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Archive for September, 2014

FBI Investigating Body Donor Program in Portland Following Similar Probes in Detroit, Arizona

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The FBI is investigating a body donor program in Portland following similar probes in Detroit and Arizona.

Oregonlive.com reports that the FBI launched an investigation into Legacy Health.

But authorities are tightlipped about the probe of Legacy Health.

“Other than confirming that there is an FBI investigation into the Legacy Body Donation Program, there isn’t much more I can say,” said FBI special agent David Porter, a spokesman in the bureau’s Detroit field office.

The investigation involves health screenings of the bodies and failure to notify families of how bodies were being used, Oregonelive.com reports.

Rumors have put a negative light on body donation services.

“People are confused. They just want to verify that we’re not one of those organizations they’ve read about,”  Corrina Patzer, director of business services for Lions VisionGift, said. “It impacts transplants, it impacts donations.”

The investigation appears to have its roots in two similar cases in Detroit and Arizona.

FBI, CDC Investigating After TSA Agent Attacked with Syringe in Nigerian Airport

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The FBI and CDC launched an investigation after someone attacked a federal air marshal with a syringe inside the Lagos, Nigeria airport on Sunday, Fox News reports.

The air marshal, who was on the public side of the airport, was injected with an unknown substance.

He and his team were whisked back to the U.S. with the syringe.

“The [air marshal] reported that the subject stuck him with a syringe and it is believed he was injected with an unknown substance,” according to an alert from the TSA. “After consultation with the consulate and physicians, the [federal air marshal] was given precautionary medication.”

An FBI spokesman added: “Out of an abundance of caution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted an on-scene screening of the victim when United Flight 143 landed in Houston early Monday morning. The victim did not exhibit any signs of illness during the flight and was transported to a hospital upon landing for further testing. None of the testing conducted has indicated a danger to other passengers.”

Lawsuit Seeks to Name Border Patrol Agent Who Shot, Killed 16-Year-Old in Nogales

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Civil rights lawyers are suing federal government to force the disclosure of the name of the Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a 16-year-old teen in the back.

“This is an extraordinary request by the government and just one more example of how the Border Patrol attempts to shield its unlawful actions from the public. The rule of law demands transparency—that’s all we’re asking for,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project in a news release.

The body of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was found about 40 feet from the border near the port of entry in Nogales.

Border Patrol said the agent was responding to rock throwers, but a witness disputes that.

CBP has agreed to release the name of the agent, but only if the identity is kept hidden from the public.

“The public interest in knowing the identity of a federal agent sued for the use of deadly force during his official duties is paramount,” attorneys wrote.

Internal Report: Homeland Security Fails Adequately Prepare for Potential Pandemics

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although Homeland Security has received $47 million to prepare for potential pandemics, federal authorities are far from ready and properly trained, according to a federal audit, the Washington Post reports.

The Homeland Security inspector general found numerous problems, including the imminent expiration of antiviral drugs and a failure to find personal protective gear.

“A severe influenza pandemic presents a tremendous challenge, which may affect millions of Americans, cause significant illnesses and fatalities, and substantially disrupt our economic and social stability,” the report said. “It is DHS’s responsibility to ensure it is adequately prepared to continue critical operations in the event of a pandemic.”

The audit found that 81% of the department’s antiviral drugs are set to expire next year.

Other Stories of Interest

International Fight Turns Around so FBI Can Arrest Mom in Parental Kidnapping Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI was able to get a United Airlines flight to turn around mid-flight from Washington Dulles International Airport to Beijing to arrest a passenger accused of parental kidnapping, the Washington Post reports.

The mother, Wenking Liu, was arrested Thursday evening at Dulles International Airport, where the plan returned.

Liu was charged with unlawfully attempting to remover her son from the U.S. with intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights.

The boy’s father reported the kidnapping, prompting agents to urge the airline to turn the flight around.

 

District Attorney Awaits Results of FBI Probe into 22-Year-Old’s Death in Police Car

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

How could 22-year-old Victor White III fatally shoot himself while handcuffed in the back of a police car in New Iberia, La.?

The Louisiana State Police completed its investigation of the unusual case, but the 16th Judicial District Attorney Phil Haney said his office will await the results of a separate FBI probe, The Town Talk reports.

“We’re going to reach out to the family through their attorney,” he said.

Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal said he sympathized with White and his family.

“In my opinion, this was a tragic loss of life and it is difficult to understand why it happened,” Ackal said in a statement.

White was in the back of a police car after being arrested March 2 for possession of marijuana and cocaine when police said he shot himself in the chest.

Family members are suspicious, finding it difficult to believe that White managed to shoot himself in the chest while handcuffed and after being searched by police.

Senior DOJ Lawyer Named to No. 3 Post, Highest-Ever for Openly Gay Official

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A senior Justice Department lawyer who has been a key proponent of President Obama’s initiatives has been named to the department’s No. 3 post, becoming the highest-ranking openly gay official to ever serve the department, the New York Times reports.

Stuart F. Delery is replacing Tony West, who announced his departure last week, and will handle civil rights and environmental cases, among other issues. Delery may be best known for his role in overturning the federal ban on same-sex marriage. “Stuart has helped to strengthen our nation’s security, to protect public health and safety, and to achieve justice in cases of financial fraud and recover billions of dollars for taxpayers,” Mr. Holder said in a statement.

“I can think of no more dedicated, more capable, or more passionate public servant to continue the duties, and uphold the high standards, that defined Tony West’s time in office.”

Border Patrol: Leave Complicated Immigration Issues Up to Professionals

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Border Patrol is urging the state of Texas and militia members to leave immigration issues to the pros, the Associated Press reports.

The plea comes after the influx of migrants prompted state Gov. Rick Perry to send as many as 1,000 guardsman and hundreds of state troopers to the border. Militia members also took up guard.

Everyone is heavily armed, and coordination is minimal.

The Border Patrol recently had a friendly fire incident involving a militia member.

“Sometimes it can be dangerous, because you have all these (non-law enforcement) people out there running around the border,” said Kevin Oaks, the Border Patrol’s chief in the Rio Grande Valley. “There are cartel members that carry assault weapons and camouflage, and then there’s others that may be under the auspices of whatever group, may look very similar, and we have no idea who those people are. My fear is that these things clash and eventually there will be a very bad outcome.”