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Tag: Florida

FBI Informant to Plead Guilty to Long-Running Scheme to Commit Fraud

Mohammed Agbareia, via Mobile County, Alabama, Sheriff's Office.

Mohammed Agbareia, via Mobile County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI informant investigating a terrorism sting in Palm Beach County is accused of a long-running scheme to commit fraud.

Mohammed Agbareia, whom the FBI classified as a “national security asset,” is expected to plead guilty Friday after his arrest in June on six federal charges alleging he committed fraud for 10 years beginning in 2007, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports

Prosecutors said Agbareia posed as a “stranded traveler” and defrauded victims out of more than $300,000.

Agbareia became an undercover informant a year after he was released from prison for a prior fraud conviction.

FBI Foils Terrorist Plot to Blow Up Mall in South Florida

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI foiled an alleged plot to detonate a bomb in a shopping mall in South Florida, arresting the suspect behind the planned attack.

The arrest of Miami resident Vicente Solano, an alleged ISIS sympathizer, came during an FBI sting operation, CBS News reports

The FBI, acting on a tip by a confidential informant, said the suspect was acting alone and was planning a large-scale attack on Dolphin Mall in Doral, near the Miami International Airport.

Solano planned to detonate what turned out to be a hoax bomb from undercover FBI agents.

Solano is expected to appear in Miami federal court today.

Florida Man Poses As FBI Agents, Holds Prostitute Captive

Martin Smith mugshot.

Martin Smith mugshot.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Florida man was busted after posing as an FBI agent and held a prostitute captive in a motel room in Sugarloaf Township over the weekend.

Martin Smith, 42, of St. Petersburg, faces numerous charges, including unlawful restraint, impersonating a public servant and patronizing prostitutes.

Smith held the woman at the hotel and had a fake badge, metal pellet gun and drugs.

The woman fled and called 911 after convincing Smith to let her get drugs from the car.

White Supremacist Convicted of Plot to Murder Atlanta Drug Dealer

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A self-described white supremacist was convicted of multiple charges related to a plot to kill a drug deal with outstanding debts in Georgia.

The case broke open after an FBI informant and admitted white nationalist alerted the bureau to Adrian Apodaca, saying the Florida man had admitted to murdering several people in New Mexico and Arizona, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports

The FBI dispatched a team of undercover agents posing as white supremacists who were owed money by an Atlanta drug dealer, who also was an FBI plant.

Recordings played at the trial indicate Apodaca offered to kill the “dealer” in exchange for $5,000 and a false identity to avoid investigators who wanted to question him in at least one murder.

Jurors took just three hours to convict Apodaca, 45. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 8.

FBI: Florida Man Used Twitter to Send Child Pornography to News Anchor

Marchaun Browning

Marchaun Browning

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 20-year-old Florida man was arrested after the FBI said he used multiple Twitter accounts to send child pornography to a local news anchor.

Investigators said Marchaun Browning created new Twitter accounts when the news anchor blocked his tweets containing sexual images of children, ABC Action News reports

Using the IP addresses for each Twitter account, the FBI discovered the tweets originated at Browning’s Gibsonton, Fla. home.

A total of 163 child pornography images were found.

On Aug. 16, a grand jury indicted Browning with three counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

He was arrested Saturday.

FBI Informant Committed Fraud While Working Undercover on Terrorism Sting

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI placed an awful lot of trust in a Florida man who had just been released from prison for committing fraud.

Soon after Mohammed Agbareia got out of prison and moved to Palm Beach County, the FBI hired him to work as an undercover informant on a high-profile terrorism sting, the Sun Sentinel reports. 

Despite his past legal troubles, the FBI considered him a “national security asset” and extolled his “usefulness as a provider of intelligence of the FBI.”

Yet, Agbareia continued to commit fraud almost immediately after leaving prison, even as he was providing undercover information to the FBI, according to prosecutors.

The new charges allege Agbareia resumed operating a similar fraud scheme that landed him in prison in 2007 and didn’t stop until his arrest on June 21.

The FBI declined to comment.

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Breaking into Secret Service Vehicle Near Trump Visit

Cleveland Cooley Jr.

Cleveland Cooley Jr.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Florida man who broke into a Secret Service vehicle in Palm Beach County has pleaded guilty to theft of government property.

Cleveland Cooley Jr., 36, broke into a Secret Service car that was parked at a Courtyard by Marriott while President Trump was visiting in March.

The Riviera Beach man faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 30 in U.S. District Court, according to CBS 47. 

Authorities said Cooley stole a wireless modern, a First Aid trauma kit, two Toughbook tablets and a tripod kit. He then tried to sell one of the tablets.

Cooley told authorities that he was assisted by two people he identified as “Arties” and “Trey.”

No additional arrests have been made. 

ATF Reports Alarming Increase in Stolen Firearms from Gun Shops

File photo of guns, via ATF

File photo of guns, via ATF

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF released a disturbing new report that shows national firearm theft and losses in gun shops increased 20% in 2016. 

The report indicates that 18,394 weapons were stolen last year, and a vast majority were pistols, rifles, revolvers and shotguns.

“Losses and thefts of firearms have increased dramatically in terms of the gun stores,” ATF Special Agent Michael Knight told WHNT19 News

He added: “Also, what has increased extremely, at a high rate, is the armed robberies, and this is a violent crime. This means that the public could potentially be at arms length of the criminal element who are focusing on these gun stores.”

Georgia led the nation with 1,539 stolen or missing firearms in 2016. Florida followed with 1,260 and Texas with 1,247.

Hawaii, by contrast, reported just three stolen or missing firearms.

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