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Tag: Queens

FBI Makes Rare Move to Fire Agent for Shooting Unarmed Suspect

fbi badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a rare move, the FBI is trying to fire an agent after he intentionally shot a suspect.

The New York Times reports that the FBI concluded the off-duty agent violated bureau policy for shooting an unarmed suspect who was accused of breaking into a Lexus in Queens.

According to internal reports obtained by the Times, the agent shot the man from a second-story window, striking him in the back.

The bureau accused the agent, Navin Kalicharan, of violating its lethal force policy, which permits agents to shoot their weapons only when there is an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm.

Kalicharan is contesting the dismissal.

Prosecutors: FBI Had Legal Right to Track New York Assemblyman by Cell Phone Tower

Assemblyman William Scarborough

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors said FBI agents did not violate the law by tracking a New York assemblyman using cell phone tower data, The Times-Union reports.

Assemblyman William Scarborough had no reasonable expectation of privacy because he was using a cell tower, which prosecutors argued is essentially a business record.

The Queens Democrat was arrested in October on 11 federal charges related to fraudulent travel vouchers from 2009 to 2012.

Tracking his whereabouts was key to the investigation, prosecutors said.

“The defendant could not have a constitutionally cognizable privacy interest in business records that he did not make and has never seen or kept, and that contain information he has never known,” the motion reads.

Congressman Grimm, a former FBI Agent, Barred from Entering Bureau’s Field Offices

Rep. Michael Grimm

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, who used to serve as an FBI agent, has been banned from the bureau’s New York field offices, DNAinfo New York reports.

Just in case Grimm shows up, security posted Grimm’s photo at the offices in Lower Manhattan and Queens.

“He is not welcome,” a former top FBI official said.

Another source added: “He is not permitted in our space.”

Grimm, who has denied any wrongdoing, was charged last week in a 20-count federal indictment accusing him of  cheating on his taxes and sheltering $1 million in revenue from a New York City restaurant that he had owned, called “Healthalicious.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Queens Man Claims FBI Placed Him on No Fly List for Not Acting As Informant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Queens man said the FBI put him on the no-fly list in retaliation for not acting as an informant, the New York Daily News reports.

Muhammad Tanvir is accusing FBI agents of barring him from air travel because he refused to act as an informant to get intelligence on Muslim neighbors.

To get off the list, Tanvir was told, he must snoop, according to a lawsuit he filed against the FBI.

The bureau declined to comment.

 

FBI Agent’s Stolen Car Is Found with Colt M-4 Rifle, Ammunition Still in Trunk

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The New York FBI has recovered an agent’s car that was stolen in Queens. They were relieved to know no one removed from the trunk a Colt M-4 rifle, four loaded 20-round magazines and a bulletproof vest, ABC 7 reports.

The 2011 Toyota Camry was stolen Tuesday, prompting fears that the high-powered rifle would be taken.

The trunk’s interior was locked with a padlock, ABC 7 News reported. The car was recovered in the  Forest Hills section of Queens.

No arrests were made as of Thursday morning.

Lucky Stroll Through Park Leads to Evidence in Mob Case

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Agent Gerard Conrad was just taking a stroll in Forest Park in Queens when he stumbled upon a meeting between top Gambino mobster Bartolomeo (Bobby) Vernace and others involved in the crime family, the New York Daily News reports.

Conrad happened to be supervising 15 agents who were investigating the crime family when he made the discovery on a warm 2006 day: “I saw three made members of the Gambino family and two associates of the family the park,” the agent said.

Conrad called for a camera, and the photos are now a critical piece of evidence in a racketeering trial, the Daily News reported.

Queens Man Indicted for Bombing of Islamic Mosque and Hindu Temple

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Queens man was charged with hate crimes and explosive crimes stemming from allegations that allegedly fire bombed a mosque and a Hindu temple housed in a private residence on Jan. 1, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Ray Lazier Lengend, aka “Suraj Poonai,” was charged with the fire bombing of the Imam Al- Khoei Foundation mosque in Jamaica, Queens, and a Hindu temple housed in a private residence in Hillside, Queens, authorities said.

Authorities alleged that on Jan. 1 Lengend entered a local convenience store located near the intersection of 179th Street and Hillside Avenue in Queens and threw a flaming bottle filled with gasoline.

Authorities said the bottle hit the ground, and liquid spilled out and began to burn. A store employee extinguished the flames, and no one was hurt.

After leaving the convenience store, Lengend headed over to a private residence on 107th Avenue in Queens, where he threw another fire-bomb. This time, the house caught fire, causing substantial damage.

Later, authorities said Lengend  went to the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation mosque, where he threw glass bottles containing gasoline at the building with the goal of inflicting damage on the mosque and harming Muslims and Arabs.

Lengend’s final fire-bombing in Queens targeted the Hindu temple inside a home. New York police detectives arrested Lengend two days after the attack.

“Hate crimes offend the very principles upon which this country was founded, and those who engage in such conduct will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This defendant allegedly sought to fan the flames of ethnic and religious tension. Those flames will always be extinguished by the rule of law,” stated U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “We are deeply grateful to the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Police Department for their investigation and coordination in this matter.”

 

 

Fed Agents Misbehavin in 2011

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Every day, thousands of federal law enforcement agents wake up, grab their gun and badge and a cup of java, orange juice or tea and go out into the world to protect the public and enforce the laws.

Unfortunately, every year, a few step over the line — way over the line — and break the law.

As 2011 draws to an end,  ticklethewire.com takes its annual look at some of the more interesting cases of Feds Misbehavin.

Unmitigated Disaster: FBI agent Adrian Johnson, a six-year veteran of bureau, had a little too much booze last Feb. 7. While driving in Prince George’s County, just outside D.C., he drove his 2002 Mitsubishi Montero into oncoming traffic and crashed into 18-year-old Lawrence Garner Jr.’s Hyundai Sonata. Garner died and a passenger in the car was critically injured but survived.

Johnson lost his job and in August a county grand jury indicted him on charges including motor vehicle manslaughter, homicide by motor vehicle, driving under the influence and reckless driving.  Johnson had just moved to the D.C. area to protect the  U.S. attorney general. The end of a life, the end of a career.

 

Lying for a Lover: Love or lust can do some people in. Just ask FBI agent Adrian Busby.

On Nov. 1, a fed jury in Manhattan federal court convicted the 37-year-old of lying to protect a married female confidential source he was having an affair with. It all began in 2008 when Busby, who was investigating mortgage fraud, started using a female real estate loan officer as a confidential source. He also began having an affair with her.

On Feb. 5, 2008, the source was arrested and subsequently prosecuted by the Queens County District Attorney’s Office for identity theft and related charges. Authorities charged that Busby “actively assisted with her criminal defense, met with her attorneys on multiple occasions, and during trial “provided her defense attorney with confidential, law enforcement reports…related to her case….in violation of FBI regulations.” Fed authorities said he then lied to them about the things he did to help the woman.

 

Say What? This one is just so wildly crazy for so many reasons.  Anthony  V. Mangione, 50, who headed up South Florida’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was indicted in September on child porn charges. Ironic? Let us count the ways. First off, ICE has been very active in busting purveyors of child porn. Secondly, how could a guy in the know like Mangione get caught knowing what he knows about how law enforcement operates?

 

Not the Crime of the Century: DEA Agent Brian Snedeker  was charged in Virginia in October with hunting ducks in a “baited area” and exceeding the daily limit of ducks, according to Field & Stream magazine, which wrote: “OK, someone’s gotta ask the question: what illegal substance was this DEA agent under the influence when he decided to shoot many ducks, and in a baited area to boot?” Apparently, among the Field & Stream crowd,  Snedeker is one bad dude.

Just Plain Crooked: ATF agent Brandon McFadden admitted he stole drugs and money from crime scenes with several Tulsa police officers. He was arrested in April 2010 and was sentenced this December to 21 months in prison. He would have gotten a lot more had he not cooperated with authorities. Nice way to end a career.

Career Up in Smoke: Clifford Dean Posey, an ATF agent form Virginia gets an A for enterprise and big D for plain Dumb. The 43-year-old was sentenced in September in Richmond, Va., to three years and one month in prison for stealing guns and cigarettes from ATF and selling them.

 

The Cost of a Big Fat Lie: It’s one thing to have an affair with a fellow law enforcement agent. It’s another to lie about it. Keith Phillips, a former special agent with the Environmental Protection Agency criminal division in the Dallas division, learned that the hard way. In October, he pleaded guilty to lying in a civil case about having an affair with an FBI agent he was working with.

Phillips, 61, of Kent, Tex., and a female FBI agent investigated a criminal case from September 1996 to Dec. 14, 1999 that resulted in the indictment of Hubert Vidrine Jr. and several others. The criminal charges against Vidrine were ultimately dismissed, and Vidrine turned around and filed a lawsuit against the federal government for malicious prosecution, authorities said.

That’s when trouble stepped into the picture. Authorities said that during a deposition taken in Vidrine’s civil suit, agent Phillips allegedly falsely testified that he did not have an affair with the FBI special agent, when, in fact, he did.

 

Very Fishy: There are certain times when things just look too fishy. This is one of those times. FBI Agent Jerry Nau of Peoria, Ill., lied to investigators  about $43,643 in cash that went missing from a drug bust. He  also forged signatures of fellow agents on evidence sheets to hide the fact the money was AWOL.

In November, he was taken into custody and sentenced to five months in prison. Nau told investigators he panicked when he was unable to find the money before the trial and hoped it would “turn up” on its own, the Chicago Tribune reported. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Warden said at the time, according to the Chicago Tribune: “Would you walk away and say, ‘I hope it comes back some day?’No, you would start screaming at your colleagues and say … ‘Let’s go find (the money).

“What happened is he stole the money,” Warden said.

Vigilante Justice: Border Patrol Agents Dario Castillo, 23, and Ramon Zuniga, 29, must have figured it wasn’t worth bothering the justice system. So the two  took matters into their own hands by allegedly forcing four Mexican nationals, who were illegals and were suspected of marijuana smuggling, to eat marijuana and strip off their clothing and shoes. They then set the belongings on fire and forced them to flee into 40-degree desert in southern Arizona.

The incident happened in 2008, but the two were indicted in August in Tucson by a federal grand jury.