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Tag: agents

FBI to Open Office in North Dakota’s Oil Country As Crime Increases

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The boost in oil production in North Dakota has brought a lot of wealth – and crime – to the state.

The FBI is responding to an uptick in crime by opening an office in the state’s oil country, The Hill reports.

The bureau plans to fully staff the Willinston office later this year.

The office will be a “resident agency” of the FBI’s Minneapolis division.

“The office in Williston is a welcomed addition to our presence in North Dakota,” Richard Thornton, special agent in charge of the Minneapolis division that oversees the Williston office, said in a statement.

“The opening of this office is in response to the unprecedented growth in population and economic activity associated with the oil exploration and production in the Bakken region and the corresponding increase in criminal activity,” he said. “The FBI will be in a better position to effectively address these issues in this region of North Dakota through this new office.”

San Diego Park Improvements Become Impediments for Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Enhancements at a San Diego park have caused an unusual rift between the Border Patrol union and city park officials.

NBC San Diego reports that wooden bollards were placed around the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park in 2013 to prevent cars from driving into the park.

But those roadblocks are now impeding border protection, the union claims, because law enforcement officials can’t get around them.

“It looks to me the design is there in the middle of the roads to keep the Border Patrol agents off those roads where we ordinarily patrol,” said Border Patrol Union Representative Gabe Pacheco.

 

Now Border Patrol worries that illegal immigrants will use the barriers to their advantage.

But park officials said the bollards are important.

“Bollards are used for 2 main reasons: (1) Public Safety- Protect trail users from vehicular traffic; (2) Stewardship of Public Lands- Protect areas that are environmentally or culturally sensitive,” park’s department spokeswoman Shannon Singler told NBC.

Report: FBI Mishandled Communication During Sony Pictures Hack

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The major hacking of Sony Pictures drew remarkably little consultation or collaboration between Sony and the FBI despite the high-profile attack, Fortune reports.

As agents and company executives scurried to respond to the attack, they did so internally.

The FBI, for example, withheld information and didn’t advise Sony on how to handle the hack.

According to Fortune, the “disarray around the hack led to each stakeholder making high-profile decisions without fully consulting the others: theaters refused to show The Interview, the film fingered by the hackers as offensive; that decision led Sony to delay the film’s release; the White House felt forced to make a statement supporting free speech in response to the delay. All the while, federal officials told theater owners that there was no threat to them even as it admitted that it didn’t know.”

Obama Adminstration Slow at Cracking Down on Border Patrol Shootings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Obama administration’s pledge to discipline Border Patrol agents who use excessive force is nearly a year old and hardly any progress has been made, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Shooting cases remain unresolved and undisciplined. A review panel tasked with making recommendations has yet to do so. And internal affairs’ top two jobs are vacant.

The administration responded that the reforms are caught up in union rules and red tape.

In the past five years, Border Patrol agents have shot and killed two dozen people along the Southwest border, The Times wrote. None of the shootings led to disciplinary actions or charges.

“I’m not sure we will reach a level of satisfaction with the public on every one of those cases,” said R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency for the Border Patrol. “But we will be much more thorough, much more accountable and we will be much more transparent … going forward.”

 

Border Patrol Agents Advised They May Let Drunken Drivers Loose

Via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents in Arizona have been advised they are under no obligation to arrest drunken drivers and will face no consequences for letting the suspects go, CBS5 reports.

A training memo that has been circulating among agents reminded them that they have no legal authority to arrest someone for breaking an Arizona law because they are not certified peace officers.

“The question is how much authority does Border Patrol have to enforce state laws against U.S. citizens,” former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney Alex Lane said. “Do we want Border Patrol checkpoints to also be DUI checkpoints?”

A union representing agents said drunken drivers will not be let go.

“I can assure you that the agents I represent and the people I work with just would not release someone who was severely intoxicated,” said Art Del Cueto, president of Local 2544.

Customs and Border Patrol released this statement to CBS5:

The recent informational slide, which was inappropriately released outside of CBP, was intended as an internal messaging slide to provide training to Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents about their legal options when encountering drivers who appear to be impaired.  In cases where Border Patrol agents encounter possibly impaired drivers, they are trained to exercise their professional judgment when assessing the current situation. Information on the slide does not direct agents to detain or not detain these drivers, but instead provides them information, based on judicial precedent, to use their discretion when encountering possibly impaired drivers.  The Border Patrol often releases internal messaging on a wide range of topics to inform agents so that they may better perform their duties within the scope of the law. 

Wrongfully Convicted Man Sues FBI Agents Who Helped Send Him to Prison

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A computer programmer who was wrongfully convicted of stealing trading codes from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2009 is suing the FBI agents who helped put him in prison, Bloomberg reports.

Sergey Aleynikov, who inspired Michael Lewis’s best-seller “Flash Boys,” claims in the lawsuit that agents violated his constitutional against unreasonable search and seizure and arrested him without probable cause.

The lawsuit alleges that Goldman Sachs waged its “enormous influence” to prompt the FBI investigation and subsequent arrest.

Federal jurors convicted the naturalized U.S. citizen of economic espionage and other crimes in 2010.

Border Patrol Agents Say Gun Shortage Forces Them to Share Rifles

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A gun shortage at the Border Patrol has forced about 400 agents to share 100 rifles, one agent told Fox News.

That means agents aren’t able to calibrate their weapon.

“We are left to check out rifles that were unzeroed to us,” a border patrol agent told FoxNews.com. “This practice needs to be outlawed, as it could cost someone their life.”

One agent said it’s important to have a calibrated rifle.

“Imagine you are out in the mountains of Arizona, walking a trail known to be used by drug smugglers.As you walk up a ridge, a group of smugglers crest over the mountain on the same trail 100 yards away – coming straight toward you, armed with AK-47s,” he said.

The shortage was prompted by the agency’s desire to weed out M4 carbine rifles because of fears that they would malfunction.

Secret Service Unable to Make Reforms, Hire New Agents Because of Budget Impasse

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Congressional dispute over Homeland Security’s budget means the Secret Service cannot hire new agents or reform the beleaguered agency until the impasse is over, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, Reuters reports.

Johnson expressed deep concerns about the impasse, saying a lot is at stake – the security of borders, airports and coastal waters.

The agency’s spending authority ends Feb. 27, and Republicans are showing no signs of backing down until they block President Obama’s executive orders that would protect about 5 million undocumented immigrants already in the U.S.

“This means we cannot invest in the things the independent panel recommended to improve the Secret Service; we cannot hire new Secret Service agents for the coming presidential election cycle,” Johnson said of the budget uncertainty.

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