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Entries in FBI (157)

Thursday
Apr182013

Ricin Letter Suspect Identified Using Earlier Letters

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(CORINTH, Miss.) -- Investigators trying to determine who sent ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and other officials quickly traced the messages and signature of the letter to Paul Kevin Curtis, an Elvis impersonator who had written to officials in the past and consistently signed his letters "I am KC and I approve this message," according to an FBI affidavit.

Curtis, 45, was arrested at his home in Corinth, Miss., just a day after a letter laced with the poison arrived at the office of Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi. A second letter was sent to President Obama and a third letter was mailed to Sadie Holland, a justice of the peace in Lee County, Miss.

Curtis was formally charged on Thursday with sending mail that contained a threat to kill or harm the president and with sending mail containing a threat to injure the president.

He was arraigned in federal court in Oxford, Miss., where he arrived in court wearing shackles and a Johnny Cash T-shirt.

Court affidavits claimed that investigators quickly matched the verbiage used in the ricin tainted letters to Curtis' online posting and previous letters to government officials.

Investigators particularly focused in on the signature, "I am KC and I approve this message," and his mention of "Missing Pieces."

According to the affidavit, the letter sent to Wicker and Obama read:

No one wanted to listen to me before.
There are still 'Missing Pieces'
Maybe I have your attention now
Even if that means someone must die.
This must stop.
To see a wrong and not expose it,
Is to become a silent partner to its continuance
I am KC and I approve this message

The FBI asked Wicker's office to see if they had any prior correspondences with constituents who had the initials "KC," which revealed multiple letters previously sent by Curtis to Wicker's office, according to the affidavit. All of the letters ended with a variation of the same signature, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Curtis also frequently wrote about an alleged black market for the illegal sale of human body parts, which he believed the government was covering up, the affidavit states. He wrote about the allegations in an unpublished novel called Missing Pieces, which he discussed on his Facebook page and in the letters to government officials, according to the FBI.

Curtis had previously written an e-mail to Congressman Alan Nunnelle of Mississippi in which he also mentioned "Missing Pieces."

The ricin letters and Curtis' Facebook page contain identical refrains: "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance."

Wicker acknowledged Thursday that in addition to the letters Curtis had sent him, the two had met once. Wicker hired Curtis, an Elvis impersonator and entertainer, to perform at a party Wicker threw, he told reporters in Washington.

Curtis made a living impersonating music stars and putting on shows. He dressed up as Elvis, Hank Williams, Jr., and Prince, according to his Facebook profile and YouTube videos.

"I have worked tirelessly to perfect an art form & unique show for all ages with ...authentic costumes songs, gimmicks & props," he wrote on his Facebook page, noting that he had developed a Tribute to the Stars show featuring Elvis, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, and others.

"Complete with authentic Costumes, lights, lasers, Strobes & plenty of audience interaction!" he wrote.

Curtis believed in cover-ups, according to his ex-wife who reported him to police in 2007 for being "extremely delusional, anti-government, and (for feeling) the government was spying on him with drones," according to the affidavit.

He wrote on his Facebook profile that if the federal government were "using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, (they) do NOT have permission."

After two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, Curtis addressed the crime on his Facebook page.

"This world is not what it used to be and the hopes of all are not what they 'USED' to be. We have let God down. We removed prayer from schools in 62....we have staged wars simply for profits in oil and drugs....we have lied our way from the capitol to the pulpit. We the people should be ashamed. I weep for the future of our children. God bless."

Curtis's family did not return messages left seeking comment. His brother said in a written statement Wednesday that the family had "no reason to believe Kevin would be involved," but that they knew "very little" about the case.

"Until my family gets some answers and we have a chance to talk to my brother, I can't comment further," Jack Curtis wrote.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar272013

Newest Man on FBI's 10 Most Wanted List Captured

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo.) -- The most recent addition to the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list has been taken into custody, according to authorities.

A press release from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department states that Denver FBI officials returned the fugitive, Edwin Ernesto Rivera-Gracias, to Colorado after he had fled to El Salvador.

Rivera-Gracias will face charges in the August 2011 murder of Richard Limon. Limon's body was found stabbed multiple times with duct tape covering his mouth and nose. Investigators believe Limon was already dead when his body was thrown from the side of a mountain road. A broken-off blade from a steak knife was found lodged in his chest.

According to an affidavit written by FBI Special Agent Russel Humphrey, Rivera-Gracias may have been upset because his girlfriend had told him that Limon molested her and sexually assaulted her mother.

Three other suspects were arrested in connection with the murder in August 2011: Raul Nunez-Soto, Tina Louise Moya and a 17-year-old juvenile female. Nunez-Soto and Moya each plead guilty, receiving sentences of 48 years in prison and 36 years in prison, respectively.

The FBI later launched an international manhunt to find Rivera-Gracias.  A federal judge issued a warrant for his arrest in 2011 for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar142013

Colorado Fugitive Newest Addition to FBI's 'Ten Most Wanted' List

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A man with connections to a violent international gang and wanted for the brutal murder of a Denver man will be the latest to join the ranks of the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list, ABC News has learned.

The fugitive is 28-year-old Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias, identified by three law enforcement sources who would not speak on the record ahead of an official announcement planned for Thursday morning.  Officials fear Rivera Gracias, who says he is from El Salvador, may have fled the United States.

Rivera Gracias is wanted for first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 63-year-old Denver resident Richard Limon.  On Aug. 17, 2011, a cyclist discovered Limon's half-naked body on Lookout Mountain in Jefferson County, Colo.  His mouth and nose were covered in duct tape, and investigators believe Limon was already dead when his body was thrown from the side of a mountain road, tumbling down a rocky slope through bushes and weeds.  A broken-off blade from a steak knife was found lodged in his chest.

According to an affidavit written by FBI Special Agent Russell Humphrey, Rivera Gracias "expressed his desire to kill" Limon to an acquaintance about a month before Limon died.

Rivera Gracias was angry because his girlfriend told him that Limon had molested her as a child and had twice sexually assaulted her mother, according to an unverified claim in the affidavit.

With the help of another man, the affidavit said, Rivera Gracias allegedly attacked Limon as he was lying on a couch, wrapping duct tape around his nose and mouth as the victim called for help.

"After wrapping the duct tape around [Limon]'s head, [Rivera Gracias] began beating him about his face and head with his right fist.  Between 10 and 15 minutes elapsed without [Limon] dying," the affidavit stated.

Rivera Gracias, the affidavit added, left and soon returned armed with a six-inch-long knife that he allegedly used to "rapidly" stab Limon five or six times.

"The final stab wound was to [Limon's] heart and resulted in the knife blade breaking off within his body," Agent Humphrey wrote in the affidavit.

After Limon stopped breathing, Rivera Gracias and another man allegedly wrapped Limon in a blanket and put his body in the back of a pickup truck for the drive to Lookout Mountain, the affidavit said.

Three acquaintances of both Limon and Rivera Gracias were arrested on murder charges shortly after Limon's body was found, but Rivera Gracias has been on the run ever since.  Investigators believe he was using a cellphone that was traced to the Los Angeles area about two weeks after Limon was killed.

The FBI launched an international manhunt to find Rivera Gracias.  A federal judge issued a warrant for his arrest in 2011 for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Rivera Gracias claims to be a member of Mara Salvatrucha, a notorious street gang also known as MS-13 that began in Los Angeles and has roots in Central America.  Officials said he has "MS-13" tattooed across his back and "503" -- the country telephone code for El Salvador -- on the back of his left arm.

MS-13 now operates in at least 42 states and counts between 6,000 and 10,000 members nationwide, according to an FBI threat assessment.

Thursday is the 63rd anniversary of the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list.

Nearly 500 people -- all but eight of them men -- have been on the list since it began in 1950, according to the FBI.  The first fugitive to make the list was Thomas James Holden, accused of murdering his wife and her two brothers in Chicago.  He was captured in Beaverton, Ore., in 1951.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar082013

FBI to Mark Six Years Since Former Agent Went Missing in Iran

Courtesy Levinson family(NEW YORK) -- Thousands of former FBI agents across the country on Friday are expected to observe a moment of silence in honor of their missing colleague, ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who six years ago on Saturday was kidnapped in Iran.

Levinson, who spent more than two decades in the Bureau before retiring in 1998, was traveling as a private businessman when he was taken captive by unknown assailants on Iran's Kish island March 9, 2007.

Since then, his family has mounted a worldwide campaign demanding that Iran set him free, pushing U.S. officials in a meeting in the Oval Office last March to negotiate for him.  

On Friday, the family is scheduled to meet with the FBI and State Department about the case, but as one family member told ABC News, "There is no news, unfortunately."

After his sudden disappearance, the first public sign of life from Levinson, who has diabetes, came in a hostage video posted on the Internet a little over a year ago.

"Please help me get home," says Levinson in the video.  "Thirty-three years of service to the United States deserves something.  Please help me."

In January, the family released a series of pictures of Levinson they received from his captors in 2011.  This time the 64-year-old appeared haggard in an orange mock-prison uniform with a long gray beard and chains over his shoulders.  There were five different photos, each staged with a different disturbing message by his captors.  In each he holds a sign, one of which reads "Help me."

People involved in the case said the pictures, which also reference Guantanamo, were designed to suggest he is being held by al Qaeda, although the same people are certain Levinson is in Iran.

Authorities either do not know or have not publicly identified Levinson's suspected captors, but the U.S. government has repeatedly asked the Iranian government's help in finding him.

However, despite those pleas and a $1 million reward offered by the FBI for information leading to Levinson's discovery, it appears he will mark his sixth year away from his family and in captivity.  Levinson turns 65 years old on Sunday.

"Bob's former colleagues have not forgotten him and we call on the international community to redouble its efforts to gain his release," said Konrad Motyka, President of the FBI Agents Association.  "Let's make this the last solemn anniversary that needs to be marked by focusing world attention on Levinson's continued unjustified imprisonment and gaining his release."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar022013

MBA Bank Robber Gets Third Degree

Comstock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Tarik Hooks would appear to be an outstanding citizen. He has an MBA from Strayer University, works at a mental health rehab center and was a key witness who helped solve the shooting of a New York police officer several years ago.

But the FBI and Philadelphia police are saying that Hooks is the brazen bank robber who held up as many as 10 banks over the past month, without bothering to hide his identity.

Hooks, 35, of Philadelphia, was taken into custody on Feb. 22 by Philadelphia cops and the FBI on a car theft charge, Public Affairs Specialist Carrie Adamowski said. That car theft eventually led to his arrest for the bank jobs, officials said.

Hooks is facing federal charges for nine counts of bank robbery. A tenth alleged bank robbery was in Wilmington, Del., and charges have yet to be formally filed against Hooks, the FBI said.

According to a criminal complaint, Hooks first robbed a Citizens Bank on Feb. 2, 2013, in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. He continued to rob five more banks in the Philadelphia area and made three failed attempts to rob others, the complaint states. The bank robber’s face is clearly visible on bank surveillance cameras during the heists.

After a bank in Drexel Hill, Pa., was robbed on Feb. 21, Hooks was linked to a stolen black Lexus, the criminal complaint said. Police discovered the stolen vehicle three blocks away from the bank.

Hooks’ own vehicle, a white Lexus, was discovered in the parking lot where the black Lexus was stolen from, police said.

After police impounded both Lexus vehicles, a warrant was issued for Hooks’ arrest and he was taken into custody on Feb. 22 on a count of auto theft.

During the Drexel Hill bank robbery, the thief finally made an attempt to conceal his identity by wearing a wig.

The criminal report states that Hooks handed bank tellers a note stating, “This is a robbery. No bait. No dye. All money.”

Hooks is accused of stealing more than $23,000 in the nine bank robberies and was charged with bank robbery while in jail on the car theft charge.

Hooks’ LinkedIn profile states he is a budgets and contracts manager at Horizon House, Inc., a non-profit rehabilitation center for people struggling with addiction, homelessness and other psychological problems.

A woman who answered the phone at Horizon House said only “no comment” when contacted by ABC News on Saturday.

Hooks is also linked as a key witness in the 2010 case of the shooting of a Syracuse police officer and was said to be extremely helpful in assisting police with the investigation, according Uticaod.com.

Hooks made an initial appearance in court before a magistrate judge on Thursday.

He is being held at the Philadelphia Federal Detention Center and is awaiting a detention hearing on March 4, 2013, where the judge will decide on bail or continued detention.
 
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan272013

$75,000 Reward Offered in Philadelphia School Kidnapping

(PHILADELPHIA, Pa.) -- After a 5-year-old girl was kidnapped from a Philadelphia school and assaulted earlier this week, community leaders banded together to offer a $75,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible.

According to police, the child was taken from her school Monday morning by a woman wearing Muslim garb and calling herself either "Tiffany" or "Rashida."

The girl was then taken to a house in the area where she was blindfolded and assaulted. The child was discovered early the next morning, when a passerby named Nelson Mandela Myers discovered her crying on a playground wearing only a t-shirt.

"She said she was cold and that somebody was chasing her and she ran," Myers told ABC station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

The child was admitted and then released from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia after she was found.

In a joint press conference Friday, community leaders and law enforcement officials aimed to draw attention to the case by offering a $75,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

The largest single contribution came from the office of State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams, who raised $30,000 for the reward.

"I will work night and day from now until the time this person's condemned to hell," Williams said.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's office donated $10,000 to the reward.

"It's gutless, it's heartless, it's inhumane. We will find you, we'll do whatever it takes," Nutter said of the perpetrators.

The U.S. Marshals and the FBI have already started to aid the Philadelphia police with their investigation.

Officials are looking for both the woman who took the child from school and a male suspect who was at the house where the child was taken. Officials say they believe the girl was taken only a few blocks from the school and officers joined by police cadets have been canvassing the area. However, no suspects have been named.

"That neighborhood should not, cannot return to normal, until someone and we know someone out there knows who perpetrated this crime," said Capt. John Darby, Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit.

Additionally the security lapses that allowed the girl to leave her school with a stranger will be investigated, according to the Philadelphia School Superintendent William Hite.

"We are going to deal with the individuals responsible for this breach," Hite told WPVI-TV. "There were procedural breakdowns in this school."

The substitute teacher who let the girl leave with the unidentified woman, and a non-teaching assistant who worked at the security desk have both been put on leave.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Dec302012

Mom Seeks Police Help Finding Woman in Suspected Cancer Scam

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A mother says she will ask police to find the woman who she believes scammed her dying son.

Thomas Doty, 20, of Washington state, died on Dec. 19 after a three-year battle with bone cancer -- but not before a woman apparently scammed him and his family into believing a check for $250,000 was on the way.

Family friend Jonathan Hillstrand, star of the show "Deadliest Catch," made a video asking for support for Doty. A woman claiming to be a nurse in Indiana soon promised $250,000 to send him to San Diego, pay for experimental cancer treatments, and help the family save their house after the expense of caring for their son.

"This huge yellow bouquet of flowers showed up, [with a note] saying, 'No more worries,'" Tiffany Doty, Thomas's mother, told ABC News. "She sent me a text and an email, and it all started, saying, 'I saw your story, and my heart breaks, and I'm going to pay for all this treatment.'"

Tiffany Doty says the woman scammed her family for weeks -- always coming up with an excuse and phony proof that she had already sent the money, including snapshots of bank statements -- as they planned and eventually took Thomas to San Diego, planning to receive treatments.

"She was always out of town or out of the country, so it was always difficult for her to get things done, and then we sent the wire info, and that didn't happen because she got one number wrong, and it became obvious after a couple weeks that this is not happening," Tiffany Doty said. "That's when my sister just called the local news here ... and that's when we got a huge outpouring from the public and that was enough to get him down there."

Thomas Doty flew to San Diego hoping to receive experimental treatments not covered by the family's insurance, Tiffany Doty said. She blames the woman for lost time in addition to false hopes.

"When we started him down there he was just in a little bit of back pain," Tiffany Doty says of preparing to take her son to San Diego. "By the time we got him down there he was on 300 milliliter of morphine a day."

All the while, Tiffany Doty said she told the woman to let her know if the money wouldn't come, or if the woman had changed her mind about wanting to send it. Tiffany Doty said she received messages purportedly from the woman's mother -- messages she now believes were sent by the woman herself.

"She's never been a nurse anywhere in the United States that we can find. There's a lot of things that we've looked at, a lot of emails we've sent," Tiffany Doty told ABC News. "Nothing checks out at all, except that she's shut down her Twitter account, and things like that."

While Thomas and his family waited for the money, his condition worsened.

"Between the time of getting [to San Diego] and the time she wasted, there was another tumor growing that started out the size of a grape, and when the eight weeks went by it was the size of an orange," Tiffany Doty said.

Her son, she says, was crushed when they realized the money would never come.

Now, Tiffany Doty will go to police.

"The last thing he wanted is for her to be found and not to be able to hurt anyone else, and so that is my mission," Tiffyany Doty told ABC.

Her mother, Thomas's grandmother, has contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tiffany Doty said.

"She just called to ask questions about the laws, and would they go after her, would they investigate," she said. "They indicated that there's something there to pursue."

Tiffany Doty says she plans to file a report with the local police. She believes the woman gave a fake name, she said, and that her family was scammed by someone who has been doing the same thing to other people for a long time.

"We are going to file charges," Tiffany Doty said. "I'm sure there are cyberstalking laws, fraud. I personally am just wiped out. I am beyond wiped out, but my son wanted her found, and he is not a vindictive person."

Aside from finding justice, the Doty family is facing immediate financial struggles and is asking the public for help. Through their website, HealThomas.com, they are asking for donations to help them save their home. Both Tiffany and her husband are out of work, she told ABC.

"We were a normal family," Tiffany Doty said. "We had great jobs, and two years worth of savings, everything that you need. Our house is going to be auctioned on Jan. 11."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec112012

Former Roommate of Wanted Terrorist Among Two Charged in Terror Case

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Two men from Alabama have been arrested in a terrorism case, including the former roommate of a man on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list.

Randy Wilson, a.k.a. Rasheed Wilson, and Mohammad Abdul Rahman Abukhdair, both 25 years old, were arrested Tuesday by the FBI for allegedly attempting to travel to Africa to engage in fighting with terrorists groups there. Both were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Abukhdair was also charged with passport fraud.

Wilson is allegedly a close friend and former roommate of Omar Hammami, an American commander in Somalia’s Al Shabaab terrorist group who was recently added to the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list.

Also known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, Hammami is the Alabama-raised son of a Southern Baptist mother and a Syrian father. Since arriving in Somalia in 2006, he has acted as a mouthpiece for Al Shabaab, the Somali branch of al Qaeda, but in recent months has released a series of videos claiming that his life was in danger and that he was having difficulties with the terror group.

Hammami was added to the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list last month.

Wilson and Abukhdair allegedly met online during 2010.  Abukhdair is a U.S. citizen originally from Syracuse, N.Y., who had traveled to Egypt from the United States in 2007 but was arrested and detained by Egyptian security forces in 2010 for suspicion of terrorist activity. Abukhdair was eventually deported back to the United States in January 2011 and lived in both Ohio and Alabama.

The FBI used an undercover FBI employee to approach Wilson to learn about his possible motive and interests in terrorist activity.

The criminal complaint alleges that Wilson, Abukhdair and the undercover employee spent numerous hours watching terrorist propaganda, including lectures by Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Alawki and that the men discussed ways to travel overseas to Somalia or to Sudan to engage in jihad.

According to the criminal complaint, during one Feb. 3, 2012, meeting Abukhdair stated that he was unsure whether he could leave the United States because of his time in Egypt and deportation.

“Abukhdair proposed that they conduct a terrorist attack in the United States instead. Abukhdair said he was losing patience, and inquired about the cost of buying six guns for a domestic attack,” the complaint alleged.

Wilson allegedly told Abukhdair to be patient and to wait for their passports to arrive.

The following day Abukhdair became suspicious that the FBI was watching the men and as they drove to meet the undercover FBI employee they threw their computers and electronic devices off a bridge into Mobile Bay.

The case took an unusual twist as they became more concerned that the FBI was watching them.

“To convince the FBI that they no longer wanted to travel for jihad, Wilson and Abukhdair decided to open a men’s fragrance store. Wilson told the [undercover agent] that even if their passports arrived, they were not going to travel right now. On Feb. 7, 2012, Wilson sold his minivan for $3,900 and used money to rent space for their store,” the criminal complaint alleged.

The FBI affidavit in the case notes that because of a lack of business the store was only open for four months before being closed in July 2012.

According to the criminal complaint the FBI also used an informant who also knew both Wilson and Hammami to get information on Wilson. The informant had previously tried to leave the United States in June 2012, but may have been on the no-fly list and later worked with the FBI as a confidential source on the investigation.

In October 2012, the two finally decided that they should travel to Mauritania, allegedly in hopes of getting to fight in jihad in Mali where al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has recently become more active.

Wilson was arrested Tuesday morning in Atlanta attempting to board a flight that would ultimately take him to Morocco.  Abukhdair was arrested in Augusta, Ga., at a bus terminal for a bus to Canada. The two planned to fly to Morocco before going to Mauritania.

Defense attorneys for Wilson and Abukhdair could not be identified in court records at this time.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov302012

Two South Florida Men Charged in Alleged Terror Plot

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- Two South Florida men were charged Friday with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, federal officials said.

The suspects are brothers -- Raees Alam Qazi, 20, and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 30.

They were both identified as naturalized citizens from Pakistan. They made their first court appearance Friday afternoon in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The indictment alleges that between July 2011 and Nov. 29, 2012, the suspects were conspiring to "provide material support and resources -- including property, services, funding, lodging, communications equipment, personnel and transportation -- knowing and intending that this support be used in preparation for and in carrying out a violation of law -- namely, a conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction."

 

The indictment also alleges that the suspects were "conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against persons and property within the United States" during the same timeframe.

"The FBI's number one priority is counterterrorism and we continue to work with our partners to protect the U.S. and its people from harm," said acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Steinbach of the FBI's Miami Division in a news release. "To be clear, this is not an indictment against a particular community or religion. Instead, today's indictment charges two individuals for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and to use a weapon of mass destruction."

One official knowledgeable of the case described the man's intent as "serious," but the source said it did not appear that an attack was imminent.

"This was not a sting," sources told ABC News, adding that the younger brother had been in contact with overseas radicals, possibly connected to al Qaeda.

The FBI found evidence that the younger brother had been monitoring recent FBI "sting" cases, the sources said. Infiltrating the alleged conspiracy was a "non-starter," authorities said.

If convicted, the defendants could face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for the conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists charge and a life sentence on the conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction charge.

Defense attorneys representing the men did not return calls or emails from ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov152012

Veteran FBI Agent Frederick Humphries Got Ball Rolling on Petraeus Probe

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI agent who investigated harassing emails to a Florida socialite, a probe that set off a chain of events leading to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair, was a veteran investigator who has worked on high-profile terrorism cases.

The agent was identified as Frederick Humphries by a former federal agent, a source familiar with the Petraeus investigation and Humphries' attorney, Lawrence Berger.

Humphries, 47, received the initial complaint from Jill Kelley, a Tampa, Fla., socialite, about "harassing" emails that an investigation traced back to Paula Broadwell, a 40-year-old author who co-wrote a biography of Petraeus.

The investigation ultimately uncovered evidence of an affair between Broadwell and Petraeus, prompting Petraeus to resign last week.

Berger said his client's family, "knew the Kelley family socially for several years." Jill Kelley asked Humphries for advice on what she perceived to be threatening e-mails and he, "referred the matter to the bureau as appropriate."

Berger said his client has been wrongly characterized as a "whistleblower," but there is, "no action pending against him, nor does he anticipate any future action."

Humphries, "referred the matter to the FBI in accordance to proper protocol," Berger added, and the FBI investigation is taking its course.

Berger flatly declined to confirm or provide any details at all regarding Humphries' alleged contacts with the offices of either Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., or House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.

According to the New York Times, Humphries was allegedly concerned the case had been stalled for political reasons, and in late October contacted Reichert, whom he knew from his time working in Washington. The Times reported that Reichert put him in touch with Cantor, who then passed the message to FBI director, Robert Mueller.

An associate of Humphries told ABC News that it was hard to believe that Humphries had contacted elected officials about the case because, "everyone knows that's professional suicide" and Humphries is "top notch."

According to media reports, Humphries played a central role in foiling the so-called Millenium terror plot in 1999, preventing an Algerian al Qaeda member from bombing Los Angeles International Airport.

Humphries has worked as a supervisor on Joint Terrorism Task Force in Tampa and has worked on high-profile terrorism cases.

Regarding a "shirtless" photo that Humphries reportedly sent to Jill Kelley, Berger told ABC News that several years ago, Humphries sent a "joke picture" of himself to the Kelley family showing Humphries "posing shirtless between two shooting range dummies."

"There was absolutely no romantic involvement or relationship whatsoever between Agent Humphries and Jill Kelley," said Berger.

According to Berger, sharing funny photos was part of the family's relationship.

Berger objected to unattributed comments in the New York Times that his client was "obsessed" with pursuing the matter.

"Is he a dogged, professional, passionate law enforcement officer? Yes," Berger told ABC News. But it would be "incorrect to describe him as obsessed" with this case, said Berger.

According to Berger, Humphries, "reported what he knew according to FBI protocol and then let the investigation take its course."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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