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MilitaryIamA Marine Corps Vet AMA!

Sep 2nd 2017 by Jesslf88 • 16 Questions • 4206 Points

Elijah and his CI journey

My Bio: My husband and I met working at a mental health group home for the deaf and hard of hearing. We are considered CODAs (Child of Deaf Adult) in the deaf world which meant that we are hearing children raised by deaf parents and fluent in sign language. Fast forward 6 years to the day our son Elijah was introduced to the world. We expected him to pass his newborn hearing screening just like all of our nieces, nephews and older sister before him... but he didn't pass. We were stunned and heartbroken, yes heartbroken. You would think that this news wouldn't be so bad for a couple who were raised by deaf parents but it wasn't that simple. We have first hand seen the struggles our parents faced with in unemployment, communication barriers and the fight for education standards among the deaf children. Don't get me wrong...I take pride in my parents and my unusual upbringing. The thought of my son facing those barriers was too much for my heart to bare. We initially ruled out cochlear implants as an option because we grew up thinking that it didn't work very well and the sound quality was sub par. Not to mention, we were also well aware of the strong opposition to cochlear implants, especially on children. It didn't take long for us to learn that there was a lot of misconceptions about cochlear implants within the deaf community. We ultimately made the decision to pursue cochlear implants after doing endless hours of research and talking to other families. We announced announced to our family and friends that we would be exploring cochlear implants for our infant son. That sparked a lot of anger within our family. Half of our family members did not speak to us for about 6 months. Two of my husbands siblings have deaf spouses and our news caused a firestorm on his side of the family. My son was implanted at 9 months old and activated at 10 months old. Our family members ended up working through their differences with us after my son received his surgery. They chose to put aside their difference for the sake of Elijahs happiness. I think Elijah has definitely changed a lot of lives with his journey.

Elijah is 2 1/2 now and he is doing amazing with his implants. He's has a fairly large vocabulary in spoken English and ASL. I still get anxious when deaf strangers see us out in public with our son. There are a lot of neutral/supportive Deaf folks out there but not very many are forthcoming about their support. My parents seem to be skeptical (but are supportive) about how well it works. They cannot hear him speak and so they tend to assume he's unable to hear speech.

One interesting piece worth mentioning is that my sons hearing aid video went viral a couple years ago. That's a whole other can of worms we opened in the deaf community.

AMA

Q:

What's the most important thing you've learned during your time in Vietnam?

A:

How do you feel about being called the Nickelback of EDM?


Q:

Did you find it difficult to juggle between all the different aliases? What alias was your favorite? And do you ever bust them out anymore now that you're retired?

A:

How do you feel about being called the Nickelback of EDM?


Q:

Did you find it difficult to juggle between all the different aliases? What alias was your favorite? And do you ever bust them out anymore now that you're retired?

A:

There was an episode of House MD, where one of the patients was deaf and it alluded to conflicts about whether being deaf was a disability or something that made the patient unique. Have you seen it?

Also, just a fun story, an acquaintance once told me that he had a nephew with a cochlear implant, and he would just take it out whenever his parents or teachers would yell at him. I found that to be interesting.


Q:

I guess it would have to be how to stay dry in the monsoons

A:

That was an interesting moment. I don't know the guy that wrote that article and it was a pretty aggressive article. We were in the studio when we read it and were like 'what do we do?' We just decided to poke fun at ourselves and did a mashup with Paris. Horrible mashup but we're self-deprecating and Nickelback rocks


Q:

Good question. The public does not see how much work goes into these defenses and the pressure that the public and press can bear on us. I do tire of the "how can you represent him" questions, though.

A:

Great question, I'll do my best to answer this: Flystein is a great service but it's specifically for flights you've already looked at and are looking for cheaper deals. They charge per request, too. Really useful if there's somewhere you need to go at a specific time and you want to make sure you're not getting screwed.

Skiplagged is really for the US, it's for hidden city ticketing. See my comments further down in the thread. Also a great tool if you're comfortable with the risks.

Scott and Jack have great sites, but they use humans to do all the work, and so by definition they will miss deals. I come from a programming and automation background, so I'm able to grab a lot more of the deals. Scott says he sends out 20-30 a month to his premium list, which to me seems like he's missing a lot?


Q:

There were about a dozen over two decades as a UC, but never more than three at a time. Alex Perez was my fav, with the pony tail, the bling, on the street day in- day out. One tough moment: had one 800 beeper for both Alex and Sal Morelli (budget issues), and got a beep from an unknown number. Me: "Yo" Him: who's this?" Me: "you beeped me! who you looking for?" and so on, until finally Him: "You Alex? Julio gave me your number." And so it went!

A:

That was an interesting moment. I don't know the guy that wrote that article and it was a pretty aggressive article. We were in the studio when we read it and were like 'what do we do?' We just decided to poke fun at ourselves and did a mashup with Paris. Horrible mashup but we're self-deprecating and Nickelback rocks


Q:

Good question. The public does not see how much work goes into these defenses and the pressure that the public and press can bear on us. I do tire of the "how can you represent him" questions, though.

A:

Great question, I'll do my best to answer this: Flystein is a great service but it's specifically for flights you've already looked at and are looking for cheaper deals. They charge per request, too. Really useful if there's somewhere you need to go at a specific time and you want to make sure you're not getting screwed.

Skiplagged is really for the US, it's for hidden city ticketing. See my comments further down in the thread. Also a great tool if you're comfortable with the risks.

Scott and Jack have great sites, but they use humans to do all the work, and so by definition they will miss deals. I come from a programming and automation background, so I'm able to grab a lot more of the deals. Scott says he sends out 20-30 a month to his premium list, which to me seems like he's missing a lot?


Q:

There were about a dozen over two decades as a UC, but never more than three at a time. Alex Perez was my fav, with the pony tail, the bling, on the street day in- day out. One tough moment: had one 800 beeper for both Alex and Sal Morelli (budget issues), and got a beep from an unknown number. Me: "Yo" Him: who's this?" Me: "you beeped me! who you looking for?" and so on, until finally Him: "You Alex? Julio gave me your number." And so it went!

A:

I have not seen that episode. Now I want to watch it, lol. My son tends to pull them off when he wants to play on the swing set or whenever he's in the basement. He seems to think he needs to play without his "ears" on. He has started to get defensive when we try to adjust them on his head. He's tells us "no touch, leave it on". I


Q:

I was in Vietnam in 1966. Not a marine. REMF. I don't remember being dry during monsoon.

A:

Y'all are chill as fuck. Your music isn't really my taste, but you guys seem real despite all the shit that gets thrown your way. Props for that.


Q:

Do any of your past celebrity clients (The Game, Fat Joe, John Gotti Jr., etc) keep in touch? Any holiday cards or party invites get sent your way?

A:

Just signed up. It says a team of highly trained experts are finding me flights. It also says monkeys entered my email address into your system. Is your company ran by automation? or is ran by HIGHLY TRAINED EXPERT MONKEYS??


Q:

What are the requirements for becoming and undercover agent?Were family or relationships allowed?

A:

Y'all are chill as fuck. Your music isn't really my taste, but you guys seem real despite all the shit that gets thrown your way. Props for that.


Q:

Do any of your past celebrity clients (The Game, Fat Joe, John Gotti Jr., etc) keep in touch? Any holiday cards or party invites get sent your way?

A:

Just signed up. It says a team of highly trained experts are finding me flights. It also says monkeys entered my email address into your system. Is your company ran by automation? or is ran by HIGHLY TRAINED EXPERT MONKEYS??


Q:

What are the requirements for becoming and undercover agent?Were family or relationships allowed?

A:

Is there a specific reasoning behind other deaf people's reticence to embrace the implants or is it just a 'there is nothing wrong with me to fix' type of thinking?

Have any of the people who were initially against the implant more interested now that they have more first hand experiance on how it works and how much of an impact it can have on one's life?

Last question: How hard it it to update the implant when technology advances? Does it require another surgery or can parts be retrofit to the existing system?


Q:

And the beauty of the country the rolling green hills and the rice patties in season. They would grow about a half a mile at a time abs when the wind would blow they would blow like waves in the ocean

A:

Thanks man


Q:

I speak to most of them regularly. John and I are very close as I am with Fat Joe. When you represent someone in a criminal case, you tend to get very close to them -- or if you suck as a lawyer, they tend to hate you very much. So far none of that (fingers crossed).

A:

the monkeys are powered by robots


Q:

To quote from the surveillance agents in Reservoir Dogs, you have to "have rocks in your head" to be a UC. Seriously though, you need five+ years agent time, and if you have a family, they will need to have lots of patience to accommodate an unusual career. Most agents don't do UC work, and of those who do, most don't do it often. There are about 100 full-time UCs in the FBI at any given time - for a country of 300+ million people. I was privileged to be one of them.

A:

Thanks man


Q:

I speak to most of them regularly. John and I are very close as I am with Fat Joe. When you represent someone in a criminal case, you tend to get very close to them -- or if you suck as a lawyer, they tend to hate you very much. So far none of that (fingers crossed).

A:

the monkeys are powered by robots


Q:

To quote from the surveillance agents in Reservoir Dogs, you have to "have rocks in your head" to be a UC. Seriously though, you need five+ years agent time, and if you have a family, they will need to have lots of patience to accommodate an unusual career. Most agents don't do UC work, and of those who do, most don't do it often. There are about 100 full-time UCs in the FBI at any given time - for a country of 300+ million people. I was privileged to be one of them.

A:

It's a bit of "we don't need to be fixed". It's also that they fear that technology will wipe out the future need for ASL.

My BIL is still against CIs but once we made amends he actually considered hearing aids. He's not a candidate for either though. My MIL ended up getting a hearing aid after not wearing one for 20 years. She did it for my son, which I love.

The internal piece is meant to last decades but if it fails then it would need to be replaced. The external piece( processor) is replaced about every 5 years. He would get the latest version.


Q:

What about the meaning of life? Did it make you see some things in other light? Did it change your perspective or beliefs?

A:

Hi guys! I went to your show in Des Moines and I loved it. There was a guy next to me with his young sons. He told me (before you came on) that he liked you guys because your lyrics were clean and you guys weren't crass and he felt comfortable letting his sons listen to your music...and then you came out and said "WHAT THE FUCK IS UP DES MOINES!!??" and his face just kinda fell. It was hilarious.

My question is kind of related. Do you have any stories/instances about parents getting mad at you that you're not as squeaky clean in your shows as the radio edits to your songs?

Thank you for your time.


Q:

How did you end up representing El Chapo? I mean, seems like you like the guy as a person now, but how does a case like that come knocking at your door?

A:

"Airline companies hate him !"


Q:

During an undercover operation..have you ever got this feeling.."OH shit! They know..thats it this is my end" If yes, how you coped up with it?

A:

Hi guys! I went to your show in Des Moines and I loved it. There was a guy next to me with his young sons. He told me (before you came on) that he liked you guys because your lyrics were clean and you guys weren't crass and he felt comfortable letting his sons listen to your music...and then you came out and said "WHAT THE FUCK IS UP DES MOINES!!??" and his face just kinda fell. It was hilarious.

My question is kind of related. Do you have any stories/instances about parents getting mad at you that you're not as squeaky clean in your shows as the radio edits to your songs?

Thank you for your time.


Q:

How did you end up representing El Chapo? I mean, seems like you like the guy as a person now, but how does a case like that come knocking at your door?

A:

"Airline companies hate him !"


Q:

During an undercover operation..have you ever got this feeling.."OH shit! They know..thats it this is my end" If yes, how you coped up with it?

A:

How silly is that argument.

Preserve a disability to save a language.


Q:

It made me see things in a different light. In the war the killing of people and the killing of civilians was senseless. In the country the people were poor the country was poor and it was all senseless killing. And when it was over they were right back where they started from. It didn't change my beliefs.

A:

hahaha that's really funny. Our parents have been relatively cool about all the F bombs.

I think a lot of it is my fault. I curse the most. My energy is best conveyed through the F word. My sister got her mouth cleaned with a bar of soap once. - ALEX

I had to pay a fee like 50 cents when I cursed growing up - DREW


Q:

I was recommended by his public defenders. He saw dozens of lawyers and ultimately we just clicked

A:

"I flew around the world in business class using this one (1) secret trick" :)


Q:

I was in a car with a subject, he was driving - generally a big mistake for a UC - but this was in the early days, and I learned as I went along - and he said to me "How do I know you're not an FBI agent?" I was posing as an Argentine public official receiving bribes in exchange for contracts (a white collar case). My response was that If anyone should be worried about the law it was me, not him, as in my country they'd lock me up and throw away the key if I got caught. For some reason, the logic seemed to satisfy him, and the moment passed....

A:

hahaha that's really funny. Our parents have been relatively cool about all the F bombs.

I think a lot of it is my fault. I curse the most. My energy is best conveyed through the F word. My sister got her mouth cleaned with a bar of soap once. - ALEX

I had to pay a fee like 50 cents when I cursed growing up - DREW


Q:

I was recommended by his public defenders. He saw dozens of lawyers and ultimately we just clicked

A:

"I flew around the world in business class using this one (1) secret trick" :)


Q:

I was in a car with a subject, he was driving - generally a big mistake for a UC - but this was in the early days, and I learned as I went along - and he said to me "How do I know you're not an FBI agent?" I was posing as an Argentine public official receiving bribes in exchange for contracts (a white collar case). My response was that If anyone should be worried about the law it was me, not him, as in my country they'd lock me up and throw away the key if I got caught. For some reason, the logic seemed to satisfy him, and the moment passed....

A:

Cochlear implants isn't exactly a cakewalk but it will open a lot of doors for our child. I will say that ASL is a beautiful language. It's an extremely social language and they take a lot of pride in their culture. I personally think their aggressive behavior is actually pushing parents away from wanting to teach their CI children ASL.


Q:

Are you aware that your social security number is clearly visible in the second photo?

A:

were you guys really 'hacked' that time you called Halsey a bald bitch on twitter?


Q:

Is bird law in this country governed by reason?

A:

Why can't anybody make these sites for domestic flights? I have seen a dozen people do this for international but I really need domestic sales.


Q:

What was the craziest thing you ever saw in your years as a special agent?

A:

were you guys really 'hacked' that time you called Halsey a bald bitch on twitter?


Q:

Is bird law in this country governed by reason?

A:

Why can't anybody make these sites for domestic flights? I have seen a dozen people do this for international but I really need domestic sales.


Q:

What was the craziest thing you ever saw in your years as a special agent?

A:

I know that the implants really need to be implanted at a very young age otherwise your ability to learn spoken language is diminished, which is a huge reason many parents get the implants at such a young age. Would you be opposed to him deciding that he doesn't want to use the implants in the future?


Q:

No. I should probably fix that.

A:

I was hacked. I don't even use Twitter that much. We were at a dinner at Sexy Fish in London with our agent and I got a notification or a text and noticed people were freaking out and then I saw a screenshot. I didn't know if I got hacked or if someone used a fake tweet generator but then I realized what had happened. My manager took my phone and deleted everything and got twitter to freeze my account. What sucked about it is that idk if they genuinely believed that I said all of that or if people just wanted to be nasty to someone but it fucked me up for a while. The comments didn't stop for months. Lady Gaga saw the tweet and she wasn't mad at us cuz she knew that we had been hacked but the things the hacker posted were still hurtful. It sucks that my account was involved in making someone feel that way. I get angry sometimes but I definitely don't go on the internet when I do - DREW


Q:

Hell no.

What's bird law?

A:

Great Question! Because no one wants to pay for a premium service; and because the savings are a few bucks. Want to save on Domestic Flights? Get yourself the Chase Southwest card, get the companion pass, and go wild.


Q:

Working on the darkside, I often was exposed to the people whose greed made them act in ways we would think of as crazy. Such as the nuclear engineer who offered to sell me -- believing I was a spy for a hostile nation -- the blueprints for making a dirty bomb. For use here. And he was American....

A:

I was hacked. I don't even use Twitter that much. We were at a dinner at Sexy Fish in London with our agent and I got a notification or a text and noticed people were freaking out and then I saw a screenshot. I didn't know if I got hacked or if someone used a fake tweet generator but then I realized what had happened. My manager took my phone and deleted everything and got twitter to freeze my account. What sucked about it is that idk if they genuinely believed that I said all of that or if people just wanted to be nasty to someone but it fucked me up for a while. The comments didn't stop for months. Lady Gaga saw the tweet and she wasn't mad at us cuz she knew that we had been hacked but the things the hacker posted were still hurtful. It sucks that my account was involved in making someone feel that way. I get angry sometimes but I definitely don't go on the internet when I do - DREW


Q:

Hell no.

What's bird law?

A:

Great Question! Because no one wants to pay for a premium service; and because the savings are a few bucks. Want to save on Domestic Flights? Get yourself the Chase Southwest card, get the companion pass, and go wild.


Q:

Working on the darkside, I often was exposed to the people whose greed made them act in ways we would think of as crazy. Such as the nuclear engineer who offered to sell me -- believing I was a spy for a hostile nation -- the blueprints for making a dirty bomb. For use here. And he was American....

A:

I wouldn't oppose it if he was old enough to understand what was is at stake. I honestly want him to be happy. He's doing really well with his CIs but if he wasn't doing as well then we would likely have him uses his CIs for environmental awareness. You hit the nail on the head with the importance of implanting early.


Q:

what was standard practice back when you first joined that nowadays seems crazy to you?

A:

Do you guys like to fish?


Q:

what are the most stupid things that high-profile clients do to screw up their case that low-profile clients generally don't do, and vice versa?

what are the most interesting consultants you've ever brought on (for example a hairdresser who specializes in coifs that appeal more to juries)?

A:

What are your thoughts on buying "connecting flights" such as JFK-ORD-some random city instead of just buying the direct flight? This obviously doesnt work with checked bags though.


Q:

Did you ever slip up and mix up characters? How do you recover from these situations?

A:

Do you guys like to fish?


Q:

what are the most stupid things that high-profile clients do to screw up their case that low-profile clients generally don't do, and vice versa?

what are the most interesting consultants you've ever brought on (for example a hairdresser who specializes in coifs that appeal more to juries)?

A:

What are your thoughts on buying "connecting flights" such as JFK-ORD-some random city instead of just buying the direct flight? This obviously doesnt work with checked bags though.


Q:

Did you ever slip up and mix up characters? How do you recover from these situations?

A:

Are you planning to teach him ASL? I took some ASL in high school, so I'm aware of many of the issues with them and the heated feelings that surround them. It often seemed as though loosing the deaf community and ASL were huge roadblocks to implant acceptance.


Q:

The way you had your uniforms hanging in the lockers: winter, spring, summer, fall. Now you have your utilities your dress green and dress blues that's it. Don't have to have them hanging in a certain order.

A:

hahaha this is amazing. Holy crap. Whoever posted this, thank you.


Q:

Speaking on recorded prison phone lines. Or blabbing to the press.

I don't use jury consultants at all. It's not sincere. If it's not from my heart inside the courtroom, I'm not interested.

A:

I mean, I think it's ok for Domestic Flights, if you don't mind not ending up where you need to go.. My list specializes in international deals that save hundreds of bucks.. Hard to do that with hidden city ticketing. My big thing with hidden city ticketing if you book JFK-ORD-Podunk, and the flight gets cancelled to ORD, they're going to send you to Podunk no matter what. Do you really want that risk??


Q:

I never mixed up alias IDs. Each one was tailored to a specific case, each a unique persona. It was not that hard to keep them apart. When possible, I would try to use the same birthday, so a not to have to remember a dozen of them.

A:

hahaha this is amazing. Holy crap. Whoever posted this, thank you.


Q:

Speaking on recorded prison phone lines. Or blabbing to the press.

I don't use jury consultants at all. It's not sincere. If it's not from my heart inside the courtroom, I'm not interested.

A:

I mean, I think it's ok for Domestic Flights, if you don't mind not ending up where you need to go.. My list specializes in international deals that save hundreds of bucks.. Hard to do that with hidden city ticketing. My big thing with hidden city ticketing if you book JFK-ORD-Podunk, and the flight gets cancelled to ORD, they're going to send you to Podunk no matter what. Do you really want that risk??


Q:

I never mixed up alias IDs. Each one was tailored to a specific case, each a unique persona. It was not that hard to keep them apart. When possible, I would try to use the same birthday, so a not to have to remember a dozen of them.

A:

Yes he is learning ASL. We have a lot of family members who rely on ASL. I know a lot of parents who let their CI children drop the ASL component. A lot of the children lose interest or the parents want to prevent them from being exposed to the anti cochlear toxic. I don't blame them. I really wish I could advocate more but I just don't want to align myself with the activists.


Q:

who was the oldest person in the military you interacted with when you were serving? what was the strangest WWI story you heard from a firsthand participant?

A:

What do you hate the most about each others ?


Q:

has there ever been an instance where a client blabbing to the press (inadvertently) helped the case?

A:

How fast do i need to flap my arms to get lift?


Q:

When you were actively undercover, was duplicity more like a game to be won, or a burden to bear?

A:

What do you hate the most about each others ?


Q:

has there ever been an instance where a client blabbing to the press (inadvertently) helped the case?

A:

How fast do i need to flap my arms to get lift?


Q:

When you were actively undercover, was duplicity more like a game to be won, or a burden to bear?

A:

As being deaf myself, Is there a chance that if i had kids in the future, they can be deaf due to passing down same genes?

I was born deaf and got a cochlear implant when i was two and currently in college. From my understanding, it was a genetic fuck up that made me deaf as no other family or relatives are born deaf. It was interesting to hear your side of having a deaf family and they being opposed to the CI's while i am the only one.


Q:

I guess the strangest one I ever heard was about SGT. Alvin York captured 37 German prisoners with a German pistol after his rifle ran out of ammunition.

A:

We both pick our noses


Q:

Depends on what they blab.

A:

wrong list - you need Bernoulli, not me


Q:

Not a burden. Rather a way of life. You could call it a game, but I saw it more as a challenge. Did I have what it takes?

A:

We both pick our noses


Q:

Depends on what they blab.

A:

wrong list - you need Bernoulli, not me


Q:

Not a burden. Rather a way of life. You could call it a game, but I saw it more as a challenge. Did I have what it takes?

A:

It depends on the gene. Recessive gene would mean that your partner would need the same gene to create a deaf child. For dominate it only takes 1 parent to pass the gene.


Q:

I know I'm late but could you ask if there's any good stories from working at the White House?

A:

Hey guys!!! I’m a huge fan!!

Do you think fame has changed you guys personally or your music style?


Q:

What does a defense attorney do when a client confesses guilt to the charges against him/her?

A:

Only if i would have known about this few months ago, i paid 1100$ for round trip from Houston to kolkata(India). Is that a fair deal or you guys could have done better?


Q:

What are some of the differences between real life FBI agent work and what you see in movies?

A:

Hey guys! How was collabing with Coldplay? Chris Martin seems to do the best Collabs!


Q:

What does a defense attorney do when a client confesses guilt to the charges against him/her?

A:

Only if i would have known about this few months ago, i paid 1100$ for round trip from Houston to kolkata(India). Is that a fair deal or you guys could have done better?


Q:

What are some of the differences between real life FBI agent work and what you see in movies?

A:

As a deaf teenager starting university next year, I'm really glad you decided to have your son implanted with CI at very young age because you'll faster at young age right? I was born deaf and received CI at the age of 2 3/4 on the left side. Stuck with hearing on the left side only until last year where I got my second CI on my right side.

I started speaking with my own voice. I learnt Australian sign language (Auslan) a bit but kinda gave up because I was waaaaay too used to speaking because I'm always surrounded with hearing people. Sometimes I regret not knowing or understand Auslan. Also, I didn't really take part of deaf community because I feel like I just simply don't belong in there. I'm sure your son absolutely wouldnt have problem with that.

Make sure you take your son to a school that have benefits for child with disabilities. They are really helpful, respectful and great guidance for the future. Without that, I wouldnt be a top student in every class. The nice thing that one of my teacher said was that she never ever would call 'deaf' a disability. It warmed my heart.

The important thing for your son to learn is that DON'T LET THE DEAFNESS STOP YOU.

Best of luck for the future!


Q:

There are great stories! We are going to do a video tomorrow and post it here! I'm excited to hear this answer tomorrow. He's told me some stories but even as he started to answer this today, he was telling things I haven't heard so we decided to do a video to answer, but didn't have time today. I just couldn't keep up trying to type it all out.

A:

Fame has changed us personally but not in the way you'd think. It's a weird thing to deal with. When you have people talking about the things you do, what you wear, what you say, etc you lose control of how you present your life. Everyone has something to say about one side of you and it may be right or it may not be right but it's out of your control. Our families have to deal with it. We learn to deal with it and we're lucky to have each other and we have a really dope team that help.


Q:

We aren't required to tell anyone-- the judge, jury, or prosecutor. However, we can't put the client on the stand and knowingly let him lie.

A:

$1100 is a lot... Most of the deals I see in my database are to Mumbai or Dehli, tho


Q:

FBI Agents have, or used to have, a great sense of humor. In the films, like Die Hard, they're all black suits and grim faces: "We're taking over now." That never happens. We'd kid around with the locals, cops and trooper, and work together all the time.

A:

Hey! We grew up listening to Coldplay. They've been great at writing great songs and never thought working with Coldplay would even be a possibility. Their manager told Adam, our manager, that the band listens to our songs before they go on stage. We reached out and one day we heard back that Chris was available and we of course dropped everything and went to hang out at his studio. He's such a cool guy. We ended up playing a couple chords not knowing if he'd like them and he was like "this is the song" and we plugged in a mic and he started dancing around the studio and mumbled out the song. It was a rad moment to watch his process in the studio. Chris is like a spiritual being sent down from the Heavens to bring people good music.


Q:

We aren't required to tell anyone-- the judge, jury, or prosecutor. However, we can't put the client on the stand and knowingly let him lie.

A:

$1100 is a lot... Most of the deals I see in my database are to Mumbai or Dehli, tho


Q:

FBI Agents have, or used to have, a great sense of humor. In the films, like Die Hard, they're all black suits and grim faces: "We're taking over now." That never happens. We'd kid around with the locals, cops and trooper, and work together all the time.

A:

Thank you for that advice. I don't get to meet a lot of young adults who were implanted young. Have you considered working with Cochlear to be a resource for parents? I'm assuming you have Cochlear since you live in Australia.


Q:

How'd you deal with all the insects and wildlife?

My dad was 1st Marine Tanks, did 3 tours in Vietnam. After hearing all his stories of what it was like I just want to say you're one badass dude. And thank you!

A:

Hey guys! How was collabing with Coldplay? Chris Martin seems to do the best Collabs!


Q:

How would that work? Someone would ask your client that, right?

A:

What are some of the best deals you have seen?


Q:

What kind of clothing would you regularly wear? The stereotype is the black suit. Is there any truth to that?

A:

Hey guys!!! I’m a huge fan!!

Do you think fame has changed you guys personally or your music style?


Q:

How would that work? Someone would ask your client that, right?

A:

What are some of the best deals you have seen?


Q:

What kind of clothing would you regularly wear? The stereotype is the black suit. Is there any truth to that?

A:

Is this community attitude regional, or is it generally accepted among deaf people worldwide? Have you considered moving to an area where this is not an issue among the deaf community there (if there are such places)?


Q:

There wasn't that many insects or wildlife. The only thing I saw were snakes and dogs and chickens. (He did say in a previous answer that he shot a snake with his .45) but some guys said they saw Tigers or elephants... maybe they did, maybe they didn't, but I didn't.

A:

Hey! We grew up listening to Coldplay. They've been great at writing great songs and never thought working with Coldplay would even be a possibility. Their manager told Adam, our manager, that the band listens to our songs before they go on stage. We reached out and one day we heard back that Chris was available and we of course dropped everything and went to hang out at his studio. He's such a cool guy. We ended up playing a couple chords not knowing if he'd like them and he was like "this is the song" and we plugged in a mic and he started dancing around the studio and mumbled out the song. It was a rad moment to watch his process in the studio. Chris is like a spiritual being sent down from the Heavens to bring people good music.


Q:

I would do his direct examination. I would ensure that he not lie based on my own knowledge. Hasn't happened yet.

A:

Good question. I've seen $287 dollar round trip flights on United (DIRECT!) from New York To Tel Aviv - that's a flight that usually costs $1000 most of the time.

In the last week, Air Canada fares were 80% off for about 4 hours because of a glitch in their system. To their credit, they're honoring the deal.

My personal favorite was an almost round the world trip in First Class from Myanmar all the way to the US for under $500, including suites in Quantas First.


Q:

The stereotype is just that. For the movies. An agent going out on an interview, particularly in a white collar case, will wear business attire. I would dress to fit the role I was playing, from street hustler with lots of gold chains (courtesy of FBI Seized Property) to refined European jewel thief in elegant suit and $30,000 watch.

A:

Fame has changed us personally but not in the way you'd think. It's a weird thing to deal with. When you have people talking about the things you do, what you wear, what you say, etc you lose control of how you present your life. Everyone has something to say about one side of you and it may be right or it may not be right but it's out of your control. Our families have to deal with it. We learn to deal with it and we're lucky to have each other and we have a really dope team that help.


Q:

I would do his direct examination. I would ensure that he not lie based on my own knowledge. Hasn't happened yet.

A:

Good question. I've seen $287 dollar round trip flights on United (DIRECT!) from New York To Tel Aviv - that's a flight that usually costs $1000 most of the time.

In the last week, Air Canada fares were 80% off for about 4 hours because of a glitch in their system. To their credit, they're honoring the deal.

My personal favorite was an almost round the world trip in First Class from Myanmar all the way to the US for under $500, including suites in Quantas First.


Q:

The stereotype is just that. For the movies. An agent going out on an interview, particularly in a white collar case, will wear business attire. I would dress to fit the role I was playing, from street hustler with lots of gold chains (courtesy of FBI Seized Property) to refined European jewel thief in elegant suit and $30,000 watch.

A:

From what I know it's pretty common in countries that have access to cochlear implants. I know for sure that deaf communities in the Europe, Australia and even Mexico are pretty against it. Its the communities that rely solely on sign language.

Edit to answer the last question: The deaf community is spread out all across the country. They do a lot of FaceTime these days. Back in the day, you either traveled to see them or used the TTY to communicate. I ended up leaving my job that worked with Deaf coworkers a few months before my sons surgery. That's how I took myself out of the deaf community.


Q:

While serving what is the most mundane thing you remember? Mopping rain or Sweeping dirt for example

A:

What do you think of Rezz's music? Alison Wonderland's music?


Q:

So what if he's being cross-examined and lies and you know it's a lie? Are you required to inform the court of his perjury?

A:

Has there been any occasion where your mission/objective conflicted with your own personal ethics?

Edit : follow-up question : given your experiences, how has your perspective of the world changed from when you started to now.


Q:

What do you think of Rezz's music? Alison Wonderland's music?

A:

So what if he's being cross-examined and lies and you know it's a lie? Are you required to inform the court of his perjury?


Q:

Has there been any occasion where your mission/objective conflicted with your own personal ethics?

Edit : follow-up question : given your experiences, how has your perspective of the world changed from when you started to now.

A:

What other taboos are there in the community that you don't agree with, or outsiders might find strange?


Q:

And coming in from the rice patties, taking off your boots, drying off your feet, putting on dry socks. Then putting your wet boots back on and going back out into the rice patties.

A:

I think they're both incredible producers. Both awesome chicks. Rezz just does her own thing and has fun and the stuff she makes is super creative and out there. Alison Wonderland and Rezz are two of the most exciting dance artists. They both have a sound that's specific to each of them.


Q:

There is a mechanism to handle that with the judge. Never has happened to me.

A:

Before working as a UC, it was black and white. The good guys (us) and the bad guys (them). I came to realize that it's a continuum, evil on one end, Mother Theresa on the others. And most everyone in the middle. And early on, I did form friendships with subjects, was invited to an intimate wedding, had a guy's son scratch my phony initials on his skateboard. Did not make me feel great.


Q:

I think they're both incredible producers. Both awesome chicks. Rezz just does her own thing and has fun and the stuff she makes is super creative and out there. Alison Wonderland and Rezz are two of the most exciting dance artists. They both have a sound that's specific to each of them.

A:

There is a mechanism to handle that with the judge. Never has happened to me.


Q:

Before working as a UC, it was black and white. The good guys (us) and the bad guys (them). I came to realize that it's a continuum, evil on one end, Mother Theresa on the others. And most everyone in the middle. And early on, I did form friendships with subjects, was invited to an intimate wedding, had a guy's son scratch my phony initials on his skateboard. Did not make me feel great.

A:

It's mostly the way they try to dictate how parents raise their kids. It's usually the vocal activists who try to interject. One taboo I've noticed is that you leave your hearing aids at home when you're at deaf events. Hearing aids have a love/hate relationship in the deaf community. A lot of them think it's not for kids.


Q:

Was Vietnam worth fighting?

A:

New album in 2018?


Q:

So is that a yes or a no? Are you required to inform the court if you know your client is committing perjury?

A:

What do you think about conspiracy theories in general?


Q:

New album in 2018?

A:

So is that a yes or a no? Are you required to inform the court if you know your client is committing perjury?


Q:

What do you think about conspiracy theories in general?

A:

are there any major threads of disagreement with regards to teaching sign languages other than ASL, or neutral words with offensive signs that people disagree about whether to change?


Q:

All we did was get a bunch of Americans killed and we didn't get anything for it. No awards. Nothing. We paid for their uniforms and everything. Would I want to live there? No.

A:

I would like to do another album. I really respect artists like Kendrick Lamar and Halsey that have a good overarching concept for an album. Maybe we'll do EPs again or singles. We just want to be able to put out music consistently. We haven't put anything out in like 6 months now which feels weird. We want our music to be a present reflection of who we are.

Thank you to all of you who helped get our album to platinum btw!


Q:

It's not as simple as that but yes, we cannot allow perjury to occur. We have to take some remedial step.

A:

As to conspiracy theories, there is an appropriate saying attributed to an outlaw motorcycle group: "The only way three people can keep a secret is when two of them are dead." Someone will always going to talk.


Q:

I would like to do another album. I really respect artists like Kendrick Lamar and Halsey that have a good overarching concept for an album. Maybe we'll do EPs again or singles. We just want to be able to put out music consistently. We haven't put anything out in like 6 months now which feels weird. We want our music to be a present reflection of who we are.

Thank you to all of you who helped get our album to platinum btw!

A:

It's not as simple as that but yes, we cannot allow perjury to occur. We have to take some remedial step.


Q:

As to conspiracy theories, there is an appropriate saying attributed to an outlaw motorcycle group: "The only way three people can keep a secret is when two of them are dead." Someone will always going to talk.

A:

Deaf folks tend to use Facebook. They like to use the term Audism or Audists to describe a person who thinks being deaf is a bad thing. Technically I would be considered an Audists because I implanted my child. I hate that word.

The sign "cochlear implant" is used with a bent "v" to the head which implies a level of hostility. To give you an idea... A bent "v" to the neck means Vampire. There is discussion that it's more appropriate to sign it with a "u" to the head. The letters refer to the signed alphabet.


Q:

What's the funniest insult you've heard while serving?

A:

Do you haze Lucas from time to time? -An old fraternity friend of his


Q:

Such as?

A:

What are your thoughts on James Comey? Can you talk a little bit about how (if ever) politics affected investigations while you served?


Q:

Do you haze Lucas from time to time? -An old fraternity friend of his

A:

Such as?


Q:

What were the most important things to do or remember while undercover?

A:

Heh. I've been a hearing signer for over a decade, and I never made the connection until you just said that. Wow. So culturally Deaf people are vaguely hinting "vampire" when they sign that someone has a cochlear implant... completely missed that.


Q:

I guess when we were in dress blues in the color guard for the general and somebody asked what Halloween party we were going to.

A:

Lol he's here with me right now. Yeah Lucas gets hazed from time to time lol but he's got a good life.


A:

Politics never effected cases that I worked on. One of the reasons I was attracted to law enforcement was that, ideally, it's objective and not political. In my time, I saw public corruption investigations of both Democrat and Republican officials -- no one in the Bu cared what the political affiliations of an official happened to be. The perception among many agents, in and out of the Bu, is that Directory Comey allowed the FBI to become politicized, to the detriment of the institution.


Q:

Lol he's here with me right now. Yeah Lucas gets hazed from time to time lol but he's got a good life.


Q:

You have to be "on" constantly, never out of character. And think like a criminal, act like one -- not like a cop. A cop would ask "where did you get the heroin/guns/ whatever." A real criminal couldn't care less. I never asked that kind of question, which would set of alarm bells with the subjects -- even though the prosecutors often pushed me to do so. By acting like one of them, I was accepted as one of them.

A:

That's what I've seen on FB. A lot of the neutral Deaf want to change it. My mother in law told me about it changing the sign.


Q:

Hi Mr. Fullerton! Thank you for your service!

1.) Did you encounter anything weird or creepy during your service?

2.) Why did you choose to become a Marine?

3.) What's the biggest difference between before and today's Marines?

Thank you!

A:

Hi Drew and Alex,

If you can include the following links in your post as proof of who you are, that would be greatly appreciated!

In the meantime I'll leave this comment stickied for visitors so they can see you're legitimate.

https://www.facebook.com/thechainsmokers/posts/1620535191312198

https://twitter.com/TheChainsmokers/status/903377911448612864


Q:

Did you watch the tv series El Chapo? What do you think about it, and can you say more about how Chapo is?

A:

What were the most important things to do or remember while undercover?


Q:

Hi Drew and Alex,

If you can include the following links in your post as proof of who you are, that would be greatly appreciated!

In the meantime I'll leave this comment stickied for visitors so they can see you're legitimate.

https://www.facebook.com/thechainsmokers/posts/1620535191312198

https://twitter.com/TheChainsmokers/status/903377911448612864

A:

Did you watch the tv series El Chapo? What do you think about it, and can you say more about how Chapo is?


Q:

What are your thoughts on James Comey? Can you talk a little bit about how (if ever) politics affected investigations while you served?

A:

Hi u/ahavahlove,

I just read through your AMA about your son's CI and it interested me a lot as I also wear CIs, although they are much older. However, I am sure wether or not you will answer my comment as it's been ten hours already since you started your AMA. I guess I'll post it and cross my fingers.

First of all, I am quite surprised by how similar the deaf people's community's reaction you encountered to what my parents encountered, even if I would say it was not as extreme. t ranged from disappointment to mild disapproval and hostility. I guess not having other actually deaf people in my family helped ease the decision.

I also wanted to say I consider your son has something I could say I am jealous of. He has closely related deaf people. With the years, I have lost more and more contact with my local community, so even if I learned LSQ (Quebec signed language) when I was a kid, I lack practice and am not fluent anymore. I have forgotten a lot of signs over the last decade and would hardly be able to discuss with anyone in LSQ. You could say I am what the deaf community feared I'd become, which kinda sucks Thus, I feel like he might have some sort of luck: he will never lose that part of himself.

Something else. Have you heard of FM systems? If yes, sorry for wasting your time and interfering in what doesn't really concern me. If not, it's definitely worth taking a look. It's some sort of emmitter-receiver system which I mostly use in school to help me undrstand the teacher when there's loud noise in the classroom. If found it extremely helpful when, for instance, there was chatter and such. It has the advantage of being extremely simple of use and being undisturbing (english is not my native language, so I do not know if this word exists, but I am too lazy to chech out, sorry) for the other regular students. There is also a similar system used for TV. Mind you, I live in a country where this is all paid by the government, so it might not be as adfordable where you live.

What implant model does your son use? I have one Platinum and one Naida ( by Advanced Bionics).

Did he say how he felt when he first wore his CIs? For me, it sounded a bit like morse code (edit : dumb me, he didn't hear anything before)

Finally, how well does he cope with the whole thing? Since it's been something like 18 years since my first implant, I have somewhat lost the novelty feeling, so I'm interested by his reaction.


Q:

1) I can't remember anything weird or creepy. Ran across a coral snake in the rice Patty, shot him with my 45.

2) I had an uncle who was in the marine corps during WWII this and that, always said if I joined that's probably what I would do. My parents weren't happy. I came home with my papers and told my mom and she was crying when dad got home and he was upset I didn't talk to him about it before I signed them.

3) too many politics now.

Thank you.

A:

Done :)


Q:

I have never watched it. I watch zero TV other than sports.

He's engaging, he's curious, he's funny, he's strong as hell mentally and he laughs at my shitty Spanish.

A:

You have to be "on" constantly, never out of character. And think like a criminal, act like one -- not like a cop. A cop would ask "where did you get the heroin/guns/ whatever." A real criminal couldn't care less. I never asked that kind of question, which would set of alarm bells with the subjects -- even though the prosecutors often pushed me to do so. By acting like one of them, I was accepted as one of them.


Q:

Done :)

A:

I have never watched it. I watch zero TV other than sports.

He's engaging, he's curious, he's funny, he's strong as hell mentally and he laughs at my shitty Spanish.


Q:

Politics never effected cases that I worked on. One of the reasons I was attracted to law enforcement was that, ideally, it's objective and not political. In my time, I saw public corruption investigations of both Democrat and Republican officials -- no one in the Bu cared what the political affiliations of an official happened to be. The perception among many agents, in and out of the Bu, is that Directory Comey allowed the FBI to become politicized, to the detriment of the institution.

A:

I recommend you take at least 3 years of college level classes if you want to become fluent in ASL.

We plan to use the FM system when he goes to school. It wild definitely help him a lot.

My son wears the Nadia's q90. He was 10 months activated and didn't really react to sounds until about 1 week after activation.

He's really rough with his CIs. Used to pull them off when he was bored. We often had to keep him busy to get him to keep them on. Now he wears them all day and asks for them in the morning.


Q:

What is your opinion on how much funding the the military has, how it's increased since you were in service and if we are actually helping with our presence in the Middle East or are we consistently creating new ways for pockets of people to really not like us?

A:

What do you think of the criticism that your album got from reviewers (i loved it tho 4real) Also, do you have new music soon!! Is there any collab you can tell us about?


Q:

The series shows a lot of brutality commited by, or in name of El Chapo, also the corruption of government and other drug dealers.

One more question, what can you tell about this case?

A:

What's your theory on DB Cooper?


Q:

What do you think of the criticism that your album got from reviewers (i loved it tho 4real) Also, do you have new music soon!! Is there any collab you can tell us about?

A:

The series shows a lot of brutality commited by, or in name of El Chapo, also the corruption of government and other drug dealers.

One more question, what can you tell about this case?


Q:

What's your theory on DB Cooper?

A:

What is your plan for school? School for the Deaf? Mainstreaming? Something else?

I was born deaf. My parents learned to sign, although they mostly wanted me to be oral. I spoke and heard with my hearing aids while being mainstreamed. As an adult, I threw out my hearing aids and stopped talking. A lot of people were like "But your parents spent hours teaching you to talk and hear! You're just going to throw that out!?" I'm grateful for what they did for me, but I'm mostly grateful that they gave me a choice. That choice is worth so much more than if they only gave me sign or only gave me speaking and listening skills. I think you're doing the right thing for your son.


Q:

Outside of the military and the government the companies that are building the equipment are raising their prices. And then I read the army bought 50,000 pistols for 6.something million dollars for the pistols that will sit in the armory. So they buy foolish things and spend the money and then they have to come back and ask for more money. They send the soldiers over to Afghanastan and the barracks are trash when they leave so they just throw it away. So much money being wasted. Our presence isn't making them not like us. We just don't need to he there. We help them and they just waste the resources we give them. If we leave uo our temporary quarters they just move in and start sleeping in them. I think our federal government should have tours set up where U.S. civilians go see how it's all set up and the government should pay for it. So Americans will appreciate what they have more.

A:

I think some of the criticism is fair and some of it is not fair. We look to criticism to improve ourselves. It's hard to read the more negative comments. I really liked the New York Times Review which wasn't a necessarily positive review but there were a lot of things I agreed with which is sometimes the hardest review to read where you're like "yeah I could've done that better".

A lot of the criticism sits with you and you have to figure out how to deal with it in your own way. We thought our album was honest and says a lot about who we are and we got to play it for 10,000 people every night on tour. Seeing those people jumping up and down is what made it worth it.

Tyler from 21 pilots sent us a really nice email congratulating us on the new album and said you should really focus on what's right in front of you and the internet isn't real. (ignore the fact that we're doing an AMA on the internet right now lol)


Q:

I can tell you that he's picked a great lawyer to defend him.

A:

He died when parachuting out of the 727.


Q:

I think some of the criticism is fair and some of it is not fair. We look to criticism to improve ourselves. It's hard to read the more negative comments. I really liked the New York Times Review which wasn't a necessarily positive review but there were a lot of things I agreed with which is sometimes the hardest review to read where you're like "yeah I could've done that better".

A lot of the criticism sits with you and you have to figure out how to deal with it in your own way. We thought our album was honest and says a lot about who we are and we got to play it for 10,000 people every night on tour. Seeing those people jumping up and down is what made it worth it.

Tyler from 21 pilots sent us a really nice email congratulating us on the new album and said you should really focus on what's right in front of you and the internet isn't real. (ignore the fact that we're doing an AMA on the internet right now lol)

A:

I can tell you that he's picked a great lawyer to defend him.


Q:

He died when parachuting out of the 727.

A:

He is starting a DHH preschool in a week. They do a lot of oral components but they also teach ASL. We plan on mainstream unless he is demonstrating a visual need. I think having oral skills is invaluable to finding a job. I used to work as an employment specialist for the deaf and it was extremely hard to find employment for the ASL only folks. It was really heartbreaking to see. My clients that were able to lipread or speak some were so easy to find jobs for. This was partially the reason we decided CIs. Thank you for being so kind.


Q:

How do you feel about advertisements pushing the college/healthcare benefits of service? Wouldn't that lead to a higher percentage of people joining the service for more self-serving reasons?

A:

What does your studio setup look like from a software/synth/midi controller standpoint? Any must-have sample packs? What do you use to isolate vocals for remixes?


Q:

What was one of the biggest mistakes you ever made in the courtroom and what did you learn from it?

A:

what is the strangest thing you've had to put on an expense report for an operation?


Q:

What does your studio setup look like from a software/synth/midi controller standpoint? Any must-have sample packs? What do you use to isolate vocals for remixes?

A:

What was one of the biggest mistakes you ever made in the courtroom and what did you learn from it?


Q:

what is the strangest thing you've had to put on an expense report for an operation?

A:

Have you considered genetic testing, such as connexin 26, for your family?


Q:

Don't agree with it. Don't need to advertise it. The military does enough advertising without talking about those benefits.

A:

We work out of Abelton. We have pretty much every plug in known to man and midi controllers. We use a prophet 6 on tour because it sounds better than a lot of the soft synths. I've been plugging it into a guitar or vox amp and record with a vocal mic. We ask artists for their vocals and they send it thinking we might do a remix sometimes lol


Q:

I don't mean to sound like an arrogant jerk, but I have never made a big mistake during a trial. Lesson learned: work hard and overprepare and you can eliminate surprises.

A:

Myself and agent Rita F. put together carriers for my Mini-Nagra recording device that would allow me to carry it the place least likely to be searched - guess - It had an elastic waistband, and flaps with Velcro pockets in the front, and was worn over briefs, with baggy pants. I'd cut hole in my right pants pocket to run the on-off switch, held in place with a safety pin. Very high-tech. The bean counters authorized the minimal expense for the materials, but voucher must have read a bit odd!


Q:

We work out of Abelton. We have pretty much every plug in known to man and midi controllers. We use a prophet 6 on tour because it sounds better than a lot of the soft synths. I've been plugging it into a guitar or vox amp and record with a vocal mic. We ask artists for their vocals and they send it thinking we might do a remix sometimes lol

A:

I don't mean to sound like an arrogant jerk, but I have never made a big mistake during a trial. Lesson learned: work hard and overprepare and you can eliminate surprises.


Q:

Myself and agent Rita F. put together carriers for my Mini-Nagra recording device that would allow me to carry it the place least likely to be searched - guess - It had an elastic waistband, and flaps with Velcro pockets in the front, and was worn over briefs, with baggy pants. I'd cut hole in my right pants pocket to run the on-off switch, held in place with a safety pin. Very high-tech. The bean counters authorized the minimal expense for the materials, but voucher must have read a bit odd!

A:

He was tested positive for connexin 26. I think he might have Waardenburg Syndrome as well. My husband has hearing loss in one ear which makes my son the 5th generation affected. The only reason I suspect WS is because unilateral hearing loss is common in WS and it can cause 2 different eye colors which my MIL has and I believe a great grandfather also had. WS is dominate. My moms side is hereditary, she has a deaf sister and a deaf great aunt. Her gene is recessive so likely the connexin 26.


Q:

Did growing up during World War II impact your view of war or being a soldier? How did you deal with the emotional effects of war?

Edit: sorry, should have said Marine. Was wondering if soldier was appropriate.

A:

Hey guys, thanks for doing this AMA!! I firstly wanted to say how proud I am of both of you. I went to high school just a year behind Drew, and have been watching his career since his senior project, what a fucking way you've come man! I remember you being the only drummer in the elementary school band and thinking how cool that was. It's been a joy to watch you conquer the world and I still jam to Elodie today!!

I've got a million and one questions for you guys, but I'll settle with one.

What's the best "fuck the haters" story you have? I can only the imagine the shitstorm you guys have gotten. People thought you were done after the American Idol shit but you guys pulled it out!

Thanks again for the AMA and keep fucking doing you!


Q:

Have you ever turned down a case where a client was ready to hire? Are there any criminal cases you won't take?

A:

Favorite fictional FBI agent(s)?


Q:

Hey guys, thanks for doing this AMA!! I firstly wanted to say how proud I am of both of you. I went to high school just a year behind Drew, and have been watching his career since his senior project, what a fucking way you've come man! I remember you being the only drummer in the elementary school band and thinking how cool that was. It's been a joy to watch you conquer the world and I still jam to Elodie today!!

I've got a million and one questions for you guys, but I'll settle with one.

What's the best "fuck the haters" story you have? I can only the imagine the shitstorm you guys have gotten. People thought you were done after the American Idol shit but you guys pulled it out!

Thanks again for the AMA and keep fucking doing you!

A:

Have you ever turned down a case where a client was ready to hire? Are there any criminal cases you won't take?


Q:

In terms of doing illegal things to keep your cover, is there a line that UC's can't/won't cross? In other words, what would an UC do if the crew they had infiltrated wanted them to join on a murder or assassination attempt?

A:

Does your husband have 2 different colored eyes? If it's dominant, then you'd think he should also express this phenotype.


Q:

I was too young for it to effect me and growing up we played war as a game. After the war (Vietnam) I kept busy when I got home with a wife and children and getting straight to work. Growing up you always knew somebody who was serving.

A:

Haha I don't think it's ever like "FUCK THE HATERS"

You wake up to a beautiful day, nice cup of coffee, then you go to twitter and read "Eat shit" "Alex, your the ugly one" lol and all these billion comments. Initially it sucks but you just have to brush it off and remember that there's so much more positivity out there from great fans and focus on that. You're never going to be able to please everybody.

Most of those people want to be noticed. When people started shitting on us we used to respond to them to explain ourselves or ask why they feel a certain way. They would DM us and be like "yo dude I'm so sorry". That's very telling of our generation and their misconception of anonymity.


Q:

Yes, if there just isn't a good fit between me and a client. I'm not the easiest person to deal with. Cough. And I won't do cases involving animal cruelty. Never.

A:

Vincent Terranova, the agent played by Ken Wahl in the TV show Wiseguy was great, and very realistic. Showed the emotional issues of deep cover work for the first time.


Q:

Haha I don't think it's ever like "FUCK THE HATERS"

You wake up to a beautiful day, nice cup of coffee, then you go to twitter and read "Eat shit" "Alex, your the ugly one" lol and all these billion comments. Initially it sucks but you just have to brush it off and remember that there's so much more positivity out there from great fans and focus on that. You're never going to be able to please everybody.

Most of those people want to be noticed. When people started shitting on us we used to respond to them to explain ourselves or ask why they feel a certain way. They would DM us and be like "yo dude I'm so sorry". That's very telling of our generation and their misconception of anonymity.

A:

Yes, if there just isn't a good fit between me and a client. I'm not the easiest person to deal with. Cough. And I won't do cases involving animal cruelty. Never.


Q:

There are absolutely lines that can not be crossed. There is policy, for UCs and Informants, concerning authorized criminal activity. Some property crime might be authorized in order to avoid compromising the safety of the UC or CI, not violent crime. And that is realistic -- many real criminals may be fine with property crime and want nothing to do with violence. If I, in my UC capacity, refuse to participate in a violent act, that does not compromise me as a UC. Me: "No way. I'm a thief, not a killer. If you want to risk a 20 year stretch, and enjoy hurting people, that's your business. Count me out." If anything, my credibility as a real criminal just went up.

A:

I've done a lot of reading on it. You can get one or all of the traits. There are 4 different types too. I don't think the wide set eyes or white forelock is prevalent in their type. The type i think he has is more common with hearing loss (bilateral/unilateral), 2 diff color eyes. I failed to mention his parents have 5 kids and 4 of them were born with unilateral hearing loss.


Q:

Did you ever feel like you received a lack of respect when you returned home from Vietnam? The war was unpopular at home, did you as a soldier ever receive some of that hate?

Thank you for your service

A:

What is your general strategy in drawing publicity prior to high profile trials? As an example, you're conducting this AMA where you call your client an alleged "drug lord", but I feel like that could be a negative descriptor, especially at this point in time. How do you balance self-promotion with the best interests of your client?


Q:

In terms of doing illegal things to keep your cover, is there a line that UC's can't/won't cross? In other words, what would an UC do if the crew they had infiltrated wanted them to join on a murder or assassination attempt?

A:

How many hot dogs do you guys think you could eat in 30 minutes? (bun included, no condiments allowed)


Q:

What is your general strategy in drawing publicity prior to high profile trials? As an example, you're conducting this AMA where you call your client an alleged "drug lord", but I feel like that could be a negative descriptor, especially at this point in time. How do you balance self-promotion with the best interests of your client?

A:

Favorite fictional FBI agent(s)?


Q:

Ah, interesting. Generally when a family carries a gene that has multiple traits associated with it, they all express similar traits because they presumably all inherit the same mutation or the same size deletion/duplication of the gene... But this isn't always the case. Due to other things like genetic recombination you can see variations.

A:

Sure I did. I remember Major and I walking downtown in uniform and people yelling at us. We just ignored them and kept on walking.


Q:

I don't. The best interests of my client is my self-promotion. Winning the case is my best self-promotion.

A:

There are absolutely lines that can not be crossed. There is policy, for UCs and Informants, concerning authorized criminal activity. Some property crime might be authorized in order to avoid compromising the safety of the UC or CI, not violent crime. And that is realistic -- many real criminals may be fine with property crime and want nothing to do with violence. If I, in my UC capacity, refuse to participate in a violent act, that does not compromise me as a UC. Me: "No way. I'm a thief, not a killer. If you want to risk a 20 year stretch, and enjoy hurting people, that's your business. Count me out." If anything, my credibility as a real criminal just went up.


Q:

No condiments? That's bullshit. If we're talking standard sized hot dogs probably like 4.

A:

I don't. The best interests of my client is my self-promotion. Winning the case is my best self-promotion.


Q:

Vincent Terranova, the agent played by Ken Wahl in the TV show Wiseguy was great, and very realistic. Showed the emotional issues of deep cover work for the first time.

A:

Yeah.. it's a suspicion I have. He didn't get tested for WS. He tested positive for C26 and they stopped searching for other deaf genes. I was really upset that they didn't search for more deaf genes. Genetic unilateral hearing loss is only found in WS. I assumed that the deaf gene was dying out because him an his siblings had the one sided hearingloss.


Q:

Semper Fi Marine!

I had a close friend of mine in 1/7 during Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom. He was in Charlie company commonly referred to as "Suicide Charlie" He gave me one of his shirts, and its one of my favorites.

Question - Five Marines from the battalion were responsible for the only war crime attributable to the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. On 19 February 1970, in the village of Son Thang-4 just southwest of Danang, a five-man patrol from the unit executed five women and eleven children.

Where you in country when this event occurred? What was your reaction to it?

A:

I definitely agree with the idea that winning is the best form of self-promotion, but could you expand on the idea that the best interests of your client are your self-promotion?


Q:

What percentage of construction companies in a close proximity to NYC would you say are involved in the mafia?

A:

I definitely agree with the idea that winning is the best form of self-promotion, but could you expand on the idea that the best interests of your client are your self-promotion?


Q:

What percentage of construction companies in a close proximity to NYC would you say are involved in the mafia?

A:

No I was at Camp Pendleton and our reaction to it at that time was they need to take those 5 Marines and Court Marshall them and lock them all up. Not a happy time.


Q:

His winning is my payoff too. So all I want to do is win the case. All the great publicity will come after a win. Lawyers who are only concerned about getting their names in the paper don't last long. Winning is all that matters.

A:

The La Cosa Nostra case that I worked in the mid-2000s involved money laundering and hot jewels. I could not comment with any personal knowledge on construction.


Q:

His winning is my payoff too. So all I want to do is win the case. All the great publicity will come after a win. Lawyers who are only concerned about getting their names in the paper don't last long. Winning is all that matters.

A:

The La Cosa Nostra case that I worked in the mid-2000s involved money laundering and hot jewels. I could not comment with any personal knowledge on construction.


Q:

She also keeps getting "paddies" wrong, but I'm just happy that she's helping him answer questions. Good thread, good people.

A:

I totally agree, which is why I said that winning the case if the best form of self-promotion. However, you chose to conduct this public AMA with an inherent focus on the case. To reframe my question, why do you feel that it's a good thing for your client to draw attention to yourself and the case at this point in time?


Q:

I know when preparing a new alias, you try to get as much real life experience to make sure the alias is authentic. Did you ever have to do anything disturbing/unethical/illegal when preparing for a new alias? And if so what did you have to?

A:

I totally agree, which is why I said that winning the case if the best form of self-promotion. However, you chose to conduct this public AMA with an inherent focus on the case. To reframe my question, why do you feel that it's a good thing for your client to draw attention to yourself and the case at this point in time?


Q:

When you were UC on Wall Street what was your cover? Trader, lawyer? Did that kind of cover require a lot of financial education?

A:

Thank you both! I will correct "martial" and "paddies" for future answers.


Q:

Have I just spoken about myself?

A:

An example of the kinds of unusual things I'd need to learn: For one case, I went to Waste Management's facility in South Florida to learn about the working of the business. Over the years I learned a little bit about a lot of professions, in order to get on the inside. As to "unethical," it depend how you view lying. I was constantly lying about who I was, my history, etc. I learned to "live a lie." But nothing illegal, and no lying that would bring harm or loss to innocent bystanders (except a little bit, in COMMCORR - I learned my lesson). Often appearing to be doing illegal activity, when I really wasn't. Selling "hot" Swatches at 1/3 of list, out of the trunk of my car in RUN DMV, to create the appearance of being a hood. I had really bought them at market price, legitimately.


Q:

Have I just spoken about myself?

A:

In COMMCORR, I started of as a clerk on the floor of the COMEX, one of the commodities exchanges, learned the business, and a year later passed the written and practical exams to become a local trader on the NYMEX. The case went down in flames after someone recognized me from my time at the DA's office, and blew my cover.


Q:

What do you make of the F35 vs A10 debate?

A:

I assume you get a lot of hate for representing him, even though you're just doing your job. Still, why did you chose him? If I remember correctly his assets were frozen so your payment wasn't guaranteed. Surely there must be a reasoning behind your choice that makes it worth the hate. Is it the publicity?


Q:

When you were UC on Wall Street what was your cover? Trader, lawyer? Did that kind of cover require a lot of financial education?

A:

I assume you get a lot of hate for representing him, even though you're just doing your job. Still, why did you chose him? If I remember correctly his assets were frozen so your payment wasn't guaranteed. Surely there must be a reasoning behind your choice that makes it worth the hate. Is it the publicity?


Q:

Wow, that's impressive commitment. I would have guessed that a position would have been arranged somehow. During that educational process were you ever tempted to leave law enforcement and become a trader?

A:

The A10 wasn't even being developed when I was in the service. The F35 is too fast and too heavy, but I'm not sure of a debate.


Q:

His assets have not been frozen but the government has not promised not to seek to grab my fee should he be convicted.

As for the hate mail, sure, I get a lot on a lot of cases. But this is America and everyone deserves a defense and the constitution mandates it. Why should I give in to the mob? I won't and don't. As for why I agreed to represent him, the case is the ultimate challenge for a defense lawyer. If a lawyer told you they would run from that challenge, would you want him representing you?

A:

In COMMCORR, I started of as a clerk on the floor of the COMEX, one of the commodities exchanges, learned the business, and a year later passed the written and practical exams to become a local trader on the NYMEX. The case went down in flames after someone recognized me from my time at the DA's office, and blew my cover.


Q:

His assets have not been frozen but the government has not promised not to seek to grab my fee should he be convicted.

As for the hate mail, sure, I get a lot on a lot of cases. But this is America and everyone deserves a defense and the constitution mandates it. Why should I give in to the mob? I won't and don't. As for why I agreed to represent him, the case is the ultimate challenge for a defense lawyer. If a lawyer told you they would run from that challenge, would you want him representing you?

A:

When the case was over, it did occur to me that I could earn much more as a broker than as an agent. But if making a lot of money was a prime motivator, I would not have left the law to become an FBI agent.


Q:

What's your opinion on the current state of VA hospitals?

A:

I absolutely agree, everyone deserves a defense. But not everyone gets it, do they? Surely not everyone that contacts you gets this chance. I don't know if just the fact that it's a challenge is enough, as I would think what this would to to my career on long term. It's a very risky choice and I was curious about what motivates you so strongly. I can only believe there's something more than just a challenge.


Q:

Wow, that's impressive commitment. I would have guessed that a position would have been arranged somehow. During that educational process were you ever tempted to leave law enforcement and become a trader?

A:

I absolutely agree, everyone deserves a defense. But not everyone gets it, do they? Surely not everyone that contacts you gets this chance. I don't know if just the fact that it's a challenge is enough, as I would think what this would to to my career on long term. It's a very risky choice and I was curious about what motivates you so strongly. I can only believe there's something more than just a challenge.


Q:

I know when preparing a new alias, you try to get as much real life experience to make sure the alias is authentic. Did you ever have to do anything disturbing/unethical/illegal when preparing for a new alias? And if so what did you have to?

A:

Poor. Too many veterans not enough hospitals or doctors. Takes too long to get an appointment. Took me 6 months to get an appointment that was then out out 3 months so 9 months for a physical.


Q:

Every case is a puzzle to unravel. I like that challenge and I like to win. There's nothing like it. And the fear of losing is a hell of a motivator.

A:

When the case was over, it did occur to me that I could earn much more as a broker than as an agent. But if making a lot of money was a prime motivator, I would not have left the law to become an FBI agent.


Q:

Every case is a puzzle to unravel. I like that challenge and I like to win. There's nothing like it. And the fear of losing is a hell of a motivator.

A:

An example of the kinds of unusual things I'd need to learn: For one case, I went to Waste Management's facility in South Florida to learn about the working of the business. Over the years I learned a little bit about a lot of professions, in order to get on the inside. As to "unethical," it depend how you view lying. I was constantly lying about who I was, my history, etc. I learned to "live a lie." But nothing illegal, and no lying that would bring harm or loss to innocent bystanders (except a little bit, in COMMCORR - I learned my lesson). Often appearing to be doing illegal activity, when I really wasn't. Selling "hot" Swatches at 1/3 of list, out of the trunk of my car in RUN DMV, to create the appearance of being a hood. I had really bought them at market price, legitimately.


Q:

Oorah, Gunny.. former Marine here myself, was with 1st Bn 8th Marines 2009-2013.

What was your MOS when you were in Vietnam? Did you ever lat move, or hold any B Billets while you were in? During your time in service, what notable differences did you see between the "old breed" and the "new breed"? Say, comparing the recruits when you went through Recruit Training and comparing the new boots hitting the fleet when you were a gunny.

Semper Fi.

A:

alleged? lol i'm sure the previous prison breakouts will help prove his innocence?


Q:

aren't you worried you just posted the target on your back to reddit?

A:

alleged? lol i'm sure the previous prison breakouts will help prove his innocence?


Q:

aren't you worried you just posted the target on your back to reddit?

A:

My MOS was 0369 infantry. Never changed MOS. Well, that depends on what you call B Billets, yes I did security at the White House and was an operations officer at basic where they train the Leuitinants. The old breed I think was the stronger one, because they were all volunteers. The new breed were young.


Q:

In America those accused of a crime are not required to prove anything, let alone innocence.

And I sincerely doubt that any evidence alleging prison breakouts in Mexico will make it into the Brooklyn federal courtroom.

A:

They were doing their job and I was doing mine. Most guys understand that. And having the entire weight of the FBI come crashing down isn't what most former subjects are looking for.


Q:

In America those accused of a crime are not required to prove anything, let alone innocence.

And I sincerely doubt that any evidence alleging prison breakouts in Mexico will make it into the Brooklyn federal courtroom.

A:

They were doing their job and I was doing mine. Most guys understand that. And having the entire weight of the FBI come crashing down isn't what most former subjects are looking for.


Q:

I just want to thank you, the granddaughter, for doing this. My grandpa was an Army Engineer in Korea, and didn't tell us much about it other than a few funny stories, he told my husband (an Engineer in OIF) more. But, it meant the world to him that we would take time to stop by and talk to him...and wanted to know about his life. You're doing a great thing.

So...with my own grandfather in mind, any funny stories?

A:

So what will his trial in america entail? drug trafficking?


Q:

Hi Mr Ruskin, would you please shed some light on the psychology of the people you have met UC during your investigations. Would you also talk about the motivations and behavior of the "bad" guys , did you find any patterns of similarity between them?

A:

So what will his trial in america entail? drug trafficking?


Q:

Hi Mr Ruskin, would you please shed some light on the psychology of the people you have met UC during your investigations. Would you also talk about the motivations and behavior of the "bad" guys , did you find any patterns of similarity between them?

A:

We are taking a break for the evening. I'm blessed to live really close to my grandfather so I will be back over there tomorrow after church probably around 3 central time.Thanks again for all the questions!


Q:

Allegations of that, yes.

A:

The motivation is usually greed. As is often the case with those who are not technically "bad guys." Just that in the case of the subjects I dealt with, they did not let laws interfere with their business activities. For the Malaysian Chinese heroin dealers, it was all business -- it just happened that selling heroin was immensely more profitable than selling a legit product.


Q:

Allegations of that, yes.

A:

The motivation is usually greed. As is often the case with those who are not technically "bad guys." Just that in the case of the subjects I dealt with, they did not let laws interfere with their business activities. For the Malaysian Chinese heroin dealers, it was all business -- it just happened that selling heroin was immensely more profitable than selling a legit product.


Q:

Thank you for your service! Have you met any Presidents? If so, what were they like?

A:

sorry for bombardment of questions and i know you will answer this as a glass half full defense attorney but do you really think he stands a chance? isn't the evidence from the prosecution quite heavy?


Q:

Hi I'm interested in becoming a special agent. I am a 23 year old male with a degree in pr and a national guard Intel officer. I plan on either getting a master's in international relations or a law degree. My other plan to be competitive is just volunteering to get orders overseas. Any advice?

A:

sorry for bombardment of questions and i know you will answer this as a glass half full defense attorney but do you really think he stands a chance? isn't the evidence from the prosecution quite heavy?


Q:

Hi I'm interested in becoming a special agent. I am a 23 year old male with a degree in pr and a national guard Intel officer. I plan on either getting a master's in international relations or a law degree. My other plan to be competitive is just volunteering to get orders overseas. Any advice?

A:

He has a lot to say about this question... does anybody know if I can record him answering this and post it?


Q:

If I had a dollar for everytime I was asked that question -- and the client walked out of court a free man. He absolutely has a chance.

A:

The law degree would be the way to go. Makes you more competitive. Not so for the MSIA.


Q:

If I had a dollar for everytime I was asked that question -- and the client walked out of court a free man. He absolutely has a chance.

A:

The law degree would be the way to go. Makes you more competitive. Not so for the MSIA.


Q:

First, Thanks for your service. I'm an Army vet with only one deployment. Secondly, thanks for your service to us, the veterans.

How have the changes in behavioral/mental health treatments changed over the years? One of my doctors told me I have you all to thank, and it made me curious on the stigmas of BH/MH. It's already bad now, but I couldn't imagine it back then.

Also, have you told your stories yet? It's important to document this stuff just for records. There may come a day where people try to discredit or devalue what you have done and the sacrifices you and your brothers made. There also may come a day where we need to learn from past experiences instead of blindly trudging forward. I guarantee if you contact any AFN or public relations thing, they'd be more than willing to do a story, but they'd also be willing and wanting to hear yours. (I used to to work in that field and we loved vet stories)

A:

so.... assuming he walks a free man would he still be a wanted man in mexico?


Q:

[deleted]

A:

so.... assuming he walks a free man would he still be a wanted man in mexico?


Q:

[deleted]

A:

I don't think behavioral or mental health effects everybody. The only ones you hear about are the ones who go crazy and make the news. You don't hear any stories about me. Because I had my wife and children and went right to work. If you come out and have something to do I think that helps when you come out with nothing to do it will get to you. I don't think they've invested enough in the mental health for those who needed it.


Q:

He has six cases to deal with here first.

A:

We would coordinate with the National Police and Intel Services of the host country. Exchange info on international cases and work together. In Europe it was all very formal and proper. Me: "Can you provide bank info on a suspected Wall Street fraudster?" etc. The receive a report two week later to pass on to the NYO (New York Office). Now in Paraguay, it was different. I'd be bouncing in an unmarked car with locals, a revolver tucked into my waistband.


Q:

He has six cases to deal with here first.

A:

We would coordinate with the National Police and Intel Services of the host country. Exchange info on international cases and work together. In Europe it was all very formal and proper. Me: "Can you provide bank info on a suspected Wall Street fraudster?" etc. The receive a report two week later to pass on to the NYO (New York Office). Now in Paraguay, it was different. I'd be bouncing in an unmarked car with locals, a revolver tucked into my waistband.


Q:

These days you have military worship, while back in the Vietnam days you had military hate... Is the current state of affairs concerning the military OK with you, or do you feel like there should be a middle ground?

A:

oh. will you be representing him for each? or is that up to him ultimately to decide?


Q:

You don't look Asian, how did you infiltrate a Chinese gang?

A:

oh. will you be representing him for each? or is that up to him ultimately to decide?


Q:

You don't look Asian, how did you infiltrate a Chinese gang?

A:

No I think it's fine right now. Cause they turn around take these guys over to Afghanistan and people cheer them when they leave and cheer them when they come back home.


Q:

One at a time. We aren't there yet.

A:

As the nephew of imprisoned Mexican cartel boss Gil Sandoval. His fellow inmate, Bing Gong Yong, serving life for kidnapping and murder, ran his heroin organization from inside prison. Gil was pretending to run his cocaine business, with me as his trusted lieutenant. And we wanted to expand into the heroin business. And so it went....


Q:

One at a time. We aren't there yet.

A:

As the nephew of imprisoned Mexican cartel boss Gil Sandoval. His fellow inmate, Bing Gong Yong, serving life for kidnapping and murder, ran his heroin organization from inside prison. Gil was pretending to run his cocaine business, with me as his trusted lieutenant. And we wanted to expand into the heroin business. And so it went....


Q:

How did you decide to go into private criminal defense? If you had to pick a different legal practice, what would it be?

A:

Obligatory "Have you ever shot someone?" question.

But seriously, since you spent a long time in undercover operations, is it really a thing for an agent to be "in too deep" that they begin to turn or sympathize with the groups they've infiltrated?


Q:

How did you decide to go into private criminal defense? If you had to pick a different legal practice, what would it be?

A:

Obligatory "Have you ever shot someone?" question.

But seriously, since you spent a long time in undercover operations, is it really a thing for an agent to be "in too deep" that they begin to turn or sympathize with the groups they've infiltrated?


Q:

It was the only thing that hit me between the eyes -- and heart. My main skill is beating up bullies on the stand -- perhaps I would sue people for sexual harassment claims or other workplace abuses and civil rights issues. But criminal law is really my true love.

A:

First, I was in one shootout, in Buenos Aires of all places, Intervening in a carjacking while off duty. First (documented) shooting by an FBI Agent outside the U.S. No one was killed, and it's not like in the movies. Not like I had imagined. Take my word for it, once was enough. I did not like being shot at. And I'm impressed, all the time, by our combat men and women in arms, more now than ever. And yes, a UC can be to deep, that's why the Bu (as we call it) had the Undercover Safeguard Unit. To monitor and protect UCs. Check out MIPORN, with UC Pat Livingston, to see what can happen to a UC who spends too much time on the dark side.


Q:

It was the only thing that hit me between the eyes -- and heart. My main skill is beating up bullies on the stand -- perhaps I would sue people for sexual harassment claims or other workplace abuses and civil rights issues. But criminal law is really my true love.

A:

First, I was in one shootout, in Buenos Aires of all places, Intervening in a carjacking while off duty. First (documented) shooting by an FBI Agent outside the U.S. No one was killed, and it's not like in the movies. Not like I had imagined. Take my word for it, once was enough. I did not like being shot at. And I'm impressed, all the time, by our combat men and women in arms, more now than ever. And yes, a UC can be to deep, that's why the Bu (as we call it) had the Undercover Safeguard Unit. To monitor and protect UCs. Check out MIPORN, with UC Pat Livingston, to see what can happen to a UC who spends too much time on the dark side.


Q:

About the El Chapo case: what kinds of things are you allowed to say to the media/public regarding the case and what do you need to keep secret? How do you decided/strategize what you can say and when?

A:

Thanks for answering!

I know usually that's not a great question to ask a lot of people in these positions because usually having to shoot at someone isn't ideal.

And having read up a little on Livingston, I can understand how integrating into that kind of lifestyle be dangerous. But do you think it's still likely for that to happen in other kind of organizations like the right-wing terrorist group you mentioned? Or is it more complex than people realize?


Q:

About the El Chapo case: what kinds of things are you allowed to say to the media/public regarding the case and what do you need to keep secret? How do you decided/strategize what you can say and when?

A:

Thanks for answering!

I know usually that's not a great question to ask a lot of people in these positions because usually having to shoot at someone isn't ideal.

And having read up a little on Livingston, I can understand how integrating into that kind of lifestyle be dangerous. But do you think it's still likely for that to happen in other kind of organizations like the right-wing terrorist group you mentioned? Or is it more complex than people realize?


Q:

I don't discuss trial strategy with the media unless I want the strategy to be released, obviously. I can discuss the case in general but there are various security measures put into place by the government and ordered by the judge that would prevent me from stating all that much.

As for my ultimate strategy, a lot depends on the evidence in the case. Not sure what I need to do -- until I see all that the government has.

A:

My friend Mike G. infiltrated many Aryan Nations type organizations, and came out psychologically unscathed. To do this sort of work, one needs a fairly unusual skill set and personality make up. That's why the Bu's UC Safeguard Unit is so important.


Q:

I don't discuss trial strategy with the media unless I want the strategy to be released, obviously. I can discuss the case in general but there are various security measures put into place by the government and ordered by the judge that would prevent me from stating all that much.

As for my ultimate strategy, a lot depends on the evidence in the case. Not sure what I need to do -- until I see all that the government has.

A:

My friend Mike G. infiltrated many Aryan Nations type organizations, and came out psychologically unscathed. To do this sort of work, one needs a fairly unusual skill set and personality make up. That's why the Bu's UC Safeguard Unit is so important.


Q:

Thanks for doing this. I got two questions:

  1. What are the dirtiest tactics you've seen prosecutors try to pull off (trying to win off really pedantic technicalities, ignore lots of stuff in literature, time bombing, judge-shopping, making things overly convoluted (especially when cross-examining witnesses), etc.)?

  2. How do you successfully fight against these types of things, especially when you feel the judge/jury is leaning towards them and not you?

A:

Have you ever been close to dying before?


Q:

Thanks for doing this. I got two questions:

  1. What are the dirtiest tactics you've seen prosecutors try to pull off (trying to win off really pedantic technicalities, ignore lots of stuff in literature, time bombing, judge-shopping, making things overly convoluted (especially when cross-examining witnesses), etc.)?

  2. How do you successfully fight against these types of things, especially when you feel the judge/jury is leaning towards them and not you?

A:

Have you ever been close to dying before?


Q:

Putting on witnesses they knew were lying -- happened in Gotti non-stop.

Trying to disqualify me for no good, legal reason.

As for fighting it, you just have to not give in or up and crush their evidence. No matter how hard a judge tries to stop a defense lawyer, we don't give up and roll over. Never.

A:

In the Buenos Aires shootout, there was a minor miracle. The shooter, on the back of a motorcycle, fired one round into my Ford Escort's windshield, I returned fire. Later, the locals found, a few yards from my car, the magazine (clip) from his 9mm Glock. Full of ammo. After he fired the first round, the one already chambered, the magazine fell out. Either it was not properly seated, or he inadvertently depressed the release. Had that not happened, he could -- would -- have sprayed 15+ rounds into my windshield, and you wouldn't be AMAing me today.


Q:

Putting on witnesses they knew were lying -- happened in Gotti non-stop.

Trying to disqualify me for no good, legal reason.

As for fighting it, you just have to not give in or up and crush their evidence. No matter how hard a judge tries to stop a defense lawyer, we don't give up and roll over. Never.

A:

In the Buenos Aires shootout, there was a minor miracle. The shooter, on the back of a motorcycle, fired one round into my Ford Escort's windshield, I returned fire. Later, the locals found, a few yards from my car, the magazine (clip) from his 9mm Glock. Full of ammo. After he fired the first round, the one already chambered, the magazine fell out. Either it was not properly seated, or he inadvertently depressed the release. Had that not happened, he could -- would -- have sprayed 15+ rounds into my windshield, and you wouldn't be AMAing me today.


Q:

Yeah man, I had that happen to me and I kept appealing. The administrative judge knew she was wrong in what she let them do to me 100% -- I could see it in her eyes, she even didn't let me present my evidence or argue against it. :/

The beef got settled off the books, but it still makes me angry sometimes that the bullshit judge got away with with what she did no reprecussions.

A:

what's something that was considered standard operating procedure when you started, but was changed by the time you left?


Q:

Yeah man, I had that happen to me and I kept appealing. The administrative judge knew she was wrong in what she let them do to me 100% -- I could see it in her eyes, she even didn't let me present my evidence or argue against it. :/

The beef got settled off the books, but it still makes me angry sometimes that the bullshit judge got away with with what she did no reprecussions.

A:

what's something that was considered standard operating procedure when you started, but was changed by the time you left?


Q:

Very frustrating for anyone in the system who has to deal with that kind of garbage.

A:

This may not be exactly what you're asking about, but addresses the issue of changing times as they affect UC work. When I started, I carried a real tape recorder, reel-to-reel. A Nagra or a Mini-Nagra. If the bad guys found it....Now recording devices are all digital, nothing to worry about, they can be disguised as anything. On the other hand, in those days there was not internet. As long as you did a decent job crating your fictitious ID, you were relatively safe as to your alias. Now there is Google, and if it looks like Alex Perez did not exist until two months ago, you've got problems.


Q:

Very frustrating for anyone in the system who has to deal with that kind of garbage.

A:

This may not be exactly what you're asking about, but addresses the issue of changing times as they affect UC work. When I started, I carried a real tape recorder, reel-to-reel. A Nagra or a Mini-Nagra. If the bad guys found it....Now recording devices are all digital, nothing to worry about, they can be disguised as anything. On the other hand, in those days there was not internet. As long as you did a decent job crating your fictitious ID, you were relatively safe as to your alias. Now there is Google, and if it looks like Alex Perez did not exist until two months ago, you've got problems.


Q:

What is ur most proud moment in legal career?

A:

Which Mafia family, and what decade?

Which movie that ISN'T Donnie Brasco were your experiences most like?

What's your favorite mob movie?

Who should play you if there is a movie about your experiences?


Q:

What is ur most proud moment in legal career?

A:

Which Mafia family, and what decade?

Which movie that ISN'T Donnie Brasco were your experiences most like?

What's your favorite mob movie?

Who should play you if there is a movie about your experiences?


Q:

Hmm. Great question. When I walked outside to face the press after Gotti's verdict -- and after no one believing that I could win but me for over a year -- I had just finished crying inside the courthouse. I knew then that there was nothing I couldn't do in the courtroom. Knowing that I could call my father afterward and make HIM proud was an incredible moment for me.

A:

Genovese, around 2005, in Queens and Long Island. Couldn't watch an episode of The Sopranos for years after that op. Favorite mob film: Goodfellas based on Nicholas Pileggi's book. They got it right.


Q:

Hmm. Great question. When I walked outside to face the press after Gotti's verdict -- and after no one believing that I could win but me for over a year -- I had just finished crying inside the courthouse. I knew then that there was nothing I couldn't do in the courtroom. Knowing that I could call my father afterward and make HIM proud was an incredible moment for me.

A:

Genovese, around 2005, in Queens and Long Island. Couldn't watch an episode of The Sopranos for years after that op. Favorite mob film: Goodfellas based on Nicholas Pileggi's book. They got it right.


Q:

At what point of legal career, a lawyer can say that, "YES I can stand in this world alone and take on this world head to head"(especially in a career like legal practice) When was ur moment of such feeling?

A:

Cool. Goodfellas is my favorite too. I would recommend "Find Me Guilty" and "Rob The Mob" as some lesser-known ones.


Q:

At what point of legal career, a lawyer can say that, "YES I can stand in this world alone and take on this world head to head"(especially in a career like legal practice) When was ur moment of such feeling?

A:

Cool. Goodfellas is my favorite too. I would recommend "Find Me Guilty" and "Rob The Mob" as some lesser-known ones.


Q:

In every single case I have I get that feeling. It's the government, the FBI, prosecutors, society and even the judge against us sometimes. We're all alone out there, the only thing between our client and doom. It's a pretty sobering feeling.

A:

Duly noted. Infernal Affairs/The Departed are great and really hit home for a UC. Reservoir Dogs I saw when I was doing a lot as Alex Perez, and it was a chilling reminder of the risks.


Q:

In every single case I have I get that feeling. It's the government, the FBI, prosecutors, society and even the judge against us sometimes. We're all alone out there, the only thing between our client and doom. It's a pretty sobering feeling.

A:

Duly noted. Infernal Affairs/The Departed are great and really hit home for a UC. Reservoir Dogs I saw when I was doing a lot as Alex Perez, and it was a chilling reminder of the risks.


Q:

How often you come around honest prosecutors or wrongly convicted person?

A:

What's the closest you've come to being uncovered?

Also have you ever had any near death experiences?


Q:

How often you come around honest prosecutors or wrongly convicted person?

A:

What's the closest you've come to being uncovered?

Also have you ever had any near death experiences?


Q:

There are many honest prosecutors. One of the prosecutors in Chapo's case I have known for 25 years and I trust her completely.

Wrongly convicted people: define 'wrongly convicted.' Do you mean actually innocent or denied a fair trial? Less of the former, many of the latter.

A:

There were a few times. Once, in RUNDMV, I was chatting with a few subjects - we were friends already - in the lobby of Yonkers DMV when a subject from COMMCORR walked in. I extricated myself, close call. Then there was that shootout in Buenos Aires....


Q:

There are many honest prosecutors. One of the prosecutors in Chapo's case I have known for 25 years and I trust her completely.

Wrongly convicted people: define 'wrongly convicted.' Do you mean actually innocent or denied a fair trial? Less of the former, many of the latter.

A:

There were a few times. Once, in RUNDMV, I was chatting with a few subjects - we were friends already - in the lobby of Yonkers DMV when a subject from COMMCORR walked in. I extricated myself, close call. Then there was that shootout in Buenos Aires....


Q:

Sorry should have been much more clear..i meant former

A:

Why do so few Wall Street bankers go to jail?


Q:

Sorry should have been much more clear..i meant former

A:

Best advice to prospective agents?


Q:

It happens, no question. Those are the cases in which I feel the most pressure.

A:

They can afford the best lawyers.


Q:

It happens, no question. Those are the cases in which I feel the most pressure.

A:

Get a law or accounting degree, work out regularly, and don't post anything online that can come back to haunt you.


Q:

Your American Greed episode was fantastic. :) Where's Bill Mastro today, and has there been blow back by the baseball card insiders towards your exposing their fraud?

A:

Best advice to prospective agents?


Q:

Your American Greed episode was fantastic. :) Where's Bill Mastro today, and has there been blow back by the baseball card insiders towards your exposing their fraud?

A:

Why do so few Wall Street bankers go to jail?


Q:

Mastro got out of prison recently; based on his new-found religious zeal, I am guessing he is washing the feet of lepers and figuring out ways to pay back all the people he robbed. (as if)

Many people resented me years ago and now for exposing Mastro's fraud simply because they themselves were profiting from the fraud. The baseball card hobby is filled with degenerates, especially the self-described leaders of the hobby. Numerous auction house owners have criminal records and this is the last refuge for them in order to make -- and steal -- a buck. Fraudsters, drug dealers, you name it, those are the leaders of the hobby.

A:

Get a law or accounting degree, work out regularly, and don't post anything online that can come back to haunt you.


Q:

Mastro got out of prison recently; based on his new-found religious zeal, I am guessing he is washing the feet of lepers and figuring out ways to pay back all the people he robbed. (as if)

Many people resented me years ago and now for exposing Mastro's fraud simply because they themselves were profiting from the fraud. The baseball card hobby is filled with degenerates, especially the self-described leaders of the hobby. Numerous auction house owners have criminal records and this is the last refuge for them in order to make -- and steal -- a buck. Fraudsters, drug dealers, you name it, those are the leaders of the hobby.

A:

They can afford the best lawyers.


Q:

I have a good number of friends who tried to be defense attorneys, but the pressure got to all of them. The cases were long and complex and one of my buddies cracked.

I bet you have dealt with a good number of big cases, so how/what do you do to manage all the stress and pressure? (nothing incriminating of course, unless you want too vent then go ahead, let it all out)

A:

Hey! Thanks for doing the AMA. How'd you get started in your field?


Q:

I have a good number of friends who tried to be defense attorneys, but the pressure got to all of them. The cases were long and complex and one of my buddies cracked.

I bet you have dealt with a good number of big cases, so how/what do you do to manage all the stress and pressure? (nothing incriminating of course, unless you want too vent then go ahead, let it all out)

A:

Hey! Thanks for doing the AMA. How'd you get started in your field?


Q:

It's very simple. Do I want to succeed or fail? There's no cracking. Let's make them crack instead.

A:

When I worked for Senator Moynihan in DC, as a young legislative research assistant, I met a special agent from the DEA (it may have still been the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs - BNDD in those days). He was about to retire, and made a big impression on me -- his integrity compared to what I saw around me in the Congress. If you think the mean streets are rife with crime, the absence of ethics in Washington was staggering. (I'm not referring to Moynihan, who's integrity was unparalleled).


Q:

It's very simple. Do I want to succeed or fail? There's no cracking. Let's make them crack instead.

A:

When I worked for Senator Moynihan in DC, as a young legislative research assistant, I met a special agent from the DEA (it may have still been the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs - BNDD in those days). He was about to retire, and made a big impression on me -- his integrity compared to what I saw around me in the Congress. If you think the mean streets are rife with crime, the absence of ethics in Washington was staggering. (I'm not referring to Moynihan, who's integrity was unparalleled).


Q:

How you handle the hatred of people especially who claim to be victims of ur client?

A:

Hi Marc, I know this isn't exactly your area of expertise, but is there a real "X-Files" type of department within the FBI? Or is that just purely for entertainment purposes?


Q:

How you handle the hatred of people especially who claim to be victims of ur client?

A:

Hi Marc, I know this isn't exactly your area of expertise, but is there a real "X-Files" type of department within the FBI? Or is that just purely for entertainment purposes?


Q:

I don't. I ignore it. I obviously have empathy for an victim of a crime but I can't let it take my focus away from what I need to do for my client.

A:

If it existed, I would have heard about it. I got around a fair bit throughout the organization. It would have been a challenge: UC infiltrating the Alien Community!


Q:

I don't. I ignore it. I obviously have empathy for an victim of a crime but I can't let it take my focus away from what I need to do for my client.

A:

If it existed, I would have heard about it. I got around a fair bit throughout the organization. It would have been a challenge: UC infiltrating the Alien Community!


Q:

What was The Game like?

A:

Would it be possible for the people with integrity to lose control of the organization, and if so, what would be signs that this might have happened, that the public might notice?


Q:

What was The Game like?

A:

Would it be possible for the people with integrity to lose control of the organization, and if so, what would be signs that this might have happened, that the public might notice?


Q:

Very laid back, very smart. Encyclopedic knowledge of college basketball.

A:

It is hard to imagine a scenario where leaders with integrity lose control of the Bu. There would have to be "rogue agents," a virtually impossible situation to develop. On the other hand, where there to be leaders at the top with questionable integrity, or absence of independence from political pressure, then there would be a real problem. Signs to look for would be apparently unsubstantiated investigations conducted against critics of those in high places, or conversely, the shutting down of investigations targeting those in high places.


Q:

Very laid back, very smart. Encyclopedic knowledge of college basketball.

A:

It is hard to imagine a scenario where leaders with integrity lose control of the Bu. There would have to be "rogue agents," a virtually impossible situation to develop. On the other hand, where there to be leaders at the top with questionable integrity, or absence of independence from political pressure, then there would be a real problem. Signs to look for would be apparently unsubstantiated investigations conducted against critics of those in high places, or conversely, the shutting down of investigations targeting those in high places.


Q:

Is your client guilty?

A:

Greettings Marc Ruskin. Were there any instances where you had to compromise your principles, and were there any time that you had to turn in a bad guy who genuinely became your friend whilst you were undercover?


Q:

Is your client guilty?

A:

Greettings Marc Ruskin. Were there any instances where you had to compromise your principles, and were there any time that you had to turn in a bad guy who genuinely became your friend whilst you were undercover?


Q:

How can he be guilty when he has yet to have his trial? Only a jury can render someone guilty.

A:

No, I did not compromise my principles, and was never pressured to do so. If there was a gray area, I'd talk it out with the case agent or supervisor. And yes, there were times were I had become friends of sorts, and the subjects were ultimately arrested. Particularly in RUN DMV, in the early nineties. (Young UCs can be too eager to succeed, as I was, and as was my fellow UC in the TURKEY CLUB UN OP, with the mob, years later). Afterwards, I resolved to keep it strictly business. My attitude: "You've got friends, I've got friends -- I don't need more friends, I do need more money. I'm here to do business."


Q:

How can he be guilty when he has yet to have his trial? Only a jury can render someone guilty.

A:

No, I did not compromise my principles, and was never pressured to do so. If there was a gray area, I'd talk it out with the case agent or supervisor. And yes, there were times were I had become friends of sorts, and the subjects were ultimately arrested. Particularly in RUN DMV, in the early nineties. (Young UCs can be too eager to succeed, as I was, and as was my fellow UC in the TURKEY CLUB UN OP, with the mob, years later). Afterwards, I resolved to keep it strictly business. My attitude: "You've got friends, I've got friends -- I don't need more friends, I do need more money. I'm here to do business."


Q:

Sure sure, but just between us, did he commit the crimes that he's been charged with?

A:

Have you even been forced into a situation where you had to get drunk, or take drugs to keep your cover going? How do you deal with situations where you might have to "party"?


Q:

Sure sure, but just between us, did he commit the crimes that he's been charged with?

A:

Have you even been forced into a situation where you had to get drunk, or take drugs to keep your cover going? How do you deal with situations where you might have to "party"?


A:

My attitude would be "I'm here to do business. Make money. I'll party when I get back to Miami." My line was often that I lived in Miami, doing deals all over the U.S. and overseas. By being elusive about where I was at any given time, I could avoid situations where a subject would want to meet right away. "Sorry, won't be in New York until next week." Ie. not until we've had time to plan it out and make it as safe as possible.


A:

My attitude would be "I'm here to do business. Make money. I'll party when I get back to Miami." My line was often that I lived in Miami, doing deals all over the U.S. and overseas. By being elusive about where I was at any given time, I could avoid situations where a subject would want to meet right away. "Sorry, won't be in New York until next week." Ie. not until we've had time to plan it out and make it as safe as possible.


Q:

Agreed. Someone should get this Chapo bloke a pardon

A:

[deleted]


Q:

Agreed. Someone should get this Chapo bloke a pardon

A:

[deleted]


A:

I'm pretty sure Ivan Boesky and Mike Milliken were indicted, and I believe they served time. It happens, but you're right, not enough. Leaving tens of thousands of senior in poverty after stealing their savings is worse than pretty much any crime I dealt with.


A:

I'm pretty sure Ivan Boesky and Mike Milliken were indicted, and I believe they served time. It happens, but you're right, not enough. Leaving tens of thousands of senior in poverty after stealing their savings is worse than pretty much any crime I dealt with.


Q:

Isn't it unethical to show up and discuss clients like that here (or any other media platform)?

A:

What is the best way for a criminal to secure and leverage the best deal in exchange for assistance in an investigation? What's the highest level of crime you've seen essentially forgiven in exchange for such help?


Q:

Isn't it unethical to show up and discuss clients like that here (or any other media platform)?

A:

Madrid, 1983-1985. A short bald man with a coat walks very fast. Suddenly, licks a stamp and fixes it to a traffic light. A child looks at it. He keeps walking with his mother, and looks back. Another man, tall, with a coat, walks fast crossing the street in the same direction as the bald man.

5 years later that child sees a documentary on tv. It was a method spies used in the cold war to go to a meeting. That memory came to my mind like a flash. I've never seen anything about stamps, spies and meetings again.

Still not sure if the memory is completely real, or I modified something (a stamp? I'm sure that he glued something unusual to that traffic light), or even if it was the imagination of a child. But I share it with you. I'm not sure. Does it sounds feasible to you?


Q:

No. I'm not divulging privileged info or discussing improper subjects.

A:

In SUNBLOCK, a UC op targeting a Malaysian Chinese global heroin importation and distribution investigation, I was posing as the nephew of Gil Sandoval (not his true name, of course), the head of a Mexican cocaine cartel in the eighties, serving "natural life" with no hope of parole. One the most interesting and challenging cases of my career. At the end, I testified on his behalf at the re-sentencing hearing. Altogether he must have served about 18 years. For a long time, our lives were in each others hands. A slip up by me, and a shiv in the back for Gil. A slip up by him, and I'd be going to a UC meet with a melancholy end.


Q:

No. I'm not divulging privileged info or discussing improper subjects.

A:

What you describe would be common tradecraft to signal that a meet is still on, that all is safe. The signal could be a chalk mark on a wall, anything that would not attract the attention of those not in the know.


Q:

What famous case do you wish you would have been hired to handle?

A:

Thanks for doing this AMA! My question is:

As an active military member transitioning out soon, I have always wanted to work as a special agent and work on domestic cases. I already have a TS SCI done through a SSBI from the FBI for my current job. Could this help me with the application process and what is the best way to contact for setting up an interview?


Q:

What famous case do you wish you would have been hired to handle?

A:

What is the best way for a criminal to secure and leverage the best deal in exchange for assistance in an investigation? What's the highest level of crime you've seen essentially forgiven in exchange for such help?


Q:

Hmmmm.....I know there have been a few because on occasion I get pissed off that I am not hired for a case which to me seems perfect for my style. Off the top of my head I'm not sure I can think of any. When Bernie Madoff got arrested I was glad I didn't get that one.

A:

Your background sounds great. With your clearances, you've already been vetted once, and emerged as trustworthy. You'll need to apply to take the written test, but keep in mind that is years since I went through the process. You'll need to check the website for your local FBI office, and speak to a recruiter there. Good luck!


Q:

Hmmmm.....I know there have been a few because on occasion I get pissed off that I am not hired for a case which to me seems perfect for my style. Off the top of my head I'm not sure I can think of any. When Bernie Madoff got arrested I was glad I didn't get that one.

A:

In SUNBLOCK, a UC op targeting a Malaysian Chinese global heroin importation and distribution investigation, I was posing as the nephew of Gil Sandoval (not his true name, of course), the head of a Mexican cocaine cartel in the eighties, serving "natural life" with no hope of parole. One the most interesting and challenging cases of my career. At the end, I testified on his behalf at the re-sentencing hearing. Altogether he must have served about 18 years. For a long time, our lives were in each others hands. A slip up by me, and a shiv in the back for Gil. A slip up by him, and I'd be going to a UC meet with a melancholy end.


Q:

How long do you think Anthony Weiner will be sentenced for? How long do you WANT him sentenced for? :D

A:

How do you feel about the portrayal of the FBI in pop-culture?

Also, did you ever flaunt the fact that you were an agent? Not for anything nefarious, just to see how people react. Let's face it. It's a pretty bad ass job!


Q:

How long do you think Anthony Weiner will be sentenced for? How long do you WANT him sentenced for? :D

A:

Thanks for doing this AMA! My question is:

As an active military member transitioning out soon, I have always wanted to work as a special agent and work on domestic cases. I already have a TS SCI done through a SSBI from the FBI for my current job. Could this help me with the application process and what is the best way to contact for setting up an interview?


Q:

A year or so.

Hmmm. That's a hard question to answer (excuse the pun). I want him to get what he deserves.

A:

Agents are for the most part very nice guys and gals, with great humor. NOT like in the films at all. And we did not flaunt it. I would tell people that I was an attorney, and leave it at that. A friend from San Juan, Bob B., would tell people he worked for Social Security (he never had a follow-up question!). It's not the kind of job you want everyone to know you're doing. Just a matter of discretion. And if one person in your building finds out (as happened to me in San Juan), then the whole building knows.


Q:

A year or so.

Hmmm. That's a hard question to answer (excuse the pun). I want him to get what he deserves.

A:

Your background sounds great. With your clearances, you've already been vetted once, and emerged as trustworthy. You'll need to apply to take the written test, but keep in mind that is years since I went through the process. You'll need to check the website for your local FBI office, and speak to a recruiter there. Good luck!


Q:

Are you ever afraid of what may happen to you if you don't win the trial?

A:

Madrid, 1983-1985. A short bald man with a coat walks very fast. Suddenly, licks a stamp and fixes it to a traffic light. A child looks at it. He keeps walking with his mother, and looks back. Another man, tall, with a coat, walks fast crossing the street in the same direction as the bald man.

5 years later that child sees a documentary on tv. It was a method spies used in the cold war to go to a meeting. That memory came to my mind like a flash. I've never seen anything about stamps, spies and meetings again.

Still not sure if the memory is completely real, or I modified something (a stamp? I'm sure that he glued something unusual to that traffic light), or even if it was the imagination of a child. But I share it with you. I'm not sure. Does it sounds feasible to you?


Q:

Are you ever afraid of what may happen to you if you don't win the trial?

A:

How do you feel about the portrayal of the FBI in pop-culture?

Also, did you ever flaunt the fact that you were an agent? Not for anything nefarious, just to see how people react. Let's face it. It's a pretty bad ass job!


Q:

Never. I'm mostly afraid of how shitty I will feel if I lose.

A:

What you describe would be common tradecraft to signal that a meet is still on, that all is safe. The signal could be a chalk mark on a wall, anything that would not attract the attention of those not in the know.


Q:

Never. I'm mostly afraid of how shitty I will feel if I lose.

A:

Agents are for the most part very nice guys and gals, with great humor. NOT like in the films at all. And we did not flaunt it. I would tell people that I was an attorney, and leave it at that. A friend from San Juan, Bob B., would tell people he worked for Social Security (he never had a follow-up question!). It's not the kind of job you want everyone to know you're doing. Just a matter of discretion. And if one person in your building finds out (as happened to me in San Juan), then the whole building knows.


Q:

Great song!

A:

The FBI have always been protreyed in media as always wearing black suits no matter what.

Is this true in real life FBI?

Or do you dress differently sometimes.


Q:

Great song!

A:

Which FBI TV show/movie/series do you consider the most (or somewhat) accurate in your opinion?


Q:

Listen to Jimmy's solo. Is there anything better?

A:

The black suits are for Die Hard and Men In Black. Its a popular stereotype, and just that. Just as the stern visages and absence of humor.


Q:

Listen to Jimmy's solo. Is there anything better?

A:

TV: Wiseguy. Film: The Infiltrator, Infernal Affairs, The Departed.


Q:

What made you and El Chapo "click"?

A:

What is the typical budget for an investigation, and what is the largest budget you've seen?


Q:

What made you and El Chapo "click"?

A:

The FBI have always been protreyed in media as always wearing black suits no matter what.

Is this true in real life FBI?

Or do you dress differently sometimes.


Q:

Similar senses of humor :) And he saw how badly I want to win and fight for my clients. He listens to everything and is a great judge of character.

A:

There is not typical budget, really. The case agent, the agent running the show, drafts a Proposal, which includes a budget (I drafted one once, for a case that I later was the UC in, and my RUN DMV case agents then handled that part of the op)s. It's a comprehensive undertaking. Big cases have to be approved at FBIHQ, with DOJ input, and if approved, so is the budget. Whatever it take to get the job done.


Q:

Similar senses of humor :) And he saw how badly I want to win and fight for my clients. He listens to everything and is a great judge of character.

A:

The black suits are for Die Hard and Men In Black. Its a popular stereotype, and just that. Just as the stern visages and absence of humor.


Q:

What's your opinion on Trump's legal team and the future of his Supreme Court picks, also, the courts in general. What hope do we have if the President does not get control of these courts?

A:

What are the best ways to figure out if someone is lying to you in a face to face conversation?

Also, are you any good at poker?


Q:

What's your opinion on Trump's legal team and the future of his Supreme Court picks, also, the courts in general. What hope do we have if the President does not get control of these courts?

A:

What is the typical budget for an investigation, and what is the largest budget you've seen?


Q:

Hard to have an idea about Trump's legal team as it changes so frequently. President Trump needs to start filling judicial vacancies asap if he hopes to make true change in America.

A:

I believe that it takes years of being lied to get to the point where you can tell. As and Asst. DA, I interrogated several 100s of subjects when I worked in the Investigations Bureau, and after being lied to a zillion times, I developed a feel for it. Very useful to me as a UC.


Q:

Hard to have an idea about Trump's legal team as it changes so frequently. President Trump needs to start filling judicial vacancies asap if he hopes to make true change in America.

A:

There is not typical budget, really. The case agent, the agent running the show, drafts a Proposal, which includes a budget (I drafted one once, for a case that I later was the UC in, and my RUN DMV case agents then handled that part of the op)s. It's a comprehensive undertaking. Big cases have to be approved at FBIHQ, with DOJ input, and if approved, so is the budget. Whatever it take to get the job done.


Q:

If Trump asked you to be his lawyer or on his WH legal team, would you?

A:

Which FBI TV show/movie/series do you consider the most (or somewhat) accurate in your opinion?


Q:

If Trump asked you to be his lawyer or on his WH legal team, would you?

A:

What are the best ways to figure out if someone is lying to you in a face to face conversation?

Also, are you any good at poker?


Q:

Wait, will I get to ride on Air Force One?

A:

TV: Wiseguy. Film: The Infiltrator, Infernal Affairs, The Departed.


Q:

Wait, will I get to ride on Air Force One?

A:

I believe that it takes years of being lied to get to the point where you can tell. As and Asst. DA, I interrogated several 100s of subjects when I worked in the Investigations Bureau, and after being lied to a zillion times, I developed a feel for it. Very useful to me as a UC.


Q:

El Chapo publicly put a bounty on President Trumps head and said some other threatening comments. Does his opinion of Trump still stand and do you think this will come out in the trial that he has threatened the POTUS?

A:

How did you make your way "in" as an undercover? It's always puzzled me how a random person can make their way into something like a NY Mafia Crime family or a big heroin organization.


Q:

El Chapo publicly put a bounty on President Trumps head and said some other threatening comments. Does his opinion of Trump still stand and do you think this will come out in the trial that he has threatened the POTUS?

A:

How did you make your way "in" as an undercover? It's always puzzled me how a random person can make their way into something like a NY Mafia Crime family or a big heroin organization.


Q:

Whatever he is alleged to have said about Trump is most likely not going to see the inside of a courtroom.

As for his thoughts on Trump, I would say he's amused by American politics. Amused with a capital A.

A:

Developing a credible scenario that allowed me to get my foot in the door would take months of planning. In SUNBLOCK, case agent Mark C. and I came up with a plan that I would pose as the nephew and trusted lieutenant of imprisoned Mexican cartel boss Gil Sandoval. I even traveled to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary and spent a day with Gil, in the visitors' hall, working on our common history, so that we could pull it off. Fellow inmates saw us embrace and talk warmly, and had no doubt that I was family.


Q:

Whatever he is alleged to have said about Trump is most likely not going to see the inside of a courtroom.

As for his thoughts on Trump, I would say he's amused by American politics. Amused with a capital A.

A:

Developing a credible scenario that allowed me to get my foot in the door would take months of planning. In SUNBLOCK, case agent Mark C. and I came up with a plan that I would pose as the nephew and trusted lieutenant of imprisoned Mexican cartel boss Gil Sandoval. I even traveled to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary and spent a day with Gil, in the visitors' hall, working on our common history, so that we could pull it off. Fellow inmates saw us embrace and talk warmly, and had no doubt that I was family.


Q:

What is El Chapo like?

A:

Are those "agent movies" realistic? If so, which ones?


Q:

What is El Chapo like?

A:

Are those "agent movies" realistic? If so, which ones?


Q:

Remember, I only judge him by what I see personally, not what is in the media.

He's incredibly smart, great memory, very funny, very curious about the world. You'd like him (for real).

A:

Recently saw The Infiltrator and was very impressed. One or two scenes were I thing the Hollywood screenwriters got out of hand (I would NEVER have allowed myself to be take to a meet blindfolded, no way). Better to blow off the meet. If Mr. Big wants to meet, we do it in a way that's safe for everybody. THAT is how real criminals behave. They're not going to jeopardize their safety to make a few dollars.


Q:

Remember, I only judge him by what I see personally, not what is in the media.

He's incredibly smart, great memory, very funny, very curious about the world. You'd like him (for real).

A:

Recently saw The Infiltrator and was very impressed. One or two scenes were I thing the Hollywood screenwriters got out of hand (I would NEVER have allowed myself to be take to a meet blindfolded, no way). Better to blow off the meet. If Mr. Big wants to meet, we do it in a way that's safe for everybody. THAT is how real criminals behave. They're not going to jeopardize their safety to make a few dollars.


Q:

Are there any special precautions or protections offered to you for representing someone who allegedly is the new Pablo Escobar? Or is there any possible danger in the fact that he's connected to an historically extremely violent cartel?

A:

Your thoughts on COINTELPRO, and on whether the organization is doing anything today that, when revealed, will be seen as being on that same level?


Q:

Are there any special precautions or protections offered to you for representing someone who allegedly is the new Pablo Escobar? Or is there any possible danger in the fact that he's connected to an historically extremely violent cartel?

A:

Your thoughts on COINTELPRO, and on whether the organization is doing anything today that, when revealed, will be seen as being on that same level?


Q:

None offered. I don't feel any danger but I wouldn't necessarily know if I was in any I suppose.

I suspect my safety is last on the list of governmental concerns.

A:

The positive consequence of COINTELPRO was the creation of the Attorney General Guidelines, which delineate in minute detail what FBI agents can and can not do. There are sections of the AG Guidelines for UC ops, and for everything else. And it is my experience that they are adhered to with near religious attention. Deviation from the Guidelines is really not tolerated. Not to say that there can't be a bad apple, but that would be the exception.


Q:

None offered. I don't feel any danger but I wouldn't necessarily know if I was in any I suppose.

I suspect my safety is last on the list of governmental concerns.

A:

The positive consequence of COINTELPRO was the creation of the Attorney General Guidelines, which delineate in minute detail what FBI agents can and can not do. There are sections of the AG Guidelines for UC ops, and for everything else. And it is my experience that they are adhered to with near religious attention. Deviation from the Guidelines is really not tolerated. Not to say that there can't be a bad apple, but that would be the exception.


Q:

I find that kinda interesting. I suppose it makes sense, since your the defense. Conversely do you know if the prosecution has any protections?

Also, thank you for your time with the AMA!

A:

Have you ever had to make an arrest out of working hours?


Q:

I find that kinda interesting. I suppose it makes sense, since your the defense. Conversely do you know if the prosecution has any protections?

Also, thank you for your time with the AMA!

A:

Have you ever had to make an arrest out of working hours?


Q:

Thank you. Yes, I'm sure prosecutors get protection when required. They have tough jobs too (sometimes).

A:

There is no such thing as normal working hours for a UC. I would return beeps (pre cellphone days) from subjects at 11:00 PM on weekends. Otherwise those alarm bells go off in the back of their mind: "how come he only works on weekdays?"


Q:

Thank you. Yes, I'm sure prosecutors get protection when required. They have tough jobs too (sometimes).

A:

There is no such thing as normal working hours for a UC. I would return beeps (pre cellphone days) from subjects at 11:00 PM on weekends. Otherwise those alarm bells go off in the back of their mind: "how come he only works on weekdays?"


Q:

(sometimes)

Ha! I like your style

A:

What I mean is like you were you going to coffee and some assface assaulted someone etc...


Q:

(sometimes)

Ha! I like your style

A:

What I mean is like you were you going to coffee and some assface assaulted someone etc...


Q:

Thank you :)

A:

Got it. The Buenos Aires shootout was on a quiet Sunday afternoon, as I drove home, contemplating which wine I'd open and what film to put on the VCR.


Q:

Thank you :)

A:

Got it. The Buenos Aires shootout was on a quiet Sunday afternoon, as I drove home, contemplating which wine I'd open and what film to put on the VCR.


Q:

Sorry for asking this question..maybe asking for tricks of trade but

What is ur basic strategy whenever you decide to take a case?

Do you adapt yourself according to situation or have a general approach in all criminal cases

Has it ever happened with you that client missed a relevant detail and in later stages of trial it came out and blew up your case..how u handle such situations?

A:

Sorry for asking this question..maybe asking for tricks of trade but

What is ur basic strategy whenever you decide to take a case?

Do you adapt yourself according to situation or have a general approach in all criminal cases

Has it ever happened with you that client missed a relevant detail and in later stages of trial it came out and blew up your case..how u handle such situations?


Q:

Basic strategy: find out everything that is being alleged against my client and find all the impeachment material on those witnesses. Add some snark. Cross examine until tears start to flow.

Yes, every case is different. As I said, they're all puzzles and each one requires a different key to unlock.

Yes, clients have screwed up cases for me, big time. I handle it by getting pissed and then making the best of it. There's no time to brood inside a trial courtroom.

A:

Basic strategy: find out everything that is being alleged against my client and find all the impeachment material on those witnesses. Add some snark. Cross examine until tears start to flow.

Yes, every case is different. As I said, they're all puzzles and each one requires a different key to unlock.

Yes, clients have screwed up cases for me, big time. I handle it by getting pissed and then making the best of it. There's no time to brood inside a trial courtroom.


Q:

What's Chapo like as a person?

A:

What's Chapo like as a person?


Q:

Funny, smart, curious, warm (really) with a great memory. Very quick mind. And has a family who really loves him.

A:

Funny, smart, curious, warm (really) with a great memory. Very quick mind. And has a family who really loves him.


Q:

What technicality are you most likely going to use to get him off since it's beyond obvious he's a criminal?

A:

What technicality are you most likely going to use to get him off since it's beyond obvious he's a criminal?


Q:

What admissible evidence have you seen with your own eyes that has convinced you his is guilty?

A:

What admissible evidence have you seen with your own eyes that has convinced you his is guilty?


Q:

I'm not at liberty to discuss since there's impending legal action.

A:

I'm not at liberty to discuss since there's impending legal action.


Q:

So? Is there a court order in place preventing you from discussing evidence?

A:

So? Is there a court order in place preventing you from discussing evidence?