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Tag: FBI

Emmerson Buie Jr. Becomes First African American to Lead FBI’s Chicago Field Office

FBI Special Agent Emmerson Buie Jr. via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Emmerson Buie Jr. has become the first African American to serve as special agent in charge of the Chicago Field Office.

Buie, who most recently served as special agent in charge of the El Paso Office in Texas, joined the FBI in 1992, investigating criminal issues at the Colorado Springs Resident Agency of the Denver Field Office.

In 1999, Buie became supervisory special agent and worked in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Operations Unit in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In 2002, Buie was promoted to senior supervisory resident agent at the Fairview Heights Resident Agency in Illinois.

In 2006, Buie was assigned to London, where he became the assistant and acting deputy legal attaché. He served as the primary contact for coordinating the FBI’s involvement in several international counterterrorism and anti-organized crime agencies.

In 2008, Buie was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of criminal matters and also handled national security and administrative issues in the Springfield Field Office. In addition, Buie was the office’s leadership development coordinator.

In 2014, Buie began serving as the Cyber Division’s senior liaison to the National Cybersecurity, Communication and Integration Center at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where he helped coordinate public and private sector investigations and intelligence-sharing efforts between the FBI, DHS, and other agencies.

In 2017, he was named special agent in charge of the El Paso Field Office.

Before joining the FBI, Buie spent four years in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer and served in Desert Storm. His actions earned him a Bronze Star, Combat Infantry badge, and multiple accommodations and awards. Buie received a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University.

A Key Federal Source in Jimmy Hoffa Caper Dies at 89

The writer, a Washington investigative journalist specializing in organized crime and political corruption investigations, is a Jimmy Hoffa murder specialist. He is the author of “The Hoffa Wars” (1978) and eight other books. 

By Dan Moldea

Featured_wells_37881
Don and Monica Wells, at their one-time horse farm in Wixom in 2009, which was dug up by the FBI during a 2006 search for Jimmy Hoffa. (Photo: Dan Moldea)

One of the most important federal sources of information about the Jimmy Hoffa murder case was Donovan Wells, who died Sept. 5  at age 89 outside of Detroit. Below is an excerpt of a story I wrote for the 40th anniversary of the Hoffa case in 2015, based partly on interviews with Don and his wife, Monica. I liked and respected him for turning his life around.

♦ ♦ ♦

FBI agents raided a Milford Township farm looking for Hoffa’s remains in May 2006, based on information from Donovan Wells, a former business partner of both Rolland McMaster and Stanton Barr. At the time, Wells was in a federal prison in Lexington, Kentucky. He and his family lived on McMaster’s farm the summer Hoffa disappeared.

The FBI’s search warrant for McMaster’s farm has never been released. But Wells told me in 2009 that he informed the FBI that a large hole had been dug on the north end of the property several weeks before Hoffa’s murder.

In addition, his wife Monica claimed that on the afternoon of Hoffa’s July 30, 1975 disappearance, she saw two or three dark cars speeding onto the property, roaring past the farmhouse on an adjacent dirt road, and heading towards the pre-dug hole.

But what had really piqued the FBI’s interest was what Wells had seen and heard the night before Hoffa’s murder. At a local restaurant, as Wells, McMaster, and Barr were having dinner, mobster and Teamster official Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano – in the flesh – suddenly appeared, slapped his hand on their table, and said: “It’s going to be a great day tomorrow! A great day tomorrow! Right, Mac?” And he slapped McMaster on the back.

Provenzano then asked McMaster to accompany him to the bar for a private conversation.

Featured_jimmy-hoffa-found-2013_23655
Jimmy Hoffa

While they were gone, Wells asked Barr what was going on. Barr replied that Provenzano and Hoffa were meeting the following day to settle their differences—and that Tony Giacalone was making the arrangements for the sitdown.

When Provenzano and McMaster returned to the table, Provenzano pointed to McMaster and Barr and asked, “Do you guys know where you’re going to be tomorrow?”

McMaster responded, “Yeah, we’re all straight on that.”

The FBI never unearthed Hoffa’s remains, or any evidence that he had been killed on McMaster’s farm, but Don Wells—who passed an FBI polygraph test—gave the bureauh important new information about Hoffa’s disappearance in 2006: Rolland McMaster and Tony Pro were together at a restaurant in Detroit on July 29, 1975, the night before Hoffa disappeared. Wells also heard a portion of their conversation which was clearly about Provenzano’s scheduled 2 p.m. meeting with Hoffa on July 30, as well as the need for McMaster and Barr to have established alibis for the afternoon when Hoffa was last seen.

The writer authored a story in July headlined Jimmy Hoffa Vanished 44 Years Ago. Here’s What I Think Happened.

Relatives Claim Gangster John Dillinger Wasn’t Shot at Chicago Theater

Gangster John Dillinger, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Relatives of notorious American gangster John Dillinger believe they have evidence that their bank robbing uncle was not shot by the FBI at a theater in Chicago in 1934.

Now they want to exhume the body buried under the headstone at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis to determine whether it belongs to Dillinger. They plan to conduct DNA tests.

That plan hit a snag after Dillinger’s nephew, Mike Thompson, filed a suit to prevent the cemetery from interfering with plans to exhume the body. A court hearing is set for Oct. 1, but the state issued a permit that set a deadline for exhumation about two weeks earlier.

“Per the approved application, if the exhumation does occur, it must occur on Sept. 16,” an Indiana State Department of Health official told CNN.

Then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover declared Dillinger as “Public Enemy No. 1” after his gang killed at least 10 people, robbed banks and even staged three jailbreaks from 1933 to 1934.

Last month, the FBI disputed claims that the FBI killed another man who was not Dillinger.

“A wealth of information supports Dillinger’s demise including 3 sets of fingerprints, all positively matched,” the FBI tweeted.

FBI Tracks down a 19th Century Painting Stolen by the Nazis During WWII

“Secret Departure of Ivan the Terrible Before the Oprichina,” via U.S. Attorney’s Office.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI tracked down an Ivan the Terrible painting that was stolen by the Nazis during World War II and returned the massive artwork to the Embassy of Ukraine.

The 19th century oil painting, titled “Secret Departure of Ivan the Terrible Before the Oprichina,” was looted from the Dnepropetrovsk Art Museum in Nazi-occupied Ukraine in 1941. More than 75 years later, the FBI’s Art Crime Team was tipped off that the Mikhail N. Panin painting was being prepared for auction.

The 64-square-foot painting was preserved and “admired” for decades in the Connecticut home of Gabby and David Tracy, who had no idea the artwork had been stolen, according to the FBI. In 1987, the couple came into possession of the painting when they bought the home in which artwork had been hung.

“The FBI is proud to work with our partners to mark this important art repatriation and return the painting to the Ukrainian Embassy. The FBI works to return stolen art and other property to preserve the history and culture of countries around the world,” Timothy M. Dunham, special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division, said in a news release. “Returning art to the proper owners is important and meaningful work made possible by our talented special agents and analysts.”

FBI, ATF Conduct Raids as Part of Probe into Deadly California Boat Fire

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI, ATF and U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday raided the Santa Barbara offices of a diving company that owns the boat that caught fire off the California coast and killed 34 people on Labor Day.

Federal agents also served warrants to search two boats owned by the company, Truth Aquatics, the Los Angeles Times first reported.

Authorities have been trying to determine the cause of the fire and why no one below the deck was able to escape. The only survivors were a captain and four crew members, who were on deck when the fire broke out shortly after 3 a.m.

No one was arrested during the raids as investigators snapped photos and seized boxes.

“You can only do so much with your basic investigative efforts, and at some point you have to use a search warrant as the means to collect information,” Lt. Eric Raney of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office told the Times.

Judge: FBI Terror Watch List Violates Constitutional Rights of U.S. Citizens

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

An FBI watch list of more than one million people identified as “known or suspected terrorists” infringes on the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens in the database, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga said the Terrorist Screening Database violates Americans’ constitutional right to due process, NBC News reports.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by 23 Muslim Americans, who argued they were wrongly included in the database, which they say is overly broad and inaccurate.

The plaintiffs said they were subjected to abuse and harassment while traveling.

“The general right of free movement is a long-recognized, fundamental liberty,” he wrote. “Inclusion in the TSDB accordingly imposes a substantial burden on Plaintiff’s exercise of their rights to international travel and domestic air travel” which he adds is a “deprivation of liberty interests.”

The FBI has not responded to media requests for comment.

FBI Names New Special Agents in Charge of Omaha, Knoxville Field Offices

Joseph E. Carrico and Kristi Koons Johnson.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI field offices in Omaha and Knoxville have new leaders.

Kristi Koons Johnson has been named the special agent in charge of the Omaha Field Office, which covers Nebraska and Iowa.

At the Knoxville Field Office in Tennessee, the new special agent in charge is Joseph E. Carrico.

Johnson had been serving as a section chief in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. She joined the FBI as a special agent in 1999, serving in the Chicago Field Office, where she investigated public corruption and organized crime for a decade.

Johnson is no newcomer to the Omaha office. In 2010, she served as the chief division counsel for the field office, providing legal advice about investigations and FBI policy. After a stint as unit chief in the FBI’s Internal Policy Office at headquarters, Johnson returned to Omaha in 2016 as assistant special agent in charge of national security, cyber, and intelligence issues for the field office.

Johnson left the Omaha office in 2018 to serve as chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Section of the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters.

Before Carrico took over the Knoxville Field Office, he had served as a deputy assistant director in the Operational Technology Division at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C.

Carrico began working as a special agent with the FBI in 1999 with an assignment to the Dallas Field Office, where he investigated securities and bank fraud and was a member of the Evidence Response Team. In 2005, Johnson was promoted to supervisory special agent and moved to the Human Resources Division at FBI headquarters.

In 2007, Carrico became an assistant inspector in the Inspection Division before returning to the Human Resources Division as chief of the Special Agent Recruitment and Selection Unit in 2008.

A year later, Carrico served as the supervisory senior resident agent in charge of the Covington Resident Agency in Kentucky, which is part of the Louisville Field Office. In 2011, he again returned to the Inspection Division as a special assistant to the assistant director.

In 2013, Carrico began serving as the assistant special agent in charge of the Administrative Branch of the Chicago Field Office before being promoted to chief of the Digital Forensics and Analysis Section of the Operational Technology Division three years later.

In 2018, Carrico became deputy assistant director in the division, leading digital and forensic analysis, computer network exploitation, and lawful electronic surveillance.

DOJ Decides Not to Charge FBI Agent Who Shot Kidnapping Victim in Houston

The suspects in the kidnapping.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has decided not to charge the FBI agent who fatally shot a kidnapping victim in a botched rescue attempt at a Houston home.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas “declined to proceed with federal criminal charges against FBI personnel,” a spokesman for the agency wrote in an email to the Houston Chronicle.

The decision was made in May but not publicly disclosed “after a careful and thorough review of all of the available evidence in the matter involving the shooting,” DOJ spokesman Daryl Fields wrote.

“We conducted an approximate 11-month-long, detailed and careful investigation.”

But the unnamed agent isn’t out of hot water yet. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said a local grand jury will be convened to determine if charges should be filed against the agent.

The agent shot Ulises Valladare last year, a day after kidnappers abducted him and his 12-year-old son, both of whom were bound. The kidnappers demanded ransom from Valladare’s brother, falsely claiming they were connected to a Mexican drug cartel.

The next morning, FBI agents swarmed the home. The unnamed agent used an M-4 machine gun to break a window in the rear of the home when Valladares grabbed the gun. The agent fire two shots at Valladares, mistaking him for a kidnapper.

It still isn’t clear whether the FBI took internal action against the agent.