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Tensions Simmer Between FBI, Other Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Over Handling of Crimes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has been quietly waging a turf battle with other federal law enforcement agencies for taking over violent crimes, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to an internal memo, FBI managers are growing more frustrated with the ATF and Homeland Security for taking over cases that the bureau believes it should handle.

“The jurisdiction encroachment by the ATF continues as a disturbing concern,” the memo distributed last month said, adding that “mission creep by HSI is an issue in an alarming number of field offices.”

Thirty of the FBI’s 56 field offices reported problems with the ATF while handling cases such as human trafficking, drugs and gangs.

FBI Director James Comey doesn’t have the same frustrations, a bureau spokesman said.

“Because some FBI authorities overlap with those of other federal agencies, challenges and conflicts inevitably arise,” Michael Kortan said. “But we have always tried to resolve those conflicts in a professional and collaborative manner, throughout the field and at headquarters, and that will continue.”


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DEA Increases Amount of Marijuana for Federal Government to Grow for Research

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government plans to significantly increase the amount of marijuana it manufactures for research.

The U.S. News reports that the DEA increased production from 46.3 pounds to 1,433 pounds.

Before making the decision, the DEA sought public comment and received one remark in favor of the production increase.

“The DEA appreciates the support for this adjusted 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana which will provide for the estimated scientific, research and industrial needs of the United States,” a Tuesday notice in the Federal Register says.

The DEA didn’t approve enough marijuana for research last year, the U.S. News reported.

“Due to the manufacturing process unique to marijuana, including the length of time and conditions necessary to propagate and process the substance for distribution in 2014, it is necessary to adjust the initial, established 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana as soon as practicable,” the DEA said. “Accordingly, the administrator finds good cause to adjust the aggregate production quota for marijuana before accepting written comments from interested persons or holding a public hearing.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST



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History Indicates Justice Department Will Have Challenge Landing Prosecution in Ferguson Shooting

Michael Brown

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What are the chances of the Justice Department landing a criminal prosecution in the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson?

It won’t be easy, the Associated Press reports.

Dozens of FBI agents are in Ferguson, interviewing potential witnesses.

The Justice Department must meet a difficult standard of proof. To prove their case, they need to convince a judge or jury that the officer acted not only with excessive force but willfully violated Michael Brown’s constitutional rights.

“It’s a very difficult standard to meet, and it really is satisfied only in the most egregious cases,” said University of Michigan law professor Samuel Bagenstos, the former No. 2 official in the department’s civil rights division. “Criminal enforcement of constitutional rights is not something that is easily pursued. It really requires building a case very carefully, very painstakingly.”

What still remains unclear is what was happening when the officer pulled the trigger.


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Tussle for FBI Headquarters: Maryland Says It Has More Bureau Employees Than Other States

FBI headquarters

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ongoing battle to land the new FBI headquarters has prompted a tussle between Maryland and Virginia about where most of the bureau’s staff actually live, the Washington Post reports.

According to a previously unreleased study from 2012 by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Maryland is the most popular home for headquarters employees.

“Based on commuting data of the Census block groups of the current FBI location, we estimate that 43.2% of current FBI headquarters employees reside in Maryland, 33.4% in Virginia and 17.4% in DC,” the report states. ” Outside of Washington DC, the largest number of commuters resides in Montgomery County (16.4%), Prince George’s County (16.3%) and Fairfax County (15.4%).”

The Washington Post reports that residency is important and could give Maryland the advantage.

But little could be gained from an income tax standpoint.

“The only way that Maryland would gain income tax revenue from FBI employees would be if they relocate from either D.C. or Virginia,” wrote the Maryland researchers, in their report. “Currently, 75 percent of workers around the FBI headquarters commute from within a 25-mile radius and would be unlikely to relocate. Very few of the current FBI workers would be likely to relocate to Maryland in the near term.”

 

 

 


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FBI Agents Association Issues Statement about Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh Who Was Seriously Injured in Car Crash

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Louis J. Freeh/adl photo

The FBI Agents Association President Reynaldo Tariche issued a statement about former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash Monday in Vermont.

“On behalf of our members – 12,000 active duty and retired FBI Agents – I want to wish former Director Freeh a speedy recovery. When Louis Freeh was FBI Director, our members knew that he was always there for us, and that he understood the challenges a Special Agent faces in their daily duties. We want Director Freeh to know that we are – and will continue to be – there for him during his recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”

CNN reported that the Vermont State Police said that Freeh was driving a GMC Yukon when it went off the road, struck a mailbox and ran over some bushes.

 


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FBI Has Potentially Damning Recording of Moment Michael Brown Shot Dead in Ferguson

Michael Brown

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents investigating the shooting death of an unarmed teen in Ferguson were handed a potentially damning recording of the encounter with an officer, the Daily Mail reports.

The audio captures at least 11 shots, with a pause after seven of them.

“There sounds like a pause in it (the audio). And when you hear that pause it brings some concern,” said retired Chief Deputy US Marshall Matthew Fog after listening on CNN.

“It is very significant, because if you have a pause there it means somebody had time to think and then fire again.”
A voice in the audio can be heard saying, “You’re so pretty,” before 11 gunshots ring out.

An attorney for the unidentified man with the recording said the audio, if authentic, shows a clear “point of contemplation” while shooting.


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Judge Orders FBI to Investigate Whether Bureau Pressured Witness Not to Testify

Timothy McVeigh/fbi photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge wants the FBI to conduct an internal investigation to determine whether the bureau pressured a witness not to testify in a case involving videos of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Associated Press reports.

Utah lawyer Jesse Trentadue claims that the FBI threatened the benefits of a former government operative if he testified in a trial.

The FBI’s attorney rejected the allegations as baseless, but U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said he wants the matter investigated more thoroughly.

“If all of this is nonsense, let’s bring this in and put an end to it,” the judge said.

The attorneys are expected to present their results on Nov. 13.


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FBI Hopes DNA Test on Sheriff’s Badge Sheds Light on Assault Charges Against Him

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A badge can say a lot about a police officer.

In the case of Rio Arriba County Sheriff Tommy Rodella, the badge can help shelf light on whether he assaulted a man, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

Rodella, who is facing federal civil rights charges, is accused of striking Michael Tafoya, 26, in the face with his badge. The FBI is testing the badge for DNA.

An FBI agent who reviewed a photo of Tafoya’s booking photo showed “a reddish, swollen area under his right eye,” according to an FBI affidavit.

“This is consistent with Tafoya’s statement that sheriff Rodella hit him in the face with his badge, and then ground the badge in his right eye and against his cheek,” the affidavit states.


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