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Sharpton: I Wasn’t An Informant, I Was A Victim

From the New York Daily News:

Rev. Al Sharpton worked as FBI informant, taping conversations with mob pals to help bring down Genovese crime family: report

Sharpton became an informant after he was caught on tape with a drug kingpin discussing cocaine deals, and the feds threatened him with charges unless he flipped and snitched on Mafia acquaintances, according to The Smoking Gun. In an interview with the Daily News on Monday, Sharpton disputed much of the report, saying he turned to authorities after receiving threats from Gambino family member Joseph (Joe Bana) Buonanno and others.

By Erin Durkin | April 7, 2014

That is some sub-head.

He’s had the titles of civil rights activist, presidential candidate and TV host. But for a time, the FBI secretly called the Rev. Al Sharpton something else: “CI-7” — a confidential informant who taped mobsters with a bugged briefcase, helping the feds bring down members of the Genovese crime family, it was revealed Monday. For four years in the 1980s, Sharpton secretly assisted a joint FBI-NYPD task force known as the “Genovese squad,” The Smoking Gun website disclosed.

Sharpton’s role as an FBI informant was first disclosed in 1988 — but The Smoking Gun obtained hundreds of pages of secret court filings and FBI memos that provide stunning new details of his cooperation. The documents depict Sharpton operating easily in an underworld of violence and corruption, helping the feds collect essential information…

Gee, why would a reverend feel so comfortable among gangsters?

In an interview Monday with the Daily News, Sharpton acknowledged assisting the FBI beginning in 1983, but he denied he was an informant and disputed much of The Smoking Gun’s report.

Sharpton allegedly became an FBI informant after he was caught on tape with a drug kingpin discussing cocaine deals. The feds reportedly threatened him with charges — although it’s unlikely any case would have held up — and successfully flipped him to snitch on Mafia acquaintances.

Er, why is it unlikely that such a case would have held up? They had it on videotape? Did a ‘bitch set him up’?

They saw Sharpton as an asset because he had “established relationships with (boxing) promoter Don King, various elected officials and several powerful New York hoodlums involved in concert promotion, record distribution and talent management,” The Smoking Gun said.

Agents gave Sharpton a customized Hartmann briefcase he used to record conversations touching on mob hits, extortion schemes and the activities of Genovese crime boss Vincent (Chin) Gigante…

Did they give him a ‘call for help’ phrase, like: ‘Resist we much’?

Sharpton had 10 face-to-face meetings, all recorded, with Joseph (Joe Bana) Buonanno, a Gambino family member. FBI agent John Pritchard, one of the heads of the squad, paid Sharpton in small amounts, the report said.

Nickel bags?

The information Sharpton gathered was used to get wiretaps to bug two Genovese family social clubs, three cars used by mobsters and many of their phones, according to the court records obtained by the website. Sharpton was referred to in the documents as CI-7, short for Confidential Informant No. 7.

What a great reality series this would make.

In his interview with The News, Sharpton said he contacted authorities after receiving death threats from Buonanno and others over his activism in trying to get African-Americans more work in the business end of the music industry. “If you’re a victim of a threat, you’re not an informant — you’re a victim trying to protect yourself,” he said.

What a surprise. Mr. Sharpton is pretending to be a victim. He is a liberal Democrat, after all.

He acknowledged that his conversations with mob figures were recorded, but he denied using a bugged briefcase. He said he was never paid, but was occasionally reimbursed for travel. “I encourage kids all the time to work with law enforcement,” he said. “You’re acting like it’s a scandal for me to do that?”

Really? We don’t remember him encouraging Tawana Brawley to cooperate with the police. And we also don’t recall him denouncing the ‘don’t snitch’ culture.

He said the role of his information in bringing down mob figures was vastly exaggerated. “I was never told I was an informant or I had a number or none of that,” he said. “Whether or not they used some of the other information they got during that period for other purposes, I don’t know.”

But the report said that eight federal judges signed wiretap orders based on sworn affidavits that included information from Sharpton — including two taps of Gigante’s home, the phone of Genovese big Dominick (Baldy Dom) Canterino, the Queens home of reputed mob soldier Federico (Fritzy) Giovanelli — who was later sentenced to 20 years for racketeering — and the office of music industry honcho Morris Levy, a family associate.

In his conversations with Sharpton, Buonanno spilled dirt on Gigante’s role at the head of the crime family, a hit ordered by Levy on Buonanno’s brother that was never carried out, and details of loansharking, gambling and African diamond-dealing schemes, according to recaps of the meetings obtained by the website. The bombastic reverend’s relationship with law enforcement petered out after the Tawana Brawley scandal in 1987, the report said.

Because he now had a new source of income?

Sharpton insisted his only goal was to draw out evidence about the threats against him. “You don’t just walk in to a guy and say, ‘Threaten me.’ You get in a conversation,” he told The News. “They may have said things that hurt them, but that wasn’t my goal.”

He called the report an effort to smear him ahead of his convention this week. “Where is the crime?” he said. “They admit that I never did anything wrong.”

One old Genovese soldier — Giovanelli, sentenced to 20 years after the squad’s recordings were played at his trial — jokingly sympathized, telling The Smoking Gun, “Poor Sharpton, he cleaned up his life and you want to ruin him.”

Is there no honor among sleaze?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Sharpton: I Wasn’t An Informant, I Was A Victim”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    He pimped the Gambins?

    He’s a dead man

    Seriously, anyone else see Hillary’s hand in this?

  2. Enthalpy says:

    Al might be room temperature sooner than he expected.

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