FBI – WMD Central interview with Dr.Vahid Majidi Part 2

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WMD Central
Part 2: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Breaking News – Press release 07/29/11

Our interview continues with Dr. Vahid Majidi, head of our Weapons of Mass Destruction, or WMD, Directorate, which marked its fifth anniversary on July 26.

Q. Can you provide a few examples of successful WMD investigations over the past five years?

Dr. Majidi: We’ve managed quite a few cases actually, including our first major counterproliferation investigation that involved two Iranian men and one Iranian-American who were charged in California with conspiring to export certain technologies from the U.S. to Iran. Other examples include a Texas man charged with possessing 62 pounds of sodium cyanide; a government contractor in Tennessee charged with trying to sell restricted U.S. Department of Energy materials; and a Nevada man charged with possessing deadly ricin. (Note: see the sidebar for more examples.)

WMD Case HighlightsSome additional FBI cases in recent years that have received valuable assistance from the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate:

A plot in the Bronx to bomb synagogues and shoot down planes is foiled.

A Texas resident is charged with attempting to make an improvised explosive device.

– An Illinois courthouse and a Dallas skyscraper are targets of separate bombing plots.

– A man who knew how to make the deadly toxin ricin—and had built his own weapons lab—is sentenced for threatening a federal prosecutor.

A Colorado man who plotted to bomb the New York City subway system pleads guilty.

Six members of a Michigan militia group and two others are charged with attempted use of weapons of mass destruction.

Q. What has the FBI learned over the past five years?

Dr. Majidi: Quite a bit. For some time, we’ve had WMD coordinators in every one of our field offices. But we realize that for WMD prevention to be truly comprehensive, we need to think and act globally. So that’s why—in addition to our network of legal attaché offices and agents around the world—we’ve recently put our first WMD coordinators overseas, in our offices in Tbilsi and Singapore. We also have personnel assigned to Interpol to help it develop an international WMD training program like ours.

Q. What kind of work is done overseas?

Dr. Majidi: It runs the gamut. For instance, several years ago, after an interdiction of highly enriched uranium in Georgia in the former Soviet Union, our WMD experts performed a forensic analysis of the material and then testified in Georgian courts. And when the Russian defector in London was poisoned with a radioactive isotope in 2006, our WMD personnel shadowed London Metropolitan Police during the ensuing investigation to develop lessons learned to help us prepare for such a scenario here. Through it all, we’ve built some strong relationships with our global partners.

Q. What are the WMD Directorate’s plans for the next five years?

Dr. Majidi: The basic knowledge and material that go into making weapons of mass destruction is becoming more readily available to anyone, anywhere in the world as the Information Age matures. That’s why we’ll continue to be all about partnerships—locally, nationally, and internationally. We’ll also focus even more on threats on the horizon. For example, we’ll look at emerging developments like synthetic biology from a preventative point of view. By collaborating with the synthetic biology community, we can articulate our safety and security concerns as they relate to weapons of mass destruction. We’ll also be improving our threat analysis capabilities to better spot potential WMD opportunities, potential WMD vulnerabilities, and gaps in our intelligence collection.

Q. What can the average citizen do to assist law enforcement with the WMD threat?

Dr. Majidi: Keep in mind that to develop weapons of mass destruction, you only need two things: the material and the know-how. So please, if you see anything suspicious or in a place where it doesn’t belong, report it to local law enforcement or your closest FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. It could be just the tip we need to stop something serious.

Resources:
Part 1 of the interview
More on FBI WMD efforts

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The touch of things – Ava and Lord Mountbatten

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Lord Mountbatten with Ava in Simla 1948. Ava Bhasin 2011 pic by Mark Ulyseas

A repost in memory a gracious Lady who I had the privilege of meeting. Ava Bhasin aka Ava Aunty peacefully passed away today September 12, 2012. RIP Ava Aunty.

“If only I wasn’t Governor-General but just a grass-bachelor sailor I would have had the most wonderful time here. An exceptionally lovely Anglo-Indian girl, leading lady of the second play, attracted me more than any girl for years. And as luck would have it I absolutely clicked with her. I just saw enough of her on stage. After the show and sitting opposite her after the Club dinner to know we could have had a wonderful time…Isn’t it maddening I just can’t do anything about it. She was just my cup of tea. Pammy (his other daughter Pamela) was amused but luckily I don’t think mummy noticed anything…”An extract from Mountbatten by Paul Ziegler. Lord Mountbatten had written this in a letter to his daughter Patricia after having met Ava Bhasin who played the leading role in a play presented by the Simla Amateur Dramatic Club (ADC), in the summer of 1948. Reference

There is a fragment of Indian History that nestles somewhere on the outskirts of Bengaluru in the form of an 85 year old lady, Ava Bhasin, who is an aspiring poet and a delightful remnant from the heady early post colonial days of the Indian sub continent when ball room dancing, politics, Gandhi, gymkhanas, tea parties, theatre and cricket came together to form a delightful spicy mix for a charming existence; The merry go round of the manor born.

Some weeks ago while I traversed the narrow by lanes of an ancient port city, Kochi, researching the life of the Jews in Jew Town, I was invited to meet Ava by my sister Sarita Kaul of Bali who was in Bengaluru to savor the delights of a family reunion. I was instructed to call her Ava Aunty and not to use any words that could be construed as four letters too many, if you get the drift. So here I am, after a fifteen hour road trip, sitting in front of Ava Aunty sipping a nice cup of fine Darjeeling and munching on a jaw breaking muruku (South Indian Snack).

Ava Bhasin is frail; her eyesight is diminishing but the will to live surges to the surface when she speaks about the day when she met her husband for the first time, the enchanting encounter with Mountbatten, birth of her three sons and the poems that she writes for posterity.

So how did you meet the Governor General?

Mark, it was by accident that I took part in the Play, Half an Hour. Apparently the leading lady had been transferred i.e. her government job took her elsewhere so I was asked to take her place. I did. And it seems that the Earl and Countess Mountbatten of Burma were in the audience and I was singled out after the show to meet Mountbatten, who was Governor General of India at that time. Yes, we hit it off very well. Later we met once more at the Governor’s Lodge for a Garden Party for the cast of the ADC. I would have loved to have had an intellectual relationship with him. If the untoward had happened it would have had to be by accident. Nothing did, thankfully. However, on both occasions we had a conversation and it felt like we had known each other from another time. He was suave, handsome and a very bright fellow who was well known as a ladies’ man. But I was married and my boys were still babies, I couldn’t think, I was young, I was too overwhelmed. In hind sight I wonder if I had pursued him to continue our conversation where it would have led. Humm…

Where were you born?

In Calcutta, 1924. My parents met in London. Daddy, Bibhuti Bhushan Chatterjee, was studying for the Bar (he became a Barrister, Middle Temple) and my mummy, Vera, was a Nelsonhood. Her father worked in Buckingham Palace. She had a brother called Leslie who was in the Navy. I remember mummy narrating an incident concerning Uncle Leslie. It seems that when their ship was sailing through the Suez Canal to India they passed another ship in the night. On the other ship Uncle Leslie lay dying of TB. The ship hooted. It was a moving experience for mummy as she held my elder sister Sita, who was a few months old, in her arms. It was as if life and death were passing in the night.

How did you meet your husband?

I was at a party in Firpos on Chowringhee, a blossoming 16 year old! I always wore a saree because my mother wanted us to embrace our Indian roots. Across the table a gentleman kept staring at me. His name was Devraj Bhasin and he was about 15 years my senior. Devraj was smitten by me and promptly introduced himself. On hearing that mummy was well known for her hand embroidery he made an appointment and visited our home to ‘see’ her embroidery. It was an excuse to meet me.

We fell in love. My friends in the building helped me meet him. And then we decided to get married a year later.

My mother accompanied me to the Gurdwara for the marriage ceremony. Daddy didn’t know I was getting married. When we told him after the wedding he refused to see me and Devraj; and further called my husband a gambler because he was a Stock Broker.

After our marriage and before partition we went to Lahore where my eldest son was born. It was a beautiful city of colleges with a vibrant social life.

I think the name of the restaurant was ‘Faletis” (I am not sure if this is the correct spelling) where we used to go dancing, Ball room dancing. My husband was an excellent dancer. Lahore was a modern city. No one spoke of religion or even discussed it; everything was intellectual, very civilized. Do you know that the present Prime Minister of India, Shri Manmohan Singh, was born in Lahore? Hahahaha…the irony, the politics, why can’t we all just live in peace.

Before partition we left Lahore and went to Calcutta for a short while before finally settling in Delhi. I loved Delhi with its old world charm, the monuments, Gymkhana, social life, the evening walks in Lodhi Gardens.

After all these years I still recall the story of mummy when she arrived in India for the first time and went straight to Thakurma’s house (her mother-in law). On entering the house mummy touched her feet as per Indian tradition. They became friends for the rest of their lives. Often Thakurma would visit us but would bring her own food. As she was a widow it was forbidden to eat in her daughter in law’s home.

Mummy wanted to understand India, its customs and traditions. She wanted to become an Indian, though she was English. And for this and much more, I love her dearly.

Did you witness the full horror of the partition?

Not really. We would read about riots in the papers and if some area that we proposed to visit was dangerous we wouldn’t go there or in some cases never left the house for a few days.

During the immediate years of post partition I worked for Sarla Birla teaching refugees hand embroidery. The products they made were sold and the proceeds given to these unfortunate people. I worked with Sarla for around six years. We still keep in touch!

What inspires you to write poetry?

Kashmir and the stories of Habba Khatun. Habba  was married to Prince Yusuf Chak of Kashmir. He was banished by the British to Bihar and she died alone in Kashmir.

I remember my visit to this heaven on earth, many years ago with my husband. We stayed in a House Boat. There is a beauty there that consoles the soul and soothes the senses. I don’t know what they are doing with it now, the futility of violence, the ingenuity with which people use hatred and bigotry in their daily life. This is sad. This is tragic.

Her self-published anthology of love poems is titled – The Touch of Things.  This stanza from the title poem reflects a clean unwashed innocence with a touch of melancholia. Maybe it is a piece from the enchanting life she has led; a life that in her words ‘was worth reliving’.

Touch the leaf.
Touch the scar.
Touch the white waters.
Touch the music that comes from the flute.
It is me.
Touched with your love –
Weeping and mute.
Touched by the shadow of sorrows,
The loss of your hand on my heart

At the end of the meeting Ava Bhasin rose ethereal like from the sofa and with her hand in my arm we walked quietly to the waiting car. And as it pulled away I watched a fragment of a beautiful life weave its way through the traffic and then fade into the haze of the twilight rush hour.

I will leave you with a few words from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a favorite of Ava Bhasin.

Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

FBI – WMD Central – Five Years and Building

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Dr. Vahid Majidi

Dr. Vahid Majidi

07/26/11

Five years ago this week, the FBI established its first Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Directorate to centralize and coordinate all WMD-related investigative activities, intelligence analysis capabilities, and technical expertise from across the Bureau. Recently, FBI.gov spoke with Dr.Vahid Majidi—the head of the WMD Directorate since its launch—on his office’s work over the past five years. Today, he talks about the current threat and specific focus of the directorate. Later this week, he’ll discuss case examples, lessons learned, and the future of the directorate.

Q. Why was the directorate created?

Majidi: The FBI has been in the WMD business for quite some time, more formally since 1995 when we created a program in our Counterterrorism Division to address the WMD threat. But obviously, a lot has happened in recent years. And it became clear that our WMD response crossed operational lines and also involved our counterintelligence, criminal, and cyber programs—not to mention the response and forensics expertise in the FBI Laboratory and the render-safe capabilities of our Critical Incident Response Group. We needed a single force to coordinate all of our WMD activities. The directorate gives us that.

Q. What does the WMD threat look like today?

Dr. Majidi: The nature of the threat hasn’t changed all that much over the past decade. International terrorist groups are still determined to get their hands on various forms of weapons of mass destruction—chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear. Organizations and nation states still want material and expertise for their own programs. And certain domestic groups are still trying to acquire materials needed for basic WMD applications—predominately chemical or biological in nature.

Q. What about all those white powder letters?

Dr. Majidi: Most turn out to be hoaxes, and they require a lot of investigative resources, but we have to investigate each and every incident. You never know when one of them will be real.

Q. Can you briefly explain how the WMD Directorate works?

Dr. Majidi: Absolutely. The main focus of our WMD Directorate—and the primary focus of our overall efforts—is prevention, to keep a WMD attack from ever taking place. To make that happen, we have several closely integrated activities that pull together resources from various parts of the FBI. Our countermeasures and preventions group includes a full spectrum of activities, from WMD training for domestic and international law enforcement partners…to outreach efforts to academia, industry, government, and retailers to help them spot indicators of potential WMD activity….to working with our government partners to formulate sound policies. The investigations and operations group addresses threatened or actual use of weapons of mass destruction, or the transfer of materials, knowledge, and technology needed to create a WMD. We also can and do collect evidence in contaminated areas, disarm hazardous devices, and provide command and control support in on-scene activities. Finally, our intelligence and analysis group serves as the foundation of our proactive approach to threats. Our analysts sort through data to identify relevant WMD information, and our agents work to identify sources of valuable intelligence. And because we are part of the intelligence community, we share information routinely with our partners. Through it all, we have a lot of activities and capabilities in play, and I think we’re making a real difference.

Resources

About Dr. Majidi.
Dr Vahid MajidiPersonally appointed by FBI Director Mueller, Dr. Vahid Majidi brings a highly credentialed background to his role as Assistant Director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Directorate. Dr. Majidi’s experience includes his service at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), a premier scientific organization with extensive research capabilities in areas essential to national security and civilian research programs. While at the Laboratory, Dr. Majidi led the Chemistry Division, directing critical programs in areas such as nuclear weapons-related research, non/counter-proliferation, homeland security, isotope science, applied energy, and nanoscale science and engineering.

In 2003, Dr. Majidi was appointed to be the Chief Science Advisor to the Department of Justice. Among his responsibilities was the coordination of science and technology policy among the Department’s component agencies as well as with state and local law enforcement entities. He served as the lead representative for biosecurity, pathogen forensics, DNA technologies, biometrics programs, and as the liaison to the scientific community.

Prior to his career at LANL and the Department of Justice, Dr. Majidi was a tenured associate professor of chemistry at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Majidi earned his BS degree in chemistry from Eastern Michigan University and his PhD from Wayne State University. After his graduate work he spent two years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas (Austin). He has published numerous scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and has served on the editorial boards for several international journals.

Are good times really over for good – Obama and Boehner?

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President Obama and Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner you can now sing this song to the American people.

I wish a buck was still silver.
It was back when the country was strong.
Back before Elvis; before the Vietnam war came along.
Before The Beatles and “Yesterday”,
When a man could still work, and still would.
Is the best of the free life behind us now?
Are the good times really over for good?
Are we rolling down hill like a snowball headed for hell?
With no kind of chance for the Flag or the Liberty bell.
Wish a Ford and a Chevy,
Could still last ten years, like they should.
Is the best of the free life behind us now?
Are the good times really over for good?

I wish coke was still cola,
And a joint was a bad place to be.
And it was back before Nixon lied to us all on TV.
Before microwave ovens,
When a girl could still cook and still would.
Is the best of the free life behind us now?
Are the good times really over for good?

Are we rolling down hill like a snowball headed for hell?
With no kind of chance for the Flag or the Liberty bell.
Wish a Ford and a Chevy,
Could still last ten years, like they should.
Is the best of the free life behind us now?
Are the good times really over for good?

Stop rolling down hill like a snowball headed for hell.
Stand up for the Flag and let’s all ring the Liberty bell.
Let’s make a Ford and a Chevy,
Still last ten years, like they should.
The best of the free life is still yet to come,
The good times ain’t over for good.

Merle Haggard, the Great Country Western Singer, who first sang this song nearly 30 years ago.

Letter to Professor Unni Wikan, Celebrated Norwegian Anthropologist

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Professor Unni Wikan,
Norwegian Professor of Social Anthropology
University of Oslo
Norway

Professor Unni Wikan

Hi Professor,

I am sorry for writing to you in a public forum but I think it is important now that you come forward to explain this horrible incident. You are a celebrated anthropologist who so kindly gave me an interview for my magazine sometime back. In the interview you spoke about the rapes in Norway that were committed by immigrants and the reasons thereof. Perhaps now is the best time to  help your country to come to terms with this tragedy by presenting the factors that contributed to this tragedy. I am sure it will help in creating a more transparent view of the problem of immigrants and the clash of cultures.

I trust you are in good health. My regards to your mother who lives in the Tundra.

Warm regards

Mark Ulyseas
Editor
Liveencounters.net

A reference from our interview :

MU – “I will not blame the rapes on Norwegian women. But Norwegian women must understand that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.” “Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes.”

You stated this in reference to high profile incidents in Norway involving immigrant men and the local (Norwegian) women. Do you think the reverse will happen in Bali, like attacks on ‘visitor women scantily clad’ by ‘locals’ because the ‘visitors’ have shown ignorance of the social norms and/or not understood the prevalent culture?

UW – I have never said that women must take their share of responsibility for rapes. This is sheer misrepresentation of my statement. The rapist bears full responsibility for rape, which is a crime. What I did say was that many immigrants come from societies where the way many Norwegian women dress and behave is misunderstood to mean that they are immoral.  In a multicultural society, it is an advantage if people learn something about one another´s codes of communication.  The same applies if you are a tourist. It is a sad fact of life that women are exposed much more than men to sexual violence.  So women need to be careful, and knowledge is power.  But full responsibility for rape resides with the rapist. 

Breaking News – US Department of Justice on Organized Romanian Criminal Groups

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US Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
Friday, July 15, 2011

Organized Romanian Criminal Groups Targeted by DOJ and Romanian Law Enforcement – Twenty-One Individuals Charged to Date in the United States for Alleged Roles in Internet Fraud Scheme

WASHINGTON – An ongoing Internet fraud scheme conducted by several networks of organized cyber criminals in Romania and the United States has been disrupted as a result of a series of law enforcement actions coordinated since 2010 between Romanian and U.S. law enforcement, including numerous arrests and searches that took place yesterday in Romania.

More than 100 individuals have been arrested and charged in Romania and judicial districts in the United States as a result of close cooperation between the Romanian General Inspectorate of Police, Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Infractions of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), the General Directorate of Jandarmeria in Romania (GIJR) and the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Southern District of Florida, the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Eastern District of Missouri.  

Yesterday, Romania law enforcement executed 117 searches targeting more than 100 individuals allegedly involved in the fraudulent scheme involving fake sales of merchandise through the Internet.  Romanian law enforcement targeted individuals organizing and perpetrating this fraud from Romania.

According to U.S. court documents, in many of the cases, conspirators located in Romania would post items for sale such as cars, motorcycles and boats on Internet auction and online websites.   They would instruct victims located in the United States and elsewhere who wanted to buy those items to wire transfer the purchase money to a fictitious name they claimed to be an employee of an escrow company.  Once the victim wired the funds, the co-conspirators in Romania would text information about the wire transfer to co-conspirators in the United States known as “arrows” to enable them to retrieve the wired funds.   They would also provide the arrows with instructions as to where to send the funds after retrieval.   The arrows in the United States would go to money transmitter service counters such as Western Union or MoneyGram International, provide false documents including passports and drivers’ licenses in the name of the recipient of the wire transfer, and obtain the funds.  They would subsequently wire the funds overseas, typically to individuals in Romania, minus a percentage kept for their commissions.   In some cases, co-conspirators in Romania also directed arrows to provide bank accounts in the United States where larger amounts of funds could be wired by victims of the fraud.   The victims would not receive the items they believed they were purchasing.

The Romania investigation is being conducted in conjunction with ongoing criminal investigations in the United States that also have been targeting this criminal activity.   Since May 2010, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida have arrested and prosecuted numerous individuals from Romania, Moldova and the United States allegedly involved in this fraud scheme.   Vadim Gherghelejiu, 29, of Moldova; Anatolie Bisericanu, 25, of Moldova; Jairo Osorno, 22, of Surfside, Fla.; Jason Eibinder, 22, of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.; and Ciprian Jdera, 25, of Romania, have been convicted in the Southern District of Florida of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  

A 21-count indictment returned in Miami on Feb. 22, 2011 charged Pedro Pulido, 41, of Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Ivan Boris Barkovic, 19, of Sunny Isles Beach; Beand Dorsainville, 20, of North Miami Beach, Fla.; Sergiu Petrov, aka “Serogia,” 27, of Moldova; Oleg Virlan, 32, of Moldova; Marian Cristea, 22, of Romania; and Andrian Olarita, 26, of Moldova, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and substantive counts of wire fraud.    Pulido, Barkovic, Dorsainville and Olarita have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.   Petrov, Virlan and Cristea remain at large and are considered fugitives.

On July 8, 2011, Adrian Culda, 37, of Romania, was arrested and subsequently charged in a complaint filed in Miami with conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of this alleged cyber crime activity.   Tiberiu Zachiteanu, 19, of Romania, was also charged in the same complaint with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was arrested on July 12, 2011.  

An investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania led to the arrests of seven defendants, including one individual in Pittsburgh, three individuals in the Eastern District of Missouri, two individuals in Fort Bend County, Texas, and one individual in Kentucky.

Marion Potcovaru, 30, of Romania, pleaded guilty on Feb. 2, 2011, to wire fraud related charges in the Western District of Pennsylvania.   In St. Louis, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Augustin Prundurelu, 32, and Georgiana Andrei, 25, both of Romania, with forgery and passport fraud.   Both defendants pleaded guilty and each were sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $18,365.  In addition, Sorin Mihai Madaian, 22, of Romania, pleaded guilty on May 23, 2011, in the Eastern District of Missouri to passport fraud charges.   Victor Angelescu, 28, of Romania, was charged by the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office for the 27th Judicial Circuit of Kentucky with related wire fraud charges.

In Fort Bend County, Texas, Klara Mirabela Rusu, 24, and Eduard Sorin Neacsu, 36, were arrested on June 3, 2011, by officers from the Houston Police Department and charged by Fort Bend and Harris County authorities with money laundering and making false statements to obtain property.    Rusu was indicted by a Fort Bend County grand jury on July 11, 2011, and charged with the felony offenses of money laundering and making a false statement.   Neacsu’s grand jury date is pending due to possible additional charges. Both individuals are currently detained.

According to court documents, detectives observed Rusu and Neacsu enter a WalMart store, where Rusu and Neacsu presented a MoneyGram voucher and false identifications to a store clerk.   Rusu and Neascu received $2,890 through Western Union and Money Gram from a victim in another state who had wired the money in response to an Internet advertisement for merchandise, which the victim never received.   Rusu and Neacsu were later arrested and a search of their room produced a large amount of U.S. currency, computers, printers, plastic for manufacturing false identifications, an exacto knife, multiple mobile phones and false identifications with Neacsu’s picture.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The Internet fraud scheme has resulted in an estimated loss of more than $10 million from victims, including those in the United States. The full loss amount and identification of additional victims is ongoing.

Over the last 10 years, U.S. law enforcement authorities have strengthened ties with Romanian law enforcement authorities to address the rising threats posed by Romanian-based organized cyber criminal networks.   To date, hundreds of defendants have been arrested and charged in the United States, Romania, and other countries as a result of this cooperation.

The Department of Justice International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center (IOC-2) has provided support and assistance to these ongoing investigations.   IOC-2 partners with various law enforcement agencies to combine data and produce actionable leads for investigators and prosecutors working nationwide to combat international organized crime.   IOC-2 also coordinates the resulting multi-jurisdictional investigations and prosecutions with its member agencies, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and foreign law enforcement authorities.

The ongoing investigations are being led by the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service.   U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement is participating in the investigation related to the Pittsburgh cases.   The federal cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Southern District of Florida, the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Eastern District of Missouri, with support from CCIPS.

Local law enforcement assisting in these prosecutions include the Medina County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office; the London, Ky., Police Department; Memphis, Tenn., Airport Police; the Kirkwood, Mo., Police Department; the Fort Bend and Harris County, Texas, District Attorneys’ Offices; the Houston Police Department; the Hallandale Beach, Fla., Police Department; the Pembroke Pines Police Department; the Miami Gardens Police Department; the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department; the North Miami Beach Police Department and the Davie, Fla., Police Department.

Also assisting law enforcement were the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), Wal-Mart Stores, Western Union, MoneyGram International, the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) and Publix Grocery Stores.

Victims of Internet crime are encouraged to report evidence of fraudulent activity to the IC3 via www.ic3.gov .

FBI Most Wanted Child Rapist – Richard Carl Heeringa

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News Banner


For Immediate Release Contact:
July 08, 2011 Chief DUSM Ken Deal, District of Colorado (303) 335-3400
DUSM Charlie Ahmad, District of Colorado –

Fugitive Location and Apprehension Group (303) 335-3400;
USMS Office of Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
U.S. Marshals Add Convicted Child Molester to 15 Most Wanted
Richard Carl HeeringaWASHINGTON – The U.S. Marshals have added a convicted child molester to their 15 Most Wanted fugitive list.  Richard Carl Heeringa is wanted in Colorado by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals led Fugitive Location and Apprehension Group Task Force.

Following a two-week trial in April 2010, a jury found Heeringa guilty of 17 counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and failure to register as a sex offender. He is facing more than 500 years in prison.

Heeringa fled in the middle of the night on April 15, 2010, the same day the jury reached their guilty verdict. He has not been seen since.

Heeringa, 55, has two other sex assault cases pending in Colorado and previously served 12 years in prison in Michigan following a sex assault conviction there.

Shortly after being released from prison in 2004, Heeringa met a single mother from Colorado. In 2005, he moved to Colorado and began living with the mother and her daughter. He soon began sexually abusing the 12 year old and continued the abuse until January 2008, when the child came forward with allegations of sexual abuse.

Authorities do not believe Heeringa will change his criminal ways and want to find him before he victimizes another young girl.

“Richard Heeringa is a predator, who has a track record of preying on young girls,” said Geoff Shank, Acting Assistant Director of the U.S. Marshals Investigative Operations Division. “We will make every effort to track this criminal down and bring him to justice.”

Heeringa has a history of working in construction and had his own construction company in the past. He is very self-sufficient and could easily make a living as a handyman. He is in good physical shape, skilled in martial arts and has been a hunter in the past, so he could live in the wilderness for a while.
He was born in Michigan and has family there. He also has ties to Georgia and California.

“This man is very dangerous and we need the public’s help to bring Herringa to justice,” said Sheriff David A. Weaver.

Heeringa is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. He has scars on his abdomen, right knee, upper left arm and face.

Heeringa is considered armed and dangerous.

A reward of up to $25,000 is offered for information leading directly to Heeranga’s arrest.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the nearest U.S. Marshals office or the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov

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