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Archive for August, 2012

Administrative Subpoenas Are Unchecked and Abused, Critics Charge

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agencies are increasingly using administrative subpoenas to force the release of information from virtually all businesses, a tactic that critics say strips the civil liberties of Americans, Wired reports.

The DEA, for example, can issue an administrative subpoena without a court warrant if the agent believes the information is relevant to the probe.

The subpoenas bypass the Fourth Amendment, which is designed to protect against unreasonable searches, according to Wired.

In a recent case, Golden Valley Electric Association lost its argument that it does not have to release customer records under an administrative subpoena.

Based on anecdotal evidence, Wired said there are hundreds of thousands of administrative subpoenas issued a year.

Report: ATF Officials in Phoenix Responsible for Fast and Furious

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A federal report on the controversial gun-walking operation, Fast and Furious, places much of the blame on the program on the Phoenix office of the ATF, CBS News reports.

The report by the Inspector General, which is expected to be released in a few weeks, shows a divide between the Phoenix office and their supervisors at ATF headquarters and the Justice Department, according to CBS News, which interviewed peopled familiar with the case.

Those most responsible, according to the report, are then-Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell, agent Hope MacAllister and group servitor David Voth.

Phoenix-based authorities said they knew nothing was wrong because they had the blessings of headquarters and the Justice Department – both of which were notified of the investigation during briefings.

Superiors, however, said they never wanted agents to allow guns to walk, according to CBS News.

One of the guns was found later at the murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

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Retirement Party for Head of NY FBI Cost $150 Per Person: “Even for NY Prices That’s Wholly Crap”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The cost for attending the September retirement party of Janice Fedarcyk, who just stepped down as head of the New York FBI, isn’t so cheap: $150.

Some think that’s excessive for a party for the  assistant director in charge  (ADIC) of the New York office.

“Everybody said ‘wholly crap,'” one agent told ticklethewire.com. “Even for N.Y. prices, that’s wholly crap.”

Another person said: “The event costs $150. That’s the most expensive retirement dinner I have ever seen. Given the tough economic times and lack of payraises for federal workers the last two years, this is outrageous. Either ADIC Fedarcyk or whoever is planning this is out of touch with reality.”

The event is set for Sept. 6 at a hall in Manhattan.

The $150 includes cocktails and  hors d’oeuvres from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. followed by a sit-down dinner.

FBI retirement parties are usually about a third of that cost if not less.

The N.Y. FBI office had not yet responded for comment on Monday.

FBI Looking for Diverse Pool of Qualified Candidates to Become Agents

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The FBI is expanding its recruiting efforts to find a diverse pool of candidates for a variety of special agent jobs, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The FBI is on the hunt for CPAs, Chinese-Mandarin speakers and candidates skillful in cyber-network administration.

The FBI typically only hires for two weeks twice a year, but the agency is adding an additional two weeks to attract “a more diverse candidate pool,” Steve Dupre, recruitment coordinator for the FBI’s Easter Division, told the Sacramento Bee.

Since Aug. 1, the FBI has received about 7,500 application for special agent jobs.

To apply, visit www.fbijobs.gov.

FBI Agent Creates Technology to Chase Down Pedophiles

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Salt Lake City FBI agent is changing how authorities investigate child sex crimes, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Special Agent Eric Zimmerman created software that the FBI approved last fall, leading to the arrests of more than 220 suspects, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

The 13 software tools reduce the time to investigate data on a computer hard drive and interpret real-time information on suspected abusers, the Tribune reported.

“I can honestly say it is one of the best tools that I have ever used since doing this line of work,” Toronto Police Service Detective Paul Krawczyk, who has worked in the child exploitation section of his agency for 10 years, told the Tribune.

The FBI offers the technology to local police.

Guns Used in Chicago Crimes Bought Close to Home

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Most guns recovered in Chicago were originally purchased in Illinois, not states with less-restrictive gun laws, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Citing a groundbreaking study at the University of Chicago Crime Lab, authorities said 58% of the 1,375 guns recovered in crimes in Chicago were bought in Illinois.

About 45% came from Cook County.

The study was requested by the Chicago Police Department because of an unusually violent 2012 when homicides spiked 28% compared to this time last year, according to the Sun-Times.

Since more than half of the guns come originate from within Illinois, authorities plan to target local gun stores that are selling the firearms.

Three ICE Agents Accuse Administrator of Sexual Misconduct

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Three employees at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have made sexual harassment complaints against a longtime aide to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, new court records show, according to the Associated Press.

The employees accuse Suzanne Barr, the agency’s chief of staff, of sexually harassing male subordinates.

The complaints range from offering to have sex with two subordinates in separate cases to inappropriate comments about a worker’s penis.

These are the first sex-related complaints against Barr, the AP reported.

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