by Irvin Muchnick
Concussion Inc. got a peculiar email yesterday from James Marshall, public affairs specialist for the Federal Bureau of Investigations Miami division, and media coordinator Michael Leverock.
I understand you may be looking for information about a South Florida FBI investigation, Marshall wrote. Ill see what I can do.
The FBI didnt say, but its possible that this was in response to our voicemail and fax earlier in the week to Special Agent Alexis Carpinteria, who ran the 2008 operation that arrested child pornographer and molester Roberto Caragol, on behalf of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for the Southern District of Florida.
As we wrote here on Tuesday, the Fort Lauderdale police, one of the agencies of the task force, told us they were not involved in the Caragol case. This seemed odd on its face the FBI usually shares workload and credit with local law enforcement on these Mom-and-apple-pie cases. But it was also a missed opportunity, since Caragol and Alex Pussieldi at the time worked closely on the swim coaching staff at Pine Crest School. And the Fort Lauderdale cops had a file on sex crime allegations against Pussieldi. These began with the uncontradicted claim by one of his underage foreign swimmer-tenant-wards that he kept a secret bathroom videotaping system in the house they shared with him in the early 2000s. In addition, a dossier sent to Fort Lauderdale city commissioners in 2007, and forwarded to the police and the states attorney, accused Pussieldi of maintaining a collection of his sex videos with boys.
The prosecution papers on Caragol show both that he was a swim coach and that he exploited that role for illicit assignations with underage girl and boy athletes. Caragol and Pussieldi co-coordinated Pine Crest Schools local hotel accommodation services for visiting swim meet athletes and swim campers.
So we restate again our questions for the FBI’s part in all this. Does the bureau think its good enough to perform bush-league busts of computer menacers of youth safety? Did Agent Carpinteria and her task force not have a mandate to explore the terrestrial-world employment connections of those abusers exposed for online perversity?
More broadly, do USA Swimming, local police, and Internet Crimes Against Children task forces compartmentalize their information in ways that do not effectively protect Americas youth in general, and youth athletes in particular, from sexual predators?