Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Goodfellas And Beyond: Henry Hill, The True Story Behind "Goodfellas"


As a fan of Martin Scorsese's classic crime film Goodfellas and Nicholas Pileiggi's true crime book Wiseguy, I was pleased to come across a 2006 British documentary on Henry Hill.

You can watch the documentary on youtube.com via the below link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RoFmHR8S3Y

You can also read a piece in the New York Post on the late Henry Hill by Edward McDonald, the former federal prosecutor who portrayed himself in Goodfellas and spoke in the 2006 documentary, via the below link:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/you_had_to_like_this_goodfella_1DvgfJLGRMeRCWdWgEcJuO
     

North Philadelphia Drug Kingpin Murder-Racketeering Trial: Prosecutor Cites "Kaboni Savage In His Own Words"


Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia is covering the federal murder-racketeering Kaboni Savage trial in Philadelphia for Bigtrial.net.

The question is at the heart of the prosecution's case against North Philadelphia drug kingpin Kaboni Savage.

"How does he run from his own words?" Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gallagher asked a federal jury today as he detailed the case against Savage and three co-defendants in closing arguments at the 13-week old trial.

Alternately methodical, articulate, impassioned and poignant, Gallagher laid out the case for more than five hours to a jury that could determine whether Savage and two of those co-defendants live or die. All three face potential death sentences in convicted of any of the 12 homicides that are part of the case.

Savage, Gallagher argued, used a "scorched earth strategy" to control his drug empire and to silence witnesses who might cooperate against him.

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

http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/04/porsecutor-cites-kaboni-savage-in-his.html#more

Monday, April 29, 2013

CBS' John Miller Rises Above The Fray In Boston Bombing Case


David Bauder's Associated Press account of journalist John Miller was posted on Philly.com.

NEW YORK - If John Miller had scheduled an earlier flight, the CBS News coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath would have been much weaker.

Miller was driving home on the afternoon of April 15 to pick up his wife for their flight to a vacation in Florence, Italy. A phone call alerted him to the bombings and he turned around and headed back to the office, where he's spent much of his time since.

His dual role as a low-key explainer and reporter helped keep CBS ahead on key details of the investigation as the suspects' identities began to emerge, and away from missteps made by other news organizations.

Miller, who appears primarily on "CBS This Morning," reported two days after the bombing that authorities had their eye specifically on someone seen by a store security camera. When Internet sleuths began speculating about potential suspects based on pictures taken at the scene, Miller steered CBS away from them. Miller similarly assured the network it wasn't true when rivals reported erroneously that a suspect had been arrested, said CBS News President David Rhodes.
His bosses knew as much from Miller's demeanor as his words that day. Miller sat calmly in the newsroom eating a sandwich while other news divisions were frantically reporting and unreporting an arrest, Rhodes said.

You can read te rest of the story via the below link:

http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/television/20130429_ap_cbsmillerrisesabovethefrayinbostoncase.html

Krauthammer On Border Security: Ask Obama Why He's Got A Fence Around The White House


The Daily Caller reports that on a recent radio program, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer offered some good ideas on border security, which must come before immigration reform.

Krauthammer said that Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who has led the Republican charge for the “Gang of Eight” bill, should seek enforcement measures including a border fence.

“I think he’ll proactively seek real measures — universal e-verify, the tracking system for the visa violations, which as you know, accounts for 40 percent of illegals in the country, and I’m with you, a fence from left to right, from east to west, except obviously the mountainous areas. We know that fences work.”

“If the president tells you fences don’t work, ask him why he’s got one around the White House.

You can read the rest of the piece and watch the video clip via the below link:

http://dailycaller.com/2013/04/27/krauthammer-on-border-security-ask-obama-why-hes-got-a-fence-around-the-white-house/

Note: The above U.S. Customs and Border Patrol photo was taken by Gerald L. Nino

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Solo, Part Two: More Of William Boyd On His New James Bond Continuation Novel


The James Bond web site Mi6 offers part two of the conversation between the latest James Bond continuation author, William Boyd, and the Times literary editor, Erica Wagner.

EW - How was your process of writing different, having to create characters from scratch?

WB - It is slightly different, but that was the advantage of re-reading the books, because there is a phenomenal amount of information there, which most people have forgotten about. Fleming tells you a huge amount about Bond: From his inner thoughts; his softest emotions to his most savage; his background, where he lives. Bond's flat is in Chelsea, in Wellington Square, which is about two hundred yards from where I live, which was another bonus. Fleming's mother lived in Chelsea. So, getting all that information allowed me to make Bond seem real in my mind. But then, of course, I had to invent a villain and various antagonists. I had to come up with two very interesting women for him to meet and have a relationship with. So, there was a lot of invention to be done, not just plotting - my plots are always very elaborate and complicated, so I had to construct a very elaborate and complicated plot - but I had to populate that world with creatures of my imagination, not just the ones that Fleming had.

There is "M" and there is a brief Moneypenny moment, but otherwise, they're all mine. So, it is ninety-five percent imagination, I would say, and then all this information that Fleming provides for you.
 
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
 
 
And you can read part one via the below link:
 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

FBI On The Insider Threat: U.S. Soldier Receives 16-year Sentence For Attempted Espionage

 
 The FBI offers a piece on the insider threat, spotlighting the case of a U.S. Army military policeman who was convicted of ettempted espionage.

A 22-year-old military police officer in Alaska has been sentenced to a 16-year jail term in connection with his efforts to sell classified documents to a person he believed was a Russian intelligence officer.

In 2011, William Millay was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage when he began to talk to—and solicit help from—other military members regarding selling classified national defense information to the Russians.

This case really drives home the point that the insider threat is alive and well," said Special Agent Sam Johnson, who supervisies a national security squad in our Anchorage Division. “That’s why counterintelligence investigations continue to be a very high priority for the FBI.”

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link to the FBI web page:

http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2013/april/soldier-receives-16-year-sentence-for-attempted-espionage/soldier-receives-16-year-sentence-for-attempted-espionage

You can also read more about the Millay case via the below link:

http://www.pauldavisoncrime.com/2013/04/alaska-military-policeman-sentenced-to_18.html

John Le Carre's Very British Features


British book reviewers have been praising John le Carre's new spy thriller so effusively that it was good to see a reviewer knock the novel.

Novelist Frederic Raphael reviewed le Carre's latest in the Times Literary Supplement.

John le Carré is the grand master of the low down. That he writes under a pseudonym seems emblematic of a writer who has made himself shady the better to be at home in the dark places of the world of double-dealing. His novels are those of a worldly, wise moralist whose opinions are implicit in devious plots in which good men are regularly done down or find themselves warped by force majeure.

A Delicate Truth begins “On the second floor of a characterless hotel” in Gibraltar, where “a lithe, agile man in his late fifties restlessly paced his bedroom. His very British features, though pleasant and plainly honourable, indicated a choleric nature brought to the limits of his endurance”. Hustled into identifying with a decent chap in an unpleasant spot (with a bed “big enough for six”), the reader has little time to wonder what “very British features” look like and how they can be deemed “honourable” on sight while being simultaneously engorged with rage. Despite his parading all these manifestly insular qualities, “it would not have occurred to many people, even in their most fanciful dreams, that he was a middle-ranking British civil servant, hauled from his desk in one of the more prosaic departments of Her Majesty’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to be dispatched on a top-secret mission of acute sensitivity”. That would indeed make for a fanciful dream. 

... Le Carré appends a grateful list of sources who have instructed him on today’s military-politico-plutocratic amalgam. My own contacts in MI6 are meagre, but I am promised, with some vigour, by a veteran with “very British features” that no straight diplomat would have been deputed to officiate on such a mission – which must show how little your average old hand knows (or tells) about what really, really now goes on. 

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

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1249873.ece 

Note: Although I don't subscribe to John le Carre's leftist worldview and anti-Americanism, I'll read the novel when it come out in America and I'll publish my views here.

The Grid Is Vulnerable To Attack, Warns Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey

 
Jeff McMahon at Forbes.com offers a piece on former CIA Director R. James Woolsey and the vulnerability of the grid.
 
The electric power grid in the United States is vulnerable to attacks that have already begun, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey said in Chicago Thursday night, and America needs distributed generation as backup—primarily in the form of natural-gas cogeneration and solar power.
 
... The problem mainly with the grid is that everything depends on it, and it itself has some very substantial vulnerabilities,” said Woolsey, a co-founder of the U.S. Energy Security Council, at an appearance sponsored by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “We need to move as quickly as possible to generating power where the load is.”
 
The grid is vulnerable because it is controlled via the World Wide Web, said Woolsey, who directed the Central Intelligence Agency under President Bill Clinton from 1993-95.

The grid is under attack already, according to Woolsey, and regularly fending off hacking attempts. To illustrate the possible consequences of a successful attack, Woolsey plugged the NBC series Revolution, which explores “what happened to America when the power went out.”

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

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2013/04/26/former-cia-director-the-grid-is-vulnerable/

I met R. James Woolsey briefly and heard him speak on the vulnerability of the grid when I covered the opening of the Weapons of Mass Disruption exhibit at the International Spy Museum for Counterterrorism magazine a few years back.

You can also read my Counterterrorism piece via the below links:

http://home.comcast.net/~pauldavisoncrime/pwpimages/WeaponsMassDisruption1.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~pauldavisoncrime/pwpimages/WeaponsMassDisruption2.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~pauldavisoncrime/pwpimages/WeaponsMassDisruption3.jpg

Friday, April 26, 2013

Charles Krauthammer: The Bush Legacy


In his column in today's Washington Post Charles Krauthammer reflects on President George W. Bush's legacy.

Clare Boothe Luce liked to say that “a great man is one sentence.” Presidents, in particular. The most common “one sentence” for George W. Bush is: “He kept us safe.”

Not quite right. With Bush’s legacy being reassessed as his presidential library opens in Dallas, it’s important to note that he did not just keep us safe. He created the entire anti-terror infrastructure that continues to keep us safe.
          
That homage was paid, wordlessly, by Barack Obama, who vilified Bush's anti-terror policies as a candidate, then continued them as president: indefinite detention, rendition, warrantless wiretaps, special forces and drone warfare, and, most notoriously, Guantanamo, which Obama so ostentatiously denounced — until he found it indispensable.
 
Quite a list. Which is why there was not one successful terror bombing on U.S. soil from 9/11 until last week. The Boston Marathon attack was an obvious security failure, but there is a difference between 3,000 dead and three. And on the other side of the ledger are the innumerable plots broken up since 9/11. 

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

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-the-bush-legacy/2013/04/25/b6de6efa-add8-11e2-8bf6-e70cb6ae066e_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions 

Unsealed Indictment Charges Former U.S. Federal Employee With Conspiracy To Commit Espionage


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

A one-count indictment was unsealed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charging Marta Rita Velazquez, 55, with conspiracy to commit espionage, announced John Carlin, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security;   Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

The charges against Velazquez stem from, among other things, her alleged role in introducing Ana Belen Montes, now 55, to the Cuban Intelligence Service (CuIS) in 1984; in facilitating Montes’s recruitment by the CuIS; and in helping Montes later gain employment at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).  Montes served as an intelligence analyst at DIA from September 1985 until she was arrested for espionage by FBI agents on Sept. 21, 2001.  On March 19, 2002, Montes pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to conspiracy to commit espionage on behalf of Cuba.  Montes is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.

The indictment against Velazquez, who is also known as “Marta Rita Kviele” and as “Barbara,” was originally returned by a grand jury in the District of Columbia on Feb. 5, 2004.  It has remained under court seal until today.  Velazquez has continuously remained outside the United States since 2002.  She is currently living in Stockholm, Sweden.   If convicted of the charges against her, Velazquez faces a potential sentence of up to life in prison.

According to the indictment, Velazquez was born in Puerto Rico in 1957.  She graduated from Princeton University in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Latin American Studies.  Velazquez later obtained a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1982 and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., in 1984.

Velazquez later served as an attorney advisor at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and, in 1989, she joined the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as a legal officer with responsibilities encompassing Central America.  During her tenure at USAID, Velazquez held a Top Secret security clearance and was posted to the U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua and Guatemala.  In June 2002, Velazquez resigned from USAID following press reports that Montes had pleaded guilty to espionage and was cooperating with the U.S. government.  Velazquez has remained outside the United States since 2002.

The indictment alleges that, beginning in or about 1983, Velazquez conspired with others to transmit to the Cuban government and its agents documents and information relating to the U.S. national defense, with the intent that they would be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of the Cuban government.

As part of the conspiracy, Velazquez allegedly helped the CuIS spot, assess and recruit U.S. citizens who occupied sensitive national security positions or had the potential of occupying such positions in the future to serve as Cuban agents.   For example, the indictment alleges that, while Velazquez was a student together with Montes at SAIS in Washington, D.C., in the early 1980s, Velazquez fostered a strong, personal friendship with Montes, with both sharing similar views of U.S. policies in Nicaragua at the time.

In December 1984, the indictment alleges, Velazquez introduced Montes in New York City to a Cuban intelligence officer who identified himself as an official of the Cuban Mission to the United States.  The intelligence officer then recruited Montes.  In 1985, after Montes’ recruitment, Velazquez personally accompanied Montes on a clandestine trip to Cuba for Montes to receive spy craft training from CuIS.

Later in 1985, Velazquez allegedly helped Montes obtain employment as an intelligence analyst at the DIA, where Montes had access to classified national defense information and served as an agent of the CuIS until her arrest in 2001. During her tenure at the DIA, Montes disclosed the identities of U.S. intelligence officers and provided other classified national defense information to the CuIS.
During this timeframe, Velazquez allegedly continued to serve the CuIS, receiving instructions from the CuIS through encrypted, high frequency broadcasts from her handlers and through meetings with handlers outside the United States.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the DIA.  It is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney Clifford Rones of the Counterespionage Section in the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Michael Harvey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

The charges contained in an indictment are merely allegations and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy Birthday To O. Henry


Steve King at the web site todayinliterature.com notes that today is the birthday of one of my favorite writers, O. Henry.

On this day in 1898 William S. Porter -- the drug store clerk, cowboy, fugitive, bank teller, cartoonist and future "O. Henry" -- began a five-year prison sentence for embezzlement. Porter had published several stories prior to his prison term, but the fourteen written behind bars represented a new style and quality, and began his rise to popularity. Porter hoped a pseudonym would keep the disgrace of his conviction from his young daughter, who was told that he was away on business. Why Porter settled on "O. Henry" is variously explained: as a drug store clerk in his teens, Porter would have known of the famous French pharmacist, Etienne-Ossian Henry, whose name appeared in the drug dispensary guide as O. Henry; he took the name from one of his prison guards, Orrin Henry; while courting a young lady he called a stray cat over with "Oh Henry!" and then later wrote about the incident, signing the unpublished piece, "O. Henry"; as ranch hand in his early twenties, he knew the cowboy song "Root, Hog, or Die," and found it apt: "... Along came my true lover about twelve o'clock / Saying Henry, O Henry, what sentence have you got?"

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

http://www.todayinliterature.com/today.asp?Search_Date=4/25/2013

You can also read about O. Henry in my Crime Beat column on Mahattan noir classic stories via the below link:

http://www.pauldavisoncrime.com/2010/07/on-crime-thrillers-manhattan-noir-2.html

Greg Gutfeld: Terror Apologists Scrample To Explain Evil


Foxnews.com offers a video of Greg Gutfeld giving his view of terrorist apologists.

You can watch the video via the below link:

http://nation.foxnews.com/boston-marathon-bombing/2013/04/22/gutfeld-terror-apologists-scramble-explain-evil

You can also visit Greg Gutfeld's web site via the below link:

http://ggutfeld.com/

Radical Islam, Once Again


Rich Lowry at the National Review offers a good piece on the Boston Marathon bombers and radical Islam.

We are in the midst of the least-suspenseful investigation ever launched by American law enforcement. Hundreds of investigators are seeking leads around the world to discover the motive of the Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

This probe is considered a foray into the unknown, and perhaps the unknowable. “Do you have any clearer idea,” the host of Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer, asked Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, “of what the motive of these two young men was?” Patrick replied, “Not yet, Bob, and it’s hard for me and for many of us to imagine what could motivate people to harm innocent men, women, and children in the way that these two fellows did.” 

Yes, what could ever possess a nice chap who was posting jihadist videos on YouTube to go wrong? How could the older brother Tamerlan, suspected by the Russian government of radicalism and interviewed by the FBI at Moscow’s urging, get mixed up in a terror plot? Who would have thought that Tamerlan, known for haranguing people at the local mosque for their insufficient zeal, might lead his brother on a violent rampage? When has it happened before that young Muslim men beholden to an extreme ideology have visited mayhem and murder on innocents?

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

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/346349/radical-islam-once-again

Guide To The Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Murder Case


Philly.com offers a guide to the Kermit Gosnell horrendous murder case in Philadelphia.

You can read the guide via the below link:

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130422_ap_guidetothephiladelphiaabortiondocmurdercase.html

Testimony Ends In Philadelphia Drug Kingpin Kaboni Savage's Federal Murder-Racketerring Trial


Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia is covering the federal trial of drug kingpin Kaboni Savage in Philadelphia for Bigtrial.net.

The defense and the prosecution both rested their cases today in the murder-racketeering trial of Kaboni Savage and three co-defendants, setting the stage for closing arguments to begin Monday in federal court in Philadelphia.

Savage, 38, and two co-defendants, Robert Merritt, 31, and Steven Northington, 41, could be sentenced to death if convicted of any of the 12 homicides listed in the case. The fourth defendant, Savage's sister Kidada, 30, could be sentenced to life.

The murders include the deaths of two women and four children killed in an October 2004 firebombing of a North Philadelphia rowhouse. The arson, authorities allege, was ordered by Kaboni Savage.


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

http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/04/testimony-ends-in-kaboni-savage-trial.html#more

George Anastasia also provides the government's secret audio tapes of Kaboni Savage in prison.

You can listen to the tapes via the below links:

http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/04/kaboni-savage-tape-1.html

http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/04/savage-tape-no-2-im-gonna-set-him-on.html

http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/04/Savage-Tape-3.html 

http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/04/savage-tape-4.html

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Russia's Bin Laden: Introducing Doku Umarov, The Chechen Terrorist Chief Who May Be Behind The Boston Marathon Bombings


FoxNews.com offers a piece on Doku Umarov (seen in the above U.S. State Department photo), the Chechen terrorist leader who may or may not be behind the Boston Marathon bombings.

Doku Umarov could be one of the most important -- and dangerous -- terrorists Americans have never heard of. 

The Chechen Islamic radical, who leads a group called the Caucasus Emirate, for years has been one of Russia's most-wanted men. He and his organization have claimed responsibility for attacks killing dozens of civilians, including the 2010 Moscow subway bombings. Since 2011, the U.S. State Department has offered $5 million for information on his whereabouts. 

Though nicknamed Russia's bin Laden, his name never had the global resonance of Al Qaeda's founder or its deputies. But in the wake of the Boston Marathon attack, Umarov is receiving worldwide attention. 

Whether he or the Caucasus Emirate are in any way connected to the bombing is not known. Sources told Fox News that investigators are looking into possible ties between Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspect who died in a shootout early Friday in Boston, and the Caucasus Emirate. 

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

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04/23/who-is-doku-umarov/

You can also read the "Rewards for Justice" page on Doku Umarov via the below link:

http://www.rewardsforjustice.net/index.cfm?page=umarov

Takedown: Inside The Hunt For Al Qaeda


Joshua Sinai wrote a good review of Philip Mudd's Takedown: Inside the Hunt for Al Qaeda for the Washington Times.

"Takedown: Inside the Hunt for Al Qaeda"is an insider account by a former high-level official at the CIA and the FBI about how both agencies substantially upgraded their counterterrorism capabilities after the U.S. government's failure to prevent al Qaeda's catastrophic attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

Philip Mudd is ideally positioned to discuss these issues after a distinguished 24-year career at the CIA, where he rose to become deputy head of its Counterterrorism Center, culminating in a four-year detail in 2005 to the FBI as a deputy director of its National Security Branch.

... Mr. Mudd explains that a measure of success in counterterrorism is not merely “who was captured or killed … but whether operations broke plots and destroyed the networks that could sustain long-term training and planning resulting in another strategic strike.” In this sense, Mr. Mudd concludes, “the focus on these operational figures was well founded: virtually no one, in 2001, would have bet that the United States would not have witnessed another 9/11-style event by now. In this most critical sense, the operational focus was successful. Bin Laden took nine-plus years to take down, and al-Zawahri is still out there, but their organization poses nowhere the strategic threat it did a decade ago, and its leadership is decimated beyond recognition.”

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

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/23/book-reviewtakedown/

Blind Eye: Conciliatory FBI Policies Towards Islamism Hampered Probe Into Boston Bombers, Experts Say


Veteran national security reporter Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon offers a piece on how political correctness at the FBI hampered the probe into the Boston Marathon bombers (seen in the above FBI photo).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s failure to recognize political Islam as a driver of jihadist terrorism is partly to blame for the FBI not identifying one of the Boston Marathon bombers in 2011 as a security risk, according to U.S. officials and private counterterrorism analysts.

The FBI revealed last week that it was warned by a foreign government in 2011 that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed Friday, was tied to “radical Islam” but the FBI was unable to confirm the links.

“The fact is religion has been expunged from counterterrorism training,” said Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism specialist with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “The FBI can’t talk about Islam and they can’t talk about jihad.”

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

http://freebeacon.com/blind-eye/

Suspect In Boston Marathon Attack Charged With Using A Weapon Of Mass Destruction


The FBI released the below information yesterday:

WASHINGTON—Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, a U.S. citizen and resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, resulting in the death of three people and injuries to more than 200 people.

In a criminal complaint unsealed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Tsarnaev is specifically charged with one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device, or IED) against persons and property within the United States resulting in death and with one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death. The statutory charges authorize a penalty, upon conviction, of death or imprisonment for life or any term of years. Tsarnaev had his initial court appearance today from his hospital room.

“Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston and for our country,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with each of the bombing victims and brave law enforcement professionals who lost their lives or suffered serious injuries as a result of this week’s senseless violence. Thanks to the valor of state and local police, the dedication of federal law enforcement and intelligence officials, and the vigilance of members of the public, we’ve once again shown that those who target innocent Americans and attempt to terrorize our cities will not escape from justice. We will hold those who are responsible for these heinous acts accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The events of the past week underscore in stark terms the need for continued vigilance against terrorist threats both at home and abroad,” said John Carlin, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “Friday’s arrest and today’s charges demonstrate what can be achieved by a collaborative, ‘round-the-clock response involving law enforcement officers, intelligence professionals, prosecutors, and the general public.”

“Today’s charges are the culmination of extraordinary law enforcement coordination and the tireless efforts of so many, including ordinary citizens who became heroes as they responded to the call for help in the hours and days following the Marathon tragedy,” said Carmen Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. “The impact of these crimes has been far-reaching, affecting a worldwide community that is looking for peace and justice. We hope that this prosecution will bring some small measure of comfort both to the public at large and to the victims and their families that justice will be served. While we will not be able to comment on any possible communications between the suspect and law enforcement at this time, as a general rule, the government will always seek to elicit all the actionable intelligence and information we can from terrorist suspects taken into our custody.”

“The events of this week have moved at a breakneck pace. Yet the one consistent element of this investigation has been the collective efforts of our law enforcement and intelligence partners, working side-by-side, day and night, to identify and find those responsible for this attack, while keeping the public safe,” said Rick DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division. “We are grateful to the American people for their assistance; we would not be successful without their trust and support. We will continue to investigate this matter with the greatest diligence and expediency, and we will do all that we can to protect those we serve.”

“Friday night’s capture of the suspect brought immediate relief to a community from a public safety viewpoint. However, much work remains and many questions require answers. Today’s charges represent another step on the long road toward justice for the victims of these crimes. On behalf of the citizens of this great commonwealth, the Massachusetts State Police will continue to work diligently with our federal and local partners to bring this defendant to justice for his alleged acts and ensure the public’s safety,” said Colonel Timothy P. Alben, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police.

“Finding the alleged perpetrators of this savage act of terrorism four days after the attack on the city of Boston was a herculean effort and shows the true cooperation and dedication of the law enforcement community,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. “We were relentless in our pursuit of the suspects. The arrest of Tsarnaev and today’s charges should send a clear message to those who look to do us harm, the entire law enforcement community will go after you, find you, and bring you to justice.”

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Boston Division, the Boston Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and member agencies of the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is composed of more than 30 federal, state, and local enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Secret Service; the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority; and others. In addition, the Watertown Police Department; the Cambridge Police Department; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Police Department; the Boston Fire Department; the National Guard; and police, fire, and emergency responders from across Massachusetts and New England played critical roles in the investigation and response.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Weinreb and Aloke Chakravarty from the Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The public is reminded that charges contained in an indictment or criminal complaint are merely allegations and that defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Note: You can read the criminal complaint against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev via the below link:

WASHINGTON—Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, a U.S. citizen and resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, resulting in the death of three people and injuries to more than 200 people.

In a criminal complaint unsealed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Tsarnaev is specifically charged with one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device, or IED) against persons and property within the United States resulting in death and with one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death. The statutory charges authorize a penalty, upon conviction, of death or imprisonment for life or any term of years. Tsarnaev had his initial court appearance today from his hospital room.

“Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston and for our country,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with each of the bombing victims and brave law enforcement professionals who lost their lives or suffered serious injuries as a result of this week’s senseless violence. Thanks to the valor of state and local police, the dedication of federal law enforcement and intelligence officials, and the vigilance of members of the public, we’ve once again shown that those who target innocent Americans and attempt to terrorize our cities will not escape from justice. We will hold those who are responsible for these heinous acts accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The events of the past week underscore in stark terms the need for continued vigilance against terrorist threats both at home and abroad,” said John Carlin, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “Friday’s arrest and today’s charges demonstrate what can be achieved by a collaborative, ‘round-the-clock response involving law enforcement officers, intelligence professionals, prosecutors, and the general public.”

“Today’s charges are the culmination of extraordinary law enforcement coordination and the tireless efforts of so many, including ordinary citizens who became heroes as they responded to the call for help in the hours and days following the Marathon tragedy,” said Carmen Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. “The impact of these crimes has been far-reaching, affecting a worldwide community that is looking for peace and justice. We hope that this prosecution will bring some small measure of comfort both to the public at large and to the victims and their families that justice will be served. While we will not be able to comment on any possible communications between the suspect and law enforcement at this time, as a general rule, the government will always seek to elicit all the actionable intelligence and information we can from terrorist suspects taken into our custody.”

“The events of this week have moved at a breakneck pace. Yet the one consistent element of this investigation has been the collective efforts of our law enforcement and intelligence partners, working side-by-side, day and night, to identify and find those responsible for this attack, while keeping the public safe,” said Rick DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division. “We are grateful to the American people for their assistance; we would not be successful without their trust and support. We will continue to investigate this matter with the greatest diligence and expediency, and we will do all that we can to protect those we serve.”

“Friday night’s capture of the suspect brought immediate relief to a community from a public safety viewpoint. However, much work remains and many questions require answers. Today’s charges represent another step on the long road toward justice for the victims of these crimes. On behalf of the citizens of this great commonwealth, the Massachusetts State Police will continue to work diligently with our federal and local partners to bring this defendant to justice for his alleged acts and ensure the public’s safety,” said Colonel Timothy P. Alben, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police.

“Finding the alleged perpetrators of this savage act of terrorism four days after the attack on the city of Boston was a herculean effort and shows the true cooperation and dedication of the law enforcement community,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. “We were relentless in our pursuit of the suspects. The arrest of Tsarnaev and today’s charges should send a clear message to those who look to do us harm, the entire law enforcement community will go after you, find you, and bring you to justice.”

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Boston Division, the Boston Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and member agencies of the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is composed of more than 30 federal, state, and local enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Secret Service; the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority; and others. In addition, the Watertown Police Department; the Cambridge Police Department; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Police Department; the Boston Fire Department; the National Guard; and police, fire, and emergency responders from across Massachusetts and New England played critical roles in the investigation and response.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Weinreb and Aloke Chakravarty from the Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The public is reminded that charges contained in an indictment or criminal complaint are merely allegations and that defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


You can read the criminal complaint against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev via the below link:

http://www.justice.gov/usao/ma/news/2013/April/criminalcomplaint1304211847.pdf

Note: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is shown in the above FBI photo.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Drug Kingpin Kaboni Savage Unlikely To Testify In Philadelphia Murder Case


Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia is covering the drug kingpin Kaboni Savage federal murder racketeering trial in Philadelphia for Bigtrial.net.

They've heard him rant about killing witnesses and their families.

They've listened as he's railed against law enforcement agents who were investigating him.

And they've heard him wax philosophically and darkly -- "No witness, no crime" -- about dealing with the criminal justice system.

But what the jury in the murder-racketeering trial of North Philadelphia drug kingpin Kaboni Savage, 38, apparently won't hear is Savage from the witness stand. Defense attorneys indicated that neither Savage nor any of his three co-defendants are likely to take the stand as the 12-week old trial winds down.


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

http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/04/savage-unlikely-to-testify-in-murder.html#more 

Little Nicky, Crazy Phil & Bent Finger Lou: The Top Ten Philly Mob Nicknames


Philly.com offers a piece on the top ten Philly mob nicknames, which includes Philip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti (shown in the above photo) and Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo (shown in the below photo).

 
You can check out the top ten Philly mob nicknames via the below link:
 
 
You can also read my interview with Philip Leonetti, the former Philadelphia-South Jersey Cosa Nostra organized crime underboss, via the below link:
 
 
Note: The above photos were provided courtesy by Philip Leonetti. 

Project Smooth: Royal Canadian Mounted Police Arrests Two Individuals For Conspiring To Attack Passenger Train And Other Terrorism Related Charges



The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) released the below information today:

Ottawa, April 22, 2013– Today, the RCMP arrested two individuals and charged them with conspiring to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA passenger train. The accused have been charged under sections 248, 235 (1), 83.2, 83.18, 83.21 of the Criminal Code of Canada.  As a result of extensive collaborative efforts, the RCMP was able to disrupt the threat early. While the RCMP believed that these individuals had the capacity and intent to carry out these criminal acts, there was no imminent threat to the general public, rail employees, train passengers or infrastructure.

The two accused, Chiheb ESSEGHAIER and Raed JASER, who live in the Montreal and Toronto area were conspiring to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA passenger train. Charges include conspiring to carry out an attack against, and conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group.

The RCMP investigation named Project SMOOTH, was coordinated by RCMP-led Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams (INSETs) in Montreal and Toronto with the close collaboration of domestic partners and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).  The RCMP would like to thank its INSET partners including the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada Border Services Agency, Toronto Police Service, York Regional Police, Peel Regional Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Durham Regional Police, the Sûreté du Québec and the service de police de la Ville de Montréal. The RCMP is also grateful for the valuable assistance of the FBI, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Transport Canada, VIA Rail and CN Police. These exceptional collaborative efforts directly contributed to making the arrests.

 “Each and every terrorist arrest the RCMP makes sends a message and illustrates our strong resolve to root out terrorist threats and keep Canadians and our allies safe,” stated Assistant Commissioner James Malizia, responsible for Federal Policing Operations. “A meaningful response to these threats begins on Canadian streets and in Canadians homes and the RCMP works with all their partners, including communities across Canada, in the fight against terrorism.”

The public is always encouraged to bring any suspicious activities to the RCMP’s attention through the National Security Information Network (1-800-420-5805) or by contacting the police in their community.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Independence Visitor Center In Philadelphia Reopens After Threat of Suspicious


Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman at the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the security threat at the Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia police, including the bomb squad, have given the all-clear after a few tense moments at the Independence Visitor Center and adjoining garage.

Concerns about the possible existence of a bomb had closed the tourist site shortly after noon. It reopened just before 1:30 p.m.

Lt. Joseph McGarrey said the center was evacuated after a "suspicious person" dressed in camouflage fatigues and driving a vehicle loaded with many "items" - including paper and clothing - was detained for questioning.

He said the center at 6th and Market Streets was searched by police dogs and the bomb squad, and no explosives were found.

The center had been blocked off with police tape along its 6th Street side. It is across Market Street from the Liberty Bell.

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

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130421_Independence_Visitor_Center_closed_to_tourists.html

America's Great Humorist And Author Mark Twain Died On This Day in 1910


Steve King at todayinliterature.com notes that Mark Twain died on this day in 1910 at the age of seventy-four.

Despite an undercurrent of disasters and dark thoughts, Twain swept along through his last years as the Mississippi to the sea: guests to his seventieth birthday banquet took home his foot-high bust, New York City pedestrians and English royalty lined up to meet him, thousands filed past his casket to see him in his last white suit.

The white suits began in 1906 -- a secretary's diary gives us the precise date of being told by "the King" to order five of them -- and they suggest more than a chuckle or another self-promotion. Twain liked to scrub his white hair every morning, and talk about dirt. His "Connecticut Yankee" hopes to bring social reform to King Arthur's England by introducing soap. His "Greeting from the Nineteenth Century to the Twentieth Century," published in the New York Herald at the end of 1900, urged the preach-and-plunder Age to come clean of "her soul full of meanness, her pocket full of boodle and her mouth full of pious hypocrisies. Give her the soap and a towel, but hide the looking-glass."


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

http://www.todayinliterature.com/today.asp?Search_Date=4/21/2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Terrorist Suspects Next Door: Security & Safety Should Trump Political Correctness

 
The Wall Street Journal offers a piece on the brothers Tsarnaev, the terrorist suspects who live next door to us in America.
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Events in Boston were moving so quickly on Friday that it's impossible to draw too many conclusions. But the emergence of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the chief terror suspects who paralyzed a great American city deserves at least some reflection.
*
... The "homegrown" radical threat is really an argument for vigilance, especially within communities prone to producing terrorists.
*
This means surveilling foreign student groups in the U.S., certain immigrant communities that have produced jihadists, and, yes, even mosques and other Muslim venues. The key is to be familiar enough with these communities, to know and be trusted enough by their leaders, so those man and women will alert law enforcers when someone appears to have become radicalized.
*
This offends some civil libertarians, and the Associated Press excoriated the NYPD for the practice in a series of stories in 2011. In the wake of Boston, this looks notably misguided. New York's police say they've kept at it, under appropriate legal safeguards, and we hope they will continue.
*
The U.S. government watches right-wing extremist groups because we know they are dangerous. The police shouldn't refrain from doing the same to Muslim or immigrant groups merely because that is deemed less politically correct. As the week's events in Boston show, the costs of doing otherwise are too high.
*
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
*
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323809304578432952673799328.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Note: The above photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was provided by the FBI.

Bloody Trail, Suprised Boat Owner Find Boston Bomber Number 2


Brian X. McClone at Philly.com offered a piece on how the Boston Marathon Bomber Number 2 was captured.

A bloody trail from the carjacked car. More blood behind a house in Watertown. Then an unsuspecting home owner who finds a young man inside his winterized boat.

Those were the clues that led law enforcement to find Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, huddled inside a boat behind a house on Franklin Street in the suburb of Boston.

"He didn’t go straight to the boat. We found blood in the car he abandoned [earlier in the day]. We found blood inside a house inside the perimenter," Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said at a press conference Friday night. "We thought we got the perimeter solid. ... He was behind the house for a little after."

New video released Friday night after Tsarnaev's arrest, which a resident in Watertown apparently shot from a window, captured sounds of numerous gunshots exchanged allegedly between police and the suspect. More video also showed crowds cheering police for making the arrest and chanting "USA! USA!"

They showed the quick change in atmosphere in and around Boston after the second of two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings Monday afternoon. Jubilation and relief Friday evening replaced anxiety and fear that held the region in check the whole week. 
"It seems like many months since Monday, April 15, since the bombing at the Boston Marathon," FBI Agent-in-Charge Richard DesLauriers said at the press conference. "But it’s been only five days."

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

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/Bloody_trail_surprised_boat_owner_helped_find_Tsarnaev.html

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges 34 members And Associates Of Two Russian-American Organized Crime Enterprises With Operating International Sportsbooks That Laundered More Than $100 Million


The Manhattan U.S. Attorney released the below yesterday:

Twelve Defendants Charged with Racketeering, Others Charged with Crimes Including Money Laundering, Extortion, Fraud, and Operating Illegal Poker Rooms in New York City

One of the Enterprises Allegedly Laundered Tens of Millions of Dollars from Russia and the Ukraine through Cyprus Shell Companies and Bank Accounts into the United States

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, George Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Toni Weirauch, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced today the unsealing of charges against 34 alleged members and associates of two related Russian-American organized crime enterprises, including a Russian “Vor,” for a range of offenses including the operation of at least two international bookmaking organizations – or “sportsbooks” – that catered to multi-millionaires and billionaires in the U.S., Russia, and the Ukraine. One enterprise, the Taiwanchik-Trincher Organization, run by VADIM TRINCHER, is alleged to have laundered tens of millions of dollars from Russia and the Ukraine through Cyprus and into the U.S. The other enterprise, the Nahmad-Trincher Organization, run by ILLYA TRINCHER, the son of VADIM TRINCHER, is alleged to have been financed by, among other entities, a prestigious art gallery in New York City.

In connection with the Indictment unsealed today in the Southern District of New York, 29 defendants have been arrested in New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Los Angeles. The 20 defendants taken into custody today in New York were presented and arraigned in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis, IV this afternoon. The remaining defendants arrested today will be presented in federal court in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Los Angeles this afternoon. An additional defendant, HILLEL NAHMAD, is expected to surrender in Los Angeles later today. The remaining four defendants – DONALD McCALMONT, BRYAN ZURIFF, WILLIAM EDLER, and ALIMZHAN TOKHTAKHOUNOV – are fugitives and are still being sought.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, these criminal enterprises were vast and many-tentacled, with one of them reaching across the Atlantic to launder tens of millions of dollars from Russia to the U.S. via Cyprus and in some cases, back again. International money laundering is a serious offense, and we will do everything within our power to inhibit those who seek to sanitize the proceeds of crime through legitimate investment vehicles in this country from doing so.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said: “Today’s charges demonstrate the scope and reach of Russian organized crime. One of the principal defendants is a notorious Russian ‘thief-in-law’ allegedly directing an international conspiracy through Cyprus to the U.S. The defendants are alleged to have handled untold millions in illegal wagers placed by millionaires and billionaires, laundered millions, and in some cases are themselves multimillionaires. Crime pays only until you are arrested and prosecuted.”

IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Toni Weirauch said: “International money laundering is not a victimless crime. Rather, it is a national and global threat that can provide criminal enterprises with resources to conduct further illegal activity. The laundering of illegal gambling proceeds, in particular, facilitates the underground, untaxed economy which, in turn, harms our nation’s economic strength.”

NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “The subjects in this case ran high-stakes illegal poker games and online gambling, proceeds from which are alleged to have been funneled to organized crime overseas. The one thing they didn't bet on was the New York City police and federal investigators’ attention. I commend the NYPD Organized Crime Investigations Division and their partners in the FBI and U.S. Attorney Bharara's office for identifying and bringing the members of this organization to justice.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court and other court documents:

The Taiwanchik-Trincher Organization

The Taiwanchik-Trincher Organization is a nationwide criminal enterprise with strong ties to Russia and Ukraine. The leadership of the organization ran an international sportsbook that catered primarily to Russian oligarchs living in Russia and Ukraine and throughout the world. The Taiwanchik-Trincher Organization laundered tens of millions of dollars in proceeds from the gambling operation from Russia and the Ukraine through shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus, and from Cyprus into the U.S. Once the money arrived in the U.S, it was either laundered through additional shell companies or invested in seemingly legitimate investments, such as hedge funds or real estate.
The Taiwanchik-Trincher Organization operated under the protection of ALIMZHAN TOKHTAKHOUNOV, who is known as a “Vor,” a term translated as “Thief-in-Law,” that refers to a member of a select group of high-level criminals from the former Soviet Union.

TOKHTAKHOUNOV used his status as a Vor to resolve disputes with clients of the high-stakes illegal gambling operation with implicit and sometimes explicit threats of violence and economic harm. During a single two-month period, TOKHTAKHOUNOV was paid $10 million for his services by the Taiwanchik-Trincher Organization.

 TOKHTAKHOUNOV is also under indictment in the Southern District of New York for his alleged involvement in bribing officials at the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Nahmad-Trincher Organization

The Nahmad-Trincher Organization is a nationwide criminal enterprise with leadership in Los Angeles, California, and New York City. The organization ran a high-stakes illegal gambling business that catered primarily to multi-millionaire and billionaire clients. The organization utilized several online gambling websites that operated illegally in the U.S. Debts owed to the Nahmad-Trincher Organization sometimes reached hundreds of thousands of dollars and even millions. One client, who lost approximately two million dollars to the organization, surrendered his plumbing company to the organization as payment of the debt.

The Nahmad-Trincher Organization was financed by, among others, HILLEL NAHMAD, a/k/a “Helly,” and the art gallery he operates in New York City, the Helly Nahmad Gallery. NAMHAD is also charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud in connection with the sale of a painting worth approximately $250,000.

The organization laundered tens of millions of dollars through various companies and bank accounts. It was assisted in its money laundering by RONALD UY, a branch manager at a bank in New York City. UY advised ILLYA TRINCHER on how to structure financial transactions so as to avoid bank reporting requirements.

Illegal Poker Rooms

The Indictment also charges various defendants with promoting and operating high-stakes illegal poker rooms in and around New York City, including EDWIN TING, MOLLY BLOOM, and EUGENE TRINCHER, who is the son of VADIM and brother of ILLYA. The poker games operated by the defendants resulted in gambling debts as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars.
* * *
A chart containing the ages, residency information, and charges against the defendants, as well as the maximum penalties they face is attached.

Mr. Bharara thanked the FBI, specifically the Eurasian Organized Crime Squad of the New York Office, IRS-CI, and the NYPD for their work in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Harris Fischman, Peter Skinner, and Joshua A. Naftalis of the Organized Crime Unit are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Wilson of the Office’s Asset Forfeiture Unit is responsible for the forfeiture aspects of the case.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Cool Navy Photo: Guided-Missile Destroyer Fires MK 45 5-Inch Gun


PACIFIC OCEAN,April 16, 2013: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) fires its MK 45 5-Inch lightweight gun during a board of inspection and survey (INSURV) rehearsal.

The Curtis Wilbur is part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, in support of regional security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The above U.S. Navy photo was taken by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Gregory A. Harden II.

Note: The photo can be enlarged by clicking on it.

Alaska Military Policeman Sentenced To 16 Years For Attempted Espionage


Seth Robson at the Stars and Stripes newspaper offers a piece on the sentencing of a U.S. soldier for attempted espionage and other charges.

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A military panel sentenced a soldier with Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to a long prison term Monday for trying to sell classified information.

Spc. William Colton Millay, 24, a military policeman with the 164th Military Police Company, communicated with and transmitted national defense information to an undercover FBI agent whom he believed was a foreign intelligence agent, a U.S. Army Alaska statement said.
 
On March 19, he pleaded guilty to attempted espionage, failing to obey regulations, issuing a false official statement, soliciting another to commit espionage and communicating national defense information, the statement said. 
 
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
 
 
Note: The above U.S. Army photo is of Spc. William Colton Millay. 

Al Qaeda Link Probed In Boston Marathon Bombing


Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon offers a piece on the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombers.

Law enforcement and intelligence authorities investigating the Boston terror bombings suspect al Qaeda terrorists were behind the blasts that killed three and injured scores although so far there is no firm evidence.

A U.S. official familiar with briefings on the probe into the blast said investigators remain stymied in determining who was behind the bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday.
So far there has been no claim of responsibility, something that in the past was a characteristic of al Qaeda’s attack methodology. Senior jihadists monitored by Western intelligence agencies on the Internet remained silent in the hours after the bombings, officials said.

Investigators also are checking recent departures from Boston’s Logan airport for clues.
Richard DesLauriers, FBI special agent in charge in Boston, said in an an afternoon press conference that among the items recovered form the bombing were fragments and BB’s “possibly contained in a pressure cooker device.”

The devices were placed in a dark-colored nylon bag or backpack.

“At this time there are no claims of responsibility,” he said. “The range of suspects and motives remains wide open.”

Asked if al Qaeda was behind the attack, a U.S. government spokesman said it was too soon to tell.
However, initial reports indicate the bombs were fashioned from pressure cookers and designed to avoid detection by bomb-sniffing dogs. Investigators believe the devices were delivered in duffle bags and are now searching surveillance video of Boston for clues. An al Qaeda magazine in 2010 directed terrorists to use kitchen materials to make bombs, including pressure cooking bombs, for killing “tens” of people.

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

http://freebeacon.com/al-qaeda-link-probed/

Note: The above FBI photos show the Boston Marathon bomb fragments.  
 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Gritty, Uncensored Look At Life In The Philadelphia Drug Underworld: The Kaboni Savage Drug Kingpin Murder Trial


The Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia is covering the Kaboni Savage federal drug kingpin murder trial in Philadelphia for Bigtrial.net.

It was poetic, but in a dark and frightening way.

Kaboni Savage was trying to explain to an inmate in the cell adjacent to his how he felt about the drug case pending against him and the cooperating witnesses who were lining up to testify for the prosecution.

“Tears of rage,” the violent North Philadelphia drug kingpin said.

“I’m flooded … internally from’em. Almost drown myself every night man. Tears of rage cause these sons-of-bitches gonna pay, man! They gonna pay … They kids gonna pay. They momma gonna pay. I know you get tired of me saying it, man, but that’s the kind of conviction I got for this shit, man. I’m dedicated to their death, man.”

This was in February 2004

Savage was awaiting trial on drug charges that would eventually result in his conviction and a 30-year prison sentence. Dozens of his conversations -- angry, belligerent, vile and vindictive – were secretly recorded by the FBI and played at his 2005 drug trial.

Now they’re being reprised, played for another jury that could determine whether Savage lives or dies. The “tears of rage” tape is one of nearly 300 conversations that have been or will be played for the jury in Savage’s racketeering-murder trial in U.S. District Court. Most came from a listening device hidden in his prison cell. Others came from phone wiretaps.

In its 11th week, the trial of Savage, 38, and three co-defendants has offered the jury a gritty, uncensored look at life in the Philadelphia drug underworld.

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

http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/04/kaboni-savage-tears-of-rage-but-no_16.html#more

George Anastasia also posted a second piece.

Shortly before noon today jurors in the Kaboni Savage racketeering-murder trial once again heard Savage promise to kill and maim "rats" and their family members, anybody, he said, who was associated with witnesses who were cooperating against him.

"That's all I dream about...killing rats," Savage said on one of 10 secretly recorded conversations played by the prosecution. "My dreams are contorted."

On another, he cackled and said, "I want to smack one of their four-year-olds with a baseball bat."

Jurors also heard him rant about how he wanted to tortured and burn a captain in the Federal Detention Center where he was being held and heard him describe how violence could prove to be a valuable asset on the streets.

"You take a certain reputation and run it to the moon," he said.

Minutes after the last tape was played, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Troyer, the lead prosecutor in the case, announced, "The United States of America rests."

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

http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/04/prosecution-rests-in-kaboni-savage-trial.html#more

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Solo: William Boyd On His New James Bond Novel


The James Bond web site MI6 offers a piece on William Boyd, the latest author to write about Ian Fleming's iconic character James Bond.  

MI6 reports from The London Book Fair, where William Boyd, author of the new Bond continuation novel 'Solo', was 'author of the day' and was interviewed by Erica Wagner, Literary Editor of The Times.

... I think what is apparent, as soon as I started thinking about the book was that everybody thinks about Bond in terms of the films, inevitably, because they're so successful. Fleming died in 1964 but the latest Bond film came out just last year. So, Bond in the popular imagination is a celluloid Bond. Because of the nature of the medium and because of the nature of the film franchise, the difference between the cinematic Bond and the literary Bond is marked. I re-read every Bond novel and Bond short story in chronological order before I started writing my own, and Fleming gives you a massive amount of information about Bond: His inner life; his back story; his education; his likes; his dislikes; his phobias; his passions. So, as a character in a novel, there's this incredible richness, whereas in a film - because film is photography - it's very hard to be subjective. So, you see Bond, you see what he gets up to, but I feel that you just don't know him at all. The literary Bond is a far more complex and nuanced creature than even a brilliant actor like Daniel Craig can portray.

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

http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/literary_solo_william_boyd_preview_interview1.php3?t=&s=&id=03484

You can also read the Ian Fleming Publications' press release on the publication of William Boyd's Solo via the below link:

http://www.mi6-hq.com/news/index.php?itemid=10879

1-800-CALL-FBI: The FBI Asks The Public For Information Regarding The Boston Marathon Bombing

The FBI released the below statement yesterday:

A multi-agency response including state and federal law enforcement agencies has been activated and is investigating the cause of the explosions along the Boston Marathon route and elsewhere. The FBI’s Boston Division stands with the Boston Police Department (BPD) and remains on-scene. The FBI is offering its assistance in whatever capacity BPD requires. The situation remains fluid, and it remains too early to establish the cause and motivation.

The FBI has set-up 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), prompt #3, for anyone who has information, visual images, and/or details regarding the explosions along the Boston Marathon route and elsewhere. No piece of information or detail is too small.

My Crime Prevention Column: On IEDs


In light of the horrific bombing in Boston yesterday, I offer a link to one of my old newspaper columns that dealt with IEDs

You can read the column via the below link:

http://home.comcast.net/~pauldavisoncrime/pwpimages/IEDs.jpg

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The FBI Gun Collection: Firearms That Help Solve Crimes


The FBI web site offers a piece on their gun collection and how this collection helps to solve crimes.

If every gun tells a story, the FBI’s reference firearms collection could fill a very, very large book. The inventory of more than 7,000 firearms—curated over 80 years—contains just about every make and model, from John Dillinger’s Prohibition-era revolver to the modern battlefield’s M16 and almost everything in between.

Housed at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, the racks of weapons are not a musty exhibit of museum pieces, though some rare items would certainly qualify. Rather, the ever-expanding collection is a hands-on reference catalog for the Lab’s firearms examiners to study, take apart, reassemble, and test fire to support investigations. By maintaining a working library of virtually every handgun and rifle—along with a database of their unique toolmarks—examiners are able to identify and substantiate for investigators what weapons may have been used in criminal acts.

You can read the rest of the piece, see a collection of photos, and watch a video via the below link:

http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2013/april/fbi-gun-collection-firearms-that-help-solve-crimes