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Tag: NY

Ex-NY Lawmaker, Who Faces Criminal Charges, Wore An FBI Wire

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former state Assemblyman Joe Errigo, who faces bribery charges,  started wearing an FBI wire after he was approached by the FBI, NBC News 10 reports.

NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean confirmed the information with two unnamed sources.

Errigo is charged with taking money in exchange for sponsoring a piece of legislation.

On Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty in federal court in Rochester, N.Y.

Special Agent in Charge of FBI Office in Buffalo Headed to Terrorists Screening Center

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Christopher M. Piehota, special agent in charge of the FBI office in Buffalo, will leave soon to become director of the Terrorists Screening Center in Washington D.C. , the Buffalo News reports.

“To be honest, it’s one of the first lines of defense in our national security,” he said of the screening center, a multiagency organization known for the “Terrorist Watchlist.”

The center was created a few years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

Piehota worked at the center before and helped develop and maintain a database of suspected terrorists and the no-fly list.

FBI Investigates After Pilot Spots Drone Near JFK

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a mysterious drone spotted Monday by a commercial pilot near the John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot “saw a small, unmanned or remote-controlled aircraft while on final approach to Runway 31 Right at John F. Kennedy International Airport at about 1:15 pm,” according to an agency statement to Christian Science Monitor.

“The pilot did not take evasive action. The flight landed safely,” the FAA said.

The drone raises questions as more remote-controlled surveillance aircraft are being tested at airports.

It’s Off to Fed Prison For NY’s Ex-Top Cop Bernie Kerik

Bernie Kerik/facebook

Bernie Kerik/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Clad in blue jeans and a tan jacket, ex-N.Y. Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik left his New Jersey home Monday to report to a federal minimum-security prison in Cumberland, Md., ABC News reported.

Kerik,  54, who became a hero after the 9/11 attacks, began serving his four-year term on eight felony counts that included lying to the White House and filing false taxes.

ABC reported that Kerik — not known for his shyness — did not comment to reporters as he left his home. He did, however,  say on his company website that he was a victim of a “grave injustice” and that he pleaded guilty in November because he was financially in a bad way.

The Cumberland Prison

The Cumberland Prison

As of late Monday night, the Bureau of Prisons had not listed him as being at the Maryland facility. However, he had a prison number of 84888-054 and his release date was listed as July 30, 2013.

NYPD Tries to Distance Itself From FBI Surveillance Lapse in Bombing Case

nypd badgeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The talk among law enforcement on Wednesday was that the New York police were trying to distance themselves and blame the FBI for losing the surveillance of  car bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad.

The media was also pointing to it as a flaw in what still remains a remarkable case for the short time it took to arrest the suspect.

Still,  some current and former law enforcement members pointed out that it is not uncommon to lose a surveillance target. And they said it was often better to lose someone temporarily than to blow the surveillance and get spotted.

Newsweek reported that Shahzad was at JFK airport on Monday for more than three hours without FBI surveillance, and that agents had apparently lost track of him. Shahzad had gone to the airport to catch a flight to Dubai. He was arrested after he had already boarded the plane, but it had not yet taken off.

One law enforcement source on Wednesday defended the FBI’s work.

“This situation was extremely fast-moving, involving multiple locations. The FBI identified him and within a few hours had already located him and begun surveillance, which, by its nature, involves risk-benefit considerations with respect to potential effects on the course of the investigation if the surveillance is detected,” the source said, commenting on the condition that he not be named.

“Risks can be mitigated by building in layers of redundancy, especially in a situation such as this where the subject was aware of the numerous media reports which alerted him to the fact he was being pursued by law enforcement. In this case, he was added to appropriate watch lists and was caught as he tried to escape.”

Feds Charge Colombo Crime Family Members in Kickback Scheme at Ground Zero

mafia33By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn continues to chip away at the Colombo crime family.

On Tuesday, the office announced the indictment of eight people tied to the notorious crime family on charges including fraud and extortion linked to the World Trade Center.

The indictment alleges that the Colombo-controlled trucking company All Around Trucking paid kickbacks to win a subcontract with a demolition company working at Ground Zero.

Authorities also alleged that the defendants threatened employees with the demolition company when it failed to pay on time.

Consensual recordings captured one of the defendants saying that the demolition company employees were ” “shakin’ in their boots over us” when threats were made, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“La Cosa Nostra continues to profit illegally in numerous sectors of our economy, allegedly including the World Trade Center construction site,” U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said in a statement. “Our office is dedicated to eliminating these crime families, which take a significant economic toll.” U.S. Attorney Campbell praised the outstanding investigative efforts by special agents of the FBI and DOL/OIG.

The defendants included Theodore Persico, Jr., Michael Persico, Thomas Petrizzo, Edward Garofalo, Jr., James Bombino, Louis Romeo, Alicia Dimichelle and Mike LNU.

Read Press Release

NY FBI Gives Dir. Community Leadership Award to Activist Devorah Halbertstam

Former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, FBI Assistant Director in Charge (ADIC) Joseph Demarest Devorah Halberstam and the Honorable Rudolph Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York. Photo credit: Matthew Coleman, FBI
Former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, FBI Assistant Director in Charge (ADIC) Joseph Demarest Devorah Halberstam and the Honorable Rudolph Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York. Photo credit: Matthew Coleman, FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Devorah Halberstam, whose son was killed in a terrorist attack on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994, was honored last week with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. It honors individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence.

The New York FBI Office gave her the award.

In a press release, the FBI said:

“On March 1, 1994, Devorah’s son, Ari Halberstam, was murdered in a terrorist attack on the Brooklyn Bridge. Following her son’s murder, Devorah committed herself to the fight against terrorism. She pounded the halls of Congress to change laws on immigration, terrorism and gun control. Working side by side with former Governor of New York George Pataki and other officials, she was instrumental in enacting the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, the first of its kind in New York State.

Read more »

Can You Spell M-I-S-T-R-I-A-L? Jury in Gotti Case Claims to Be Deadlocked

deadlocked
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Can you spell M-I-S-T-R-I-A-L?

Well, it may be too early to assume one will be declared in the racketeering trial of mobster John Gotti Jr., but  it can’t be ruled out at this point.

A federal judge in New York ordered jurors on Thursday to keep deliberating even after they declared themselves deadlocked, according to the New York Daily News.

The jury foreman sent a note to U.S. District Judge  Kevin Castel which said unable to reach a unanimous verdict” on the three counts, the Daily News reported.

Jurors are off Friday and are expected to resume deliberations on Monday.

The fact the jury is deadlocked doesn’t automatically mean there will be a mistrial. Juries have been known to arrive at a verdict even after telling the judge they’re deadlocked.