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Homeland Security Official Who Investigated Prostitution Scandal Accused of Hiring Prostitute

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 
A federal investigator in charge of a prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service in 2012 has stepped down after surveillance allegedly caught him with a prostitute in Florida, the New York Daily News reports.
 
Homeland Security investigator David Nieland resigned Aug. 9, ostensibly for health reasons. But federal officials said Nieland wouldn’t discuss the allegations against him before stepping down. 

According to investigators, Nieland was seen in a building that was under surveillance for prostitution. A prostitute eventually identified Nieland as a client.

Nieland was the lead investigator probing the 2012 scandal in which Secret Service agents were accused of bringing back hookers to their hotel rooms in Columbia.


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FBI Reaches 1M Followers on Twitter, Continues to Combat Crime with Social Media

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI announced Tuesday that it has reached 1 million followers on Twitter.

That’s quite an achievement for a federal agency that uses social media to help capture suspects, locate missing children and warn of dangers.

 


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Rob 2 or More Banks in California And You Get a Nickname Courtesy of a Special Agent

File photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Plain Jane Bandit. Gone Plaid Bandit. Grandma Bandit.

Anyone who robs two more more banks in Los Angeles gets a nickname, Vanity Fair reports.

The idea is to help people keep track of the numerous bank robbers that are on the loose.

The practice began in the 1980s when Los Angeles was nicknamed “The Bank Robbery Capital of the World.”

The man who gets to nickname the robbers is Special Agent Steve May, the bank robbery coordinator for the bureau’s Southern California territory.

May names every robber and then adds the monickers in a database.

Other Stories of Interest



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CNN: U.S. Increasing Security at More Than 9,500 Federal Buildings

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the wake of the attack in Canada, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he’s ordering more security for more than 9,500 federal government buildings, CNN reported.

CNN reports that Johnson said the new security measures are a precautionary guard against “continued public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere” after two attacks last week on Canada’s government.

To read more click here.


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College Friend of Suspected Boston Marathon Bomber Convicted of Lying to FBI Task Force in Boston Marathon Probe

Robel Phillipos

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After an eight-day trial, a Boston federal jury Tuesday convicted a college friend of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, of making false statements to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Robel Phillipos, 21, of Cambridge, Mass., was found guilty of making false statements on April 20 and April 25 in 2013. Sentencing is set for next Jan. 29.

“In the wake of one of the most significant events in this City’s modern history – an event which left two young women and a child dead, and many more injured – thousands of ordinary citizens assisted law enforcement in identifying and locating the perpetrators,” Boston U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in a statement. “Today, a federal jury concluded that Robel Phillipos did just the opposite. He lied to agents when he could have helped. He concealed when he could have assisted. It is a crime to lie to law enforcement agents, and that is why Robel Phillipos was charged and why the jury found him guilty today. But this case also reminds us that our public safety network relies on every citizen in the Commonwealth.

A Justice Department press release stated the following:

In August 2014, Dias Kadyrbayev pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice charges related to the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. Kadyrbayev admitted to removing evidence from Tsarnaev’s dormitory room at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and discarding Tsarnaev’s backpack with fireworks, some of which appeared to have been emptied of their explosive powder, in a garbage dumpster. In July 2014, Azamat Tazhayakov was found guilty by a federal jury in Boston of obstruction of justice charges for his role in impeding the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. His conduct was related to the same conduct as charged against Kadyrbayev that occurred in Tsarnaev’s dormitory room on the evening of April 18, 2013.

At the Phillipos trial, the government proved that Phillipos lied about his knowledge and activities on the evening of April 18, 2013. Specifically, Phillipos repeatedly lied to investigators when he denied that, on the evening of April 18, 2013, he entered Tsarnaev’s dormitory room and saw Kadyrbayev remove a backpack containing fireworks.

According to evidence presented at trial, at 7:00 p.m. on April 18, 2013, Phillipos saw the images released by the FBI of the two suspected bombers and immediately recognized one of them as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. At 10:00 p.m., Phillipos went with Tazhayakov to Tsarnaev’s dormitory room where he and Tazhayakov watched, as Kadyrbayev searched through Tsarnaev’s belongings and found a backpack containing fireworks. When Kadyrbayev, Tazhayakov and Phillipos left Tsarnaev’s room at 10:30 p.m., Kadyrbayev removed Tsarnaev’s backpack containing fireworks, a jar of Vaseline, and Tsarnaev’s laptop computer. Later that night while Tazhayakov and Phillipos were monitoring the manhunt for the Tsarnaevs on television, Kadyrbayev discussed getting rid of the backpack containing the fireworks with them. Tazhayakov agreed with Kadyrbayev that they should get rid of it. After this conversation, Kadrybayev placed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s backpack in a garbage bag and placed it in a dumpster outside their New Bedford apartment. The FBI recovered the backpack a week later, after 30 agents spent two days searching a landfill in New Bedford.

Between April 19, 2013 and April 26, 2013, Phillipos was interviewed five times by investigators conducting the Boston Marathon bombing investigation and during each of those interviews Phillipos lied. At the conclusion of the fifth interview, Phillipos finally admitted that he did go into Tsarnaev’s dormitory room on the evening of April 18, 2013 and that he saw Kadyrbayev remove evidence from Tsarnaev’s room. After he confessed, Phillipos indicated he regretted his decisions. In his signed statement, Phillipos stated: “In retrospect, I should have notified the Police once I knew Jahar was the bomber. Further, I should have turned over the backpack to the authorities.”

 


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Attorney General Eric Holder Tells Thousands of Cops That Many Departments Need to Address Community Tension and Trust

Attorney General Eric Holder in Orlando

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ORLANDO, Fla. — Eric Holder delivered his last speech as Attorney General on Monday before the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Orlando. He’s stepping down from the job.

During his speech before thousands of law enforcement folks, Holder mentioned Ferguson, Mo., and the need for police to address the issues of tension and mistrust between the community and the police departments.

“As our nation’s Attorney General, I have always been proud – and steadfast – in my support for law enforcement personnel and their families, who make tremendous and often unheralded sacrifices every single day to keep us safe.

“These sacrifices are too often overlooked. And I believe we do ourselves, our communities, and our nation a grave disservice if we ignore these difficulties – just as we do ourselves a disservice if we dismiss, or fail to address, the conditions and lingering tensions that exist just beneath the surface in so many places across the country – and that were brought to the surface, and raised to the urgent attention of this group and others, by this summer’s events in Ferguson, Missouri. ”

“As law enforcement leaders, it is incumbent upon each of us to take constructive, inclusive steps to rebuild trust and instill respect for the rule of law in all of the communities where these tensions are uncovered.”

Holder was touching on a sensitive subject. While cops understand the tensions in the community, they often feel misunderstood, and  that the challenges they face in policing are glossed over when it comes to addressing such issues.

Holder, who didn’t deliver the speech with a lot of passion, is also seen as a surrogate for President Obama. And frankly, a fair amount of folks in law enforcement aren’t in love with the president.  I had a former federal agent tell me that the following day.

In fact, a video message from President Obama was played Monday before thousands of law enforcement officers. Obama said he was grateful for the jobs they do and the sacrifices they make.

When the video ended, there was polite applause, but it was clear the clapping was not done with a lot of love.

It’s an important issue Holder talked about. And addressing that issue can help the community and police departments.

Hopefully, some of the cops can appreciate the message and not worry about who delivered it.

 


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New York Times’ Retro Report: Ruby Ridge: American Standoff


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Seattle Times Outraged After Discovering FBI Created Bogus News Site to Capture Suspect

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI created a bogus Seattle Times web page and posted a fake news story in an attempt to plant software on the computer of a juvenile suspected of making bomb threats at a high school in 2007, the Seattle Times reports.

The discovery by the ACLU was revealed on Twitter and comes less than a month after the FBI revealed it created a fake Facebook account using a real person and photos.

Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist for the ACLU, said the creation of bogus news site could result in “significant collateral damage to the public trust” if the FBI continues the practice.

Documents show that the FBI attributed the story about bomb threats to the Associated Press.

Once the juvenile clicked on the link, the software sent his location and Internet Protocol information to investigators.

The Seattle Times expressed outrage.

“We are outraged that the FBI, with the apparent assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, misappropriated the name of The Seattle Times to secretly install spyware on the computer of a crime suspect,” said Seattle Times Editor Kathy Best.

“Not only does that cross a line, it erases it,” she said.

“Our reputation and our ability to do our job as a government watchdog are based on trust. Nothing is more fundamental to that trust than our independence — from law enforcement, from government, from corporations and from all other special interests,” Best said. “The FBI’s actions, taken without our knowledge, traded on our reputation and put it at peril.”


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