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|Puerto Rico, Douglas Leff fbi, entrevista radial con NotiUno 630 am – Google Search|
Diario Metro de Puerto Rico–5 hours ago
… de Investigaciones (FBI, por sus siglas en Inglés) en Puerto Rico, Douglas Leff, confirmó en entrevista radial con NotiUno 630am que varios …
|Jefe del FBI en Puerto Rico prepara arrestos de políticos|
Douglas Leff, jefe del FBI en Puerto Rico. archivo
Douglas Leff, jefe del FBI en Puerto Rico. archivo
El jefe del Buro Federal de Investigaciones (FBI, por sus siglas en Inglés) en Puerto Rico, Douglas Leff, confirmó en entrevista radial con NotiUno 630am que varios arrestos, los cuales se efectuarán pronto, dejarán en ‘shock’ a muchos en la isla.
“Vamos hacer arrestos en cual tú quedarás en ‘shock’ porque he visto las investigaciones en progreso”, sostuvo Leff en entrevista con la dicha emisora.
Este indicó, además, que las autoridades federales tienen los ojos puestos en el escándalo sobre el voto de encamados en el pueblo de Moca.
“Es un asunto que ha recibido nuestra atención, pero en este tipo de caso necesitamos determinar si hay un nexo federal. Así que continuamos revisando a ver si hay que tomar una determinación”, añadió.
Por otra parte, el jefe de los federales en la isla manifestó que siguen investigando en profundidad un aparente esquema de corrupción en el Municipio de San Juan.
Escucha aquí la entrevista a Douglas Leff
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|Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and her administration are under FBI investigation after reports that corruption – Google Search|
Townhall–20 hours ago
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz infamously picked a fight with … Some of the aid took awhile to get to its destination. … The FBI is investigating suppliers and Cruz’s administration. … “On February 21, Molina sued the city council after reporting alleged acts of corruption in the shopping division in the …
BizPac Review–4 hours ago
Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and her administration are under FBI investigation after reports that corruption in San Juan obstructed critical …
The Epoch Times–Jun 12, 2018
The administration of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (D), who made … According to a local news report from El Vocero de Puerto Rico, the FBI is investigating … city council after reporting alleged acts of corruption in the shopping … was blocked from her right “to report wrongdoing in her capacity as a …
Newsmax–16 hours ago
The administration of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who was sharply critical of President Donald Trump after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico last year, is reportedly being investigated for alleged corruption. In a report from El Vocero de Puerto Rico, the FBI is investigating several suppliers in …
|Sessions warns IG report on Clinton email case could lead to more firings|
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on the eve of the release of a long-awaited watchdog report on the Hillary Clinton email case, pointedly warned that the findings could lead to more firings.
The Justice Department inspector general report reviewing the FBI and DOJ’s handling of that case is slated to drop Thursday.
In an exclusive interview with The Hill’s new web show “Rising” on Wednesday, Sessions said the option of “termination” is on the table for those accused of serious wrongdoing.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he was open to firing more officials in connection with Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report. (AP)
“If anyone else shows up in this report to have done something that requires termination we will do so,” Sessions told The Hill.
It’s unclear whether Sessions knows which individuals will be cited in the report, but several top FBI and DOJ officials are likely to come under criticism in the findings by IG Michael Horowitz. For more than a year, the inspector general has been reviewing those agencies’ actions related to its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
“I think it will be a lengthy report and a careful report,” Sessions said, adding that it he thinks it will “help us better fix any problems that we have a reassure the American people that some of the concerns that have been raised are not true.”
The report is expected to look at, among other things, whether “certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations.”
“I think it’s going to put a lot of the missing pieces in this giant puzzle together,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., predicted Wednesday on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been investigating whether decisions in the Clinton email probe were based on “improper considerations” for over a year. (AP)
Among the officials expected to come under scrutiny in the report are former FBI Director James Comey, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and FBI official Peter Strzok.
Comey and McCabe have already been fired from the department, in part over issues related to the probe.
Horowitz has investigated whether it was improper for Comey to make a public announcement about his decision to not recommend prosecution for Clinton over the private email server and mishandling of classified information. Comey, in that announcement, called Clinton and her associates “extremely careless.” A draft of Horowitz’s report reportedly called Comey “insubordinate,” while also criticizing his decision to notify Congress the probe was being reopened just days before the 2016 election.
Former FBI Director James Comey was fired in May 2017 following a recommendation to President Trump by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (ABC)
Comey was fired in May 2017, upon recommendation by current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. They cited his handling of the Clinton case, though President Trump later indicated the Russia probe was also a factor. Trump has continued to decry that investigation as a “witch hunt” and is likely to seize on the IG findings to further question the FBI’s integrity. At the same time, some of the IG findings may hit the bureau for actions seen as harmful to Clinton.
Sessions told The Hill that Comey’s firing was justified.
“It was the right thing to do. The facts were pretty clear on it. He made a big mistake and he testified only a few weeks before the termination that he would do it again [announce reopening the Clinton probe] if he had the opportunity,” Sessions said.
McCabe wasn’t fired until March of this year, following a separate inspector general finding that he leaked a self-serving story to the press and later lied about it to Comey and federal investigators. Horowitz’s office sent a criminal referral for McCabe to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.
Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March after the inspector general’s report revealed that he made an unauthorized leak to the media, and later lied about it to Comey and federal investigators. (AP)
In this report, though, Horowitz has investigated whether McCabe should have recused himself from the Clinton email investigation due to this family’s ties to the Democratic Party. He did not decide to do so until a week before the election. McCabe could also come under scrutiny over the timeline of his knowledge of additional Clinton-tied emails found on disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop. McCabe and others knew that the emails were found as early as September 2016, but the FBI did not work to obtain a warrant to review them until October.
This week, lawyers representing McCabe filed a suit against the Justice Department and the FBI alleging that they wouldn’t give up files connected to his firing.
As for Strzok — who wasn’t fired but rather re-assigned from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team to the FBI’s Human Resources Department last year — the official came under fire when Horowitz found a trove of anti-Trump text messages between him and former FBI employee Lisa Page, with whom he was romantically involved.
Lynch also is expected to come under scrutiny, yet again, over the now-infamous Arizona tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton, just days before the FBI announced it would not press criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. Lynch has claimed she and the former president only discussed “innocuous things,” and that the meeting was just a “chance encounter.”
Horowitz is expected to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week on the report.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas and Judson Berger contributed to this report.
Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.
|Sessions: more FBI firings are coming – Google Search|
Fox News–15 minutes ago
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he was open to firing more … the officials expected to come under scrutiny in the report are former FBI …
Jeff Sessions says IG report could prompt him to fire more FBI officials
Washington Examiner–11 hours ago
<a href=”http://ticklethewire.com” rel=”nofollow”>ticklethewire.com</a>–19 minutes ago
Attorney General Jeff Sessions hints that there could be more firings after the release of a Justice Department inspector general report on …
CNN–Jun 5, 2018
… sit-down with Mueller continue, here is a look back at some of the key events: … Kasowitz also references how both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and … for an interview, largely focused on the firingsof FBI Director James Comey … level of cooperation with the Mueller investigation, including morethan …
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CBC.ca–Jun 2, 2018
|Inspector general’s new report on FBI – Google Search|
Vox–1 hour ago
A hotly anticipated inspector general report about then-FBI Director James … the new report, you have to first understand the inspector general …
Report on FBI actions in Clinton email case set for release
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Washington (CNN) With a major report from the inspector general for the … of the most anticipated inspector general reports in recent memory is due for … its long-awaited report into the FBI and Justice Department’s actions …
|Inspector general’s new report on FBI, Comey, Clinton and 2016, explained|
A hotly anticipated inspector general report about then-FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation is finally complete. It’s set to be released to Congress Thursday afternoon — and is guaranteed to become a lightning rod in President Trump’s clashes with his own Justice Department.
Michael Horowitz, the inspector general writing the report, is an Obama appointee, and when he first announced he was reviewing into the DOJ and FBI’s actions all the way back in January 2017, many Clinton supporters eagerly hoped he would take Comey to task for actions that they felt inappropriately affected the presidential election.
But we now live in a world where former FBI Director James Comey is a prominent critic of Trump and an important witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of whether the president obstructed justice.
Even though Horowitz’s report isn’t about the Russia investigation at all, it will be released in a political context dominated by both Mueller’s probe and Trump’s attacks on his Justice Department. Indeed, Trump has signaled that he’s eagerly anticipating the IG report, since it‘s expected to criticize Comey, and he is trying to undermine Comey’s credibility.
And yet it’s entirely possible that the IG’s criticisms of Comey and other Justice Department officials will be well-founded. Commentators on all sides of the political spectrum had — and still have — reasonable complaints about Comey’s unusual choices during the 2016 campaign.
Horowitz has spent six years in the IG job, has a good reputation, and is by all appearances nonpartisan. Furthermore, the inspector general operates with a measure of independence from government higher-ups. Now he’s about to walk into the most dangerous political maelstrom he’s faced yet. But to understand the new report, you have to first understand the inspector general role — and Horowitz himself.
What is an inspector general?
Often called the “watchdogs” for the federal government, an inspector general is supposed to investigate allegations of misconduct within his or her particular agency. Each major Cabinet department has one, and so do various other federal offices and agencies — there are 73 inspectors general (or IGs) in total. (This helpful CRS report lists them all.)
When inspector general offices were first established in the mid-1970s, their primary task was to investigate “waste, fraud, and abuse” in federal spending, and that remains an important part of their job today.
But gradually, their authority has expanded to the point where IGs have become all-purpose scandal investigators. It’s become understood that when something controversial goes down at an agency, it’s the IG — who’s outside the normal chain of command — that’s supposed to look into it. IGs can start investigations based on whistleblower complaints, referrals from their office’s leadership, or requests from Congress.
A department’s IG has the authority to examine relevant records from the department, from memos to emails. IGs have subpoena power and can arrange interviews of current employees — interviews in which it would be a crime to make false statements. So their investigations have the potential to be quite vigorous.
Yet one crucial thing to understand is that inspectors general have no authority to actually charge anyone with crimes (or indeed, to impose any disciplinary actions). Their investigations end when they assemble reports on what they found. These reports, which are generally made public, can recommendthat people be prosecuted, but actual charging decisions are left to elsewhere in the Justice Department.
The most prominent IGs are all presidential appointees who have to be confirmed by the Senate. However, the offices do have a reputation for independence. Though the president can fire them so long as he tells Congress why in advance, in recent decades that’s rarely been done. Instead, IGs are generally (though not always) left in place and get to serve until they choose to move on.
Trump has so far abided by that tradition. Nearly all of the most prominent inspectors general are still holdovers from the Obama or even George W. Bush administrations. They include the IGs for State, Treasury, Defense, Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, Veterans Affairs — and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Who is Michael Horowitz?
By now, Trump has cleared out most of the Justice Department’s Obama-era leadership — but Inspector General Michael Horowitz remains.
Horowitz has deep roots in the department. From 1991 to 1999, he worked as an assistant US attorney in Justice’s prestigious Southern District of New York office, where he led a major investigation into police corruption. He was then promoted to higher-level roles in the main Justice Department’s criminal division — first as deputy assistant attorney general and then as the division chief of staff. In 2002, he left the government and spent the next decade as a partner at the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft (where he was well-compensated).
When the Justice Department’s well-respected Inspector General Glenn Fine decided to resign after a decade in the post, President Obama decided to nominate Horowitz to replace him. With congressional Republicans already demanding various investigations into the Obama administration, Horowitz was likely picked because he was a nonpartisan figure who’d worked under presidents of both parties. The Senate confirmed him without objection in the spring of 2012.
Horowitz has served in the post in the six years since. In that time, he’s overseen investigations into politically charged matters like “Fast and Furious,” the mishandled operation to infiltrate a weapons-smuggling ring in which law enforcement officials allowed hundreds of weapons to be smuggled into Mexico. (Horowitz’s report criticized 14 officials for mishandling the matter.)
He’s occasionally clashed with Justice and FBI leadership, publicly criticizing them for failing to turn over records on grand jury investigations relevant to his probes. And he’s become a sort of champion for the IGs themselves, chairing a council of inspectors general and asking Congress to give IGs more investigative powers.
Overall, Horowitz is viewed as a vigorous investigator who takes his job quite seriously. He generally isn’t believed to have political motivations — his only known donation is to Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) in 2010. “Straight shooter” is one of the most common phrases used to describe him. But now he’s been tasked with his most hot-button investigation yet.
What is this IG report about?
On January 12, 2017 — after Trump had won the election but before his inauguration — Horowitz announced that he was opening “a review of allegations regarding certain actions” by the Justice Department and FBI “in advance of the 2016 election.”
By that, he meant, mainly, officials’ handling of the now-closed Hillary Clinton email probe, and not the probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. (The latter investigation hadn’t even been publicly confirmed to exist at the time and is still ongoing even today.)
To recap the infamous chain of events in the Clinton probe: hen it emerged in 2015 that Clinton had used a personal email account on a private server for all of her emails while she was secretary of state, the Justice Department launched an investigation into whether she had mishandled classified information. Eventually, in a decision Comey says was unanimous among his investigative team, the FBI privately concluded that it wouldn’t recommend any charges in the matter.
But by the summer of 2016, the case had become enormously politically charged, with GOP nominee-in-waiting Donald Trump repeatedly claiming the investigation would result in Clinton’s indictment. And after word leaked out that Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton had met on an airport tarmac in late June, Republicans claimed the fix was in.
So on July 5, 2016, Comey bypassed Justice Department leadership to make a highly unusual public statement in which he announced that though he believed Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her email practices, he would not recommend any charges in the case. Republicans blasted him for his conclusion that charges weren’t necessary, while some Democrats questioned why he felt compelled to pontificate publicly about a probe in which he found no criminal wrongdoing.
Comey’s public statements about the case continued, first in extensive congressional testimony, then in an October 28 letter announcing the FBI had discovered new emails that could be relevant, and then in another November 6 letter saying the new emails didn’t change the FBI’s investigative conclusion. All this was highly unusual, to say the least, and some analysts believe Comey‘s late letters helped swing the election to Trump.
Horowitz’s January 2017 announcement suggested he’d examine criticisms of Comey‘s behavior from all sides of the political spectrum — and certain other officials’ conduct too. These included then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe (who some conservatives said should have recused himself because Clinton ally Gov. Terry McAuliffe had earlier helped fundraise for McCabe’s wife’s failed state Senate campaign), and then-Justice official Peter Kadzik, who had contacts with Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. Finally, Horowitz also said he would look into DOJ and FBI leaks that happened during the campaign more generally.
What is this IG report expected to find?
Many believe, and advance leaks suggest, that Horowitz will criticize several of Comey’s decisions in the Clinton email case. ABC News even reported that, per one source, a draft of the report deemed Comey “insubordinate.”
That makes a good deal of sense. Horowitz seems to have a by-the-book approach to investigative policy and procedure that contrasts with Comey’s more … unorthodox (some might say, grandiose) belief that his actions should serve the higher purpose of preserving public trust in the FBI.
According to Justice Department policy and tradition, the FBI should not make grand public pronouncements and criticisms about someone who hasn’t been charged with any crime. They also shouldn’t announce investigative actions that could impact an election just days before that election.
Comey did both of these in the Clinton case. He claims he was trying to preserve the reputation of the FBI for impartiality. “The confidence of people that the system is working in a fair way, that Lady Justice has kept her blindfold on, matters,” he’s said. (Less charitably, his actions could be construed as an attempt to protect himself politically from expected criticisms from the right.) Yet Horowitz might not be so convinced that these allegedly lofty motivations justify Comey’s highly unusual behavior.
Other officials are expected to come in for criticism too, including Loretta Lynch. Plus, Horowitz has already referred Comey’s former deputy at the FBI, McCabe, for criminal prosecution, saying McCabe misled investigators about his role in a pre-election leak about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Horowitz broke out these criticisms into a separate IG report — read this post for more on that — but he may have more to say about McCabe and the email case here.
What does all this mean for the Russia investigation?
Horowitz’s report may well be quite reasonable in what it concludes. But inevitably, and almost regardless of the report’s specifics, President Trump will try to exploit it to try and discredit the Russia investigation (even though, again, this IG report is not actually about the Russia investigation).
It’s not the first time Trump has tried to use the Clinton email case against Comey. Back when Trump fired him as FBI director in May 2017, the White House initially put out a cover story saying he did so because Comey violated DOJ policy in the Clinton email probe.
This was self-evidently absurd, because the DOJ memo criticized Comey for actions that hurt Clinton (his critical public statement about her, and his late letter saying new emails had been found). Trump, meanwhile, had long made it unmistakably clear that he thought Comey was too easy on Clinton in 2016 — and he ended up torpedoing his aides’ story by admitting the Russia probe played a role in his decision just two days later.
But now the new IG report could prove useful to Trump for a few different reasons, as Mueller investigates whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey.
For one, Comey is an important witness to Mueller, and several of his key interactions with Trump occurred without anyone else present. Trump, naturally, has aimed a barrage of criticism at the fired FBI director in an attempt to impugn his credibility as a witness, calling him “a leaker and a liar.”
Trump is also searching for ways to argue that he was correct in firing Comey, and that that act did not constitute obstruction of justice. So if the IG concludes that Comey mishandled the Clinton email case, Trump will likely question how firing an FBI director who’d made such major errors could possibly be construed as obstruction. (However, many legal experts believe that if Trump fired Comey with corrupt intent, in hopes of thwarting an investigation he viewed as dangerous for either himself or his allies, it could still be obstruction.)
The IG report is also being released in the midst of a continuing effort by Trump to try to undermine the Justice Department’s independence and discredit the Mueller probe more generally as part of a “deep state” plot against him. So the more Horowitz criticizes the Obama-era Justice Department leadership, the more ammunition Trump will have against them too.
Horowitz, though, is likely trying to ignore this larger political battle, by focusing only on his particular role — to assess whether there was any Justice Department misconduct with regards to the 2016 election. Perhaps, in the end, that’s all he can be expected to do.
Under the eyes of the FBI corruption in Puerto Rico
(Published Tuesday, June 12, 2018)
|Bajo la mira del FBI la corrupción en Puerto Rico Telemundo Puerto Rico – Google Search|
Telemundo Puerto Rico–Apr 10, 2018
Según El Vocero, el Negociado Federal de Investigaciones (FBI) dice tener evidencia de las alegaciones de corrupción en el municipio.
Diario Metro de Puerto Rico
Telemundo Puerto Rico–Jun 21, 2017
Todos los imputados en caso Sec DRD quedarán libres bajo fianza … Fue un funcionario de gobierno en quien el pueblo de Puerto Rico y yo …
Telemundo 62–Mar 1, 2018
El alcalde de Allentown, Ed Pawlowski fue hallado culpable de 47 de los cargos en su contra por corrupción. Se informó que el funcionario, …
El Nuevo Dia.com
Telemundo Puerto Rico–Jun 21, 2017
El presidente del Partido Popular Democrática (PPD), Héctor Ferrer, despotricó el miércoles contra Miguel Sosa, uno de los supuestos …
|Federal Prosecutor’s Office Awareness about Elder Abuse | Law and order|
After the scourge of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico, the Federal Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice of Puerto Rico, along with several federal and state agencies and the private company created the Elderly Task Force to provide assistance to the elderly population in nursing homes, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office reported in written statements.
In those moments of great need they were provided with water, food, diapers for adults, towels, personal hygiene and first aid articles, nutritious drinks, among other necessities to 16,330 people in 839 homes. This week the World Day of Awareness about Elder Abuse is celebrated and the communities come back together to work for that community.
The General Assembly of the United Nations, in its resolution 66/127, designated June 15 as: World Day of Awareness about Abuse of the Elderly.
“Both the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the Department of Justice are joining forces to take part in the initiative of the Federal Justice Department: Justice for the Elderly To that end, we will have informative tables and offer educational talks on topics such as: exploitation, cyber crimes, institutional abuse, negligence, among others, aimed at the elderly, family members and caregivers, “reads the statement.
The activity will take place at Plaza Las Americas on June 15, from 9:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon in front of the Macy’s store on the second floor.
Federal and State agencies participate Federal Department of Health-Office of the Inspector General, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service-Office of National Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), FBI, Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman Advanced Age, Department of Health, and Fonalleda Companies.
“It is our duty to protect this community,” said Rosa Emilia Rodriguez Velez, federal prosecutor for the District of Puerto Rico.
“We owe it to those who have given us so much to guarantee their protection and dignity at this stage of their lives. The Federal Justice Department Initiative is committed to optimizing state and local efforts to combat the abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of the elderly, through training, resources and information. ”
“The welfare of the elderly is one of the priorities of Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares and the Department of Justice , according to the United Nations, by 2050, it is expected that 2 billion people will be 60 years old . This is twice the current amount. They deserve to have quality of life, with a sensible and fair treatment. We repudiate the mistreatment towards our elderly people, and the negligence towards them, stealing or mistreating them, Both physically and emotionally, are crimes that we will prosecute with all the rigor of the law, “said Vázquez Garced.
|Ratting: The Use and Abuse of Informants in the American Justice System: Robert M. Bloom: 9780275968182: Amazon.com: Books|
|Whitey Bulger – Wikipedia|
James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger Jr. (/ˈbʌldʒər/; born September 3, 1929) is an Irish-American former organized crime boss of the Winter Hill Gang in Boston, Massachusetts. Federal prosecutors indicted Bulger for nineteen murders based on grand jury testimony from Kevin Weeks and other former associates. Bulger is the brother of William M. Bulger, former President of the Massachusetts Senate.
|The Use of Informants: A Cautionary Tale. – Google Search|
Fox News–May 23, 2018
… in alleged Trump informants, aide says; Trump-Kim summit in doubt …. A CAUTIONARY TALE: “[Robert Mueller] is a man who chooses a …
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette–May 20, 2018
… be wrapped up as soon as possible, pointing as a cautionary tale to the … that the FBI used an existing informant to covertly approach several …
Hartford Courant–Mar 19, 2018
John H. Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, discussed ‘The Use of Informants: A Cautionary Tale.’ He chronicled the downfall of former …
|U.S. Attorney Speaks About Using Informants|
John H. Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, discussed ‘The Use of Informants: A Cautionary Tale.’
The talk was held March 5, at the University of St. Joseph.
Durham was appointed by President Donald J. Trump and easily confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February. He is a graduate of Colgate University earned a Juris doctorate at the University of ConnecticutLaw School.
He led a U.S. Department of Justice team that investigated the FBI’s Boston Field Office into whether agents were compromised in their handling of informants, most notably the relationship between Bulger and Connolly.
Bulger fled Boston in December 1994, right before a federal indictment came down. Connolly tipped off Bulger.
In 2011, Bulger was captured in the storage area of his Santa Monica, California apartment complex where he was living with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig.
Federal agents found $800,000 in cash and 30 firearms hidden in Bulger’s apartment walls. He was convicted on 31 of 32 counts of racketeering, money laundering, and related crimes – including 11 murders.
Durham said the power of subpoena can have a great effect on a person’s life, often leading to ruin. He cautioned that such powers should be used cautiously.
A powerful law enforcement tool is the use of confidential informants, which he described as a “dual-edged sword.” Misuse of informants can severely damage a law enforcement agency.
He said prosecutors must protect the secrecy of proceedings, not so much to hide information from the public, but to protect the innocent. Prosecutors must ensure a case can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt or survive an appeal.
Connolly and Bulger knew each other from their project days in South Boston. Bulger’s brother, William Bulger, served in the Massachusetts State Senate for a good part of Whitey Bulger’s reign of terror.
William Bulger later served as the president of the University of Massachusetts System.
Whitey Bulger took over the Winter Hill Gang with Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Flemmi. Connolly was hired by the FBI in 1968, with the help of political connections. He was turned down on his initial application.
In 1975, Connolly found himself back in Boston, unusual by bureau standards. The agent was “not fond of making cases,” according to Durham. He did, though, have an interest in organized crime and collecting informants.
Connolly asked William Bulger how he could serve him. The state senator said Connolly could be of service by keeping his brother out of trouble.
Shortly after Connolly’s arrival back in Boston, Whitey Bulger signed on as an informant. It was 1976.
Durham said Flemmi had been an FBI informant since 1967. Flemmi’s time as an informant ended after a series of murders and crimes.
Bulger and Flemmi reached serial-killer status with the number of homicides they racked up.
Connolly assisted Bulger and Flemmi in compromising Organized Crime Squad supervisor John Morris, who took bribes and other payoffs.
In January 1995, the Massachusetts State Police arrested members of the Winter Hill Mob on racketeering and other charges. Bulger, of course, had scattered days before.
Another associate who faced federal charges, Frank ‘Cadillac’ Salemme eluded capture until August 1995.
Flemmi’s arrest triggered seven months of pretrial hearing, where he admitted that Connolly and Morris gave him and Bulger carte blanche, short of murder, to continue their crime spree.
Morris told Flemmi “you can commit any crime you want so long as you don’t clip anyone.”
Connolly denied the allegations.
Durham and his team pursued racketeering and obstruction of justice charges. Connolly did not take the stand during his trial. He was sentenced in 2002 to 10 years in federal prison.
In a separate state trial, a Florida court convicted Connolly and sentenced him to 40 years in prison.
Durham said Bulger and Flemmi rose to the top of the Boston underworld while working as “top echelon” federal informants. The pair was tied to 21 murders.
Morris testified he took bribes from Bulger and Flemmi.
John Martorano, a hitman who admitted to 20 killings, testified that William Bulger asked Connolly to watch over Whitey Bulger. Martorano cooperated with investigators after learning of Flemmi’s and Whitey Bulger’s betrayal.
Martorano provided federal authorities with information on the 20 murders he committed. He served no time for the killings.
Martorano also killed Robert Wheeler, the owner of World Jai Lai in 1981 after Connolly “advised” Bulger and Flemmi that John B. Callahan, the president of World Jai Lai, was “weak.”
Martorano then killed Callahan, whose body was found in a trunk of a car at Miami Airport in August 1982.
Kevin Weeks, a lieutenant in the Bulger organization, also testified against Bulger. He told prosecutors that Christmas was a payoff day for cops. Though he witnessed several of the Bulger and Flemmi murders, Weeks served a light sentence and now walks the streets of South Boston.
In his testimony, Salemme said Connolly promised a warning on the “federal rap.”
The focus then shifted to Connolly, who federal agents referred to as ‘Zip.’ As a young agent, Connolly appeared in a training film in on how to handle informants, including the tip of not fully trusting informants.
With a conviction secured, a Boston Herald headline blared that “Zip was Zapped.”
After Connolly’s conviction, guidelines on the use of confidential informants changed. More attention had to be paid to an informant’s suitability or “is the confidential informant a worthier target than the people he is reporting on?”
The changes also called for new discovery obligations and better protecting an informant’s identity.
Durham spoke about Richard Schneiderhan, who served 25 years on the Massachusetts State Police.
From 1968-78, Schneiderhan worked in the Massachusetts State Attorney General’s Office of Organized Crime, rising to the position of chief intelligence officer.
Schneiderhan, however, had a secret agreement with Flemmi.
He informed Flemmi and Bulger about sensitive investigations for more than two decades, which included a 1980 state police wiretapping operation against the Winter Hill Mob.
Schneiderhan leaked information about law enforcement tracking calls to and from William Bulger.
He also enlisted family members in his activities, including his brother-in-law, Edward Duff, and Duff’s daughter, Linda Reardon, a telephone company employee who passed federal court order information down the chain until it reached Whitey Bulger.
The former state cop also added Weeks to his leak list.
Durham said prosecutors must be “defensive minded” when dealing with informants and whether an informant is integral to a high-profile investigation or prosecution.
Again, he stressed “beyond a reasonable doubt” as the key metric in deciding when to trigger an investigation or to pursue a prosecution.
During the question-and-answer session, Durham said he was not so much worried about his safety when dealing with mob prosecutions, but with unhinged people – those persons who operate outside a criminal organization’s observed codes.
|whitey bulger – Google Search|
The Boston Globe–Jun 11, 2018
Former gangster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi testified Monday that he and James “Whitey” Bulgerpaid off seven FBI agents, killed several …
Reuters–Jun 7, 2018
BOSTON (Reuters) – The ex-partner of convicted Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger testified on Thursday that he witnessed the strangling …
Carr: Mobster claims ties to 50 slays
Opinion–Boston Herald–Jun 7, 2018
The Union Leader–Jun 7, 2018
BOSTON — The ex-partner of convicted Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger testified on Thursday that he witnessed the strangling of a …
Boston Herald–Jun 12, 2018
Imprisoned Boston mobster Stevie Flemmi yesterday told a federal jury in Boston that he and his underworld partner Whitey Bulger had …
|Whitey Bulger Paid Off FBI Agents, Killed Informants – Google Search|
The Boston Globe–Jun 11, 2018
… “Whitey” Bulger paid off seven FBI agents, killed several informants … but they were new to the jury in the murder case unfolding in federal …
<a href=”http://ticklethewire.com” rel=”nofollow”>ticklethewire.com</a>–Jun 12, 2018
Former gangster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi testified Monday that he and Bulger paid off seven FBI agents, killed several informants after …
Boston Herald–Jun 12, 2018
… partner Whitey Bulger had between five and seven local FBI agents on their payroll, … Flemmi has testified in the past about paying off Boston FBI agents, but … Newton at one point gave Bulger and Flemmi 40 pounds of C4 … In return, he gave the gang the names of informants who were then murdered.
Sara A. Carter (blog)–Mar 19, 2018
… if it was based on false information in an unverified dossier paid for by political … Bulger was a kingpin and a confidential informant for the FBI from the … in that position while Whitey Bulger was helping the FBI cart off his criminal … FBI agent (John Connolly, now in prison for murder-related charges) and …
Hartford Courant–Mar 19, 2018
He chronicled the downfall of former FBI Special Agent John J. Connolly, … Shortly after Connolly’s arrival back in Boston, Whitey Bulger signed on as an informant. … and Bulger carte blanche, short of murder, to continue their crime spree. … More attention had to be paid to an informant’s suitability or “is the …
|Howie Carr: Mobster Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Flemmi admits bribing FBI agents, cops, statie|
Imprisoned Boston mobster Stevie Flemmi yesterday told a federal jury in Boston that he and his underworld partner Whitey Bulger had between five and seven local FBI agents on their payroll, as well as between 25 and 30 Boston police officers and at least one member of the state police.
Flemmi, who is serving a life sentence for 10 murders, was testifying in the murder trial of his former underworld partner, “Cadillac Frank” Salemme. Salemme and a co-defendant, Paul Weadick, are charged with strangling a Boston bar owner, Steve DiSarro, in May 1993.
Flemmi has testified in the past about paying off Boston FBI agents, but during cross-examination, Weadick’s lawyer ran down the names again for the jury of 12 women and 6 men.
Flemmi said the agents he was paying off included John “Zip” Connolly, John “Vino” Morris, “Doc” Gianturco, Michael Buckley and John “Agent Orange” Newton.
Newton at one point gave Bulger and Flemmi 40 pounds of C4 plastic explosives, Flemmi said.
Trooper Richard Schneiderman was on the gang’s payroll for $1,000 a month, Flemmi testified.
Flemmi, whose nickname is “The Rifleman,” said the gang also gave presents to several FBI agents, including a gold ring to Dennis Condon, who later became Gov. Mike Dukakis’ secretary of public safety. In prior testimony, Flemmi has said the gang gave a diamond ring to Connolly and a $500 pipe to supervisory agent James Ring, whom the gang nicknamed “The Pipe.”
In all, Flemmi said, Connolly grabbed $235,000 in payoffs, “and maybe more.” In return, he gave the gang the names of informants who were then murdered.
“He gave us information and we acted on it,” Flemmi said. “I have been dealing with law enforcement my entire life and I have been paying them off my entire life.”
Weadick’s lawyer, Bill Crowe, asked Flemmi about his involvement in the murder of DiSarro, whom the feds were attempting to recruit to testify against Salemme. Flemmi claims he was visiting Salemme in his ex-wife’s home in Sharon when he stumbled across Salemme’s now-deceased son and Weadick strangling DiSarro in the kitchen.
Flemmi says he left the house immediately as soon as he saw what was happening.
But Crowe produced a debriefing document of Flemmi’s son Billy in which he said that his father had told him he was involved in DiSarro’s slaying.
“Did you say that to your son?” Crowe asked Flemmi.
“Absolutely not!” Flemmi said.
Flemmi’s son is named William Hussey St. Croix.
“Did he change his name,” Crowe asked, “to avoid the infamy of the Flemmi name?”
“You’d have to ask him,” Flemmi said.
When Flemmi was debriefed in what is called a DEA 6, he was supposed to recount every crime he committed. But he neglected to mention the murder of DiSarro. Crowe asked him why.
“Because there was no body,” he said, “and I was concerned about the welfare of my children.”
Flemmi also admitted that he committed perjury during the initial court hearings on his claims of immunity in 1998.
“Everything was a lie up to that point,” Flemmi said, referring to the time before he became a cooperating witness.
“I admitted that, the whole thing was a lie, how many times I gotta tell you that?”
As Flemmi was cross examined, Salemme occasionally shook his head. When Flemmi left the witness stand, he avoided making eye contact with his old underworld partner, but Salemme glared at the Rifleman as marshalls escorted him from Courtroom 17.
At the morning recess, Salemme turned to the reporters in the first row of the gallery and silently mouthed one word.
“Unbelievable,” he said.
Buy Howie’s book about the Whitey Bulger trial, “Ratman,” at <a href=”http://howiecarrshow.com” rel=”nofollow”>howiecarrshow.com</a>.
|Tickle The WireImprisoned Gangster Says He and Whitey Bulger Paid Off 7 FBI Agents, Killed Informants – Tickle The Wire|
Imprisoned Gangster Says He and Whitey Bulger Paid Off 7 FBI Agents, Killed Informants
By Allan Lengel
For decades, the story of James “Whitey” Bulger was one of the bigger ones to come out of Boston.
Now, his name is back in the news.
Former gangster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi testified Monday that he and Bulger paid off seven FBI agents, killed several informants after they were exposed by a corrupt agent, and lied to implicate others in murders they committed, reports Shelley Murphy of the Boston Globe.
“There was always some sort of story concocted . . . to keep the heat away from us,” Flemmi said under cross-examination at the murder trial of former New England Mafia boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme.
|Former gangster testifies that he and Bulger paid off seven FBI agents, killed informants The Boston Globe – Google Search|
The Boston Globe–Jun 11, 2018
Former gangster testifies that he and Bulger paid off seven FBI agents, killed informants … seven FBI agents, killed several informants after they were exposed by a corrupt agent, … the jury in the murder case unfolding in federal court in Boston against Salemme, 84, …. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
<a href=”http://ticklethewire.com” rel=”nofollow”>ticklethewire.com</a>–Jun 12, 2018
Former gangster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi testified Monday that he and Bulger paid off seven FBI agents, killed several informants after they were exposed by a corrupt agent, and lied to implicate others in murders they committed, reports Shelley Murphy of the Boston Globe. “There was always some …
Boston Herald–Jun 12, 2018
… partner Whitey Bulger had between five and seven local FBI agents on their payroll, … Flemmi has testified in the past about paying off Boston FBI agents, but … Newton at one point gave Bulger and Flemmi 40 pounds of C4 … In return, he gave the gang the names of informants who were then murdered.
The Patriot Ledger–Apr 27, 2018
HULL – State fire officials are investigating an out-of-control car blaze earlier this month outside a Hull restaurant owned by the brother of a …
Boston Globe–May 1, 2015
Former FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick has long cast himself as a whistle-blower who urged superiors to drop James “Whitey” Bulger as an informant in the 1980s, only to be ignored as corrupt agents protected the murderous gangster. It’s a portrayal he offered while testifying for the families of Bulger’s victims …
Ex–FBI Agent Charged With Lying During Whitey Bulger Trial
International–NECN–Apr 30, 2015
|horowitz report – Google Search|
CNBC–Jun 7, 2018
But May came and went without Horowitz’s report seeing the light of day, and Grassley rescheduled the meeting for June 11 — which has now …
“The Facts Refute the President’s Constant Gaslighting”: Why Many …
Vanity Fair–Jun 7, 2018
DOJ watchdog finds James Comey defied authority as FBI director …
Highly Cited–ABC News–Jun 6, 2018
DOJ to release report on Clinton probe next week
International–The Hill–Jun 7, 2018
Happy Birthday, Mr. President! Justice Department inspector general …
In-Depth–Daily Mail–Jun 7, 2018
|Evasión revela tensa relación entre el FBI y la Fiscalía federal en PR|
Tras una demanda a la Fiscalía Federal en Puerto Rico y alegaciones que indicaban un escenario de “terror” en el lugar, el jefe del Buro Federal de Investigaciones Criminales (FBI, por sus siglas en inglés), Douglas Leff, evadió ofrecer detalles sobre la relación laboral que entabla con Rosa Emilia Rodríguez, pero argumentó que el trabajo de investigación no se ha detenido en las calles de Puerto Rico.
Entrevistado por una emisora radial (Radio Isla 1320), este explicó que no ofrecerá detalles luego de que el exempleado Francisco Reyes Caparrós argumentara también sobre problemas para trabajar los casos sometidos por el FBI ante la Fiscalía.
“Realmente la relación más importante es entre nuestros agentes y los fiscales asistentes… Con frecuencia yo personalmente veo juicios en la fiscalía y las habilidades de los fiscales en esa oficina son magníficas. Mi opinión personalmente no se reporta”, expuso Leff ante el medio radial.
Consecuentemente, pese a no hacer mención sobre Rodríguez, Leff reconoció el trabajo de los demás empleados de la fiscalía en Puerto Rico. No obstante, los comentarios de Leff pueden interpretarse como producto de la tensa relación que vive el FBI y Rodríguez en momentos en que se evalúa un cambio de mando en la Fiscalía.
“Lo más importante son los empleados que funcionan en las calles, que son los trabajadores que no vemos en la televisión, son los trabajadores que hacen el trabajo”, mencionó también.
Te puede interesar: Exempleado narra el “terror” que imparte Rosa Emilia Rodríguez
El pasado mes de mayo, un tribunal sugirió una indemnización de $300,000 para Reyes Caparrós por entre otras cosas, ser objeto de hostigamiento laboral en la oficina que preside Rodríguez.
Tras la decisión, el caballero argumentó que “[c]omo se bate el cobre entre los empleados eso es otro cantar. Porque allí es el reino del terror. O haces lo que yo digo, o haces lo que yo digo…. Allí o te sometes o te sometes”, mencionó mientras a preguntas del mismo medio radial a la vez que denunciaba que es Rosa Emilia quien realiza los mandatos.
|El director del FBI dijo que pronto habrá arrestos por fraude tras María|
El director del Negociado Federal de Investigaciones (FBI, en inglés), Douglas Leff, reveló hoy quepróximamente realizarán un operativo para arrestar a varios contratistas que supuestamente hicieron un mal uso de fondos federales asignados tras el devastador paso del huracán María por la isla.
“Creemos que ocurrirán arrestos en el futuro no muy lejano”, afirmó el funcionario en una entrevista radial (Radio Isla).
“Tenemos contratistas que entran en contratos con el gobierno para servirse y no para servir al gobierno, pero este no es un asunto único de Puerto Rico, en cada parte de Estados Unidos cuando un estado recibe fondos federales hay estos asuntos”, agregó.
Leff adelantó que algunas de las pesquisas incluyen fraudes “bastante grandes”, que le cuestan millones al gobierno de los Estados Unidos. Pero, no confirmó si una de las investigaciones está relacionada al programa Tu Hogar Renace, el cual se realiza con fondos de la Agencia federal para el Manejo de Emergencia (FEMA, en inglés) y es coordinado por el Departamento de la Vivienda.
Además de este programa, FEMA ha repartido en la isla sobre sobre $1,000 millones a damnificados y el gobierno ha recibido otros miles de millones en fondos federales para lograr la restauración de la isla tras la devastación causada, principalmente, por el huracán María. Mucho del dinero ha sido dirigido para restablecer el servicio de energía eléctrica.
Por otro lado, el director del FBI informó que entre 60 a 90 días llegarán nuevos agentes y fiscales para trabajar casos criminales y de corrupción que están pendientes de investigación.
“Existe una preocupación por la violencia en la isla”, aceptó, al revelar la asignación de más personal.
Leff, asimismo, dijo que tiene una buena relación laboral con la jefa de la Fiscalía federal, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez, y su personal.
“Las habilidades de los fiscales en esa oficina es magnífica. He visto los mejores de todos los Estados Unidos”, sostuvo.
Sin embargo, el funcionario no quiso comentar sobre las denuncias hechas por Francisco Reyes Caparrós contra este grupo. Es que el exespecialista de inteligencia, que ganó una demanda por represalia y hostigamiento laboral, alegó que allí se vive un ambiente similar a un “reino del terror”.
|Puerto Rico: Jewel of the Caribbean – Destinations|
“We are the best island in the Caribbean,” boasts a Puerto Rican to tourists.
Puerto Rico is an important island for Americans because of its convenient location as a bridge between Europe and America.
It was also through the island that Christopher Columbus discovered Florida.
Despite being a US territory, the island has its own culture. The Tainos who hail from South America were the first inhabitants of the island. By 1493, they amounted to 50,000 people.
Puerto Rico is a popular stopover for tourists taking Caribbean cruises. Many guides offer tours in and around the island with a running time of two hours for a price of US$25.
San Juan is divided into two sectors, the old and new towns. They are not far from each other and are reachable within minutes.
The tours usually start with a visit to the Capitol building, which was built in 1929. It is designed in a neoclassical style with intricate carvings on its pillars. Inside the Capitol building are beautiful architectural designs on ceilings and floors.
The Walkaway of the Presidents (JP/Aruna Harjani)
Opposite the Capitol is the Walkaway of The Presidents, which consists of statues of the nine US presidents who have visited Puerto Rico. What is more interesting is that the statues are life size.
The nine presidential statues are of Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford and Barack Obama.
The tour then heads to Ashford Avenue in Condado. Here, an array of shops and restaurants is located.
One of the highlights of the area is the Mother and Child statue created by Fernando Botero, which was reportedly purchased for $1.8 million.
The statue is situated at the Plaza del Ancla square in Condado. Opposite the statue is Condado Beach.
Artwork: Fernando Botero’s Mother and Child statue is located close to Condado Beach. (Aruna Harjani) (JP/Aruna Harjani)
With most tours the last stop is the Plaza Colon, where the exquisite San Cristobal Fort — one of the first and biggest forts in America – is situated.
A part of the San Juan National Historic site, the fort was built by the Spaniards to protect the island from attack. The fort has cisterns that were used to store water during the Spanish colonial era but later were used as bomb shelters during World War II.
The Plaza Colon also has a 40-foot pillar with a statue of Columbus on top.
In the city of Arecibo there is another monument created in honor of Columbus, which at 350 feet is taller than the Statue of Liberty. The monument miraculously survived the recent heavy storms.
It is said it took 110,000 hours to make the statue, which weighs 6,500 tons using 2,500 pieces of bronze, steel and copper. A Georgian-Russian painter, named Zurab Tsereteli, designed the statue.
The symbolism of the statue causes mixed reactions, some see it as a remembrance of Columbus’ discovery of Puerto Rico but some see it as a reminder of the notorious treatment of the Tainos by him.
The Plaza Colon has a 40-foot pillar with a statue of Columbus on top. (Shutterstock/File)
Puerto Ricans, being Spanish-oriented, celebrate Christmas and after New Year, the Epiphany.
Twelve days after Christmas Puerto Ricans celebrate El Dia De Los Reyes or Three Kings Day. In fact, this is the time Puerto Ricans exchange their gifts. For them the three kings represent a more spiritual and faithful representation of the story of the birth of Christ.
The three kings – Melchior represents Europe, Gaspar represents Arabia and Balthazar represents Africa. In celebration the Plaza Colon also has statues of the three kings.
Another place worth a visit is the Castilo San Felipe del Morro, named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. The castle was built for the purpose of guarding San Juan Bay. UNESCO has declared this fortification a World Heritage Site.
Fortification: The San Felipe del Morro castle, a UN World Heritage site since 1983, is seen in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Shutterstock/File)
Museo De Las Americas, a museum featuring pre-Columbian and modern art hosts different exhibitions but also has permanent exhibits by Puerto Rican artists.
The Cathedral of San Juan Baustista is one of the oldest buildings in San Juan. The church was first built in 1521 but later destroyed by a hurricane and was restructured in 1540. The church has old relics displayed inside the building.
Teatro Tapia, is the oldest theater in Puerto Rico built in the 18th century. The interior of the theater is in a neoclassical style and is still used to stage shows.
When it was time to leave the island, looking back, I realized how Puerto Rico had stolen my heart in just a matter of hours. It is Western in so many ways but its rich culture and traditions will always engulf modernity.
From here the lines of a song from West Side Story played in my mind and it goes: “Puerto Rico, my heart’s devotion, let it sink back in the ocean, always the hurricanes blowing, always the population growing, and the money owning and the natives steaming.”
|Puerto Rico: Jewel of the Caribbean – Google Search|
Jakarta Post–17 hours ago
“We are the best island in the Caribbean,” boasts a Puerto Rican to tourists. Puerto Rico is an important island for Americans because of its …
Cruise Fever–May 19, 2018
… seven night cruise to the Southern Caribbean on Royal Caribbean‘s Jewel of the Seas. It was a round trip cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
15 biggest cruise ships in the world
In-Depth–CNN–May 21, 2018
Queens Chronicle–Jun 11, 2018
This is also the quiet season for Caribbean resorts and there are also … long been regarded as one of the jewels in the Caribbean and not surprisingly it … Jose, and Maria last September as Puerto Rico was and a number of …
Royal Caribbean Blog (blog)–Mar 1, 2018
It looks like Royal Caribbean will be re-deploying Jewel of the Seas to … if any, ship will replace Jewel of the Seas in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
|A Single Drone Helped Mexican Police Drop Crime 10 Percent|
In Ensenada, a Mexican city about two hours south of Tijuana, a new crime fighter has taken to the skies. It’s not a bird, or a plane, or Superman. It’s a drone. And over a few months on patrol, it’s had quite the impact. The city’s police department claims the solitary DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter led to more than 500 arrests and a 10 percent drop in overall crime rates, with a 30 percent drop in home robberies.
It’s the latest example of drones slowly finding their place in civilian life, like soldiers returning from war, seeking to apply their skills to life in a country not entirely comfortable with what they were up to overseas. Unmanned aerial vehicles may have gotten their start with the military, flying recon missions in Vietnam and dropping bombs over Afghanistan. Their use is still causing concern and debate: Earlier this month, Google pledged not to renew a Department of Defense contract for Project Maven, where it was developing AI to interpret drone surveillance video, when 4,500 employees signed a petition against it.
But in Ensenada, the police present their use of the drone as an unmitigated success. “It’s helped with reducing response times and also catching people when they do something illegal,” says Jesus Ramos Avendaño, CTO of the Ensenada police force.
The WIRED Guide to Drones
Over four months, Avendaño’s department flew an average of 25 missions a day (more than 1,600 total), deciding where to fly based on 911 call volumes. Operating from a local control room, the police used software developed by California-based Cape, which automates much of the flying process, including takeoffs and landings. Any authorized officer can grab a feed of the video streaming off the drone, from their desk or while out in the field.
Cape CEO Chris Rittler says fewer than a dozen quadcopter-style drones could give a city like Ensenada, population 522,000, complete coverage. “The most common use case is in response to an emergency call, when the drone can be redirected from a flight it’s already on,” he says. The aircraft can reach a location before officers get there by road and give them eyes on what’s going on.
That sort of rapid response is a big deal in police work. “Thieves have a clock in their head, from when they break a window to when the police arrive,” Rittler says. “What the drone has done is dramatically decrease that time window.”
“Thieves have a clock in their head, from when they break a window, to when the police arrive. What the drone has done is dramatically decrease that time window.”
Although drones aren’t regularly used for police surveillance in the US on the scale of Ensenada yet, over the past few years, they have proven their usefulness in plenty of ways. Drone builder DJI says that on one day in May, public safety drones saved four lives: UK police found a missing person, semiconscious and just a few feet from a steep cliff, using a drone with a thermal imaging camera. A fire department in Indiana dropped a life vest to a drowning criminal suspect, who had fled into a pond. And public safety officials in Central Texas dropped life vests to a mother and her 15-year-old daughter, who got caught in a rising river. In the past year, drones have helped scout areas of Houston flooded by Hurricane Harvey and restrung electrical cables in Puerto Rico downed by Hurricane Maria.
To ease drones into America’s tightly controlled, crowded airspace, the FAA has greenlit 10 pilot projects around the country, all with an emphasis on do-goodery and cooperation between the public and private sectors. Cape is among those taking part, working with the city of San Diego and a local police department on an emergency response project. The details are still in flux, but police say they plan to use drones to do things like assess the extent of a freeway pileup, not surveil suspected criminals.
That hesitation to set drones after bad guys will be typical of new projects in America. “What you see is most government offices in the US taking a crawl, walk, run, approach,” says Gregory McNeal, who teaches law and public policy at Pepperdine University in California. He also cofounded drone software company AirMap, which is participating in the San Diego trial. Bringing drones to the domestic theater means proving their usefulness step by step. “I personally believe drones are going to provide enormous value,” he says. “But the only way we’ll realize that is putting in regulatory structure that doesn’t ignore people’s concerns.”
Along with public safety and being a nuisance, those concerns include protecting privacy. Compared to obvious helicopters and fixed-in-place CCTV cameras, drones are a potent tool for surveillance. They can go almost anywhere—up to windows, over fences, under tree canopies. Drone operators have a potential model in body cameras worn by cops who enter private property and work in sensitive situations. Police forces using the tech have created policies that attempt to balance privacy and public accountability.
Failing to make the people using these little aircraft accountable could spoil the potential to do a lot of good, like the work claimed by the Ensenada police. But if a single quadcopter can really lower crime rates by 10 percent, it’s worth making sure everyone’s happy to see one appear minutes after they dial 911. Except, of course, the crooks.