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Tag: organized crime

Special Investigation of Russia Likely to Focus on Organized Crime in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference with the presidential election is expected to cast light on the criminal underbelly of Moscow.

U.S. officials have long worried that organized crime in Russia posed a threat to democratic institutions.

“Those concerns, ever-present if not necessarily always top priorities, are front and center once more,” Time reports. 

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is heading the special investigation, has a powerful legal team that includes lawyers with experience fighting organized crime. Russian intelligence services have been accused of working with criminal operatives to undermine business competition for years.

As the team of investigators explores election meddling, it’s likely the focus will include the devastating cyberattacks of Democratic email accounts.

“It’s not an easy thing to kind of grasp or understand, but it’s very dangerous to our country because they have so many different aspects, unlike a traditional cartel,” said Robert Anderson, a retired FBI executive assistant director who worked counterintelligence cases and oversaw the criminal and cyber branch.

“You have to know where to look, which makes it more complicated,” he added. “And you have to understand what you’re looking for.”

FBI File Shows Bureau Investigated Trump’s Father over Campaign Donations, Tie to Organized Crimes

fbi logo newBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI briefly investigated Donald Trump’s father over campaign donations and concerns about organized crime, according to recently released records.

But the size of the FBI file – eight pages – suggests Fred Trump wasn’t subjected to serious scrutiny prior to his 1999 death, Politico reports. 

Much of the information was redacted, but the file indicates the bureau was interested in organized crime.

Another report involves a background check on Trump Construction Corp. as part of an investigation into Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organization.

Also in the files is a report that shows the FBI was interested in a 1986 New York Daily News story about Trump Management Co’s big donations to top politicians, including Mayor Ed Koch, members of the Board of Estimates and “Democratic clubhouse organizations.” The total donations during a 5-year-period was more than $350,000.

Border Patrol Agent, 4 Others Charged in Murder of Man Who Was Decapitated

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent is among a group of men charged in the death of a man whose decapitated body was found floating near South Padre Island in Texas, the Associated Press reports. 

Joel Luna, who was placed on indefinite leave from the Border Patrol, and four other men were indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday, charging them with capital murder, murder and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.

The defendants are lodged in the Cameron County jail without bond.

When Luna was arrested in March, law enforcement found nearly $90,000, a kilogram of cocaine and handguns inside his safe at his Hebbronville home.

In March, the decapitated body of Jose Francisco Palacios-Paz was found.

Other Stories of Interest

Inforum: FBI Office in North Dakota Is ‘Unsettling Sign of Changing Times’

North DakotaBy Editorial Board
Inforum

The establishment of an FBI office in Williston, N.D., is a tangible, if somewhat unsettling, sign of changing times. The fact it’s the first “resident agency” the FBI has opened in 20 years confirms that crime associated with North Dakota’s oil boom is a real phenomenon that demands intensified attention. In this case, “changing times” does not necessarily mean change is good.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Organized Crime in the 1930s in Los Angeles

Ukrainian Government Gets Help from FBI, CIA Over Security Concerns, Quelling Rebellion

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Ukrainian government appears to have enlisted the FBI and CIA to help end the rebellion in the capital city of Kiev, AFP reports.

The report indicates that CIA and FBI agents were helping establish an effective security structure after brutal battles between Ukranian soldiers and pro-Russian militants have claimed more than 50 lives in the east side of the country.

The agents, however, were not getting involved with fighting off pro-Russian militants.

“Their activity is limited to the capital Kiev,” AFP wrote, quoting a German newspaper.

The FBI agents also are assisting the government combat organized crime.

FBI Helps Italian Authorities Crack Down on Suspected Mafia Members in New York

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An anti-mafia raid is targeting more than 40 people in the U.S. and Europe, CNN reports.

The operation, “New Bridge,” led to the arrests of 17 people in Italy and seven in New York. They are accused of international drug-trafficking and organized crime.

The operation was coordinated by the Italian national anti-mafia body.

One of the targets is the Calabria mafia, known as the Ndrangheta, which is responsible for drug trafficking between South and Central America, Canada, the United States and Italy.

Memorable Quotes from Murder, Racketeering Trial of ‘Whitey’ Bulger

Updated Bulger photo/wbur

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Brutal mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was a colorful figure in the underground crime word.

So it’s no surprise his trial prompted some memorable quotes:

“After I heard that they were informants, it sort of broke my heart.”
– Ex-gangster and former Bulger partner John Martorano, who served just 12 years after admitting to murder 20 people.

“They hunted their targets. These men didn’t hunt animals, ladies and gentlemen, they hunted people.”
– Prosecutor Fred Wyshak, detailing the brutal details of Bulger’s murders.

“James Bulger is of Irish descent. And the worst thing an Irish person could consider doing is becoming an informant. That was the first and foremost reason why James Bulger was never an informant against people.”
– J.W. Carney Jr., defense lawyer for Bulger

“Bulger: “You suck.”
Weeks: “F— you, OK!”
Bulger: “F— you, too.”
Weeks: “What do you want to do?”
– Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, explaining on the stand his response to do nothing when Bulger strangled his girlfriend.

“It’s affected me and it’s going to affect me until the day I die.”
– Exchange between Bulger and his former associate Kevin Weeks, who was testifying at the time.

“We killed people that were rats, and I had the two biggest rats right next to me.”
– Weeks, referring to Bulger and Flemmi

“My thing is, as far as I’m concerned, I didn’t get a fair trial, and this is a sham. And do what yous want with me.”
–Bulger to Judge Denise Casper