Probable Spy Makes 'Jason Bourne' Like Escape From LAPD, Authorities Say

My thoughts on this from what I have read so far is that this is probably a contract CIA worker who accidentally had the police come to the door and fled. The CIA is trying to cover him right now through the media by saying they found a Chavez picture on the wall. What is easier to plant into a room, the 5 foot mosaic CIA symbol or a hanging picture of Hugo Chavez? The CIA is no doubt scrambling to mask their other Federal Reserve protection ops.

 

 

A room with a view to one big mystery

By Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton, Los Angeles TimesApril 30, 2010

 

It started 11 days ago when a resident at an upscale downtown L.A. high-rise tower smelled fumes coming from a neighboring apartment.

Firefighters knocked on the neighbor’s door but he refused to let them in. They called police, who broke down the door of the penthouse just as the man inside was escaping through a back window and down a fire escape carrying duffel bags.

“He escaped like Jason Bourne,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Mike Downing of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau, referring to the movie spy character.

What they found next began a weeklong mystery.

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The apartment contained sophisticated counterfeiting equipment as well as a cache of weapons including an AK-47. They also found stacks of counterfeit $100 bills totaling $15,000 and a camera tripod.

But detectives’ interest was really heightened when they looked outside the window and saw that the penthouse balcony had a spot-on view of the U.S. Federal Reserve building on Grand Avenue.

Detectives now are searching for the suspect, who leased the $3,400-a-month penthouse, paying one year in advance using stacks of cash.

Detectives are not sure what Brian Alexik, a 33-year-old New Jersey man, was up to and what role, if any, the Federal Reserve might have played in his schemes. They are not exactly sure whom they are dealing with because detectives found multiple identifications, including passports, listing different aliases for the man.

“The curiosity in this case is the strategic location in which he chose to operate,” Downing said.

Photos found at the apartment show Alexik with significantly different looks. In one photo, he’s clean-shaven, holding up a glass of wine and smiling. Another shows him somewhat heavier, with a beard and bandanna covering his forehead.

Police are now working with the U.S. Secret Service. Experts who have reviewed the counterfeit money say it’s of extremely high quality.

It appears Alexik kept to himself. The apartment manager declined to comment on the case.

The LAPD served search warrants at several downtown locations and Thursday announced the arrest of a man whom officials describe as an “associate” of Alexik. Gregory Koller, 32, was booked on suspicion of narcotics possession. Police said a search of his home and a downtown warehouse found evidence of “items consistent with manufacturing weapons.”

LAPD Capt. Steven Sambar, head of the department’s major crimes division, said there evidence was also found linking Koller to Alexik.

Detectives said they were puzzled about many aspects of the case. Sambar said it appeared that the pair were involved in weapons and drugs as well as counterfeiting — but it was unclear how large the operation was or whether it was connected to a larger criminal enterprise.

Sambar said the location of Alexik’s apartment overlooking the Federal Reserve “causes me great concern.”

The Federal Reserve bank in downtown L.A. is one of several branches of the 12th District of the Fed, which is based in San Francisco. According to the Fed’s website, the L.A. branch has 316 employees and serves financial institutions in Southern California, Arizona and southern Nevada.

The 12th District as a whole processed 17.2 billion currency notes in 2008, or about 68.4 million notes per business day. No breakdown was available for currency handled specifically by the L.A. office.

It all leaves many intriguing possibilities.

“There were many levels of criminality,” Downing said. “He’s funding a criminal enterprise. He’s dabbling in narcotics, he’s manufacturing weapons parts. But what is it? Was there a bigger plan? What was his intent? We have a lot of questions for him when he is arrested.”

 

 

 

 

April 30th, 2010

Update: Tile Mosaic Replica of CIA Emblem On Floor, Hugo Chavez Portrait Hanging Above It Via: Los Angeles Downtown News:

Tile Mosaic Replica of CIA Emblem On Floor of Brian Alexik's Apartment 

When a resident of the Reserve Lofts smelled gasoline emanating from unit 701 in the early evening of April 19, the Fire Department got a nervous call. The concerned resident couldn’t have known that the act would be the first domino to tumble, ultimately setting off an ongoing manhunt for a figure police warn should be considered armed and dangerous. When fire and police officials arrived at unit 701 shortly after 6 p.m., the man inside, 33-year-old Brian Alexik, refused to open the door. After unlocking the door with a key, the door remained blocked by a homemade contraption that functioned as a second lock. By the time police broke down the door with a battering ram, Alexik had fled his unit, apparently escaping via a fire escape.

 The source of the fumes was immediately apparent: Alexik, who police say sometimes went by the name Ken Shurin and is of Russian descent, had been using a gasoline-powered electric generator. But the generator was perhaps the least surprising thing authorities found.

 Also in the apartment was approximately $15,000 in counterfeit money and the equipment used to make it. Police officials said the fake bills were of “high quality.” Additionally, there was an AK-47, a sawed-off shotgun and other evidence that suggests Alexik was manufacturing weapon parts. He also had an array of fake identification documents.

 Other details in the apartment paint a curious if difficult to interpret portrait of Alexik. Inlaid on the floor was a handmade tile mosaic replica of the Central Intelligence Agency seal; it was about five feet in diameter. Hovering over the CIA emblem was a large, framed portrait of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

 As of Los Angeles Downtown News’ press time on April 30, the LAPD and Secret Service were still trying to track down Alexik. Capt. Steven Sambar, who heads the LAPD’s Major Crimes Division, said Alexik should be considered “very dangerous.” Three felony charges have been filed, two for possessing the AK-47 and the shotgun, and one for possessing firearms as a convicted felon.

 One Arrest

 Police seemed to get their first break in the investigation on Thursday, April 29, when they arrested 32-year-old Gregory Koller, who officials suspect has ties to Alexik. Officials served a search warrant of Koller’s residence — a converted warehouse at 38th Street and Grand Avenue — at about 6 a.m. and discovered “items consistent with manufacturing weapons,” said Sambar.

 The raid also yielded drugs including methamphetamine, and counterfeit currency, “the same items that directly link back to Alexik,” Sambar said. Koller was expected to be booked on narcotics charges, and likely faces additional charges tied to the recovered contraband, Sambar said.

 Almost two weeks after law enforcement first responded to the Reserve Lofts, many residents of the building were still wondering why dozens of police, firemen and Secret Service agents had responded en masse on April 19.

 “People are completely on edge,” said a resident who asked not to be identified because tenants had been asked by the landlord not to speak and feared retaliation.

 In the days after Alexik’s door was knocked in, an unsigned letter went up in the building elevator, asking, “What really happened on the nights of April 19 and 20 at 409 W Olympic Unit 701?” It went on to make a slate of allegations — including illegal weapons possession and counterfeiting — that police echoed in a press release more than a week later.

 Residents also noted the ironic parallels between Alexik’s alleged counterfeit operation and the 81-year-old building’s history. Converted into 78 live-work units in 2006, the building was the former Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank.

 It’s not yet clear what authorities are making of Alexik’s choice to live at the Reserve Lofts. But Commander Jose Perez, who oversees Central Bureau, pointed out that Alexik’s unit overlooks the current Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, next door at 950 S. Grand Ave.

 Perez, who is not actively involved in the investigation, termed the proximity to the active Federal Reserve location as “suspicious.”

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