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Archive for September 12th, 2011

Ex-Acting Genovese Family Crime Boss and Two Associates Sentenced to Life

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The former acting boss of the Genovese Organized Crime Family Arthur Nigro and two associates were sentenced to life in prison Monday in Manhattan federal court for multiple crimes including racketeering, extortion and loansharking and murders of people they suspected of snitching to authorities, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Nigro and associates Fotios Geas and Ty Geas, who are brothers, were all convicted in April.

“The catalogue of vicious and lethal crimes committed by these three defendants provides a stark reminder of the lengths to which the mob will go to protect their turf and exact revenge,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “With today’s sentences, these men will now be put out of the mafia’s ugly and violent business for life.”

Authorities said that Nigro rose to the position of Acting Boss of the Genovese Family in the early 2000s, running operations in the Bronx, Springfield, Mass. and other places.

The defendants were convicted in Manhattan federal court of the November 23, 2003, murder of Adolfo Bruno, a Captain in the Genovese Organized Crime Family, in Springfield, Mass. Authorities alleged that Nigro ordered the hit to increase his in power in the Genovese family, and to punish Bruno for speaking to the FBI.

Fotios and Ty Geas ultimately enlisted the person who carried out the murder.

Fotioius and Ty Geas were also convicted of the Nov. 4, 2003, murder of Gary Westerman in Agawam, Mass. The defendants shot and killed Westerman after they suspected him of cooperating with the Massachusetts State Police.

The three men were also convicted of the attempted murder of Frank Dadabo, which NIGRO had ordered because of a union-related dispute. On May 19, 2003, Ty Geas shot shot Dadabo nine times on a Bronx street. Fotios helped plan the hit and drove the getaway car, authorities said.

All three defendants were also convicted of conspiring to murder Louis Santos, who they suspected was cooperating with authorities.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Mark F. Giuliano Named FBI’s Exec. Assist. Director of National Security Branch

  

Mark Giuliano/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mark F. Giuliano, the assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters, has been named the agency’s executive assistant director of the National Security Branch, the FBI announced Monday.

“I am confident that under Mark’s leadership in managing international and domestic counterterrorism investigations, NSB will continue its strategic focus and address new and emerging threats that endanger the United States and its citizens,” FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said in a statement.

Before becoming assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division, Giuliano was the deputy assistant director for Operations Branch II, Counterterrorism Division, at headquarters, and oversaw all domestic terrorism operations in the U.S., as well as the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Lone Offender Task Force, the Yemen fusion cell, the Pakistan threat group, human intelligence and strategic terrorism operations, communications exploitation and terrorist financing for FBI counterterrorism operations worldwide, the FBI said.

Prior to that, he served as section chief of the Domestic Terrorism and Strategic Operation Section.

Before joining the Counterterrorism Division, he served as assistant special agent in charge of national security for the Atlanta Division.  He also served as the FBI’s on-scene commander in Afghanistan.

He started his career at the Washington Field Office’s Safe Streets and Gang Task Force.

Gun Store Owner Had Misgivings About ATF Sting

atf file photo

By Richard A. Serrano
Los Angeles Times

GLENDALE and RIO RICO, Az. — In the fall of 2009, ATF agents installed a secret phone line and hidden cameras in a ceiling panel and wall at Andre Howard’s Lone Wolf gun store. They gave him one basic instruction: Sell guns to every illegal purchaser who walks through the door.

For 15 months, Howard did as he was told. To customers with phony IDs or wads of cash he normally would have turned away, he sold pistols, rifles and semiautomatics. He was assured by the ATF that they would follow the guns, and that the surveillance would lead the agents to the violent Mexican drug cartels on the Southwest border.

When Howard heard nothing about any arrests, he questioned the agents. Keep selling, they told him. So hundreds of thousands of dollars more in weapons, including .50-caliber sniper rifles, walked out of the front door of his store in a Glendale, Ariz., strip mall.

To read the full story click here.

 

FBI Probing Hacking of NBC Twitter Account: False Report Posted

  
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Yes, you can’t believe everything you read in the media, particularly when it’s posted by a hacker.

NBC reports that early Friday evening someone hacked into the NBC Twitter account and posted some false information about an attack.

The network reported that the FBI computer crimes unit is investigating the matter along with NBC and Twitter. A hacker group called The Script Kiddies claimed responsibility.

The false tweet said:

“Breaking News! Ground Zero has just been attacked. Flight 5736 has crashed in the site, suspected hijacking. More as the story develops.”

The website Search Engine Journal  reported that its social media director Ryan Osborn noticed the false tweet within seconds and contacted Twitter, which shutdown the account in eight minutes. Within hours, the account was back up and running, the station reported.

The station issued a statement saying: “The NBC News Twitter account was hacked late this afternoon and as a result, false reports of a plane attack on ground zero were sent to @NBCNews followers. We are working with Twitter to correct the situation and sincerely apologize for the scare that could have been caused by such a reckless and irresponsible act.”

 

Chicago Feds Deny DEA Granted Immunity to Major Mexican Cartel Member

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fed prosecutors in Chicago are denying claims that a major Mexican cartel member had struck a deal with the DEA granting him immunity and others prosecution from immunity in exchange for information, Reuters news service reported.

Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, the right-hand man of Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, faces trial in Chicago on drug related charges.

His lawyers claim the DEA struck a deal with cartel attorney Humberto Loya-Castro in 1998 for immunity for some cartel members, Reuters reported.

But in court filings on Friday, Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald wrote: “Contrary to defendant’s claim, no immunity was conferred upon him, nor was any immunity conferred upon Loya-Castro.”

 

Secret Service Investigates Threatening Messages on White House Facebook Page

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There’s a downside to the White House being hip to social media.

The Associated Press reports that the Secret Service is investigating three threatening messages that were posted on the White House’s Facebook page.

The messages, first reported by WNBC in New York, included a photo of Osama bin Laden and said, according to the AP:

The messages included a picture of Osama bin Laden and said, “We’ll come back 11/9/2011 to kill u all.”

AP reported that Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the matter has has been referred to the agency’s Internet threat desk.