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FBI Arrests Trump Appointee Accused of Assaulting Police, Storming Capitol on Jan. 6

Frederico G. Klein in an image filed by the FBI.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has arrested a political appointee of former President Trump who is accused of assaulting police and storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Frederico G. Klein, 42, a former State Department aide, was charged with multiple felony accounts, including unlawful entry, violent and disorderly conduct, obstructing Congress and law enforcement, and assaulting an officers with a dangerous weapon, according to a criminal complaint obtained by The New York Times.

Videos show Klein, wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, resisting and assaulting officers with a stolen riot shield, and storming the Capitol with a pro-Trump mob, according to court documents.  

Before working at the State Department, Klein was on Trump’s presidential campaign team. 

At the time of the riot, Klein was a State Department employee with Top Secret security clearance. He is the first member of Trump’s administration to be arrested in the riot. 

“Klein quickly pushed his way to the front-left side of the crowd and to the doorway to the Capitol building, where he physically and verbally engaged with the officers holding the line,” the F.B.I. said.

The FBI has arrested more than 300 people for their alleged roles in the riot. 


FBI Arrests Texas Police Officer Accused of Distributing Child Pornography

By Steve Neavling

The FBI arrested a police officer in Texas on charges of distributing child pornography. 

Denton Police Officer David Schoolcraft was ordered to remain in custody during his initial court hearing Thursday.

According to U.S. attorneys, Schoolcraft knowingly received or distributed child pornography through any means of interstate or foreign commerce, mail or shipment, or through a computerin late December. 

He faces up to 20 years in prison. 

Schoolcraft, a 15-year veteran of the department, was placed on leave after he was arrested. 


Border Patrol Agents Rescue Father, Toddler Swept Away in Canal

Agents and residents helped save the life of a father and son.

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents are credited with saving the life of a father and his two-year-old boy who were swept away in a canal by strong currents in Yuma, Ariz. 

An air interdiction agent who was piloting a helicopter spotted the father and son struggling to swim in the Salanity Canal on Monday evening. The pilot threw rescue lines to the father, but to no avail. 

A Yuma Station agent removed his uniform and jumped into the canal, rescuing the boy with the help of other agents and citizens, who also pulled the 23-year-old father from the water. 

The father and son were treated for hypothermia at a local hospital. 

CBP said the father was an undocumented immigrant. 


FBI, Homeland Security Warn of Potential Plot to Seize Control of Capitol Today

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned that domestic extremists “discussed plans to take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers on or about March 4,” the date that far-right conspiracy theorists believe former President Trump will be sworn in for a second term. 

The agencies sent a joint intelligence bulletin, titled “National Capitol Region Remains Attractive Target for Domestic Violent Extremists,” to local and state law enforcement agencies late Tuesday, NBC News first reported.

After the U.S. Capitol Police issued a similar warning, House leaders canceled Thursday’s legislative session. The Senate still plans to meet.

Extremists, emboldened by the Jan. 6 insurrection, may “exploit public gatherings either formally organized or spontaneous to engage in violence,” the memo states. 

According to adherents of QAnon, a right-wing conspiracy group that believes a secret cabal of Satan worshipers is running a global child sex-trafficking ring, former President Trump will be sworn in for a second term for the “true Inauguration Day” on March 4. 


Homeland Security Special Agent Charged with Bribery for Allegedly Helping Organized Crime Figure

By Steve Neavling

A former Homeland Security special agent is accused of accepting at least $122,000 and other gifts to help an organized crime figure evade authorities. 

Felix Cisneros Jr., 46, was arrested Tuesday and charged with conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official, bribery and 26 counts of money laundering. 

Between 2015 and 2016, while he was a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, Cisneros is accused of accepting cash, checks, private jet travel, luxury hotel stays and meals. In exchange for the bribes, Cisneros used highly restricted law enforcement data bases to keep the crime figure informed about investigations, according to a Justice Department news release.

Cisneros also is accused of removing information about a German citizen with a criminal record from a government database to help him enter the country. In addition, Cisneros allegedly tried to help get a relative of the crime figure into the U.S. from Armenia. 

Cisneros also is accused of warning the crime figure about law enforcement actions. 

The crime figure wasn’t identified in the indictment. 

Cisneros faces up 20 years in prison. 

The FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General continue to investigate. 

The case is behind handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruth C. Pinkel of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section. 


Retired FBI Agent to Lead Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards And Training

By Steve Neavling

A retired FBI agent has been tapped to lead Oregon’s police safety certification and training agency. 

Gov. Kate Brown appointed Jerry Granderson to serve as director of the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, The Oregonian reports reports.

Granderson, 57, who retired from the FBI in April, starts his new job on March 22 and will be paid $162,216 a year.

The agency has more than a $55 million budget and is tasked with developing training and certification/licensing standards for more than 41,000 public and private safety professionals. The professionals include police officers, corrections officers, parole and probation officers, liquor control regulatory specialists, emergency dispatchers, criminal justice instructors, private security providers, private investigators, and polygraph examiners.

At the FBI, Granderson investigated narcotics, domestic terrorism and organized crime in Illinois. He also was a program manager for the bureau’s international law enforcement training academies in Botswana, Hungary, El Salvador and the United Arab Emirates.

“His background in law enforcement and public safety—with a blend of field, training, program management, and leadership experience—makes him uniquely suited for this position,” Brown said in a statement. “I look forward to his leadership, especially as we work collaboratively to improve the training and certification of Oregon law enforcement officers and as we answer the resounding calls from Oregonians for much-needed racial justice and police accountability reforms.”

Grandson received a fine arts degree and a master’s degree in international relations from Western Illinois University. He also served in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and 12th Special Forces Group of the Army Reserves. 


FBI Agents Association Encouraged by Senators Calling for More Bureau Resources

By Allan Lengel

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the growing and challenging problem of domestic terrorism in the U.S., prompting the FBI Agents Association to applaud Senators who called for more resources for the bureau.

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Capitol Hill

“Today’s Senate hearing called attention to the growing number of dangerous threats that FBI Special Agents are working to thwart, and the FBIAA was encouraged to hear some Senators call for providing more resources to the Bureau, including expanding the ranks of Special Agents,” the association’s President Brian O’Hare said in a statement on Tuesday following Wray’s testimony.

“FBI Director Christopher Wray described the rising threat of domestic terrorism to the public and our democracy. Senators on both sides of the aisle urged action to address the threat of domestic extremism,” O’Hare said. “The FBIAA calls on Congress to ensure the Bureau has the tools it needs by immediately passing legislation to attach penalties to the existing definition of domestic terrorism in the federal criminal code. “

Wray defended the FBI’s dissemination of intelligence before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and told the committee “we have significantly grown the number of investigations and arrests.”

He warned that domestic terrorism “has been metastasizing around the country for a long time now, and it’s not going away anytime soon.”