Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Jar: The Case Of An Alfred Hitchcock Hour Episode Mistaken For The Twilight Zone

I have always enjoyed TV anthology shows, which offer new stories and characters each week. 

I love short stories and anthology programs are perfect for adapting well-written and interesting short stories.   

Joseph Wambaugh, the former LAPD sergeant and best-selling author of police novels whose own anthology program, Police Story, ran successfully for several years on TV, once told me that most TV viewers prefer regular, recognizable characters in TV series. 

True, but TV has offered some classic anthology TV programs.        

Back in the late 1950 and early 1960s, when I was a kid and aspiring crime writer, I was a huge fan of two TV anthology series in particular. 

Both TV series featured an interesting and notable host and narrator and a catchy theme song. 

Alfred Hitchcock Presents offered the famed film director (seen in the above photo) as host and narrator. Hitchcock’s balding head, rotund figure, and British accent was unforgettable, as were his amusing and often clever introductions to stories of crime and mayhem. 

I later also became a hug fan of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone. Serling (seen in the above photo), a famed TV writer, was also a memorable host and narrator with his rich voice and serious demeanor.

Serling mostly presented tales of horror, fantasy and science fiction, but he also offered a good share of crime stories. 

Both classic TV shows can be watched today on MeTV at MeTV – America's #1 Classic Television Network

Both anthology series have developed a new generation of fans. 

Debopriyaa Dutta at offers an interesting piece on an episode based on a Ray Bradbury short story that appeared on Alfred Hitchcock’s program, but was so eerie that many people still believe the episode appeared on The Twilight Zone:    

As memorable as title cards for television shows go, the opening of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" stuck with people for many reasons. Charles Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" blaring the background, director Alfred Hitchcock himself would dole out introductions, right after his silhouette briefly appeared on the screen. As the show was structured as an anthology of macabre stories directed by a bunch of established and emerging talents, Hitchcock would offer a teaser right before every episode, touching upon the kind of horrors that were going to play out on the small screen. "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" premiered on CBS in the year 1955 — a time when television had not achieved the boom it would in the later years — but the show endured, thanks to Hitchcock's gravitas and the quality of the half-hour tales that were presented.

In 1959, writer Rod Serling sowed the seeds for his anthology series, "The Twilight Zone," which expanded upon the vignettes of horror by incorporating stories tinted with absurdism, suspense, black comedy, and dystopian narratives. While Serling and Hitchcock's shows were intrinsically different in tone and treatment, it was fairly easy to mistake one show's episode for the other, as both had undergone the anthology treatment and told stories of dynamic variety. Hitchcock's series obviously predated Serling's, and helmed ideas that served as inspiration for countless creatives down the line — however, the overlap of the two shows lies in their explosive popularity, and how they both carved a niche in the genre in a way that is solid and timeless.

Keeping this in mind, it is not surprising that one of the episodes from "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" — a continuation of Hitchcock's parent anthology series, that ran from 1962 to 1965 — was mistaken for a "Twilight Zone" episode. How and why did this mix-up happen?

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

The Case Of An Alfred Hitchcock Hour Episode Mistaken For The Twilight Zone (

You also watch The Jar episode via the below link:

The JAR (Alfred Hitchcock Hour) - video Dailymotion 

Friday, September 29, 2023

The Boeing Company to Pay $8.1 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations

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

The Boeing Company, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, has agreed to pay $8,100,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims and making false statements in connection with contracts with the U.S. Navy to manufacture the V-22 Osprey, a tiltrotor military aircraft. 

The settlement announced today resolves allegations that from approximately 2007 through 2018, Boeing failed to comply with certain contractual manufacturing specifications in fabricating composite components for the V-22 at its facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. Specifically, the government contends that Boeing failed to perform required monthly testing on autoclaves used in the composite cure process and was not in compliance with additional requirements related to the testing.  

“The government expects contractors to adhere to contractual obligations to which they have agreed and for which they have been paid,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Today’s settlement demonstrates our commitment to hold accountable contractors who violate such obligations and undermine the integrity of the government’s procurement process.”

“All government contractors have a responsibility to follow the obligations and protocols set forth by their contracts,” said U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. “This office is committed to accountability and protection from false claims as shown in cases such as this.”

“Maintaining the integrity of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain is a top priority for the DoD Office of Inspector General’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS),” said Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty of the DCIS Northeast Field Office. “The DoD expects its contractors to adhere to contract specifications and provide quality products to the U.S. military. We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to investigate allegations of contractors circumventing required testing protocols and submitting false claims during the DoD procurement process.”

“The integrity of the military procurement process, and ultimately warfighter safety and our national security, demand that our contractors comply strictly with manufacturing requirements, including protocols for equipment testing,” said Special Agent in Charge Greg Gross of the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Economic Crimes Field Office. “NCIS and our partners remain committed to rooting out any noncompliance with manufacturing specifications that threatens warfighter readiness.”

The civil settlement includes the resolution of claims brought under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by former employees of Boeing who worked in composites fabrication and autoclave operations with the V-22 program. Under the qui tam provisions, a private party can file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery. The qui tam case is captioned U.S. ex rel. Roath et al. v. The Boeing Company, No. 16-cv-6547 (E.D. Pa.). The Relators will receive $1,539,000 in connection with the settlement.

The resolution obtained in this matter was the result of a coordinated effort between the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, with assistance from the DCIS, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, as well as subject matter experts from the Defense Contract Management Agency and the Naval Air Systems Command.

This matter was handled by Trial Attorney Amy Likoff of the Civil Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joel Sweet and David Degnan for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability. 

Note: For many years, I performed security work as a civilian Defense Department employee for the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) in Philadelphia.

DCMA oversaw the Boeing V-22 program, and I was a frequent visitor at Boeing’s Ridley Park, Pennsylvania facility outside of Philadelphia. 

A Little Humor: Mark Twain On The U.S. Congress


Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Emerging Threat of “Tranq,” The Zombie, Flesh-Eating Drug

 Broad + Liberty published my piece on “trang,” the newest deadly drug to hit the streets of Philadelphia and around the country. 

You can read the piece via the below link or the below text:

The emerging threat of "tranq" (

As I’ve noted here before, I have a friend who is a retired Philadelphia detective who worked the streets of Kensington before turning in his badge a few years ago.

The former detective took me on a couple of macabre evening tours of Kensington’s open-air drug market and the open-air drug user’s street lounge in past years. I recall seeing the stooped, staggering, and squatting drug addicts inhabiting the sidewalk amidst trash and garbage.

It looked to me like a scene from “The Walking Dead.”

While smoking a cigar recently with the former detective, I mentioned that, having earlier walked past Broad and McKean Streets in South Philadelphia, I was reminded of the drug scene in Kensington. Like Kensington, Broad Street sports a small army of Walking Dead drug addicts.

My friend shook his head sadly and said that if one thought things could not get worse in Kensington and other parts of the city, think again.

My detective friend spoke of “tranq,” also called the “zombie drug,” which is the most recent harmful drug appearing regularly on the streets of Philadelphia. He said that tranq, an animal tranquilizer, causes flesh-eating sores as well as respiratory depression.

He also alerted me to a federal update on xylazine, known on the street as “tranq.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a joint update on xylazine on Sept. 22.

According to the DEA and DHS, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) designated fentanyl adulterated or associated with xylazine as an emerging threat to the United States.

Xylazine is a powerful non-opiate sedative, analgesic, and muscle relaxant that has only been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for veterinary use. However, xylazine has been increasingly identified as a cutting agent/adulterant in the illicit drug supply, often mixed with fentanyl, which increases the risk of fatal drug poisoning.

“DEA and DHS have identified xylazine intended for illicit human use entering the U.S. in several ways: in solid form from China and other countries, in liquid form either diverted from veterinary supply chains or packaged to resemble a veterinary drug, and, to a lesser degree, mixed with fentanyl seized at the southwest border,” the joint update stated.

The Feds also stated that xylazine has also been detected in a growing number of overdose deaths. It is commonly encountered in combination with fentanyl but has also been detected in mixtures containing cocaine, heroin, and a variety of other drugs. Xylazine is most frequently reported in combinations with two or more substances present.

“Limited scientific research has been conducted on the effects of xylazine on the human body, but anecdotal reports indicate that users experience effects similar to opioids. Xylazine can lead to depression of the central nervous system along with other adverse effects, as reported in scientific and medical journals. The presence of xylazine in illicit drug combinations and its detection in fatal overdoses may be more widespread than reported, as a number of jurisdictions across the country may not include xylazine in forensic laboratory or toxicology testing.”

The Feds first took notice of xylazine as an adulterant in Puerto Rico in the early 2000s through DEA reporting and laboratory analysis. Around a decade later, it was documented on the island as a drug of abuse on its own, which has continued to present. In licit sales for veterinary use, xylazine is available in liquid form and sold in vials or preloaded syringes. These solutions are prepared at a concentration appropriate for administration by injection based on the general size and weight of the species. It is legitimately sold directly through pharmaceutical distributors and internet sites catering to veterinarians.

“However, xylazine is also readily available for purchase on other internet sites in liquid and powder form, often with no association to the veterinary profession or requirements to prove legitimate need. A kilogram of xylazine powder can be purchased online from Chinese suppliers with common prices ranging from $6 to $20 U.S. dollars per kilogram,” the Feds stated. “At this low price, its use as an adulterant may increase the profit for illicit drug traffickers, as its psychoactive effects allow them to reduce the amount of fentanyl or heroin used in a mixture. It may also attract customers looking for a longer high since xylazine is described as having many of the same effects for users as opioids but with a longer-lasting effect than fentanyl alone. Some users intentionally seek out heroin or fentanyl mixed with xylazine, while many are completely unaware it is included as an adulterant.”

Back in April, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health released a statement regarding xylazine.

“Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, has announced officially designating fentanyl adulterated or associated with xylazine as an emerging threat to the United States,” the Health Department said. “Over the coming months, the ONDCP is convening an interagency working group to inform the development of the national response plan. The response will include work on xylazine testing, treatment, supportive care protocols, comprehensive data systems (including information on drug sourcing and supply), strategies to reduce the illicit supply of xylazine, and rapid research (such as work on the interactions between xylazine and fentanyl).”

In response to the White House announcement, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said, “We welcome the prospect of federal resources being brought to a problem causing deep harm to Philadelphians and look forward to working with federal agencies as the response plan rolls out.”

According to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, xylazine has hit Philadelphia particularly hard, causing increased overdose deaths as well as severe wounds that can lead to sepsis and amputation.

“As a result, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health has been working closely with partners across the city to address this new aspect of the drug overdose epidemic. The Health Department has worked with local hospital systems and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services to develop practice-based standards for managing xylazine withdrawal to help prevent people with xylazine dependence from leaving treatment early due to uncontrolled symptoms.

“In collaboration with the Health Federation of Philadelphia and local experts, we are working to support wound care and to develop best practices for xylazine-associated skin wounds. The department has updated our overdose response trainings to incorporate the risk of fatal overdose associated with xylazine use and is developing communications for people who use drugs to increase awareness of xylazine. We are continuing to monitor the drug supply with surveillance drug checking and are planning to distribute xylazine test strips once we have them available. We are grateful to have a federal partnership on this work and look forward to the advances that a national focus on preventing further harm from xylazine can bring.”

As my friend the former detective noted, just when you thought the drug problem could not get worse, Philadelphia and the rest of the county are introduced to tranq, the flesh-eating zombie drug.

Paul Davis, a Philadelphia writer and frequent contributor to Broad + Liberty, also contributes to Counterterrorism magazine and writes the “On Crime” column for the Washington Times. He can be reached at

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Discussing Gun Control, Charges Against Police Officer Dial Being Dropped, And Last Night's Looters on Dawn Stensland's Talk Radio Program

I appeared today on Dawn Stensland’s WPHT Talk Radio program in Philadelphia. 

I was invited on the popular talk show to discuss Mayor Kenney going to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to fight the state’s Firearms Preemption Laws, which prohibits municipalities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh from making draconian gun control laws, which I covered in a Broad + Liberty piece. 

We also discussed the charges against Police Officer Mark Dial being dismissed, and the looters from last night.

You can listen to the radio program (10:02) via the below link:

Talk Radio 1210 WPHT - The NEW Talk Radio 1210, WPHT. - LISTEN LIVE | Audacy 

You can also read my Broad + Liberty piece via the below link:

Paul Davis On Crime: A Most Violent Weekend — And The Firearms Preemption Laws 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Judge Dismisses All Charges Against Philadelphia Police Officer Mark Dial After Fatal Shooting

Channel 6 ABC TV News reports that a judge dismissed all charges against Philadelphia Police Officer Mark Dial (seen in the above photo in the center). 

PHILADEPHIA (WPVI) - A judge dismissed all charges, including a murder count, against a Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed a driver who had a knife, agreeing with defense lawyers who said the officer could have feared for his life. 

The municipal judge ruled after a courtroom packed with police and relatives of Eddie Irizarry watched about 20 minutes of harrowing video of the brief traffic stop in the Kensington section of the city that led to the death of 27-year-old.

The defense argued that Officer Mark Dial acted in self-defense when he fired his weapon at close range through the rolled-up driver's side window of Irizarry's sedan on Aug. 14.

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

 Judge dismisses all charges against Philadelphia police officer Mark Dial after fatal shooting of Eddie Irizarry - 6abc Philadelphia 

Note: The mayor put out a message that his thoughts are with the Irzarry's family as they attempt to seek justice, meaning that he and the DA have already concluded that officer is guilty.

This is why cops are retiring and quitting the PD.

Irzarry was driving erratically and turned the wrong way down a one-way street, which is why he was approached. And he had a knife by his side when approached by P/O Dial.

There is more to the story than a quick video clip. 

The mayor and the DA should go out on ride-alongs down the city’s mean streets with cops, as I have many times over the years I've been covering the crime beat.

And further they should be made to approach the car window of a drunk, high or mentally ill gun or knife-totting person. They might develop a different point-of-view.    

The DA is recharging Dial, so we all should reserve judgement until the DA’s recharging and a court finally decides Dial's fate. 

A Little Humor: Mark Twain On American Criminal Class


Monday, September 25, 2023

Bond. Rodney Bond: According To New Bio Of James Bond Author Ian Fleming, 007 Almost Had A Different First Name

“Bond. James Bond,” is the iconic introduction that the late, great Scot actor Sean Connery, appearing as James Bond in Dr. No, gave to a woman (and the world) at a gambling table in the opening scenes of the first James Bond film in 1963. 

The New York Post reports that Ian Fleming’s iconic character may have had a different first name. 

007’s iconic name was almost completely different, a new book claims.

According to “Ian Fleming: The Complete Man,” MI6 superspy James Bond was nearly called Rodney. 

That surprising revelation, first reported by the Times of London, was discovered in author Ian Fleming’s old papers that the book’s writer Nicholas Shakespeare was given access to.

Rodney Bond, it turns out, was a real person who saved the life of Fleming’s brother Peter in 1941. 

Peter, a lieutenant colonel in the British Army who died in 1971, was on a training mission in Greece during World War II. 

When Germany invaded Athens, Peter attempted to escape with his friends Nancy and Harold Caccia and 70 people from the British Embassy, but he was badly injured by an explosion. 

The Caccias’ daughter Clarissa, who was fleeing with them, recalled, “Peter and Dad from there sent a Morse message to Crete to see if anyone was prepared to come back into enemy-occupied territory and get us.” 

The message was received by a Secret Intelligence Service officer — Lt. Rodney Clarence Mortimer Bond. 

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

 James Bond almost had a wildly different first name ( 

You can also read my Crime Beat column on Ian Fleming via the below link:

Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Beat Column: A Look Back At Ian Fleming's Iconic James Bond Character

"Bond. Rodney Bond" doesn't quite have the same ring as "Bond. James Bond." 

Thankfully, Ian Fleming had an interest in the birds near Goldeneye, his famous Jamaican villa. 

So the late, great thriller writer went with the name of the author of Birds of the West Indies, James Bond. 

Note: You can watch a video of the classic Bond introduction via the below link:    

Bing Videos 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Mayor Jim Kenney Appoints John M. Stanford, Jr. As Interim Police Commissioner For The Philadelphia Police Department & Frank Vanore As Interim 1st Deputy Commissioner

The Office of the Philadelphia Mayor released the below on September 22, 2023.

PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney appointed John M. Stanford, Jr. as interim Police Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, following the departure of Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw.

Interim Police Commissioner John M. Stanford, Jr. (seen in the above photo) is a lifelong resident of Philadelphia and has over twenty-two years of law enforcement experience. He joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 2002.

Interim Police Commissioner Stanford previously served as the 1st Deputy Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, a role that serves as the second-in-command and executor to the Philadelphia Police Commissioner. Prior to his appointment to 1st Deputy Commissioner, Stanford served as an Inspector and Commanding Officer of the Internal Affairs Division overseeing Investigative Support Services (ISS) and the Force Investigation Team (FIT)/Shooting Investigation Team. He previously served as the Commanding Officer of the 19th Police District, Commanding Officer of the Public Affairs & Social Media Unit, and held assignments in the 12th District, 18th District, 22nd District, and South Detective Division.

Interim Commissioner John M. Stanford, Jr. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a minor in Business from the Pennsylvania State University and holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development and Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University. He is a graduate of Northwestern University for Public Safety, School of Police Staff and Command, the prestigious FBI National Academy, and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP).

Interim 1st Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore (seen in the above photo) joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 1990. He previously served as the Department’s Deputy Commissioner of Investigations, overseeing the investigative units and functions of the Philadelphia Police Department. Prior to his assignment to Deputy Commissioner of Investigations, Interim 1st Deputy Commissioner Vanore was the Chief Inspector of the Detective Bureau, Chief Inspector of Regional Operations Command-South, Inspector of Training and Education Services Division, Staff Inspector of Standards and Accountability, Commanding Officer of the 25th Police District, and Commanding Officer of Public Affairs. He also held assignments in the 25th District, Narcotics, South Detective Division, Homicide, East Detectives, the 1st Police District, and City Wide Vice.

Interim 1st Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from Eastern University and a Master of Science in Public Safety Management from Saint Joseph’s University. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute (SMIP).

Mayor Kenney issued the following statement:

“I am proud to appoint 1st Deputy Commissioner John Stanford to the role of Interim Police Commissioner. Commissioner Stanford has dedicated his entire career to promoting public safety and protecting Philadelphia residents, and has been an excellent and effective leader in the Department. I am immensely grateful for his commitment to serving our city and I am confident that his dedication, experience, and skill will benefit the Department and our city.”

Interim Police Commissioner John M. Stanford, Jr. issued the following statement:

“It is both an honor and a blessing to have been chosen to serve as the Interim Police Commissioner. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to lead the dedicated women and men of this Department, and to represent both them and this great city. I am fully aware of the tremendous responsibility that comes with this position, and I am committed to serving the people of Philadelphia and the members of our department with dedication and fairness. Therefore, it is crucial for us to remain mindful of the needs of our community members as well as the needs of our officers.

Philadelphia confronts complex challenges in the realm of public safety. While we have made significant progress, we must continue to work diligently to transform our city into a place where everyone not only can be safe – but also feels safe.”

I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to collaborate with our command staff, community members, city leaders, and all stakeholders in our shared mission to make Philadelphia a place where everyone can confidently live, work, and visit, knowing that their safety and well-being remains our number one priority.”

Interim 1st Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore issued the following statement:

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Interim 1st Deputy Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department. It is an honor to work alongside the brave men and women of this department, who demonstrate unwavering commitment to public safety and community service. Together, we will address challenges, build trust, and ensure that Philadelphia remains a safe and supportive place for all.”

Saturday, September 23, 2023

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, His Wife, And Three New Jersey Businessmen Charged With Bribery Offenses

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

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James Smith, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that an Indictment was unsealed this morning charging U.S. Senator ROBERT MENENDEZ, his wife NADINE MENENDEZ, a/k/a “Nadine Arslanian,” and three New Jersey businessmen, WAEL HANA, a/k/a “Will Hana,” JOSE URIBE, and FRED DAIBES, with participating in a years-long bribery scheme.  The Indictment alleges that MENENDEZ and his wife, NADINE MENENDEZ, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes from HANA, URIBE, and DAIBES in exchange for MENENDEZ’s agreement to use his official position to protect and enrich them and to benefit the Government of Egypt.  Among other things, MENENDEZ agreed and sought to pressure a senior official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in an effort to protect a business monopoly granted to HANA by Egypt, disrupt a criminal case undertaken by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office related to associates of URIBE, and disrupt a federal criminal prosecution brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey against DAIBES.  MENENDEZ, NADINE MENENDEZ, HANA, URIBE, and DAIBES are expected to appear in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at 10:30 a.m.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein. 

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As the grand jury charged, between 2018 and 2022, Senator Menendez and his wife engaged in a corrupt relationship with Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes – three New Jersey businessmen who collectively paid hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes, including cash, gold, a Mercedes Benz, and other things of value – in exchange for Senator Menendez agreeing to use his power and influence to protect and enrich those businessmen and to benefit the Government of Egypt.  My Office is firmly committed to rooting out corruption, without fear or favor, and without any regard to partisan politics.  We will continue to do so.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said: “The FBI has made investigating public corruption a top priority since our founding — nothing has changed.  The alleged conduct in this conspiracy damages the public’s faith in our system of government and brings undue scorn to the honest and dedicated public servants who carry out their duties on a daily basis.  To those inclined to use the status of their public office for personal benefit, or those willing to provide bribes in an attempt to gain influence from a public official, the FBI will ensure that you face the consequences in the criminal justice system for your underhanded dealings.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:[1]

ROBERT MENENDEZ is the senior U.S. Senator from New Jersey and currently the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (“SFRC”).  NADINE MENENDEZ began dating MENENDEZ in February 2018, they became engaged in October 2019, and they married in October 2020.  Shortly after they began dating in 2018, NADINE MENENDEZ introduced MENENDEZ to her long-time friend WAEL HANA, who is originally from Egypt, lived in New Jersey, and maintained close connections with Egyptian officials.  HANA was also business associates with FRED DAIBES, a New Jersey real estate developer and long-time donor to MENENDEZ, and JOSE URIBE, who worked in the New Jersey insurance and trucking business.

Between 2018 and 2022, MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ agreed to and did accept hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of bribes from HANA, DAIBES, and URIBE.  These bribes included gold, cash, a luxury convertible, payments toward NADINE MENENDEZ’s home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job for NADINE MENENDEZ, home furnishings, and other things of value.  In June 2022, the FBI executed a search warrant at the New Jersey home of MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ.  During that search, the FBI found many of the fruits of this bribery scheme, including cash, gold, the luxury convertible, and home furnishings.  Over $480,000 in cash — much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe — was discovered in the home, as well as over $70,000 in cash in NADINE MENENDEZ’s safe deposit box, which was also searched pursuant to a separate search warrant.  Some of the envelopes contained the fingerprints and/or DNA of DAIBES or his driver.  Other of the envelopes were found inside jackets bearing MENENDEZ’s name and hanging in his closet, as depicted below.       

During this same search, agents also found home furnishings provided by HANA and DAIBES, the luxury vehicle paid for by URIBE parked in the garage, as well as over one hundred thousand dollars’ worth of gold bars in the home, which were provided by either HANA or DAIBES.  Two of the gold bars DAIBES provided are depicted in the photographs below.

In exchange for these and other things of value, MENENDEZ agreed to use his power and influence as a Senator to seek to protect HANA, URIBE, and DAIBES’s interests and to benefit the Government of Egypt.  Through this corrupt relationship, MENENDEZ agreed to take a series of official acts and breaches of his official duty.  First, MENENDEZ took actions to benefit the Government of Egypt and HANA, including by improperly pressuring an official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) to seek to protect a business monopoly granted to HANA by Egypt.  Second, MENENDEZ took actions seeking to disrupt a criminal investigation undertaken by the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General (“NJAG”) related to URIBE and his associates.  Third, MENENDEZ recommended that the President nominate a U.S. Attorney who MENENDEZ believed he could influence with respect to DAIBES and sought to disrupt a federal criminal prosecution undertaken by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey (“USAO-DNJ”) of DAIBES.

Promised Actions to Benefit Egypt and Pressure the USDA

Shortly after she began dating MENENDEZ in 2018, NADINE MENENDEZ worked with HANA to introduce Egyptian intelligence and military officials to MENENDEZ.  Those introductions helped establish a corrupt agreement in which HANA, with assistance from DAIBES and URIBE, provided bribes to MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ in exchange for MENENDEZ’s actions to benefit Egypt and HANA, among others. 

As part of the scheme, MENENDEZ provided sensitive, non-public U.S. government information to Egyptian officials and otherwise took steps to secretly aid the Government of Egypt.  For example, in or about May 2018, MENENDEZ provided Egyptian officials with non-public information regarding the number and nationality of persons serving at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt.  Although this information was not classified, it was deemed highly sensitive because it could pose significant operational security concerns if disclosed to a foreign government or made public.  Without telling his professional staff or the State Department that he was doing so, on or about May 7, 2018, MENENDEZ texted that sensitive, non-public embassy information to his then-girlfriend NADINE MENENDEZ, who forwarded the message to HANA, who forwarded it to an Egyptian government official.  Later that same month, MENENDEZ ghost-wrote a letter on behalf of Egypt to other U.S. Senators advocating for them to release a hold on $300 million in aid to Egypt.  MENENDEZ sent this ghost-written letter to NADINE MENENDEZ, who forwarded it to HANA, who sent it to Egyptian officials. 

At various times between 2018 and 2022, MENENDEZ also conveyed to Egyptian officials, through NADINE MENENDEZ, HANA, and/or DAIBES, that he would approve or remove holds on foreign military financing and sales of military equipment to Egypt in connection with his leadership role on the SFRC.  For example, in or about July 2018, following meetings between MENENDEZ and Egyptian officials, which were arranged and attended by NADINE MENENDEZ and HANA, MENENDEZ texted NADINE MENENDEZ that she should tell HANA that MENENDEZ was going to sign off on a multimillion-dollar weapons sale to Egypt.  NADINE MENENDEZ forwarded this text to HANA, who forwarded it to two Egyptian officials, one of whom replied with a “thumbs up” emoji.  MENENDEZ made similar communications over the ensuing years.  For example, in January 2022, MENENDEZ sent NADINE MENENDEZ a link to a news article reporting on two pending foreign military sales to Egypt totaling approximately $2.5 billion.  NADINE MENENDEZ forwarded this link to HANA, writing, “Bob had to sign off on this.”

In exchange for MENENDEZ’s agreement to take these and other actions, HANA promised NADINE MENENDEZ payments, including from IS EG Halal Certified, Inc. (“IS EG Halal”), a New Jersey company that HANA operated with financial support and backing from DAIBES.  However, IS EG Halal had little to no revenue until the spring of 2019, when the Government of Egypt granted IS EG Halal a monopoly on the certification of U.S. food exports to Egypt as compliant with halal standards, despite the fact that neither HANA nor his company had experience with halal certification.  The monopoly generated revenue for HANA, through which he paid NADINE MENENDEZ as promised.   

Because the monopoly resulted in increased costs for U.S. meat suppliers, in or about April and May 2019, the USDA contacted the Government of Egypt and sought reconsideration of its grant of monopoly rights to IS EG Halal.  After being briefed on the USDA’s objections to IS EG Halal’s monopoly by HANA and NADINE MENENDEZ, on May 23, 2019, MENENDEZ called a high-level USDA official (“Official-1”) and insisted that the USDA stop opposing IS EG Halal’s status as sole halal certifier.  When Official-1 attempted to explain why the monopoly was detrimental to U.S. interests, MENENDEZ reiterated his demand that the USDA stop interfering with IS EG Halal’s monopoly.  Official-1 did not accede to MENENDEZ’s demand, but IS EG Halal nevertheless kept its monopoly.

After financially benefitting from IS EG Halal’s monopoly, HANA, at times with the assistance of DAIBES and URIBE, provided payments and other things of value in furtherance of the scheme.  For example, in or about July 2019, after the mortgage company for the residence of NADINE MENENDEZ initiated foreclosure proceedings, HANA caused IS EG Halal to pay approximately $23,000 to bring the mortgage current.  HANA did so after a series of discussions with NADINE MENENDEZ, as well as URIBE and DAIBES, about various options for bringing the mortgage current.  Later in 2019, HANA and DAIBES caused IS EG Halal to issue three $10,000 checks to NADINE MENENDEZ for a low-or-no-show job.  As the scheme continued, including through the additional actions described below, MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ received additional bribes, including gold and cash.

Promised Actions Seeking to Disrupt the NJAG Criminal Case

Also in 2019, HANA and URIBE offered to help buy a new Mercedes-Benz C-300 convertible worth more than $60,000 for MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ.  In exchange, MENENDEZ agreed and sought to interfere in the NJAG’s criminal insurance fraud prosecution of an associate of URIBE and a related investigation involving an employee of URIBE.  On multiple occasions in 2019, URIBE, HANA, and/or NADINE MENENDEZ briefed MENENDEZ regarding the NJAG’s insurance fraud prosecution and investigation.  Following those briefings, and in exchange for the promise of the luxury convertible, MENENDEZ contacted a senior state prosecutor at the NJAG’s Office who supervised the prosecution and investigation (“Official-2”) at least twice.  During those communications, MENENDEZ attempted to pressure Official-2 to resolve the prosecution more favorably to the defendant.  Official-2 considered MENENDEZ’s actions inappropriate and did not agree to intervene.  Nevertheless, the prosecution was ultimately resolved with a plea allowing for no jail time and the investigation never resulted in any charges against URIBE’s employee. 

In exchange for MENENDEZ’s actions, URIBE provided NADINE MENENDEZ with $15,000 cash for the down payment on the luxury convertible in April 2019.  After the purchase was complete, NADINE MENENDEZ messaged MENENDEZ, “Congratulations mon amour de la vie, we are the proud owners of a 2019 Mercedes.❤️” and texted MENENDEZ the below photograph of the convertible:

Thereafter, URIBE made monthly payments to Mercedes-Benz for the convertible between 2019 and June 2022.  URIBE only stopped making those monthly payments after the FBI approached MENENDEZ, NADINE MENENDEZ, and URIBE in connection with this investigation.

Promised Actions Seeking to Disrupt the USAO-DNJ Criminal Case

In October 2018, the USAO-DNJ charged DAIBES with federal criminal charges for obtaining loans under false pretenses from a New Jersey-based bank he founded.  Between December 2020 and 2022, MENENDEZ agreed to attempt to influence the pending federal prosecution of DAIBES in exchange for cash, furniture, and gold bars that DAIBES provided to MENENDEZ and NADINE MENDENDEZ.  In furtherance of this aspect of the scheme, MENENDEZ recommended that the President nominate an individual (“Official-3”) as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey who MENENDEZ believed he could influence with respect to DAIBES’s case.  MENENDEZ also had direct and indirect contact with both Official-3 and another high-ranking official at the USAO-DNJ (“Official-4”) in an attempt to influence the outcome of DAIBES’s case.

Official-3 and Official-4 did not pass on to the USAO-DNJ prosecution team handling the DAIBES prosecution the fact that MENENDEZ had contacted them, and they did not treat the case any differently as a result of MENENDEZ’s actions.  DAIBES’s case was ultimately resolved with a plea agreement that provided for a probationary sentence.  In exchange for MENENDEZ’s participation in the bribery scheme, DAIBES provided MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ with multiple things of value, including the two one-kilogram gold bars pictured below.

ROBERT MENENDEZ, 69, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

NADINE MENENDEZ, 56, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

WAEL HANA, 40, formerly of Edgewater, New Jersey, and originally of Egypt, JOSE URIBE, 56, of Clifton, New Jersey, and FRED DAIBES, 66, of Edgewater, New Jersey, are all charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.  Mr. Williams thanked the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation for its invaluable assistance on the investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eli J. Mark, Paul Monteleoni, Lara Pomerantz, and Daniel C. Richenthal are in charge of the prosecution.

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

This investigation remains ongoing.  If you have information regarding the charges or defendants in the Indictment, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI and reference this case.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Friday, September 22, 2023

A Most Violent Weekend — And The Firearms Preemption Laws

Broad + Liberty ran my piece on this past weekend’s shootings and the mayor and the Firearms Preemption Laws.

You can read the piece via the below link or the below text:

Jim Kenney misunderstands Firearms Preemption Laws (

Gun control advocates believe that the outbreak of gun violence this past weekend, in which ten people were shot and eight were killed in several separate shootings, is proof that more legislation is needed to curb gun violence.

On September 13, Mayor Jim Kenney’s website released an account of the city’s court action before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The city believes the Firearms Preemption Laws, which prohibit municipalities from enacting laws to address gun violence, are unconstitutional.

“Today, the City of Philadelphia, with co-petitioners, the CeaseFirePA Education Fund, and individuals affected by gun violence in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, alongside co-counsel Hogan Lovells and the Public Interest Law Center, made its oral argument before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the case of Crawford v. Commonwealth, which challenges the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s Firearms Preemption laws,” the press release stated.

The press release went on to state that during the hearing, the city presented its argument regarding the ongoing gun violence crisis in Philadelphia, where over 1,000 people have been shot so far in 2023. Petitioners have compelled the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse the dismissal of the case and for the case to be remanded to the Commonwealth Court for discovery and trial.

The city and co-petitioners filed this lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2020, seeking a permanent injunction preventing further enforcement of Firearms Preemption Laws so that Philadelphia and other municipalities in Pennsylvania can implement sensible gun safety laws that are proven to save lives. In May of 2022, the Commonwealth Court dismissed the case, and the City of Philadelphia appealed the decision.

“The Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act binds our hands as we fight the scourge of gun violence and senseless loss of life in Philadelphia. There is no justification for this restriction that could possibly outweigh the negative effects of gun violence — especially the lives cut tragically short and the enduring psychological trauma to residents,” said Mayor Jim Kenney“To be clear, we are arguing on both principle and empirical evidence showing that the constitutional, common-sense approaches we’re currently prevented from taking would reduce gun violence in Philadelphia. With this lawsuit, we are petitioning the court to let us save lives and protect the communities most impacted by our national crisis of gun violence.”

Diana Cortes, the City Solicitor, added, “With over 269 people killed by firearms this year alone, gun violence continues to traumatize Philadelphia communities on a near daily basis. Despite this, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania not only refuses to act but, through the enforcement of Firearms Preemption, has repeatedly blocked city officials from implementing laws to address the crisis, including permit-to-purchase ordinances, one-gun-per-month limits, and extreme risk protection. The city is confident in the facts and case law presented in its legal argument and is hopeful that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will reverse the Commonwealth Court decision to dismiss this case.”

But ask any cop, and they will tell you that gun violence truly comes from predatory criminals armed with illegally acquired guns, which they employ with reckless abandon. Gun control advocates like Mayor Kenney, who want to enact anti-gun legislation at the municipal level, cannot, or will not, differentiate between legally owned guns and illegal ones used by criminals in brutal criminal actions.

“Look at what happened this weekend,” one angry cop said to me. “There are shootouts all over the city, and people are killed. The mayor wants the right to make more anti-gun laws, his so-called common sense gun laws, but they will not make a bit of difference to the bad guys sporting illegal guns and mowing down other bad guys and innocent bystanders.”

The cop shook his head and said the mayor is dreaming if he thinks he can stop gun violence with city gun control laws.

“But he can tackle the gun issue by taking the handcuffs off the police and letting us round up the well-known bad guys who use guns in armed robberies, carjackings, and drug wars,” the cop said. “And the district attorney can prosecute these bad guys and lock ’em up for good.

“But don’t hold your breath, as ‘Let Em’ Loose Larry’ Krasner has never met a criminal he doesn’t identify with. I gotta ask, whose side is Krasner on?”

Mayor Kenney does not have the authority to enact gun control laws. And he shouldn’t. That’s what we have a state legislature for. Even if the mayor was able to enact draconian gun laws, only legitimate gun owners would be punished. Criminals violate existing laws openly, and they’ll violate any new laws passed by the mayor.

Gun control laws do not apply to the criminal underworld, as hardened criminals do not abide by government laws and edicts.

Paul Davis, a Philadelphia writer and frequent contributor to Broad + Liberty, also contributes to Counterterrorism magazine and writes the “On Crime” column for the Washington Times. He can be reached at