GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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December 8, 2009

Intel expert? Armed offender? EMT's background shows contrasts

Tracing EMT's background shows trail of contrasts

ROCKPORT — The part-time emergency medical technician facing charges for storing an anti-tank rocket launcher among a cache of other weapons, has been cited by Forbes.com, Business Week and other publications as a telecommunications expert focused on global intelligence and "surveillance countermeasures."

Records also show that, in April 2007, James M. Atkinson, of 31R Broadway, provided written testimony for a U.S. House committee for an investigation into the U.S. Coast Guard's Deepwater program to replace or upgrade virtually all of its ships, planes and helicopters.

And David Rome, who owns the Easy Ship & Pack shop in the Cape Ann Marketplace, verified yesterday that — contrary to initial police reports — mailbox (Suite) 291 is a business address registered to Granite Island Group, Atkinson's security consulting firm.

But there is no record of Granite Island Group registered with the state's Corporation Division and several links listed on the group's Web site to government Web sites, such as the CIA and National Security Administration, don't work.

Attempts to verify Atkinson's claims with the NSA were unsuccessful yesterday.

A number of links on his Web site send people to the correct Web pages for the FBI, CIA and U.S. Department of Justice, but Rockport Police, who've been unable to find any past criminal record for Atkinson, are awaiting word from various federal agencies pertaining to Atkinson's claims.

Atkinson has been suspended without pay from Rockport's Ambulance Department pending the outcome of the charges.

The charges

The 47-year-old was arrested Dec. 1 on charges of larceny over $250 by a single scheme and obstruction of justice after he promised to deliver over $32,000 in surveillance equipment to a Switzerland-based gas turbine business but never delivered the goods even after the money was deposited into his account.

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