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Archive for May, 2014

Defense for Boston Bombing Suspect Claim FBI Is ‘Needlessly Intrusive’ in Counsel’s Meetings with Client

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are complaining that the FBI is getting in the way of legal counsel’s constitutional rights to meet with their client in private.

The Boston Globe reports that lawyers filed the complaints in court late Monday, saying FBI continues to be “needlessly intrusive.”

The lawyers said the FBI has ignored previous orders by U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. to allow the counsel to meet with the suspect without being monitored.

“Defense counsel are thus more convinced than ever of the need for a reasonable degree of privacy and confidentiality for this series of legal visits and request that the court so order,” the lawyers argued.

Tsarnaev, who is now 20, is in federal prison awaiting trial on claims that he helped set off bombs on April 15, 2013, that killed three and injured more than 260 near the finish line of the Boston Globe.

FBI’s Feathers Are Ruffled Over Pesky Intruders at Salt Lake City Office

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI in Salt Lake City is dealing with some pesky intruders.

A variety of birds are nesting in the FBI’s parking garage – a problem that has plagued the bureau since moving into their new International Center Facility in 2012, FOX 13 reports.

“Because of the vast amount of waste left by the birds it was determined to hire an expert to mitigate the bird problem in the most humane and legal matter,” the FBI states.

Trouble is, some of those birds may be the protected swallow.

“The Barn Swallow in particular is a very suburban urbanized bird and has learned to use shelters, and bridge overhangs and so forth,” said Bill Fenimore, of the Department of Natural Resources. “They are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so you want to make sure you don’t go out and cavalierly knock nests down and things of that nature.”

The FBI installed netting in the garage, which keeps new birds out but traps the existing birds in, according to Fox 13.

The FBI said it is sensitive to the swallow’s protected status.

“The company working on this issue has explicit rules about the treatment of swallows and understands the strict regulations regarding the treatment of swallows,” according to the FBI.

New Book Argues Border Patrol Has Gone Rogue After Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A scathing new book argues that Border Patrol agents have squandered the rights of undocumented immigrants by resorting to rogue tactics after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“The U.S. Border Patrol is not just the ‘men in green,’ it is a much larger complex and industrial world that spans from robotics, engineers, salespeople and detention centers to the incoming generation of children in its Explorer programs,” Todd Miller writes in “Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches From the Front Lines of Homeland Security.”

Miller, a journalist who has covered border issues for a decade for major publications, including the New York Times, said agents have become abrasive, and the book offers accounts of people treated harshly.

The book’s release comes as Border Patrol pledged to tone down its tactics after coming under heavy criticism.

DEA Head Fights Against Obama Administration Efforts to Reduce Minimum Sentences for Drug Offenders

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In her latest defiance of the Obama administration, DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart is unwilling to support a bill to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug crimes, the Huffington Post reports.

Leonhart has departed with the administration on reforms to drug policies heralded by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

“Having been in law enforcement as an agent for 33 years, [and] a Baltimore City police officer before that, I can tell you that for me and for the agents that work for DEA, mandatory minimums have been very important to our investigations,” Leonhart said. “We depend on those as a way to ensure that the right sentences are going to the … level of violator we are going after.”

Leonhart, who also has spoken out against leniency in pot laws, has been a thorn on the side of reform efforts.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI, Other Law Enforcement Train for Active Shooter Exercise at Alabama Mall

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

This is the kind of training you hope to never have to use.

Nearly 200 members of various law enforcement agencies converged on a mall in Mobile, Alabama on Sunday for an active shooter exercise, FOX 10 reports.

The scenario at Bel Air Mall was a shooter on a rampage after a terrorist attack occurred in another part of the country.

“That’s what’s so important about an event like this is that we bring everyone together so the tactical operators from the county, the city, the FBI, we all work together in this situation…evidence response teams…we all work together so we can understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Chris Hacker, FBI Assistant Agent in charge.

“We have a year-long relationship with law enforcement and it’s important to cooperate in their efforts as well as for them to cooperate with our efforts. Obviously we’re aware that we need to be available to them when they need a facility,” said Tim Nolan, Bel Air Mall manager.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Young Woman Busted Trying to Pass Through Security with 81 Pounds of Marijuana

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are still scratching their heads after a young woman tried to pass through security with 81 pounds of marijuana.
KHON 2 reports that Anastasia Murdock, 26, was carrying about $100,000 worth of pot in vacuum sealed bags in her luggage at Oakland International Airport on Friday.

“Security says she may have gotten away with a small bit of weed, but 81 pounds is a bit much,” KHON 2 wrote.

The woman, who was flying to Jackson, Mississippi was taken into custody.

Border Patrol Cracks Down on Medical Marijuana in New Mexico Despite Leniency Elsewhere

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Medical marijuana cardholders in New Mexico are running into trouble in New Mexico courtesy of the Border Patrol.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that patients are afraid to travel in the state because of Border Patrol checkpoints and crackdowns of marijuana, which is still illegal nationally.

The crackdown comes as the Justice Department, under the recommendations of President Obama, grows more tolerant of state laws allowing medical pot.

CBP appears on be on an anti-marijuana mission, prompting calls from state and federal representatives to urge the agency to rethink its position on pot, the Journal reported.

“Their argument is that, at the federal level, marijuana is still illegal and that is correct,” state Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Las Cruces, wrote in a letter to CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske. “However, with states like Colorado and Washington legalizing marijuana, most of the agencies of the federal government have changed their policies to reflect the reality.”

FBI Investigated Connection Between Football Legend Joe Montana, Chinatown Mobster and State Senator

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Football legend Joe Montana was a subject of an FBI investigation that snared state California state Sen. Leland Yee and previously convicted Chinatown mobster, “Shrimp Boy.”

CNN reports that FBI agents came up with nothing incriminating against the Hall of Fame quarterback.

“Nobody has said he did anything wrong,” said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

Montana, who has been involved in development deals since his 1994 retirement from the NFL, was questioned about an unidentified business proposal during the Yee probe.

In the end, investigators could not tie him to anything legal, the sources told CNN.