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Archive for September 20th, 2008

ICE Halts Deportations to Hard Hit Haiti

ICE decides it would be too cold to deport people back to Haiti following back-to-back storms.

By Georgia East and Luis Perez
Sun-Sentinel
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -Immigration and Customs Enforcement has temporarily halted deportations to Haiti, amid mounting pressure from some South Florida members of Congress and local activists.
Critics of the deportations have said it’s inhumane to send people to Haiti after the country has been devastated by back-to-back storms.
“We are aware of the situation on the ground, and based on that, there are no removals planned,” said Barbara Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

For Full Story

FBI Art Sleuth Calling It A Day

A Rembrandt Wittman helped recover

A Rembrandt Wittman helped recover

Robert K. Wittman didn’t surveil terrorists or chase bank robbers for the FBI. He chased down art thieves and helped recover more than a thousand pieces of work. Wittman worked undercover and still does not want to be photographed even though he’s retiring.

By Andrew Maykuth
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA – Robert K. Wittman, the renowned undercover art sleuth who retired yesterday after 20 years with the FBI, vividly remembers the first art theft he helped solve.
In November 1988, a few days before Wittman arrived in Philadelphia fresh from the FBI Academy, a robber stole a bronze sculpture from the Rodin Museum on the Parkway. Mask of the Man With the Broken Nose was considered Rodin’s first major work.
The thief, an unemployed dancer who Wittman said was “down on his luck,” wrapped the 12-inch bronze in brown paper and hid it beneath a hot-water heater at his mother’s house on Pine Street. That’s where investigators found it a few months later.
“That was the beginning and end of his art career,” said Wittman.
For Full Story

Hitman Gives a Sopranos Like Performance

Mobster Whitey Bulger/fbi photo

Mobster Whitey Bulger/fbi photo

Testimony on Friday from hitman John Martorano was as riveting as a scene in the HBO hit The Sopranos.  Martorano calmly described a murder and said he might have killed mobster Whitey Bulger had he known Bulger had ties to the FBI. His testimony came in the murder trial of ex-FBI agent John Connolly.

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe
MIAMI — Confessed hitman John Martorano gave a jury a blow-by-blow description of a murder this afternoon during blistering cross-examination in the trial of retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr.
“Can you show the jury where you shot him?” asked defense attorney Manuel Casabielle as he leaned toward the witness box.
For Full Story

Related Trial Story (Miami Herald)