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Tag: Pennsylvania

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.

Trump Called the FBI ‘Scum,’ Doubled Down on Debunked Conspiracy Theories at Pennsylvania Rally

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump continued to lash out at the FBI at a rally in Hershey, Pa., on Tuesday night, calling bureau leaders “scum” and doubling down on his claims of a debunked “deep state” conspiracy.

Trump’s diatribe came one day after the Justice Department’s inspector general report concluded the bureau didn’t improperly open its investigation into the Trump campaign, nor did it act with bias.

Trump spoke to a boisterous crowd, trying to discredit the report.

“The FBI also sent multiple undercover human spies to surveil and record people associated with our campaign.” Trump said. “Look how they’ve hurt people. They’ve destroyed the lives of people that were great people. That are still great people. Their lives have been destroyed by scum, OK? By scum.”

After the report’s release, Trump also dumped on his FBI director, Christopher Wray, for agreeing with the report’s conclusion that the bureau didn’t act improperly, despite making missteps.

“I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!”

Retired FBI Agent Vying for Democratic Nomination for Congress in Pa.

Retired FBI agent Todd Rowley.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Todd Rowley, who spent more than 24 years serving the FBI, is running as a Democrat for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 13th District.

The 53-year-old Donegal Township man retired from the FBI in July 2014 after a career spent on counterintelligence and counterterrorism.

Rowley, who works as a state park ranger and substitute teacher, said he wants to bridge the partisan divide that so often hampers progress in politics.

“We must begin the process of lessening the division and discourse that our country and its citizens are mired in,” he told TribLive.com. “That starts with elected officials — without abandoning their principles — being committed to and finding compromise and common ground on the many important issues our country faces today.”

The primary election is May 15 for a seat that covers  the eastern part of Westmoreland County along with Somerset, Bedford, Blair, Huntingdon, Fulton, Franklin and Adams counties, and portions of Cambria and Cumberland counties.

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