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Tag: Pennsylvania

FBI Offices in Northwestern Pennsylvania Have a New Leader

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Jason T. Crouse has been named senior supervisory senior resident agent of the FBI offices in Erie and New Castle, Pa. 

The offices cover seven counties in northwestern Pennsylvania. 

Crouse, a Pennsylvania native and 19-year veteran of the bureau, replaced Supervisory Special Agent Mark Beneski. 

Beneski told the Erie Times-News that Crouse is a good fit for the position.

“He’s definitely a hard-working guy, definitely dedicated to the Erie area,” Beneski said. “He’s been here a long time, and in that time he’s made a lot of great relationships throughout the whole area.”

Crouse received an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of Maryland and a law degree from the School of Law at Wake Forest University. 

Before joining the bureau, he worked as a public defender in Maryland. 

“Law enforcement was always in the back of my mind, something I always wanted to do,” he said. “As I progressed through college and law school, I always viewed the FBI as the pinnacle of law enforcement, so that’s what I set my sights on.”

Crouse’s career with the FBI began in Erie, where he served for seven years as a coordinator for the Erie Area Gang Law Enforcement task force (EGLE) 

For roughly the next decade, Crouse investigated violent crimes against children. 

“While that was my primary focus, based on small number agents we have here and the broad spectrum of investigations we have to undertake, I’ve had experience in all those violations. So I’ve worked counterterrorism investigations, bank robbery, white collar fraud, health care fraud. And not always as a case agent in charge of an investigation but certainly in a supporting role here,” he said.

Crouse said the top priorities at the Erie office are counterterrorism and national security, as well as violent crimes and fentanyl.  

FBI Agent’s Stolen SUV Was Found, But Handgun Is Missing

First, the good news: An FBI agent’s stolen SUV was found in Pittsburgh. 

Now the bad news: The agent’s handgun is missing. 

The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for help recovering the stolen Glock 19M 9mm, which was inside the agent’s unmarked black Ford Explorer when the government-issued vehicle was stolen Tuesday afternoon.

The SUV was parked in Schenley Park when it was stolen. 

“The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force, in partnership with Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, are devoting significant resources to locate the weapon, a Glock 19M 9mm, and remove it from the possession of the untrained individual(s) who may have it,” the bureau said in a news release. “All area law enforcement agencies were quickly notified of the theft and are assisting the FBI as warranted.”

Anyone with information on the gun’s whereabouts is asked to call the FBI’s Pittsburgh office at (412) 432-4000.

Feds Bust Tony Meatballs And 14 Other Alleged Mafia Members from Philadelphia

By Steve Neavling

Fifteen alleged members and associates of a Philadelphia mob crime family were indicted on charges ranging from racketeering and extortion to gambling and drug trafficking, the Justice Department announced Monday. 

Federal authorities allege the criminal organization, La Cosa Nostra, “sought to use its reputation and influence to exercise control over criminal rackets, like bookmaking and loansharking in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, particularly Atlantic City.”

Among those arrested were Anthony “Tony Meatballs” Gigoli, 72; Joseph “Joey Electric” Servidio, 60; and the alleged underboss Steven “Stevie” Mazzone.  

“The Philadelphia mob isn’t what it used to be, and thank God for that,” U.S. Attorney Anthony McSwain said in a statement. “But it is still a problem and is still allegedly committing serious federal crimes, which is why we at the Department of Justice are focused on stamping it out. We will not rest until the mob is nothing but a bad memory.”

The case was handled by the FBI, the Philadelphia Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General .

Woman Who Fatally Shot FBI Agent Ordered to Stay in Prison

Christina Korbe

By Steve Neavling

Christina Korbe, who fatally shot an FBI agent during a drug raid in Pennsylvania, won’t be freed from prison early, a federal judge has ruled. 

Korbe was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing FBI Agent Sam Hicks when her home was raided for drugs at her Indiana Township home in 2008. Hick was 33. 

U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan rejected her bid for early release, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Slain FBI Agent Sam Hicks/fbi photo

“Ms. Korbe has spent a significant period of time in prison, which has placed a burden on her family,” the judge wrote. “While the Court empathizes with Ms. Korbe and her family, empathy doesn’t always translate into compassionate release. The circumstances presented here simply do not rise to the standard that Congress has authorized for early release.”

Korbe’s attorney requested the early release because she claimed she had the coronavirus in the spring, but prosecutors disputed that. Whatever the case, the judge said Korbe is not at a high risk because she lacks underlying health conditions. 

Korbe was convicted in 2011 of voluntary manslaughter and using a fund during a crime of violence. She was spared a life sentence for a murder a federal agent.

Korbe is eligible for release in 2022.

Pennsylvania Woman Convicted of Fatally Shooting an FBI Agent Requests Early Release from Prison

Christina Korbe

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Pennsylvania woman convicted in the fatal shooting of an FBI agent during a raid at her home in 2008 is seeking a compassionate release from prison because she was infected with the coronavirus.

Christina Korbe is scheduled to be released on May 18, 2022, The Tribune-Review reports.

Korbe pleaded guilty in 2011 to voluntary manslaughter and a firearms charge in the death of Special Agent Samuel Hicks.

Korbe was on the second floor of her Indiana Township home when she shot Hicks after he breached the front door. Korbe insisted she believed someone was breaking into their home.

The FBI had an arrest warrant for her husband on drug charges.

Korbe tested positive for COVID-19 in March.

“Ms. Korbe clearly is not a danger to the community,” her attorney, W. Theodore Koch III, said. “Moreover, the fact that she has survived the virus once, and persists in her desire to remain healthy despite the myriad health challenges noted in her medical records, there are extraordinary and compelling reasons to allow her to be released at this time.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on Korbe’s request.

Michael A. Christman Named Special Agent in Charge of Pittsburgh Field Office

Michael A. Christmas, special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh Field Office.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Michael A. Christman, who was deputy assistant director for the Criminal Justice Information Services Division in West Virginia, has been named special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh Field Office.

Christman’s career with the FBI began in February 1992, when he served on the Safe Streets Task Force in Salt Lake City that targets violent gangs and Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. In addition, he investigated violent crime and other criminal issues.

Christman joined the Cleveland Field Office in 1997 to serve on the Caribbean Gang Drug Task Force and on the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

In 2005, he was promoted to supervisory special agent at the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In 2007, he began working at the Pittsburgh Field Office, targeting drugs, gangs and violent crime. In addition, he led the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force.

In 2014, Christman was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of Criminal, Intelligence, and Administrative Programs in Pittsburgh. In 2015, he headed Pittsburgh’s Cyber and Intelligence Programs.

Two years later, he was promoted to chief of a Cyber Operations section at headquarters, managing all of the bureau’s cyber-criminal investigations. He also chaired the International Cyber Crimes Working Group.

In 2018, Christman was named deputy assistant director of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division’s Operational Programs Branch, where he oversaw the Global Law Enforcement Support Section, National Threat Operations Section, and Resources Management Section.

Before joining the FBI, Christman worked for the prosecutor’s office in the city of Akron, Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Youngstown State University and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Akron.

Populations at ICE Detention Centers for Migrant Families Are Down

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

ICE is holding fewer migrants at three family detention centers, where the numbers declined 826 last week, a 39% decline, a federal judge said during a court hearing Monday.

The three facilities hold families in Texas and Pennsylvania, and federal authorities are doing a better job following CDC guidelines, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg of Washington, D.C., said, according to The Washington Post.

The judge, who is considering a request to release families from the detention facilities, ordered ICE to disclose more information about COVID-19 testing and its supplies to help sick people.

“I don’t think . . . you’ve made the showing that [bulk] release is necessary at this point,” Boasberg told attorneys for assisting migrant families seeking asylum. “But what I am interested in is . . . particular categories of information that you seek, and I think requiring the government to provide that information would both benefit this litigation, but would also benefit your clients.”

ICE says none of the detainees has tested positive for the virus.

Michael J. Driscoll named special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Field Office

Special FBI Agent Michael J. Driscoll.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Michael J. Driscoll has been named special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Field Office.

Driscoll, who was serving as special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence and Cyber Division for the New York Field Office, began his career as an FBI special agent in 1996. He was first assigned to the New York Field Office to work on counterterrorism. In his role, he helped investigate al Qaeda conspirators involved in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the attacks on 9/11.

He earned an Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2002 for his work investigating al Qaeda and the 1998 embassy bombings.

In 2003, Driscoll was transferred to FBI headquarters to serve as the FBI’s representative to the al Qaeda Department of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center.

In 2005, Driscoll became supervisor and returned to the New York Field Office, where he headed the squad tasked with extraterritorial investigations in Africa. He also led the FBI’s counterterrorism efforts in the New York Hudson Valley region and was later promoted to the coordinating supervisory special agent for New York’s Counterterrorism Program.

In 2013, Driscoll was named assistant legal attaché for London, where he oversaw the Cyber Program and working closely with U.K. law enforcement and intelligence services. In 2016, he became assistant special agent in charge of Philadelphia’s counterintelligence and cyber programs.

In 2018, he returned to FBI headquarters, serving as the chief of the Violent Crime Section, which leads the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Program, as well as efforts to combat violent crime and gang-related violence.

In 2019, Driscoll was promoted to special agent in charge of New York’s Criminal Division and later began to lead New York’s Counterintelligence and Cyber Division.

Before joining the FBI, Driscoll worked in commercial litigation as an attorney. He graduated from the State University of New York in Albany and received his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, N.Y.