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Archive for August 19th, 2013

Guns, Body Armor, Night Vision Equipment Stolen from FBI’s Agent’s Car

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An FBI agent made an unsettling discovery outside of his North Carolina residence earlier this month: Someone broke into his car overnight and stole an M-16, shotgun, night vision equipment and body armor.

Now the Charlotte FBI office is offering up to a $5,000 reward leading to the recovery of the stolen guns, which can be very dangerous in the wrong hands, the Charlotte Observer reports.

One of the guns was a Colt M-16; the other was a Remington 870 shotgun with pistol grip.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI Charlotte office at 704-672-6700.

The Annual Talk With U-M Football Team About Gambling

The author (right) Greg Stejksal and late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

 
By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com
In 1982, legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler asked the Ann Arbor, Mich., FBI office to talk to his team about the perils of illegal sports gambling.

The senior resident agent, Tom Love, agreed to make the presentation. Love, knowing I had played college football at Nebraska (read: mostly practiced), asked me to help. We explained that sports gambling is not about who wins but about covering the point spread. That gamblers need to get inside information as an edge to better divine how a team will perform and, the Holy Grail of bookmakers, have a cooperating player or referee with the ability to control the point spread: point shaving.

Sports gambling was and is a potential threat to the integrity of sports. The huge amount of money bet illegally in the United States, estimated at more than $300 billion, is an incentive to control the outcome of a game.

When I started making presentations, Michigan’s football team was housed in a relatively small, one-story building. Michigan’s transition to the state-of-the-art facilities it has today is emblematic of the change in Division I football in the past 30 years. In those days, college teams such as Michigan might be on TV once or twice a year. Now, a dedicated fan or gambler can watch just about any game played anywhere in the country. With the increase in TV coverage, sports gambling also has increased. And with the advent of the Internet, gamblers have access to more current information and can place bets online.

The FBI recognized the need for educating players early on and developed a sports presentation program. I went through the training and attended periodic conferences with representatives from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA.

Over the years, I’ve talked to pro and college teams. (I talked to the Michigan basketball teams several times, including the “Fab Five” teams. That might have been a case of a failure to communicate.) The FBI program still exists, in theory, but priorities have changed, and it is no longer as active as it once was.

Schembechler invited us back the next year, and Love asked me to give the presentations on my own.

Little did I know that it was to be the “beginning of a beautiful friendship” between Bo and me — one that would have a substantial effect on my career.

We worked together on several FBI cases — notably the investigation of Norby Walters and Lloyd Bloom, two notorious sports agents, who bribed and signed about 20 blue-chip college football players while they were still eligible to play college ball. Walters and Bloom postdated the contracts and kept them secret, a clear violation of NCAA rules. Under those rules, once a player signs with an agent, his college eligibility ends.

Schembechler would be the “star” witness in the successful federal prosecution of Walters and Bloom. Walters had organized-crime connections, and it was believed that the ultimate goal of signing so many star athletes was to get some of the players involved in point shaving.

Schembechler also convinced me to pursue an undercover operation targeting the illegal trafficking of anabolic steroids. That operation, called Equine, was international in scope and resulted in the successful prosecution of more than 70 dealers. We also learned that a number of Major League Baseball players were using steroids. Ironically, I first warned MLB about the steroid problem in 1994 at an FBI sports presentation conference.

Although illegal sports gambling continued to be the primary topic over the years, other concerns were discussed, such as drugs, steroids, domestic violence and, more recently, the improvident use of social media.

Something I didn’t always do, but learned was important, was to ensure that the head coaches stayed during the presentations, because if the coaches didn’t think it was important to be there, the players wouldn’t, either.

Schembechler had a concept of a “Michigan Man,” a student-athlete who not only demonstrated traditional values such as integrity, honor and responsibility on the field, but lived them, as well.

After Schembechler retired in 1989, I continued to talk to the Michigan football teams. Later, I was fortunate to become friends with Lloyd Carr during his 13-year tenure as Michigan coach. Carr coached my son when he was a walk-on from 2000-03. Those presentations were special for me: I was not only an FBI agent speaking to Michigan’s football team, but a father seeing his son in a group of men representing a program that I had come to respect.

I retired in 2006, but I continue to talk to the Michigan football team and am doing so again this week. Brady Hoke, a former assistant under Carr (1995-2002), is Michigan’s coach now. Hoke has embraced the traditions of Michigan and the concept of the “Michigan Man.”

It is Michigan’s 134th football season, and it will be my 32nd year.

The topics have changed, but the message stays the same: making good choices based on good values.

I always end my talks with a quote attributed to John Wayne: “Life is tough. It’s tougher if you’re stupid.”

 

Retired FBI Agent Greg Stejskal Will Talk to U-M Football Team About Gambling

Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office.

The author (right) Greg Stejksal and late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

 
By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com
In 1982, legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler asked the Ann Arbor, Mich., FBI office to talk to his team about the perils of illegal sports gambling.

The senior resident agent, Tom Love, agreed to make the presentation. Love, knowing I had played college football at Nebraska (read: mostly practiced), asked me to help. We explained that sports gambling is not about who wins but about covering the point spread. That gamblers need to get inside information as an edge to better divine how a team will perform and, the Holy Grail of bookmakers, have a cooperating player or referee with the ability to control the point spread: point shaving.

Sports gambling was and is a potential threat to the integrity of sports. The huge amount of money bet illegally in the United States, estimated at more than $300 billion, is an incentive to control the outcome of a game.

When I started making presentations, Michigan’s football team was housed in a relatively small, one-story building. Michigan’s transition to the state-of-the-art facilities it has today is emblematic of the change in Division I football in the past 30 years. In those days, college teams such as Michigan might be on TV once or twice a year. Now, a dedicated fan or gambler can watch just about any game played anywhere in the country. With the increase in TV coverage, sports gambling also has increased. And with the advent of the Internet, gamblers have access to more current information and can place bets online.

Read more »

FBI Crime Lab in Quantico, Va., Helps Track Down Terrorists Who Used IEDs

Robert Mueller

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A little-known FBI crime lab near Washington played a critical role in convicting two men who helped target American soldiers in Iraq with improvised exploding devices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammad pleaded guilty to smuggling Stinger surface-to-air missiles and money to terrorists in Iraq from the one place you wouldn’t expect to find jihadists – Bowling Green, Ky.

Lab technicians at the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center in Quantico, Va. found evidence linking Alwan to the use of an IED in Iraq, the LA Times reported.

The lab has processed more than 80,000 IED submissions.

But FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III fears the lab may be hit by budget cuts.

Partner of Journalist Responsible for Reporting on NSA Leaks Was Held at London Airport

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

David Miranda, the partner of the journalist who exposed the NSA’s surveillance program through records from Edward Snowden, found himself detained at a London airport for nine hours, The New York Daily News reports.

Miranda lives in Brazil with journalist Glenn Greewald, whose reports on NSA surveillance has stirred controversy around the globe.

Miranda was at Heathrow Airport returning from meeting one of Greenwald’s collaborators when he was held for nine hours under a terrorism law, the Daily News reported.

Greenwald called the detainment “a failed attempt at intimidation.”

“It’s bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources,” he said,” It’s worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Buffalo Parking Meter Mechanic Who Stole 800,000 quarters over 8 Years Will Spend 2 1/2 Years in Prison

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

James Bagarozzo spent eight years stealing quarters from parking meters in Buffalo.

By the time he was arrested in December 2011, authorities said he had stolen 800,000 quarters – or $200,000.

The parking meter mechanic was sentenced to 2 1/2 ears in prison Friday.

“When he went to work, half of his day was spent stealing from the city,” said Special Agent Rob Gross, who investigated the case out of our Buffalo Division.

So how did the 57-year-old exchange the quarters at a bank without raising red flags?

The FBI said he rolled the changed in coin wrappers and said his friend worked with a vending machine business.

“He developed such a good relationship with the bank tellers,” Gross said.

Here’s the press release

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Crashes Into El Paso Bike Rider, Killing Him

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Anthony Aragon saw the bicyclist on his right and prepared to carefully pass him.

But the off-duty Border Patrol agent said the bicyclist veered into his lane, causing him to strike 47-year-old Floyd Hancock in New Mexico on Saturday morning, the El Paso Times reports.

Aragon jumped out of his car and performed CPR on Hancock, New Mexico State Police spokesman Sgt. Emmanuel Gutierrez told the Times.

Hancock was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

The accident remains under investigation.