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Tag: New Orleans

Brazen Thief Steals Copper from FBI Construction Site in New Orleans

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A brazen New Orleans man was arrested after stealing copper from a construction project at the FBI New Orleans Field Office.

FBI security cameras and guard spotted Michael Bailey, 39, stealing copper from the construction site of the new visitor center built at the field office, the Times-Picayune reports

Bailey was charged with a felony count of theft on Wednesday.

Video surveillance shows Bailey scavenging the site for copper wire. He was able to flee in his truck.

He was arrested Wednesday after investigated interviewed him.

Eric J. Rommal Tapped to Serve As Special Agent in Charge of New Orleans Division

Eric Rommal, newly appointed FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Division.

Eric Rommal, newly appointed FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Division.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Eric J. Rommal, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, will begin serving as special agent in charge of the bureau’s New Orleans Division.

FBI Director Christopher Wray made the announcement Wednesday.

Rommal, who most recently served as deputy assistant director in the Directorate of Intelligence, began working for the FBI in 1997 and was assigned to the Atlanta Division, where he investigated violent crime, white-collar crime, cybercrime and health care fraud.

Rommal has served in leadership positions in the Counterterrorism Division and the Washington Field Office.

Rommal will begin working in his new role in November.

FBI Agent Files Suit Over Bureau for Allegedly Violating His Free Speech Rights

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who was suspended after he alerted a judge to alleged prosecutorial misconduct by the New Orleans U.S. attorney’s office, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the bureau and several superiors.

Special Agent Mike Zummer claims in the federal lawsuit that he was disciplined after sending a letter to U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt over the agent investigation of a former Louisiana district attorney accused of trading sex for leniency in more than a dozen cases, WWL-TV reports

Zummer was suspended Sept. 30, 2016, without pay after he said he spoke out about the DOJ’s failure to full prosecute former St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel.

Zummer expressed disgust when the judge was only sentenced to three years in prison last year as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors on charges of obstructing a federal investigation.

In a ruling last year, the judge said Zummer raised “legitimate concerns” about the Justice Department’s leniency within its ranks.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The New Orleans Crime Boss

Justice Department Wants Sheriff Gusman to Stop Operating Troubled Jail

Orleans Parish Jail.

Orleans Parish Jail.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to remove New Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s authority to operate the jail after failing to comply with a 2013 consent decree, the Times-Picayune reports. 

The group of inmates who sued over the jail’s condition also is asking a judge to remove Gusman’s authority to run the jail.

Saying violence is still widespread and underreported in the jail, attorneys for the Justice Department and the plaintiff want the court to hand control over to another, unspecified entity.

“Urgent and extraordinary action is required of this Court to address the immediate risk of harm and death to the men, women and youth in the Jail,” the motion says.

Gusmam is not behind the plan and said he plans to “aggressively defend” the progress he has made.

“We recognize there is more work to be done but will not allow this move by the Plaintiffs to undermine the accomplishments and sacrifices of the hard working deputies and staff at the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office,” the statement says. 

Man Killed by FBI Was Acting As Informant Months Before the Fatal Shooting

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Allen Desdunes was acting as an FBI informant months before agents fatally shot him more than two years ago in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that the 37-year-old broke off contact with the FBI after helping the bureau with its investigation of a local heroin ring.

Desdunes was in contact with the FBI on a daily basis before he apparently backed out of a deal that would have kept him out of jail after getting busted with several thousand dollars worth of heroin in his car.

The revelations are part of a lawsuit by the Desdunes family that claims he “did nothing to provoke” the deadly shooting.

The FBI and New Orleans police converged on a Motel 6 on June 30, 2013, after believing that Desdunes was selling drugs from the hotel.

The lawsuit claims that Desdunes was killed after two unmarked cars rammed their vehicle into his car.

“Seconds later a gunshot or gunshots were fired,” according to the lawsuit.

Jeffrey Sallet Becomes Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s New Orleans Division

Jeffrey Sallet

Jeffrey Sallet

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The new special agent in charge of the New Orleans division has plenty of experience investigating public corruption and civil rights abuses.

Fox 8 reports that FBI Director James Comey has appointed Jeffrey S. Sallet to take the post.

Sallet, who has worked for the FBI since 1997, was most recently the chief of public corruption and civil rights section in the Criminal Investigative Division.

Sallet was the case agent for the investigation of Joseph Massino, the family boss of the Bonanno La Coa Nostra.

Retired FBI Agent Charles McGinty, Who Went After Public Corruption, Died at Age of 67

Charles McGinty

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Charles McGinty, a retired FBI agent with an impressive resume, died Thursday of unknown causes, NOLA.com reports.

He was 67.

McGinty was supervisor of a public corruption squad in the FBI’s New Orleans office when he retired in 2004.

After retiring, McGinty became a security director for Fidelity Homstead Savings Bank, where he was teaching a class when he collapsed.

McGinty, whose older brother also was an FBI agent, became one of the last agents hired by J. Edgar Hoover.

McGinty investigated public corruption and white-collar crime, and at the time of his retirement, he was finishing up a case that sent two Jefferson Parish judges to prison.