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Tag: FBI informant

Former LA County Sheriff Convicted of Obstructing FBI Investigation into Jail

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, via Wikipedia.

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was found guilty Wednesday of obstructing an FBI investigation involving corrupt and violent guards.

Baca, who was facing a second trial because a jury deadlocked last year, could spend up to 20 years behind bars, the Associated Press reports. 

Baca, 74, resigned in 2014 after the corruption investigation netted arrests among rank-and-file deputies in his inner circle.

In 2011, the FBI began investigating the department after jail guards found a contraband cellphone on an inmate who was acting as an FBI mole to record jail beatings.

“When defendant Baca learned the FBI and a federal grand jury was investigating, he obstructed, and when he learned the FBI has turned its focus on him, he lied,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lizabeth Rhodes said.

The investigation revealed that deputies hid the FBI informant from federal agents by moving him to different jails and booking him under fake names.

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI

los angeles sheriffBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former Los Angeles County sheriff who lied about helping hide an inmate-turned-FBI informant from his federal handlers pleaded guilty to making a false statement, his attorney said Wednesday.

ABC7 reports that former Sheriff Lee Baca was trying to hinder a federal investigation into civil rights abuses at county jails.

In April 2013, Baca also lied to the bureau about sheriff’s officials threatening to arrest an FBI agent at her in 2011.

As part of a plea agreement, Baca admitted he knowingly made a false statement about sheriff’s officials confronting an FBI agent at her home.

“Today’s charge and plea agreement demonstrate that illegal behavior within the Sheriff’s Department went to the very top of the organization,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said. “More importantly, this case illustrates that leaders who foster and then try to hide a corrupt culture will be held accountable.”

The federal investigation involved LASD Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who is accused of overseeing a secret plot to hide an inmate who became an FBI informant so that investigators couldn’t find him.

FBI Informant Who Beat Murder Charges Acquitted Again in Assault Case

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI informant accused of putting his thumb in a man’s eye was acquitted Monday.

The acquittal is the second for Kimani Anderson, who was found not guilty of murder in September 2013 in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old, Mass Live reports.

Anderson was an FBI informant who helped bring down a cocaine trafficker.

Anderson said the incident happened after the alleged victim said, “Ain’t you supposed to be a federal informant? Snitches get stitches.”

Attorneys: Boston Marathon Bomber Pushed to Spy on Chechen, Muslim Community for FBI

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The older of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was courted by the FBI to be an informant and keep an eye on the Chechen and Muslim community, according to lawyers for the younger alleged bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The Boston Globe reports that the FBI pressured Tamerlan Tsarnaev to report on the communities, which may have “increased his paranoia and distress.”

“We seek this information based on our belief that these contacts were among the precipitating events for Tamerlan’s actions during the week of April 15, 2013, and thus material to the defense case in mitigation,” the lawyers said in their court filing.

“We base this on information from our client’s family and other sources that the FBI made more than one visit to talk with Anzor [his father], Zubeidat [his mother] and Tamerlan, questioned Tamerlan about his Internet searches, and asked him to be an informant, reporting on the Chechen and Muslim community.

“We do not suggest that these contacts are to be blamed and have no evidence to suggest that they were improper, but rather view them as an important part of the story of Tamerlan’s decline. Since Tamerlan is dead, the government is the source of corroboration that these visits did in fact occur and of what was said during them.”

The information was revealed in 23-page court filing, the Globe wrote.

Former FBI Informant Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Same Crime He Was Helping Investigate

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former college professor who was working as an FBI informant investigating mortgage fraud was sentenced to four years and four months in prison Thursdsay for hatching his own mortgage fraud scheme, The Plain Dealer reports.

Paul Tomko asked for leniency but got none from U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko.

Tomko pleaded guilty in March to five charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

While Tomko pocketed about $100,000 by filing liens for work not performed, he also was working as an FBI agent from 2006-09, helping agents target fraudulent appraisers.

“How ironic,” the judge said. “While you’re helping the FBI you’re gutting the public.”

FBI Informant Lives Large in Cuba, reviving Claims That He Also Worked with Cuban Intelligence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Gilberto Abascal was a main informant in two-high profile cases in Florida in the past seven years, but now he’s living large in Cuba, the Miami Herald reports.

Abascal was the key witness in the trial of militant Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles two years ago, the Herald wrote. In 2006, he was the main informant in another case.

Now, the Herald wrote, Abascal is building a house, renting expensive cars and offering a large reward for information about the person who broke into his home.

For many, Abascal’s lifestyle reinforced the belief that he was serving as an informant for both Cuban and U.S. intelligence.

“This inferentially validates the conclusion that this was an individual who had a collaborative relationship with Cuban security . . . and casts a shadow on the FBI for its dealings with this guy,” said Arturo V. Hernandez, an attorney for another case in which Abascal was a main witness.

Book Explores Relationship Between FBI Informant and Mobster ‘Grim Reaper’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A new book explores the secret world of FBI informants, questioning the extent of bureau protection for killers and other criminals, U.S. News & World Report said.

“Deal With the Devil: The FBI’s Secret Thirty-Year Relationship with a Mafia Killer” is written by investigative reporter and former ABC correspondent Peter Lance, who exposes the bureau’s questionable relationship with mobster Gregory Scarpa Sr., AKA the “Grim Reaper.”

Scarpa “was the most vicious killer in the history of La Cosa Nostra,” a notorious crime organization in the U.S. and Italy.

Because of deals with the FBI, Scarpa served a total of 30 days “in over 40 years of murder and racketeering.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Defense Lawyers Claim ‘Whitey’ Bulger Was Never a Rat, Despite Mounting Evidence

 

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Lawyers for reputed mobster James “Whitey” Bulger continued to make the case that their client wasn’t an FBI informant, the Associated Press reports.

Bulger’s attorneys opened their case Tuesday in the murder and racketeering trial of the 83-year-old man accused of participating in 19 murders.

The Associated Press reports that Bulger’s attorneys grilled former FBI supervisor Robert Fitzpatrick, who indicated the reputed mobster denied being an informant.

Still, the FBI kept a file that showed Bulger often shared information on the mob and other criminals. Bulger’s associates also testified that he was an informant and regularly bribed FBI agents for information on investigations.

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