Murkowski: Failure to Pursue Bill Allen Sends “Awful Message”
Senator Tells FBI Director Alaskans Are “Stunned” Prosecution Is Not Going Forward
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski questioned Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Bill Mueller about the lapsed investigation of former VECO head Bill Allen on sex trafficking charges. Given the FBI’s partnership with the Anchorage Police Department in investigating the allegations against Allen, she asked Mueller if there is any reason the Justice Department has not moved forward on the case, adding “this has stunned people in Alaska who cannot understand why the Department of Justice has dropped this.”
After Mueller said he could not answer her question, she told Mueller that “the government’s failure to prosecute Bill Allen sends an awful message to other predators.” She said many in Alaska were interpreting the lack of action to mean “if you are a young woman, particularly a young Native woman, you don’t stand a chance when you have been victimized by a person of political influence and financial means.”
Mueller informed Senator Murkowski that the FBI has made certain that agents are familiar with Mann Act violations, adding “when it comes to human trafficking in Alaska, we have persons who are working hard on that. State and local law enforcement believe it’s a priority. Any young woman’s – or young man’s – life that can be saved through working with law enforcement, we want to be a participant and driver in that.”
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She had the opportunity to question Mueller during the FBI Director’s appearance before the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee.