Turning Sabu and the Effect of the Hacking Arrests

Anonymous is an idea, not a group. Those associated with Anonymous say they will continue despite today's arrests. They also point out that LulzSec disbanded last June. (Here's the pastebin announcement, assuming it's really by LulzSec, which it seems to be.)

As for Sabu, aka Hector Xavier Monsegur, it appears he began cooperating the night of his arrest, June 7, 2011. Fox got some firsthand information on his takedown. Now that the docket has been unsealed, I see this entry:

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge James L. Cott: Initial Appearance as to Hector Xavier Monsegur held on 6/8/2011. Deft appears with Assistant Federal Defender atty Peggy Cross. AUSA James Pastore present for the gov't. Agreed conditions of release: $50,000 PRB. Other conditions: Deft to be supervised by the FBI with respect to travel and reporting and all other issues. Deft to be released on own signature. See Sealing Order dated 6/8/11. ( Preliminary Hearing set for 7/8/2011 at 10:00 AM before Judge Unassigned.) (My emphasis)


Translation: By the time of his first court appearance the day after his arrest, Sabu had already turned.

Normally, Pre-trial Services supervises a defendant on bond. Here, the FBI was given the job, the case was ordered sealed, and the Government agreed to a personal recognizance bond.

It took until August for all the charges in other districts against Sabu to be transferred to New York for a global settlement and plea. But all have been unsealed now. He was also charged in the Central District of California, the Eastern District of California, the Eastern District of Virginia and Georgia. On August 15, he pleaded guilty:

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Loretta A. Preska: Defendant present with attorney Peggy Cross and Philip Weinstein; AUSA James Pastore and Thomas Brown also present. Defendant waives indictment and proceeds by information. The agreement is acceptable to the Court..... Plea entered by Hector Xavier Monsegur (1) Guilty as to Count 1-3,4-8,9,10,11,12., as to Hector Xavier Monsegur( Sentencing set for 2/15/2012 at 10:30 AM before Judge Loretta A. Preska.) (Hearing originally held 8/15/11)

I assume his sentencing was continued. Sabu has one more court appearance to make on March 12 -- on a non-arrest misdemeanor charge of criminal impersonation of a public servant. Seems last month he was contacted by police and he claimed to be a FBI agent.

On the evening of Feb. 3, an NYPD officer encountered 28-year-old Monsegnur at a Lower East Side apartment in New York City. When the cop asked Monsegnur for identification, the criminal complaint alleges, he replied, "My name is Boo. They call me Boo. Relax. I am a federal agent. I am an agent of the federal government.

I just checked the online docket and he is charged in Case # 2012NY014129. His first court appearance, set for disposition/sentence is March 12. I wonder why the FBI didn't go to bat for him. Or maybe they did, and without their help, he would have been charged with a more serious offense.

Barrett Brown, whose apartment was raided by the FBI today, tells the New York Times:

Mr. Brown said the arrests elsewhere would not slow down the Anonymous movement. “There are lots and lots of people here that continue to work. The F.B.I. did not really cut the head off of anything. Anonymous will go forward as usual. So will I. We hired an army of lawyers last January. We are prepared for a big slug-out.”

I think the most interesting Complaint released today is that charging Jeremy Hammond with the Stratfor hack. You can read it here (without the annoying "read inside a box" screen.) It looks like Sabu helped them identify Hammond. He was back in chat rooms by June 10, 2 days after his release on bail. In the quote below from Hammond's complaint, CW-1 is Cooperating Witness 1 and clearly refers to Sabu:

After CW-1 was arrested, in a chat via Jabber on or about June 10, 2011, at approximately 10:12 p.m., an individual using the alias "yohoh~,later identified as the defendant, told CW-1: 'I haven't been there [referring to New York City] since the RNC." FBI obtained from New York City authorities a list of all individuals who had been arrested or detained at the 2004 Republic National Convention. This information indicated that JEREMY HAMMOND, the defendant, was one of the individuals detained at the RNC in New York in 2004, although there is no record of his arrest. An FBI database check confirmed that an FBI agent interviewed HAMMOND in New York City at the time of the RNC.

While on bond, the fBI monitored Sabu's computer 24/7. I wonder how many of the "chats" he engaged in were really being typed by the FBI.

So how important will these busts be in the long run? The FBI says

“This is devastating to the organization,” said an FBI official involved with the investigation. “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.”

How is it devastating to chop off the head of a group that's been dead for nine months? CNET reports the effect may be less than expected. PC World agrees.

As for individuals associated with AntiSec and Anonymous, they are busy at work tonight. Pastebin here.

< Tuesday Night Open Thread | Joe Biden in Mexico: Legalization Out of the Question >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort: