcement and government agencies. In 2010, he went to Nairobi, Kenya, to serve as legal attaché for three years. Relford was responsible for the oversight and investigative programs in five countries, including the probe into the 2010 World Cup bombing in Kampala, Uganda.

In 2013, Relford was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Kansas City Field Office, where he was in charge of the National Security Branch. In 2015, he led the Criminal and Administrative Branch. He was promoted in 2018 to inspector in the Inspector Division at headquarters, where he inspected investigative and administrative programs of the bureau nationwide.

Before the FBI, Relford served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force for four years and earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri and a Masters of Public Administration from Troy University.

New York Man Coughed on FBI Agents, Claiming He Had Coronavirus, Authorities Say

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A New York man who said he had the coronavirus coughed on FBI agents while they were arresting him Monday for allegedly lying about the sale of medical supplies, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.

Baruch Feldheim, 43, of Brooklyn, was charged with assaulting a federal officer and making false statements to law enforcement.

Federal authorities say Feldheim was hoarding life-saving equipment and then selling it for inflated prices. He’s accused of selling a doctor about 1,000 masks for $12,000, a markup of 700%.

Another doctor told investigators that the alleged fraudster had hoarded enough medical supplies “to outfit an entire hospital.” Those items include surgical supplies, hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, and chemical cleaning supply agents.

When agents approached Feldheim outside his house, they kept a safe distance due to coronavirus fears.

“When the agents were within four to five feet of him, Feldheim allegedly coughed in their direction without covering his mouth,” the US attorney’s release said. “At that point, Feldheim told the FBI agents that that he had the Coronavirus,” the statement said.