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DEA Agent Shot While Executing Search Warrant at Home of Suspected Drug Trafficker

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent is recovering after a suspect shot him in the elbow Monday morning while serving a search warrant at the home of a suspected drug dealer in South Carolina, the State reports.

Shot was Special Agent Barry Wilson, who was executing a search warrant at the home of Joel Robinson. The 32-year-old suspect fire at DEA agents several times.

The suspect is accused of drug trafficking and carrying a firearm while committing crimes.

FBI agents stormed onto the property wearing ballistic vests and identified themselves as law enforcement, the State reported.

“While executing the warrant, the team at the front door announced ‘Police, search warrant’ multiple times and made entry into the residence,” the complaint said.

Robinson responded to the agents by firing at them as they entered his home.


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Border Patrol Find Immigrants inside Boxes, Washer in Back of U-Haul in Texas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents never know where they’ll find immigrants hidden.

On Friday, five immigrants were rescued from the back of a U-Haul at a checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas after agents were alerted by their K-9, KVAL reports.

The immigrants were hiding in a cardboard box, and one was inside a washing machine.

The immigrant declined medical attention.

The driver and passenger were taken into custody.

The case is under investigation.

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FBI Should Not Be in Business of Convincing Companies to Offer Less Security

By Cindy Cohn
Gizmodo  

FBI Director James Comey gave a speech reiterating the FBI’s nearly twenty-year-old talking points about why it wants to reduce the security in your devices, rather than help you increase it. Here’s the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s response.

The FBI should not be in the business of trying to convince companies to offer less security to their customers. It should be doing just the opposite. But that’s what Comey is proposing—undoing a clear legal protection we fought hard for in the 1990s. The law specifically ensures that a company is not required to essentially become an agent of the FBI rather than serving your security and privacy interests. Congress rightly decided that companies (and free and open source projects and anyone else building our tools) should be allowed to provide us with the tools to lock our digital information up just as strongly as we can lock up our physical goods. That’s what Comey wants to undo.

It’s telling that his remarks echo so closely the arguments of that era. Compare them, for example, with this comment from former FBI Director Louis Freeh in May of 1995, now nearly twenty years ago:

[W]e’re in favor of strong encryption, robust encryption. The country needs it, industry needs it. We just want to make sure we have a trap door and key under some judge’s authority where we can get there if somebody is planning a crime.

Now just as then, the FBI is trying to convince the world that some fantasy version of security is possible—where “good guys” can have a back door or extra key to your home but bad guys could never use it. Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of security can tell you that’s just not true. So the “debate” Comey calls for is phony, and we suspect he knows it. Instead, Comey wants everybody to have weak security, so that when the FBI decides somebody is a “bad guy,” it has no problem collecting personal data.

To read more click here.


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3 Arrested in Buffalo for Allegedly Impersonating FBI Agents to Kidnap Women

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Perpetrators wearing “FBI” vests and badges around their neck tried to kidnap women in two separate incidents in Buffalo, the Buffalo News reports.

The fake agents handcuffed the victims.

Police stopped an SUV in which the perpetrators and a victim were riding.

The Buffalo News wrote that the victim believed she was being legitimately arrested after they rushed up to her, screaming “FBI, you’re wanted for questioning in a homicide” and placed handcuffs on her.

Another victim escaped when the would-be kidnappers tried to force her into an SUV.

There people were charged with attempted kidnapping: Hakim Owens, 22; Paul Manning, 19; and Christopher Southerns, 22.

FBI spokesman Maureen Dempsey said the suspects were unusually young for FBI agents, noting that the minimum age is 22 with a four-year college degree and three years of work experience.

 


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Congress Should Return Secret Service to Treasury’s Oversight After Blunders

secret service photo

Michael D. Langan
Special to the Buffalo News

It is time for Treasury defenders in Congress to return the Secret Service to Treasury’s oversight.

When I served as senior adviser to the under secretary for enforcement at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 1988 to 1998, the Secret Service was one of the proud standard bearers of the best agencies that the federal government could offer to its citizens.

It has been in decline lately because of a breakdown in leadership, morale, procedures and protocols.

As a result, the issue of who should oversee the Secret Service is on the front burner again.

Should it continue to be overseen by the Department of Homeland Security, as it has for the past 11 years, or return to the Treasury Department, where it resided for 138 years?

Here is some recent history.

The 9/11 Commission, established in 2002, recommended that the Secret Service and other elements of federal law enforcement be placed in a new, massive entity, the Department of Homeland Security. Ostensibly, this meant that law enforcement decision-making could be captured in one place without the problems of competing bureaucracies.

The commission’s intent was to make the United States safer from terrorist attacks after 9/11. Despite Homeland Security’s good efforts, things haven’t worked out for the Secret Service or, it seems, for other law enforcement agencies put in that same department. It could be argued that there are more competing bureaucracies within Homeland Security than before the mergers.

Sometimes bigger isn’t better; it’s bad. Confusion can reign because of conflicting rules, internal squabbles, budget insufficiencies and overlapping jurisdictions.

To read more click here.


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Facebook to DEA: Setting Up Fake Accounts to Capture Suspects Violates Policies

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s decision to set up a fake account on Facebook by stealing a woman’s identity was a “knowing and serious breach” of the social networks’ terms and policies, the company wrote in a letter to the DEA.

Gizmodo reports that Facebook will enforce its policy of users creating accounts under proper names.

Facebook “has long made clear that law enforcement agencies are subject to these policies.”

Despite that policy, the FBI created a fake account using the stolen identity of Sondra Arquiett, who had been arrested on suspicion of being in a drug ring. The idea was to catch others in the ring by using the account.


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Nazi War Criminals Continued Collecting Social Security Benefits from U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

At least 38 suspected Nazi war criminals removed from the U.S. continued receiving their Social Security benefits as part of a strange deal struck with the Justice Department, the Seattle Times reports.

One of them is former Auschwitz guard Jakob Denzinger, who fled to Germany and still collects about $1,500 a month in Social Security payments

The Social Security payments were used by the Justice Department as leverage to convince the suspected war criminals to leave the U.S.

The loophole that made it possible for the suspects to receive Social Security benefits would have been closed in legislation that was opposed by the Office of Special Investigations, which went after Nazis.

An analysis by the Associated Press found that 28 suspected Nazi criminals received $1.5 million in Social Security benefits after being removed from the U.S.


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TSA Agent on Leave After Patting Down Ebola Patient at Cleveland Airport

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A TSA agent who patted down an Ebola patient at a Cleveland airport is on paid leave as a precaution, 19 Action News reports.

The agency said the agent performed a routine-pat-down of Amber Vinson at Hopkins Airport.

Vinson is the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S.

“Out of an abundance of caution, a Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Officer who conducted a routine pat-down of a traveler later reported to be infected with Ebola consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” the TSA said. “The employee is not reporting any symptoms. The employee was instructed by CDC to self-monitor over the next few days, as a precautionary measure. TSA also has assigned its chief medical officer to our employee to provide additional support.

No Cleveland TSA officer came in direct contact with the infected traveler, as all pat-downs are completed while employees are wearing disposable medical gloves.”

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