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Tag: Las Vegas

FBI Agent Who Shot at Police in Michigan Has Been Terminated

Ruben Hernandez

Ruben Hernandez

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who shot at a police sergeant in Michigan in December has been terminated, the bureau said in a statement Tuesday.

Ruben Hernandez, 35, is accused of firing three shots at a sergeant outside of a Planet Fitness in Grand Rapids.

Hernandez, who is a Las Vegas-based agent, was in Michigan conducting an investigation when the shooting occurred.

On Friday, he pleaded no contest to felonious assault.

“We hold our employees to the highest standards of professional conduct. Mr. Hernandez has been terminated from his position,” the FBI said in a statement.

Hernandez’s lawyer indicated that his client was likely paranoid after consuming too much alcohol.

FBI Agent’s Leaks to Media May Have Upended Case Against Las Vegas Gambler

Las Vegas gambler William Walters on 60 Minutes.

Las Vegas gambler William Walters on 60 Minutes.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s case against Las Vegas gambler William Walters may be derailed after a federal agent admitted leaking confidential information to reporters.

A judge on Wednesday criticized the agent and indicated that Walters’ lawyers would file a motion to dismiss the major insider trading case, the New York Times reports. 

“To say I was shocked would be an accurate statement,” Judge P. Kevin Castel of Federal District Court in Manhattan said of the leaks.

Walters is accused of raking in $40 million by using illegal stock tips.

An FBI agent admitted to prosecutors that he was a “significant source of confidential information” for reporters writing about the investigation.

FBI’s Las Vegas Division Gets New Special Agent in Charge

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s Las Vegas division has a new special agent in charge.

Aaron Rouse, who has more than 20 years experience with the bureau, took the helm on Monday.

Rouse most recently served as section chief in the FBI’s headquarters counterintelligence division.

He replaced Laura Bucheit, who left in July after being promoted to security division assistant director to FBI Director James Comey.

Rouse served in a violent crime unit and a joint fugitive task force in the Washington field office.

Man Who Tried to Disarm Officer Intended ‘to Kill Trump,’ Court Records Show

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 19-year-old man who tried to disarm a police officer at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas Saturday told investigators he wanted “to kill Trump” with the gun,” a new criminal complaint alleges.

Michael Sandford was arrested after he tried to remove an officer’s gun from its holster at a Trump rally, CNN reports. 

Sanford was quickly detained by other officers.

According to court records, Sandford said he drove from California to Las Vegas “to kill Trump.”

“(Sandford) further stated that if he were on the street tomorrow, he would try this again,” reads the complaint, obtained by CNN. “Sandford claimed he had been planning to kill Trump for about a year but decided to act on this occasion because he finally felt confident about trying it.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: Frank The Las Vegas Boss Cullotta

Weekend Series on Crime History: Tony Spilotro, The Las Vegas Boss

Former FBI Agent Recalls Real-Life ‘Casino Story’ And the Perp Walk

fbi badgeJane Ann Morrison
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Although I have never been a perp, I participated on a famous perp walk in 1983 and have the black-and-white photo to prove it.

The perp was later-to-be-murdered mobster Anthony Spilotro. The serious-looking FBI agent walking him by the press was Marc Kaspar.

The journalists waiting to ask questions that wouldn’t be answered were George Knapp and the R-J’s federal court reporter at the time. That would be me. The one with the Afro.

During a panel Saturday, Kaspar told the behind-the-scenes story of that perp walk outside the Foley Federal Building.

Spilotro had been indicted on racketeering by a federal grand jury, and Kaspar went to arrest him. The two men had known each other for years because Kaspar has been on the FBI’s Las Vegas organized crime squad since coming to Las Vegas in 1977, and the squad’s No. 1 target was the Chicago mob’s enforcer.

You would think they would be bitter enemies. Not so. When Spilotro was arrested, Kaspar didn’t even use his handcuffs. Until they got close to the federal building and Kaspar said, “Tony, I’ve got to put handcuffs on you.”

Spilotro offered his hands up, he was cuffed, and they did the perp walk. Kaspar knew what he had to do, so did Spilotro; it was all very professional.

Kaspar has donated those cuffs to the Mob Museum, which hosted the Saturday panel discussion of what was real and what was fiction in the 1995 movie “Casino.”

Kaspar was speaking out publicly for the first time about his experiences as the case agent in the Spilotro investigation.

Oscar Goodman gave his views from the perspective of the attorney representing Spilotro and his chum Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal.

Former Gaming Control Board member Jeff Silver spoke about his role chasing the mob as a state regulator.

Former FBI agent Deborah Richard told her experience in two previous columns, and retired television reporter and anchor Gwen Castaldi told of the challenges facing journalists covering the mob in the 1970s and 1980s.

As Castaldi said, without cellphones and the Internet, it wasn’t easy, especially because news about the mob in Las Vegas was frequently connected to news about the mob in Kansas City, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago.

Kaspar told about a 1981 search where the subject — in this case Stardust employee Phil Ponto — had been tipped. The agents searched his apartment looking for marked money that had been skimmed from the Stardust.

The safe was opened, and inside was nothing but Ponto’s Social Security check.

It was Ponto’s way of flipping off the FBI, much like the simultaneous search that resulted in agents coming up with cookies and a bottle of wine in a car trunk.

To read more click here. 

FBI: Not Enough Evidence to Pursue Child Porn Charges Against Las Vegas Mayor

Mayor John Lee

Mayor John Lee

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI determined it does not have enough evidence to pursue child pornography charges against Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

The case was turned over to the FBI after the city’s police department closed the case in October 2014 after possible child pornography was found on the mayor’s iPad.

According to police, Lee said the pornography was on his iPad after opening an e-mail, which police were never able to find.

Police also weren’t able to determine the ages of the people on the pornography.

Police had the iPad wiped free of the pornography but kept a copy and handed it to the FBI.

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