Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Eight Individuals Charged With Conspiring To Act as Illegal Agents of the People’s Republic of China

 The U.S. Justice Department released the below: 

A complaint and arrest warrants were unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging eight defendants with conspiring to act in the United States as illegal agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).  Six defendants also face related charges of conspiring to commit interstate and international stalking.  

The defendants, allegedly acting at the direction and under the control of PRC government officials, conducted surveillance of and engaged in a campaign to harass, stalk, and coerce certain residents of the United States to return to the PRC as part of a global, concerted, and extralegal repatriation effort known as “Operation Fox Hunt.”  

Zhu Yong, Hongru Jin, and Michael McMahon were arrested today and will be arraigned this afternoon via teleconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo.  Rong Jing and Zheng Congying were arrested in the Central District of California, and their initial appearances will take place in that district later today.  Zhu Feng, Hu Ji, and Li Minjun remain at large. 

“With today’s charges, we have turned the PRC’s Operation Fox Hunt on its head — the hunters became the hunted, the pursuers the pursued,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.  “The five defendants the FBI arrested this morning on these charges of illegally doing the bidding of the Chinese government here in the United States now face the prospect of prison.  For those charged in China and others engaged in this type of conduct, our message is clear: stay out.  This behavior is not welcome here.” 

“The Chinese government’s brazen attempts to surveil, threaten, and harass our own citizens and lawful permanent residents, while on American soil, are part of China’s diverse campaign of theft and malign influence in our country and around the world,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.  “The FBI will use all of its tools to investigate and defeat these outrageous actions by the Chinese government, which are an affront to America's ideals of freedom, human rights, and the rule of law.” 

“As alleged, the defendants assisted PRC officials in a scheme to coerce targeted individuals to return to the PRC against their will,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Seth D. DuCharme.  “The United States will not tolerate the conduct of PRC carrying out state-authorized actions on U.S. soil without notice to, and coordination with, the appropriate U.S. authorities.  Nor will we tolerate the unlawful harassment and stalking of U.S. residents to further PRC objectives.”  Acting U.S. Attorney DuCharme also extended his thanks and appreciation to the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office for their work on the case. 

“Today’s announcement of these charges further highlights the FBI’s ongoing and aggressive commitment to investigate China’s efforts to illegally impose its will in the United States”, said Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. of the FBI Newark Field Office.  “This case should serve as a reminder to the People’s Republic of China that when it directs criminal activity within our borders, the FBI and its law enforcement partners will make sure the perpetrators are held accountable.” 

“The worldwide presence and investigative capabilities of the Diplomatic Security Service enables us to work with our law enforcement partners domestically and around the world to bring criminals to justice,” said Keith Byrne, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Diplomatic Security Service. 

According to the complaint, the defendants participated in an international campaign to threaten, harass, surveil and intimidate John Doe-1, a resident of New Jersey, and his family in order to force them to return to the PRC as part of an international effort by the PRC government known within the PRC as “Operation Fox Hunt” and “Operation Skynet.”  

In furtherance of the operation, the PRC government targets Chinese individuals living in foreign countries that the PRC government alleges have committed crimes under PRC law and seeks to repatriate them to the PRC to face charges.  Rather than rely upon proper forms of international law enforcement cooperation, such as Interpol “red notices” and requests for information through appropriate governmental channels, the defendants allegedly engaged in clandestine, unsanctioned, and illegal conduct within the United States and facilitated the travel of PRC government officials (PRC Officials) to U.S. soil in order to further carry out these illegal acts.  Between 2016 and 2019, multiple PRC Officials directed the defendants, and several others, to engage in efforts to coerce the victims to return to the PRC, which included the following: 

Surveillance and Coercion 

In April 2017, defendants Zhu Feng, Hu Ji, Li Minjun, Hongru Jin, Zhu Yong, and Michael McMahon, together with others, including the PRC Officials, allegedly participated in a scheme to bring John Doe-1’s elderly father from the PRC to the United States against the father’s will and to use the surprise arrival of his elderly father to threaten and attempt to coerce John Doe-1’s return to the PRC.  Zhu Feng, Hu Ji, and Zhu Yong worked with Michael McMahon, a private investigator, to gather intelligence about and locate John Doe-1 and his wife in the United States.  PRC Officials coerced the father of John Doe-1 to travel from the PRC to the New York area in the company of Li Minjun, a doctor, who traveled with the elderly father from the PRC to the New York area.  Hongru Jin assisted with logistics of the operation when Zhu Feng, Li Minjun, John Doe-1’s elderly father, and other PRC officials arrived in the U.S. 

As charged in the complaint, during this phase of the scheme, McMahon, whose task was to surveil John Doe-1’s father in order to locate John Doe-1 and his wife, suggested to Zhu Feng that they could “harass [John Doe-1].  Park outside his home and let him know we are there.”  Later, Zhu Feng told McMahon, “[t]hey definitely grant u a nice trip if they can get [John Doe-1] back to China haha.” 

The conspirators also discussed the false statements John Doe-1’s father should make to U.S. immigration authorities about the purpose of his travel to the United States.  The conspirators also made efforts to destroy evidence and delete their electronic communications to avoid detection by U.S. law enforcement. 

Targeting and Harassment of Victims’ Daughter 

Between May 2017 and July 2018, Rong Jing and several co-conspirators allegedly targeted John Doe-1’s adult daughter for surveillance and online harassment.  Specifically, Rong Jing attempted to hire a private investigator to locate John Doe-1’s adult daughter in order to photograph and video record the daughter as part of a campaign to exert pressure on John Doe-1.  Around the same time, an unidentified co-conspirator sent harassing messages over social media to John Doe-1’s daughter and her friends related to the PRC’s interest in repatriating John Doe-1. 

Continued Harassment of Victims 

In September 2018, Zheng Congying and another unidentified co-conspirator allegedly affixed a threatening note to the door of the John Doe-1’s residence stating, “If you are willing to go back to mainland and spend 10 years in prison, your wife and children will be all right.  That’s the end of this matter!”  Between February 2019 and April 2019, other co-conspirators caused unsolicited packages to be sent to John Doe-1’s residence.  These packages contained letters and a video with messages intended to coerce John Doe-1’s return to the PRC by threatening harm to family members still residing in the PRC. 

The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted of the charged conspiracy to act as an agent of the PRC, each of the eight defendants charged today faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.  Defendants Zhu Feng, Hu Ji, Li Minjun, Michael McMahon, Rong Jing, and Zheng Congying also face an additional charge of conspiracy to commit interstate and international stalking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. 

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Craig R. Heeren and J. Matthew Haggans are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorney Scott A. Claffee of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.


Walter Wallace Jr., Who Was Shot By Philadelphia Police, Had A Criminal History, Rapped About Shooting Cops

 Louis Casiano at FoxNews.com offers a piece on the criminal background of Walter Wallace Jr, (seen in the above police mugshot), the man who was shot and killed by Philadelphia Police officers after threatening with a knife. 

The Black man fatally shot by Philadelphia police officers on Monday was an aspiring rapper who sometimes rhymed about shooting people, including police officers, and was awaiting trial for allegedly threatening to shoot a woman, according to media reports. 


Walter Wallace Jr., 27, also rapped about social justice and police injustice on his social media, WPVI-TV reported. 

 

Court records obtained by the news outlet also show Wallace had a criminal history. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to robbery, assault and possessing an instrument of crime, according to documents obtained by Fox News.

Authorities said he kicked down the door of another woman and put a gun to her head.

He was sentenced to 11 months to 23 months in jail. In 2013, he pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and punching an officer in the face. It was not clear if the two officers who shot Wallace knew him, his mental health struggles or his past, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said Tuesday. 

"There are several questions that need to be answered... including what the officers knew when they responded, what was put out by radio and how any previous contact with Mr. Wallace factored into yesterday," she said during a virtual news conference.

Authorities said Wallace was armed with a knife and ignored commands to drop it when he was shot Monday afternoon. The two officers fired at least seven rounds apiece. It was not clear how many times Wallace was hit.

Neither officer had a Taser. 

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

https://www.foxnews.com/us/walter-wallace-philadelphia-police-rap-cops


Looting And Vandalism Continue In Philadelphia Following Police Shooting Man With A Knife

 Fox 29 News in Philadelphia reports on a second of rioting and looting following the police shooting of a man threatening the officers with a knife. 

PHILADELPHIAProtests and looting continued for a second night in Philadelphia following the deadly police-involved shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.

 

The Philadelphia Police Department increased presence across the city Tuesday and several hundred members of the Pennsylvania National Guard are being deployed.

SKYFOX flew over the scene as protesters clashed with police in West Philadelphia, while dozens of people in Port Richmond were seen looting multiple stores, including a Walmart and Foot Locker amid the unrest.

Philadelphia police said a large crowd of around 1,000 people are currently looting in the area of Castor and Aramingo. They advised residents to avoid the area. 

Police are also requesting that all residents in the 12, 16, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26th Districts remain indoors except when necessary. These areas are experiencing widespread demonstrations that have turned violent with looting.

 At least one officer was injured and taken to the hospital during the chaos.

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

https://www.fox29.com/news/hundreds-of-protesters-march-throughout-philadelphia-following-walter-wallace-jr-shooting 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Ralph Cipriano: Amid Riot Over Police Shooting, Philly Hits 400 Murders

 Ralph Cipriano at BigTrial.net. offers a piece on the rioting following the police shooting of a man who threatened the police with the knife, and on Philadelphia reaching 400 murders this year. 

We interrupt the rioting, looting and requisite political pandering over the fatal police shooting yesterday of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27 year-old black man armed with a knife, to make an important announcement -- the city of Philadelphia just hit 400 murders! 

Barry Torrance, a 44-year-old black man, was found shot in the head yesterday by his aunt on the 4800 block of Westminster Avenue in West Philadelphia. Ironically, the crime scene was just four blocks away from where the rioting and looting erupted on 52nd Street over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. 

Torrance, who subsequently died of his wounds, became this year's 400th homicide. By comparison, as of Oct. 12th, New York City, with more than five times the population of Philadelphia, had only 362 murders.  

In Philadelphia, there have been less than a dozen officer-involved shootings this year, but they sure get a lot of attention, especially when, as the case was yesterday, the victim involved is black, and the officers involved are white. Meanwhile, the city has 400 homicides on the books this year, as well as 132 suspicious deaths that may turn out to be homicides.  

A conservative estimate of Philly's homicides this year is that at least 90%, of those victims, are black, as are the victims whose deaths have been classified as suspicious. But apparently when it comes to our current racial politics, those hundreds of black lives don't matter.  

So the demonstrators who marched on the police station at 55th and Pine weren't chanting "Say his name" about Barry Torrence, Official Homicide Victim No. 400. No, instead, they were chanting about Walter Wallace Jr., a career criminal with 18 prior arrests, including domestic abuse and five assaults on cops.  

During yesterday's riots and looting, while they were arresting more than 90 people, some 30 cops were injured. Twenty of those cops were released from hospitals after being treated for injuries caused by flying rocks, bricks and other projectiles. A 56-year-old female police sergeant who was struck by a pickup truck was admitted to a hospital for a broken leg.  

But the emotional wounds inflicted on the cops by the demonstrators, as well as by the city's groveling progressive leaders, may be more lasting. 

Video posted on Twitter showed demonstrators laughing and cursing as they tossed projectiles at Philly cops, who were reduced to running away to escape injury. Because of prior P.C. edicts by our woke mayor and police commissioner, the cops were barred from using tear gas on a couple hundred demonstrators who richly deserved it.  

As one cop said, "We are the laughing stock of the world." 

The police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. took place on the 6100 block of Locust Street, where, shortly before 5 p.m., police were summoned by a report of a man with a weapon. The victim's mother tried to intercede and disarm her son, without success, before police wound up firing a fatal fusillade of 13 shots. 

On video, Wallace, who was brandishing a knife, was told several times by two cops, as well as by bystanders, to drop the weapon. The two cops, who had their guns drawn, kept backing up and away from Wallace. But Wallace chased the two cops out in the street while holding the knife high and pointing it right at the cops. When Wallace kept advancing, the cops opened fire. Wallace wound up dead in a shooting that cops described as "textbook." 

As many black conservatives have noted, there's a history of making black martyrs out of black criminals. Wallace fits the bill, with a rap sheet featuring 18 arrests, including incidents of domestic violence and five assaults on police.  

Another legitimate question to ask the D.A.'s office is why Wallace was out on the street. His most recent arrest was on March 3rd, for terroristic threats. He was released the next day on $10,000 monetary bail, meaning he had to post only $1,000 to get out of jail.  

He had a trial scheduled for April 3rd that wound up being postponed. A trial scheduled for July 10th was also postponed, as was a trial for Aug. 13th. On July 10th the D.A.'s office requested a continuance because a witness was unavailable. A trial was scheduled for Nov. 4th, but an order was granted for a continuance, and the trial was canceled on Oct. 7th.  

Then, there's Wallace's rap sheet. In 2019, Wallace pleaded guilty to giving a false identification to law enforcement officers, but received no further penalty.  

In 2017, Wallace was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months and put on probation for five years after he was found guilty of robbery, simple assault and possession of an instrument of crime.  

In 2016, Wallace was sentenced to three years probation for a negotiated guilty plea to aggravated assault, terrorist threats, and simple assault. In 2014, he was sentenced to a year's probation for resisting arrest. In 2013, he was sentenced to six months in jail and two years probation after he entered into a negotiated guilty plea for assault, contempt for violating a court order, and resisting arrest.  

You get the idea. 

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

https://www.bigtrial.net/2020/10/amid-riot-over-police-shooting-philly.html#more 

Remembering My Badass Brother

 My niece Gina sent me the above photo of her father, my older brother Ed, who recently passed away. 

The photo shows my brother in a fighting stance while serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. I’d had not seen the photo before. 

As I noted to my niece, as she may not have known it, my father, her grandfather, also named Ed, was a professional boxer. He had a good record, but he joked that his nickname was "Canvas Back" Davis (as the ring was made of canvas - get it?) 

He quit the ring and his job as a lineman and joined the Navy during WWII. 

I was a boxer at the South Philly Boys Club when I was a kid in the early 1960s and I became an amateur middleweight boxer in the Navy in the early 1970s. I trained and sparred well into my 20s.  

My brother was an all-round superb athlete, playing basketball, football, baseball and later hockey. Although he never competed in the ring, he could box, and he was one of the toughest young guys in South Philly in the 1960s.

At 6'3, he had quite a reputation then and although he never started a fight, he often had to fight guys that started a fight with him. Twice, I saw him fight five or more guys at once when they jumped him - and he won both times. He knocked out and knocked down several of the guys that jumped him, and the rest backed away. 

Despite his size and ability, he never bragged or acted like a tough guy.   

Carrying on a Davis family tradition, he had a strong sense of justice and he often defended guys being bullied. 

He never bullied anyone, other than me, his younger brother – Ha. 

Like his wife and four daughters, and my family, I dearly miss my older brother. 


30 Officers Injured, Dozens Arrested After Deadly Police Shooting Sparks Unrest Across Philadelphia

 Fox 29 news in Philadelphia reported on the riots in West Philadelphia following the fatal police shooting of a man with a knife. 

PHILADELPHIAA total of 30 Philadelphia police officers were injured Monday night amid citywide unrest that following a deadly police-involved shooting in West Philadelphia.


The tense scenes unfolded outside the 18th Police District near 55th and Pine Streets through the night Monday.

According to police, 30 officers are in stable condition and have been treated at local hospitals after most were struck with rocks and bricks as they faced off with demonstrators.

A female officer remains in the hospital with a broken leg after police say she was struck by a pickup truck.


10 people were taken into custody and are being held at the 18th District Booking Center after authorities say they were involved in an incident near the district. Those in custody will be processed and released pending future charges for rioting and/or assaults on police.


In all, nearly 40 arrests were made in connection with looting and vandalism across the city. Police cars and dumpsters were set on fire as police struggled to contain the crowds. Local businesses were among the stores looted and additional police and fire vehicles were among the property vandalized.

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

https://www.fox29.com/news/30-officers-injured-dozens-of-arrests-made-after-deadly-shooting-sparks-unrest-across-philadelphia 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Babylon Bee: Democrats Ask ACB To Recuse Herself From Any Cases Involving The Constitution

 The Babylon Bee takes a satirical shot at the confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

WASHINGTON D.C.—With Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation looming, Democrats have raised a number of questions about her fitness as a Supreme Court justice and whether she can be impartial. They are now demanding that Barrett recuse herself from any Supreme Court cases that involve the Constitution.

“Judge Barrett seems very biased toward the Constitution,” said Senator Mazie Hirono. “She’s not only read it but seems to have some sort of allegiance to it. She can’t be impartial on any case involving the Constitution as she’ll always side with it.”

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

https://babylonbee.com/news/democrats-ask-acb-to-recuse-herself-from-any-cases-involving-the-constitution 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Mob Rat John Pennisi’s Blog Exposes Bumbling Wiseguys, Infuriates Feds

 Dean Balsamini at the New York Post offers a piece on a former organized crime member turned cooperating witness who produces a blog on the doings of the Lucchese Cosa Nostra crime family.

This mob rat isn’t breaking legs, but he’s busting chops.

Star wiseguy witness John Pennisi, who testified at three major trials last year, has launched a blog that pulls back the curtain on his Lucchese crime family “friends” — and has infuriated his federal handlers, Jerry Capeci writes in a report on Ganglandnews.com.

The 51-year-old Mob turncoat created Sitdownnews.com to give “readers education and insight into ‘the life’ from first-hand knowledge and experience.”

Pennisi is not shy about chronicling the hits — and misses — of made men.

In one entry, “A Mob Handbook,” clueless La Cosa Nostra candidate John (Butch) Arpino allegedly seeks advice from Pennisi on how one wiseguy should let another know that he too is a wiseguy.

When Pennisi repeats the curious inquiry to John (Johnny Sideburns) Cerrella, a then-acting Lucchese captain, the boss shakes his head and says, “It is truly unbelievable, a guy like that got no business [becoming a made man]. What’s it come to? They now gotta hand them a f–king handbook after they straighten them out!”

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

https://nypost.com/2020/10/24/mob-rats-wiseguy-blog-has-feds-all-fired-up/


Saturday, October 24, 2020

A Little Humor: The Difference between Guts And Balls

 Yes, there is a big difference between “guts” and “balls.” 

Guts – Arriving home late, after a night out with the boys, being met by your wife with a broom, and having the guts to ask: “Are you still cleaning, or are you flying somewhere?” 

Balls – Coming home late after a night out with the boys, smelling of perfume and beer, with lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the bottom and having the balls to say: “You’re next, chubby.” 

Although the definitions may differ, there is no difference in the outcome. 

Both will result in sure death. 

Note: The above photo is of actor Hal Smith, who portrayed Otis, the town drunk on The Andy Griffith Show.

Department Of Homeland Security Launches New Center For Countering Human Trafficking

 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released the below information:

WASHINGTON—U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (seen in the above photo) announced Thursday the opening of the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking, the U.S. government’s first-ever integrated law enforcement operations center directly supporting federal criminal investigations, victim assistance efforts, intelligence analysis, and outreach and training activities related to human trafficking and forced labor.

The center, which has been operational since early September, is based in Washington and led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a global leader of criminal investigations into human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The center will be staffed with law enforcement officials from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and across DHS, as well as subject matter experts and support staff from 16 DHS components—all focused on the “4 Ps” of the center’s mission: prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships.

“Human trafficking is modern day slavery. There is no other way to say it,” said Acting Secretary Chad Wolf. “The words are strong because the actions are evil. The forms of exploitation, sex trafficking, forced labor, and domestic servitude that constitute human trafficking are antithetical in every way to the principles of human dignity that Americans hold dear. The launch of this Center for Countering Human Trafficking represents the investment of resources, attention, and time by President Trump to combat and dismantle all forms of human trafficking.”

On Jan. 15, Wolf signed and released the DHS Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation (https://www.dhs.gov/publication/strategy-combat-human-trafficking-importation-goods-produced-forced-labor-and-child) which pledged to bolster DHS efforts to combat human trafficking and forced labor.

“Human Trafficking, whether through sex or labor, is a detriment to our society and threatens the moral conscience of our nation. Criminal organizations target those who are most vulnerable and exploit them through any means necessary, Victims are treated as commodities rather than human beings, with no regard for their health and well-being,” said ICE Senior Official Performing the Duties of Director Tony Pham. “ICE, along with our internal and external partners, will continue to fight against these atrocities and answer victims’ cries for help. The Center for Countering Human Trafficking will serve as evidence that when we work collectively against such heinous acts, we combat the threat they pose to national security and to public safety.” 

ICE’s HSI has long been a global leader in investigating human trafficking and sexual exploitation cases and bringing offenders to justice. The Center will build on the agency’s “victims first” approach, which balances victim identification, rescue and support with prevention, investigation, and prosecution of traffickers. ICE HSI is uniquely positioned to utilize criminal, immigration, and trade-based authorities to proactively identify, disrupt and dismantle cross-border human trafficking organizations.

In fiscal year 2019, ICE initiated 1,024 human trafficking and forced labor related cases which led to 2,197 criminal arrests. These effective actions resulted in nearly 700 convictions and the rescue of more than 400 victims.

Reporting suspected sexual or labor exploitation can help decrease or stop further victimization, as well as lead to the identification and rescue of other possible victims. To report suspicious activity or instances of sexual abuse or exploitation, contact your local law enforcement agency. Tips can be submitted online at https://www.ice.gov/tipline, by phone at 866-DHS-2-ICE or by contacting your local ICE office.

For more information about the Department of Homeland Security’s overall efforts against human trafficking, visit http://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Ralph Cipriano: U.S. Attorney Rips Krasner, Inky, Over Killing By D.A.'s Staffer

Veteran reporter and author Ralph Cipriano (seen in the below photo) at BigTrial.net offers a piece on the scandal at the DA office, which has not received much news coverage here, with the notable exception of Ralph Cipriano’s blog. 

(Which is why Philadelphia Weekly changing editorial direction to a conservative newspaper and offering an alternative voice in the city is so important. On a personal note, my Crime Beat column will appear next week in Philadelphia Weekly).   

Ralph Cipriano’s post offers the U.S. Attorney’s comments on the DA scandal. 

It's day two of the local news media blackout over the latest scandal in the Philly D.A.'s office, involving a gun violence counselor who shot and killed a male prostitute. 

And who's trying to expose the ongoing cover up?  

U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain went on Twitter today to rip D.A. Larry Krasner: 

"Your Philly DA's office: where Krasner hires an employee who allegedly ends up shooting and killing a man. You can't even make this stuff up. The destruction that Krasner has wrought on that office is a tragedy." 

McSwain subsequently went on Twitter again to rip The Philadelphia Inquirer, which, as usual, was sleeping through another news cycle involving possible bad publicity for their favorite progressive D.A.: 

"So where's the @PhillyInquirer article on this? Everybody knows that the Inquirer bends over backwards to protect Krasner, but this is a little too obvious -- even for them." 

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

https://www.bigtrial.net/2020/10/us-attorney-rips-krasner-inky-over-da.html 


'Everything I do Is Criminal': South Jersey Member Of Philadelphia Crime Family Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison for Selling Illegal Drugs

Joseph Servidio, who was caught on a wiretap recording stating, "Everything I do is criminal," was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of New Jersey released the below information: 

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Cape May, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 180 months in prison for distributing approximately 300 grams of crystal methamphetamine and thousands of pills containing heroin and/or fentanyl, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. 

Joseph Servidio, a/k/a “Joey Electric,” 60, of Marmora, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including 50 grams or more of crystal methamphetamine. Judge Kugler imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: 

Law enforcement sources have identified Servidio as a member of La Cosa Nostra (LCN), the Mafia. Servidio distributed pills that contained heroin and/or fentanyl along with conspirator Carl Chianese. The pills they distributed were stamped with markings that made them look similar to prescription opioid pills (Oxycodone or Percocet). Servidio and Chianese were also involved in the distribution of multiple-ounce quantities of crystal methamphetamine. Servidio and Chianese sold the pills and crystal methamphetamine on multiple occasions to an FBI undercover agent in exchange for cash payments. 

In total, Servidio was responsible for the distribution of over 200 grams of fentanyl and heroin and approximately 300 grams of crystal methamphetamine. 

Chianese, 80, was sentenced by Judge Kugler in March 2020 to 10 years in prison and ordered to forfeit the firearm and United States currency, as part of the sentence imposed. Salvatore Piccolo, 68, another member of the Philadelphia LCN who sold crystal methamphetamine to the FBI undercover agent, was sentenced by Judge Kugler in November 2019 to 150 months in prison.  

In addition to the prison term, Judge Kugler sentenced Servidio to five years of supervised release. 

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch, Jr., Newark Field Office, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Askin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Camden Office.

Tom Selleck Looks Back At His Sharpshooting Aussie Western, 'Quigley Down Under'

 I enjoyed watching Tom Selleck in Magnum P, I. years ago, and I enjoy watching him in his current TV series Blue Bloods. 

He’s an understated actor and a good actor, and by all accounts, he’s an intelligent and decent guy. 

I’ve also enjoyed watching Tom Selleck in westerns, such as the TV miniseries The Sacketts and The Shadow Riders, both of which were adapted from Louie L’Amour’s western novels. 

Cowboys & Indians magazine offers a look back at Tom Selleck’s other western, the 1990 film, Quigley Down Under. 

Tom Selleck believes the 30th anniversary of his popular big-screen western Quigley Down Under is worth celebrating — and knew exactly how he wanted to do it. 

“I called a guy who restores antique firearms and had him restore an 1878 Colt revolver,” Selleck says. That gun does not appear in the film, but Selleck thinks it’s the kind Quigley would have chosen. “If he owned a handgun, it would be a state-of-the-art double-action revolver — that’s why I picked it. Plus, I just love the old-time way it looks.” 

Selleck displays the Colt in a case with a brass plaque that reads “I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn’t know how to use it.” 

That line, from the film’s audience-rousing climax, is etched in the memory of western fans who embraced the film in 1990, as well as those who have since discovered it through subsequent cable TV showings. 

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

https://www.cowboysindians.com/2020/10/tom-selleck-quigley

United States Attorney William M. McSwain Announces Preparations To Preserve The Integrity Of The 2020 General Election In The Eastern District Of Pennsylvania

 The U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Pennsylvania released the below: 

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain (seen in the above photo) announced that Assistant United States Attorney Richard P. Barrett will lead the efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the general election on November 3, 2020. AUSA Barrett has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and any other voting rights concerns in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington. 

The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring ballot fraud and discrimination at the polls and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur. The Department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals, and also seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Department for the public to report possible ballot fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open through Election Day. 

Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, impersonating voters, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes, and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their direction. Further, federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice (where voters need assistance because of disability or illiteracy). 

“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being impacted by fraud,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process, but it is imperative that anyone with specific information about voter interference or election fraud report it immediately to my Office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.” 

Voting is the cornerstone of American democracy. The federal government must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice. U.S. Attorney McSwain stated that AUSA Barrett will be on duty in this District while the polls are open in order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights concerns during the voting period that ends on November 3, 2020, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities. AUSA Barrett can be reached by the public at the following telephone numbers: (215) 861-8420 and (215) 861-8200. 

In addition, the FBI will have special agents available in each field office throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on Election Day. The local FBI field office can be reached by the public at (215) 418-4000. 

Finally, complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can also be made directly to the Civil Rights Division in Washington, DC by phone at 800-253-3931 or by complaint form at https://civilrights.justice.gov/.

Please note, however, in the case of a crime of violence, please call 911 immediately and before contacting federal authorities. State and local police have primary jurisdiction over polling places, and almost always have faster reaction capacity in an emergency.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

My Washington Times 'On Crime' Column: Made Men: The Story Of Goodfellas'

 The Washington Times ran my On Crime column about Glenn Kenny's (seen in the bottom photo) Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas. 

Martin Scorsese’s film “Goodfellas” is a violent, dramatic and humorous true story of organized crime, greed and treachery. 

The film is based on Nicholas Pileggi’s true crime book “Wiseguy,” the story of Henry Hill’s sordid and colorful life of crime as an associate of the Lucchese crime family. Mr. Scorsese read the book, and he and Mr. Pileggi wrote the screenplay. Thirty years later, “Goodfellas” is considered a classic and remains popular with viewers. 

Glenn Kenny, a film critic and journalist, offers a look back at the making of the film in “Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas” (Hanover Square Press). 

I reached out to Mr. Kenny and asked him why he wrote the book. 

“It’s a movie to which I have a long and deep personal and professional connection,” Mr. Kenny replied. “As I recount early in the book, I first met Martin Scorsese in 1989 when he was editing the film. I was on an assignment to work on an essay with him, about film preservation. And when I went to his office, he was buried in his work on it and full of enthusiasm. He felt the movie was going to be something special, so I was particularly eager to see it. When I did, a little less than a year later, I knew he was right. And as I watched it become a cultural phenomenon, and re-screened it many times, I knew there was a book in the subject. And to do it for the film’s 30th anniversary seemed exactly right.” 

Mr. Kenny said he believes Mr. Scorsese is one of our greatest living directors. 

“He is one of the few who combines a space-age level of technical expertise with a profound appreciation and understanding of humanity — particularly its darker sides.” 

... “ ‘Goodfellas’ is about disorder, anarchy. It’s about guys on the lower end of the mob hierarchy who do whatever they want whenever they want to, as long as the boss gets his cut, or isn’t looking their way. It’s about the thrill of stealing when you need money. As Henry says at the end of the movie “everything was for the taking.” It’s a movie about living in that world, the highs of it and the ultimate low of it.”

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

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/oct/21/portraying-made-men-and-the-making-of-goodfellas/ 



Wednesday, October 21, 2020

My Threatcon Column: The Cop Is A Spy: NYPD Officer Charged With Being A Communist Chinese Illegal Agent

 Counterterrorism magazine's website posted my Threatcon Column today. 

You can read the column below or via the below link: 

 https://www.iacsp.com/threatcon.php?nid=281292&mnid=2 

The Cop is a Spy: NYPD Officer Charged With Being a Communist Chinese Illegal Agent

By Paul Davis

By all accounts, Baimadajie Angwang (seen in the above NYPD photo) was a dedicated public servant. The 33-year-old ethnic Tibetan and U.S. naturalized citizen not only served as a New York City police officer, he also served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was also, the U.S. Justice Department claims, a spy for Communist China.

On September 21st, the Justice Department announced that Angwang was charged with reporting to officials of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) the activities of Chinese citizens and served as a talent spotter for Chinese intelligence among the Tibetan community. He was also charged with wire fraud, making false statements, and obstructing an official proceeding. Angwang held a “SECRET”-level security clearance with the U.S. Army.

“State and local officials should be aware that they are not immune to the threat of Chinese espionage,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers at the press conference. “According to the allegations, the Chinese government recruited and directed a U.S. citizen and member of our nation’s largest law enforcement department to further its intelligence gathering and repression of Chinese abroad. Our police departments provide for our public safety andare oftenthe first line of defense against the national security threats our country faces. We will continue to work with our state and local partners to protect our nation’s great police departments.”

According to the Justice Department, Angwang worked in the NYPD’s community affairs unit where he served as a liaison to the community in the 111th Precinct. Under the control and direction of the PRC Consulate in New York City, going back perhaps as far as 2014, Angwang reported on Chinese citizens in the New York area, spotted and assessed potential intelligence sources within the Tibetan community in New York and elsewhere, and provided PRC officials with access to senior NYPD officials through invitations to official events.

According to Court evidence, most probably obtained via an FBI wiretap, Angwang told his PRC handler that he wanted to get promoted within the NYPD so he could assist the PRC and bring “glory to China.”Angwang also told his handler that superiors in Beijing “should be happy . . . because you have stretched your reach into the police.”

In 2019, Angwang completed and electronically submitted an SF-86C form for an U.S. Army background investigation. On the form, Angwang lied by denying that he had contacts with a foreign government or its consulate and by denying that he had close and continuing contacts with foreign nationals, including his family members who live in the PRC, some of whom were affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army.

“The defendant allegedly violated the trust of his community and the New York City Police Department on behalf of a foreign power, the People’s Republic of China. This type of conduct simply cannot be tolerated,”said Alan E. Kohler, Jr., Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. “This case serves as yet another reminder that China represents the biggest counterintelligence threat to the United States and that the FBI and our partners will be aggressive in investigating and stopping such activities within our nation.”

William F. Sweeny, the FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office, called the Angwang case a “the definition of an insider threat.” He said Angwang operated on behalf of a foreign government; lied to gain his clearance and used his position as an NYPD police officer to aid the Chinese government's subversive and illegal attempts to recruit intelligence sources.

“As alleged in this federal complaint, Baimadajie Angwang violated every oath he took in this country. One to the United States, another to the U.S. Army, and a third to this Police Department,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said.“From the earliest stages of this investigation, the NYPD’s Intelligence and Internal Affairs bureaus worked closely with the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division to make sure this individual would be brought to justice.”

If convicted, Angwang faces a maximum sentence of 55 years in prison.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, speaking at the Justice Department’s China Initiative Conference this past February at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., stated that one long-term threat to America’s information, intellectual property and economic vitality was espionage from China.

“China is using a wide range of methods and techniques — everything from cyber intrusions to corrupting trusted insiders. They’ve even engaged in physical theft,” Mr. Wray stated. “And they’ve pioneered an expansive approach to stealing innovation through a wide range of actors — including not just Chinese intelligence services but state-owned enterprises, ostensibly private companies, certain kinds of graduate students and researchers, and a variety of other actors all working on their behalf.”

Including, it appears, a New York cop.

Paul Davis’ Threatcon column covers crime, espionage, terrorism and other national security threats.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

DEA announces Launch Of Project Safeguard

 The DEA released the below information:

 WASHINGTON – Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea (seen in the above photo) today announced that the DEA will direct resources to help reduce violent crime in communities throughout the country.  Under this initiative, called Project Safeguard, DEA will identify and prioritize ongoing drug trafficking investigations with a nexus to violent crime.

“Drug trafficking and violent crime are inextricably linked,” said Acting Administrator Shea.  “From the extreme levels of violence in Mexican cartels, to the open air drug markets in American cities, drug traffickers employ violence, fear, and intimidation to ply their trade.  Neighborhoods across our country are terrorized by violent drug trafficking organizations that have little regard for human life, and profit from the pain and suffering of our people.  Along with our law enforcement partners, DEA is committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our communities.”

Working in collaboration with our federal, state, and local partners, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service, DEA’s Project Safeguard will comprise three focus areas to address the growing violent crime threat in many cities across the United States:

  • Disrupting, dismantling, and destroying the most significant violent drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States;
  • Increasing collaboration with ATF to ensure effective federal prosecution of firearms traffickers associated with drug trafficking organizations; and
  • Prioritizing the capture of DEA fugitives who employ violence as part of drug trafficking.

The traffickers that flood our communities with deadly drugs, including opioids, heroin, fentanyl, meth and cocaine, are often the same criminals responsible for the high rates of assault, murder, and gang activity in our cities.  These criminals employ fear, violence, and intimidation to traffic drugs, and in doing so, exacerbate a drug crisis that claims more than 70,000 American lives every year.  DEA is committed to treating these crimes as homicides, where appropriate.

In recent months, violent crime has spiked in numerous cities and regions around the country, from major cities like Detroit, which has seen a 19 percent increase in homicides this year, to smaller towns like South Bend, Indiana, which has witnessed an increase of 36 percent increase in violent crime.  Drug trafficking is responsible, in part, for this violence in America’s cities and towns. 

Since it began in August 2020, Project Safeguard has resulted in more than 700 investigations, over 1,500 arrests – including nearly 40 DEA fugitives, more than 2,130 seized firearms, nearly $24 million in seized assets, and more than 6,100 kilograms of illicit drugs.

Today’s announcement was made at a press conference in Boston marking the successful conclusion of DEA New England Field Division’s Operation Under the Radar, a months-long investigation targeting street-level cocaine and fentanyl distributors with close ties to Mexico who had previously evaded prosecution.  This operation resulted in approximately 14 arrest warrants and eight search warrants spanning as far north as Lawrence, Mass., and as far south as Providence, R.I.