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Tag: agents

House Passes Bill to Reform Beleaguered Secret Service with More Oversight, Agents

US CapitolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House approved legislation Monday aimed at reforming the beleaguered Secret Service, which has been beset by lax security, poor management and scandals.

The House passed the Secret Service Improvement Act by a 375-16 vote and gained almost universal support from both parties, the Washington Examiner reports. 

The bill calls for more oversight, more training and reforms to the agency’s vulnerabilities.

The Secret Service also will be able to hire at least 80 new agents and 200 additional division officers.

One big change under the bill: The senate must approve the Secret Service director, who previously was appointed exclusively by the president.

“The person entrusted to not only protect the president, but to also head a $1.5 billion federal law enforcement agency, should be subject to the same process of advice and consent of the Senate as his counterparts at other comparable agencies,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who authored the bill.

FBI Raids Allentown City Hall in Pennsylvania; Many Questions Loom

Allentown, PA

Allentown, PA

A federal grand jury investigation has prompted FBI agents to raid Allentown City Hall in Pennsylvania last week, The Morning Call reports. 

Agents spent hours collecting records dating from 2005 to present, said Susan Ellis Wild, Allentown’s solicitor.

“There are a number of things in the search warrant,” Wild said. “It was not terribly specific.”

What remains unclear is target of the investigation.

Some city officials have said they were interviewed by the FBI about city contracts, but they didn’t offer more details.

FBI Looking at Similarities of Women Killed Or Missing from Ohio Town

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents who are investigating a possible serial killer are looking at similarities in the lives of he six women who have been found dead or have gone missing in a small Ohio town, a former agent told ABC News.

ABC discovered that most of the women “ran in the same circle” and “a majority knew each other, often sharing similar personal stories.”

The lived in Chillicothe, Oh.

“They’ll start looking for any type of connections, whether they know each other whether their circumstances were similar — if they were all involved in drug use or maybe a majority of them, or were they involved in prostitution, were they from a certain area or did they frequent a certain area,” said former FBI Special Agent in Charge Steve Gomez.

Many of the victims had drug problems.

The FBI also likely has a profiler to determine the traits of the suspect.

Border Patrol Agents Attacked by Swarms of Bees; 1 Hospitalized

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Border Patrol agents have grown accustomed to dodging rocks and other projectiles.

But bees?

Action 4 reports that Border Patrol agents and other local law enforcement were stung by an untold number of bees this week.

Some agents were stung dozens of times, and one was airlifted to the hospital from an adverse reaction.

The agent was in stable condition Wednesday.

The stings happened from Penitas to Rio Grande City over a three-day period.

“This is a prime example of the many dangers Border Patrol agents and other law enfrocment officers encounter when working near the border area,” Border Patrol said.

Border Patrol Agents: Government Making It Impossible to Nab Drug Dealers

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents said the federal government is making it impossible to make drug busts, a move that has contributed to a “morale crisis,” the Los Angeles Times reports. 

“We lack the political will to enforce the law and allow our agency to be effective,” said National Border Patrol Council spokesman Shawn Moran in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

Shane Gallagher, an agent in the San Diego sector, said the agency has been very successful at nabbing border crossers with drugs.

“Now the port of entry has to explain who was in the primary lane, what actions were taken, if the vehicle was inspected, so you can see there’s a whole host of implications,” he said.

Gallagher said fewer agents are responsible for drug busts.

“There was a lot of pressure for us to get out of the [drug] interdiction game,” Gallagher said.

 

Border Patrol Agents Absolved of Every Shooting But 3; Others Under Investigation

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has absolved agents of 64 of 67 shootings, according to a recently completed review, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The shootings, which resulted in 19 deaths, were considered justifiable use of force.

Three cases are still under investigation and involve shootings.

Charges have not resulted from any of the cases. In one case, two agents were disciplined and received oral reprimands.

“Turning the page doesn’t mean burying the past,” said Chris Rickerd, a border security expert at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington. “There is no assurance to border residents that agents who have used excessive, improper lethal force aren’t on the job in their communities.”

FBI Hassles Students for Shooting Video Outside FBI Field Office

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two FBI agents paid a visit to the home of a college student after she and two other journalism students shot video outside of the bureau’s field office in San Diego.

An FBI spokesman said two agents visited the home because they were concerned about people shooting video outside of the bureau without calling ahead like many other journalists do, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. 

First Amendment experts expressed concern with the visit, saying the students did nothing wrong and were intimidated by the agents.

The students said they received permission from a guard to shoot the video, and the guard even took down their drivers’ license information.

But before long, they were told to leave.

DEA Agents Allege Management Discriminates Against Military Reservists

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sixteen DEA agents who also serve as military reservists have filed a complain that alleges they are discriminated against by management, CBS 8 reports. 

“They (DEA) have a consistent, perpetual harassment that continues to escalate,” said DEA Special Agent Mark Coast of San Diego. “Servicemen should not be treated as second class citizens.”

The agents said management doesn’t like that reservists have to take time off work.

“You sit at your desk and your supervisors will constantly come by and tell you, ‘You need to get out of the service. You can’t serve two masters,'” said Coast, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves since 1987.

The complaint alleges that DEA management routinely subject military reservists to “hostile and offensive comments in the workplace.”

The DEA declined to comment.

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