Air Force commander ‘went out swinging’ during deadly shooting with former FBI agent at Texas base

A slain Air Force commander “went out swinging” to protect a fellow officer during a Texas air base murder-suicide. The assailant, a former FBI agent turned technical sergeant, shot and killed Lt. Col. William A. Schroeder at Joint Base Antonio-Lackland before turning the weapon on himself Friday. Investigators discovered a pair of Glock handguns lying next to their bodies. Air Force officials did not immediately identify the assailant or describe what happened in Friday’s deadly attack, but a federal official identified the gunman as Steven Bellino.  “Know that Bill went out swinging,” Matthew Nugent posted in a Facebook group, the San Antonio News Express reported. “He selflessly gave his life to protect our (first sergeant) and countless others who were in the building.” Nugent called Bellino a “disgruntled student” in the group dedicated to the Tactical Air Control Party. AIRMAN KILLS COMMANDER IN MURDER-SUICIDE Schroeder, a commander for the 342nd Training Squadron, is survived by “a wonderful loving wife and two amazing boys” ages 3 and 7, Nugent added. A day following the assault, investigators have not revealed why Bellino targeted Schroeder of if he was authorized to carry a firearm on the southwest San Antonio base. The officer whom Schroeder protected during the assault was not immediately identified. “The 37th Training Wing mourns the loss of our airmen and family members,” said Brig. Gen. Trent H. Edwards, commander of the wing. “Our primary focus at this time is to take care of the family and the men and women who are grieving our losses.” Friday’s shooting, which the San Antonio News Express reported caused officials to abruptly end a nearby military training parade with thousands of spectators, was the latest to occur at a military facility Continue Reading

Former FBI agent pleads guilty to repeatedly lying during Whitey Bulger trial

BBOSTON — A former FBI agent pleaded guilty Monday to lying repeatedly during his testimony at the trial of Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, including claiming he was the first officer to recover the gun used to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. Robert Fitzpatrick, 76, was accused of lying to jurors and overstating his professional accomplishments during Bulger's 2013 racketeering trial. He pleaded guilty in federal court to six counts each of perjury and obstruction of justice. Fitzpatrick, who had been an assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston division during Bulger's bloody reign, was the first witness Bulger's lawyers called during the high-profile trial. FEDS TO AUCTION OFF BELONGINGS OF JAMES 'WHITEY' BULGER At a hearing Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Hafer said Fitzpatrick lied on the witness stand "in order to enhance his own credibility" and to bolster Bulger's defense. Hafer said Fitzpatrick lied when he portrayed himself as a "whistleblower" who tried to end the Boston FBI's corrupt relationship with Bulger. Bulger worked as a criminal informant for the FBI at the same time he led a violent gang responsible for numerous murders. Hafer said if the case against Fitzpatrick had gone to trial, prosecutors would have presented evidence that Fitzpatrick actually "thwarted" efforts to close Bulger as an informant. He said Fitzpatrick was motivated in part by a desire to promote sales of a book he co-authored, "Betrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down." Hafer said Fitzpatrick lied when he said he recovered the gun used in the King assassination and when he testified he arrested Mafia underboss Gennaro Angiulo in 1983. During Bulger's trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly pressed Fitzpatrick about his characterization of his role in the King case. "Isn't it true that three Memphis police officers found the rifle that Continue Reading

Phoenix police raise reward for tips on highway shootings as former FBI agent says suspect may be ‘family man’

Phoenix authorities hunting for a suspected serial sniper more than doubled their reward Monday as a former FBI agent said the suspect could be a “family man.” Police are now offering $50,000, up from $20,000, for information about the shootings on Interstate 10. Eleven cars have been shot — eight by bullets and three by unidentified projectiles— since Aug. 29, although no one has been killed. Investigators have not released any information on a possible suspect, but former FBI agent Brad Garrett told ABC 15 they are likely looking for someone with a routine life — including potentially a stable job and children. “It won't surprise me if you have someone who has a family,” he said, explaining that people who commit the same crime over and over again tend to have parallel monotonous lives. Police distributed fliers Tuesday along the stretch of interstate-turned-crime scene in hopes of getting more tips. The freeway saga started on Aug. 29 when a 13-year-old girl was injured by flying glass from the first shot. Since then, 10 more incidents have been reported, the last of which was on Thursday. Police are treating all the shootings as if they are related, although they have not ruled out the possibility that multiple gunmen are involved, the Arizona Republic reported. Authorities previously called the attacks an act of “domestic terrorism.” They questioned a 19-year-old man last week, but later announced he is not the prime suspect. They also arrested three teenagers who hurled stones at cars along the road with a slingshot in a "copycat" crime. Longtime residents still remember a string of random shootings that terrorized Phoenix a decade ago. Nearly 30 people were shot then, and eight killed, including a cyclist who was riding down the street and a man who was sleeping at a bus stop. Two Continue Reading

Former FBI agent from Westchester sentenced to five years in prison for selling confidential information

A former FBI agent was sentenced to five years in prison Monday for selling confidential information to a man seeking to engineer the downfall of a Bangladeshi political rival. Robert Lustyik, 53, of Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County, sold the information regarding the rival for tens of thousands of dollars in 2011, authorities said. The political figure was not identified. Lustyik had access to the documents thanks to his position on the counterintelligence squad at the FBI’s White Plains office. “Robert Lustyik’s criminal conduct, driven by greed and corruption, displayed a disdain for the integrity for which the FBI stands,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Brooklyn judge says former FBI agent aided in mob hits

In a stunning burst of candor, a Brooklyn federal judge said he has long believed that a former FBI agent who beat a murder rap was a rogue G-man, the Daily News has learned. Judge Edward Korman’s damning words were buried in a transcript of a 2012 court case for mob informant Gregory Scarpa Jr. Scarpa was seeking a reduction of his racketeering sentence as a reward for helping the feds find explosives hidden in the home of Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols. Korman suggested that the government opposed the motion because the FBI might still have a grudge against Scarpa for his willingness to testify against former agent Lindley DeVeccchio. DeVecchio was accused of helping Scarpa’s father, also named Greg, who was a capo and also a mob rat, kill rivals during the Colombo family civil war. “It was my view and remains my view that Lin DeVecchio provided information to Scarpa that got people killed,” Korman said, according to the transcript. “I found it pretty outrageous and the bottom line was, of course, nothing happened to Lin DeVecchio. He was permitted to retire and in his retirement was actually doing background checks for the (FBI),” the judge said. The Brooklyn district attorney’s case against DeVecchio fell apart mid-trial when a key prosecution witness was caught in a lie. Korman had presided over the mob trial of Colombo gangster Vittorio (Vic) Orena in the 1990s when allegations of improper conduct by DeVecchio were first raised. The judge declined to comment Wednesday. DeVecchio provided information "that got people killed," according to Korman. The former FBI agent was accused of helping the father of Greg Scarpa Jr., who was seeking a reducing of his racketeering sentence. “Obviously, I disagree with the judge’s opinion,” DeVecchio’s lawyer Doug Grover told The News. Korman reduced Scarpa Continue Reading

Whitey Bulger trial: Former FBI agent John Morris gives emotional testimony

Former FBI agent John Morris fought to control his voice as he made a dramatic apology Monday to the family of a man allegedly killed by James (Whitey) Bulger after Morris let it slip that the man was an informant. Morris testified at Bulger’s racketeering trial that he told a fellow FBI agent that Edward “Brian” Halloran was feeding the agency information about the Boston crime boss. Halloran and Michael Donahue — an innocent bystander who had offered Halloran a ride home — were gunned down on the South Boston waterfront, allegedly by Bulger, who was afraid Halloran was talking about the earlier murder of an Oklahoma businessman. Morris had told rogue FBI agent John Connolly, Bulger’s handler and enabler, that Halloran was talking. Morris’ voice broke as he told Donahue’s widow and three sons, “not a day in my life has gone by that I haven’t thought about this.” Bulger is accused of participating in 19 killings during the 1970s and ‘80s. He has pleaded not guilty to 32 counts of racketeering and extortion, among other charges. Donahue's son, visibly shaken by Morris’s apology, left the courtroom shortly afterward. He was followed by Stephen Davis, whose sister Debbie Davis was allegedly strangled by Bulger because she knew too much about his criminal activities. During cross-examination by defense attorney Henry Brennan, Morris said he learned Halloran was an informant when two other FBI agents asked if he was a credible source. Morris said no, but then later went to Connolly for a second opinion — unwittingly making Halloran a marked man. “It was spontaneous. It just happened. And I wish it hadn’t,” Morris said of his conversation with Connolly. “He came in and I asked him his opinion.” Morris believed Halloran was in a safe house and soon to be Continue Reading

It is joyous news that ex-New Yorker and former FBI agent, long missing in Iran, may be alive

A full four years after he disappeared while visiting an Iranian island, there's suddenly cross-your-fingers word that former FBI agent Robert Levinson may be alive. Evidence that an American, any American, is alive long after he or she was feared dead is always joyfully received. It's extra special when the person is a great New Yorker like Levinson. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of City College, Levinson joined the Drug Enforcement Administration out of school in 1970. Six years later, he became an FBI agent and over the next two decades became a top expert in the mob, international fraud and money laundering. Colleague Lewis Schiliro, who went on to head the FBI's New York office, called Levinson "one of the most meticulous agents I have ever met." He was so skilled and knew the mafiosi so well, said Schiliro, that agents who couldn't make out faces in shadowy surveillance photos would ask Levinson whose mugs they were looking at. He always knew. His exploits included taking down a branch of the Russian mob that specialized in assassination, drugs and racketeering and worked, among other places, out of a nightclub in Brighton Beach. In the early 1990s, Levinson fed Miami prosecutors evidence from his contacts in Panama so they could prove that ousted strongman Manuel Noriega let a Colombian drug cartel transit tons of coke through his country. Levinson retired in 1998 and became a private investigator. One avenue of inquiry on cigarette smuggling took him in 2007 to an Iranian island called Kish that is a combination resort and free-trade zone where anything goes, including organized crime on a global scale. Just before he vanished, he reportedly had a conversation with an American fugitive believed to have killed an Iranian diplomat in Maryland in 1980. That man, Dawud Salahuddin, said he last saw Levinson being grilled by Iranian officials. Another witness said Levinson was arrested by the Quds Force, an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Continue Reading

Steroid use had plenty of victims argues former FBI agent at center of ‘Operation Equine’

"Say it ain't so, Rocket." ("Say it ain't so, Joe." Reported words of a young fan to Shoeless Joe Jackson after the Black Sox gambling scandal.) Roger Clemens may have lied under oath in front of a Congressional committee regarding the use of steroids during his baseball career, but so what? Couldn't our prosecutorial resources be used for more important things? In the late 1980s and early 90s, as an FBI agent (now retired), who helped shepherd the largest steroid investigation in history, similar questions were posed to me. Why should we pursue the illegal distribution of steroids? In 1989, University of Michigan head football coach Bo Schembechler and his strength coach, Mike Gittleson, shared a big concern. They believed steroid use was becoming pervasive in college football. Their concern was not only that some players and teams were getting a competitive advantage but that high school players were beginning to think that steroid use was a necessary and accepted practice in getting to the next level. Bo and Mike knew that steroids were an effective performance-enhancing drug, but could also cause very serious health problems. Not the least of these is severe depression. I learned of numerous cases of young, aspiring athletes who committed suicide after using steroids. (One of those suicides was the son of an FBI agent I knew.) I also thought of my own daughter and son, who, at the time, were beginning to participate in sports. Would they be faced with the choice of having to use steroids in order to reach their athletic goals? Many believe steroid use is a victim-less crime. It's not. Using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) affect the very integrity of the sport in which they are used. I see three sets of victims. The first is the players who choose to remain clean but must compete against the "enhanced" players. The other victims are aspiring athletes who use PEDs to continue pursuing their sport, or become disillusioned and quit. Continue Reading

Former FBI agent stole drug money to pay for plastic surgery, cars and Vegas vacation: indictment

A former FBI agent has been indicted for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 in drug proceeds and spending it on plastic surgery, cars, tires and a weekend in Las Vegas, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday. Scott Bowman, 44, of Moreno Valley, California, allegedly misappropriated drug proceeds seized in June and August 2014 during the execution of search warrants, the department said in a statement. The money had been put in Bowman's custody and he falsified records to cover up his theft, it said. Bowman spent about $71,000 in cash to buy two cars and another $27,000 to outfit them with speakers, new rims and tires, the statement said. He also used about $15,000 on plastic surgery for his wife and spent $11,000 for a weekend at a Las Vegas Hotel with his girlfriend, according to the indictment. Bowman was charged on Wednesday in the U.S District Court for the Central District of California with 10 counts, including conversion of property, obstruction of justice and money-laundering. Bowman was an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2005 to 2015. Information on an attorney for him was not immediately available. Continue Reading

Former FBI agent arrested, ordered to have mental evaluation after threat to ‘kill everyone around her’ at CIA gates: affidavit

A former FBI agent will undergo a psychiatric evaluation after an arrest last week at CIA headquarters in northern Virginia during which she allegedly reached for an officer’s gun and threatened to shoot up or bomb the place, federal authorities said. The downfall of Tunisia Davis, an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2004 to 2010, was preceded by a series of bizarre video rants she posted to Facebook last week railing against the FBI, police brutality and local businesses. In one, she references Trayvon Martin and different police shootings currently in the news. She also describes herself as a former special agent for the FBI who was arrested a few years ago and spent time in a mental institution. “Hi, my name is Tunisia Davis. I’m a former special agent with the FBI,” she says in one video, posted April 28 to a page using the name “” “This is what my mugshot looked like when they arrested me a few years ago. But guess what? I’m declaring my intention to be in the running for president of the United States. I’m going to become a Republican, and those who want a change, vote for me. Si se puede. Yes we can!” Last week, Davis first went to the National Security Agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Md., where she was stopped at the gate and made a passing mention about “plans to test the security at the CIA,” in Langley, Va., according to an affidavit obtained by WRC-TV. Authorities issued a “be on the lookout” order after the strange encounter. Davis then left and headed towards the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters, but made and posted several of the bizarre videos on her way. In one, she has a hoodie on, the hood up and the cord tied tight around her neck as she rants while driving. When she arrived at the CIA, she passed one officer who tried to stop her before a second stood in front of her car to Continue Reading