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Tag: Newark

Attorney Charged with Orchestrating Murder of FBI Informant on Trial – Again

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Prominent New Jersey attorney Paul Bergrin, who is accused of using his law firm to commit crimes, including drug trafficking, prostitution and the murder of an FBI informant, is on trial in Newark federal court, Reuters reports. 

The trial began Tuesday and is the prosecution’s second attempt at landing a conviction against Bergrin.

The 57-year-old is charged with 24 counts of charges, including orchestrating the 2004 murder of Kemo DeShawn McCray, an FBI informant who was a witness against one of his clients.

The first trial ended in a hung jury in November 2011.

Head of Newark FBI, Michael Ward, to Retire

Michael Ward/fbi photo

By Jason Grant
The Star Ledger

NEWARK — The head of the Newark Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation will retire from government service on Dec. 31, the agency announced today.

Michael Ward had not indicated in recent weeks or months that he would be leaving the post and retiring from government service. A statement released by David Velazquez, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Newark Division, noted: “Mr. Ward will be rejoining his extended family in the southern United States after many years away from home.”

Velazquez said today — through a spokeswoman — that Ward would not be speaking to the media about his retirement.

To read more click here.

 

Ex-FBI Agent Pleads to Passing on Inside Info to a Close Friend

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ex-FBI agent pleaded guilty Friday to obtaining information about an undercover law enforcement operation in Newark and giving it to a close friend,  the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark announced.

In June 2011, Ivan Stantchev was asked by a friend to  obtain confidential information in connection with four telephone numbers and any individuals associated with those numbers, authorities said.

Authorities said Stantchev asked an FBI colleague in the New York Metro area to obtain this information from FBI computers.

On June 30, 2011, that colleague sent  Stantchev an electronic document through the FBI’s email system detailing confidential information from certain FBI databases, including the existence of an ongoing FBI investigation in Newark, N.J.; the federal offenses being investigated in Newark; the related FBI case number; the name of the FBI’s operation; and notations confirming the existence of an undercover law enforcement operation in Newark.

 

FBI Agent Barry Bush Remembered 5 Years Later; Was Killed by Friendly Fire

Barry Lee Bush/fbi photo

By Douglas B. Brill
The Express-Time

The Barry Lee Bush that Joseph Douress remembers isn’t the FBI agent who investigated gangs in Newark and the U.S. Embassy bombing in Kenya.

Douress remembers a friend who would sit on a floor and stuff envelopes with invitations for a charity golf tournament, a neighbor who would plop himself on Douress’ couch to watch sports and have a few beers, a golfer perpetually frustrated by an incurable slice.

“Understand,” said Douress, who lives across the street from Bush’s widow, Karen, in Forks Township, “you’d never know Barry was in some cases the lead investigator in some of the biggest cases in this country’s history. … He was very well respected as an FBI agent. But around the neighborhood, he was Barry Bush.”

Thursday will mark five years since the 52-year-old Bush was fatally shot by friendly fire while pursuing bank robbers in Readington Township. Authorities say a fellow agent mistakenly shot Bush in confusion as agents descended on the robbers.

To read full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Senate Confirms Thomas Harrigan as #2 Person at DEA

Thomas Harrigan/dea photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More than a year after being nominated by the White House, the Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Thomas Harrigan as the number two person at DEA.

“I cannot think of a better, more qualified, or more honorable person to have at my side than Special Agent Tom Harrigan as we lead the Drug Enforcement Administration through the many challenges we will face and the many successes we will have in the coming years,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart in a statement.

“Tom demonstrated strong leadership and dedication in the field, and his strategic vision as Chief of Operations has been second to none. Special Agent Harrigan’s confirmation enhances our nation’s safety and security by placing a proven, well respected career agent in this critical position at DEA.”

Harrigan, a well respected figure in the DEA, has been the Chief of Operations. He started his career with the agency in 1987 and was assigned to the Bangkok in 1991.

After that, according to the White House, “he has served as Group Supervisor in the Newark Field Division, Staff Coordinator in the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, Chief of the Dangerous Drugs and Chemicals Section, and Deputy Chief in the Office of Domestic Operations. He also served as Senior Advisor to the Chief of Domestic Operations and as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Washington Field Office.

In 2004, Mr. Harrigan was appointed to the Senior Executive Service to serve as the Chief of Enforcement Operations.

“I am so pleased to hear of DEA Special Agent Harrigan’s confirmation as Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration,”  John “Jack” C. Lawn, DEA Administrator from 1985 to 1990 said in a statement. “Tom’s more than 25 years of experience both in domestic and international operations and his exceptional management skills make him uniquely qualified for this position. As Deputy Administrator, he solidifies this leadership role whose responsibilities will be so important to DEA’s future. He now speaks from a position of strength as DEA’s Deputy Administrator.”

 

Newark Jury Deadlocks in Murder Case Against Ex-Fed Prosecutor Paul Bergrin

Paul Bergrin/photo News12 New Jersey

Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The day before Thanksgiving, Paul Bergrin,  the ex-fed prosecutor who became a high-profile defense attorney representing rappers and gangbangers, had plenty to be thankful for.

That’s because a federal judge on Wednesday declared a mistrial after a jury deadlocked over whether Bergrin, 55, helped orchestrate a 2004 murder of an FBI witness in a drug case against his client, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

The paper reported that the trial was ” based on testimony that lacked hard evidence.”

“The hung jury brings an end to a tense and often-theatrical trial that had featured steely accusations among the lawyers; screaming in the courtroom; angry, nervous witnesses; admonishments by the judge; and — on more than one occasion — the judge himself questioning whether the government had presented enough evidence to convict Bergrin,” the paper wrote.

The paper quoted U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman as saying in a statement: “While it is disappointing the jury was unable to reach a verdict, we are fully prepared for the next trial.”

To read more click here.

 

FBI Agent and Body Shop Owner to Testify Against Ex-Fed Prosecutor in Murder Case

Paul Bergrin/photo News12 New Jersey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent and a body shop owners are scheduled to testify Friday in the ongoing murder trial in federal court in Newark of ex-fed prosecutor Paul Bergrin, who once represented rap stars and drug kingpins, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

Bergin, 55,  is accused of orchestrating the 2004 murder of a government informant Kemo Deshawn McCray.

The government contends that Bergrin told a drug gang member “No Kemo, no case” after one of their associates got busted on cocaine charges, the Star-Ledger reported. Bergrin is representing himself.

On Thursday, the paper reported, government witness Anthony Young testified. He is serving 30 years for the murder.

Bergrin said in opening statements that some witnesses were lying to get lesser sentences.

To read more click here.

 

 

Blood Gang Leader Admits to Murdering Teen in Case of Mistaken Identity

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A leader of a Bloods street gang in New Jersey has admitted to the murder of an innocent teenager in a case of mistaken identity, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

Torien Brooks, the 30-year-old leader of the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims subgroups or chapters of the Bloods, also admitted Tuesday in federal court in Newark to kidnapping a rival gang member and conspiring to sell narcotics, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a press release.

According to court documents, the murder took place on July 19, 2004 in Jersey City and involved Brooks and  co-defendant Emmanuel Jones, 27, of Jersey City, who went by the names “Killer,” “Killer E” and “Emo.” The documents say the two shot and killed who they thought to be responsible for an earlier shooting of a fellow gang member, but who was in fact an innocent teenager identified only as “M.T.” Three bystanders were hit by stray shots in the incident.

The kidnapping confession involves a rival gang member identified as “M.M.” According to ATF, Brooks said that he and fellow members Lary Mayo, 29, John Benning, 28, and Haleek State, 26 conspired to kidnap M.M. after a M.M. had changed gang sub-groups without permission.

The four kidnapped M.M. on April 11, 2005, pistol whipped him and took him to Patterson Falls, N.J., with the intent to kill him. M.M. was able to make a break and run to safety, according to court documents.

The narcotics confession involves a period in April 2007 and continuing for about a year in which Brooks and others conspired to smuggle heroin into Northern State Prison in Newark, where he was incarcerated. As part of the conspiracy, he and others in the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims gangs conspired to sell heroine on the streets of Paterson and have profits sent to his prison commissary account.

Brooks’ sentencing is set for Dec. 14. The racketeering count to which Brooks pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and $250,000. Jones, Mayo and Benning await sentencing for similar charges.