WWL>Topics>>12-5-13 1:10pm Angela: with Mike Anderson of the FBI

12-5-13 1:10pm Angela: with Mike Anderson of the FBI

Dec 5, 2013|

Angela sits down with Mike Anderson, Special Agent in Charge at the FBI.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well good Thursday everybody -- it is a great Thursday. You know some days you just live right and this is my day for three hours I'll get to talk to three incredibly interesting man. Mike Anderson first is head of the local office of the FBI. His professional life has been fascinating. Both the warrior and CPA. He literally wrote the FBI's public corruption field guide. Years before he was named special agent in charge here. He was aware of New Orleans history of public corruption having worked the investigation in the operation wrinkled -- case. And having supervising investigation. Of congressman William Jefferson. And now he's running an office in New Orleans. That perhaps is always having its hands full. We are thrilled to have you here and I mean that from the heart you have been nothing but gracious about any time we call. Even if you calling on being there and that sensibilities very meaningful so thank you and thank you for spending an hour with its. I hope you don't regret his fifth again and I'm sure I. You just came from the invest richer are new US attorney Kenneth -- and I saw on the channel four news that he really oriented toward young people. Which is. Is very appropriate and in needed and we have much to talk about about what is happening among. But if we could start first with Kent police has been generous and been here as well. And clearly he inherited an office in a very difficult time. An office that have tremendous respect and then through. What was happening within the office in the in the loss to Jim Latin. Clearly the morale must have been down so he walked into that and then into the community think -- is local and understands. That was very disappointed. And done in some cases even discussed about what happened. I guess I know you must have a phenomenal relationship with the office but as an administrator and as one who's been in this field long time. What would you say to him about re doing it so that the public once again has the confidence he had. I think from the FBI perspective the key is partnership and I've met with chemical leak any number of times our people and his office my office. Over breakfast over lunch. And he has really developed. -- brings the table spirit of collaboration partnership because for the FBI our respect our our our. Biggest priority is for us have a partnership with the US attorney's office and not to have. It looked upon as there's an investigative piece switches FBI's primary responsibility in the prosecution piece which is the US attorney's office primary responsibility. But it all gets blended together from cradle to grave on every one of these investigations. And -- -- -- special this experience of the southern district of New York brings that to the table and that was -- something that I believe Jim Latin. In his -- and I did not have a long overlap with Jim here. But that relationship and that spirit of cooperation existed with the US turning his house office and the FBI and I wanted to ensure. And I know Kenneth wanted to ensure that that was going to continue when he started. So so how does that work that partnership to -- you need and want. If you are doing an investigation something and then you bring in the US attorney's office or if somebody comes to US attorney's office and they feel you how how -- support. I'll give him I'm a perfect example in public corruption. As soon as let's say we develop an allegation from cooperating witness on any can be just the -- bare bones Al potential corruption. The thing that we do all that Casey consult with the US attorney's office and we haven't even opened case yet we're gonna have that conversation. And the idea is that we we discussed we calls -- occasion is there sufficient basis to open investigation and proceed. All these investigative techniques. And that conversation has to happen at the very beginning as a attorney's office and we don't have any sort of buying it from him. So we get to get to them at the very beginning and I use public option as an example but violent games is no different crimes against children. Terrorism all of those and I am I in my firm believer that that that is as important because he developed that partnership between that line -- Casey's from the very beginning. And you strategize together. All the investigative technique and when you get to a point where -- and indictment. The FBI does not just me neither does ATF for DA Iranians are rather federal partners. They don't just back out and saying well the US attorney's office has been indicted good luck at trial. We're there with them every step of the way all the way through trial. Through sentencing. And and even through appeals if the case is appealed and -- we have to do the case again. -- I think that early. Is it's all about relationships among developing trust with each other and Kenneth brings that he brings that mind set to the US attorney's office Jim Latin had a mindset -- invented in our hands and that but it is. Paramount for me to make sure and for mine management team. To make sure that that that we don't. Take any step backs because I have seen other US attorney's office and FBI relationships where. It is all the more arm's length and that is not that that's not good for the public and it's not going to be. -- resultant and productive want forced. I know that your history in in public corruption and phenomenal. And you get your work with the -- -- open and certainly within William Jefferson case. That was long before you got here and then all of a sudden you're assigned to this area which was a great thing. Did you say -- what images you have perhaps what image of New Orleans did you. While my first my first impressions of New Orleans were professionally I have I'd never been here on a personal level as a as a trial others -- young adult and miles assigned to the public corruption unit in Washington new. Can be assigned -- assigned the region that's on my first tour through the unit I was assigned a region which included new moral ones and that -- the unit chief night and was had to deal with. All field office. And so unfortunately. New Orleans is a bit of a hotbed for public corruption it was ten years ago it is today. Inside developed a lot of professional relationships. Here in New Orleans and got a little bit and insight to the people on the culture and the office. In effect I joked about a former supervisor. Years ago I was trying to get him off the desks like can be -- supervisor on public option squad. Here in New Orleans and I couldn't get to retire fast enough and and I kind of an -- going a different way professionally but I'm glad I was able to circle back in and come down here to the office it's a privilege it's an honor. In this offices has a very good reputation nationally. And I hope it has good reputation here locally for doing good work. Absolutely and a I have to say -- it. I guess because -- live long enough. In this community and and care enough about it since it it did have a reputation of being too tolerant of corruption and it doesn't exist anymore. It's as if Katrina washed away that tolerance people. Want it out. At every level so hopefully you're hearing that and feeling I know you have a fabulous from someone -- it on the citizens academy. And it really is eye opening and to what you'll do. And the links that you go and the hard work that you put into it so I just hope that you get the sense from the public that we're behind you. Absolutely. I've been in a number field offices and to see the impact here at a crime stoppers has the metropolitan crime commission. New Orleans police and justice foundation. And then through the citizens academies. That the people really do want to make a difference here and they really are engaged in it's it's. From a law enforcement perspective it's fantastic. Stay with -- we're gonna continue our conversation with Mike Anderson head of the local FBI office right after this I'm Angela under the W will. Mike Anderson's special agent in charge of the local FBI agency is our very special yesterday. And we are talking about you have such incredible background in public corruption. Wanna go back to the William Jefferson case. Only because it was the number one huge embarrassment to this community. And we look back and we think. You know money in the freezer etc. and sitting congressman horrific you were over the investigation. Of that. Yes I was the front line supervisor of the Washington DC field office which. The New Orleans office provided could not critical support -- case but it was actually worked out of Washington field office in DC because the the am the -- cooperating witness was located there hand the criminal activity by and large took place in that area in the beltway. Did you always have confidence that he would be found guilty. I felt that we had a very strong case from the beginning on anytime years looking at a high profile public corruption case special involving a congressman. You're gonna have a better. You prod him a better success rate is for conviction if it's a Covert case where you can. What they say is a a series of a handful of of consensual recordings are worth 500 boxes of documents and so -- we were able to use a lot of different innovative investigative techniques. -- -- On to build that case. Because that the big challenge a public corruption cases you have to develop content yet to prove that there is a corrupt intent. In if you don't have live conversations recorded you're relying on documents and witnesses then it is it is more difficult to establish. In -- that really vast experience not just -- Jeff's case but any other not corruption cases. You get a sense that when someone is either one found guilty or pleads guilt. That there is a conscience there that they understand they've done wrong. It varies I would say more likely than not more times than not. He will have a certain acceptance of responsibility. Off from the public official. And and so that is am. That does give some level of optimism. -- you'll see frequently -- public officials will cooperate that's the best indicator that they are accepting responsibility that they are cooperating. But oftentimes if you were dealing with a very high profile public official that's kind of the end of the line. Meaning you have other people cooperating before you get to the the the larger. More prolific subject to the person has the most impact. And so. I I do see that in fact we -- had bowl. Can convicted. Felons in white collar crime and public corruption actually speak at Quantico. And speak at our training academies and will sometimes even have a relationship with the office post conviction. After they've served their time. And probably the most among the most known as the catch me if you can frank as a -- Still speaks and we're trying actually as we speak we're trying to get him to come speak at the New Orleans field office he he speaks at -- and it. And banking conferences and dealing with fraud and forgeries and so he's had a relationship with the FBI for years. He was very good at what he did until we got caught he was phenomenal yeah so -- -- learning from the criminal that's right. Do. Again in your your history. Are you ever surprised. By something you see so much and I say it from either the creativity. Of the criminal mind or really be arrogant of the criminal mind. You know there there will be in times that I wouldn't maybe be surprise one of the things that was very concerned about Simon involved in public option you either directly or indirectly for almost twenty years. And my wife and even act and it was even concern about whether I'd be cynical about the process about the political process and would that make it cynical. And I would say it hasn't because I still see a number on overwhelming number of of politicians and public officials. In public servants that are doing phenomenal things and I still recognize it is still a very small relative small percentage of people. That have that have lost their way and there's oftentimes many reasons for that and not to justify their behavior that they might be under financial pressures he may have. We've seen -- drug addictions we've seen. Political pressure all sorts of factors can -- and not that not that they are. That I'm sympathetic to their situation -- they would go to corruption. But oftentimes there's a larger story there. You have to kind of understand in hand in and and it factors into how the case is being investigated as well. You know I'm just reminded the listening to you this is not public corruption this was a real criminal mind but the Whitey Bulger who finally was caught. Was. The complete criminal. To the end. That's rain and unfortunately the Whitey Bulger. Investigation is one that is a huge black guy for the FBI. John Connolly is in jail today. An FBI agent was his handling -- And as he was an informant for a number of years with with the FBI and Boston and so. It's a huge lesson learned for the FBI although it was a huge public embarrassment that is extended over years and has since been is being -- live now as he's been. As he's been finally convicted caught and convicted. But we use that as a learning tool now on how we handle our performance and cooperating witnesses and how. We need to safeguard. Novels relationships and have checks and balances and so. That that is something that we've. We've learned a lot from that from that investigation and that's good to see that that why he is finally. To jail. It was sort of a national cheer that they finally caught this. What -- the most difficult. Cases to to work. I think in public corruption the most typical case is clearly are those public officials use a lot of middlemen and the insulate themselves. So it is difficult if you have eighty cooperating witness. To even get access to the to the crypt public official you'll. It will build in layers. And plausible -- ability. And and and whether they use kind of they want except -- -- directly or they will try to mask it through campaign contributions or they will use family members or. Third party intermediaries. That is the toughest kind of piercing that veil of corruption is definitely the biggest challenge in which is. Why in those type of situations we really need to be at -- to be Covert and that's the using -- robe as an example. There is a great example of where you had a lot of insulation and the use of middle man and it was only through. I'm microphones and wiretaps. That you can pierce that -- And and you save them with this as a good thing where there might be some in our audience are thinking have we step too far and the use of some of those and you're saying. Catastrophe well I think. Using that than the one of the most intrusive investigative techniques as the wiretap and certainly a microphone in a judge's chamber. It doesn't get much worse than that sparse intrusiveness. But what -- what the courts require. And when we go before them with in our affidavits we have to set forth that we have tried all other reasonable cautions and we still have as I mentioned earlier that level of provocation. To show the we have made reasonable basis to believe that there is cropped activity taking place and we have tried everything we've exhausted everything. And that's also true. More pragmatically. On a wiretap is very expensive and it's very manpower intensive so we don't like to use those last week capsule after. Okay please stay with this we're gonna continue our talk -- also going to be talking to law. The special agent in charge. About the work with gangs and the violent crime here in New Orleans which -- everyone is deeply concerned about. Stay with this but now let's go to the newsroom and Chris Miller. Mike Anderson are very special guest today ahead of the FBI here we've been talking about. Corruption but clearly in this community. We have a very serious problem with violent crime. And I know that your part of the it's the violent crime task force. Who makes that up and and what exactly are you doing. We actually have three task forces that are all talking to each other but one that's been getting a lot of publicity in the last year as the multi agency -- unit them tank unit with. And a PD of course DEA ATF and FBI US Marshals Service. Even Jefferson Parish has some representation there and that is -- the ideas -- to cool these resources were all working the same people. In cell. What also I think is nice about the main unit is you have the US attorney's office and you have the DA's office so we can sit down prioritize these games for example. And pool our resources and then make certain strategic decisions are we gonna go federal are we gonna -- state. And the understanding as let's say we were to go state with -- -- candles -- office the FBI four or four in. Were we we stay Ian just because we're going through the State's system we -- not gonna pull on that investigation likewise and a PD in supporting -- -- -- and at the federal -- It's their. Wish list is there an end to this means the an incredible numbers of murders. Young black men killing young black men. First time I've ever seen this many young children. Totally innocent victims wrong place wrong time. Launch -- I believe the main unit is here to stay. As is our violent crime task force we have at the FBI. In -- -- task force those are going to be around you have Qaeda. With DEA dealing with drug trafficking -- Has -- has a nexus to violence. I'd -- of those task forces unfortunately our. At least in the in the in the short term are probably going to -- continue and grow as much as we can. -- and and hopefully we can get them the the murder rate down. One thing I also like to emphasize as we don't certainly just focus on murders but focus on shootings. Because just because your good shots and you actually kill somebody. Doesn't mean that and you would see a drop in murders doesn't mean he's still want him violence in your streets if there's still -- high number of shootings so that's what our. Focus is certainly murders even higher priority. But looking at analyzing hot spots in neighborhoods where you have a lot of shootings if he had any kind of organization. That might be any broad based gain. And we certainly are involved but we also have we have a whole separate squad deal in this church street violent crime. As does of course and a PD homicide in. Louisiana state police and an ever -- continues to contribute. What are your thoughts on. What we all called the culture of violence in this community clearly we have some of the highest numbers in the nation when it comes to violent crime. What isn't. And what can we do to change it. And again I I only have the FBI perspective so I'm not a social scientist by any stretch of the imagination but we see this we seen similar factors -- in New Orleans or other. High crime areas where beat Detroit to her Baltimore Oakland. You're gonna have a level of poverty joblessness. Homelessness. Drug addiction. Am. You might have some educational challenges high dropout rates I think -- believe it is invest it sure. Ceremony today cited some unbelievable statistics. With. Who makes up the percentage of people that are in our state and federal our state and federal prisons that do not have. He cut IT high school degree in the percentages are staggering wanna say they are 6065. To 70%. And so I think all of those factors come together that that I think come together into a sense of hopelessness. In if you have a sense of hopelessness then either -- or ability to empathize and put yourself but someone else issues. Kind of gets gets lost. We have talked on this program before of people are not born criminals. -- But if there as they're being raised if they don't have the character being built and a conscience. Being developed then you get in trouble. And if -- that if the ancillary groups whether it be schools are neighbors and whatever aren't there to help back you watch the match to begin. So I don't know how one and it certainly is not to the F beyond that as a society. We can have the guts really. To go forward and say we need to stop this in the early tracks. Yet Kenneth -- spoke to our office recently and he has done a lot of work. Obviously prior to mean the US attorney's office with with these types of issues and one thing that he brought up the -- resonated with me news. This concept of mentoring a lot of people tock how valuable mentoring -- and I think it's it's on -- more that is viable. But oftentimes. If you. If you look for a one on one mentoring situation it's difficult to maintain people have busy lives people have children of their own and have their jobs. And so I thought Kenneth hating -- a great point on community -- ship take a church for example. That he should that you would have a church that would meant turn individuals so. It is there wouldn't be a sense of abandonment. If no one particular individual in that church has may be their own. Circumstances that prevent them to stay with them on in -- mentoring. -- relationship someone else from that church community center or that neighborhood. Can fill the -- No that's a great idea. Stay with -- we're gonna continue our discussion with the head of the FBI right after this. I'm loving this conversation with Mike Anderson -- head of the local FBI agent. Agency here we were talking about. Really the what do you say the sadness that goes on in this community. With current and not just victims but what it does to a whole city. And yet there are these wonderful shining lights of people who do try their very best and in the break you were telling me about stunningly. In a sunny Lee who runs the son of -- -- program for up for teens who whose fathers are either in jail or have been murdered. You re runs this mentoring program and he was selected as the FBI directors community leadership award recipient. For the -- Louisiana and we have the opportunity once a year to nominate someone who has a kind of community impact and this year. A sunny Lee was selected and we will actually be recognizing him next Friday at our at our office. -- that is wonderful and he has done a phenomenal job another great example of what can be done to help people these are not. Issues that can't ultimately be resolved to chip away and and certainly his efforts in your efforts. Talking about. Your office is a federal office so you have suffered with the yeah sequestration. And how are you handling it. Well the we got past the shut down they shut down did not affect this field office we remained. Working fully staffed we just had a delay in paying the next big. I don't -- on the timeline is January 15 is we've we've got to get this continuing resolution. And so if we get -- continuing resolution. We're still facing the sequestration effects which. Which would result. The current plan is to contract the FBI by 10%. So we have a 36000 employees throughout the world. And they were looking to eliminate 3600 positions. And so that there'd be a corresponding impact on the New Orleans division. And we're also looking at probably right now the current estimate is nine furlough days between -- mid January and and of September. So that -- -- that would be a situation where we would not be at work and we would not be paid. Now I say that I wanna make sure that the people understand if we have a terrorist event that we -- -- Carjacking needs kidnapping or something like that. We will pull people I mean I'll pull people off furlough and will figured out later. To to respond. But there is a large amount of of business that the FBI does that will be in erupted with those furlough days if we don't get some sort of relief. And you know even though we've been talking about corruption and then our local crime situation the reality is you do so many things. And I remember going when the academy overwhelmed by which -- doing cyber. Things that are and people have to realize that. Yes we have the CIA at 10% or about 9/11 changed our world so the FBI is also very involved in terrorist. So I'm hearing what you're saying that's gonna take -- hit 10% and nine furlough days. He's a colonel in effect. -- Back to something you said earlier how do you. Compartment. That way go home to a regular happy -- after a -- saying which you must say. Well I think you you do have there is a certain level of compartmentalization. And you also have to realize the use of the phrase chipping away. And recognizing -- each day if you worm moving the ball forward. Towards. A result in criminal matters or national secure security matters. IE if you just feel as though that you're using at least from my perspective I'm using my staff here the covers a state of Louisiana. That the best that I can to prioritize the threats that we face to make sure we have strong partnerships with the US attorney's office and all our other partners. Federal state and local law enforcement that it EU can I can get to a sense of peace that we are doing everything we can. Top what does agitate me as if I do find out a -- of situations where. In hindsight were I feel like we could have done more sooner or in a different way. I try to use that as a as them as it learning tool but that will prop that would probably give me the count a sleepless nights if you will. I'm but the nice thing about the FBI to his we have not only such locals such great local support here but such national support. So if we do have a crisis let's say for example we have an active shooter. Situation. Which I hope we don't but unfortunately we're seeing so many of those. There where not only in hand the support of all of our partners here but we would have nationals support. That would. All hands on deck of the FBI and I over the course of my career I've seen where the FBI has responded in major incidents like the Boston bombing. Where you -- just an outpouring of support from fellow field offices and FBI headquarters overseas. Assets that it does give you a sense of at least some sense of comfort that you're doing everything he can do. Stay with us we're gonna continue -- talk with Mike Anderson right after this. We -- back talking with Mike Anderson who's head of the FBI office here. So many things to talk about that one is I've always been curious if it's. An average citizen sees something can they just pick up the phone call the FBI. And say this is what I've seen what they really talked to an FBI person and slowly we have duty agents. Rotational. Of duty agents that will take intake as we call it. They call final 48163000. You can also on the website and FBI dot gov and provide that information. But if you were to pick up the phone or if you were to come out to our office and and and visit you'll sit down and FBI agent. Who will go through your information. And we will do prompt follow up. With the allegations in the information. Also in some instances we we we prefer. Not to to have to protect the identity of because he could be a potential witness but we can do that as well there's certainly fear for your safety. We can do everything we can to protect. People's identity. In order to get information. What are your biggest concerns going forward for for this community and really for this country as it comes to. While cutting through violence I think for this community certainly. Neighborhood based gains and and violent crime in general. Along with public corruption I think those are. On the two biggest issues here the biggest threats as we call home it's where we have a most of our staffing and dedicated so I think our staffing is an alignment with. What those concerns are some and is growing and I think it's it's it's -- nationwide minutes it's reflected here and -- as well as crimes against children is something I'm very concerned about. I talk talk crimes against children time. Kind of a sex trafficking prostitution of children but in the online. Exploitation is also known as the kiddie porn element. That has also. Many aimed at large concern and in fact in recent meeting with director -- new FBI director he had me meet a reference to it. Renewed interest in crimes against children. Talk to talk to us about the new director. I'm director called me has been has been fantastic he came on board -- believe in September there was an actual handoff between director Mueller and director combing I don't think that's ever been done the FBI before we've had and act things in between. He's a long time DOJ. -- prosecutors deputy attorney general. EU he was head of the US attorney's office in southern district in New York which -- were -- -- was from. Probably one of the most aggressive US attorney's office I say and a good way. -- brings a lot of experience he's done a lot of terrorism work he's done a lot of criminal work including gang violence. White collar crime public corruption so I think it's going to be a very smooth transition has been so far -- I believe his priorities are right in line with director Muller who we've had we had for twelve years so I don't see any continuity issues at all force. Well I cannot thank you enough there again your power with us we hope you'll always staying in touch -- that would be able to call on certain issues. But thank you and but hope you're also enjoying New Orleans which is the bottom line to love new -- best advice Jim Latin Kenya's Mike if you love New Orleans they'll be back. He is right thank you again now let's go to the newsroom and Christmas.