Sunday, March 29, 2015

Assistant U.S. Attorney In Philadelphia: "Human Trafficking Is The Fastest Growing Crime In The Country"

Lara Witt at the Phildelphia Daily News offers a piece on the growing crime of human trafficking.

"Slavery is not an obsolete relic of the past, it is a global industry that generates $32 billion in profits through forced labor and the bodies of tens of millions of human beings each year."

This is what Ivan Cole, who sits on the board of the Life After Trauma Organization, told an audience yesterday during a conference hosted by the nonprofit at Temple University to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of human trafficking. LATO helps women recover from the trauma of human trafficking.

"The main reason why traffickers engage in this crime is because it is extremely lucrative," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Morgan, during a panel discussion that included six experts on the issue.

According to data from the U.S. State Department, it is estimated that 800,000 people are traded across international borders per year.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Terrorists, Cop Killers Are Communist Cuba's Gruesome Guests

I agree with the New York Post's editorial that Cuba should allow the U.S. to extradite the American terrorists and murderers hiding in Cuba prior to any normalization of relations with the communist island.

The Obama administration — eager to normalize relations with Cuba — is plainly paying lip service to demands that Havana extradite 70-plus American terrorists and murderers whom the Castro regime has granted asylum.

In answer, three New Jersey House Republicans aim to use the power of the purse to exert some much-needed pressure.

Reps. Scott Garrett, Leonard Lance and Tom MacArthur have asked both the GOP chairwoman and the ranking Democrat on a key House Appropriations subcommittee to withhold all funding needed to normalize US-Cuban diplomatic ties.

Their particular concern is Joanne Chesimard (seen in the above photo), a k a Assata Shakur — the Black Liberation Army terrorist sentenced to life in prison in 1977 for the coldblooded killing of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster (seen in the below photo). Six years later, she escaped from prison and made her way to Cuba.

You can read the rest of the editorial via the below link:

'You're A Kite Dancing In A Hurricane, Mr Bond': Brooding 007 Confronts A Face From The Past In Dramatic FIRST Teaser Trailer For SPECTRE

Jason Chester at the British newspaper the Daily Mail reports on the recently released SPECTRE trailer showing Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming's iconic character James Bond.

You can watch the interesting trailer and see photos of the upcoming film via the below link:

Friday, March 27, 2015

'Goodfellas' Mobster Confronted By Victim's Family At Sentencing

Selim Algar a the New York Post reports on the sentencing of a New York mobster connected to the story behind the classic crime film, Goodfellas.

More than 45 years after he was strangled with a dog chain by an infamous “Goodfellas” mobster, Paul Katz finally had his day in court — in a tiny cremation pouch clutched by his trembling daughter as she confronted the man who tried to hide her dad’s murder.

Struggling to keep her composure, Ilsa Katz brought the cremated remains into a Brooklyn federal courtroom, to tell off Bonanno wiseguy Jerome Asaro before a judge sent him to prison for 7 ¹/₂ years.

“He said he had to go meet the guys at the candy store,” she recalled of the day in 1969 that her dad disappeared. “My mother begged him not to go. He never came back.”

Katz was an associate of James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke and Asaro’s father, Vincent Asaro, 79, a Bonanno capo who last year was charged in the $6 million 1978 Lufthansa air cargo heist at JFK airport that was masterminded by Burke and immortalized in the 1990 Martin Scorsese film “Goodfellas.”

... Asaro’s own father also doesn’t think much of him. Caught on a wiretap, he was heard saying: “F—–g Jerry is for Jerry. I lost my son when I made him a skipper. F—–g greedy c——-er. Got him a job. $600 a f—–g week. He didn’t do a f—–g thing.”

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

'Justified' Creator Aims To Stay True To The Late Writer Elmore Leonard

Terry Gross at NPR's Fresh Air interviewed Graham Yost, the producer of TV's Justified, the crime show based on the late great crime writer Elmore Leonard's novella, Fire in the Hole.

The FX series Justified, which is in its sixth and final season, is based on the novella Fire in the Hole by Elmore Leonard. Leonard was an executive producer of the series until his death in 2013. The show's creator and showrunner, Graham Yost, says he has made it his mission to stay as true as he can to Leonard's vision and storytelling style.

"Ultimately I look at this show as Elmore Leonard's show, and we're all in service of him and his view and his way of writing and creating these characters," Yost tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "So whatever feels like it works within that world is something we're open to."

Set in Harlan County, Ky., which is coal mining country, the story revolves around two men who have known each other since they were in the mines together as teens: Raylan Givens, played by Timothy Olyphant, and Boyd Crowder, played by Walton Goggins. Raylan is now a deputy U.S. marshal and Boyd is an outlaw whose criminal activities include robbing banks. Raylan wants to move to Florida to reconnect with his ex-wife and their 5-month-old child, but first he wants to bring Boyd down, which means catching him when he pulls off his next heist.

The show is violent, but Yost says he and the writers have to walk a line to keep the network happy.

"Elmore's world is a violent world," he says. "In the best Elmore scenes, you think that something is either going to take a hard turn into romance and some kind of liaison, or it's going to take it the other way and go into violence. There's often something oddly humorous about the violence in Elmore's movies and in his books."

You can read the rest of the piece and listen to NPR's audio clip via the below link:

Note: You can also read my Crime Beat column on Elmore Leonard, one of my favorite writers, via the below link:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

US Army National Guard Soldier And His Cousin Arrested For Conspiring to Support Terrorism (ISIL)

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon of the Northern District of Illinois and Special Agent in Charge Robert Holley of the FBI’s Chicago Division announced today that two Aurora, Illinois, men were arrested Wednesday night for allegedly conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a foreign terrorist organization.

Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds, 22, a U.S. citizen, was arrested without incident at Chicago Midway International Airport by members of the Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) while attempting to fly to Cairo, Egypt.  Jonas Edmonds, 29, a U.S. citizen, was arrested without incident at his home in Aurora.  Both defendants were charged in a criminal complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois with one count of conspiring to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.  The initial appearances of Hasan Edmonds and Jonas Edmonds are scheduled for today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan at 3 p.m. CST.

As alleged in the complaint, in late 2014, Hasan Edmonds came to the attention of the FBI.  The investigation subsequently revealed that he and Jonas Edmonds had devised a plan for Hasan Edmonds to travel overseas for the purpose of waging violence on behalf of ISIL.  Hasan Edmonds, a current member of the Illinois Army National Guard, planned to use his military training to fight on behalf of ISIL.  As part of their plans, Hasan Edmonds booked airline travel to depart yesterday from Chicago and arrive in Cairo today, with layovers in Detroit and Amsterdam.

As alleged in the complaint, both defendants also planned for Jonas Edmonds to carry out an act of terrorism in the United States after Hasan Edmonds departed.  In particular, both defendants met with an FBI undercover employee and presented a plan to carry out an armed attack against a U.S. military facility in northern Illinois, an installation where Hasan Edmonds had been training.  Jonas Edmonds asked the FBI undercover employee to assist in the attack and explained that they would use Hasan Edmonds’ uniforms and the information he supplied about how to access the installation and target officers for attack.

“According to the charges filed today, the defendants allegedly conspired to provide material support to ISIL and planned to travel overseas to support the terrorist organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “In addition, they plotted to attack members of our military within the United States.  Disturbingly, one of the defendants currently wears the same uniform of those they allegedly planned to attack.  I want to thank the many agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for disrupting the threat posed by these defendants.”

“We will pursue and prosecute with vigor those who support ISIL and its agenda of ruthless violence,” said U.S. Attorney Fardon.  “Anyone who threatens to harm our citizens and allies, whether abroad or here at home, will face the full force of justice.”

“The arrests today are the culmination of a successful investigation that involved a great deal of coordination and communication with our law enforcement and military partners,” said Special Agent in Charge Holley.  “Throughout the course of this investigation, the defendants were closely and carefully monitored to ensure the safety of the public and our service men and women.”

Conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s JTTF, which is comprised of special agents of the FBI, officers of the Chicago Police Department and representatives from an additional 20 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Assistant Attorney General Carlin joins U.S. Attorney Fardon in extending his appreciation to the JTTF.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), the Illinois State Police, the Aurora Police Department and the Illinois National Guard also provided significant assistance.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barry Jonas and John Kness of the Northern District of Illinois, and Trial Attorney Lolita Lukose of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Protecting The Homeland In The 21st Century: Panel Conducts Review Of FBI Since 9/11 Commission Report

The FBI web site reports on FBI's implementation of recommendations contained in the 2004 9/11 Commission Report.

A congressionally mandated panel charged with reviewing the FBI’s implementation of recommendations contained in the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004 today issued its findings.

The release of the 9/11 Review Commission’s report, The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century, followed 14 months of research, interviews, briefings, and field visits by commissioners and their 13-member staff. The commission—which included former Attorney General Edwin Meese, former Congressman Tim Roemer, and Georgetown University professor Bruce Hoffmanbegan its review in 2013 at the FBI’s request after Congress called for an appraisal of the Bureau’s progress since the 9/11 Commission issued its recommendations in 2004. A classified draft of the Review Commission’s report was sent to Congress and to other agencies mentioned in the report; the FBI released the unclassified version for the public.

That report, which can be found on, concludes that the FBI has “transformed itself over the last 10 years” and “made measurable progress building a threat-based, intelligence-driven national security organization.” The commission also makes recommendations on where the FBI can improve.

You can read the rest of the report via the below link: