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Archive for November 2nd, 2011

Intl. Arms Trafficker Viktor Bout Goes Down; NY Jury Convicts Him

  

dea photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Bye Bye Viktor Bout.

A federal jury in New York on Wednesday convicted the international arms dealer, whose life inspired the Nicholas Cage film “Lord of War.”

The Justice Department said Bout was convicted of conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) – a designated foreign terrorist organization based in Colombia – to be used to kill Americans in Colombia.

“Today, one of the world’s most prolific arms dealers is being held accountable for his sordid past,” said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement.

“Viktor Bout’s arms trafficking activity and support of armed conflicts have been a source of concern around the globe for decades. Today, he faces the prospect of life in prison for his efforts to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to terrorists for use in killing Americans.” N.Y. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharaa added: “As the evidence at trial showed, Viktor Bout was ready to sell a weapons arsenal that would be the envy of some small countries. He aimed to sell those weapons to terrorists for the purpose of killing Americans.”

Authorities said Bout was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 based on a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court. He was charged in a four-count indictment in May 2008 and extradited to the Southern District of New York in November 2010.

Specifically, the federal jury Wednesday convicted him of conspiring to kill U.S. nationals; conspiring to kill U.S. officers and employees; conspiring to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles; and conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin presided over the three week trial.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

 

Occupy Wall Street Snitch is Partner in Private Security Firm with Busted Secret Service Agent

By Jeff Stein
Spy Talk

WASHINGTON –A business partner of the self-appointed spy who stole hundreds of Occupy Wall Street emails last month and posted them online was convicted of using excessive force as a Secret Service agent, court records show, and sentenced to six months incarceration in a halfway house.

Kevin Schatzle lists himself as one of two managing partners at Provide Security, a private intelligence and security firm with a Web site but no physical address. His co-managing partner is Thomas Ryan, who last month infiltrated OWS and pilfered protesters’ e-mails and social network postings, which he claimed showed the movement’s plans for violence.

Provide Security boasts that its “associates are handpicked from the ranks of highly trained and experienced former agents of the US Secret Service, members of U.S. Special Forces, Global Intelligence Agencies and other premier law enforcement organizations.”

To read full story click here.

 

FBI Investigating Ex-NJ Gov’s Investment Firm

Kerry Urges $8.5M Payment to Families of Bulger Murders

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

John Kerry has joined others in urging the federal government to pay the families of two men allegedly killed by James “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious gangster and FBI informant, reports Boston.com.

As reported in ticklethewire.com previously, Rep. William R. Keating, a Democrat of Massachusetts, has already urged the government to pay the families $8.5 million in compensation they were initially awarded by a federal judge in Boston.  He introduced legislation last month to compensate the families after a federal court of  appeals tossed out the award on a technicality, saying the families had waited too long to seek restitution.

Now, the Massachusetts senator and one-time presidential Democratic candidate Kerry  has filed similar legislation in the senate urging that the original decision be upheld, rewarding the $8.5 million to the families, reports Boston.com.

“We can’t place a time limit on these families’ grief or allow arbitrary restrictions to deny them the court-ordered damages they’re due,” Kerry said in a news release. “It’s our job to make this right.”

Bulger was working as an FBI informant and running wild, and a Boston federal judge back in 2009 awarded the families nearly $8.5 million, saying the government was negligent when it essentially let informant Bulger — under its watch — get away with murder.

Bulger allegedly killed the two men after learning from the FBI that one of them was cooperating with agents against Bulger. Micheal Donahue, a 32-year-old truck driver, was giving Edward “Brian” Halloran, a 41-year-old associate of Bulger’s, a lift home from a waterfront bar in Boston on May 11, 1982 when Bulger and an unidentified associate allegedly opened fire on the car. Halloran was targeted because he was suspected of working with the FBI.

To read more click here and here.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Hoover: A Star Who Isn’t Afraid to Take Risks

 
 
 
By BROOKS BARNES
New York Times

LOS ANGELES — To transform himself into an aging J. Edgar Hoover, Leonardo DiCaprio sat for hours at a time while makeup artists gave him liver spots, yellow teeth and big, bulbous love handles. He spends a good chunk of Clint Eastwood’s film “J. Edgar” that way, sweating and sneering in the unforgiving lighting of F.B.I. headquarters.

The part also meant memorizing endless monologues that needed to be delivered with Hoover’s own breakneck cadence. Additionally Mr. DiCaprio, who typically comes accessorized with a supermodel girlfriend in real life, had to wrestle aggressively with a man and then kiss him.

Oh, and wear a dress.

Faced with a role with demands like that, most superstar actors, even those eager to catch the attention of Oscar voters, would have turned and run. Look unhandsome and unheroic? Too big a risk, even with Mr. Eastwood at the wheel.

To read full story click here.

FBI Investigating Espionage Charges of US Soldier

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The Army Times is reporting on an ongoing FBI investigation of an Alaska-stationed soldier on suspicion of espionage.

Spc. William Colton Millay,22, a military cop, was taken into custody last Friday in the early morning hours, while the FBI and Army Counterintelligence continued to investigate, the paper reported.

Lt. Col. Bill Coppernoll told Reuters that he expected to ” prefer charges sometime this week. The news agency reported that charges would be brought under the Uniform Code of Military Justice in the military courts. Details of the allegations were not disclosed.

“Today’s arrest was the result of the close working relationship between the FBI and its military partners in Alaska,” special agent in charge of the FBI in Alaska Mary Frances Rook said.

To read more click here.

Georgia Senior Citizens Arrested in Plots to Kill Feds, Local Cops and Others

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Four senior citizens, suspected of being members of a fringe militia group in Northern Georgia, may have been better off venting their frustrations with the federal government by occupying a metropolitan park.

The four gents–Frederick Thomas, 73; Dan Roberts, 67; Ray Adams, 65; and Samuel Crump, 68–were arrested Tuesday by federal authorities on charges of plotting to buy explosives and trying to make a deadly bio-toxin to use on neighbors and government officials including those from the IRS and local law enforcement, according to a Justice Department press release.

The men sought explosives and the methods and materials to manufacture ricin, a toxin lethal in small doses, according to the FBI. They had spoken of covert operations since at least March of this year, and spoke to undercover agents about theft, murder and the use of the ricin against state and federal government workers, specifically employees of the IRS, according to the Justice Department. Thomas even discussed a “bucket list” of federal employees, politicians and individuals in the media he felt needed to be “taken out,” according to investigators.

“These defendants, who are alleged to be part of a fringe militia group, are charged with planning attacks against their own fellow citizens and government,” said Atlanta U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates in a statement.

“To carry out their agenda, two of the defendants allegedly purchased purported explosives and a silencer, while the other two defendants took steps to attempt to produce a deadly biological toxin. While many are focused on the threat posed by international violent extremists, this case demonstrates that we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens within our own borders who threaten our safety and security.”

 

Tenn. ATF Agent Fights Firing; Denies Allegations by Snitch

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Nine months from retirement, a Tennessee ATF agent was notified in August that the agency intended to fire him.

But the ATF agent Steve Parris, an African American,  says the recommendation to fire him is rooted in nothing more than an informant’s racism, backed by the informant’s law enforcement buddy, Vonore, Tenn. Police Department officer Mathew Watson and disgraced former Vonore Police Chief Mike Myers,  according to a report on the website of the Knoxville News Sentinel.

At issue: the informant and the police officers claim that Pariss gave the informant Andy Maltby–a convicted felon–his gun at a barbecue in March of 2008 for some target shooting, the paper reported.  ATF sided with in a follow-up probe in which Parris was accused of lying about the incident.

“By hook and by crook, they’re trying to terminate him for some unknown reason,” Parris’ attorney Hugh Ward, a former federal prosecutor, told the paper. Ward is representing Parris in his appeal of the matter.

Ward got affidavits from law enforcement offices at the picnic who said Parris wasn’t even armed, according to the paper.  The paper reported  that Ward claims in an affidavit that the informant made the allegations because he was angry at Parris for only paying him $50 for some snitch work.

“As a prosecutor, if someone had given me that case for us to prosecute, I’d say, ‘You’re kidding me,'” Ward said of ATF’s probe into Maltby.

ATF declined comment, according to the paper.

To read more click here.