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Tag: south florida

How FBI Cracked Case of $3M Armored Truck Robbery in South Florida

armored-carBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After three years of investigating the $3 million armed robbery of an armored truck company’s South Florida depot, prosecutors have landed convictions in the heist.

So how did the FBI crack the case?

Security Info Watch reports that a former weekend supervisor, Hjalmar Towns, at the old Garda Logistics armored truck building provided tips to the robbers to keep authorities off their heels.

Two suspects confessed this year to wing the armed robbers.

The case began to solidify 10 months after the heist, when Towns was arrested for trying to swipe more than $1.5 million from a Garda armored truck in West Palm Beach.

Towns initially was believed to be a victim.

“Part of what broke this case open was they [investigators] had all this surveillance video and they couldn’t understand what was going on because Mr. Towns didn’t appear to be being robbed. He got hit over the head and tied up at the end of the raid, but it didn’t look right,” said Towns’ lawyer James Eisenberg.

The story didn’t add up.

“We were all wondering ‘Why didn’t Mr. Towns get up and run away … if this was a genuine robbery?'” Fagan told U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Arrests Two South Florida Mayors on Extortion Bribery, Kickback Charges

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI arrested not one – but two – mayors in South Florida on bribery-related charges, the Associated Press reports.

On Tuesday, feds took into custody Sweetwater Mayor Manuel “Manny” Marono and Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi.

Both are accused of separate kickback and bribery schemes using federal grants.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered suspensions for both mayors.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


FBI Agents Raid Business of Eye Doctor Accused of Providing Prostitutes to U.S. Senator

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents raided the South Florida business of an eye doctor accused of providing underage prostitutes and free trips to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, Fox News reports.

The New Jersey Democrat adamantly denied any wrongdoing.

Federal authorities accuse Dr. Salomon Melgen, a big supporter of the senator, of providing perks to Menendez, Fox News wrote.

The focus appears to be on Melgen’s finances and whether Menendez violated campaign laws or had sex with underage prostitutes.

The FBI declined to divulge details of the probe.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

More Than 100 Ex-FBI Agents Try to Spring Convicted Ex-Boston Agent John Connolly

John Connolly

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Imprisoned ex-Boston FBI agent John Connolly, who was convicted of helping some mobsters murder a South Florida gambling exec, is getting some support from some former colleagues.

The Associated Press reports that more than  100 ex- FBI agents, including the one whose undercover work inspired the movie “Donnie Brasco,” have filed two petitions with Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. “demanding appointment of a special counsel to investigate the 70-year-old Connolly’s prosecution, raising a grab-bag of claims spanning many years, some of which have been previously rejected by courts and aired in congressional hearings. They include allegations of questionable tactics by prosecutors, evidence that a key witness lied during Connolly’s 2002 federal corruption trial and contentions there was a rigged result in his 2008 Florida murder case.”

Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger remains on the list

“I’ve never seen them go after a gangster like they have John,”  former agent Joseph Pistone of “Donnie Brasco” fame told the AP. “He was dedicated as an FBI agent. He got all kinds of commendations. All of a sudden he goes wrong? That’s kind of hard to believe.”

Authorities alleged that Connolly let Boston mobsters like “Whitey” Bulger, who was an informant, run amuck and commit crimes while he accepted tens of thousands of dollars and other favors from them. Connolly was also accused of passing them sensitive info.

In Miami, Connolly  was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1982 hit of John Callahan, who had mob ties and was president of World Jai-Alai, AP reported. Authorities charged Connolly told mobsters Bulger and Stephen Flemmi that Callahan was going to rat on them, which resulted in the mob hit. Connolly is finishing up a 10-year federal prison term for racketeering and obstruction of justice,  and will soon begin serving a 40-year term for the Florida murder.

AP reported that the Justice Department has declined to  act on the ex-agents’ request, citing Connolly’s ongoing appeals of his Florida murder conviction.

“I feel John was wrongfully convicted,” ex-FBI agent William Reagan told AP. “I don’t think it amounted to a malicious prosecution. I simply think he was screwed over.”

Prosecutors disagree.

“Connolly had his trial. He got convicted. They attacked it with new evidence, and they lost that one, too,”  Michael Von Zamft, an assistant state attorney in Miami, told AP. “The concept that he is this innocent guy is just ridiculous.”