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Tag: ICE

Head of Homeland Security Investigations for ICE Started Career Chasing Crack Dealers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Peter Edge, who became head of Homeland Security Investigations for ICE in May, began his law enforcement career began chasing crack cocaine dealers in Newark, NJ.com wrote in a feature about Edge.

“He had a very calm demeanor,” said Robert Laurino, who worked with Edge in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. “Nothing ever shocked Peter.”

Now Edge is responsible for more than 10,000 employees and a $2 billion budget.

“When you start out like that, nothing surprises you,” said Edge, who took over the top job in May after serving as the deputy associate executive director. “You’ve been in a situation where you don’t know what’s behind door No. 1. In this job you’re constantly dealing with problem sets that have to be solved.” Now Edge has some new threats to worry about.

“Criminal networks are increasingly sophisticated in taking advantage of the many ways in which the internet can streamline communications, financing and logistics — just as it does for legal enterprise,” Edge said.

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Border Patrol, ICE on Pace to Run Out of Money Before New Budget Year Begins

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ICE and Border Patrol are set to run out of money if Congress doesn’t approve a $3.7 billion request for emergency funds from President Obama, the Arizona Republic reports.

ICE expects to run out of money by mid-August, while Border Patrol said it could be penniless by mid-September.

Both agencies blame the border crisis on the funding shortage.

The new budget year begins Oct. 1.

“Doing nothing is not an option,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson  told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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Homeland Security Crackdown Nets 600+ Arrests of Suspected Gang Members

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security arrested more than 600 suspected gang members in what is being called the largest gang crackdown ever by the agency, the Associated Press reports.

The operation, dubbed “Project Southbound,” involved Ice agents and local authorities in 179 cities, leading the arrest of 638 suspected gang members between March and April.

Of those, more than 400 had violent criminal histories and seven were wanted on murder charges.

“These are bad people with bad motives from bad organizations,” said Thomas Winkowski, the principal deputy assistant secretary for ICE.

The arrests happened nationwide in places that include Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Maryland and New Mexico.

The crackdown was part of an initiative to target gangs with ties to other countries.

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Feds Quickly Cancel Plan to Start License Plate-Tracking System Following Mix Up

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Hold up, say ICE officials.

A solicitation for a company to compile a database of license plate information was canceled just a day after the Washington Post revealed the plan.

“The solicitation, which was posted without the awareness of ICE leadership, has been cancelled,” ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen told the Washington Post in a statement. “While we continue to support a range of technologies to help meet our law enforcement mission, this solicitation will be reviewed to ensure the path forward appropriately meets our operational needs.”

The technology would have allowed law enforcement to scan the tags of every vehicle to collect data.

Acting Head of ICE to Resign Friday After Just 6 Months; Gives No Explanation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

John Sandweg, a former defense attorney who became the acting head of ICE in August despite scant law enforcement experience, plans to resign Friday, Fox News reports.

Sandweg notified agency employees in a letter that he’s joining the private sector. He offered no explanation for his departure.

“Over the past several months I had the opportunity to work alongside many of you,” he wrote. “I was always amazed by your dedication and commitment to the agency and our nation. Despite the challenges we face, you continue to push on, achieving remarkable security and public safety gains for our country.”

Questions were raised at the time of his appointment because he lacked law enforcement experience to run the second-largest law enforcement agency.

Newly confirmed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson also told employees via email about Sandweg’s departure.

“On a personal note I would like to thank John for his work as I learned about the department during my confirmation process,” Sandweg wrote.

 

Immigrants Beating Deportations at Highest Rate in More Than 20 Years, Report

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More immigrants are successfully beating deportation before a judge, according to new data, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

In fact, the success rate in court is higher than it has been for more than 20 years, according to the Transaction Records Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which collects and studies federal prosecution records.

Since October, immigration judges rejected about half of the 42,816 deportation cases heard.

Ice defended its actions.

“ICE’s enforcement strategies and policies are designed to prioritize its resources on public safety, national security and border security threats,” said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen. “ICE continues to focus on sensible, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens and those apprehended at the border while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.”

DEA Probe Leads to Charges Against Veteran ICE Agent in Extortion Case

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A veteran ICE agent is accused of accepting bribes to help smuggle illegal immigrants into the country by claiming they were witnesses to a drug investigation, CBS Miami reports.

That’s one allegation facing Special Agent Juan Martinez, who appeared in court Friday on 12 criminal counts, including extortion and bribery.

Martinez also is accused of looking the other way in exchange for expensive jewelry, airline tickets and liquor.

His attorney, Silvia Pinera-Vazquez, said the charges are false.

“We disagree with the government 100-percent. Agent Martinez has been a law enforcement agent for over 20 years. He has dutifully served his country. He denies every single paragraph of that indictment and is looking forward to a trial where is innocence will be proven,” Pinera-Vazquez said, according to CBS Miami.

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Alejandro Mayorkas Closer to Winning Confirmation for No. 2 Job at Homeland Security

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s pick for the No. 2 job at the Department of Homeland Security advanced to the next stage after getting approval from a Senate panel, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Now Alejandro Mayorkas, head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, needs confirmation from a majority of the Senate.

Republicans have objected to Mayorkas because of dogged allegations that he intervened in a visa program, the Los Angeles Times wrote.

If confirmed, Mayorkas would manage daily operations of Homeland Security, which includes Border Patrol, TSA and ICE.