Suneel: FBI Agents Seized Camera Card & Hard Drive First; But ‘Discovered’ Value as Evidence Last

Western Digital hard drive - the same model that the FBI seized from Keith Raniere's library.

After publishing Wake up, Suneel; Raniere Lied About His Baby Son & Mother, not surprisingly, I heard from Suneel Chakravorty almost immediately. Here is what he had to say:

By Suneel Chakravorty

Oh, here’s a coincidence, Frank, I bet you did not know. Although I doubt that you’ll care since your bias is patently against Keith Raniere.

Did you know that the two single most important pieces of evidence that were used to convict Keith Raniere – the camera card and the hard drive, the latter which supposedly contained the child porn pics of Cami- and the former which was used to prove he took the pictures – those same two items that were held for months by FBI agents – without being turned in (11 months for the camera card and 4.5 months for the hard drive), just happened to be the first two pieces of evidence seized by the FBI?

Think about that.

This wasn’t happenstance. It’s not like these devices were waiting just inside the front door at 8 Hale

8 Hale Drive was raided by FBI agents on March 27, 2018 [Photo: Albany Times Union]
FBI agents raided the townhome at 8 Hale Drive on March 27, 2018, two days after Raniere was kidnapped in Mexico and deported to the USA to waiting FBI agents.

8 Hale Drive was known as Raniere’s Executive Library.

When they came to the townhome, the FBI agents did not start searching every square inch – starting from the door. Instead, they made a beeline to the second floor, went under a desk, and found the camera bag, containing the camera and camera card.

Then, like homing pigeons, went straight to the bookshelf, bypassing other devices they would later seize, to grab the Western Digital hard drive — that just ended up having the Cami photos.

In their beeline process, they passed other electronic items and hard drives, which they later collected before returning again underneath the desk, where they started, to collect a 14th item, a another [a LaCie] hard drive.

Odd that they would go under the desk and take only the camera card and not take the LaCie hard drive, then go right to the bookshelf and take the Western Digital hard drive [the two critical pieces first] then go about hither and yon seizing various items, then return to under the desk and take the LaCie.

How coincidental that they happened upon the critical evidence first, but evidence that was not really useful until just before the trial?

It is no coincidence more likely. This shows FBI agents knew what they were looking for in advance. Otherwise, how would you know to run upstairs and look under a desk?

The testimony of FBI Special Agent Christopher Mills, who was part of the raid of 8 Hale Drive, examined by AUSA Tanya Hajjar, on June 10, 2019, at the trial of Keith Raniere, is evidence that the hard drive and camera/card were found first.

 

AUSA Tanya Hajjar

Q Now, showing you Government Exhibit 502-A-32, can you describe what this photograph depicts?

A Sure. So the there’s a note there with the number one. So, number one represents evidence item number one. So, in this case, this photo was taken underneath the desk or table and was assigned number one based on being the first evidence item that was found….

Q I’m going to show you, Agent Mills, what’s marked as Government’s Exhibit 520 and 524. Have you seen these exhibits?

A Yes.

Q What are these?

A So, this camera here is the camera that was inside the bag of the item identified as item number one and then this is the card found inside of this camera.

A Canon camera EOS 20D

 

A photo of a Lexar camera card similar to the one seized at the Executive Library of Keith Raniere.

Q And Government Exhibit 520 is the camera and 524 is the card inside that camera?

A Yes.

Q Can you describe what this photograph shows?

A Yes. So this is the still of the same office space as seen before and item number two, which is on top of the bookshelf here, is a gray or silver hard drive.

Q Is there — and this is directly to the left of a white board with a lot of equations on it?

A    Yes. So the white board with the equations is to the right and the book shelf to the right with the hard drive to the left….

Q Can you describe what this photograph shows?

A Yes. So this is the still of the same office space as seen before and item number two, which is on top of the bookshelf here, is a gray or silver hard drive.

Q Is there — and this is directly to the left of a white board with a lot of equations on it?

A: Yes.

Q I show you what’s been marked for identification as Government Exhibit 502. Showing you what’s marked for identification as Government Exhibit 503. Do you recognize this exhibit?

A Yes.

Q What is it?

A This is a hard drive. The brand is, I believe, Western Digital.

Q Is there a serial number on that exhibit?

A Yes. It is WCAS81365334.

Western Digital hard drive – the same model that the FBI seized from Keith Raniere’s library.

***

This shows that the agents had to navigate to a place where they had never been and went directly to the spot where their two best pieces of evidence which they were to ultimately use were found.

None of this might be significant or suspicious if they knew what that evidence was and, therefore, went there first.

But if we are to believe the FBI, they did not. They did not find out about the child porn being on the hard drive until 11 months after they seized it when the FBI “discovered” it by surprise.

On February 21, 2019, FBI Special Agent Michael Lever “found” images of Camila, allegedly under the age of 18, on the Western Digital hard drive that they unerringly went to, bypassing other hard drives, during the original raid and the same hard drive that case agents declined to turn over to Evidence Control for months – even though the FBI protocol manual requires them to turn it over in 10 days.

With this belated discovery, to quote Frank Parlato, “Now, the case was no longer a case of mainly white, affluent, middle-class, educated, intelligent adult victims, who in almost anybody’s book would never be classified as victims. Now the case was about the exploitation of a child, incapable of consent.”

Here’s the receipt of items seized, called an FD-597 form, showing the order of items comports with Mills’ sworn testimony:

Receipt of the items seized at 8 Hale Drive shows that the Canon EOS 20D camera was the first item seized, yet the camera card allegedly inside was held back for 11 months.

Coincidence or corruption?

The whole reason for the search and seizure was that 8 Hale Drive was allegedly a den of “sex trafficking” and likely had collateral.

The government would have likely known that Raniere didn’t take the nude photographs that were used as collateral, but that others took them, so why would they have gone for his camera and camera card first?

How many coincidences does it take to equal a fact (of tampering)?

How many strange coincidences, Frank, are you prepared to ignore before it equals a fact that your confirmation bias has made you willfully blind?

 

 

 

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Suneel Chakravorty

26 Comments

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  • The evidence Suneel alludes to concerning the discovery of two key items of evidence is not altogether that surprising: the FBI were undoubtedly tipped off about these items by a person or persons very close to Raniere who knew:
    (a) about the camera and card’s exact location
    (b) that the specific hard drive contained a vast array of incriminating photos, videos and other evidence going back years

    It seems to me quite obvious such a person or persons tipped off the Feds shortly after Raniere’s arrest – they no longer felt threatened! They may well also have had a hand in facilitating Raniere’s apprehension, what Suneel describes as ‘kidnap’.

    Again, given the massive amount of data to go through, it is hardly surprising it took so long to find the photo and fully realize its significance; this would have been an extremely painstaking and psychologically challenging task for the investigators involved, all credit to them.

    I would concur with others who have pointed out that this evidence was only tangential in both Raniere’s conviction and sentencing. To assert that it prejudiced the jury in any significant way is frankly absurd; there was enough evidence from witness testimony and innumerable other exhibits to convict him a thousand times over on all counts.

  • Suneel-

    You certainly love the word “coincidence” and used it a whopping six times.

    I’m sorry to inform you that your coincidences don’t prove anything.

    Is it a coincidence that multiple women claim Raniere raped them?

    Maybe you should look up the definition of coincidence.
    ***

    Is it a coincidence that Niki Clyne took a shine to you when she needed a place to stay? I’m kidding of course — it wasn’t a coincidence, LOL, she needed a place to stay.

    Seriously, look up the definition!

  • Suneel-

    If you were serious about getting Keith off, you’d hire better experts. You must feel so conflicted. If Keith gets out, you lose Nicki.

    Have you been charging Keith a fee to be his executor and quasi trustee, Mmmh?

    I wonder when you and Nicki will start spending Keith’s money. 😉

  • FBI search warrant is for digital image paraphernalia in a sex trafficking case involving digital images used as blackmail.

    FBI goes up to home office first. You know, where people usually keep their computers and thumb drives and stuff.

    Instead of what, ransacking the kitchen? Looking under the sofa cushions? Digging up the flowerbed?

    Yeah, definitely suspicious.

    First place I’d look for someone’s digital images is at his y’know, digital camera. The one people told me he had taken pictures of them with.

    And we’re supposed to find something suspicious here. Some kind of corruption and misconduct.

    This bullshit is the best the Dead-Enders can do to argue their felon cult leader is innocent. This is all they’ve got.

  • More than one serial killer was caught over a parking ticket or a traffic violation.

    Those serial murderers still went to prison.

    These ramblings prove nothing.

    You were better off just alluding to having proof.

    Now there is no doubt that ya got nothing.

    Legally, it’s very Ill-advised to reveal your strategy on a blog. It’s such a bad move.

    That means that Raniere’s attorneys know that they have no case.

    Otherwise, they would save it for a legal filing and the courtroom.

    It’s been years. This was a massive, sprawling criminal case. It spanned decades. Hundreds of people were directly involved.

    And you do realize that Keith is but one criminal in that jurisdiction that the justice system was dealing with, right?

    These piddly nothings that you’ve “detected” are impressive. But not for the reasons that you believe.

    It is incredible that the prosecution and law enforcement did such an exemplary and outstanding job of bringing the crimes of Keith Raniere to justice.

    So no matter how long you continue your porcine snuffle through the detritus that is left behind from Keith’s poorly lived criminal life – these “truffles” that you feel you’ve uncovered – have no real value, legally.

    This was a widely watched and much scrutinized criminal case. Some of the best and brightest legal minds were tasked with seeing it through. A jury of peers was convened.

    The overwhelming conclusion was guilty.

    It’s over.

    Keith lost.

    And as far as criminal cases go – it was handled deftly. Transparently. And under the many eyes of a very large watchful audience.

    Many, many eyes were on this case. If there were legitimate mistakes that favored Keith – than they would have been exposed by now.

    It’s over.

    Keith lost.

  • Here’s a thought, Suneel. Maybe one of your own DOS members tipped the FBI off about the camera/hard drive. Ever think about that? See. We can all come up with theories, but it’s not proof. You have failed at doing what you claim-showing factual proof.

  • If the defense needed more time and could justify the need for more time to assess the validity of the prosecution evidence, they could have made a motion. And had a hearing to review the evidence and time needed to assess the evidence. But the defense did not.

    Could it be they asked their client? Was this your camera? Did you take the picture? Is the date correct?

    And moved on to more fruitful defense positions?

    Suneel, are you an agent for a porn site? A NXIVM folder on PORNHUB would get lots of clicks, especially if you can get a discussion going on if the pictures were or were not under coercion. Were they smiling? Was she 15? Is there a scar? Have the photos been edited?

    Keep trying, Harvard Boy! You too can go to prison. But I doubt your first pod boss will be KAR. And he is not the Grand Pod Boss.

  • Is Suneel’s business failing? Did his partner have enough of his pedophile ramblings that they ended their partnership? If I was them, I would distance myself from Suneel as quickly as possible.

  • “How many coincidences does it take to equal a fact (of tampering)?

    How many strange coincidences, Frank, are you prepared to ignore before it equals a fact that your confirmation bias has made you willfully blind?”

    That’s a question that can be asked of 96% of the commenters on this blog. They are willfully blind for everything else than what they already believe.

    I guess that’s why we have attorneys and prosecutors and courts and judges.

    And when those fail us?

    It is truly the blind leading the blind.

    Alanzo

    • I wander what Karen De La Carriere is doing right now? Whatever it is, it’s not sitting at the local library to write a blog no one reads.

    • Agnifilio is a seasoned lawyer. If there was suspicion in the timing between the hard drive seizure and discovery, why wasn’t that part of the mounted defense? Why wasn’t that examined thoroughly on cross?

  • Let us, for funnies, imagine the delusions of Suneel all come true. Magic happens and the FBI goes “Yep, we did it! We faked those pictures! Just something we decided to do one day. We are so awesome at using technology at faking photos but that Exif data was just too much for us to handle. Suneel is a freaking genius. Vanguard already told us he can’t wait to make him king shit of NXIVM and will assign Clyne as his personal slave. She can’t wait.” (Remember, this is Suneel’s fantasy). The world even decides that Suneel’s definition of “morals” is your behavior is only immoral if you are caught and convicted in a way Suneel finds acceptable.

    Last week gives an excellent explanation of why there should be no concern that Keith Raniere will be set free despite Suneel’s fantasies. It’s not a feel-good piece. It points out that the system has huge problems, most of which as always comes down to ego of a people at key positions, but the main point is getting off even with irrefutable evidence is incredibly difficult.

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpYYdCzTpps

    • “Vanguard already told us he can’t wait to make him king shit of NXIVM and will assign Clyne as his personal slave. She can’t wait.” (Remember, this is Suneel’s fantasy).

      Man, I smell desperation in you.

      Either you are a slobbering horndog for Nicki Clyne, or you are intentionally distracting off of the facts that Suneel presented here regarding the sequence of the FBI’s search.

      Maybe it’s a little of both. Do you have your own “prurient interest” in the pictures of Nicki Clyne here on the Frank Report, Erasend?

      Is that why you keep coming back?

      Or are you here to insinuate, disinform, and distract from the holes in this case to keep the government’s narrative alive?

      Alanzo

      • —Man, I smell desperation in you.

        Alonzo, that’s your crusty underwear….

        Alonzo, you are incredibly melodramatic.

      • Your lack of reading comprehension continues. You repeated efforts to white knight for Clyne has not gone unnoticed.

        • Every sexual humiliation you’ve written about your “enemies” can be turned around on you, just as easily as you’ve written them. You obviously know what you’re doing when you do this – and so do I.

          Why can’t you just address the point instead of engaging in sexual humiliation of other people?

          I’ll bet I know why. Because you can’t address the point.

          Alanzo

      • EraSend 8:11-

        I love your hilarious take on Suneel’s fantasy land.

        I have a feeling I’ll be ROMFAO, when you respond to the following statement made by Alonzo to you:
        “Every sexual humiliation you’ve written about your “enemies” can be turned around on you.” -Alonzo

        WTF is crazy Alonzo talking about?!?!?

        • Was hoping others knew.

          The epic level of projection going on would be amusing if it wasn’t so bizarre, non-sensical, and places concern on his mental stability.

          Best to back away slowly and shuffle him back to the “ignore” pile.

          • I like to make comments that imply I have inside information on commenters here, no matter how erroneous, because I assume they feel intimidated and that makes me feel good.

  • What is your point? Just admit that you have no hard evidence or facts to prove ANYTHING. You are just repeating yourself over and over like a broken record. This was all known at trial, nothing has changed. Until you have something new to say, just go away

  • ‘How many strange coincidences, Frank, are you prepared to ignore before it equals a fact that your confirmation bias has made you willfully blind?’

    Suneel Chakravorty proves ALL science WRONG — CORRELATIONS ARE INDEED FACTS!!

    Sweet. My son’s Ukrainian teacher [strict and unrelenting] failed the entire class’ math homework because it was “shockingly underexplained.” The hate for her after-school detention was real — and now look what happened the very next day in her country!!

  • Suneel, it’s incredible to hear you, of all people, call out anyone else’s confirmation bias.

    You sound desperate, bro.

Frank Parlato

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Parlato,_Jr.

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com

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