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Archive for June 19th, 2013

Is the Whitey Bulger Trial Destroying the Myth Behind the Man?

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Ex-Mob Prosecutor on Hoffa Dig: ‘That’s the Last One We’ll Ever See’

Ex-Prosecutor Keith Corbett

 
By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT –– So maybe we’ve seen the last Jimmy Hoffa dig for a long long time. Perhaps ever.

On Wednesday, two days after it began, the FBI stopped rooting around for a skeleton in Oakland Township

Former mob federal prosecutor Keith Corbett said he doesn’t expect to see another Hoffa dig in his lifetime, particularly since the feds are unlikely to ever have another ex-mobster of Anthony (Tony Z) Zerilli’s stature come forward again.

“I think that’s the last one,’ he said. “It’s embarrassing for the bureau.”

Over the years, authorities have dug up dirt and concrete looking for Hoffa, missing for 38 years. Each search came up empty.

The latest dig came as a result of a tip from Zerilli, who headed the Detroit mob for a short time and was eventually demoted to capo (captain). He’s sometimes referred to as an underboss.

Zerilli was in prison at the time of Hoffa’s 1975 disappearance in Bloomfield Township. His father headed the Detroit Mafia back then.

Now frail, and sometimes appearing less than sharp, he claimed months ago that Hoffa was whacked with a shovel and buried alive in a shallow grave in a barn on a property at Buell and Adams Road in Oakland Township. The property was once owned by high-ranking mobster Jack Tocco.

To read more click here.

 

Surprise Surprise: FBI Comes Up Empty Handed in Search For Jimmy Hoffa in Suburban Detroit

James R. Hoffa

By Alan Stamm
Deadline Detroit

The show in Oakland Township is over, the FBI says.

Candice Williams and Mike Martindale report details for The Detroit News:

After stretching into a third day, the search for the body of missing Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa ended Wednesday morning in a rural field in northern Oakland County.

FBI investigators said no evidence of the body was found.

Excavations began Monday near the intersection of Buell and Adams roads on a property owned by former mob boss Jack Tocco. The digging, predictably, drew national media coverage.

The feds acted on a tip from Anthony (“Tony Z”) Zerilli, 85, a former high-ranking member of the Detroit-area mob known as La Cosa Nostra.

To read more click here.

 

ICE Director John Morton Plans to Leave Agency in July

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ICE Director John Morton, who oversaw a spike in immigrant deportations, announced he’s leaving the agency, UPI reports.

Morton, who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in May 2009, said he plans to leave the agency at the end of July.

“I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished together during that time and look with awe on the incredible progress ICE has made as an agency,” Morton said in a memo to employees Monday. “ICE has truly come of age and become an innovative, leading force in federal law enforcement.”

Under Obama’s administration, the emphasis of ICE has shifted from general deportation to targeting dangerous illegal immigrants.

As FBI Investigates Shooting Death of Chechen Man in Florida, Bureau Rarely Finds Agents at Fault

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI said it’s vigorously investigating whether an agent was justified in shooting to death a Chechen man in Orlando, Fla., over his ties with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

The New York Times reports that the FBI investigated 150 shootings by agents between 1993 and 2011 and each time the agent was deemed justified.

“The F.B.I. takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents, and as such we have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them internally,” a bureau spokesman told The Times.

Many questions still surround the death of Ibragim Todashev, who was shot while being questioned about the Boston bombing brothers.

Samuel Walker, a criminal justice professor at the University of Nebraska, said the FBI’s conclusions on agent-related shootings are “suspiciously low.”

Former Spokesman for U.S. Attorney Blasts Feds for Subpoenaing His Documents; Questions Government Going After Client Communications

Patrick Crosby

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Patrick Crosby, a former spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, blasted the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco for issuing him a subpoena in a case involving an ATF agent.

Crosby, who now runs an Atlanta-based media relations company, GeorgiaNewsmakers.com, represents controversial ATF agent Vince Cefalu, who has a whistleblower lawsuit against the government for allegedly retaliating against him on the job. Crosby said he and Cefalu got to be friends when Cefalu was an agent in Atlanta.

Crosby said the Civil Division of the San Francisco Office has issued a subpoena in the civil suit and has asked him  to turn over “any and all documents or information of communications between Vince…and me, his friend whose firm does his PR.”  Cefalu currently works in the California-Nevada area for ATF.

“This wide-ranging subpoena in my opinion, goes far beyond a civil case involving a whistleblower and his job, and wastes even more resources. For what?,” Crosby said in a statement. He said he found it highly unusual for the government to go after client communications from a public relations firm.

“Next will the US Attorney’s Office seek cellular taped conversations between Vince and his PR firm? “This is exactly what the Justice Department, where I worked for 15 years, is trying to get away from—wasting the taxpayers money on something that has nothing to do with Justice.

“They’ve actually filed this. This odd and invasive tactic speaks for itself. I can tell you that most communications between Vince and his PR firm are quite boring, and it usually involves Vince not being able to afford to pay his bills.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco declined comment Tuesday when called by ticklethewire.com.

 

Alleged Child Molester Arrested One Day After Appearing on “Most Wanted” List

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former college professor accused of molesting children is in custody just one day after the FBI placed him on its most wanted list, CNN reports.

Walter Lee Williams, who is wanted for alleged sexual exploitation of children, was arrested in Mexico on Tuesday.

Williams was the 500th suspect to be placed on the most wanted fugitives list.

His face appeared in Mexican newspapers, leading to his arrest, CNN reported.

NSA Leader: Government Surveillance Helped Prevent More than 50 Terrorist Attacks

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Top security officials said Tuesday they disrupted more than 50 terrorist plots using government surveillance, The New York Times reports.

Trying to fend off fierce criticism about the recent disclosure of government surveillance, national security officers told the House Intelligence Committee that investigators used the private information to prevent terrorist attacks. 

One thwarted attack included a plan to bomb the New York Stock Exchange, and another involved a group of California men convinced of sending money to Islamic extremists in Somalia, The Times reported.

At the rare public oversight hearing, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, head of the NSA, said surveillance provided invaluable information.

“In the 12 years since the attacks on Sept. 11, we have lived in relative safety and security as a nation,” General Alexander said. “That security is a direct result of the intelligence community’s quiet efforts to better connect the dots and learn from the mistakes that permitted those attacks to occur on 9/11.”