Tag Archives: FBI

‘SNL’ tackles the raid on Michael Cohen

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Actors Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller made surprise appearances on “Saturday Night Live” to spoof the FBI raid on President Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen.

 

Cook County sheriff launches hate crime hotline

(CHICAGO) Residents who have experienced hate crimes or been discriminated against can now call a hotline at the Cook County sheriff’s office to report the incident.

Anyone who feels they are being threatened or targeted as a result of their religion, race, nationality or sexual orientation should use the hotline, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. The number for the hotline is (773) 674-4357.

The 24/7 hotline will receive a direct response from the sheriff’s office staff that will be able to connect callers to other helpful agencies or legal assistance, the sheriff’s office said.

“With the FBI reporting spikes in hate crimes nationwide, this will act as a pro-active resource,” Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said. “Hate crimes should not be dismissed as a fleeting issue or only a problem outside of Cook County.”

The idea for a dedicated hotline came after Dart heard of increasing fear and intimidation in the county’s minority communities, especially the Muslim American community, according to the sheriff’s office.

“To protect the real strength of our community, our diversity, we must stand up for these good people,” Dart said.

Feds Say They’re Ready for Election Day Complaints

By Jennifer Keiper, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) The U.S. Attorney’s office says it will keep a close eye on the federal and local elections, in the Chicago area, on November 8th.

U-S Attorney Zach Fardon says his office will operate a phone line for candidates or the public to report any problems relating to the voting process this November. That number, staffed on Election Day only, is 312-469-6157.
Also – the FBI will have special agents available in each field office throughout the country to follow-up on allegations of election fraud and other election issues.  The Chicago FBI Field Office can be reached by phone at (312) 421-6700.
Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can also be made directly to the Voting Section…of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division…in Washington, D.C. by phone at (800) 253-3931 or (202) 307-2767, by email at voting.section@usdoj.gov, or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.

Retired detective turns in nephew for downtown bank robbery

CHICAGO (AP) — A retired Chicago police detective has turned in his nephew to the FBI for allegedly robbing a downtown bank.

The FBI says Ramses Longstreet is accused of robbing an Associated Bank branch Wednesday. The suspect left behind a cellphone when he fled the bank. After getting descriptions of the robber from witnesses, the FBI released photos of Longstreet.

The federal court filing by the FBI indicates the 42-year-old Longstreet went to the uncle’s home and asked him to hold on to the cash. It was shortly afterward that the uncle was told by Longstreet’s mother she believed her son may have robbed a bank.

On Thursday, the uncle picked up Longstreet on a pretense and took him and the cash to the FBI.

It wasn’t immediately known if Longstreet, who ordered held Thursday, has legal representation.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

FBI back on the case in 2005 killing of Hammond teen

(HAMMOND) FBI officials are turning up the heat on a 2005 murder case, announcing Wednesday that the killing of 13-year-old Alexandra Anaya is one of a handful assigned to a new task force, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Alexandra’s dismembered body was found in the Little Calumet River just over 11 years ago, three days after the teen disappeared from her home in Hammond, Indiana. Her head, hands and feet were severed and have never been recovered.

Police in Chicago and Hammond never put the killing on the cold case list. And the FBI has renewed its interest and will be subjecting evidence to a new round of forensic testing, but they have no new leads, lead investigator Special Agent Courtney Corbett told reporters at a press conference at the FBI’s Chicago headquarters. Investigators now will wait for new information from testing or from tips from the community.

“Someone did this to [Alexandra]. Nobody deserves to go through what she went through,” she said. “The person that did this is sitting at home, probably watching this” press conference.

In the 10 years since Chicago Police’s marine unit recovered Alexandra’s body, forensic science has advanced, Corbett said. Evidence from the case has been shipped to an FBI lab, and results should be ready within two months. Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson and FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Anderson both expressed confidence that the case could still be solved.

Corbett would not say whether Rudolfo Heredia, the estranged boyfriend of Alexandra Anaya’s mother, Sandra, is a suspect.

Heredia was charged with stalking the mother and daughter in the spring of 2005, but he was acquitted at a federal trial in Indiana. Heredia and Sandra Anaya had two other children together, but Heredia was not Alexandra Anaya’s father.

Sandra Anaya told investigators she had learned Heredia had been molesting Alexandra and broke off their relationship in April 2005. She also said that in the ensuing weeks Heredia threatened her, repeatedly broke into the house and was seen outside by neighbors on other occasions.

The night Alexandra disappeared, Sandra Anaya was on a date, and she had received multiple calls from Heredia. When Sandra Anaya returned home at 3:30 the following morning, Alexandra told her that Heredia had called the house as well. Then Sandra Anaya left the house, and when she returned three hours later, Alexandra was gone.

Alexandra’s body was discovered mutilated and chained to weights in the Little Calumet River, less than two blocks from Heredia’s house in Riverdale.

Heredia was initially held on charges related to crossing state lines to kill or injure the Anayas, but he was formally indicted for stalking. Even after his acquittal, police in the two cities continued to work the case for years. Hammond Police Detective Ron Johnson, who retired, remains haunted by the case.

“The thing that sticks with you about this case is the gruesome way she was murdered and the way she was found,” said Johnson, who attended the press conference and said he still has a file on the case.

Corbett said the renewed focus has already turned up one possible piece of evidence: In pictures, Alexandra always wore the same necklace. Her mother confirmed Alexandra almost never took it off. Authorities have never recovered the necklace, a gold chain with a medallion stamped with the face of Jesus.

More likely, Corbett said, the case will turn on something someone heard back in 2005 or in the years since.

After more than a decade “people decide to come forward. Maybe something is heavy on their heart, or they have information that didn’t seem significant at the time,” she said.

© Copyright 2016 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Update: 2 shot, 1 dead in Park Forest FBI raid

By Adam Chappelle, WLS-AM News

(PARK FOREST) 2 FBI agents were shot while attempting to serve a warrant in south suburban Park Forest on Tuesday morning. 

Nearly a dozen agents surrounded the home on Rich Court around 8:30am when shots rang out. FBI spokesman Garrett Croon says the agents suffered non-life threatening wounds. 

Agents initially shot tear gas canisters inside the house to try and flush 50-year old Melvin Toran from inside. When he refused to come out, agents then broke down the door and entered. At that point, witnesses reported hearing shots being fired from inside the home.

Toran was allegedly a high ranking member of the Black P Stone Nation gang. FBI agents had gone to the home to arrest him on drug trafficking charges as part of a sweep involving several other ranking members of the gang. 

The federal warrant claims he made a heroin sale to an FBI informant. Toran had a long criminal record in Cook County, including a conviction for murder in the 1980’s, multiple weapons offenses and drug trafficking.

@ 2016 WLS-AM News

Oak Lawn man lands on FBI’s Most Wanted list

By Adam Chappelle, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) A 28-year old suburban Chicago man has been added to the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Luis Macedo is charged in a brutal 2009 killing on the city’s south side. Macedo, last of Oak Lawn, is wanted in the death of 15-year old Alex Arellano.

The teen was walking with friends in the 3000 block of West 54th Place back in 2009 when Macedo and other members of the Latin Kings gang approached him. Federal officials say Arellano was beaten and shot to death, then his body was set on fire.

Officials say Macedo hasn’t been seen since the attack 7 years ago, and he may be hiding out somewhere either in the southeast or Mexico.

Four other gang members were arrested in connection with Arellano’s death and were either convicted at trial or pleaded guilty to the crime and are already serving prison sentences. FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Anderson said Thursday Macedo was likely the ringleader of the group that killed Arellano.

Man gets 30 years for shooting young girls at Northwest Side park

(CHICAGO) A man who shot two girls at a Northwest Side park in 2011—prompting police to declare all-out war on the Maniac Latin Disciples gang—has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Antonio Bucio, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder at a hearing Monday before Judge Matthew Coghlan, who handed down the sentence, according to court records.

Bucio was gunning for rival Latin Kings on June 8, 2011, when he shot two girls playing at a sandbox at Avondale Park near Belmont and Central Park, the Chicago Sun-Times reported previously.

A 2-year-old was grazed in the head, and a 7-year-old seriously wounded in the back, authorities said at the time.

Bucio was an alleged member of the Maniac Latin Disciples, the Sun-Times reported. Following the shooting, Police Supt. Gary McCarthy declared war on the entire gang, which had between 300 and 500 members in Chicago at the time.

“We’re going to obliterate that gang,” McCarthy told police brass at a meeting later that June. “Every one of their locations has to get blown up until they cease to exist.”

More than 1,800 arrests followed, and authorities impounded more than 100 cars and recovered two dozen guns by early 2012, according to the Sun-Times.

Bucio will receive credit for nearly four years spent in jail since his arrest, and will be required to serve three years of mandatory supervised release after prison, according to court records.

The FBI is still seeking the alleged getaway driver in the shooting, 35-year-old Dionisio Gonzalez, the agency said in a statement last week.

Gonzalez has not been seen in the Chicago area since the shooting, and is thought to have fled to avoid prosecution, the FBI said. His last known address in Chicago was in the 3000 block of West Belden. He also has associates and family in Miami and may be in Florida.

The FBI, Chicago Police and Cook County sheriff’s office are coordinating the search for Gonzalez, and are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (312) 421-6700.

Dionisio Gonzalez | FBI
Dionisio Gonzalez | FBI

UPDATE: FBI offers reward for getaway driver in 2011 playground shooting of two girls

(CHICAGO) The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a Chicago man charged in connection with a shooting at a Northwest Side playground that left two young girls injured in 2011.

Dionisio Gonzalez, 35, is charged with one count of aggravated battery with a handgun in connection with the June 8, 2011, shooting of the girls on a playground in the Avondale Park neighborhood, according to a statement from the FBI.

The girls, ages 2 and 7, were playing in the park around 8 p.m. when shots were fired during an ongoing gang dispute, according to the FBI. The 2o-year-old suffered a graze wound to the back of her head, and the 7-year-old was shot in the back.

Chicago Police arrested the shooter, Antonio Bucio, a short time later, but Gonzalez, the alleged getaway driver, was never apprehended. He has not been seen in the Chicago area since the shooting, and is thought to have fled to avoid prosecution, according to the FBI.

Gonzalez is described as a 5-foot-8, 135-160-pound Hispanic man with black hair and brown eyes. He has been known to have a mustache or a goatee.

He also has four tattoos: one on his chest that says “DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR”: one on his left arm that says “MANIAC”; another on his left forearm that says “LIL DIO”; and a fourth that says “LOGAN” and includes an image of a gun.

According to the FBI, his last known address in Chicago was in the 3000 block of West Belden. He also has associates and family in Miami and may be in Florida, according to the FBI.

The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force is coordinating the search for Gonzalez along with Chicago Police and Cook County sheriff’s office. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI’s Chicago office at (312) 421-6700.

 

Feds went to Chinatown looking for food — and fraud

(CHICAGO) First, federal agents dined at several of celebrity chef Tony Hu’s Chinatown restaurants.

Then they returned in October with a warrant — hoping to feast on evidence of tax fraud, according to court records.

The FBI suspected Hu’s restaurants had been dodging taxes by underreporting gross receipts. And it laid out its allegations in a 110-page court record filed last fall as it sought to raid nine of Hu’s eateries around Chicago, as well as Hu’s South Michigan Avenue condominium. The raid went down Oct. 24.

But the details only came to light this week in previously sealed records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Hu, also identified in the documents as Hu Xiaojun and sometimes referred to as the unofficial “Mayor of Chinatown,” has not been charged criminally in connection with the raid, records show. He could not be reached for comment Monday. Multiple people said Hu is in China and is not expected to return to Chicago until next month. 

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment, citing the “underlying investigation.”

Hu is an appointed member of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks who has owned several Chicago-area restaurants through his Tony Gourmet Group, including Lao Sze Chuan. The FBI targeted that chain’s locations in Chinatown, Uptown and Downers Grove in its raid, the records show. It also sought permission to search Chinatown-area restaurants Lao Beijing, Lao Shanghai, Lao You Ju, Lao Ma La, Lao Hunan and Lao Yunnan.

Before raiding the restaurants, the feds tailed Hu in his black Mercedes-Benz as he drove to Chinatown from his South Michigan Avenue condo, according to a search warrant application. FBI agents also dined at Hu’s restaurants more than a year before the raid to get a closer look at its computer systems and standard receipts, the records show.

But agents also scoured bank records and emails documenting the restaurants’ sales, the records show. And the investigators said the numbers they found often didn’t match the amounts submitted on the restaurants’ tax forms.

For example, a manager’s spreadsheet emailed to Hu indicated Lao Sze Chuan’s Downers Grove location took in as much as $1.066 million in 2009, agents said, but the restaurant only reported $656,866 on its annual tax return for that year.

The Chicago restaurants’ average monthly bank deposits in 2013 and 2014 also tended to be higher than the receipts documented on tax forms, investigators wrote. They said the average monthly deposit for Lao Sze Chuan’s Chinatown location was $230,812, but the average monthly receipt reported to the government was $214,995. 

And the average monthly deposit for Lao You Ju in Chinatown was $94,330, agents wrote, but the average monthly receipt reported on its tax forms was $82,468.

Federal agents told a judge they wanted to search Hu’s restaurants for accounting records going back to 2011, as well as records of computer and Internet use.

Records show they walked away from at least one of his eateries with a computer and various banking records.

Former state Rep. Smith’s sentencing set for Thursday

(CHICAGO) It took Derrick Smith only a year in the Illinois House of Representatives to try to line his pockets with a $7,000 cash bribe, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Now prosecutors want the disgraced former state representative to spend as many as five years in a federal prison to think about the stack of bills he kept in a chest at the foot of his bed until admitting to the FBI he’d “f—ed up,” according to trial testimony.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marsha McClellan said that length of sentence would send a message to the unrepentant Smith — who denied his guilt even after his conviction last year — and to the constituents who re-elected him after his arrest in March 2012.

“Both the voters and political officials alike must understand that public service does not include even the slightest tolerance of corruption,” McClellan wrote in a sentencing memo earlier this year.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman is set to sentence Smith on Thursday morning, ending the last significant remaining pending criminal case involving an elected official in Chicago’s federal courthouse.

Victor P. Henderson, Smith’s defense attorney, will seek leniency for a man he said is simply trying to move on with life and provide for his family. Before his 2012 re-election, the West Side legislator became the first member in a century to be tossed from the House.

He was finally defeated in the March 2014 primary.

“Derrick Smith’s life is about serving the public and giving of himself,” Henderson wrote in his own memo to the judge in February.

In fact, Smith allegedly told an FBI agent he “did it for the people” when he was arrested for the bribe he took in exchange for a letter of support for a state grant application. However, prosecutors said Smith tried to avoid a paper trail by telling a cooperating witness he wanted the money in cash. They said he switched telephones when talking to the witness, and he never told those responsible for his campaign finances about the cash, which he called “cheddar.”

“He extorted this money because he could and pocketed it because he thought no one would ever know,” McClellan wrote.

The witness secretly recorded Smith as he accepted the bribe, though. And that witness even counted the bills out loud as he handed them over — “One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Damn, stuck together. Six. Seven.”

Smith then made prosecutors’ jobs even easier by later handing back to the FBI $2,500 of the bribe that he had stashed in his bedroom.

The rookie legislator “learned the corrupt campaign ropes quickly” after his March 2011 appointment to the House, prosecutors said. They’ve also accused him in court filings of shaking down a 27th Ward liquor store for $7,500 as it sought to transfer its liquor license in early 2012.

That money was paid by check and landed in Smith’s campaign account, they said.

Meanwhile, jurors needed only four hours to find Smith guilty last June of taking the $7,000 cash bribe for which he’d been arrested. Afterward, they said they were troubled by prosecutors’ use of a “slippery, disgusting informant.” And the jury foreman purportedly felt Smith was entrapped.

Henderson argued in February that’s what sets Smith apart from other notoriously corrupt Illinois politicians like former Govs. George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich. Smith didn’t orchestrate the events that led to his indictment, Henderson said.

“The situation was created by the government,” Henderson wrote.

— Chicago Sun-Times

FBI seeks details on ‘Skinny Jeans Bandit’

             Surveillance photo of the suspet who robbed a Fifth Third Bank branch Dec. 8 in Cary. | photo from the FBI

(CROWN POINT, Ind.)  Federal authorities are seeking information about a man they’ve dubbed the “Skinny Jeans Bandit,” who is suspected of robbing four banks in the Chicago area and northwest Indiana since November.

The most recent robbery happened Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bank branch at 10705 Broadway in Crown Point, according to the FBI.

Since November, the same man has struck three banks in the west and north suburbs, the FBI said. At least one of those banks was robbed at gunpoint.

He robbed a Chase Bank branch at 975 E. Belvidere Rd. in Grayslake on Dec. 26, according to the FBI. About 5:50 p.m. on Dec. 8, he used a gun to rob a Fifth Third Bank branch at 750 North West Highway in Cary.

The robbery spree began on Nov. 21, when he robbed a BMO Harris Bank branch at 850 W. Army Trail Rd. in Carol Stream, according to the FBI. He also attempted to rob a Chase Bank branch at 2301 Calumet Avenue in Valparaiso, Ind., on Dec. 23, but was unsuccessful.

He is described as a light-skinned black or Hispanic man in his 20s with short, cropped brown hair, a thin mustache and brown eyes, according to the FBI. He’s between 5-foot-9 and 6 feet tall with a smaller build.

He has been dubbed the Skinny Jeans Bandit because of the “preppy” clothes he wears during the heists, including skinny jeans, the FBI said. During the robbery in Cary, he was wearing a dark, zip-up jacket, a button-up shirt and eyeglasses.

Anyone with information about the robberies or the identity of the Skinny Jeans Bandit is asked to contact the FBI’s Merrillville, Ind., office at (219) 769-3719 or the Chicago office at (312) 421-6700.

© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC

FBI offers reward for information about ‘Play-Along Bandit’

                                                                                                      photo credit: FBI

(Chicago)  Federal authorities are seeking information about a man they have dubbed the “Play-Along Bandit,” suspected of robbing five banks across the city since October.

The bandit most recently robbed a Harris Bank branch at 1620 W. 95th St. on Dec. 6, according to a statement from the FBI. He approached the teller, made a threatening demand for money and implied he was armed, although he did not display a weapon.

He has been dubbed the “Play-Along Bandit” because of the way he tries to blend in and act like a regular bank customer as he enters and exits the banks, the FBI said. He has even greeted security guards as he walked past them.

He is also suspected of robbing:

—First Merit Bank, 1715 W. 47th, on Nov. 25;

—Citi Bank, 2000 W. 79th, on Nov. 14;

—Fifth Third Bank, 8140 S. Ashland, on Oct. 28; and

—ABC Bank, 9443 S. Ashland, on Oct. 18.

The bandit is described as a black man between 25 and 30 who is about 5-foot-8, the FBI said.

He has worn a variety of jackets during the robberies, one of which had a “distinct pattern” across the chest, according to the FBI. He has also consistently worn what appears to be the same black knit skullcap with a small brim in front.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to his identification and arrest. Anyone with information should call the FBI at (312) 421-6700.

© Copyright 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC