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Tag: Brooklyn

Closing Arguments Began in Trial of Gangster Accused of Shooting FBI Agent

Ronnell Watson, via Instagram

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A U.S. attorney told a jury Tuesday to convict a reputed gangbanger accused of ambushing an FBI agent and shooting him in the back in broad daylight in Brooklyn.

“If I were to walk up behind Mr. Navarro right now and shoot him in the back, you’d think ‘he just tried to kill that guy,’” Donoghue said of his co-counsel, assistant U.S. attorney Francisco Navarro, during closing arguments in the attempted murder trial of Ronell Watson, NY Post reports.  “And you’d be right. Mr. Watson intended to kill when he aimed that loaded firearm and at Agent Harper’s back and fired.”

Watson, a reported Crips gang member, is accused of attempted murder of a federal officer, assault of a federal officer and possessing and discharging a firearm on Dec. 8, 2018. At the time, FBI Special Agent Christopher Harper was on surveillance assignment with other agents when Watson approached his vehicle.

Moments after Harper was shot, he was heard telling an NYPD office, “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die.”

Harper survived the shooting after suffering a collapsed lung, a broken rib and fractured shoulder blade.

Defense attorney Michelle Gelernt claims his client panicked when he saw a strange car with tinted windows quickly approaching him.

“Ronell Watson was no assassin,” she said. “He’s just as afraid of agent Harper as agent Harper is of him.”

Watson faces up to life in prison.

‘I’m gonna die,’ FBI Agent Says After Getting Shot in Brooklyn

.Ronnell Watson, via Instagram

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Moments after FBI special agent Christopher Harper was shot while on an undercover stakeout in Brooklyn, he’s heard telling an NYPD officer, “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die.”

The dramatic action in December 2018 was caught on a body cam, which was played during the trial of reputed Crips gang member, Ronnell Watson, who is accused of pulling the trigger, The New York Post reports.

“I’m not doing well,” the agent said. “No exit, the bullet’s in me.”

The shooting was captured on surveillance footage.

Harper survived the shooting after suffering a collapsed lung, a broken rib and fractured shoulder blade. He’s expected to testify.

U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said the shooting was an “attempted execution.”

But Watson’s defense attorney Benjamin Yaster claims his client panicked when he saw a strange car with tinted windows quickly approaching him.

“Does it make sense that Ronell Watson would attempt to murder someone in front of his home, which was decorated for Christmas and outfitted with his mother’s security cameras?” Yaster asked.

FBI Agent Shot in Drive-By Shooting in Brooklyn While Conducting Surveillance

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent conducting surveillance was shot in the shoulder in a drive-by in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon.

The agent underwent surgery at Kings County Hospital and was conscious and alert, New York City’s NBC affiliate reported.

The agent was in the Canarsie neighborhood as part of a drug investigation when someone inside a BMW shot at the agent’s car.

The agent briefly pursued the BMW before getting out of the car and firing “more than 10 times at the car.

The suspected shooter, who is in custody, was shot in the hand and also underwent surgery.

He was driven to the hospital by a friend.

FBI Agent Lost Loaded Gun in Back of Taxi During Late Night in New York City

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent woke up Saturday morning to realize he had lost his loaded gun in the back of a cab in Brooklyn around 2 a.m., police said.

The 43-year-old agent said the .380 semiautomatic weapon was in a holster inside his pants when he hailed the taxi 7509 Third Ave., where the Salty Dog sports bar is located, the New York Post reports

The agent, who has not been identified, told police that he didn’t realize until the morning that he had lost his gun.

He told police that there were seven rounds in the gun.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the agent was under the influence when he misplaced the gun.

Other Stories of Interest

Congress Considers Boosting Funding for ATF to Crack Down on Gun Trafficking

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some members of Congress want to increase ATF funding to crack down on gun trafficking.

Rep. Hakeen Jeffries, D-Brooklyn, has proposed a $60 million funding hike, in part dedicated to stopping the flow of illegal guns into New York, the Daily News reports. 

“The guns used to commit crimes in New York City aren’t manufactured in New York City and they’re not purchased in New York City. They’re coming from states in the deep South, up the I-95 corridor, and from the neighboring state of Pennsylvania,” Jeffries said Monday at a City Hall press conference.

The agency’s funding would be $1.24 billion.

“Why do we continue to underfund this agency in the midst of a gun violence epidemic in America?” Jeffries said. “For years Congress has failed to adequately fund the ATF. This has been part of a deliberate effort to prevent the ATF from doing its job. That is shameful. Over the next few weeks we have an opportunity to correct the situation.”

Other Stories of Interest

Feds Bust Largest On-Line Male Escort Service, Arresting 7 Current, Former Employees

handcuffsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities busted what they called the largest online male-escort service and arrested seven people allegedly linked to the website Rentboy.com, The New York Times reports. 

Authorities arrested the site’s chief executive, Jeffrey Hurant, 50, and six current or former employees.

The defendants appeared in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Tuesday on charges of promoting prostitution.

The criminal complaint alleges that escorts listed their profiles with a list of sexual services and fees.

The site made $10 million in sales since 2010, according to the complaint.

Justice Department Public Integrity Section Gets New Leader

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s powerful Public Integrity section, which investigates politicians and judges, has a new leader, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

U.S. Attorney Jack Smith, who has been a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, brings a wealth of background and knowledge to the position. Smith was a criminal prosecutor, for example, in the International Criminal Court at the Hague.

Smith has tapped a top deputy – Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Raymond Husler, who has been acting chief of the Public Integrity section.

The Washington Post has more.

Loretta Lynch Sworn In; Becomes the Nation’s 83rd Attorney General

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Loretta E. Lynch, the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney, was sworn in Monday by Vice President Joe Biden as the new Attorney General.

Lynch, 55, the first African-American female to hold the post, faced some turbulent waters, and became a political football on Capitol Hill, as high-profile appointees often are. After a lot game playing, the Senate last week finally confirmed the nomination by President Obama. She is the nation’s 83rd attorney general.

In her speech at her confirmation, she said:

 I look out over all of you gathered here today, my overwhelming reaction is one of profound gratitude. I must, of course, thank the President for his faith in me in asking me to lead the department that I love to even greater heights.

Thank you, Mr. Vice President, for your presence and your comments here today, and for your steadfast support and wise counsel throughout the process. I also must thank Senators Schumer and Leahy for their support, over the years and now, and for making the floor of the U.S. Senate a welcoming place for me and my family. And of course, my wonderful family. As you can see, we’re quite a force multiplier!

Many of you have come to know my father through this process. He has been at every hearing and every vote. But he didn’t just start now. I remember looking up as a young Assistant U.S. Attorney starting my first trial and seeing him there – and he came to every one thereafter. He has encouraged me in all things, even when my choices were not the ones he would have made for me. In that, he has been the best of fathers. Without him, I would not be here today, being sworn in as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States, just one week after his 83rd birthday.

And my mother, who could not be here today but is never far from my thoughts or my heart. She grew up in a world where she was always told what she could not do or could not be, but always knew in her heart that she could soar. She did what would have seemed impossible in the small North Carolina town of her youth. She raised a daughter whom she always told, whatever the dream, whether lawyer, prosecutor or even Attorney General, “of course you can.”

I must also thank my wonderful husband, who has supported all of my choices and my dreams. I would not trade his love and support for all the riches in the world – because to me, they are all the riches in the world.