Expert Witness – Trial Consultant:
Since 1990, as a civilian, I’ve been retained in more than 300 criminal and civil matters relating to the below topics. 90 percent resulting in out-of-court resolution (see details below).
1. Police Use of Force.
2. Police Procedures in Investigation of Use of Force Allegations.
3. Raid Planning & Execution.
4. Blind Mule defense; the victimization of innocent dupes as participants in crime including but not limited to acting as couriers of contraband.
5. Human Intelligence (Informants) recruitment, corroboration, management and control.
6. Law Enforcement Procedures (local and federal).
7. Due Diligence in Obtaining Probable Cause.
8. Undercover & Surveillance Tactics.
9. Entrapment by means of substandard and/or criminal undercover tactics.
10. Police Community anti-drug Tactics.
11. Domestic and International Narcotic Trafficking and Enforcement, including transportation, RICO/Conspiracy investigations, Money Laundering and other related matters.
12. Physical and Plant Security.
13. Official and Police Corruption.
14. Internal Affairs investigative procedures.
15. Police Interrogation and Interview Standards.
16. Adherence to Search-for-Truth Standards of Investigation
1973 – Present:LAW ENFORCEMENT INSTRUCTOR/LECTURER
Law Enforcement Instructor (since 1990)
I am currently retained by the US State Department as an instructor/lecturer for the Brazilian Federal Police, teaching covert investigative procedures. I have also have served as a certified Police Instructor for the State of New York, working on assignments emanating from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. In January of 2008, I authored the NY State Law Enforcement Instructional Manual “Undercover Tactics and Informant Handling,” which included training in Interdiction Investigative Tactics. This manual was translated to Brazilian Portuguese in November, 2010.
Since my retirement from the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1990, to date, I have lectured on a contractual basis for many local enforcement agencies on Human Intelligence, Undercover/Covert Operations, Narcotics Investigations [from street level to international], International Operations and more (details on request) across the United States, Canada and Australia. I served as a regular instructor of Undercover Tactics, Narcotic and Money Laundering Investigations and Informant Handling for Ontario Provincial Police Academy for 7 years.
Law Enforcement Instructor (1973-1990)
From 1973 to 1990, I was assigned co-duty as a Police Instructor in the Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Training Division, two-week narcotic investigations school offered for law enforcement agencies nationwide. The subjects of my lectures encompassed the following: UNDERCOVER TACTICS (including Use of Force as related to undercover work), INFORMANT HANDLING, RAIDS, NARCOTIC INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURES, SURVEILLANCE and UNARMED SELF-DEFENSE. The following are some of the highlights of this period of time:
1. Became a New York State Certified Police Instructor.
2. Regular DEA Instructor at the New York State Police Academy.
3. Developed a course of self-defense for plainclothes operations.
4. Received DEA Commendation for training activities.
5. Specially invited lecturer to FBI Academy, Quantico, VA, to lecture Advanced Undercover Seminar.
As a lecturer/consultant, on the subject of Undercover Tactics, Informant Handling, Narcotics Investigative Procedures and related subjects, (1990-present),I have appeared before a wide variety of audiences, from the United Nations and the World Presidents Organization to the New York City Council, and The Cato Institute. I lecture frequently at colleges and universities across the US and Canada. In 1993 I was voted the Canadian College Speaker of the Year. I have also been invited as a lecturer/consultant to international drug conferences sponsored by the French, Spanish and Dutch governments. (complete list available on request).
1993-1994 Named as member of the Mayoral and City Council Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Task Force at the special request of Mayor David Dinkins. The work of this task force resulted in new laws increasing security at the 25,000 automated teller machines in the City of New York.
Drug Bureau Chief Barnstable County, Mass. (Cape Cod) Sheriffs Department.
Drug Enforcement Administration.
During this period, I was considered one of DEA’s top Undercover/Deep Cover and international narcotic trafficking specialists. I was charged with design and orchestration of some of the government’s most significant national and international Deep Cover and conspiracy investigations.
Some of my international RICO and Conspiracy investigations were considered among the most significant in drug war history (see publications) and were recently featured on the History Channel’s “Twentieth Century.”
DEA Positions held:
1. Country Attaché, Argentina and Uruguay. 1979 – 1982 I was the senior US law enforcement officer in the Southern Cone;
2. Special Operations Officer, worldwide
3. Inspector of DEA field Operations, worldwide, Office of Professional Responsibility;
4. Desk Officer, Cocaine Desk and Heroin Desk, DEA Headquarters, Washington, DC;
5. Miami Airport Supervisor, Vice President’s South Florida Task Force;
6. Instructor/Lecturer, Public Affairs and Training Office. As part of my duties I lectured federal and local law enforcement agencies on Human Intelligence (Informant Handling), Undercover & Deep Cover Tactics, Use-of-Force in plainclothes operations, Narcotic Investigations, Conspiracy and more.
7. Group Supervisor, New York City Field Division;
8. Group Supervisor, New York City Joint Federal State Task Force;
9. Acting Group Supervisor, International Group, New York City Field Division.
10. Assistant Group Supervisor FBI/DEA Task Force.
11. Acting ASAC (Division Leader), New York Field Division.
12. Liaison Officer with government of Israel.
During my career as a DEA officer, I qualified as an Expert Witness testifying as to Undercover Tactics, Controlled Delivery operations, Narcotic trafficking, Informant Handling, Organized Crime, Conspiracy, Use of Force, investigative procedures and other matters directly and/or peripherally related to violations of US Narcotic and conspiracy laws, on more than 170 occasions.
1970 – 1973
Assistant Group Supervisor,
Hard Narcotics Smuggling Division, US Customs. Also held positions of Special Agent and Special Agent/Sky Marshal.
Highlights: Deep Cover investigation in South East Asia during Vietnam conflict resulting in Special Act US Treasury Award, for taking down one of the most significant international heroin smuggling organizations of the time.
During my career as a Customs officer, I qualified as an Expert Witness testifying as to Narcotic trafficking, Informant Handling, Controlled Delivery Operations, Organized Crime, Conspiracy and other matters directly and/or peripherally related to violations of US Customs laws, informant handling and other enforcement investigative procedures on more than 25 occasions
1966 – 1970
Special Agent, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (BATF).
During my career as a BATF officer, I qualified as an Expert Witness testifying as to all matters related to weapons, narcotics trafficking, Organized Crime, Conspiracy and other matters directly and/or peripherally related to violations of laws enforced by BATF on more than 35 occasions, including but not limited to informant handling.
1965 – 1966
Special Agent, Intelligence Division of the Internal Revenue Service, OCD (Organized Crime Division)
BBA degree in Accounting with a minor in Economics, June, 1965, Hofstra University.
OTHER SIGNIFICANT TRAINING AND BACKGROUND RELATED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT:
1958 -1961 US Air Force: Military Police School Sentry Dog Handling School (K-9)
IRS Intelligence Schools Special Agent School
(Tax Fraud Investigations)
Tax Law School
US Treasury Schools Treasury Law Enforcement
BATF SchoolsATF Investigator School
Bomb Investigation and Weapon Schools
Executive Protection School.
Seminars on Crime SceneInvestigation.
Seminars on Gun Crimes.
US Customs Schools Customs Special Agent Academy
(Enforcement of all US Custom laws).
Conspiracy Investigations Seminar.
Sky Marshal Training Course.
DEA SchoolsSenior and Mid Level Management Schools,Police Instructor School
(Multiple Seminars given by various US Attorneys offices and DEA – Conspiracy/RICO).
Two seminars on money laundering investigations.
Numerous seminars on Title III investigations given by U.S Attorneys offices, as well as DEA Training Division.
Drug Related Homicide seminar.
Drug Related Death Seminar (Dr. Michael Baden).
Methamphetamine investigations seminars.
Seminars on Crime Scene investigations given by NYPD .
Intelligence Gathering Principles, (given by CIA).
Internal Security Inspectors Tng,
(given by Secret Service)
State Department Schools while in DEA:
Foreign Service Institute (foreign Diplomacy and diplomatic Spanish)
1958 – 1961 US Air Force – served as military police officer and sentry dog handler. Strategic Air Command – Base Security Division of Air Police.
I was considered one of the most decorated agents in the Drug Enforcement Administration. My awards include the Octavio Gonzalez Award, given by the International Narcotic Enforcement Officer’s, for the undercover penetration of the Roberto Suarez, Bolivian cocaine cartel; the, then, biggest case in drug war history, along with more than twenty other Justice and Treasury Department awards, and awards from foreign police agencies. (A complete list is attached).
1. Deep Cover, nonfiction, New York Times bestseller, (Delacorte Publishers, March 1990, since republished by special arrangement between the Author’s Guild and iuniverse-numerous foreign translations).
2. Fight Back , How to Take Your own neighborhood Back From the Drug Dealers (Dell Publications). Recommend reading by the Clinton Administration Drug Policy Office for communities with drug problems.
3. The Big White Lie, (Thunder’s Mouth Press), nonfiction, co-written by my wife, LAURA KAVANAU was published October, 1993 (Numerous foreign translations).
4. The Triangle of Death, also co-written with Laura Kavanau, published August, 1996 (Delacorte).
5. Contributing writer – Cato Institute Book – After Prohibition (April 2000.)
6. Contributed a chapter – Into The Buzzsaw, Edited by Kristina Borjesson. (Prometheus, March, 2002).
7. Manual for Undercover Tactics & Informant Handling, for the State of New York, Criminal Justice Services Division (December 2007).
The following is a list of publications and articles from 1993 to 2003:
1. “King Rat” by Michael Levine, article on Informant Entrapment, based on documented cases taken from the author’s experience. Published by Utne Reader, and many other venues.
2. “Going Bad” by Michael Levine, article on law enforcement corruption, based on cases taken from the author’s experience, Spin magazine and republished in numerous other venues.
3. “A Time Warner Executive Executes Cops” opinion piece published in New York Newsday, The NARC Officer, and other venues, concerning violence against law enforcement officers inspired by certain rap music pieces irresponsibly released by music company executives.
4. “The Expert Witness” published by Texas Lawyer Magazine.
5. “That Nightmare Moment” (police use of deadly force), published by the Los Angeles Times.
6. “Blind Mules-Fact or Fiction”-unwitting and/or duped participation in crime, published in Law Enforcement Executive Forum a publication of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, the University of Western Illinois.
7. “The Weakest Link” – Management responsibility for snafoos involving covert operations and informant handling, based on a presentation given to the Defense Intelligence College Southern Command, December 2008); published in Law Enforcement Executive Forum a publication of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, the University of Western Illinois.
MEDIA CONSULTANT & GUEST/EXPERT APPEARANCES:
Michael Levine has appeared as a guest/expert on the following nationally televised shows: Rivera Live, 60 Minutes, Donahue, Geraldo Rivera (both Daytime show and Rivera Live), Inside Edition Good Morning America (3 times), NBC Morning Show, CBS Morning Show, MacNeil Lehrer News Hour (interviewed by Charlene Hunter Gault), Dick Cavett (2 times), 9 Broadcast Plaza, Bill Moyers (2 times), Like It Is (Gil Noble, 2 times), Dan Rather News (several times), 20/20 (ABC), CBS Eye On America, Night Watch, Crier Report (Fox News Net), Crossfire, HBO documentary on undercover work; Arts and Entertainment Movie Undercover, and more. Most recently can be seen on the History Channel in the Mike Wallace’s “20th Century Special “Losing the Drug War.”
He has also been retained by Spelling Productions as technical consultant in a television series “Kingpin” based on Mexican drug trafficking and government corruption.
He has also appeared as an expert on various law enforcement related topics on numerous local television shows around the country including Miami, New York, Connecticut, Westchester County, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Tampa, Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Boston, Cape Cod, Portland, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Maryland, Atlanta and more. He has made guest appearances on hundreds of local and national radio shows around the country.
COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors), an organization of families of police officers killed in he line of duty.
Survivors of the Shield, an organization of families of New York City police officers killed in the line of duty.
New York State Shields (Lifetime membership).
National Organization of Police Concerns.
American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers.
Association of Former Intelligence Officers.
Association of Former Federal Narcotic Agents.
Geopolitical Drug Watch.
International Association of Narcotic Enforcement Officers.
Police One – Internet association of serving and retired law enforcement officers