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REAL1

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Reply with quote  #46 

No correction needed Henry as you are spot on!


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Afghanistan opium crackdown doing little, says US envoy...

US attempts to eradicate opium poppies from Afghanistan have been criticised as "wasteful and ineffective", by the new US super envoy to the region.

 
Richard Holbrooke - Afghanistan opium crackdown doing little, says US envoy
Mr Holbrooke said the US efforts had not hurt the Taliban one iota...

Richard Holbrooke said efforts to stamp out poppy growing had not stopped the Taliban raising vast sums from the trade.

Despite spending £550 million-a-year, he said the US was seeing no benefit from the policy.

"The United States alone is spending over $800m a year on counter-narcotics. We have gotten nothing out of it, nothing," he said.

"It is the most wasteful and ineffective programme I have seen in 40 years."

Afghanistan supplies more than 90 per cent of the world's heroin according to United Nations estimates.

The drugs trade is centred in the southern province of Helmand, where British soldiers have been fighting a brutal Taliban insurgency for three years.

By collecting tithes from opium farmers, charging protection money and offering convoy guards, Taliban are able to channel hundreds of millions of dollars from the drug trade into their insurgency.

The US and Britain are trying to encourage farmers to grow other crops while attacking drug barons and poppy fields with security forces.

However Mr Holbrooke said the US efforts had not hurt the Taliban "one iota".

"Whatever money they're getting from the drugs trade, they get whatever they need whether we reduce the acreage or not," he said.

The money would be better to help Afghan farmers with irrigation, seeds for alternative crops and infrastructure he said.

British counter narcotics experts say it is too early to tell if a concerted anti-opium campaign this year led by the governor of Helmand has been successful.

They are reluctant to endorse Afghan government estimates that land devoted to opium poppy growth may have fallen by two fifths since last year.

In recent years production has soared beyond demand, and drug barons are thought to have stockpiled enough opium to ensure heroin supply even if opium production slows.

The Afghan ministry of interior has called on Nato-led troops to be more aggressive in targeting the drugs trade.

Many Nato nations though believe targeting farmers who have little prospect of providing for their families without opium will only alienate the population.


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REAL1

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Reply with quote  #48 

to view breaking evidence connecting FBI agents to the creation of the Lockerbie bombing see
http://www.dallasnews.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4089&sid=ca2eccb6a3b7059c9cb72ed56dfa4b1e

to view a partial list of crimes committed by FBI agents over 1500 pages long see
http://www.forums.signonsandiego.com/showthread.php?t=59139

to view a partial list of FBI agents arrested for pedophilia see
http://www.dallasnews.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3574


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Fresh hope for computer hacker Gary McKinnon as his U.S. extradition is delayed...

 

Gary

'Suicidal': Gary McKinnon could take

his own life if extradited to the U.S.

according to his mother but the family

has been given new hope due to a delay

in the process..

The Home Secretary has halted Gary McKinnon's extradition to consider new medical evidence about the computer hacker's mental state.

The Asperger's victim had been told he could be sent to the U.S. - where he faces 60 years in jail for hacking into military computers - by the end of this month.

But in an unexpected move, Alan Johnson has stopped the extradition clock.

He has asked Home Office lawyers to consider the implications of fresh evidence about Mr McKinnon's state of psychiatric health.

An English newspaper (The Daily Mail) has been at the forefront of a campaign to prevent the extradition.

Mr McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp has described the 43-yearold as 'broken and suicidal' and experts have warned he could take his own life if extradited.

She said yesterday: 'I am extremely pleased Alan Johnson is doing this. I am sure that when he sees such strong evidence he will realise he should intervene and stop the extradition.

'Even at this late stage I hope when confronted with such compelling-evidence he will show the compassion that the people of this country are longing to see.

'Gary is pleased and relieved. It is the best news he has received for a long time and it gives him some hope.'

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said: 'The Home Secretary has sat on his hands for too long, even in the face of legal advice from leading advocates that contradicts the Home Office's position. 

'This new psychiatric report into Gary McKinnon's condition must persuade him that it is no longer acceptable to shrug his shoulders and claim that nothing can be done.

'Alan Johnson should do the decent thing and intervene to ensure that Gary is tried in Britain, where he committed his crime and confessed to it.'

Mr McKinnon's solicitor Karen Todner said: 'We are pleased that the Home Secretary is considering these representations.

'We hope that he will take the time to consider them fully and will have some compassion towards Gary, whose mental state is extremely precarious. '

Mr Johnson's decision to stall the extradition is highly surprising as he has always insisted he is powerless to intervene in the case  -  a claim hotly contested by independent lawyers.

By halting the process, even temporarily, he appears to be conceding he is at least free to consider Mr McKinnon's plight.

Campaigners will point to the fact that, if he could do nothing, there would be no reason to even study the latest 60-page medical report.

The Home Office may, however, be seeking simply to take all possible steps to avoid further legal challenges.

Rejecting the evidence outright could prompt a judicial review, or action by the European Court of Human Rights.

The consequences of Mr Johnson's actions are that, at the very least, Mr McKinnon has been given more time to fight extradition.

A decision last Friday to bar the UFO fanatic from appealing to the Supreme Court left him with just 14 days to appeal to Europe, or face boarding a plane to the U.S. to face charges of hacking Nasa and Pentagon computers.

Mr Johnson's lawyers say that, given the new evidence handed to the Home Office earlier this week, they consider that process to have been stopped.

The 14 days will not begin until Mr Johnson has reached a decision on the medical evidence. He is expected to receive advice from officials in the next few days.

Mr Johnson has always insisted he cannot halt the extradition but Lord Carlile, the Home Secretary's own adviser on terror laws, said he is satisfied the minister does have the power to intervene.

In a blistering letter to the Home Secretary, he said placing Mr McKinnon at the mercy of the U.S. courts would be 'disproportionate, unnecessary and unconscionable'.

In a legal opinion obtained by the Daily Mail, two barristers from Cherie Blair's Matrix chambers said Mr Johnson can - and must - intervene.


 


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Alan Johnson was last night told by a powerful group of MPs that he can and must halt the extradition of Gary McKinnon.

In a devastating letter, the Home Affairs Select Committee flatly rejected Mr Johnson's claim that he is powerless to intervene.

Gary, who has Asperger's syndrome and is said to be suicidal, is due to be handed over to the U.S. under the controversial Extradition Act.

There he faces up to 60 years in jail for hacking into Pentagon and Nasa computers while searching for proof of alien life.

But the Labour chairman of the committee, Keith Vaz, said the 'precarious state' of Gary's mental health meant his removal should be stopped.

The letter also calls for a 'comprehensive review' of the entire Extradition Act - which is widely considered imbalanced against British citizens.

It is a stunning vindication for Gary's supporters, and will pile enormous pressure on Mr Johnson to change his stance.

Earlier this year, the Mail presented the Home Secretary with evidence from two leading extradition lawyers stating that he could stop the removal on health grounds.

But Mr Johnson - while refusing to publish his own legal advice - stubbornly insisted that this was not the case.

Now - after studying the legal opinion obtained by the Mail, and holding a public evidence session with Mr Johnson and Gary's mother Janis this week - the Home Affairs committee has sided with Gary, 43, and this newspaper.

The letter from Mr Vaz - a former minister - to the Home Secretary says: 'We received a clear legal opinion... that the scope for the exercise of discretion by the Home Secretary is greater than you believe.

'Because of Mr McKinnon's precarious state of mental health, the Committee is of the view that he should not be extradited to the U.S.A. and you should exercise your discretion in this case.'

Officially, Mr Johnson has 'stopped the clock' on Gary's removal to the U.S while he considers new medical evidence of the danger he may take his own life if extradited.

A decision is expected later this month, but the Home Secretary continues to insist his hands are tied.

If he allows the extradition to proceed, he would be flying in the face of evidence from lawyers, autism experts and now one of Parliament's most influential committees.

Gary's mother - who has warned Gary would rather die than be extradited, and that he is 'suicidal' - was delighted by the committee's letter.

She said: 'It's excellent news and I am incredibly pleased they have come to the same conclusion as everyone else - apart, that is, from the Home Secretary and his advisers.

'I appreciated the careful way that the MPs on the committee listened to my evidence and considered my written submission to them. Now I hope Mr Johnson listens to what the committee is telling him.

'I am delighted that MPs from all the political parties are standing up for what is right and just for Gary.'

Gary's solicitor, Karen Todner, said: 'We are very pleased with the committee's decision. It reinforces what Gary's legal team - and serious legal opinion - has consistently argued.

'The Home Secretary does have the power to intervene in Gary's case - and he should halt his extradition.'

Liberal Democrat spokesman Chris Huhne said: 'The Home Affairs Select Committee is telling Alan Johnson what he has already been told and what he should have known.

'It is not in the interests of justice to send a British citizen with mental health problems to face decades in an American jail.

'The Home Secretary must put an end to this shameful episode and then renegotiate the extradition treaty so this fiasco is not repeated.'

The evidence obtained from human rights QC Tim Owen and Julian Knowles, a leading extradition lawyer, categorically stated: 'The Extradition Act 2003 gives the English courts the primary responsibility - but, importantly, not the exclusive responsibility - for ensuring that... safeguards are maintained. This is because both the courts and the Home Secretary have a role to play in extradition.

'It is therefore plain that the Home Secretary has the power - and indeed the duty - to intervene in any extradition case even after the court process has ended if the evidence establishes that there is a real risk of a human rights breach should extradition proceed.

'Statements made to the contrary by the Government are obviously and plainly wrong.'

Lord Carlile, Mr Johnson's adviser on terror laws, has also said he is satisfied that the minister does have the power.

He said placing Gary at the mercy of the U.S. courts would be 'disproportionate, unnecessary and unconscionable'.

Last night, a Home Office spokesman said: 'The Home Secretary has maintained throughout the proceedings that he has no general discretion to refuse extradition. At this stage in the case the sole issue is whether extradition would, or would not, breach Mr McKinnon's human rights.

'Unless the evidence shows that extradition would breach the European Convention on Human Rights it would be unlawful to refuse extradition.'



 


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A radical Muslim preacher linked by US intelligence to the gunman who killed 13 people at the Fort Hood Army base is believed to have died in a Yemen airstrike on al Qaeda militants.

A Yemeni official said: "Anwar al Awlaki is suspected to be dead (in the air raid)."

Yemen said 30 militants were killed in the strike in the eastern province of Shabwa.

The gunman in the November 5 shooting at the Fort Hood, Texas army base, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, had contacts with Awlaki late last year, US authorities believe.


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U.S. forces in Iraq were braced for a violent backlash yesterday after an American court threw out all charges against five security guards accused of gunning down 17 Iraqi civilians.

The Iraqi government expressed its anger and even the U.S. commander in Iraq said he was ‘upset’ the case had been dismissed.

The case had inflamed anti-American sentiment abroad. Iraq slammed the judge's decision today.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina threw out the case, saying prosecutors had wrongly used statements the guards made to investigators under a threat of job loss, a violation of their constitutional rights. 

 

Ali al-Dabagh, the Iraqi government spokesman, said in a statement that the government was dismayed by the court's dismissal of the case.

'The Iraqi government regrets the decision,' he said. 'Investigations conducted by specialized Iraqi authorities confirmed unequivocally that the guards of Blackwater committed the crime of murder and broke the rules by using arms without the existence of any threat obliging them to use force.'

Dr. Haitham Ahmed, whose wife and son were killed in the shooting, said the decision casts doubt on the integrity of the entire U.S. justice system.

'If a judge ... dismissed the trial, that is ridiculous and the whole thing has been but a farce,' Ahmed said. 'The rights of our victims and the rights of the innocent people should not be wasted.'

The Iraqi government had wanted the guards to face trial in their country and officials there had said they would closely watch how the U.S. judicial system handled the case. 

 

The case against the five men fell apart because, after the shooting, the State Department ordered the guards to explain what happened.

In exchange for those statements, the State Department promised the statements would not be used in a criminal case.

Such limited immunity deals are common in police departments so officers involved in shootings cannot hold up internal investigations by refusing to co-operate.

The five guards told investigators they fired their weapons, an admission that was crucial because forensic evidence could not determine who had fired.

Because of the immunity deal, prosecutors had to build their case without those statements, a high legal hurdle that Urbina said the Justice Department failed to clear.

Prosecutors read those statements, reviewed them in the investigation and used them to question witnesses and get search warrants, Urbina said.

Key witnesses also reviewed the statements and the grand jury heard evidence that had been tainted by those statements, the judge said.

The Justice Department set up a process to avoid those problems, but Urbina said lead prosecutor Ken Kohl and others 'purposefully flouted the advice' of senior Justice Department officials telling them not to use the statements.

Urbina did not address whether the shooting was proper - instead focusing on the conflicting evidence in the case. 

The five guards had been charged with manslaughter and weapons violations. The charges carried mandatory 30-year prison terms.

The guards claimed insurgents ambushed them in a traffic circle in Nisoor Square.

Prosecutors said the men unleashed an unprovoked attack on civilians using machine guns and grenades.

Some Blackwater guards told prosecutors they were concerned about the shooting and offered to co-operate.

Others said the convoy had been attacked. 

 

By the time the FBI began investigating, Nisoor Square had been picked clean of bullets that might have proven whether there had been a fire-fight or a massacre.

The judge was unequivocal in his decision, dismissing the government's explanations as 'contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility'.

'We're obviously disappointed by the decision,' Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said. 'We're still in the process of reviewing the opinion and considering our options.'

Prosecutors can appeal the ruling.

Blackwater contractors had been hired to guard U.S. diplomats in Iraq. But the shooting led to the unravelling of the controversial North Carolina-based company, which since has replaced its management and changed its name to Xe Services.

The five guards are Donald Ball, a former Marine from Utah; Dustin Heard, a former Marine from Tennessee; Evan Liberty, a former Marine from New Hampshire; Nick Slatten, a former Army sergeant from Tennessee, and Paul Slough, an Army veteran from Keller, Texas.

Defence attorneys said the guards were thrilled by the ruling after more than two years of scrutiny.

'It's tremendously gratifying to see the court allow us to celebrate the new year the way it has,' said attorney Bill Coffield, who represents Liberty.

'It really invigorates your belief in our court system.'

'It's indescribable,' said Ball's attorney, Steven McCool. 'It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders. Here's a guy that's a decorated war hero who we maintain should never have been charged in the first place.'

The Iraqi government has refused to grant Blackwater a license to continue operating in the country, prompting the State Department to refuse to renew its contracts with the company.

In a statement released by its president, Joseph Yorio, the company said it was happy to have the shooting behind it.

'Like the people they were protecting, our Xe professionals were working for a free, safe and democratic Iraq for the Iraqi people,' Yorio said. 'With this decision, we feel we can move forward and continue to assist the United States in its mission to help the people of Iraq and Afghanistan find a peaceful, democratic future.'

It was unclear what the ruling means for a sixth Blackwater guard, Jeremy Ridgeway, who turned on his former colleagues and pleaded guilty to killing one Iraqi and wounding another.

Had he gone to trial, the case against him would likely have fallen apart, but it's unclear whether Urbina will let him out of his plea deal.

Dozens of Iraqis, including the estates of some of the victims allegedly killed by Blackwater employees, filed a separate lawsuit last year alleging that Blackwater employees engaged in indiscriminate killings and beatings. The civil case is still before a Virginia court.




 


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An armed man has been shot dead after opening fire on security guards at an entrance to the Pentagon.

The gunman, identified as John Patrick Bedell, 36, died in hospital after the guards at the U.S. Defence Department headquarters returned fire.

He is said to have harboured resentment against the military and posted online comments expressing doubts about the perpetrators of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York.

Two security guards were also injured in the firefight, but their wounds are not said to be life-threatening.

Bedell, from California, is said to have walked up to the entrance after getting of a subway train in Arlington, Virginia, before pulling out a handgun and shooting at security guards.

In an internet posting, a user going by the name of JPatrickBedell wrote that he was 'determined to see that justice is served' over the death of Marine Colonel James Sabow, who was found dead in the back yard of his California home in 1991.

Enlarge   Pentagon shooting

Paramedics load the wounded gunman into the back of an ambulance. He died later in hospital

Enlarge   Pentagon

Lock down: John Patrick Bedell, 36, died in hospital after he opened fire on security guards at the Pentagon

That death was ruled a suicide, but the case has been the subject of several theories of a cover-up.

The internet posting said the Sabow case was 'a step toward establishing the truth of events such as the September 11 demolitions'.

It also attacked the U.S. government's enforcement of marijuana laws and included a link to the author's 2006 court case in Orange County for cultivating marijuana and resisting a police officer.

Court records show the date of birth on the case mentioned by JPatrickBedell matches that of the man killed in the shooting.

All entrances to the Pentagon were closed after the shooting at around 6.40pm last night. They were later reopened, but the one near the Metro station remains shut.

The two security guards are being treated in hospital for 'grazing' wounds, according to chief of Pentagon police Richard Keevill.

Pentagon

Security: Bedell is said to have posted online comments casting doubts over the perpetrators of the September 11 terror attacks

Pentagon

Terror: Security has been improved at the Pentagon after the 2001 attack which saw 184 people killed after American Airlines flight 77 was flown into the building

Mr Keevill said the gunman gave no clue to guards about what he was going to do and had not tried to get into the building.

He said: 'There was no distress. When he reached into his pocket, they assumed he was going to get a pass and he came up with a gun.

'He wasn't pretending to be anyone. He was wearing a coat and walked up and just started shooting.'

He added: 'We have layers of security and it worked. He never got inside the building to hurt anyone.'

American Airlines flight 77 was flown into the Pentagon during the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

A total of 184 people were killed on board the flight and in the building after the plane crashed.


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The Obama administration has authorised the killing of a radical Muslim cleric who is also a U.S. citizen.

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.

Anwar al-Awlaki, believed to be hiding in Yemen, has been tied by U.S. intelligence to the 9/11 hijackers, to the failed Christmas Day bombing in 2009, and to the Fort Hood massacre last year.

The decision to add him to the U.S. target list followed a National Security Council review because of his status as an American citizen.

'He's being targeted': Barack Obama, right, has authorised the killing or capture of Anwar al-Awlaki, left, in what may be an unprecedented move

Officials said Awlaki, 38, directly threatened the United States. 'Al-Awlaki is a proven threat,' said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity. 'He's being targeted.'

A former senior legal official in the administration of George W Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.

U.S. intelligence agencies had viewed Awlaki as chiefly an Al Qaeda sympathiser and recruiter for Islamist causes with possible ties to some of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers.

But that assessment started to change late last year with revelations about Awlaki's contacts with both the Nigerian suspect in the attempted Christmas Day bombing and to the U.S. Army psychiatrist accused of shooting dead 13 people at a military base in Texas the previous month.

Rep. Jane Harman, chairwoman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, described Awlaki as 'probably the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No. 1 in terms of threat against us.'

'He is very much in the sights of the Yemenis, with us helping them,' said Harman, who recently visited Yemen to meet with U.S. and Yemeni officials.

She told Reuters that Awlaki's U.S. citizenship made going after him 'certainly complicated.'

But Harman said President Barack Obama and his administration 'made very clear that people, including Americans who are trying to attack our country, are people we will definitely pursue... are targets of the United States.'

The U.S. target list is secret and it was not immediately clear whether al-Awlaki was the first American added.

He is to be captured or killed, the Los Angeles Times reported.

hasan
umar

Terror: Al-Awlaki has been linked to both Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Malik Hasan, left, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas Day bomber, right. Abddulmutallab has been cooperating with authorities since his capture

hood

Grief: Solders at Fort Hood comfort one another in the wake of the massacre by Hasan there on November 5, 2009

The cleric, born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents, used his personal website to encourage Muslims around the world to kill U.S. troops in Iraq.

Yemeni security officials said they believe he is hiding in a region of the mountainous nation that has become a refuge for Islamic militants.

The assessment of Al-Awlaki by U.S. intelligence agencies changed late last year with revelations about his contacts with Abdulmutallab, after the attempted bombing of a passenger jet as it approached Detroit on Christmas Day.

The two had met in Yemen.  In a recent interview with a Yemeni freelance journalist, posted on Al Jazeera television's website, al-Awlaki described Abdulmutallab as 'one of my students' but said he did not encourage the attack.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the attempted Christmas Day bombing of the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Abdulmutallab, has been co-operating with U.S. authorities, providing intelligence about the group, which allegedly supplied him with explosives that were sewn into his underwear, officials said.

Links between Awlaki and Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist accused of shooting dead 13 people at a military base in Texas on November 5, also emerged. The pair had frequently been in contact over e-mail.

U.S. counterterrorism officials described Awlaki as the main force behind AQAP's decision to transform itself from a regional threat into what U.S. spy agencies see as Al Qaeda's most active affiliate outside Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Awlaki was an imam at mosques in Denver, San Diego and Falls Church, Virginia, just outside Washington.

He returned to Yemen in 2004 where he taught at a university before he was arrested and imprisoned in 2006 for suspected links to Al Qaeda and involvement in attacks.

Awlaki, part of a prominent Yemeni family, was released in December 2007 because he said he had repented, according to a Yemeni security official.

But he was later charged again on similar counts and went into hiding.


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The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government.

 

- George Washington. First President of the United States (February 22nd 1732 - December 14th 1799.


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Department of Justice Press Release

white spacer
For Immediate Release
April 29, 2010
United States Attorney's Office
Southern District of Texas
Contact: (713) 567-9000

Laredo Police Officer Indicted for Cocaine Conspiracy

LAREDO, TX—Orlando Jesus Hale, 27, of Laredo, has been arrested as a result of the return of a sealed indictment which charges him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and the use, carrying and possession of a firearm during and in relation to or in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. 

The sealed indictment returned on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, by a Laredo federal grand jury was unsealed today following Hale’s arrest. According to the indictment, Hale is alleged to have engaged in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine between Oct. 15, 2008, to Nov. 30, 2008, and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and possessing the firearm in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime between Nov. 7 to Nov. 25, 2008.

“The Laredo Police Department continues its mission of working with law enforcement partners to ensure the safety and security of our community,” said Carlos R. Maldonado, Chief of the Laredo Police Department. “The arrest today signifies our commitment to ensuring that anyone that is accused of violating the law is held accountable. We remain focused on our mission to serve and protect and this incident should in no way be a reflection of the men and women who proudly and professionally serve our community on a daily basis.”

Hale is expected to be appear for his initial court appearance tomorrow, April 29, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Saldaña. At that time, the United States expects to ask the court to hold Hale in federal custody without bond pending further criminal proceedings. A court date for a hearing on the government’s motion will be set for a later date. 

The conspiracy count carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment along with a $4 million fine upon conviction. The gun charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years' imprisonment upon conviction, which must be served consecutive or upon completion of any term of imprisonment imposed for the underlying drug offense as well as a $250,000 fine.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General, Immigration Customs Enforcement-Office of Professional Responsibility and Customs Border Protection-Internal Affairs with the assistance and cooperation of the Laredo Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Roberto F. Ramirez and James McAlister are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

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THE FBI VERSUS THE KLAN
Part 1: Let the Investigations Begin

 
02/26/10 

Early KKK rally in Florida. Photo courtesy of the National Archives.
Early KKK rally in Florida. Photo courtesy of the National Archives.

Ninety-five years ago this month—in February 1915—the D.W. Griffith movie later titled The Birth of a Nation premiered in a Los Angeles theater. Though considered progressive in its technique and style, the film had a decidedly backwards plot that glorified a short-lived, post-Civil War white supremacist group called the Ku Klux Klan. The movie’s broad release in March provoked riots and even bloodshed nationwide.

It also revived interest in the KKK, leading to the birth of several new local groups that summer and fall. Many more followed, mostly in southern states at first. Some of these groups focused on supporting the U.S. effort in World War I, but most wallowed in a toxic mix of secrecy, racism, and violence.

As the Klan grew, it attracted the attention of the young Bureau. Created just a few years earlier—in July 1908—the Bureau of Investigation (as the organization was known then) had few federal laws to combat the KKK in these formative days. Cross burnings and lynchings, for example, were local issues. But under its general domestic security responsibilities, the Bureau was able to start gathering information and intelligence on the Klan and its activities. And wherever possible, we looked for federal violations and shared information with state and local law enforcement for its cases.

Our early files show that Bureau cases and intelligence efforts were already beginning to mount in the years before 1920. A few examples:

  • In Birmingham, a middle-aged African-American—who fled north to avoid serving in the war—was arrested for draft dodging in May 1918 when he returned to persuade his white teenage girlfriend to marry him. A Bureau agent looking into the matter discovered that the local KKK had gotten wind of the interracial affair and was organizing to lynch the man. The agent came up with a novel solution to resolve the draft-dodging issue and to protect the man from harm: he escorted the evader to a military camp and ensured that he was quickly inducted. 
  • In June 1918, a Mobile agent named G.C. Outlaw learned that Ed Rhone—the leader of an African-American group called the Knights of Labor—was worried by the abduction of another labor leader by reputed Klansmen. “This uneasiness of the Knights of Labor,” our agent noted, “is the first direct result of the Ku Klux activities.” Agent Outlaw investigated and assured Rhone we would protect him from any possible harm.
  • At the request of a Bureau agent in Tampa, a representative of the American Protective League—a group of citizen volunteers who helped investigate domestic issues like draft evasion during World War I—convinced an area Klan group to disband in August 1918. 

The FBI Versus the Klan
Part 1: Let the Investigations Begin
Part 2: Trouble in the 1920s

World War I effectively came to an end with the signing of a ceasefire in November 1918, but the KKK was just getting started. Pro-war oriented Klan groups either folded or began to coalesce around a focus on racial and religious prejudice. Teaming up with advertising executive Edward Young Clarke, the head of the Atlanta Klan—William Simmons—would oversee a rapid rise in KKK membership in the 1920s.

******

 

THE FBI VERSUS THE KLAN 
Part 2: Trouble in the 1920s

 
04/29/10 

The KKK marching down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington in 1925.

The KKK march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. in 1925.


The Roaring Twenties were a heady time, full of innovation and exploration—from the novelty of “talking pictures” to the utility of mass-produced Model Ts...from the distinct jazz sounds of Duke Ellington to the calculated social rebellion of the “flappers”...from the pioneering flights of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart to the pioneering prose of F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner.

It was also a lawless decade—an age of highly violent and well-heeled gangsters and racketeers who fueled a growing underworld of crime and corruption. Al Capone and his archrival Bugs Moran had formed powerful, warring criminal enterprises that ruled the streets of Chicago, while the early Mafia was crystallizing in New York and other cities, running various gambling, bootlegging, and other illegal operations.

Edward Young Clarke

Edward Young Clarke

Contributing to criminal chaos of the 1920s was the sudden rise of the KKK. In the early 1920s, membership in the KKK quickly escalated to six figures under the leadership of “Colonel” William Simmons and advertising guru Edward Young Clarke. By the middle of the decade, the group boasted several million members. The crimes committed in the name of its bigoted beliefs were despicable—hangings, floggings, mutilations, tarring and featherings, kidnappings, brandings by acid, along with a new intimidation tactic, cross-burnings. The Klan had become a clear threat to public safety and order.

Memo of September 25, 1922 thumbnail

Read the memos:
September 25, 1922
November 13, 1922

Matters were getting so out of hand in the state of Louisiana that Governor John M. Parker petitioned the federal government for help. In a memo dated September 25, 1922, J. Edgar Hoover—then assistant director of the Bureau—informed Director Burns that a reporter had brought a personal letter from Parker to the Department of Justice. “The Governor has been unable to use either the mails, telegraph, or telephone because of interference by the Klan … Conditions have been brought to a head at Mer Rouge, when two white men … were done away with mysteriously,” Hoover wrote. He also said that the governor was seeking assistance because “local authorities are absolutely inactive” and because he feared judges and prosecuting attorneys had been corrupted.

Louisiana Governor John M. Parker

Louisiana Governor John M. Parker

The Department responded, immediately sending four Bureau agents—A. E. Farland, J. D. Rooney, J. P. Huddleston, and W. M. Arkens—to work with the Louisiana attorney general to gather evidence of state and federal crimes. The agents soon found the bodies of the two men and pinpointed members of the vigilante mob that kidnapped and brutally murdered them. They also identified the mob’s leader—Dr. B.M. McKoin, the former mayor of Mer Rouge.

The agents' work put their own lives in danger. On November 13, 1922, an FBI Headquarters memo noted that “confirmation has just been received of the organized attempt of klansmen and their friends to arrest, kidnap, and do away with special agents of the Department who were in Mer Rouge.” To make matters worse, the plot was “stimulated by the United States Attorney at Shreveport,” reportedly an active KKK member. The U.S. attorney had already ordered the investigating agents, detailed from the Houston Division, to leave the area or be arrested because he thought they had no business investigating those matters. “Only their hurried exit saved them,” the memo said. Still, the agents continued their work.

The FBI Versus the Klan
Part 1: Let the Investigations Begin
Part 2: Trouble in the 1920s
In 1923, McKoin was arrested and charged with the murders of the two men. Despite National Guard security, witnesses were kidnapped by the Klan, and other attempts were made to sabotage the trial. The grand jury refused to return an indictment. Other KKK members, though, ended up paying fines or being sentenced to short jail terms for miscellaneous misdemeanors related to the murders.

Despite the Bureau’s work, the power of the KKK in certain places was too strong to crack. But as revelations of leadership scandals spread and figures like Edward Young Clarke went to jail, the Klan’s membership dropped off precipitously. By the end of the decade, thanks in part to the Bureau, the KKK had faded into the background—at least for a time.


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The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives



Photograph of and link to Jason Derek Brown
Jason Derek Brown

Photograph of and link to Joe Luis Saenz
Joe Luis Saenz
En Espanol

Photograph of and link to Victor Manuel Gerena
Victor Manuel Gerena
En Espanol
Photograph of and link to Glen Stewart Godwin
Glen Stewart Godwin
En Espanol
The FBI is offering rewards for information leading to the apprehension of Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. Check each fugitive page for the specific amount. Notice: The official FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list is maintained on the FBI World Wide Web Site. This information may be copied and distributed, however, any unauthorized alteration of any portion of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives posters is a violation of federal law (18 U.S.C., Section 709). Persons who make or reproduce these alterations are subject to prosecution and, if convicted, shall be fined or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive


ENGAGING IN THE AFFAIRS OF AN ENTERPRISE, THROUGH A PATTERN OF RACKETEERING ACTIVITIES; CONSPIRACY TO CONDUCT THE AFFAIRS OF AN ENTERPRISE, THROUGH A PATTERN OF RACKETEERING ACTIVITIES; CONSPIRACY TO LAUNDER MONETARY INSTRUMENTS; CONSPIRACY TO POSSESS HEROIN, COCAINE AND MARIJUANA WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE

EDUARDO RAVELO

Photograph taken in 1998 of Eduardo Ravelo

Photograph taken in 1998

Aliases: "Tablas," Eduardo Rabelo, Eduardo Acevedo, Eddie Rabelo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Eddie Ravelo, Eduardo Rabelo Rodriguez, Eduardo Ruiz, Eduardo Simental Ruiz, Eduardo Saenz, "T-Blas," "2x4," "Blas," "Lumberman," "Boards"

 

DESCRIPTION

Dates of Birth Used:October 13, 1968;
December 22, 1965;
October 15, 1968;
November 13, 1968;
October 13, 1969
Hair:Black (possibly bald)
Place of Birth:MexicoEyes:Brown
Height:5'9"Complexion:Medium
Weight:150 to 180 poundsSex:Male
Build:MediumRace:White (Hispanic)
Occupation:UnknownNationality:Mexican
Scars and Marks:Ravelo has a scar on his face. He also has tattoos on his chest, abdomen, and back.
Remarks: Ravelo is known to be a Captain (Capo) within the Barrio Azteca criminal enterprise and is allegedly responsible for issuing orders to the Barrio Azteca members residing in Juarez, Mexico. Allegedly, Ravelo and the Barrio Azteca members act as "hitmen" for the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Drug Trafficking Organization and are responsible for numerous murders. Ravelo has ties to Mexico and El Paso, Texas. He may have had plastic surgery and altered his fingerprints.

CAUTION

EDUARDO RAVELO WAS INDICTED IN TEXAS IN 2008 FOR HIS INVOLVEMENT IN RACKETEERING ACTIVITIES, CONSPIRACY TO LAUNDER MONETARY INSTRUMENTS, AND CONSPIRACY TO POSSESS HEROIN, COCAINE AND MARIJUANA WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE. HIS ALLEGED CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES BEGAN IN 2003.

CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.

REWARD

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Eduardo Ravelo.


October 2009


FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive


MURDER OF U.S. NATIONALS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES; CONSPIRACY TO MURDER U.S. NATIONALS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES; ATTACK ON A FEDERAL FACILITY RESULTING IN DEATH

USAMA BIN LADEN

Photograph of Usama Bin Laden
Date of Photograph Unknown

Aliases: Usama Bin Muhammad Bin Ladin, Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin, the Prince, the Emir, Abu Abdallah, Mujahid Shaykh, Hajj, the Director

DESCRIPTION

Date of Birth:1957Hair:Brown
Place of Birth:Saudi ArabiaEyes:Brown
Height:6' 4" to 6' 6"Complexion:Olive
Weight:Approximately 160 poundsSex:Male
Build:ThinNationality:Saudi Arabian
Occupation:Unknown
Remarks: Bin Laden is the leader of a terrorist organization known as Al-Qaeda, "The Base". He is left-handed and walks with a cane.
Scars and Marks:None

CAUTION

USAMA BIN LADEN IS WANTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUGUST 7, 1998, BOMBINGS OF THE UNITED STATES EMBASSIES IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, AND NAIROBI, KENYA. THESE ATTACKS KILLED OVER 200 PEOPLE. IN ADDITION, BIN LADEN IS A SUSPECT IN OTHER TERRORIST ATTACKS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.

REWARD

The Rewards For Justice Program, United States Department of State, is offering a reward of up to $25 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Usama Bin Laden. An additional $2 million is being offered through a program developed and funded by the Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association.


June 1999
Poster Revised November 2001

FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive


UNLAWFUL FLIGHT TO AVOID PROSECUTION - FIRST DEGREE MURDER, ARMED ROBBERY

JASON DEREK BROWN

Photograph of Jason Derek Brown taken in 2004
Photograph taken in 2004

Aliases: Jason D. Brown, Derek Brown, Greg Johnson, Harline Johnson, Greg Harline Johnson, John Brown, Jay Brown

DESCRIPTION

Dates of Birth Used:July 1, 1969;
January 17, 1971
Hair:Blond
Place of Birth:CaliforniaEyes:Green
Height:5'10"Complexion:Light
Weight:170 to 180 poundsSex:Male
Build:MediumRace:White
Occupation:Golf Equipment ImporterNationality:American
Scars and Marks:None known
Remarks: 

Brown speaks fluent French and has a Masters Degree in International Business. He is an avid golfer, snowboarder, skier, and dirt biker. Brown enjoys being the center of attention and has been known to frequent nightclubs where he enjoys showing off his high-priced vehicles, boats, and other toys. He has been described as possibly having bisexual tendencies.

Brown has ties to California, Arizona, and Utah. In the past, he has traveled to France and Mexico. Additionally, he may be in the possession of a Glock 9mm and a .45 caliber handgun.

CAUTION

JASON DEREK BROWN IS WANTED FOR MURDER AND ARMED ROBBERY IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA. DURING NOVEMBER OF 2004, BROWN ALLEGEDLY SHOT AND KILLED AN ARMORED CAR GUARD OUTSIDE A MOVIE THEATER AND THEN FLED WITH THE MONEY.

CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.

REWARD

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Jason Derek Brown.

December 2007


FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive


RACKETEERING INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS (RICO) - MURDER (19 COUNTS), CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MURDER, CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT EXTORTION, NARCOTICS DISTRIBUTION, CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MONEY LAUNDERING; EXTORTION; MONEY LAUNDERING

JAMES J. BULGER

Aliases: Thomas F. Baxter, Mark Shapeton, Jimmy Bulger, James Joseph Bulger, James J. Bulger, Jr., James Joseph Bulger, Jr., Tom Harris, Tom Marshall, Ernest E. Beaudreau, Harold W. Evers, Robert William Hanson, "Whitey"

DESCRIPTION

Date of Birth:September 3, 1929Hair:White/Silver
Place of Birth:Boston, MassachusettsEyes:Blue
Height:5'7" to 5'9"Complexion:Light
Weight:150 to 160 poundsSex:Male
Build:MediumRace:White
Occupation:UnknownNationality:American
Scars and Marks:None known
Remarks: Bulger is an avid reader with an interest in history. He is known to frequent libraries and historic sites. Bulger may be taking heart medication. He maintains his physical fitness by walking on beaches and in parks with his female companion, Catherine Elizabeth Greig. Bulger and Greig love animals. Bulger has been known to alter his appearance through the use of disguises. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, and Mexico.

CAUTION

JAMES J. BULGER IS BEING SOUGHT FOR HIS ROLE IN NUMEROUS MURDERS COMMITTED FROM THE EARLY 1970s THROUGH THE MID-1980s IN CONNECTION WITH HIS LEADERSHIP OF AN ORGANIZED CRIME GROUP THAT ALLEGEDLY CONTROLLED EXTORTION, DRUG DEALS, AND OTHER ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES IN THE BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, AREA. HE HAS A VIOLENT TEMPER AND IS KNOWN TO CARRY A KNIFE AT ALL TIMES.

CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.

REWARD

The FBI is offering a $2,000,000 reward for information leading directly to the arrest of James J. Bulger.

August 1999
Poster Revised September 2008


FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive


UNLAWFUL FLIGHT TO AVOID PROSECUTION - MURDER, KIDNAPPING, RAPE, PAROLE VIOLATION

JOE LUIS SAENZ

Photograph of Joe Saenz 1 Photograph of Joe Saenz 2Photograph of Joe Saenz 3
Photograph taken in 2008
Aliases: Joe Luis Saenz, Gabriel Saenz, Gabriel Luis Saenx, Gabriel Luis Saenz, Louie Luis Saenz, Louis Joe Saenz, "Zapp," "Smiley," Peanut Joe Smiley, "Honeycutt," Jose Luis Saenz-Honeycutt, Giovanni Vasquez, "Toro," Giovanni Velasquez, Giovanni Gonzalez, Giovanni Torres, "Peanut," Peanut Saenz, Peanut Smiley, Louie Sanez, Garbiel Sanez

DESCRIPTION

Dates of Birth Used:

August 4, 1975;
October 1, 1975;
December 31, 1975;
May 1, 1976

Hair:Brown
Place of Birth:Los Angeles, CaliforniaEyes:Brown
Height:5'11" to 6'0"Complexion:Medium
Weight:180 poundsSex:Male
Build:Medium Race:White (Hispanic)
Occupation:UnknownNationality:American
Scars and Marks:Saenz has tattoos of the words "Natalie" and "Cuatro" on his left arm, "Flats" on his right arm, and "In Memory Serelone Flew" and "Flats4" on his back. He also has a tattoo on his chest, and a pierced ear.
Remarks: Saenz is believed to work for a Mexican drug cartel, and is known to travel between the United States and Mexico. He may have removed his tattoos with a laser. He has reportedly made previous statements indicating plans to kill a police officer upon his arrest. He is believed to always carry a weapon.

CAUTION

ON JULY 25, 1998, JOE LUIS SAENZ ALLEGEDLY SHOT AND KILLED TWO RIVAL GANG MEMBERS IN LOS ANGELES. LESS THAN TWO WEEKS LATER, ON AUGUST 5, 1998, SAENZ ALLEGEDLY KIDNAPPED, RAPED, AND MURDERED HIS GIRLFRIEND. SAENZ ALLEGEDLY MURDERED A FOURTH VICTIM IN OCTOBER OF 2008 IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY.

CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.

REWARD

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Joe Luis Saenz.

October 2009

F B I Ten Most Wanted Fugitive


UNLAWFUL FLIGHT TO AVOID PROSECUTION - FIRST DEGREE MURDER (3 COUNTS), ARSON OF AN OCCUPIED STRUCTURE

ROBERT WILLIAM FISHER

Photograph of Robert William Fisher taken in 1999Photograph of Robert William Fisher taken in 1997Photograph of Robert William Fisher
Photograph taken in 1999
Photograph taken in 1997
 

Alias: Robert W. Fisher

DESCRIPTION

Date of Birth:April 13, 1961Hair:Brown
Place of Birth:Brooklyn, New YorkEyes:Blue
Height:6'0"Complexion:Light
Weight:190 poundsSex:Male
Build:MediumRace:White
Occupations:Surgical Catheter Technician, Respiratory Therapist, FiremanNationality:American
Scars and Marks:Fisher has surgical scars on his lower back.
Remarks: Fisher is physically fit and is an avid outdoorsman, hunter, and fisherman. He has a noticeable gold crown on his upper left first bicuspid tooth. He may walk with an exaggerated erect posture and his chest pushed out due to a lower back injury. Fisher is known to chew tobacco heavily. He has ties to New Mexico and Florida. Fisher is believed to be in possession of several weapons, including a high-powered rifle.

CAUTION

ROBERT WILLIAM FISHER IS WANTED FOR ALLEGEDLY KILLING HIS WIFE AND TWO YOUNG CHILDREN AND THEN BLOWING UP THE HOUSE IN WHICH THEY ALL LIVED IN SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA IN APRIL OF 2001.

CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.

REWARD

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Robert William Fisher.

June 2002
Poster Revised January 2005


FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive


BANK ROBBERY; UNLAWFUL FLIGHT TO AVOID PROSECUTION - ARMED ROBBERY; THEFT FROM INTERSTATE SHIPMENT

VICTOR MANUEL GERENA

Photograph of Victor Manuel Gerena taken in 1983Photograph of Victor Manuel Gerena retouched in 2004Computer Age enhanced Photoragraph of Victor Manuel Gerena

Photograph taken in 1983

Photograph retouched in 2004

Computer Age Enhanced Photograph

Aliases: Victor Ortiz, Victor M. Gerena Ortiz.

DESCRIPTION
Date of Birth:June 24, 1958Hair:Brown
Place of Birth:New York, New YorkEyes:Green
Height:5'6" to 5'7"Complexion:Dark/Medium
Weight:160 to 169 poundsSex:Male
Build:Medium/StockyRace:White (Hispanic)
Occupations:Machinist, security guardNationality:American (Puerto Rican descent)
Scars and Marks:Gerena has a one-inch scar and a mole on his right shoulder blade.
Remarks: None

CAUTION

VICTOR MANUEL GERENA IS BEING SOUGHT IN CONNECTION WITH THE ARMED ROBBERY OF APPROXIMATELY $7 MILLION FROM A SECURITY COMPANY IN CONNECTICUT IN 1983. HE ALLEGEDLY TOOK TWO SECURITY EMPLOYEES HOSTAGE AT GUNPOINT AND THEN HANDCUFFED, BOUND AND INJECTED THEM WITH AN UNKNOWN SUBSTANCE IN ORDER TO FURTHER DISABLE THEM.

CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.

REWARD

The FBI is offering a reward of up to one million dollars for information leading directly to the arrest of Victor Manuel Gerena.

May 1984
Poster Revised December 2004


F B I Ten Most Wanted Fugitive


UNLAWFUL FLIGHT TO AVOID CONFINEMENT - MURDER, ESCAPE

GLEN STEWART GODWIN

Photograph of Glen Stewart Godwin taken in 1991 Age Enhanced Drawing 2009 Age Enhanced Drawing 2009

Photograph taken in 1991

Age Enhanced Drawing 2009

Age Enhanced Drawing 2009

Aliases: Michael Carrera, Miguel Carrera, Michael Carmen, Glen Godwin, Glen S. Godwin, Dennis H. McWilliams, Dennis Harold McWilliams

DESCRIPTION

Date of Birth:June 26, 1958Hair:Black/Salt and Pepper
Place of Birth:Miami, FloridaEyes:Green
Height:6'0"Complexion:Medium to Dark
Weight:200 poundsSex:Male
Build:MediumRace:White
Occupations:Self-employed in tool supplies, mechanic, construction workerNationality:American
Scars and Marks:None known
Remarks: Godwin is fluent in Spanish and may be traveling throughout Central and South America, and Mexico. He is thought to be involved in narcotics distribution.

CAUTION

GLEN STEWART GODWIN IS BEING SOUGHT FOR HIS 1987 ESCAPE FROM FOLSOM STATE PRISON IN CALIFORNIA, WHERE HE WAS SERVING A LENGTHY SENTENCE FOR MURDER. LATER IN 1987, GODWIN WAS ARRESTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING IN PUERTA VALLARTA, MEXICO. AFTER BEING CONVICTED, HE WAS SENT TO A PRISON IN GUADALAJARA. IN APRIL OF 1991, GODWIN ALLEGEDLY MURDERED A FELLOW INMATE AND THEN ESCAPED FIVE MONTHS LATER.

CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND AN ESCAPE RISK

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.

REWARD

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Glen Stewart Godwin.

December 1996
Poster Revised November 2009


FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive


FRAUD BY WIRE; RICO CONSPIRACY; MAIL FRAUD; MONEY LAUNDERING CONSPIRACY; MONEY LAUNDERING; AIDING AND ABETTING; SECURITIES FRAUD; FILING FALSE REGISTRATION WITH THE SEC; FALSE FILINGS WITH THE SEC; FALSIFICATION OF BOOKS AND RECORDS

SEMION MOGILEVICH

Photograph of Semion MogilevichPhotograph of Semion MogilevichPhotograph of Semion Mogilevich

Photographs taken in 2001

Photograph taken in 2000

Aliases: Seva Moguilevich, Semon Yudkovich Palagnyuk, Semen Yukovich Telesh, Simeon Mogilevitch, Semjon Mogilevcs, Shimon Makelwitsh, Shimon Makhelwitsch, Sergei Yurevich Schnaider, "Seva"

DESCRIPTION

Dates of Birth Used:June 30, 1946;
July 5, 1946
Hair:Gray (Balding)
Place of Birth:Kiev, UkraineEyes:Green
Height:5'6" to 5'7"Complexion:Light
Weight:290 poundsSex:Male
Build:HeavyRace:White
Occupation:BusinessmanNationality:Ukrainian
Scars and Marks:Mogilevich has pockmarks on his face.
Remarks: Mogilevich may wear facial hair to include a moustache. He is known to be a heavy smoker. Mogilevich has his primary residence in Moscow, Russia. He is known to utilize a Russian passport, but may also possess Israeli, Ukrainian, and Greek passports.

CAUTION

SEMION MOGILEVICH IS WANTED FOR HIS ALLEGED PARTICIPATION IN A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR SCHEME TO DEFRAUD THOUSANDS OF INVESTORS IN THE STOCK OF A PUBLIC COMPANY INCORPORATED IN CANADA, BUT HEADQUARTERED IN NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, BETWEEN 1993 AND 1998. THE SCHEME TO DEFRAUD COLLAPSED IN 1998, AFTER THOUSANDS OF INVESTORS LOST IN EXCESS OF 150 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS, AND MOGILEVICH, THOUGHT TO HAVE ALLEGEDLY FUNDED AND AUTHORIZED THE SCHEME, WAS INDICTED IN APRIL OF 2003.

CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.

REWARD

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Semion Mogilevich.

October 2009

FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive


UNLAWFUL FLIGHT TO AVOID PROSECUTION - KIDNAPPING, MURDER

ALEXIS FLORES

Photograph of Alexis Fores taken in 2005Photograph of Alexis Fores taken in 2002

Photograph taken in 2005

Photograph taken in 2002

 
Aliases: Mario Flores, Mario Roberto Flores, Mario F. Roberto, Alex Contreras, Alesis Contreras

DESCRIPTION

Dates of Birth Used:July 18, 1975;
July 18, 1982;
September 15, 1980;
July 17, 1982
Hair:Black
Place of Birth:HondurasEyes:Brown
Height:5'4"Complexion:Light
Weight:130 to 140 poundsSex:Male
Build:SlimRace:White (Hispanic)
Occupation:HandymanNationality:Honduran
Scars and Marks:Flores has scars on his forehead and right cheek.
Remarks: Flores has ties to Honduras.

CAUTION

ALEXIS FLORES IS WANTED FOR HIS ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN THE KIDNAPPING AND MURDER OF A FIVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA. THE GIRL WAS REPORTED MISSING IN LATE JULY OF 2000, AND LATER FOUND STRANGLED TO DEATH IN A NEARBY APARTMENT IN EARLY AUGUST OF 2000.

CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.

REWARD

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Alexis Flores.

May 2007



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Mumia Abu-Jamal's Last Chance for Justice

April 4, 2009

The Framing of Mumis Abu-Jamal

Since his conviction in 1982 for the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, through his numerous books, essays and radio commentaries, has become the face of the anti-death penalty movement in the United States and an international cause célèbre. Paris, for example, made him an honorary citizen in 2003, bestowing the honor for the first time since Pablo Picasso received it in 1971.

Abu-Jamal's case has been politically charged from the beginning. As Amnesty International established in its 2000 pamphlet entitled "The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Life in the Balance," his tortuous appeal process has been fraught with "judicial machinations." Claims that won the day in other cases were repeatedly denied him, first by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1989 and subsequently by a Federal District Court in 2001 where the judge overturned his death sentence but left in place in his conviction – and Abu-Jamal on death row – pending further appeals.

The latest example of what has become known as "the Mumia exception" occurred in March of 2008 when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in a sharply divided 2-1 decision, turned down Abu-Jamal's appeal for a new trial based on the claim that the prosecutor – through his use of peremptory challenges – purged otherwise qualified blacks from his jury. In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark Batson decision, ruling that racial discrimination in jury selection is unconstitutional and merits the harmed defendant a new trial.

In a nutshell, the Third Circuit majority denied Abu-Jamal's Batson claim on a technicality of its own invention, not on its merits, ruling that his claim failed because he was not able to establish the racial composition of the entire jury pool at his 1982 trial. In issuing its ruling, the court, incredibly, ignored its own previous opposite rulings in the Holloway v. Horn in 2004 and Brinson v. Vaughn in 2005 where it specifically ruled it was not required for the defendants in those cases to establish such data.

Abu-Jamal's final opportunity for judicial relief is now before the U.S. Supreme Court in the form of a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari. On February 4, the high court docketed and accepted that filing. According to Abu-Jamal's lead attorney, Robert Bryan of San Francisco, "The central issue in this case is racism in jury selection. The prosecution systematically removed people from sitting on the trial jury purely because of the color of their skin, that is, being black."

Joseph McGill, the prosecutor at Abu-Jamal's trial, has stipulated in previous appeal proceedings that he used 10 of the 15 peremptory challenges he exercised to exclude blacks from the jury – a strike rate of 66.67 percent against potential black jurors. Such a high strike rate is in itself an extremely strong inference of discrimination. The result was that – in a city with a black population of over 40 percent in 1982 – only three of the 12 jurors impaneled were black. As Third Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro pointedly stated in his dissent, "It is my belief that the 66.67 percent strike rate, without reference to the total venire [jury pool], can stand on its own for the purpose of raising an inference of discrimination."

During last year's term, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded its 1986 Batson ruling to warrant a new trial if a minority defendant could show the inference of racial bias in the prosecutor's peremptory exclusion of one juror. Under Batson, the defense needed to show an inference – i.e., a pattern – of racial bias in the overall jury selection process. Ironically, the Supreme Court's 7-2 decision strengthening and expanding Batson's reach was written by Justice Samuel Alito, most recently of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

As a result, there is something more than a remote possibility that the Supreme Court will agree to grant Abu-Jamal's writ. In denying Abu-Jamal's Batson claim, the Third Circuit's ruling created new law by placing new restrictions on a defendant's ability to file a Batson claim. The Third Circuit, in effect, tampered with and undermined a long-established Supreme Court ruling.

A Writ of Certiorari is a decision by the Supreme Court to hear an appeal from a lower court. Supreme Court justices rarely give a reason why they accept or deny Cert. Although all nine justices are involved in considering Cert Petitions, it takes only four justices to grant a Writ of Certiorari, even if five justices are against it. This is known as "the rule of four."

If the Supreme Court were to grant Cert on Abu-Jamal's Batson claim, one clean, simple option for it would be to remand the case to federal district court for the Batson hearing both the Federal District Court in 2001 and the Third Circuit in 2008 should have ordered. Such a hearing would, in all probability except for "the Mumia exception," lead to a new trial for Abu-Jamal. A new trial, considering the utter travesty of justice his original trial represented, would set him free. If Certiorari is denied, Abu-Jamal – now 54 – will, barring the most unlikely intervention by a future governor of Pennsylvania, spend the rest of his life in prison.

 

The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal
 
 

The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal (Paperback)

 

 

 

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Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons

Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq?

These videos show just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for Channel 4 in 2005 . It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying. Does this constiture justice? How many people remain unaware that this type of abuse occurs daily within the U.S. prison system? How many know and turn a blind eye? How many care?

 

The following videos are graphic, and disturbing. They have previously been broadcast on mainstream UK television.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons

They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for BBC Channel 4 . It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying. 

The prison guards stand over their captives with electric cattle prods, stun guns, and dogs. Many of the prisoners have been ordered to strip naked. The guards are yelling abuse at them, ordering them to lie on the ground and crawl. ‘Crawl, motherf*****s, crawl.’ 

If a prisoner doesn’t drop to the ground fast enough, a guard kicks him or stamps on his back. There’s a high-pitched scream from one man as a dog clamps its teeth onto his lower leg. 

Another prisoner has a broken ankle. He can’t crawl fast enough so a guard jabs a stun gun onto his buttocks. The jolt of electricity zaps through his naked flesh and genitals. For hours afterwards his whole body shakes. 

Lines of men are now slithering across the floor of the cellblock while the guards stand over them shouting, prodding and kicking. 

Second by second, their humiliation is captured on a video camera by one of the guards. 

The images of abuse and brutality he records are horrifyingly familiar. These were exactly the kind of pictures from inside Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad that shocked the world a year prior to the making of this programme. 

And they are similar, too, to the images of brutality against Iraqi prisoners that recently led to the conviction of three British soldiers. 

But there is a difference. These prisoners are not caught up in a war zone. They are Americans, and the video comes from inside a prison in Texas. 

They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for Channel 4.

Our findings were not based on rumour or suspicion. They were based on solid evidence, chiefly videotapes that we collected from all over the U.S. 

In many American states, prison regulations demand that any ‘use of force operation’, such as searching cells for drugs, must be filmed by a guard. 

The theory is that the tapes will show proper procedure was followed and that no excessive force was used. In fact, many of them record the exact opposite. 

Each tape provides a shocking insight into the reality of life inside the U.S. prison system – a reality that sits very uncomfortably with President Bush’s commitment to the battle for freedom and democracy against the forces of tyranny and oppression. 

In fact, the Texas episode outlined above dates from 1996, when Bush was state Governor. 

Frank Carlson was one of the lawyers who fought a compensation battle on behalf of the victims. I asked him about his reaction when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke last year and U.S. politicians rushed to express their astonishment and disgust that such abuses could happen at the hands of American guards. 

‘I thought: “What hypocrisy,” Carlson told me. ‘Because they know we do it here every day.’ 

All the lawyers I spoke to during our investigations shared Carlson’s belief that Abu Ghraib, far from being the work of a few rogue individuals, was simply the export of the worst practices that take place in the domestic prison system all the time. They pointed to the mountain of files stacked on their desks, on the floor, in their office corridors – endless stories of appalling, sadistic treatment inside America’s own prisons. 

Many of the tapes we’ve collected are several years old. That’s because they only surface when determined lawyers prise them out of reluctant state prison departments during protracted lawsuits. 

But for every ‘historical’ tape we collected, we also found a more recent story. What you see on the tape is still happening daily. 

It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying. 

In one horrific scene, a naked man, passive and vacant, is seen being led out of his cell by prison guards. They strap him into a medieval-looking device called a ‘restraint chair’. His hands and feet are shackled, there’s a strap across his chest, his head lolls forward. He looks dead. He’s not. Not yet. 

The chair is his punishment because guards saw him in his cell with a pillowcase on his head and he refused to take it off. The man has a long history of severe schizophrenia. Sixteen hours later, they release him from the chair. And two hours after that, he dies from a blood clot resulting from his barbaric treatment. 

The tape comes from Utah – but there are others from Connecticut, Florida, Texas, Arizona and probably many more. We found more than 20 cases of prisoners who’ve died in the past few years after being held in a restraint chair. 

Two of the deaths we investigated were in the same county jail in Phoenix, Arizona, which is run by a man who revels in the title of ‘America’s Toughest Sheriff.’ 

His name is Joe Arpaio. He positively welcomes TV crews and we were promised ‘unfettered access.’ It was a reassuring turn of phrase – you don’t want to be fettered in one of Sheriff Joe’s jails. 

We uncovered two videotapes from surveillance cameras showing how his tough stance can end in tragedy. 

The first tape, from 2001, shows a man named Charles Agster dragged in by police, handcuffed at the wrists and ankles. Agster is mentally disturbed and a drug user. He was arrested for causing a disturbance in a late-night grocery store. The police handed him over to the Sheriff’s deputies in the jail. Agster is a tiny man, weighing no more than nine stone, but he’s struggling. 

The tape shows nine deputies manhandling him into the restraint chair. One of them kneels on Agster’s stomach, pushing his head forward on to his knees and pulling his arms back to strap his wrists into the chair. 

Bending someone double for any length of time is dangerous – the manuals on the use of the 'restraint chair’ warn of the dangers of ‘positional asphyxia.’ 

Fifteen minutes later, a nurse notices Agster is unconscious. The cameras show frantic efforts to resuscitate him, but he’s already brain dead. He died three days later in hospital. Agster's family is currently suing Arizona County. 

His mother, Carol, cried as she told me: ‘If that’s not torture, I don’t know what is.’ Charles’s father, Chuck, listened in silence as we filmed the interview, but every so often he padded out of the room to cry quietly in the kitchen. 

The second tape, from five years earlier, shows Scott Norberg dying a similar death in the same jail. He was also a drug user arrested for causing a nuisance. Norberg was severely beaten by the guards, stunned up to 19 times with a Taser gun and forced into the chair where – like Charles Agster – he suffocated. 

The county’s insurers paid Norberg’s family more than £4 millions in an out-of-court settlement, but the sheriff was furious with the deal. ‘My officers were clear,’ he said. ‘The insurance firm was afraid to go before a jury.’ 

Now he’s determined to fight the Agster case all the way through the courts. Yet tonight, in Sheriff Joe’s jail, there’ll probably be someone else strapped into the chair. 

Not all the tapes we uncovered were filmed by the guards themselves. Linda Evans smuggled a video camera into a hospital to record her son, Brian. You can barely see his face through all the tubes and all you can hear is the rhythmic sucking of the ventilator. 

He was another of Sheriff Joe’s inmates. After an argument with guards, he told a prison doctor they’d beaten him up. Six days later, he was found unconscious of the floor of his cell with a broken neck, broken toes and internal injuries. After a month in a coma, he died from septicaemia. 

‘Mr Arpaio is responsible.’ Linda Evans told me, struggling to speak through her tears. ‘He seems to thrive on this cruelty and this mentality that these men are nothing.’ 

In some of the tapes it’s not just the images, it’s also the sounds that are so unbearable. There’s one tape from Florida which I’ve seen dozens of times but it still catches me in the stomach. 

It’s an authorised ‘use of force operation’ – so a guard is videoing what happens. They’re going to Taser a prisoner for refusing orders. 

The tape shows a prisoner lying on an examination table in the prison hospital. The guards are instructing him to climb down into a wheelchair. ‘I can’t, I can’t!’ he shouts with increasing desperation. ‘It hurts!’ 

One guard then jabs him on both hips with a Taser. The man jerks as the electricity hits him and shrieks, but still won’t get into the wheelchair. 

The guards grab him and drop him into the chair. As they try to bend his legs up on to the footrest, he screams in pain. The man’s lawyer told me he has a very limited mental capacity. He says he has a back injury and can’t walk or bend his legs without intense pain. 

The tape becomes even more harrowing. The guards try to make the prisoner stand up and hold a walking frame. He falls on the floor, crying in agony. They Taser him again. He runs out of the energy and breath to cry and just lies there moaning. 

One of the most recent video tapes was filmed in January last year. A surveillance camera in a youth institution in California records an argument between staff members and two ‘wards’ – they’re not called prisoners. 

One of the youths hits a staff member in the face. He knocks the ward to the floor then sits astride him punching him over and over again in the head. 

Watching the tape you can almost feel each blow. The second youth is also punched and kicked in the head – even after he’s been handcuffed. Other staff just stand around and watch. 

We also collected some truly horrific photographs. 

A few years ago, in Florida, the new warden of the high security state prison ordered an end to the videoing of ‘use of force operations.’ So we have no tapes to show how prison guards use pepper spray to punish prisoners. 

But we do have the lawsuit describing how men were doused in pepper spray and then left to cook in the burning fog of chemicals. Photographs taken by their lawyers show one man has a huge patch of raw skin over his hip. Another is covered in an angry rash across his neck, back and arms. A third has deep burns on his buttocks. 

‘They usually use fire extinguishers size canisters of pepper spray,’ lawyer Christopher Jones explained. ‘We have had prisoners who have had second degree burns all over their bodies. 

‘The tell-tale sign is they turn off the ventilation fans in the unit. Prisoners report that cardboard is shoved in the crack of the door to make sure it’s really air-tight.’ 

And why were they sprayed? According to the official prison reports, their infringements included banging on the cell door and refusing medication. From the same Florida prison we also have photographs of Frank Valdes – autopsy pictures. Realistically, he had little chance of ever getting out of prison alive. He was on Death Row for killing a prison officer. He had time to reconcile himself to the Electric Chair – he didn’t expect to be beaten to death. 

Valdes started writing to local Florida newspapers to expose the corruption and brutality of prison officers. So a gang of guards stormed into his cell to shut him up. They broke almost every one of his ribs, punctured his lung, smashed his spleen and left him to die. 

Several of the guards were later charged with murder, but the trial was held in their own small hometown where almost everyone works for, or has connection with, the five prisons which ring the town. The foreman of the jury was former prison officer. The guards were all acquitted. 

Meanwhile, the warden who was in charge of the prison at the time of the killing – the same man who changed the policy on videoing – has been promoted. He’s now the man in charge of all the Florida prisons. 

How could anyone excuse – still less condone – such behaviour? The few prison guards who would talk to us have a siege mentality. They see themselves outnumbered, surrounded by dangerous, violent criminals, so they back each other up, no matter what. 

I asked one serving officer what happened if colleagues beat up an inmate. ‘We cover up. Because we’re the good guys.’ 

No one should doubt that the vast majority of U.S. prison officers are decent individuals doing their best in difficult circumstances. But when horrific abuse by the few goes unreported and uninvestigated, it solidifies into a general climate of acceptance among the many. 

At the same time the overall hardening of attitudes in modern-day America has meant the notion of rehabilitation has been almost lost. The focus is entirely on punishment – even loss of liberty is not seen as punishment enough. Being on the restraint devices and the chemical sprays. 

Since we finished filming for the programme, I’ve stayed in contact with various prisoners’ rights groups and the families of many of the victims. Every single day come more e-mails full of fresh horror stories. In the past weeks, two more prisoners have died, in Alabama and Ohio. One man was pepper sprayed, the other tasered. 

During the making of the documentary reports emerged of 20 hours of video material from Guantanamo Bay showing prisoners being stripped, beaten and pepper sprayed. One of those affected is Omar Deghayes, one of the seven British residents still being held there. 

His lawyer says Deghayes is now permanently blind in one eye. American military investigators have reviewed the tapes and apparently found ‘no evidence of systematic abuse.’ 

But then, as one of the prison reformers we met on our journey across the U.S. told me: ‘We’ve become immune to the abuse. The brutality has become customary.’ 

So far, the U.S. government is refusing to release these Guantanamo tapes. If they are ever made public – or leaked – I suspect the images will be very familiar. 

Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo – or even Texas. The prisoners and all guards may vary, but the abuse is still too familiar. And much is it is taking place in America’s own backyard. 

Deborah Davies is a reporter for Channel 4 Dispatches. Her investigation, Torture: America’s Brutal Prisons, was shown on Wednesday, March 2, 2006 at 11.05pm.

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I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".
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