Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2012
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for September 24th, 2012

Justice Dept. Issues Statement About Allegations that Undercover FBI Agent Paid for Prostitutes in Philippines for Himself and Defendants in Sting

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department issued a statement Monday afternoon in response to a story in ticklethewire. com in which a defense attorney accused a California FBI agent of using thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money to pay for prostitutes in the Philippines for himself and three defendants in a arms trafficking sting.

“We will contest the factual assumptions and legal significance of the defendant’s challenges in due course,” Justice Department spokeswoman Rebekah Carmichael said in a statement.

John Littrell, a deputy Federal Public Defender, who represents one of the three defendants wrote in a court document filed in Los Angeles federal court on Sept. 17:

“In order to induce the defendants to participate, an undercover agent spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on prostitutes for himself and for the defendants,” Littrell wrote. “Many of these prostitutes were likely minors. These crimes were not victimless.  Indeed, only months after an undercover agent paid thousands of dollars of taxpayer money for prostitutes at a well-known brothel in Manila, the Philippine government raided the brothel, and rescued twenty under-aged girls.”

Littrell has asked the judge to dismiss the case based on “outrageous governmental misconduct,” citing the use of prostitutes  in the case —  including for the agent — and allegations that the FBI manufactured the case after it failed to find real weapons traffickers in its investigation into Transnational Asian Organized Crime that began in 2010 and ended in December 2011 with criminal charges. A Nov. 13  trial has been set.

“The defendants became involved in this offense only after the government’s effort to ensnare a true weapons trafficker fell apart,” the court documents says. “More importantly, the actual crimes charged in this case — importing weapons to the United States — were committed by federal agents acting unilaterially , without help from the defendants.” In other words, he alleged, that the FBI agents, not the defendants, actually shipped the weapons to the U.S., and the FBI deliberately lied on customs declarations — all so the FBI could charge the defendants with illegal importation of weapons.

The Philippino defendants Sergio  Santiago Syjuco, Cesar Ubaldo and Arjyl Revereza are charged  with conspiracy and importation of firearms. Littrell, who represents Syjuco, alleges that the defendants were not weapons traffickers, but the FBI pushed them into obtaining and selling guns. Authorities allege that the defendants sold weapons and helped facilitate the importation of the weapons to the U.S.

 

Exclusive: Undercover FBI Agent Accused of Using Taxpayer $$ to Pay for Prostitutes in Philippines for Himself and Defendants in Sting

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An undercover California FBI agent is being accused of spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on prostitutes in the Philippines “for himself and for defendants” in a gun-trafficking sting and that “many of the prostitutes were likely minors.”

The ticklethewire.com has reviewed the allegations  in court papers that were  filed on September 17 in Los Angeles federal court by John Littrell, a deputy Federal Public Defender, who represents one of the three defendants.

“In order to induce the defendants to participate, an undercover agent spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on prostitutes for himself and for the defendants,” Littrell wrote. “Many of these prostitutes were likely minors. These crimes were not victimless.  Indeed, only months after an undercover agent paid thousands of dollars of taxpayer money for prostitutes at a well-known brothel in Manila, the Philippine government raided the brothel, and rescued twenty under-aged girls.”

Littrell has asked the judge to dismiss the case based on “outrageous governmental misconduct,” citing the use of prostitutes  in the case —  including for the agent — and allegations that the FBI manufactured the case after it failed to find real weapons traffickers in its investigation into Transnational Asian Organized Crime that began in 2010 and ended in December 2011 with criminal charges. A Nov. 13  trial has been set.

“The defendants became involved in this offense only after the government’s effort to ensnare a true weapons trafficker fell apart,” the court documents says. “More importantly, the actual crimes charged in this case — importing weapons to the United States — were committed by federal agents acting unilaterially , without help from the defendants.” In other words, he alleged, that the FBI agents, not the defendants, actually shipped the weapons to the U.S., and the FBI deliberately lied on customs declarations — all so the FBI could charge the defendants with illegal importation of weapons.

The Philippino defendants Sergio  Santiago Syjuco, Cesar Ubaldo and Arjyl Revereza are charged  with conspiracy and importation of firearms. Littrell, who represents Syjuco, alleges that the defendants were not weapons traffickers, but the FBI pushed them into obtaining and selling guns. Authorities allege that the defendants sold weapons and helped facilitate the importation of the weapons to the U.S.

Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles said Sunday: “As a policy, we’re not authorized to comment on pending prosecution, but the government will respond to the motion in court.” Government lawyers in the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and the Justice Department in Washington did not respond Sunday to emails asking for comment.

Defense attorney John Littrell commented Sunday, saying: “There is no legitimate justification for an FBI agent supporting sex trafficking in a foreign country. I hope these are the actions of a poorly supervised agent, and that they were not sanctioned by the department of justice. Either way, this conduct should be thoroughly investigated.”

The undercover agent, who posed during the sting as an arms broker for the Mexican cartels,  is only identified in the court documents by his undercover name Richard Han.

After the indictment, as  part of its own investigation into the case, the Federal Defender’s Office sent an investigator to the Philippines, who spoke to workers in the brothels and came up with allegations about the prostitutes and the undercover agent.

“On several occasions, the undercover agent invited Syjuco, Ubaldo, Revereza and others to ‘Air Force One,’ “Area 51,’ and other brothels in and around Manila in order to reward them for their efforts and encourage them to continue looking for weapons, “attorney Littrell wrote in the court document, based on his office’s own investigation. “Using the name ‘Richard Han,” he ordered prostitutes and paid for himself and others to have sex with the prostitutes.”

Littrell writes that Ariel Escosio, a manager at Area 51, said that the undercover agent known as Richard Han always paid for everything in the club and that he particularly liked to have sex with someone named Natasha.

Littrell noted in the court document that Gerry Albrido, manager at Air Force One,  said the agent was abusive and degrading to prostitutes.

“One on occasion, Han demanded that several prostitutes in the club line up and drink five shots of hard liquor,” Litrell wrote. “Han demanded that several prostitutes in the club line up and drink five shots of hard liquor. Most of the girls did so, but one them, who was very small, coud not drink the liquor and poured it out. Mr. Alberight stated that Han yelled at the girl and forced her to drink the alcohol until she vomited.

Lattrill noted that the government turned over some documentation from the investigation involving expenses in the Philippines.

“Although the government represents that these expenditures were for ‘entertainment and cocktail (tips included) it is impossible that the agent could not have known that the money went toward prostitutes,” Littrell wrote. “On May 9, 2011, the agent was entertained for several hours in a private room at  Air Force One, a prostitution club. He sought reimbursement of more than three thousand dollars for ‘entertainment and cocktail (tip included) for that night.”

Littrell noted in court papers that on May 5, 2011, that the National Bureau of Investigation, Anti-Human Trafficking Division in the Philippines conducted a “rescue operation” at Area 51 and rescued 60 victims of sex trafficking, including  nearly 20 who were minors.

 

 

What the Heck is Going on With ATF and Fed Prosecutors in Reno?

U.S. Attorney Dan Bogden

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
What the heck is going on in Reno, Nevada?

The Reno-Gazette Journal reports that the U.S. Attorney there have refused for nearly the past year to take any case submitted by ATF.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the dispute has forced the transfer of four full-time agents from the Reno, according to the paper.

The paper reported that a Sept. 29, 2011 directive from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said :”We are not accepting any cases submitted by your office.”

The paper said the assistant U.S. Attorney and the U.S. Attorney Dan Bogden did not respond for comment.

To read more click here. 

Former Guatemalan Army Commander Accused in Massacre Brought to U.S. on Charges

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The massacre was brutal.

More than 200 men, women and children in Guatemala  were killed, often after being struck by a sledgehammer  in the 1982 attack on the village of Dos Erres.

A former Guatemalan army commander accused of participating in the massacre was returned to the U.S. on Friday following his extradition from Calgary, Canada, Reuters reports.

Jorge Sosa, 54, is accused of lying about his past to gain U.S. citizenship, but has not been charged in connection with the attack because the U.S. has no jurisdiction in Guatemala, Reuters reported.

New FBI Team to Investigate Public Corruption in Ohio

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new team of five FBI agents soon will begin investigating public corruption in Ohio, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

While Ohio isn’t considered a hotbed of corruption, it will join many other states with a special squad dedicated to investigating public officials.

“Most capital cities have a squad,” said Edward J. Hanko, special agent in charge of the FBI’s southern Ohio division. “I decided we needed one, not because public corruption is any worse or better here but because there’s a better chance investigators will do a better job finding corruption if that’s all they do.”

The team, which will be stationed in Columbus in October, also will investigate civil-rights issues, according to the Dispatch.

Justice Department to Shed Light on Rising Cases of Investment Fraud

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The rise of investment fraud cases in the sluggish economy has prompted the Justice Department to begin holding summits to warn investors of scams, the Associated Press reports.

The first conference is scheduled for Oct. 1 in Connecticut, followed by summits later in the month in Miami, Denver, San Francisco, Cleveland and Nashville, according to the AP.

“We see it as a growing problem. We see it as a serious problem,” Connecticut U.S. Attorney David Fein told the AP.

In the past two years, federal prosecutors reported $20 billion in fraud from 500 cases involving 800 defendants, the AP reported.

Included in the conferences will be FBI agents and top federal prosecutors.

Germany Probes Philadelphia Man Accused of Role with Nazis

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Germany is investigating an 87-year-old Philadelphia man accused of serving as an SS guard at an Auschwitz death camp, the Associated Press reports.

Although the U.S. Department of Justice has failed to deport Johann “Hans” Breyer, a retired toolmaker, on allegations he participated in the slaughter of at least 344,000 Jews at the camp, German officials are calling for his extradition, according to the AP.

The war-crimes office in Germany is recommending that Breyer be extradited and stand trail on charges that he was accessory to murder at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in occupied Poland.

An extradition would be a victory for the Justice Department, which failed for more than a decade to get Breyer deported, according to the AP.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

 

What the Heck is Going on With ATF and Fed Prosecutors in Reno?

U.S. Attorney Dan Bogden

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
What the heck is going on in Reno, Nevada?

The Reno-Gazette Journal reports that the U.S. Attorney there have refused for nearly the past year to take any case submitted by ATF.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the dispute has forced the transfer of four full-time agents from the Reno, according to the paper.

The paper reported that a Sept. 29, 2011 directive from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said :”We are not accepting any cases submitted by your office.”

The paper said the assistant U.S. Attorney and the U.S. Attorney Dan Bogden did not respond for comment.

To read more click here. 

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST