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Witness Protection Program

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NEWS
October 28, 1987 | RONALD J. OSTROW and MICHAEL WINES, Times Staff Writers
The distraught investor who killed a Merrill Lynch branch manager, seriously wounded his broker and then killed himself was a protected federal witness given a new name and relocated in Miami 10 years ago after he testified in a Kansas City fraud investigation, Justice Department officials said Tuesday. Arthur H.
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NATIONAL
May 16, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Two "known or suspected" terrorists who cooperated with the government and were placed in the Witness Security Program later were able to board airplanes and quietly vanish, the Justice Department's inspector general concluded in a report that was highly critical of how the government handles some of its most dangerous witnesses. Administration officials said Thursday that the pair left the country years ago and had since been located. But the office of the inspector general found that federal officials, primarily at the U.S. Marshals Service, which runs the program, had not been doing enough to monitor and handle the former terrorists.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 7, 1998 | SCOTT GLOVER and EVELYN LARRUBIA, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A man gunned down in his driveway had been placed in a witness protection program after receiving death threats for his anticipated testimony in a Van Nuys trial, authorities said Friday. James Navaroli, 36, was expected to testify against a man accused of three commercial burglaries in the west San Fernando Valley, police said. Police had relocated Navaroli to an apartment outside his neighborhood after he received death threats, Det. Rick Swanston said.
NATIONAL
September 14, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In one lifetime, Wahed Moharam has been a legendary Kansas City Chiefs football fan and a witness in the case against the suspects in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Then, on Friday, the former Egyptian soldier and football super-fan once known as the face-painted, drum-banging “Helmet Man” found himself at the center of a bomb scare at a state office building in Kansas City when, according to witnesses, he complained about being put on a terrorism watch list.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 1998 | PHIL WILLON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating allegations that a detective pressured a North Hollywood landlord into renting an apartment to a crime victim without disclosing that the man was a convicted child molester. Stephen Xirinachs, the building manager who says he was duped, and his wife have filed a $10-million claim against the city, saying they have suffered emotional distress and a "loss of faith in the LAPD." The couple said LAPD Det.
NATIONAL
May 16, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Two "known or suspected" terrorists who cooperated with the government and were placed in the Witness Security Program later were able to board airplanes and quietly vanish, the Justice Department's inspector general concluded in a report that was highly critical of how the government handles some of its most dangerous witnesses. Administration officials said Thursday that the pair left the country years ago and had since been located. But the office of the inspector general found that federal officials, primarily at the U.S. Marshals Service, which runs the program, had not been doing enough to monitor and handle the former terrorists.
NEWS
April 1, 1985
A former mob hit man and bodyguard to James R. Hoffa told a newspaper that the one-time Teamsters president was slain, ground up, stuffed into a steel drum and dumped in the Florida Everglades. Charlie Allen, who now lives under another identity provided by a witness protection program, told the Richmond, Va., Times-Dispatch that Hoffa was shot with an electric stun gun and murdered after he disappeared from Detroit in late July of 1975.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 4, 2004 | Martin Miller, Times Staff Writer
Henry Hill is at the office doing something he loves and hates -- reflecting on himself. To the unfamiliar, it would appear that a thin, tanned 60-year-old man with close-cropped gray hair is enjoying an afternoon at West Hollywood's Palm Restaurant. But to Hill, the steakhouse's dark wood bar casts him back some four decades when he was a young kid working for the Lucchese crime family in New York.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 1998 | NICHOLAS RICCARDI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday called for a review of the county's witness protection program in the wake of the slayings of two men connected to criminal cases at the Van Nuys courthouse. "It is vital that the integrity of our witness protection program be maintained," said Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who made the motion asking the district attorney and Sheriff's Department to make recommendations toward improving the program.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2010 | By Mike Anton
The last exit on Interstate 5 funnels drivers into a swirl of activity at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Ysidro. Mexican pop music blares from an open-air bazaar where Zapata T-shirts and $6.99 hip-hugger jeans are sold. Women headed back to Mexico drag shopping carts stuffed with bags from Kmart. Cabdrivers sit on a bridge overlooking the border and wait for customers. The sidewalks are jammed with people. An advertising kiosk promotes its busy location to potential customers: 1.5 million eyes see this ad every year!
WORLD
August 2, 2009 | Megan K. Stack
Valery Kazakov was almost to the prosecutor's office when the killers caught him. He was shot as he cut through an alleyway, and when he stumbled bleeding into the street, a man bent down to stab the final breaths out of him. It was 3 o'clock in the afternoon, in the heart of the sleepy town of Pushkino. As far as the townspeople were concerned, it was a public execution.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 30, 2008 | Robert Lloyd, Times Television Critic
Although I have it on the authority of Martin Scorsese and Wikipedia that the federal witness protection program does exist, I find the whole business hard to swallow. Outfitting people who know too much, or live with people who know too much, with new names and fake IDs and shipping them off to unfamiliar cities to playact forevermore -- it seems no more probable to me than shooting them into space or turning them into trees. (That's what Zeus would do.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 17, 2005 | Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
Two guards at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch were so frightened of reprisals in 1994 for their pending grand jury testimony that they secretly met with prosecutors to ask about placement in a federal witness protection program, according to testimony Monday from a Santa Barbara County sheriff's commander.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 4, 2004 | Martin Miller, Times Staff Writer
Henry Hill is at the office doing something he loves and hates -- reflecting on himself. To the unfamiliar, it would appear that a thin, tanned 60-year-old man with close-cropped gray hair is enjoying an afternoon at West Hollywood's Palm Restaurant. But to Hill, the steakhouse's dark wood bar casts him back some four decades when he was a young kid working for the Lucchese crime family in New York.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 2004 | Daniel Freed, Special to The Times
After Olutokumbo Oluwole was shot to death in a parking lot of a fast-food restaurant on his 22nd birthday, a program distributed at his funeral said his innocence had been his downfall. Oluwole, the program said, did not believe he had any enemies. Not when he saw his best friend, Laron Mercado, fatally shot in March. Not when he told police what he had seen. Not even when he fled his hometown of Oakland while investigators prepared their case.
OPINION
October 13, 2003
The latest count is 388 dead and 1,897 wounded. That's not in Iraq but on the streets of Los Angeles so far this year. Down almost 25% compared with this time last year -- that's the good news -- the sheer number of homicides is still high enough to turn some L.A. neighborhoods into war zones. If only these areas qualified for wartime spending. Take one relatively tiny piece of President Bush's request for $87 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan.
OPINION
April 10, 2003
California's witness protection program is out of money, and the reason why couldn't be more ironic. The 1998 statute that created it did so by tapping surplus money in the state's victim compensation program, which is funded by fines and penalties imposed on criminals. This year, for the first time, there is no surplus. So many crime victims have sought help for medical costs, counseling and other expenses that there is no money left to pay for relocating witnesses.
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