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Special Agent

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NEWS
July 30, 1991 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
When Dolores James was growing up in Penllyn, the shack she shared with her mother and brothers didn't have running water. An outhouse and pump were in the back. Today that pump, salvaged when the ancestral home was torn down years ago, occupies a position of honor in the Beverly Hills spread of Dolores Robinson, nee Dolores James in 1936. During the first 38 years of her life, Robinson dispatched cabs in Montgomery County, taught seventh-grade English in West Philadelphia, co- hosted the talk show Right On!
NEWS
November 16, 1998 | By Thomas J. Brady, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Thomas J. Bagnell Jr., 64, a corporate security director, died of cardiac arrest at his Blue Bell home Friday evening. He had lived in Blue Bell for the last two years. Before that he had lived in Lansdale for 28 years. Mr. Bagnell, a native of Philadelphia, graduated from Central High School and magna cum laude from La Salle College (now University) with a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1955. He served in the Navy from 1956 to 1962 as an intelligence officer in Washington, leaving with the rank of lieutenant junior grade.
NEWS
November 21, 1994 | by Jim Nicholson, Daily News Staff Writer
John C. Spann, a retired special agent for the Internal Revenue Service, died Thursday. He was 77 and lived in Mount Airy. An IRS agent, Spann had been assigned to the Organized Crime Strike Force in Philadelphia. He retired in 1976. While working in the IRS office in Philadelphia he founded and headed the Association for the Improvement of Minorities (AIM), an organization designed to smooth the way of newly hired minorities into the IRS. "He was a man of honor and integrity.
NEWS
August 19, 2016 | By Robert Moran, Staff Writer
A South Jersey psychiatrist with a practice in Philadelphia and his office manager were indicted Wednesday on charges of illegally selling more than $1 million in prescription drugs for cash, federal prosecutors said. Clarence R. Verdell, 66, of Voorhees, and Rochelle Williams-Morrow, 37, of Philadelphia, were charged with selling prescriptions of Klonopin and Suboxone without medical or mental-health examinations. Verdell worked for about six months for Dr. Alan Summers, who also recently was charged with illegally selling prescriptions, before opening his own clinic on Frankford Avenue in Frankford.
NEWS
September 8, 2016 | By Emily Babay, STAFF WRITER
The FBI's Philadelphia office has a new chief. The agency said Michael Harpster, an FBI veteran of nearly two decades, has been appointed as special agent in charge of the Philadelphia division. Harpster, who joined the FBI in 1997, was most recently special agent in charge of the New York field office's criminal division. Throughout his FBI career, he has held leadership positions in Newark, N.J., and the counterterrorism and criminal investigation divisions, the agency said.
NEWS
June 16, 2016 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Staff Writer
Steven H. Susson, 54, of Furlong, Bucks County, a special agent with the FBI's Newark (N.J.) Division, died Friday, June 10, of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in New Hope. Mr. Susson, who was off duty, was riding his motorcycle in the 100 block of South Main Street just before 2:17 p.m. when he lost control and it hit a building. He was pronounced dead at St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne. Mr. Susson had been a special agent with the FBI since October 1995. For a decade before that, he was a Philadelphia police officer working in various districts, including Center City.
NEWS
September 22, 2010 | Daily News Staff Report
George Venizelos yesterday was named special agent in charge of the FBI's Philadelphia division by Director Robert S. Mueller III. Venizelos has been charge of the administrative division of the FBI's New York division since November 2006. A 1982 graduate of Fordham University, Venizelos was a special agent with the Drug Enforcment Administration before becoming an FBI special agent in 1991. He investigated white-collar-crime in Boston, was promoted to supervisory special agent in the criminal-investigative division's Russian organized-crime unit at FBI headquarters, and, in 1999, was supervisory senior-resident agent for the Philadelphia division's Harrisburg resident agency.
NEWS
January 5, 2004 | By Adam Fifield INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Gordon G. McNeill, 61, a veteran special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who investigated a number of high-profile cases, including the 1993 abduction and murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas in Petaluma, Calif., died Thursday at his home in Moorestown. Mr. McNeill had fought a long battle with esophageal cancer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mr. McNeill graduated from Cardinal Dougherty High School in 1960. That same year, he began his 37-year FBI career, starting as a clerk in the agency's Philadelphia office while attending St. Joseph's University at night.
NEWS
January 30, 1990 | GEORGE REYNOLDS/ DAILY NEWS
About 90 people got a close look yesterday at the kinds of weapons drug dealers pack at St. Boniface Auditorium on Hancock Street near Diamond. United Neighbors Against Drugs sponsored the presentation. Steve Avato, special agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, demonstrated the weapons he said had been confiscated during drug raids.
NEWS
March 26, 2013 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
AWILKES-BARRE native with nearly three decades of service in the Federal Bureau of Investigation assumed the top spot in the agency's Philadelphia Division on Monday. Edward J. Hanko, Philadelphia's new special agent in charge, left his post as chief of the FBI's Cincinnati Division to come to Philadelphia. Hanko worked as a police officer in Baltimore from 1981 until joining the FBI in 1986. Hanko has held numerous positions with the FBI, including as an assistant special agent in charge of the Detroit Field Office, a supervisory special agent overseeing drug-trafficking investigations, and an instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. Between 2009 and 2011, Hanko, a graduate of the University of Baltimore, worked in the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, where he oversaw undercover, budget and administrative programs.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 8, 2016 | By Emily Babay, STAFF WRITER
The FBI's Philadelphia office has a new chief. The agency said Michael Harpster, an FBI veteran of nearly two decades, has been appointed as special agent in charge of the Philadelphia division. Harpster, who joined the FBI in 1997, was most recently special agent in charge of the New York field office's criminal division. Throughout his FBI career, he has held leadership positions in Newark, N.J., and the counterterrorism and criminal investigation divisions, the agency said.
NEWS
August 19, 2016 | By Robert Moran, Staff Writer
A South Jersey psychiatrist with a practice in Philadelphia and his office manager were indicted Wednesday on charges of illegally selling more than $1 million in prescription drugs for cash, federal prosecutors said. Clarence R. Verdell, 66, of Voorhees, and Rochelle Williams-Morrow, 37, of Philadelphia, were charged with selling prescriptions of Klonopin and Suboxone without medical or mental-health examinations. Verdell worked for about six months for Dr. Alan Summers, who also recently was charged with illegally selling prescriptions, before opening his own clinic on Frankford Avenue in Frankford.
NEWS
June 16, 2016 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Staff Writer
Steven H. Susson, 54, of Furlong, Bucks County, a special agent with the FBI's Newark (N.J.) Division, died Friday, June 10, of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in New Hope. Mr. Susson, who was off duty, was riding his motorcycle in the 100 block of South Main Street just before 2:17 p.m. when he lost control and it hit a building. He was pronounced dead at St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne. Mr. Susson had been a special agent with the FBI since October 1995. For a decade before that, he was a Philadelphia police officer working in various districts, including Center City.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2016 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Staff Writer
Those pesky cyber-criminals are targeting us where it hurts: on the job. Hackers now pose as our bosses or supervisors, law enforcement officials say - asking us to send emails with sensitive W-2 tax returns or payroll information and employee Social Security numbers. Main Line Health was just the latest victim, according to Brian Thomas, supervisor from the IRS criminal investigations branch, and Benjamin Stone, who leads the new cyber criminal squad for the FBI's Philadelphia office.
NEWS
March 23, 2016 | By Jill Castellano, Staff Writer
Another former member of the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office is taking the office to court, bringing to six the number of lawsuits brought by former state prosecutors, agents, and top administrators. In the latest suit, a former narcotics agent, Charles Horvath, claims he was fired by Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's chief of staff, Jonathan Duecker, for complaining about a cover-up during a drug operation. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court last month, names as defendants the Attorney General's Office, the head of the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, the agent in charge of the Allentown regional office, and Duecker, who at the time of the alleged cover-up was the special agent in charge of the bureau.
NEWS
August 5, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Edward J. Hanko, special agent in charge of the FBI's Philadelphia office, still smarts when he remembers a federal jury's rejection of the corruption case his agents had spent years building against six narcotics officers. "That one hurt," he said, recalling the day in May when the verdict was read. The case had been particularly hard-fought. Lawyers for the indicted officers had challenged the competence of Hanko's agents and accused them of ignoring justice for the sake of an indictment.
NEWS
August 5, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The next person to lead the FBI's regional office is a Philadelphia native with a Villanova University degree, and a background in public corruption and terrorism investigations. William F. Sweeney Jr. was named special agent in charge of the bureau's Philadelphia division last this month. He began his new job Monday, replacing Edward J. Hanko, who retired after two years in the post and 29 with the bureau. A 17-year veteran of the bureau, Sweeney started his career in 1998 in Newark, N.J., where he directed an investigation that led to the bribery conviction in 2002 of Robert C. Janiszewski, an influential state Democrat and Hudson County executive who wore a wire to bring down several former associates.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
A FEDERAL Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent has been arrested for stealing from deportees, District Attorney Seth Williams said yesterday. Agent Justin Ford, 31, was charged with theft, receiving stolen property, official oppression and conspiracy after he allegedly stole $200 from an undercover officer posing as a deportee during a Feb. 24 sting, Williams said. A detainee's complaint that he was missing money prompted the sting, said Gregory Null, special agent in charge of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
A federal agent assigned to drive deportees from Philadelphia to the York County Prison has been charged with theft and related offenses for allegedly stealing hundreds of dollars from the vulnerable immigrants he transported. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Justin M. Ford, 32, of Stratford, was arrested Feb. 24 in an elaborate sting that involved marked bills, an undercover officer who posed as a non-English-speaking immigrant, cooperation from the prison's intake unit, and the takedown of Ford by a Philadelphia Police Department SWAT team.
NEWS
January 9, 2015 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Don Tollefson fattened his personal bank accounts with hundreds of thousands of dollars from his charities, a Bucks County prosecutor said Wednesday on the second day of the former sportscaster's fraud trial. Matt Weintraub, chief of prosecutions for the Bucks County District Attorney's Office, highlighted reams of financial records to argue that Tollefson's charity helped few people beyond the former Philadelphia sportscaster. In two years, Tollefson's Winning Ways organization raised nearly $1 million from donors including the Norristown Police Athletic League.
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