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DEA Leadership Blasted In Report On Student Left In Cell For Days

Michele Leonhart

By Ryan Reilly
Huffington Post

WASHINGTON – The leadership of the Drug Enforcement Administration comes under fire in a report issued by the Justice Department Office of the Inspector General on the near-death of a college student left in a holding cell for five days. The review finds that DEA leadership “violated Department of Justice and DEA policy” and delayed a proper investigation into the incident by not reporting it to the inspector general’s office immediately.

While a summary of the IG report on Daniel Chong’s hellish ordeal while in the custody of the DEA had previously been released, a redacted version of the full report was just released to The Huffington Post in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The report indicates that DEA Deputy Administrator Thomas Harrigan planned to discuss the situation with Administrator Michele Leonhart in the days after the incident. DEA leadership subsequently made a decision to have a review conducted by a district attorney instead of immediately reporting the incident to the Justice Department inspector general’s office as it should have.

“DEA management’s decision to conduct a management review instead of ensuring that the matter was promptly referred to the OIG was troubling,” the report stated

To read full story click here.

Off-Duty FBI Agent Gets in Shootout to Avert Attempted Kidnapping in California

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty FBI agent got into a shootout Wednesday with a man accused of an attempted kidnapping at a gym in southern California, leading to a wild pursuit by police, NBC Los Angles reports.

The FBI agent, who was wearing gym clothes, intervened in an attempted abduction at an LA Fitness parking lot in the San Fernando Valley when the shootout occurred.

“We had an FBI agent who was here on personal business. He witnessed what he believed to be a suspect attempting to kidnap a female victim, and a shooting occurred,” said Robert Clark, Los Angeles FBI assistant special agent in charge.

The suspect, who authorities believe was struck in the shootout, fled in a car, leading police on a 15-minute pursuit, sometimes driving in the opposite direction on Coast Highway with a windshield riddled with bullets.

The man bailed from the car and curled up on his side while SWAT members surrounded him.

He was taken into custody.

Accused Murder, Rapist Who Was on FBI’s Most Wanted List Is Captured in Mexico

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of the FBI’s 10 most wanted fugitives was captured in Mexico and taken into custody Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports that José Manuel García Guevara was taken to Louisiana, where he is accused of breaking into a 26-year-old woman’s home, raping her and then fatally stabbing while her 4-year-old stepson was nearby on Feb. 19, 2008.

Guevara was taken to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he is wanted on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated rape and aggravated battery.

Guevara was the 499th person to join the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list when he was added last year.

Founder of FBI’s Art Crime Team to Speak About Thefts in Iowa

Photo from www.robertwittmaninc.com

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team was once called “a living legend” by the Wall Street Journal for his work tracking down thieves.

The Des Moines Register reports that Robert Wittman, who now works as a private investigator, plans to speak during an Aug. 14 visit to the Des Moines Art Center, which is hosting a series of events about art crimes.

Wittman estimates he’s recovered more than $300 million in stolen art.

“But the money’s not important. It’s the cultural history,” Wittman, now a Philadelphia private investigator, said.

Wittman plans to discuss his 20-year FBI career, which included tracking down paintings by Monet, Picasso and Rembrandt.

USA Today Column: Tough Immigration Rules Backfire, Keeping Migrants Inside US or Locking Them Out

Alex Nowrasteh
USA Today

President Obama’s recent request for billions of dollars to address the surge in unaccompanied children across the U.S.-Mexico border has ignited fierce criticism. Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas blame Obama’s supposedly lax enforcement policies. Democrats blame the surge on a humanitarian crisis in Central America.

While both narratives bear some truth, both miss how our immigration restrictions and border enforcement have created the current mess.

Migration from Central America and Mexico used to be circular. Migrants would come for a season or a few years to work, move back home, then return to the USA when there was more work. This reigned from the 1920s to 1986, when Congress passed the more restrictive Immigration Reform and Control Act. Before 1986, when circular migration was in effect, 60% of unauthorized immigrants on their first trip here would eventually settle back in their home countries rather than in the United States, and 80% of undocumented immigrants who came back on a second trip eventually returned home.

Since 1986, the rate of return for first-time border crossers has fallen to almost zero. The return rate of second-time crossers has fallen to a mere 30%. What happened? In the mid-1980s, the government began spending massive resources to stop unauthorized immigrants from coming in the first place. By trying to keep them out, increases in border security locked them in.

To read more, click here.

Woman Files Federal Lawsuit Against Border Patrol Agent, Saying He Sexual Assaulted Her

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A woman who was captured after illegally crossing the Mexico border into the U.S. has filed a federal lawsuit against a Border Patrol agent, accusing him of sexually assaulting her at least twice while she was in restraints on a hospital bed, the Associated Press reports.

The agent was guarding the woman at a South Texas hospital where she underwent two surgeries after she was injured in Border Patrol custody.

The alleged victim said her constitutional rights were violated.

The agent, who has not been identified, had been on administrative leave before a grand jury declined to indict him. His status with the agency is unclear.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Federal Review: FBI Lab Rife with Forensic Flaws in 1980s, 1990s

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Justice Department have found serious problems at the bureau’s lab that raise serious questions about the guilt or innocence of several thousand people who have been convicted, the Washington Post reports.

The investigation began after the Washington Post exposed flawed evidence two years involving microscopic hair matches.

“I don’t know whether history is repeating itself, but clearly the [latest] report doesn’t give anyone a sense of confidence that the work of the examiners whose conduct was first publicly questioned in 1997 was reviewed as diligently and promptly as it needed to be,” said Michael R. Bromwich, who was inspector general from 1994 to 1999 and is now a partner at the Goodwin Procter law firm.

The review of the cases was halted last year, the FBI said, because of a “vigorous debate that occurred within the FBI and DOJ about the appropriate scientific standards we should apply when reviewing FBI lab examiner testimony — many years after the fact.”

The investigations resumed this month.

“Working closely with DOJ, we have resolved those issues and are moving forward with the transcript review for the remaining cases,” the FBI said.

Some Children Rescued in Sex Trafficking Ring Were Never Reported Missing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some of the 168 children who were rescued from a sex trafficking ring last month were never reported missing, the New York Post reports.

The children, as young as 11, were found in hotel rooms, truck stops and homes.

But some were never reported missing, a big concern for child welfare advocates.

Part of the problem, the advocates say, is that the U.S. needs a standardized approach to report missing children. Some states, for example, also don’t require agencies to alert the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.

Some states also lack laws requiring the reporting of missing children.

Legislation pending in Congress would require both.