Officials at all levels ignored signs of TYC abuse
HOUSTON The Associated Press reports dozens of federal, state and local officials knew for years about allegations of sexual abuse of juvenile inmates at state facilities.
A Sugar Land, Texas, police officer was charged with making unwanted criminal sexual advanced on a woman who he was supposed to be assisting.
A former Santa Fe, New Mexico, police officer was arrested on Saturday for trying to lure a child he met on the internet into a sexual encounter.
A New Brunswick Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer was sentenced to two months of house arrest for a sexual assault.
A Vidor, Texas, police officer was indicted on a child pornography charge last week.
A reserve sheriff's deputy in Genesee County, Michigan, was sentenced to 60 days of house arrest last week for videotaping a friend's wife have sex with a 13 year old.
A Reno, Nevada, police officer was arrested last week for having sex with a 17 year old in his police cruiser.
A police officer in Saugerties, New York, was indicted this week n rape and misconduct charges.
A New York City police officer was arrested on Monday for the sexual abuse of his half-sister.
A police officer in San Diego, California, was arrested on Tuesday for having a sexual relationship with a teenager.
A police officer in Fernandina Beach, Florida, had child sex charges against him dropped last Wednesday in exchange for the surrender of his law enforcement certification.
A police officer on the Tohono O'odham Indian reservation in Arizona was arrested on Saturday for the sexual abuse of an 11 year old girl.
A New Jersey State Police trooper was arrested last Friday for photographing a woman while they were having sex and then sending the picture to one of his friends.
A police officer in Central City, Arkansas, was arrested last Thursday for the sexual assault of a 14 year old girl.
A Toronto police officer will stand trial after a decision to throw out the case against him was overturned last week.
A police officer in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, was arrested last Thursday and charged with child molestation.
A sheriff's deputy in Lee County, Florida, was arrested last Thursday for possession of child pornography.
A San Francisco police officer was charged last Wednesday with violating department policy by harassing a woman while he was on the job.
Two San Luis, Arizona, police officers were suspended last week over an incident of on the job sexual harassment.
A transit police officer in Washington DC was found guilty last Tuesday of raping a sex trade worker while in uniform.
A Dallas, Texas, police officer has been charged with the sexual abuse of children but has not yet been arrested.
A registered sex offender who was hired as a police officer in Blountsville, Alabama, pleaded guilty on Monday to a charge of violating the state's community notification act.
A sheriff's deputy in Hampton County, South Carolina, was charged on Tuesday with sexual misconduct involving a female student at a school where he worked as a school resource officer.
A Charleston County, South Carolina, sheriff's deputy was arrested on Monday for repeatedly exposing himself to a neighbour.
A New York City police officer was arrested last Friday after he was accused of exposing himself to a group of teenage girls.
A Baltimore, Maryland, police officer who was already charged with rape was arrested for a second rape last Friday.
A Palm Beach County, Florida, sheriff's deputy was arrested Friday after he was involved in a drunken shooting over payment for a sex act.
A sheriff's deputy in Liberty County, Texas, was arrested last Thursday for sexual misconduct with a child.
A Jackson County, Michigan, sheriff's deputy who was arrested for the sexual abuse of a prisoner in February is now charged for his alleged sexual misconduct with a second woman.
A Riverside County, California, sheriff's deputy - whose arrest on sexual assault charges we told you about last week - was arrested again last Wednesday.
A former sheriff's deputy in Wake County, North Carolina, was charged this week with sexually assaulting a 14 year old boy.
A Daytona Beach, Florida, police officer was accused of groping a 16 year old girl last week.
A Beloit, Kansas, police officer was arrested last Wednesday for having sex with an inmate.
Police in Woodstock, Ontario, announced last Thursday that one of their officers was arrested on sex charges - four months ago.
A Fort Bliss, Texas, police officer was arrested last Tuesday when he went to a fast food restaurant to meet with a teenage girl for a sexual encounter.
Another Caroline County, Virginia, sheriff's deputy was arrested last Wednesday for inappropriate sexual activity with a minor.
A Riverside County, California, sheriff's deputy was arrested last Wednesday for on-duty sexual misconduct in November of 2004.
A sheriff's deputy in Davis County, Utah, was arrested on Monday for a number of sexual abuse offences.
A police officer in Jackson, Ohio, was sentenced to pay a 250 dollar fine and undergo counselling on Monday for the repeated sexual abuse of a teenager.
A sheriff's deputy in Caroline County, Virginia, was arrested last Thursday for child molestation.
A Bienville Parish, Louisiana, sheriff's deputy was arrested last Wednesday for having sex with an inmate.
A sheriff's deputy in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, was charged last week with sending his neighbour pictures of his penis and appearing naked in her back yard.
A police officer in El Cajon, California, is facing new charges in a case where he is accused of forcing women to have sex with him in exchange for their freedom.
A Coeburn, Virginia, police officer was indicted by a grand jury on a variety of sexual misconduct charges on Tuesday.
A Waco, Texas, police officer was arrested on Monday for possession of child pornography.
A Plainfield, Pennsylvania, police officer was arrested on Tuesday after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 15 year old.
A police officer in Clifton, New Jersey, was arrested last Thursday for trying to have sex with a person he believed was a 12 year-old.
A Henrico County, Virginia, police officer was arrested last Tuesday for sexual misconduct involving a child.
A police officer in South Londonderry, Pennsylvania, who was charged with sexual assault last month resigned from his job on Tuesday.
A Contra Costa County, California, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography earlier this month.
A Colorado State Patrol trooper was arrested last Friday for watching a woman undress in a department store change room.
A Montgomery, Alabama, police officer was arrested on Monday for the sexual abuse of children.
A Stanislaus County, California, sheriff's deputy was arrested on Monday for committing a lewd act against a child.
A former Iowa State Patrol trooper was sentenced to two years of probation last Wednesday for the sexual abuse of a child.
A Daytona Beach, Florida, police officer was arrested last Thursday and charged with unlawful sexual activity with a 17 year-old.
A police officer in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was accused last week of sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
A Toronto police officer was arrested last Monday at a toy store after he was accused of exposing himself to children.
A police officer in Alamosa, Colorado, was arrested last Wednesday after being accused of having inappropriate sexual activity with a 15 year old.
A sheriff's deputy in Denver County, Colorado, already arrested in January for fondling a 14 year old girl is facing new charges this week.
A police sergeant in Reno, Nevada, was placed on paid leave on Monday while a sexual misconduct complaint against him is investigated.
A Genoa, Ohio, police officer was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison on Monday for having sex with two teenage girls.
A police officer in Camden, South Carolina, was arrested on Friday for molesting three children.
A police officer at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania was arrested last Friday for the sexual assault of two four year old girls.
A police officer in New York City was arrested Friday for attacking and sexually assaulting a woman earlier the same day.
A Lancaster, Pennsylvania, police officer was charged with indecent assault last Thursday.
The former chief of police in West Homestead, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 12 years in prison last Friday for having sex with a 14 year old girl in his patrol car.
A police officer in training in Longview, Texas, was arrested last Thursday for the sexual assault of a minor.
The relationship had an inauspicious beginning. "My first impression was that he was a repellent, dangerous child sex offender who had shown no remorse for his crimes," said Martinez. "So I was surpised to find myself looking forward to our little chats."
"I was getting really tired of traditional dating, and kept going out with . To have someone be really interested in me for a change - what my hopes for the future were, what kind of clothes I liked, the route I took home from school - was really refreshing," she says.
The rapport they had developed in cyberspace didn't diminish when it came time to bring Bute into custody. "I wasn't expecting someone so, well, adorable," she said. "He looked so vulnerable being led away in handcuffs. He even brought some flowers, which was a sweet touch. So many of these pervs bring nothing more than a roll of duct-tape."
Bute, a petty criminal with a string of convictions for theft and indecent assault, was wary at first. "I generally don't like police," he says. But the two developed a natural rapport in the interview room that went beyond run-of-the-mill interrogation.
"It's the little things, you know? Asking if I need a cigarette or a cup of coffee while I'm waiting for my attorney. Being the good cop in 'good cop, bad cop'. Although she can definitely be 'bad cop' too," says Bute with a wry chuckle.
"She's a cop, and I'm a perp, so there's definitely an element of 'opposites attract'," says the former Little League coach. "But we also have common interests, like surveillance operations. I don't really think of her as being 'Special Agent' - she'll always be Strawberry_13 to me."
Martinez says she's "not 100% happy" with what she calls Bute's "lifestyle choices", but says she's trying to take things one day at a time. "Everyone has some little things about their partner they'd like to change."
While Bute's ongoing trials may throw a spanner in the works, the couple say that they can see a bright future together. "Karl says he can see kids down the track," says Martinez.
"But only with binoculars," Bute adds.
Friday, June 15, 2007
FBI Citizens Academy puts faces on badge
Paul Egan / The Detroit News
AUBURN HILLS -- "Don't shoot, G-men, don't shoot," is the reported reaction of gangster George "Machine Gun" Kelly when confronted by FBI agents in 1933. They didn't.
But more than 70 years later, the letters FBI can still inspire fear, even among the innocent.
Removing fear and building understanding is the goal of the six-week Detroit FBI Citizens' Academy, which graduated about 30 area business and community leaders at a ceremony Thursday in Auburn Hills.
"It personalizes us, it allows them glimpses into what our days are like, and they can see firsthand and interact with us without the filter of the media," said Detroit FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge William Kowalski.
Recruits, who must be nominated by someone in the FBI and agree to background checks, get briefings on subjects such as organized crime, Internet predators and international terrorism and hands-on instructions from FBI agents and civilians on skills such as how to make a plaster cast of a footprint and dust for fingerprints.
They even learn how to fire the FBI standard-issue handgun, the .40 caliber Glock 22, at an indoor range at the Combined Regional Emergency Services Training Center at Oakland Community College's Auburn Hills campus.
And their wits are tested at an interactive video simulation used in FBI training to improve skills on when agents should fire their weapons and when they should hold back.
Begun in 1993 in Phoenix, the FBI Citizens' Academy is now held at FBI field offices around the country.
Graduate Abed Ayoub of Dearborn, vice president of the Detroit chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said given the tensions between the FBI and the Arab-American community since September 11, he wishes more members of his community could take part in the exercise.
"It's put a real face on them," Ayoub said of FBI agents. "It's been a great experience."
Fannie Moore of Detroit, a forensic specialist with Daimler-Chrysler, said the course, held each Thursday night through May and June, has her thinking about people she knows who might be interested in attempting a career in the FBI.
"They actually do like their jobs," Moore said of the agents she met. "They laugh and they joke."
Kowalski said in addition to being good public relations, the academy is a recruitment tool and has also generated tips from attendees that assisted investigations.
Also, the academy helps agents get out of "a fishbowl where all you see every day is worrisome incidents," Kowalski said.
George W. Bush is a pedophile and so is his father H.W.So why should it come as any surprise that so many people in law enforcement are?According to Wes Penray, both Bush's have also taken part in human sacrifices as part of Illuminati rituals.Luciferian worshiping scum. And they have lots of company.
Amanda Rogers is a freelance investigative journalist from Phoenix,AZ. She is a human rights, civil rights, and child safety advocate, as well as a political ball buster. Amanda is the author of numerous articles and video blogs. Her articles and editorials have been published in news magazines both nationally and across the globe.
Amanda can be reached at:
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Tacoma, Washington: On the evening on July 4th, 2007, 12 year old Zina Linnik walked the alley behind her home to find her siblings and bring them home. Within moments her father heard a scream. He ran into the alley just in time to see a grey van speeding away and Zina gone. The little girl would never be seen alive again.
Several days later a tip to authorities led police to a shallow grave near a hiking path not far from the girls Tacoma,Washington home. The tip came from the prime suspect in the girl’s murder, one Terapon Adhahn. Adhahn is a 42 year old native of Thailand who is also a registered sex offender.
Adhahn was convicted in 1990 of violently raping his half sister. He served an unbelievable, mere 2 month sentence for this crime. Additionally, he was ordered to undergo sex offender treatment. While in therapy, many things were discovered about Adhahn which should have sent “red flags” waiving to those responsible for his care long before the death of Zina Linnick.
Adhahn was diagnosed as a pedophile while in therapy. His therapist was quoted as saying: Adhahn's personality profile is "extremely problematic," noting that he had difficulty taking responsibility for his behavior (which according to reports was the violent rape of his half sister), abused alcohol, felt sexually inadequate and was embarrassed about sexual matters. His counselor, Daniel DeWaelsche also commented in Adhahn’s file that “Adhahn is aware that he will need to use what he has learned through the treatment process on a daily basis in order to remain offense free," "As long as (he) chooses to use these skills and techniques on a daily basis, his potential to recidivate vastly diminishes." Apparently there was little or no follow up on this man. What is even more un-nerving is that given all of this information it is hard to believe that Adhahn was actually designated as a level I or low risk sex offender.
Just two years after his first conviction it was clear that Adhahn was in fact not using the skills he had acquired in therapy as he was convicted again, this time of a felony involving intimidation with a deadly weapon. This second offense mandated that he be deported back to Thailand. That never happened.
Authorities are now also looking into 5 other cold cases involving the disappearance and murder of children which may be linked to Adhahn, meaning this man could very well be a serial killer. He is currently being held on a failure to register charge but is expected to be charged with Zina’s murder soon.
After well over a decade of Megan’s Law and the variety of retroactively applied laws like it that have followed, one thing is clear – These laws aren’t working as they are purportedly intended to. They are a miserable and complete failure.
The reason why shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, but should outrage us all. Time and again, expert after expert that deals with sex offenders on a daily basis (in the trenches so to speak) have tried in vain to get lawmakers to listen, but they consistently refuse. Systematically, they brush aside and even outright ignore information vital to effective legislation. Lawmakers have blatantly and repeatedly ignored mountains of data that could have saved children like Zina Linnik. Instead, they chose the path of abusing their powers as elected officials, creating laws based political grandstanding and myths instead of facts while lining their pockets with money gained from deals with corporations that could instead play off of a concerted and well orchestrated campaign of fear, hype, and hysteria. A practice in which everyone wins, except for our children.
Rather than focusing energy, money, and law enforcement resources on people like Terapon Adhahn, and the tiny percentage of registered sex offenders who do in fact pose a very serious threat to others and cannot be rehabilitated, they have continued to expand the definition of what constitutes a registered sex offender, endlessly and needlessly filling the system with people like Genarlow Wilson. Genarlow Wilson is the young man from Georgia who is currently serving a ten year sentence for receiving oral sex from a 15 year old girl when he was 17. The act was consensual.
Experts have a very consistent record of differentiating between dangerous and non- dangerous offenders. With great accuracy they can distinguish between those that will re-offend and those who won’t. Law enforcement agents that I have talked to who have been around awhile also are able to discern with great accuracy which ones will and will not re-offend. But no one listens and more often than not they are released back into society with many people knowing that they are literally “ticking time bombs.”
Yet in Capitol buildings across America, most lawmakers continue down the same ineffective and fruitless path of expanding upon these existing laws. Their goal is NOT public safety. Their goal instead, is to sweep up as many as they can into the “sex offender net,” which literally buries monsters like Adhahn in the system and ultimately enables them to continue their reign of terror on society.
I keep asking: “How many more children have to die before America wakes up to what is going on and demands change?” Why aren’t our lawmakers listening? The answer is what it has always been - money. The more individuals the state manages to add to the sex offender registry, the more federal funding the states receive - a price “per head” so to speak. The cost to taxpayers financially, socially, and morally is devastating to say the least. Instead of putting those with a high propensity for re-offending like Adman, under 24 hour intensive surveillance with the help they need or better yet, civilly committing them forever if necessary, law enforcement must busy themselves verifying addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, chat handles, etc., and doing paperwork on the 600,000 plus registered sex offenders, many just like Gnarled Wilson, kids caught playing doctor and the Romeo and Juliet’s' of the world - which is nothing short of insanity.
The answer to saving lives of innocent children seems so simple. Indeed it is. If lawmakers really did care about our children, mine and yours, they would choose to listen to the experts instead of the lobbyists and corporations that grease their palms and offer up shares of stock in exchange for passing laws based on fear instead of fact.
Lawmakers have just as much blood on their hands as the killers themselves. BOTH are monsters and are equally as evil. Both are driven by selfishness and power and both use our children as prey. The only difference is that one gains sexually and the other financially, always at the expense of an innocent child.
If you have any doubt that what I am saying is true, then I implore you to sit back and watch. Look just a little deeper. Watch how the media and lawmakers “spin” this horrible tragedy and ask your-self this question:
“When is the last time that our government actually did anything which was solely and completely in our best interest?” Can you honestly think of even one time?
Watch for more ineffective laws to be passed in the name of victims like Zima. Watch how they are applied retroactively to everyone on the sex offender registry who had nothing to do with the horrific headline grabbing tragedies and see who stands to gain from them. It won’t be Zima or her family, or other families who share their horrendous plight. It is the legislators, the ratings hungry media, corporations, the booming prison industry, GPS companies, security companies and so on, and at the end of the day not a single child is saved.
Truths are easy to see once you know where to look and one needn’t look very deep. The only question for us now is: Will we as a society finally call these lawmakers on the carpet for their disingenuous attempts at protecting our children and demand they do something that works, or will we wait for the next Zima Linnet tragedy?
By Jamie Satterfield (Contact) Sunday, May 18, 2008
Using an undercover screen name appearing to belong to a 13-year-old girl, Matt Vilcek, FBI supervisory agent and head of the Innocent Images Initiative task force, enters a chat room, prompting immediate responses, including this unsolicited online video that one participant sent of himself dancing nude.
WASHINGTON - It is 11 a.m. on a Tuesday, a time when Internet chat room traffic is at its lowest.
Yet 57 people are logged into a room dedicated to "childslavesex." Eighty-one more are visiting the "youngersex" chat room, and 94 are engaged in the "dadanddaughtersex" Internet venue.
"This goes on 24-7," says FBI Supervisory Agent Matt Vilcek.
Vilcek should know.
He heads the FBI's Innocent Images National Initiative task force, a global effort to combat child pornography, train law enforcement officers across the world on both the ways of detection and the laws of prosecution, and, more importantly, try to rescue the children who are victimized daily to produce the images.
"The problem is exponential," Vilcek said. "It grows daily. It's a very challenging effort."
For as long as humans have existed, there have been those among us who view children, even babies, as objects of sexual desire. That, Vilcek says, is nothing new.
"Humanity has always had this issue," he said.
But the advent of the Internet has, in the words of a veteran federal prosecutor, "exploded" the crime into a societal issue so huge that it requires a host of agencies and a litany of initiatives to combat.
"I think we're certainly more aggressive in prosecuting these cases, but there's no doubt in my mind the Internet has exploded this," Knoxville Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Atchley said. "Before, it was very difficult to obtain. You had to visit a location that was selling the material. What the Internet has done is enable individuals in their own homes to go out and look for this material. Now they've got the whole world of it at their fingertips. It's just a terrible problem, a terrible problem."
Among the efforts to battle it are the FBI's Innocent Images National Initiative, the U.S. Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, and the Knoxville Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Whatever the name, the goal is the same: hunt down those who kidnap, rape and torture children and those who buy, collect and catalog videos and photographs of the attacks.
"We will do whatever is legally possible to bring these people to justice," Vilcek vowed.
'It's what they do'
KPD Sgt. Scott Shepherd finds it hard to sleep after a day's work as supervisor over ICAC, a nationally renowned, statewide unit focused on sex offenders who target children.
"This stuff will weigh on you heavy," Shepherd said. "You know there are children out there being victimized. It's pressure."
Too many of us, agents contend, think "Girls Gone Wild" when we hear the words "child pornography," when we should be thinking "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."
"People need to understand when we're talking about child pornography, we're not talking about a 16-year-old girl being photographed in a pose with her top off," Atchley said. "Some appear to be images of children no more than a year old engaged in actual sex acts, bound and tied up. I've seen images of 2- and 3-year-olds bound and tied, videos of them being gang-raped."
They are real children sometimes snatched from real streets in real neighborhoods both in the U.S. and abroad.
"We have run into the monsters, the people who are out there seeking to abduct children," Vilcek said.
Sometimes, these children are being victimized by those they once held dear, Knoxville FBI Supervisory Agent Rob Root noted.
"A lot of times it's familial relationships," Root said. "Sometimes it's neighbors. It's someone who has an ability to have contact with these children in private."
U.S. Attorney Russ Dedrick added, "A lot of these kids are just ruined for the rest of their lives."
Vilcek, a self-described farm boy from Pennsylvania, still finds himself shocked by what he's seen as a hunter of the predators who stalk children. Ask him why he does what he does, and he'll recall the child in the dog cage rescued by the FBI from a child pornography mill.
"I know what it feels like to walk in the door and see the environment these kids live in," he said. "Just one case of recovering a victim is worth it."
Local agents contend that too many of us believe child pornography and those who peruse it are harmless.
"A lot of people do believe that they're just looking at pictures when they actually are contact offenders," said KPD ICAC Investigator Chris Line.
Shepherd cited a study by Andres E. Hernandez, director of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons sex offender treatment program.
In that study, Hernandez found in 2000 that 62 child pornography convicts upon sentencing admitted molesting a total of 55 victims. After treatment, that same group fessed up to another 1,379 victims. In 2006, Hernandez reviewed another 155 child pornography offenders. At sentencing, the group admitted 75 total victims. After treatment, that same group confessed molesting another 1,702 victims.
"Eighty-five percent of the inmates were, in fact, contact sexual offenders, compared to only 26 percent known at the time of sentencing," Hernandez wrote.
"These guys are acting on their desires and victimizing children," Shepherd said.
Child pornography just "feeds their fantasies," Line added.
"They spend all day doing this," KPD ICAC Investigator Jay Levan said. "It's their lifestyle. It's what they do. If your passion is hunting, you don't want to just sit around reading about it. You want to go out and do it. It's the same thing with these suspects."
'We'll find a way'
"Do you have a master, Ashley?" the stranger asks.
It has been less than a minute since Vilcek logged into a secret world on the Internet where degenerates can go to find twisted talk of sexual deviance, images of brutal attacks on children and actual live victims.
"It's a relatively unflashy, low-tech way of connecting, but there's no monitoring," Vilcek explained. "It's the Wild West of the chat room environment."
Child pornography often is sold or traded through relationships developed among the chatters.
Vilcek, tucked inside a nondescript office building in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., is posing as 13-year-old Ashley. He says nothing sexual. He doesn't need to.
"We've already been contacted," Vilcek said. "There's four people looking for us to chat."
Within minutes, a man posing as a teenage girl sends "Ashley" a video of himself dancing naked in front of a webcam. Vilcek immediately scans it for subtle clues of the man's identity and location.
"We'll find a way (to identify the perpetrator) no matter what measures the average subject takes to conceal their identity," Vilcek said. "Our undercovers have to play a part, and we train them in techniques and terminology."
But hunting what the FBI and ICAC calls "travelers," people who use the Internet to lure children out of their homes and into situations of sexual molestation, is a small part of what Vilcek's unit does.
His task force is bent not only on tackling child pornography and related crimes at home but abroad as well. So far, the group has offered training to some 50 lawmen from 20 countries.
"With the Internet, there are virtually no walls," Vilcek said. "So law enforcement cannot have any walls either. We're able to reach across those boundaries. We teach (foreign lawmen) about our laws. Many of these countries don't have these laws in place. As they stumble across people in other countries doing these bad things, we report to them, and they do the same with us. We've gone to Poland here recently. We've gone to Cypress. We've gone to Greece. We've gone to Paris. It's rare that we can do nothing in those countries.
"We target online groups, groups of distributors, Web sites that sell these images," he continued. "We branch out to our foreign partners across the globe."
Shepherd, Line, Levan and ICAC Investigators Tom Evans and Mel Pierce do the same sort of thing, only locally. Although much of the child pornography circulating in East Tennessee was produced overseas, investigators are finding a growing number of homegrown images, Atchley said.
"There is a whole lot of it that is made right here at home, Knox County, Jefferson County, Grainger County, Sevier County," he said.
For example, Atchley has prosecuted a Jefferson County grandfather who was raping his 8-year-old granddaughter and sharing photographs and videos of the attacks online. He also sent to prison for life a Knox County sports referee who broadcast live over the Internet his abuse of young players.
'It's just a matter of time'
Catching the bad guys is important. Identifying their victims is crucial.
"We will see these minors essentially grow up being abused," Vilcek said. "It's very frustrating for investigators who work in that environment to see that progression. We try to focus on identifying these victims."
Sometimes the FBI even turns to media heavyweights such as Oprah Winfrey, Bill O'Reilly and "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh to try to put a name to the faces in these images. It is rarely successful, though.
"A lot of times these children are lost in a sea of child pornography images," Vilcek said.
There also have been problems with laws crafted to combat the problem. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional parts of a federal child pornography law that made it illegal to possess images designed entirely via computer that involved no child at all.
Knoxville defense attorney Gregory P. Isaacs led a similar and successful charge against the constitutionality of a Tennessee law. As a result, the state Legislature fixed the flawed law and used the opportunity to boost the penalties for someone convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor.
"We needed a good law to prosecute bad people," Isaacs said.
But that was just one battle in what is proving to be a veritable war that, like the fight against illegal drug use, can seem unwinnable.
"It's difficult, if not impossible, to break the urge," Dedrick said. "We've been told by offenders they're likely to do this again if we don't take them off the streets."
"Offenders now are younger," Evans added. "The victims are younger. There're more sadistic images. We're seeing much more videos."
And that war takes a toll on the soldiers who daily march into battle.
"You become very aware of the evil that's out there," Vilcek said. "You're never going to be able to figure out why. You can't focus on the why."
But folks like Levan still find cause to punch the time clock every day.
"The thought that you're going to get them, put them away, that helps a lot," Levan said.
For those deviants who, so far, have escaped prosecution, Root offered this warning.
"Be listening for the door," he said. "It's just a matter of time."
Last updated May 18, 2008 11:10 p.m. PT
By PAUL SHUKOVSKY AND DANIEL LATHROPP-I REPORTERS
Despite a powerful surge in bank robbery, mortgage fraud and white-collar crimes, the Bush administration's 2009 budget leaves an already handicapped FBI criminal program without the agents it needs to respond -- a shortcoming acknowledged by top FBI officials.
The Terrorism Trade-Off:· See our prior stories in this report.
It's the latest chapter in the administration's terrorism trade-off -- a continuing trend of cannibalizing agents and resources from traditional crime squads to fight terrorism instead of spending enough money to do both.
President Bush's proposed budget doesn't add a dime to reinforce agents in the FBI's crime-fighting squads, which remain at least 1,700 agents below pre-9/11 levels, according to a Seattle P-I analysis.
But even partially restoring the FBI's crime-fighting capabilities isn't a priority, White House Deputy Budget Director Steve McMillin said Friday.
"The assumption that how it was pre-9/11 is how it ought to be for all time is not the correct premise," he said.
After the terrorist attacks, about 2,400 agents were reassigned to counterterrorism duties, a P-I investigation found last year. They haven't been replaced, leaving crime squads depleted and causing a dramatic plunge in investigations and case referrals.
Across the country, FBI cases brought to federal prosecutors dropped 34 percent from 2000 to 2005. White-collar and civil rights referrals plunged about 66 percent over the same period.
"All these people who run around and say 'smaller government, smaller government, smaller government' are getting what they want -- and that means not enough FBI agents to prosecute crime," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a leading critic of the ongoing depletion of traditional law enforcement units.
Prompted by the P-I's reports on the issue, Murray successfully pushed through legislation ordering the FBI to disclose to Congress how all of its roughly 12,000 agents are being used.
Murray was seeking hard numbers to pinpoint the personnel problems and justify giving the FBI money to hire more agents. But the bureau is three months late, and an FBI spokesman said last week that, when they finally deliver the report, it won't contain "actual head counts or other numbers."
Bush's proposed budget calls for increasing FBI funding in 2009 by $451 million, to $7.1 billion. That includes funding 280 additional agents for national security programs, but adding none for criminal programs, said Tony Bladen, the FBI's deputy assistant director of resource management.
Bladen said it's hoped that by spending more for counterterrorism agents, there will be less pressure to tap remaining criminal agents for those duties.
The budget proposal is now before Congress, which will make changes as it drafts its own spending blueprint.
FBI Director Robert Mueller has wrangled unsuccessfully with the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Justice Department, seeking more money for the FBI's criminal program. That has left him in the awkward position of having to appear before Congress to defend administration spending plans that he knew failed to address the demand for traditional law enforcement.
"This is a law enforcement agent; he knows what he needs," Murray said of Mueller. "But he is handcuffed by this administration."
Democrats in Congress also feel shackled.
If they pass a budget exceeding the administration's budget proposal, they are faced with a possible Bush veto. And with a substantial number of congressional Republicans supporting the president, Murray said Democrats don't appear to have enough votes to overcome a veto.
As the budget to fight crimes traditionally investigated by the FBI languishes, those crimes are rising sharply, particularly complex financial frauds.
"Suspicious activity" reports -- filed by financial insiders when they suspect mortgage fraud -- have risen dramatically, forcing agents to juggle dozens of cases. The result: They can investigate only the biggest cash losses, bypassing some of the most egregious cases.
The number of suspicious activity reports rose in 2007 about 30 percent, to more than 46,000 nationwide, and is on track for an additional 50 percent increase this year, FBI spokesman Stephen Kodak said.
The FBI -- in order to leverage its limited resources -- has set up 37 interagency mortgage-fraud task forces, including one in Seattle. But nationwide, only 150 agents are investigating mortgage fraud. An additional 100 are investigating the subprime debacle, as well as other, unrelated corporate frauds.
For 250 agents, sifting through 46,000 potential cases -- "even if you throw three-quarters of them out -- is a hell of a burden," said Tony Adamski, the FBI's former head of financial crime investigations.
Adamski, now retired, oversaw investigations into the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s and early '90s.That scandal pales in comparison with today's mortgage meltdown, but spawned criminal investigations involving more than 1,000 FBI agents, he said.
The FBI's Bladen acknowledged that 250 agents aren't enough -- but that's all the bureau has to fight mortgage and corporate frauds.
"We are just seeing more and more of it every day, and we don't have our arms around it -- how big it is going to be. It's more than 250, but I don't have any idea what it is going to be."
But suspicious mortgages are not the only financial crime problem the FBI faces -- white-collar crime is a growth industry.
For example, there was a 20 percent increase in complex insurance fraud schemes in 2007, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, an industry investigative group. NICB spokesman Frank Scafidi says he doesn't expect the situation to improve this year.
The most recent data available on all violent crime show small increases or decreases, compared with new data showing a spike in bank robbery and continued sharp increases in white-collar crime.
Internet crime is also on the rise. Cybercrime increased 20 percent in 2007, according to the federal Internet Crime Complaint Center. In 2007, complaints of Internet crime rose 17 percent in Washington state and financial losses rose 19 percent, making the state No. 3 in per-capita victims, according to complaint center figures.
Although Bush's budget calls for 70 new cyberdivision agents, they work not only on criminal cases but also on intelligence and counterterrorism matters, too. FBI cybersquads have grown during the post-9/11 era, although not nearly as fast as cybercrime itself.
Since the days of John Dillinger, "Pretty Boy" Floyd and "Machine Gun" Kelly, the FBI has led the fight against bank holdups.
But that legacy is in danger of crumbling.
Security executives for major U.S. banks say that since December, there has been a double-digit increase in bank robberies.
"Generally, there has been a 20-year downward trend on violent crimes," said Chris Swecker, a former FBI executive assistant director who is Bank of America's security chief.
"What we are seeing is a very dramatic reversal of that downward trend."
Swecker said robberies are up 19 percent for Bank of America, which has 6,100 branches. "It just kind of reversed overnight," he said. "Right around Christmas time, we saw our bank robberies really spike up. And it has been a consistent trend since then."
John Shriner, security director for 3,296-branch Wells Fargo, said the bank has been hit with rising robberies this year -- up 27 percent over the same period a year ago.
Swecker and Shriner note another disturbing trend: an increase in "takeover" holdups in which armed robbers assert control over everyone in the bank.
The FBI's early 2008 statistics don't reflect the rise in bank robberies widely reported by the industry, but that's because the bureau is increasingly handing off investigations to local police.
When asked recently if the FBI receives reports on all bank robberies, Ron Koziol, the FBI's assistant section chief for violent crimes, said: "No, we don't think we do, because of our reduced resources and our measured response plan."
After 9/11, one of the ways the bureau cut back on its commitment to crime fighting in favor of counterterrorism was through that "response plan."
Measured response is another way of saying that the FBI is now sending agents only to the most violent armed cases and those in which the robbers cross jurisdictional lines. The rest -- more than half of all bank robberies -- are left for local authorities to handle.
Koziol said measured response recognizes "that our resources have changed, moved over to counterterrorism and counterintelligence."
Local police do a good job on most bank robberies, he said, and the FBI still steps in where its expertise or broader jurisdiction is needed.
Even so, it's impossible for state and local agencies to fill the gap left by the bureau, said Lana Weinmann, chief prosecutor in the Washington Attorney General's Office.
"Certainly there is a need. The numbers speak for themselves in terms of the rise in criminal activity," she said.
State and local authorities are doing their best, Weinmann said, "but that doesn't mean we're solving the problem. It means we're doing what we can."
Former FBI Agent Pleads Guilty, Receives Jail Sentence
by Leasa Conze, KOLD News 13 at 5
A former FBI agent accused of masturbating in a women's bathroom at the University of Arizona pleaded guilty today to public sexual indecency.
Ryan James Seese was sentenced to 5 days in the Pima County jail and 3 years probation.
Seese also must go through a treatment program.
In May, a janitor found Seese when she went to clean a bathroom stall in the Student Union.
She ran out and reported it.
Seese fled to the nearby parking garage, where he was cited for three misdemeanor charges and released to an FBI supervisor.
(WSB Radio) -- There is follow-up now to a story from last year when an Atlanta police sergeant was dismissed for covering up allegations of child pornography against her husband.
WSB's Jon Lewis reports from Atlanta police headquarters that the cover-up goes a lot deeper than just the sergeant.
WSB's Jon Lewis reports
The case against Sergeant Tanya Crane's husband began in 1999 but by 2007, no action had been taken.
Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington says, "Someone within the Atlanta Police Department called Sgt. Crane and alerted her about the investigation." Pennington calls it a cover-up.
A police major has been demoted for failing to take action. Two other police employees are facing investigation.
Both the city attorney and the FBI are investigating separately trying to determine why the case lay dormant so long.
FAYETTEVILLE - A former Fayetteville police officer was sentenced Wednesday to more than 15 years in federal prison for distributing child pornography.Jeremy Boyd Grammer, 31, pleaded guilty Feb. 29 to one count of distributing child pornography transported in interstate commerce by computer.U.S. District Judge Jimm Hendren rejected pleas for leniency and sentenced Grammer to 15 years, eight months in prison, probation for life and fined him $20,000. There is no parole in the federal system. He remains in the Washington County Jail awaiting transfer to a federal prison.Grammer was also ordered upon release to have no unsupervised contact with minors except for his children, to have no Internet connection in his home and no Internet access without permission from the federal probation office. Grammer also has to register as a sex offender, can't have a gun and must enter counseling and sex offender treatment.Two additional charges were dropped as part of a plea bargain.Hendren said he was not persuaded to depart from federal sentencing guidelines.
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A lieutenant with the Louisiana State University Police Department has been charged with possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney David Dugas announced Wednesday.
Thomas Eugene Fife was charged with possessing child pornography. The charge resulted from an investigation conducted by the FBI and LSU police, Dugas said.
The 62-year-old Fife resigned from the force earlier this year after being arrested when images of child pornography were allegedly found on his LSU computer, said LSU Police Chief Gary Durham.
Fife had been with the force for about 20 years, Durham said.
If convicted, Fife faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
A Novato man who works as a criminal investigator for the state Department of Justice was arrested Friday on charges of possession of child pornography, authorities said.
Special Agent Jeffrey David Schinkel, 34, was arraigned before a federal judge in San Francisco after his arrest and pleaded not guilty. He is in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.
According to federal prosecutors, Schinkel sent an undercover agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement an invitation to join a members-only Web site offering child pornography. Schinkel is also accused of viewing the site himself, in violation of federal law that bars knowingly accessing a child porn site with the intention to view the material.
His alleged actions were not part of any investigations for the Department of Justice, authorities said.
Schinkel is charged with one count of possession of child pornography. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and mandatory registration as a sex offender.
Schinkel was scheduled to return to court Tuesday for appointment of an attorney.
Authorities said the arrest capped an eight-month investigation by the FBI and ICE agents in San Francisco and Phoenix.
The state Department of Justice has suspended Schinkel's "peace officer powers," confiscated his equipment and credentials, and opened an internal investigation, the agency said.
Christine Gasparac, a department spokeswoman, declined to comment on how long Schinkel
BY KATHY JESSUP
KALAMAZOO -- The chief evidence handler in a controversial 2003 prostitution case that was never prosecuted said his superiors ``wanted this case to be quiet and go away.''
``Do I think there was a cover-up? Yes, I do,'' Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer Craig Stouffer told two superiors last year during a short-lived internal investigation. ``To protect a specific client of hers? No. To protect the department? Yes.''
In an interview with the Kalamazoo Gazette, at least one of the Public Safety supervisors Stouffer criticized agrees.
``Did I want the fact out there that one of my officers had acted wrongly? Absolutely not,'' said now-retired Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team Capt. Larry Belen, referring to a sex act that occurred during a June 18, 2003, undercover encounter. ``But there was nothing done on anybody's part to cover up for anyone she was doing business with.''
Police reports and statements by the suspected call girl alleged police officers, defense attorneys and prosecutors may have been among her clients. But no one was ever charged in the investigations.
One FBI agent conducted a private liaison with the woman and he was allowed to resign from the federal agency, the FBI said.
The interview with Stouffer is included among records the city of Kalamazoo recently released in response to new Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Kalamazoo Gazette.
An appointment book containing names and phone numbers also has now been released.
The Gazette sought the records after the FBI recently closed its investigation into whether the Public Safety probe had broken any federal laws in its handling of the case.
The FBI announced it found some ``sloppy'' police practices, but no evidence that any Public Safety officials obstructed justice in 2003 by purposely failing to turn over information to federal investigators.
Evidence handling criticized
The newly released records show Stouffer, then KVET's top technology officer, was among officers interviewed by Capts. Joseph Taylor and Jim Mallery in August 2007, during the internal investigation into the 2003 case.
City Hall shut down the internal probe after the FBI was brought in to investigate at the request of City Manager Kenneth Collard.
In a six-page summary of Stouffer's comments, Stouffer alleges a public-relations cover-up and describes his frustration with the handling of the prostitution case, particularly by Belen and then-Maj. Ken Colby.
Stouffer also said officers joked about oral sex that then-Sgt. Stacey Geik received during Geik's first undercover encounter with the woman Geik was investigating.
Stouffer concludes the suspect ``was just a local prostitute who communicated via the Internet and posted on the Web site.''
But in the interview with the Gazette, Belen said the FBI told him they found more, including links to a wider network based in southeastern Michigan. However, no case was ever authorized by federal prosecutors.
In summarizing the 2007 interview with Stouffer, Taylor wrote that Stouffer's ``voice was getting higher, and we could see visually that he was stressed and frustrated.''
Then, according to Taylor's report, Stouffer said:
``I am absolutely convinced there was an orchestrated attempt by Belen and Colby, specifically Colby, to keep this case quiet by not tagging the evidence, by not taking evidence downtown, by not examining the evidence, the motivation not because of the federal case or a broader conspiracy, but to protect Stacey (Geik) and the department's image because an officer got a (sex act) on duty.''
The Gazette was unable to reach Colby for comment. Stouffer declined to comment.
Belen acknowledged he wanted to ``protect'' the city's drug unit (KVET) from public criticism over the undercover sex act.
``That is something I would not want out there, and that was not the way we do business,'' Belen told the Gazette. ``I support Craig on some of what he says. I know he felt he was a target and the city was going to come after him.''
Threat and suspension
Stouffer received a 14-day suspension in May, following an unrelated investigation in which officials concluded he was using his police connections to benefit his own private security business.
Mallery, who was acting chief at the time, refused to fire Stouffer, although the city administration wanted him dismissed.
Collard wanted Stouffer fired for uttering a perceived threat -- ``If they think they are coming after me, I'll take them all down with me'' -- when Stouffer learned his business practice was being investigated.
Taylor's report says Stouffer in the 2007 interview said supervisors advised him to ignore the department's strict, evidence-recording rules when it came to the 2003 prostitution items.
``It was at this point I realized Larry Belen, and maybe Colby, wanted this case to be quiet and go away,'' Stouffer told Taylor and Mallery. ``Now we're not complying with property seizures G.O.s (general orders). Somebody's going to get in trouble.''
Stouffer said officers most closely connected to the case ignored his requests that they take custody of the evidence.
``They wouldn't take it, didn't take it,'' Stouffer said. ``They knew the case could get ugly, as Colby was involved, the feds were involved, and we were all given orders not to talk about the case.''
As a result, everything from the alleged call girl's computers to her address book and appointment calendar remained in grocery bags at KVET, rather than recorded and stored in the department's evidence room.
Records show no one was ever disciplined for the infraction.
The unprocessed evidence also was not cited by Colby in a 2005 audit he conducted at KVET. But Stouffer said Colby knew the items were there.
``I pointed out (the suspect's) property (to Colby) and said it was still there in my office,'' Stouffer said. ``He (Colby) walked over, looked at it, pulled out the address book, opened it and looked through it, put it back in the bag and said something like `Get a hold of Sheila (Officer Sheila Goodell) and see if she can find her (the prostitution suspect) again.'''
Several to blame
Belen said he regrets department procedures were not followed with the evidence in the case.
``I take full responsibility for any property that was in the KVET building that wasn't tagged,'' Belen said.
Stouffer said officers working the 2003 case joked about revelations of the undercover sex act.
``I was appalled (an officer) would have sexual contact on duty, as that's not what we do,'' Stouffer is quoted in Taylor's report.
Geik subsequently received a three-day suspension. He also was transferred out of KVET because he failed to receive a supervisor's prior authorization to engage in a sex act during his undercover investigation and because he revealed KVET's secret location to an unauthorized person.
In his Aug. 30, 2007, written findings, Taylor concluded Colby, Belen and investigating officers all had fallen short.
``(There is) a preliminary indication that officers at the patrol level failed to write police reports, and failures by the Division Commander (Belen) and Internal Affairs Major (Colby) to ensure effective criminal and internal investigations, respectively,'' wrote Taylor, who is now the commander of KVET.
Mallery said he produced no records while helping to conduct the abbreviated 2007 internal inquiry.
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