When FBI Special Agent Micheal Weniger took the stand in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere on June 13, 2019, he made a revelation that has not been reported in the media as far as I know.
His revelation was that the FBI executed a search warrant on Emiliano Salinas’ email account, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weniger was the last witness called by the prosecution and he said under direct examination that the FBI executed the search warrant because Salinas was involved with Raniere in spying on Nxivm enemies.
Earlier in the trial, on May 14, at a special conference outside the presence of the jury, Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza specifically named Salinas as a criminal co-conspirator in the Nxivm racketeering organization.
Here is how Penza described the need to introduce Salinas’ and Raniere’s spying emails.
Penza told the judge:
Penza Calls Salinas a Coconspirator
“[T] he government is seeking to introduce those email accounts in full. One of the email accounts has under a hundred pages of documents; one of the email accounts has about 500 pages of documents. The government’s position is that these email accounts are entirely criminal and demonstrates the nature of the enterprise.
So one of the email accounts appears to have been created by Emiliano Salinas, who the government alleges is a coconspirator….
[W]hat these email[s] as a whole demonstrate is [a] covert mission to gather … financial information on individuals who they believed were enemies of NXIVM.”
The judge agreed to allow the Salinas emails into evidence.
FBI Agent Describes How They Found Salinas’ Emails
When, nearly a month later, Weniger was called to the stand, he described how he came to find out that Salinas was involved in spying on Nxivm enemies.
On the day following Raniere’s arrest in March 2018, the FBI conducted a search of the home of Nancy Salzman at 3 Oregon Trail in Clifton Park, New York. There, the FBI found a box with file folders with labels and names on the top of the folders. Inside the box, there were documents that purported to contain financial information for individuals, including emails from an email account, email@example.com.
The FBI determined that this email account was utilized in order to acquire banking information on enemies in an illegal manner.
Weniger Reveals the Search of Salina’s Email Account
Here is the relevant part of Weniger’s testimony on June 13. He is being questioned by Penza:
Weniger: Again, we reviewed all of the information within the box. And once we determined that there was some type of connection between the banking information and the electronic e-mail addresses, we requested and received search warrants for two specific e-mail addresses.
Penza: And what were those two e-mail addresses?
Weniger: One being firstname.lastname@example.org, the other being email@example.com.
Q And those are already in evidence as Government Exhibit 1399 and Government Exhibit 1401, respectively?
Q And did you receive search warrant returns from those two accounts?
A We did.
Q And did you personally review those returns?
A I did.
Q Were you able to determine the primary users of those accounts?
Q Can you explain?
A So, for firstname.lastname@example.org, the subscriber that was actually listed was an individual by the name of Emiliano Salinas, who was part of the Defendant’s [Raniere] inner circle.
Where is Salinas Now?
This is certainly not a joke for Salinas. Indeed, it might be something even his powerful father, the former president of Mexico, Carlos Salinas may not be able to extricate him from.
I previously reported that Salinas would leave Mexico, potentially to avoid extradition. Sources said he planned to go to Cuba. The Mexican media, following my story, revealed his alleged plans nationwide.
Salinas did indeed leave Mexico and went to the UK. There he posed for a picture which was posted by a friend on Instagram. His whereabouts now are uncertain.
The testimony of Weniger shows that the FBI spent a lot of time on Salinas. Penza, the lead prosecutor in the case, said explicitly that Salinas is a co-conspirator in Nxivm and a member of Raniere’s inner circle.
Will Salinas be Indicted?
Unlike other members of Raniere’s inner circle – Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, Allison Mack, and Kathy Russell – Salinas has not been charged with any crimes yet.
However, the investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected. It is not known if Salinas will be among those charged with the next wave of indictments.
He may pose happily for Instagram but the smile may be less than genuine. It is unlikely that he knows whether or not he will be indicted.
Sources tell me that his father is working with his associates in the so-called Arizona Mafia – a group of well connected Democrats from Arizona – to try to stave off an indictment for his son with the main office of the DOJ in Washington DC.
But in Brooklyn they are looking hard at all aspects of the Nxivm racketeering organization and Salinas was specifically mentioned in court by prosecutor Penza and Weniger, the lead case agent.
Weniger Is an Attorney as Well
For those who don’t know about FBI Special Agent Weniger, who testified about the search of Salinas’ email account, Weniger has been employed by the FBI for nine years. He usually works on cases involving civil rights, hate crimes and occasionally human trafficking.
Before coming to the FBI, he was an officer in the United States Army. An attorney, Weniger served in the Advocate General’s Corps, also known as the U.S. Army JAG Corps. It is the legal arm of the United States Army.
Weniger was involved in the criminal investigation into Raniere and his Nxivm organization since October, 2017, he said on the witness stand.
Along with Special Agent Michael Lever, and NYS Investigator Charles Fontanelli, Weniger was the case agent assigned to the case, handling the day-to-day of the investigation; dealing with or interacting with the United States Attorney’s Office, conducting surveillance, executing search warrants, executing arrests, receiving records, reviewing records, interviewing witnesses, finding witnesses.
One of the search warrants led them to Salinas.
In our next post, we will look at who Salinas and his master, Keith Alan Raniere, considered their enemies and spied, or attempted to spy on, trying to illegally gather banking information.
We will also examine the deceptive way they used their email accounts to try to “skew” [as FBI Special Agent Weniger said] who was searching whom.
It is a very interesting plot and some of the enemies’ names may surprise you.