ISPLA: Confidential Informants, Sex Offenders & New Bills
- Two newly sponsored bills in the House discussed below may be of interest to
some investigative professionals. The first proposed bill pertains to
international travel of registered sex offenders, Megan's Law, and the End
Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking in Children for
Sexual Purposes Act (ECPAT). The second bill concerns federal confidential
informants who commit crimes and a recent letter from a U.S. Senator to the
current FBI Director.
Bruce Hulme, ISPLA Director of Government Affairs <http://www.ispla.gov/>
HR 3253, the International Megan's Law of 2011, sponsored by Rep.
Christopher Lynch [R-NJ-4] was introduced on October 24 and referred to the
House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on the
Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in
each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the
jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
This bill's stated purpose would be to protect children from sexual
exploitation by mandating reporting requirements for convicted sex
traffickers and other registered sex offenders against minors intending to
engage in international travel, providing advance notice of intended travel
by high interest registered sex offenders outside the United States to the
government of the country of destination, requesting foreign governments to
notify the United States when a known child sex offender is seeking to enter
the United States, and for other purposes.
HR 3228, the Confidential Informant Accountability Act of 2011, sponsored by
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch [D-MA-9] on October 14 has been referred to House
Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
This bill would require Federal law enforcement agencies to report to
Congress serious crimes, authorized as well as unauthorized, committed by
their confidential informants, to amend title 28, United States Code, with
respect to certain tort claims arising out of the criminal misconduct of
confidential informants, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the
This bill arises from the longstanding saga of the elusive Boston FBI
confidential informant mobster "Whitey" Bulger, recently captured in
California who was implicated in 19 murders -- and more recently from the
disclosure of Mob Capo Mark Rossetti's FBI involvement as an informant as
reported in the Boston Globe. The letter below from Senator Charles
Grassley [R-IA] to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III seems to tell it all.
"As a Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, I write
to inquire about recent reports from the Boston area regarding the Federal
Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) ties with alleged mafia "capo" and "acting
consigliore" Mark Rossetti as a confidential informant and reports that the
FBI misrepresented Mr. Rossetti's status as an informant to the
Massachusetts State Police."
"Mr. Rossetti is currently under state indictment for a multitude of crimes
including home invasions, heroin and marijuana trafficking, gambling, and
loan sharking. Additionally Mr. Rossetti was convicted of armed robbery,
beating a Massachusetts State Trooper nearly to death and was a suspect in
multiple murders and the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum art heist, the
largest in Boston history."
"Despite all these alleged crimes and the claim that Mr. Rossetti was
running a 'sprawling criminal enterprise,' it appears that the FBI may have
engaged in a long-term relationship with Mr. Rossetti."
"In fact, as early as 1992, an FBI agent's pager number was found on Mr.
Rossetti and former Massachusetts State Detective Bill McGreal stated that
an FBI agent declined to pursue a case against Mr. Rossetti saying, 'we
decided to pass on Rossetti" despite strong evidence from a cooperating
"According to media reports, the FBI initially misrepresented Mr. Rossetti's
status as an informant to the Massachusetts State Police. An August 16,
2011, Boston Globe article titled "Sleeping with enemy, again" reports that
FBI agents initially denied that Mr. Rossetti was an FBI informant prior to
commencing their investigation into his activities.
"According to the article, the FBI agents denied that they were working with
Mr. Rossetti and it was only when Massachusetts State Police electronic
surveillance picked up conversations between Mr. Rossetti and his FBI
handler, that the FBI finally came clean and admitted its relationship to
the Massachusetts State Police."
"Given the well documented FBI malfeasance in the Whitey Bulger saga, the
FBI's actions related to organized crime in
Boston deserve a heightened level of scrutiny. In light of these past
experiences and the questions raised by local media, please provide answers
to the following questions:
1) Was Mr. Rossetti a confidential informant for the FBI?
a. If so, when did he become a confidential informant?
b. If so, when was this relationship terminated and why?
c. If so, was he a paid informant and how much was he paid?
2) When did the FBI first become aware of Mr. Rossetti's criminal activity?
3) What alleged crimes was the FBI aware of?
4) Prior to being made aware of Mr. Rossetti's alleged criminal activity by
the Massachusetts State Police, was the FBI aware of any crimes alleged to
have been committed by Mr. Rossetti?
a. If so, were any of those alleged crimes felonies, violent felonies, or
5) Did the FBI conduct an internal inspection, investigation, or review by
the Office of Professional Responsibility into its agents' handling of Mr.
a. If so, when was this investigation conducted and what entity conducted
6) Have FBI agents at any time claimed to Massachusetts State Troopers that
Mr. Rossetti was not a confidential informant for the FBI?
a. If so, describe the circumstances of these representations by FBI agents
and when they occurred.
b. Were FBI agents ever disciplined for making representations that Mr.
Rossetti was not a confidential informant? If so, please describe.
c. Please provide a written statement of the FBI's policy regarding use of
confidential informants and any other informal policies related to criminal
informants and criminal activity.
Thank you for your cooperation and attention in this matter. I would
appreciate a response by October 31, 2011.
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